|Progressive Calendar 10.29.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 06:05:00 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.29.07 1. Health screening 10.29 3:30pm 2. Don't bomb Iran 10.29 4pm 3. Cluster bombs 10.29 7pm 4. Muslim/peace 10.29 7pm 5. Podcasting 10.29 7pm 6. Iran/CTV 10.30 8am 7. Che/socialism 10.30 4:30pm 8. Iran/CTV 10.30 5pm 9. River critical 10.30 6:30pm 10. Grace Paley 10.30 6:30pm 11. Chicano writing 10.30 7pm 12. Maplewood SchBd 10.30 7pm 13. Nonprofit class 10.30 14. StP SkoolB/KFAI 10.31 11am 15. Iran agenda 10.31 4pm 16. X college 10.31 4:45pm 17. Ralph Nader - Concentrated power/beyond the rule of law 18. Cindy Sheehan - The morning after 19. Jim Fuller - No "lesser evil" in Democratic evil 20. Girish Mishra - Implications of plutonomy 21. ed - Good ship Dem (poem) --------1 of 21-------- From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> Subject: Health screening 10.29 3:30pm Universal Health Care Action Network - MN and African Health Action are holding a Mobile Community Health Screening consisting of cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure tests. Monday, Oct 29, 3:30 PM to 5:30PM African Health Action, 1931 1st Avenue South, Suite 100, Mpls. (on corner of 1st avenue and Franklin, just 1 block east of Nicolet and Franklin). For Somali community, but open to the general public. Why:Basic preventive services are often not covered by health insurers or are not affordable for many people (a typical total cholesterol test is $40 at least). Cost: $10 for all three tests. Contact: Dr. Alvine Siaka, c 612-229-2679, office 612-216-3886, or Janet Asanchayev 651-228-9990 --------2 of 21-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Don't bomb Iran 10.29 4pm DON'T BOMB IRAN! Demos: Monday, October 29, drive time!!! All-out Emergency DEMOS throughout the Twin Cities MONDAY, OCTOBER 29 Evening Drive Time Demos on Overpasses throughout Twin Cities: Don't Bomb Iran Demos! Monday, October 29, 4:00 P.M. throughout commuter drive-time. Demos on overpasses throughout the Twin Cities. If you can't come to the participate in prep at the Rowley's on Sunday, go to an overpass with your own sign/s. Hanging signs on overpasses is legal in the state of Minnesota FFI: Ross' cell phone 952 465-2866) --------3 of 21-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Cluster bombs 10.29 7pm Cluster Bomb Speakers' Tour Monday, October 29, 7:00 p.m. William Mitchell College of Law, Auditorium, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. Tuesday, October 30, 4:00 p.m. University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 p.m. Luther Seminary, Northwestern Hall, Auditorium, 2481 Como Avenue, St. Paul. Wednesday, October 31, 12:30 p.m. University of St. Thomas School of Law, Room 235, 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis. The Cluster Bomb Speakers Tour brings representatives from Laos and Lebanon who have personally experienced the tragic effects of cluster bomb use in their countries. Laos and Lebanon represent the very first and the most recent widespread use of cluster bombs in warfare. Between 1964 and 1973 the U.S. Air Force dropped 260 million cluster bomblets on Laos, killing and injuring thousands of Lao villagers both during and after the war's end. In the 33-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, Israel dropped an estimated 4 million cluster bomblets on southern Lebanon. Roughly 1 million of these bomblets failed to explode on impact, and pose a continuing threat to villagers there. Hezbollah is also reported to have fired a smaller number of cluster munitions on unguided rockets into Northern Israel, making them one of the only non-state actors to use the weapon in combat. Cluster bombs have been used in more than 20 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 90% of known cluster bomb casualties are civilians. Current legislation in the U.S. (S.594, HR 1755) would greatly restrict the use, sale, and transfer of cluster weapons by the U.S. In addition, upcoming international meetings in Vienna will bring together some 80 countries committed to negotiating a treaty banning the use of cluster bombs by the end of 2008. The U.S. is not a participant in these negotiations. The speaker's tour is a public education effort to encourage broader public awareness and action to end the production, sale, and use of cluster bombs. Sponsored by: the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). FFI: Visit <www.mcc.org/clusterbombs>. --------4 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Muslim/peace 10.29 7pm Monday, 10/29, 7 to 9 pm, two Muslim perspectives on Peace and Violence in Our Religious Traditions with Imam Hesham Hussein and Imam Makram Nu'Man El-Amin, Temple of Aaron, 616 Mississippi Blvd, St Paul. www.interfaithings.org or 651-789-3840. --------5 of 21-------- From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: Podcasting 10.29 7pm Podcasting: Telling the World Rondo Library (University and Dale) Monday, October 26 7:00 - 8:30 pm FREE As part of our ongoing E-Tools For All series at the Rondo Library, St. Paul E-Democracy will be offering a workshop on Podcasting Monday, October 29, 7:00 - 8:30 pm. Participants will learn the basics of podcasting and get hands-on experience recording and publishing audio online. As always, the workshop is free, all are welcome to attend, and no registration is required. Please go to http://pages.e-democracy.org/Rondo_Workshop_Schedule for a complete schedule. --------6 of 21-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Iran/CTV 10.30 8am Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am. Households with basic cable can watch! 