Progressive Calendar 11.04.07
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2007 16:00:20 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.04.07

1. Indian uprising  11.04 7pm
2. Health/Kip       11.04 7:30pm
3. Arab sexuality   11.04 10:30pm

4. Citizen reporter 11.05 4pm
5. McKinney 4 prez  11.05 6pm
6. BodyOfWar/film   11.05 7pm
7. Online tools     11.05 7pm
8. Peace/Quaker+    11.05 7pm
9. Labor v war      11.05 7pm

10. Health care     11.06 8am/5pm
11. Impeach         11.06 6:30pm
12. Paul Krugman    11.06 7:30pm
13. Nonprofit lead  11.06

14. DN            - Nader sues "Democratic" party
15. Stephen Pizzo - Water-boarding - don't ask, don't tell, SHOW!
16. David Penner  - Zombie nation
17. Heather Gray  - And now they want to privatize the oceans ....
18. ed            - When there are no books  (poem)

--------1 of 18--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org>
Subject: Indian uprising 11.04 7pm

KFAI's Indian Uprising for November 4th, 2007 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #238

LITTLE FORK RIVER DRUM & GROUP traditional singers, live at KFAI.  They are
to sing and explain what they do, including the cultural nuances that
involve singing, and those rituals and events that generally occur at
powwows.  The group also participates regularly with the South Minneapolis
Potluck Dinner and Drum and Dance Social program, now in their ninth winter,
at the Office of Indian Ministries, Minneapolis, on Wednesdays from the
third week in October to the last week in March, 6:30 -  9:30 p.m.

Guests are:
Brice LaRose (Leech Lake Anishinaabe)
C.J. (Leech Lake Anishinaabe)
Dennis Debungi (First Nation Ojibwe - Canada)
Eliza Erickson (Leech Lake Anishinaabe), Mpls Potlluck Dinner & Drum/Social
Program Organizer
John Oakgrove (Red Lake Anishinaabe)
Mark Erickson (Red Lake & White Earth Anishinaabe), lead singer
Patrick Skuildum (Grand Portage Anishinaabe)
Nathan Wright (Leech Lake Anishinaabe)

Both Mark Erickson, who has been singing and drumming traditional Ojibwe
music for 30 years, and the Little Fork River Drum & Group are active on
the regional Powwow Circuit, as well as being available for traditional
drum and dance exhibitions, and lectures on the history and culture of
Traditional Anishinaabe Drum and Dance.  Contact Mark at 612-729-1590
and/or at minonagamowag [at] yahoo.com.

Clara NiiSka (Red Lake Anishinabaeotjibway), is the producer and guest host
of the November 4th program for Indian Uprising.  Clara is also co-host of
KFAI's WomenSpeak and is currently completing her PhD at the University of
Minnesota.

Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by
Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT on KFAI
90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is volunteer
Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside
Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454, 612-341-3144.

For internet listening, go to www.kfai.org <http://www.kfai.org
<http://www.kfai.org> > and for live listening, click Play under ON AIR
NOW or for later listening via the archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE >
Indian Uprising > STREAM.  Programs are archived for two weeks.


--------2 of 18--------

From: stephan peter <stephan.peter [at] stribmail.com>
Subject: Health/Kip 11.04 7:30pm

Twin Cities DSA is hosting Kip Sullivan, author and expert on the U.S.
health care system, to speak on 'health care and models to making it
affordable,' Sunday, November 4, Davanni's Pizza Restaurant, upstairs
meeting room, 7:30 pm, 2500 Riverside Ave., Mpls.


--------3 of 18--------

From: Ahmed Tharwat <tharwat77 [at] msn.com>
Subject: Arab sexuality 11.04 10:30pm

Dr. Pam Nice, professor of Middle East studies will review Josef Massad
new Book, the desiring Arab

 <http://www.belahdan.com/Book%20Review/The%20desiring%20arabs.htm> Arab
sexuality... fact and fiction

Dr. Pam Nice, professor of Middle East studies will review Josef Massad new
Book, the desiring Arab
Massad, Joseph A. Desiring Arabs. 448 p., 1 halftone. 6 x 9 2007
Cloth $35.00spec ISBN: 978-0-226-50958-7 (ISBN-10: 0-226-50958-3) Spring
2007

Among the many shocking violations of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the
most notorious was sexual torture. Military personnel justified this
abhorrent technique as an effective tool for interrogating Arabs, who are
perceived as repressed and especially susceptible to sexual coercion.
These abuses laid bare a racist and sexually charged power dynamic at the
root of the U.S. conquest of Iraq-a dynamic that reflected centuries of
Western assumptions about Arab sexuality. Desiring Arabs uncovers the
roots of these attitudes and analyzes the impact of Western ideas-both
about sexuality and about Arabs-on Arab intellectual production, More
<http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/225511.ctl>

Ahmed Tharwat/ Host
<http://www.belahdan.com/> BelAhdan
TV show  airs on Public TV
Sundays at 10:30pm
WWW.Belahdan.com


--------4 of 18--------

From: Mary Turck <editor [at] tcdailyplanet.net>
Subject: Citizen reporter 11.05 4pm

Story Ideas - What's Not Being Covered?
The Daily Planet is a citizen journalism project. We welcome and invite
people in the community to write stories and submit them. Not many do so.
I suspect that there are several reasons that people do not contribute
articles:

1) Writing takes time. Lots of us have more ideas than time.

2) Writing news articles may be intimidating. Prospective citizen
journalists may have questions about style, substance, fact-checking,
fairness, quotations, sources, etc.

If you have some time and want to write news articles about our community,
or want some help in shaping an opinion article or letter to the editor,
help is here! The TC Daily Planet will begin a writers' group at Rondo
Community Outreach Library on Monday, November 5 at 4 p.m. Here's the
schedule for the first few weeks:

November 5, 4-6 p.m. in the Children's Room
November 12 - library closed
November 19, 4-6 p.m. in the Children's Room

Come with your ideas. Come with the beginning of a story. Come and find
out what you can write about. Help us to make citizen journalism work in
St. Paul.


--------5 of 18--------

From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: McKinney 4 prez 11.05 6pm

This is to announce the first official Minnesota meeting for Cynthia
McKinney for president.

Wolves Den Coffee Shop 1201 East Franklin Ave Minneapolis
Monday November 5th 6-9 p.m.

Start organizing for speaking engagements for Cynthia, when she comes to
Minnesota in mid November. Date and details to be announced.
Contacts Farheen Hakeem (612)964-9143 Michael Cavlan (612)327-6902

We are currently working on our official Press Release, which shall be out
Monday morning. Please pass on to any and all lists or individuals
interested. Thank You.


--------6 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: BodyOfWar/film 11.05 7pm

November 5 through 7, 7:00 and 8:45 p.m. Oak St. Cinema, 309 Oak Street
Southeast (corner of Oak Street and Washington Avenue), Minneapolis.

"Body of War" follows the story of Tomas Young, a 22-year-old Army veteran
who enlisted in the service two days after Sept. 11. Young volunteered to
fight in Afghanistan but ended up in Iraq where within three days, he was
hit by mortar fire and sustained paralyzing injuries. His life was changed
forever.

Tickets: $6.00 (general admission), $5.00 (seniors and students) and $4.00
(Minnesota Film Arts Members). Discounts apply to cardholders only. FFI:
Call 612-331-7563 or visit <www.mnfilmarts.org>.


--------7 of 18--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Online tools 11.05 7pm

[You, too, can become an online tool! Find out how! -ed]

Just a quick reminder about the SPED-Outreach workshop this coming Monday.