10/30 8am "Iran and the US: Myths and Reality" Interview of Nasrin Jewell, Iranian born professor at the College of St. Catherine. Co-hosted by Karen Redleaf and Eric Angell. (a repeat) --------7 of 21-------- From: Socialist Alternative <mn [at] socialistalternative.org> Subject: Che/socialism 10.30 4:30pm 40 Year Anniversary of Che's Assassination: Guevara's Legacy and the Struggle for Socialism in Latin America Today Tuesday, October 30th 4:30PM Coffman 323, U of M East Bank This October marks the 40-year anniversary of the CIA-backed execution in Bolivia of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentinian-born revolutionary who played a heroic role in the Cuban revolution and dedicated his life to spreading the socialist revolution to the rest of Latin America. Far from eradicating Che and his ideas, his execution made him a legend, while his image has become one of the most famous of modern times, still representing for many the principled dedication to socialist struggle that Che embodied. But why was the Cuban revolution unsuccessful in spreading to the rest of the continent? What does that mean for today in the context of the resurgence of socialist ideas in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, etc.? How do we continue the struggle where Che left off? Come join the discussion as Socialist Alternative marks this important anniversary in the history of the socialist movement. Speakers: Alec Johnson - Alec, a Twin Cities member of Socialist Alternative, attended the World Social Forum in Brazil in 2005 as part of an international contingent of the Committee for a Workers' International (Socialist Alternative's international affiliate). Dan DiMaggio - Dan, who recently moved to Minneapolis, was a leading activist in Socialist Alternative's branch in Boston and was a graduate student of Latin American History at Tufts University in Boston. www.SocialistAlternative.org <http://www.socialistalternative.org/> / www.SocialistMinnesota.org <http://www.socialistminnesota.org/> mn [at] socialistalternative.org / 612-760-1980 --------8 of 21-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Iran/CTV 10.30 5pm St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings. All households with basic cable can watch! 10/30 5pm and midnight and 10/31 10am "Iran and the US: Myths and Reality" Interview of Nasrin Jewell, Iranian born professor at the College of St. Catherine. Co-hosted by Karen Redleaf and Eric Angell. (a repeat) --------9 of 21-------- From: "Tom Dimond" <dimondt [at] earthlink.net> Subject: River critical area 10.30 6:30pm Public input is needed from supporters of the Mississippi River Critical Area. Many have been frustrated that the Mississippi River Critical Area has not been adequately supported. Some of us have been talking with legislators on how we can improve the situation. Representatives Rick Hanson and Sheldon Johnson got funding to provide recommendations. Friends of the Mississippi River will be holding meetings to seek public input. I would encourage supporters of the Mississippi to provide suggestions on how we can protect and enhance this wonderful resource. There is a meeting at the Neighborhood House 179 Robie St E, St Paul from 6:30 - 9:00 PM, Tuesday October 30. If you can not attend you may want to submit written comments. Their web site is www.fmr.org. FMR is taking input but the DNR will be making recommendations to the Legislature. When the Critical Area was established it was considered a first step in providing comprehensive protections and enhancements for the river corridor. Instead of increased protections and enhancements there has been a lot of back sliding. For those of us who believe in natural resource protections and enhancements it is important to speak up on behalf of the river corridor. I believe there needs to be a clear vision and goals that guide our effort. It is important that we have clear, understandable and enforceable standards. Opportunities for restoring and enhancing the environment need to be clearly defined. Priorities should be established. Funding sources need to be identified. If you have any questions Irene Jones or Whitney Clark at FMR would be good contacts 222-2193. --------10 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Grace Paley 10.30 6:30pm Tuesday, 10/30, 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Pax-Salon invites Lucia Wilkes-Smith to help remember Grace Paley, poet, short-story writer, and peace activist, Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul. http://justcomm.org/pax-salon --------11 of 21-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Chicano writing 10.30 7pm Chicano & Latino Writers Festival Celebrates 10 Years Festival dates are October 30-November 15 Events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 651-222-3242 or friends [at] thefriends.org Since beginning in 1997, the Chicano & Latino Writers Festival has a tradition of working with local and national talent to present the only Twin Cities literary festival focusing on Chicano and Latino writers. Help us celebrate 10 great years in 2007, with returning favorites and new writers to experience! The Festival kicks off on Tuesday, October 30, with a special reception and 10th anniversary celebration, featuring a reading from Michele Serros, author of the newly released ĄScandalosa! Named by Newsweek as "one of the top young women to watch for in the new century," Serros is the author of Honey Blonde Chica, a young adult novel set in Southern California, and its sequel, ĄScandalosa! In addition to being an award-winning poet, Serros has been a featured contributor for the Los Angeles Times' children's fiction section and a commentator for National Public Radio. Serros is also the author of Chicana Falsa and How to Be a Chicana Role Model, which became a Los Angeles Times bestseller. The celebration and reading takes place at the Paul & Sheila Wellstone Center, 179 E. Robie Street, Saint Paul, at 7 p.m. --------12 of 21-------- From: John Kysylyczyn <john [at] ksolutionsllc.com> Subject: Maplewood SchBd 10.30 7pm The League of Women Voters will be hosting the following candidate forum October 30, 7pm, Maplewood City Council at Maplewood City Hall --------13 of 21-------- From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: Nonprofit class 10.30 I just heard about a series of free workshops in nonprofit leadership offered by Hamline University and the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. Registration is required but there's no fee. Word following the first on Tuesday