     Online Tools For Community Organizing
     November 5th, 7:00-8:30 PM
     Rondo Community Outreach Library, Electronic Classroom
     FREE

     Full Schedule: http://pages.e-democracy.org/Rondo_Workshop_Schedule

Nov. 5 -- Online Tools for Community Organizing St. Paul E- Democracy
volunteers will demonstrate new tools of community organizing and how some
people are using them to improve their communities.

Mondays presenter is: Michael Dean,
http://www.tippingpointstrategies.org/about.html

Before starting Tipping Points Strategies, Dean was a senior account
executive for Himle Horner, Inc., a public relations/public affairs firm
that assists state, regional and national clients on public affairs,
corporate communications, media relations, crisis communications and other
areas. At Himle Horner, Dean assisted clients in developing viral
marketing and advocacy campaigns to more effectively engage key
stakeholders.

Prior to joining Himle Horner, Dean directed the University of Minnesota's
Legislative Network. In this role, he managed grassroots activities, which
were designed to build statewide support for the university's legislative
requests. During his tenure, Dean launched a successful online advocacy
program that quadrupled the number of university advocates to more than
15,000. During that same period, Dean helped craft the grassroots strategy
that moved the University of Minnesota stadium campaign to top of the list
at the legislature by leapfrogging the professional sports teams' stadium
proposals.

Previously, Dean worked as a national grassroots organizer for Common
Cause in Washington, DC. There, he helped create one of the first
successful online advocacy campaigns that generated more than one million
letters to Congress and garnered substantial media attention.


--------8 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Peace/Quaker: 11.05 7pm

Monday, 11/5, 7 to 9 pm, Quaker and Baha'i perspectives on Peace and
Violence in Our Religious Traditions with Michael Bishoff and Dr Roya
Majid, Majid Al-Salaam, 1460 Skillman Ave, Maplewood.
www.interfaithings.org or 651-789-3840.


--------9 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Labor v war 11.05 7pm

Monday, 11/5, 7 pm, meeting Labor Against War, Merriam Park library, 1831
Marshall Ave, St Paul.  thomas Dooley 651-645-0295.


--------10 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Health care 11.06 8am/5pm

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!

11/6 8am "The Health Care Mess" w/ author and organizer with Physicians
for a National Health Plan, Kip Sullivan. Hosted by Eric Angell. (a
repeat)

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!

11/6 5pm and midnight and 11/7 10am "The Health Care Mess" w/ author and
organizer with Physicians for a National Health Plan, Kip Sullivan. Hosted
by Eric Angell. (a repeat)


--------11 of 18--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Impeach 11.06 6:30pm

Tuesday we will be discussing the Impeach for Peace movement by one of the
cofounders in Minnesota, Jodin Morey.

NOTE The salon will NOT be held in the coffee/tea house but in the W7th
Federation Bldg. which is kitty cornered (looking toward the right) across
the street on the corner of W 7th and James.  There is a nice big parking
lot at the side of the building.

Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.


--------12 of 18--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Paul Krugman 11.06 7:30pm

Paul Krugman will be in MINNEAPOLIS, TUE. NOV.6, 7:30pm interviewed by
David Morris; at Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Avenue S, Minneapolis,
(facing Hennepin Ave. in Uptown Minneapolis)


--------13 of 18--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Nonprofit lead 11.06

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:
   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 18---------

Nader sues "Democratic" party
DN

Lydia Howell comments: NOTE: Ralph Nader is suing the democratic Party for
abuses and dirty tricks that most progressives would associate with the
republican Party. NO MATTER WHAT you think of Nader - even if you still
believe the absurd myth tht Nader got Bush elected in 2000 - READ THIS DN!
interview. It exposes some of the very real BI-PARTISAN challenges to our
democracy. The DLC is no more willing to allow a REAL progressive Democrat
as their nominee than they were to allow Nader on the ballot or in the
debates. Can anyone really claim that's "democracy"? -end


Consumer advocate and three-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued
the Democratic Party on Tuesday for conspiring to prevent him from running
for president in 2004. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Nader, his vice
presidential running mate Peter Miguel Camejo and a group of voters from
several states. It names as co-defendants the Kerry-Edwards campaign, the
Service Employees International Union, private law firms, and
organizations like the Ballot Project and America Coming Together that
were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket.
According to the lawsuit the defendants used "groundless and abusive
litigation" to bankrupt Ralph Nader's campaign and force him off the
ballot in 18 states.