is that it was excellent. More info: http://gmcc.org/Compassionworkshops.htm Here are some of the sessions coming up: Oct 30 - Marketing & communications Nov 6 - Nonprofit accountability & transparency Nov 13 - Strategic planning for board & management Nov 20 - Conflict resolution Nov 27 - Nonprofit fundraising: research methods Dec 4 - Grant writing --------14 of 21-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: StP SB/KFAI 10.31 11am LISTEN: TRUTH TO TELL OCTOBER 31 at 11AM - KFAI: ST. PAULšS GENERAL ELECTION DEBATES and DISCUSSION The eight candidates for St. Paul City Council have debated each other in several venues and seven of the eight School Board candidates showed up for a major debate Thursday, Oct. 25th. Those debates have been recorded, thanks to St. Paul Neighborhood Network. SPNN has graciously supplied those recordings to us and each will be excerpted for positions and comments on key issues facing voters in the November 6th election. Wešll bring in a few concerned commentators on these races and on the extraordinary level of disengagement voters are demonstrating in this election. GUESTS: JAY BENANAV outgoing St. Paul Ward 4 City Councilmember ELONA STREET-STEWART - Chair, St. Paul School Board ROGER BARR - Executive Director, Support Our Schools JOE MANSKY Director, Ramsey County Elections Bureau with ANDY DRISCOLL, Host and Producer and LYNNELL MICKELSEN, Co-host Minneapolis 90.3/106.7 Saint Paul CALL IN: 612-341-0980 ONLINE @ KFAI.ORG: <http://www.kfai.org/node/682> A Production of CIVIC/MEDIA/MINNESOTA --------15 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Iran agenda 10.31 4pm Wednesday, 10/31, 4 pm, journalist Reese Erlich discusses his new book "The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis," Nolte Center for Continuing Education, 315 Pullsbury Dr SE, Mpls. http://igs.cla.umn.edu or 612-626-5054. --------16 of 21-------- From: Miriam Larson <mlarson [at] macalester.edu> Subject: X college 10.31 4:45pm Greetings EXCO list! It is that time of year for recruiting next semester's Experimental College teachers! Next semester's classes will begin the first week of February and we are having a workshop for folks who are interested in teaching. Please note that it has been rescheduled from what was previously advertised: Workshop: Tips and Tricks for Teaching an EXCO Class Wednesday, October 31st, 4:45-6pm Macalester College Campus Center 215 Come chat with teachers and organizers and find out how easy it is to teach an EXCO class. People who have never thought of teaching are particularly encouraged to come! You do not have to attend the workshop in order to submit an application. [You will however have to submit your firstborn son. -ed] Please take a moment to look at the application for teachers available at www.EXCOtc.org and consider applying or passing the opportunity along to a friend. Want to help out in other ways? *We are much in need of EXCO Contacts*, people to put up info and tell their peers in their work, organization, or neighborhood - there is nothing easier you can do to help EXCO grow! We also have an upcoming Pizza Party Training for those interested in being EXCO contacts but wanting to learn more about our program: Thursday, November 8th from 5:30 to 7:00PM on the 4th floor of Old Main. SOME MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT ON TEACHING A CLASS: Imagine yourself as a teacher. What could you teach? Teaching a class allows you to share a unique skill or share your knowledgeable about an important issue, it offers you the opportunity to create reflection around a set of already planned events or form a collective of people with a common interest (i.e.: screenwriting, beer brewing, or organizing community solutions). These are just suggestions; the Experimental College is always open to new class models so the sky is the limit! There is no such thing as a typical EXCO class. Past classes have included: Latino Labor Organizing for Alternatives to Globalization, Basic Songwriting, Climate, Development and Energy: Renewing Our Future, The Social Responsibility of African American Music, Avant Garde and Experimental Film, Bike Feminism: Movements and Bike Mechanics, Anarchist Anthropology, etc! [Writing Dumb Editorial Comments, etc -ed] At EXCO our basic principal is that anyone can teach or take a class and all classes are free. Started by Macalester students in Fall 2006 we strive to offer Twin Cities communities an opportunity to teach or learn in an inclusive space open to all types of skills and knowledge, including and beyond academic knowledge. We see this as creating an open space to engage with the issues we find important or interesting, and as a basis for creating a community to empower each other in facing challenges and making good in the world. We believe education is a powerful tool for social change, one that can build equality and justice in our communities when we value the knowledge of each and every person, particularly those whose voices have been historically marginalized. Most classes run for 10 weeks, meeting once a week on evenings or weekends. Classes can meet anywhere in the Twin Cities and we encourage you to meet in a place accessible to you and the communities to which you belong. Teachers are volunteers though if you cannot teach without some monetary support we are able to offer up to $300 to support you. We also are able to fund class materials or other classroom costs upon request. Please contact EXCO at excotc [at] gmail.com, 651-696-8010, or go to www.EXCOtc.org with any questions or suggestions. --------17 of 21-------- Concentrated Power Beyond the Rule of Law By RALPH NADER CounterPunch October 27 / 28, 2007 Every law student promptly learns the national ideal that our country is governed by the rule of law, not the rule of men. Today, the rule of law is under attack. Such activities have become a big business and, not surprisingly, they have involved big business. On October 25th, Secretary Condoleeza Rice officially recognized before a House Oversight Committee that, remarkably, there was no law covering the misbehavior of Blackwater Corporation and their private police in Iraq. Any crimes of violence committed by Blackwater and other armed contractors commissioned by the Defense and State Departments to perform guard duty and other tasks, fell into a gap between Iraqi law, from which they have been exempted by the U.S. military occupation and the laws of the United States. Since the United States government is ruled by lawless men in the White House who have violated countless laws and treaties, Bush and Cheney clearly had no interest in placing giant corporate contractors operating inside Iraqi jurisdiction under either the military justice system or the criminal laws of the United States. Presidential power has accumulated over the years to levels that would have alarmed the founding fathers whose constitutional framework never envisioned such raw unilateral power at the top of the Executive branch. Accordingly, they only provided for the impeachment sanction. They neither gave citizens legal standing to go to court and hold the Presidency accountable, or to prevent the two other branches from surrendering their explicit constitutional authority - such as the war-making power - to the Executive branch. The federal courts over time have refused to adjudicate cases they deem "political conflicts" between the Legislative and Executive branches or, in general, most foreign policy questions. Being above the law's reach, Bush and Cheney can and do use the law in ways that inflict injustice on innocent people. Politicizing the offices of the U.S. Attorneys by the Justice Department, demonstrated by Congressional hearings, is one consequence of such Presidential license. Political law enforcement, using laws such as the so-called PATRIOT Act, is another widespread pattern that has drag netted thousands of innocent people into arrests and imprisonment without charges or adequate legal representation. Or the Bush regime's use of coercive plea bargains against defendants who can't afford leading, skilled attorneys. Books and law journal articles have been written about times when government violates the laws. They are long on examples but short on practical remedies of what to do about it. Corporations and their large corporate law firms have many ways to avoid the laws. First, they make sure that when Congress writes legislation, the bills advance corporate interests. For example, numerous consumer safety laws have no criminal penalties for the violations, or only the most nominal fines. The regulatory agencies often have very weak subpoena powers or authority to set urgent and mandatory safety standards without suffering years or even decades of corporate-induced delays. If the laws prove troublesome, the corporations make sure that enforcement budgets are ridiculously tiny, with only a few federal cops on the beat. The total number of Justice Department attorneys prosecuting the corporate crime wave of the past decade, running investors, pensioners and workers into trillions of dollars of losses and damaging the health and safety of many patients and other consumers, is smaller than just one of the top five largest corporate law firms. Out in the marketplace, environment and the workplace, the corporations have many tools forged out of their unbridled power to block aggrieved people from having their day in court or getting agencies or legislatures to stand up for the common folk. Companies can wear down or deter plaintiffs from obtaining justice by costly motions and other delaying tactics. When people get into court and obtain some justice, the companies move toward the legislature to restrict access to the courts. This is grotesquely called "tort reform" - which takes away the rights of harmed individuals but not the corporations' rights to have their day in court. Lush amounts of campaign dollars grease the way for corporations in the legislatures in the fifty states and on Capitol Hill. As if that power to pass their own laws is not enough, large corporations become their own private legislatures. You've been confronted with those fine-print standard form agreements asking you to sign on the dotted line if you wish to secure insurance, tenancy, credit, bank services, hospital treatment, or just a job. Those pages of fine print are corporations regulating you! You can't cross any of them out. You can't go across the street to a competitor - say from Geico to State Farm, or from Citibank to the Bank of America, because there is no competition over these fine-print contracts, with their dotted signature lines. Unless, that is, they compete over how fast they require you to give up your rights to go to court or to object to their unilaterally changing the terms of the agreement, such as in changing the terms of your frequent flier agreement on already accumulated miles Oh, for the law schools that provide courses on the rule of men over the rule of law. Oh, for the time when there when there will be many public interest law firms working just on these portentous dominations of concentrated power to deny open and impartial uses of the laws to achieve justice and accountability. Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions --------18 of 21-------- The Morning After by Cindy Sheehan Published on Sunday, October 28, 2007 by CommonDreams.org As I sit sipping my morning cup of coffee and reflect on the anti-war protests sponsored by the Oct27 coalition (where I saw some good collaboration between UFPJ and ANSWER - at least in San Francisco - yea!), I have a few thoughts. Yesterday, tens of thousands of activists from around Northern California, Northern Nevada and some from Southern Oregon attended the rally in my new hometown, San Francisco. Despite weather in the Eastern part of the country, I hear that the rallies all over the rest of the country were extremely well attended and the energy was high. The throngs of humanity in San Francisco stretched out between the Civic Center to Dolores Park in a line that was over two miles long and it took over an hour for the last marcher to reach the endpoint. However, what does this all mean? We have marched. We have done sit-ins in