We are joined in the firehouse studio here in New York by public interest
attorney Carl Mayer, whom the New York Times has described as "a populist
crusader and maverick lawyer." We tried reaching the Democratic National
Committee and some of the other defendants to invite them to the show but
received no response.

Carl Mayer was part of the legal team that filed the lawsuit in
Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

      Carl Mayer. Public interest attorney. He filed a lawsuit
      Tuesday against the Democratic Party on behalf of former
      presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us
provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV
broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Donate - $25

AMY GOODMAN: Consumer advocate and three-time presidential candidate
Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party Tuesday for conspiring to prevent
him from running for president in 2004. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of
Nader, his vice presidential running mate Peter Camejo and a group of
voters from several states. It names as co-defendants the Kerry-Edwards
campaign, the Service Employees International Union, private law firms,
organizations like the Ballot Project and America Coming Together that
were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants used "groundless and abusive
litigation" to bankrupt Ralph Nader's campaign and force him off the
ballot in eighteen states.

We're joined now here in New York by public interest attorney Carl Mayer,
whom the /New York Times/ has described as "a populist crusader and
maverick lawyer." We tried reaching the Democratic National Committee and
some of the other defendants to invite them to the show but received no
response. Carl Mayer was part of the legal team that filed the lawsuit in
D.C. Welcome to /Democracy Now!/, Carl.

CARL MAYER: Thank you, Amy. Thank you for having me on.

AMY GOODMAN: Why are you suing?

CARL MAYER: To defend democracy. That's the title of the show - excuse
me, is /Democracy Now!/ And this was the most massive anti-democratic
campaign to eliminate a third-party candidate from the ballot in -
probably in recent American history. It is - not content with having all
these laws and statutes on the book that make it difficult for third-party
and independent candidates to run, the Democratic Party and their allies
in over fifty-three law firms, with over ninety lawyers, were engaged in
filing litigation in eighteen states. They were to remove Ralph Nader from
the ballot. It was an organized, abusive litigation process.

The core of the lawsuit is that these lawyers, led by Toby Moffett and
Elizabeth Holtzman, and something called the Ballot Project, which was a
527 organization, systematically went around the country and filed lawsuit
after lawsuit, twenty-four in all, plus five FEC complaints, to try to
completely remove the Nader campaign from the ballot and to, in effect,
bankrupt the campaign, which they succeeded in doing. Not content with
that, one of the defendants, Reed Smith, which is a large corporate law
firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they are now going after Ralph Nader's
personal bank account to make him pay some of the cost of this litigation.

And, understand, despite being outspent by the Democratic Party and its
affiliated lawyers, the vast majority of these lawsuits were won by the
Nader campaign, which was a largely volunteer effort. And these lawsuits
were won across the country, despite this organized effort of intimidation
and harassment. It's basically abusive process and malicious prosecution.
Those are common law torts. And it was very clear from the beginning that
the Democratic Party was using the legal system for an improper purpose.
In fact, Toby Moffett, who's a former congressman from Connecticut, said
directly to /The Guardian/ of London in an interview in December of 2004,
this wasn't about the law. "I'd be less than honest if I said" this was
not about the law; this was about getting Ralph Nader off the ballot. And
that's what this effort was about. And it's a shameful anti-democratic
process by a party that claims to be a democratic party.

And on top of that, the Democratic Party, or its allies, filed five FEC
complaints against the campaign, alleging improper -

AMY GOODMAN: Federal Election Commission.