Congress Reps offices all over the country. We have written letters, emails and sent faxes. Some of us have camped in ditches in Central Texas for weeks at a time. CODEPINK is doing a marvelous job of keeping the pressure on in DC. We have had countless numbers of rallies, teach-ins and candlelight vigils, but the occupation is continuing and people are still dying and are forced from their homes by the ongoing and unremitting violence. In November of 2006, the peace movement scored a major coup but we later discovered that the Democrats had only used our vibrant, angry and deeply committed movement to regain both Houses of Congress. Some of us erroneously thought that we could relax a little and allow the 110th Congress to take some of the slack from us hard-working activists to end the war and hold BushCo accountable. After all, that's what we pay them for, isn't it? I, and my organization, was roundly criticized by many people for going to Congress in January to demand that the Dems do the job we elected them to do. "Give them a chance". "Shut the f**k up". These and harsher epithets were hurled at us. I understand, because we wanted to relax, too. In November, we were as shocked as everyone else was, though, when Nancy and Harry (Bush Enablers Number One and Two) took impeachment "off the table". We knew there would be no rest for the weary with this Congress, and, unfortunately, I think we have been vindicated - very regrettably for democracy around the world. Where do we go from here? George has asked Congress for 45 billion (to add to the 200 billion Congress already handed him) more Chinese lent dollars for 2008 to sustain his bloody occupations and Congress will unconditionally yield to his request because they are puppets of the Supreme Puppet. Coincidentally, this will keep the bloody mess going until the '08 elections where the Dems can point their blood-stained fingers at the Repugs not even realizing that we are not buying that load of crap anymore. Both parties are culpable; both parties are supporting war crimes; both parties must be held accountable. We need to run Peace Candidates against the Bush Enablers and we need to support the Peace Candidates we already have like Dennis Kucinich that are floundering on the decks of the USS Main Stream Media. The peace movement must also be held accountable. We wrangle for a limited amount of funds and guard our "listservs" jealously and fiercely. It is way past time that the peace movement share resources, gifts and talents to force the established elite in DC to do our will. We are the moral majority in this country; we are in the right; we need to work together to funnel and focus our energies. So many times we are on parallel paths going the same direction but rarely walking together towards our common goals. We can be sure that the Corporatocracy is walking lock-step toward their goal of US global hegemony which is neither peaceful nor benevolent. In March of '08 we will be mourning the 5th anniversary of a "war" that was going to take six months (Donald Rumsfeld), 50 billion dollars (Paul Wolfowitz) and zero American lives (George Bush). Obviously, this is unacceptable. The Camp Casey Peace Institute is calling for a Peace Summit in San Francisco on the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday to bring the leaders of the movement together so we can find ways to support each other to our common goals of peace, sustainability and accountability and to plan for relevant and effective actions all around the 5th anniversary. With US aircraft carrier groups in the Persian Gulf and Turkish forces poised on the border of Kurdistan, if there ever was a time to put differences aside and celebrate similarities, as BushCo in tandem with Congress, Inc has brought our world to the brink of World War III, it is now. --------19 of 21-------- There's no 'lesser' in the Democrat evil by Jim Fuller Wednesday, October 24, 2007 A couple of nights ago, I watched and listened to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Democrat of Illinois, on CNN, arguing that despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Democrats are not abject failures in the present Congress. He offered no facts, other than the passage of a largely meaningless increase in the federal minimum wage, to support his claims. When the CNN interviewer asked him why the Democrats have done nothing to halt or even slow the war in Iraq after having been given the majority in Congress for that purpose, Emmanuel claimed that the war was secondary and that "other issues" put the Democrats over. He cited the economy, job losses, protecting the Constitution and a couple of other things; he skipped blithely over the fact that the Democrats have done as little about those things as they have about the war. From the first moment he began flapping his jaw, it was impossible to shake off the image of Richard Gere as the amoral and predatory defense lawyer in the musical "Chicago," tap dancing faster and faster to demonstrate how he distracts the public and a jury from inconvenient facts. Emanuel, who looks more than a little like Gere, has risen quickly in the Democratic Party structure since his election to Congress in 2003. The rise seems based almost entirely on his abilities as a fund raiser. His name is on the cover of one of those political books nobody reads, as co-author with Bruce Reed, president of the Democratic Leadership Council. The DLC's real, though publicly unacknowledged, purpose is to keep the party firmly under the control of corporate and other big money interests. His television appearance, friends, was part of his party's campaign - begun early this time around - to persuade liberals that once again we must swallow the manure sandwich they are about to feed us. The propaganda is designed to make us believe that to do anything other than vote for those calling themselves Democrats would bring disaster upon us. That despite the obvious fact that to elect the now-almost certain Democratic presidential candidate next year would be the essence of disaster for the great mass of citizens. Already, the traditional Democrats who still think, or try to think, that the party is an independent and basically liberal organization, are echoing the DLC line. I've had a couple of notes from a good man who buys their arguments every time, stating that I'm terribly wrong in telling the Dems to screw off. Either we elect the Democratic nominee for president or we're headed to hell in a handbasket, he says. Naīve. And after several election cycles of the same thing, willfully foolish. [Amen -ed] Worse than naīve, because the old-line Democrats who still buy that crap are giving the power elite everything it wants without a fight. They jump into that handbasket rather than being pushed in. If you're going down in a life or death struggle, I say, at least gouge an eye or break a kneecap on the way. [They and their national party are beneath contempt. -ed] (I understand the impulse of those old Democrats, by the way. Raised to be a Democrat in a family that all but worshipped FDR, who's father, having only one leg, was nevertheless ready to fight on the street for the good name of Harry Truman, my instinct, too, is to vote for, defend and trust the Democratic Party. However, I also can think, and analyze, and, after a lifetime in journalism, am big on recognizing and facing facts.) [But gee whillikers guys, denial is so much more comforting -ed] It seems clear now that those who keep falling for the shopworn claims of "lesser of two evils," simply cannot face the fact that they give their fealty to a party that no longer exists - the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and even the party of John F. Kennedy. [Right. RIP. Bury the body and move on. -ed] Repeat: It no longer exists. There's hardly a remnant of it left since Jimmy Carter was drummed from the White House. Bill Clinton did us more harm than any of today's gaggle of incompetent Republican candidates is likely to do. (Oh yeah? Yeah. Billy Boy led in destroying the economy for the poor and middle class, and worked hard at increasing the power of the super rich at the expense of the vast majority of citizens. And from that grow all the other evils now afflicting us.) Perhaps the people who keep playing the political version of three card monte by betting time and again on corporate toadies calling themselves Democrats simply are panicked by fact that there is no obvious place to turn if they can't turn to the Democrats. [And that's why they remain - mired in evil, aiding and abetting evil, collaborating with the enemy, sinking us lower and lower into the pit. -ed] What to do? What to do? Pull up your socks and fight, despite the odds. Thanks to a broken, not to say smashed, system that gives the power to choose presidential candidates to those with assets of $30 or $40 million and more (mostly more), with the crawling collusion of the boobs of what is called the news media, we will once again be denied a real choice for president and for most other federal elective offices and many state-level offices in 2008. It is suicide to go along with that wretched game. [Amen. -ed] Truth is, we probably already are dead and simply have failed to lie down and take our ration of dirt in the face. But even if true, it's not a good reason to keep slashing at our own throats with rusty blades. Start with the presidency: Assuming Bush/Cheney does leave office at the legally appointed time, the Democrats want us to believe that Hillary Clinton would be a substantial improvement. That's flatly untrue. Clinton is worse than any of the Republican doofuses in the running, the worst of a rotten lot. She is raw ambition on legs, demonstrably without principles or any core of morality. Expediency is her game, and everything not already sold is for sale. And one other little thing, which the Democrats won't acknowledge but for which I am grateful: Despite polls showing her way out in front, she may be unelectable, barring some monumental unforeseen event. A new Zogby poll shows that, already, 50 percent of American citizens have concluded that they will not vote for Clinton under any circumstances. They will NEVER vote for her half of poll respondents said. Sadly, almost as many said they will never vote for Dennis Kucinich, arguably the best candidate in the herd. I'd like to think his numbers would change much for the better if the media ever let his views and positions be known - it has entirely shut him out, deliberately pretended he doesn't exist - but perhaps it's too late for that. So the Democrats -- the perpetually losing wing of what is now the Corporate Party, the Washington Generals to the Republicans' Harlem Globetrotters - are going to foist on the public an unacceptable candidate who may not be able to draw sufficient votes even in a year when the Democrat should cakewalk into office, a year in which the Republican wing of the party will offer a bottom-of-the-barrel dimwit as the alternative. Doesn't matter to the people who run the party, frankly. They also run the "other side," and they win no matter which candidate gets the title of president. In our present ugly parody of American government, the money always wins. A final point: The last, desperate argument of those who say we must elect whoever carries the Democrat label is, "Just think how much better things would be now if we'd only got Al Gore into office in 2000, or John Kerry in 2004." The answer to that is multifaceted: First, this is not 2000 or 2004 and the 2008 candidate almost certainly is going to be Hillary Clinton or, barring that, Barak Obama. Show me how that's going to be better than Giuliani or any of the other Republicans. And I warn you, I'm prepared with a whole lot of facts to argue that Clinton probably will be worse. Second, are you sure we'd be much better off if Gore or, especially, Kerry had been elected? On Gore, the available information somewhat favors the belief that we wouldn't have attacked Iraq, but it's not a 100 percent bet by any means. Both Democrats would have faced the same, or worse, Congresses and an even more idiotic press than the ones we've been stuck with, and both were, as presidential candidates, under the