CARL MAYER: The Federal Election Commission - alleging improper
funding, improper finances, etc. They were all dismissed by the FEC.

Now, let me tell you how bad it got. There was an organized effort of
harassment of petitioners who went around trying to collect signatures for
the Nader campaign in Ohio, in Oregon and in Pennsylvania. In Ohio, for
example, lawyers were hired to call up petitioners and tell them that if
they didn't verify the signatures on the petition, they would be guilty of
a felony. They were called at home by - and they were, in many cases,
visited by private investigators and told - this is voter intimidation of
the worst order.

In the state of Oregon, for example, there was a nominating convention,
and you need a thousand signatures at the convention. We have emails from
Democratic Party operatives stating, we want our people to go to this
convention and then refuse to sign the petition at the convention so Nader
will not get enough signatures at the convention to get on the ballot. And
they accomplished their goal in Oregon. After the convention, there's an
alternative way of getting on the ballot, which is to collect signatures,
and the Nader campaign went about doing that, and during the course of
that there was further harassment and intimidation of petitioners by law
firms, private investigators, calling up and threatening petitioners that
they would be called before a court if they did not certify all the
petitions.

AMY GOODMAN: How did the Service Employees International Union fit into
this? Why are they being sued?

CARL MAYER: Well, the SEIU very clearly, in emails and on their website,
the SEIU had a project, which was called ACT, or Americans Coming
Together. There were several 527 groups; these are independent expenditure
groups. And the SEIU was involved in them. The SEIU was involved in trying
to keep Nader off the ballot by using its members, for example in Oregon,
to go into the convention, but in other states - in other states, to try
to actually void petitions by signing in the wrong place. The complaint -
and this is all documented. It's a seventy-three-page complaint, over 250
paragraphs, chapter and verse, about how, for example, the SEIU came up
with the strategy of getting its members to go and write signatures in the
wrong place on a petition, on Nader's petitions, which would then
invalidate the entire petition.  So this was a coordinated anti-democratic
activity, which in my view has little precedent in American history, and
any third-party candidate of whatever stripe - leftwing, rightwing,
populist, conservative - they should be outraged by what occurred in this
case.

And we think we have a tremendous case before the D.C. Superior Court and
other legal actions we will take, because this conspiracy was so - they
were so adamant and vociferous about it, and the paper trail is very
clear. And we're not even into discovery. We can't wait to take the
depositions of the party activists, Toby Moffett, Terry McAuliffe,
Elizabeth Holtzman, etc., who were at the center of this. In fact, the
center of this effort was something called the Ballot Project, which was
started by Robert Brandon, who's one of the defendants, and he's a
consultant to the Democratic Party. And he held a meeting at the
Democratic Convention in 2004 with Moffett, Holtzman and a group of other
high-ranking Democrats, and they said, our purpose is to keep Nader off
the ballot. And they went, and they proceeded to do it, spending millions
of dollars.

AMY GOODMAN: What impact will all this have on Ralph Nader now? He has
said that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, he will run for
president. It looks like she is the frontrunner right now.

CARL MAYER: Well, in terms of 2008, I can't speak to 2008. And in
politics, things can change quite quickly. I mean, it's entirely possible
that the actual progressive base of the Democratic Party will seek a
nominee that reflects their views, which is that America should end this
war in Iraq. It hasn't been the history of the Democratic Party, but it's
way too early to talk about that.

But what this lawsuit will do, and the importance of it is, is to set a
precedent so that the two-party monopoly system that shuts out minor
parties in a way that other Western democracies never do, that this will
set a precedent to prevent this type of intimidation and harassment.
That's the goal of the lawsuit. It doesn't matter whether it's Ralph Nader
or Michael Bloomberg or any other third-party candidate. The point is, we
need as much competition in the political arena as we have in other areas
of American life. And it's time to stop rigging the game.