thumbs of party leaderships, "consultants," and campaign funders nearly identical to those who rule now. Gore, remember, didn't really find his voice until he was some years out of the running for political office. Also remember that Gore's running mate, whom he fully accepted as such and who probably would be the Democratic presidential candidate this year had Gore got into the White House, was one Joe Lieberman, right wing extremist and unwavering supporter of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Mostly, the belief that things would have been so much better is wishful thinking. Next: Hillary Clinton is the worst possible choice, but her candidacy is bought and paid for. posted by James @ 12:49 PM [Sadly, there are a significant number of national and local Greens (my party) who seriously entertain cross-endorsing or standing-aside for Dems. It would move the party to the right, deprive citizens of more progressive choices, and probably spell the end of the GP within ten years or so. (Cf the end of the Farmer-Labor party in DFL-heaven). Cross-endorsement offers a "quick fix", no muss or fuss or bother of running your own candidate. Why not just use the attractive DFLer, right here and now, posing, smiling, welcoming us into his parlor? Why make pizza yourself when you can order out? -ed] --------20 of 21-------- Implications of Plutonomy by Girish Mishra October 27, 2007 ZNet Almost two years ago, Ajay Kapur, a prominent global strategist of the Citigroup and his two associates, Niall Macleod and Narendra Singh, came out with a paper "Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances". If the formulations contained in this paper are correct, they will have far reaching implications, upsetting long-standing understandings of economists all over the world. Ajay Kapur and his associates assert that world is getting divided into two blocs, namely, the Plutonomy and the rest. The term "Plutonomy" is derived from, Plutus, the Greek god of wealth. America, Britain and Canada are the key Plutonomies, powered mainly by the wealthy. In Plutonomies, the rich dominate the economy as they account for most of the consumption expenditures, savings, current account deficits, etc. Obviously, in the Plutonomies, economic growth is powered by the wealthy. The rest of the population does not have much of a role in the economy. Kapur and his associates claim: "Plutonomies have occurred before in sixteenth century Spain, in seventeenth century Holland, the Gilded Ages and Roaring Twenties in the U.S." Common drivers of Plutonomy in each case have been "Disruptive technology-driven productivity gains, creative financial innovation, capitalist-friendly cooperative governments, an international dimension of immigrants and overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation, the rule of law, and patenting inventions". These conditions benefit the rich and educated of the time because only they are in a position to exploit them. Income inequality has been a prominent feature of Plutonomy. In the present day world Plutonomies are given birth to and sustained by revolution in information and communications technology, financialization, globalization and friendly governments and their policies. In a Plutonomy, consumers do not have their nationality. Thus there is no U.S. consumer or British consumer. Globalization has converted the entire world into a single integrated market. "There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the "non-rich", the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. Consensus analyses that don't tease out the profound plutonomy on spending power, debt loads, savings rates (and hence current account deficits), oil price impacts etc., i.e., focus on the 'average' consumer flawed from the start. Since consumption accounts for 65% of the world economy, and consumer staples and discretionary sectors for the MSCIAC World Index, understanding how the plutonomy impacts consumer is key for equity market participants".. Kapur & Co. assert that Plutonomy is not going to go away but will get stronger and stronger, "its membership swelling from globalized enclaves in the emerging world, we think a 'plutonomy basket' of stocks should continue to do well. These toys for the wealthy have pricing power, and staying power". The share of the wealthy in the national income has been increasing. The top 1% of households in America, i.e., about one million households accounted for around 20% of overall U.S. income in 2000, slightly lower than the share of income of the bottom 60% of households put together. In other words, about one million households on the top and the bottom 60% households had almost equal share in the national pie. The top one per cent of households accounted for 40 per cent of financial net worth, more than the bottom 95 per cent of households put together. Kapur & Co. assert: "We posit that the drivers of plutonomy in the U.S. (the UK and Canada) are likely to strengthen, entrenching and buttressing plutonomy where it exists. The six drivers of the current plutonomy: (1) an ongoing technology/biotechnology revolution, (2) capitalist friendly governments and tax regimes, (3) globalization that re-arranges global supply chains with mobile well-capitalized elites and immigrants, (4) greater financial complexity and innovation, (5) the rule of law, and (6) patent protection are well ensconced in the U.S., the UK and Canada. They are also gaining strength in the emerging world". Further, "Eastern Europe is embracing many of these attributes, as are China, India, and Russia". When the top, say one per cent of households in a country see their share of income rise sharply, a Plutonomy emerges. This is witnessed often in times of frenetic technology/financial innovation driven wealth waves, accompanied by asset booms, equity and/or property. Feeling wealthier, the rich decide to consume a part of their capital gains right away. In other words, they save less from their income, the well-known wealth effect. They claim that the rich have become the dominant drivers of demand in many economies. They have started