And what's unbelievable is that the laws on the books already pose a
tremendously high hurdle for third-party candidates. Tens of thousands of
signatures, it takes, to get on the ballot in states like Texas and the
Carolinas. And there's no other country where it's so difficult to get on
the ballot. And those laws are passed by the Democrat and Republican Party
to preserve their monopoly. So, "democracy now" - "democracy now" is not
even close. We are not close to a state of democracy.

And recall also that in the history of the country, third parties were
very important. In the nineteenth century, it was much easier to get on
the ballot. The smaller third parties championed first important issues
like ending slavery, women's right to vote, Social Security; those were
all first advocated by third parties. And if you exclude third parties
from the ballot and from the debate, our democracy withers and atrophies.
And it is not at all consistent with the vital democratic traditions of
our country.

These third parties were around since the beginning of the Republic. The
first third party was really the - well, in some respects, was the
Anti-Federalist Party, but there was also something called the
Anti-Freemason Party, which was started in 1800. From the beginning of the
Republic, there were important third parties, which raised important
issues. And we're now snuffing that out. And unless we fight for this,
this country will continue to have essentially a monopolistic position on
every issue, from healthcare to the Iraq war to any of the important
issues that so many people in this country care about.

AMY GOODMAN: Carl Mayer, we have to leave it there, but we will
certainly continue to follow this lawsuit. Carl Mayer is one of the lead
attorneys on this lawsuit against the Democratic Party and others who they
say conspired to keep former presidential candidate Ralph Nader off of the
ballot.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for
our new online ordering
<https://store.democracynow.org/?pid=10&show=2007-10-31> or call 1 (888)
999-3877.


--------15 of 18--------

Hanging Ten on a water-board - Don't Ask, Don't Tell, SHOW!
by Stephen P. Pizzo          [Pizzo'ed off...]
Nov.10,2007 ATLANTIC FREE PRESS

There seem to be folks on the right who remain unclear on the concept -
not the least among them, Attorney General nominee, Michael Mukasey.

The concept they can't seem to get a firm fix on is whether or not the
interrogation technique known as "water-boarding," - making a person think
he or she is being drowned - is or is not "torture."

I don't know about you, but it sure as hell sounds like torture to me. But
there are still those in this administration and Congress who support the
technique and claim it is not torture.

I have a solution.

But first let's see how humanity has chosen to describe something that
does qualify as torture:

Websters:
     Torture is any action taken against another person that causes,
"anguish of body or mind agony: something that causes agony or pain.
Anguish: "extreme pain, distress, or anxiety."

The International Red Cross:
     Torture: existence of a specific purpose plus intentional infliction
of severe suffering or pain;

MedTerms medical dictionary:
     Torture: An act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical
or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person, for a purpose such as
obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation or
coercion..."

When asked during his confirmation hearings if water-boarding was torture,
Mukasey said he couldn't really say, since he was not familiar with the
details of the technique. Which is a kinda hard to swallow since the
technique has been described in excruciating detail in the popular press
since it first burst into the national consciousness a couple of years ago
- thanks to Vlad the Hoser at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

But all the publicity surrounding water-boarding seems to have left at
least some public officials on the right unclear on whether it's torture
or not torture. Some seem to feel that water-boarding is no more cruel
than forcing a cat to take a bath.

Which is why I've concluded the only solution is to stop telling and start
showing. And what better way to get a handle on the concept than for those
who support the technique to step up to the plate and declare, "I say
water-boarding is not a form of torture, as described by national and
international law. And. to prove it I am submitting myself to the
process."

Let the learning begin!

And what better place to hold water-boarding demonstrations than a well -
the well of House and the well of the US Senate.

Proponents who claim water-boarding is not torture because it "causes no
physical injuries, leaves no marks and causes no permanent harm," should
therefore have no problem, right? Climb on the water-board and take a
spin.

But, there's more than just a quick demo. For this demonstration to be
useful it must be a genuine interrogation in every way possible. That
means not only using the same equipment used at Gitmo and other secret
interrogation centers, but the same assumptions. Those the CIA water-board
are assumed to know something useful or to possess secrets.