dominating income, wealth and spending. According to a recent article by George Ip "Income Inequality Gap Widens" (The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2007): the richest Americans have been cornering greater and greater share of the national income. The wealthiest one per cent of Americans earned [viz stole -ed] 21.2 per cent of national income in 2005 while they earned 19 per cent in 2004 and 20.8 per cent in 2000. On the other hand the bottom 50 per cent earned 12.8 per cent of national income that was less than 13.4 per cent in 2004 and 13 per cent in 2000. Since the wealthy appropriate most of the national income, the pattern of production is fashioned to meet their demand. It is estimated that America's richest half-per cent consume, on an average, goods and services worth $650 billion a year. In a Plutonomy like America, "the wealthy account for a greater share of national wealth, spending, profits and economic growth - the top 20 per cent of income earners account for as much as 70 per cent of consumption in the United States. Like it or not. spending by the rich was propping up the economy, even as the middle and lower classes were struggling". Further, "In this new plutonomy, with 'rich' consumers and 'everyone else,' companies that serve the rich are prospering. From department stores to hotels to automakers to homebuilders, businesses in every industry was adapting to an increasingly hour-glass-shaped economy, selling to the status-seeking rich, and the penny-pinching middle and lower middle classes.. The Plutonomy thesis presented by Ajay Kapur & Co. implies that there will be no "realization crisis" nor will there be any need for the Keynesian prescription of an active role of the state in augmenting the volume of effective demand. In other words, no public works and welfare activities are to be undertaken wherever Plutonomy is in ascendancy. "New Deal" of Roosevelt has become irrelevant. The same is the fate of William H. Beveridge's recommendations for creating a welfare state. Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, and Indira Gandhi (with her slogan of "Garibi Hatao") are to become irrelevant. Present day slogans like "Congress ka Hath Aam Adami ke Sath" and "the inclusive growth" are nothing but hollow ones. Karl Marx was the first to point out that capitalism was bound to face "realization crisis", i.e., capitalists might not realize the value inherent in commodities because they might find the total volume of demand falling short of the volume of supply. Thus capitalists would not be able to sell the entire volume of output. This could be due to anarchy of production and productivity increasing much faster than the wages. Karl Marx's claim was outright dismissed by the ruling orthodoxy because till 1929 it continued to stick to the dictum "supply creates its own demand," based on the law of markets put forth by the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832) in a book published in France in 1803 (translated into English as "A Treatise on Political Economy, or the production, distribution and consumption of wealth," and published from Philadelphia in 1855). Say held that there could be no demand without supply. The power to purchase could get augmented only by more and more production. Hence there could be no problem of unsold commodities. If everything was normal and there was no interference by the government, trade unions and other quarters in the functioning of market, it would clear. In other words, economy would be self-regulating, provided all prices, including wages were flexible enough. A free market economy was always supposed to maintain full employment. Hence there would be no glut. This approach collapsed in 1929 when the Great Depression set in. This was the most severe and prolonged General Crisis in the history of capitalism. Keynes tore this orthodoxy to pieces. Contrary to the assertion of Say's followers there was mass involuntary unemployment because the realization crisis had forced the factories to down their shutters and lay off the workers. This deepened the crisis further. Keynes demonstrated that Say was wrong when he believed that there was only transaction demand for money. In fact, there were precautionary and speculative demands for money. Because of this people might not spend all their earnings on buying goods and services. The greater this leakage, the greater was the impending fear of the phenomenon of unsold commodities. He analyzed the factors behind these two motives. Keynes suggested an active role for the state in order to augment and maintain the volume of demand to enable the market to clear and ward off the danger of realization crisis. From this arose the strategy of welfare state. In the course of time, state assumed the responsibility of creating employment opportunities and poverty reduction. This thinking remained prominent, in spite of onslaughts by Mises, Hayek and the Chicago school, led by Milton Friedman, but the process of its burial began with the rise of Thatcher-Reagan line of thinking, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Washington consensus-based globalization, thrust indiscriminately on the entire world. Now, it appears, the danger of realization crisis emanating from a general crisis of capitalism is almost forgotten. Extolling the virtues of consumerism and "shop till you fall dead" appear to be the instrument for raising the volume of effective demand. There is, however, a catch, more so in developing countries, where the seeds of plutonomy will take a long time to germinate. The overwhelming mass of people lack employment opportunities and income to survive, but they have the power to unseat the government, notwithstanding all the propaganda about glowing future. Didn't Keynes say, in the long run we all will be dead, so what is relevant is the present and immediate future? E-mail: gmishra [at] girishmishra.com --------21 of 21-------- Good ship Dem goes down. Dems, loyal to the last, go down with it. Glug glug. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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