So the members of Congress and administration who agree to be
water-boarded must also be assumed to hold a secret. Otherwise it's not an
interrogation. Since it has to be an incriminating secret let's make it
so.

"Have you ever cheated on your spouse?"

Maybe none of them ever cheated on their spouse, just as some of the
people the CIA have water-boarded were not terrorists after all. But hey,
guilty people always deny guilt when first asked, so one must ask
repeatedly, water-board them repeatedly until they cough up the
assumption(s) - true or otherwise.

Here's how I imagine these demonstration sessions would go:

     Senator Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, is strapped to a
water-board in the well of the Senate. Interrogators lay a terry cloth
towel over his face, lean the board back and begin pouring copious amounts
of water over the towel. As the towel becomes soaked Senator McConnell
finds it impossible to breathe. He coughs, then starts choking. He tries
to turn his head to each side but blocks prevent it. He struggles but his
hands and legs are strapped to the board. He suddenly realizes he's on for
the full ride.

     Just as the Senator appears ready to black out, the two interrogators
remove the towel and raise the board. A doctor checks the Senators' pulse
and blood pressure. In a couple of seconds McConnell is coughing, spitting
and breathing again.

     The senator opens his eyes showing real panic as they dart from side
to side.

     Interrogator: "Have you ever cheated on your wife?."

     Sen. McConnell: "No, no, really, I never did. Never did. So, fine. I
see how it works. Now please untie me."

     Interrogator: "Ah, not in the mood to talk yet. Okay, have it your
way, Senator. Jack, lower the board again."

     Sen. McConnell: "Whoa fellas! Not again. No. Wait. Please wait. Okay.
Fine. Yes, yes, sure I cheated. Yep I did. Now untie me."

     Interrogator: "Not so fast, partner. All you've told us so far is
that - as we suspected - you cheated on your wife. Now we need to know how
many times and with whom."

     Sen. McConnell: "Okay guys, this has gone far enough. I get the
point. It's torture. People will say anything to get you to stop. Okay. I
get it. Whatya want me to say and I'll say it. Now let me off this damn
board."

     Interrogator: Oh, I wish it was that easy, Senator. But when we
water-board suspected terrorists we are told we must connect the dots. You
remember connecting the dots, don't you? If we let everyone off for giving
us a nugget or two, well, that wouldn't do at all, now would it? We have
to finish our interrogation. Now, one more time Senator, how many times
did you cheat and we want names."

     Senator McConnell: "Never and with nobody. This is stupid!. I just
said that so you'd untie me."

     Interrogator: "Okay Jack, lower the board."

     Senator McConnell: No, no, NO! Wait. Okay. Many times. More than I
can count. You wanna know with who? Okay, I did Madeline Albright, Helen
Keller, Mother Teresa, (twice, missionary position, of course,) - Ophra,
Jackie Kennedy.... ah, all the DC Madams' hookers and, one night - while
Larry Craig and I were out drinking - a strangely attractive ewe.

     Now, let me go!

     The Senator is released.

     "None of what I said was true," McConnell shouts when free. "None of
that would stand up in a court of law."

     The interrogator slaps his assistant on the back and laughs.

     "A trial? Ha. We don't need no stinkin' trials in our line of work,
Senator. Okay, who's up next?"

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe McConnell, Mukasey and others who doubt
that water-boarding is torture might take repeating dousings without
spelling any beans, true or otherwise. And, when their interrogators
finally give up, they'll hop off the table and declare their faces have
never felt more fresh and clean. Some might even cut back in line for a
second ride.

If that happens I'll happily admit I was wrong - water-boarding isn't
torture after all.

But before I can come to that conclusion I need those who say it ain't so
to put their own nervous systems where their mouths are.

I'm still waiting - though I won't hold my breath. (Pun intended)


--------16 of 18--------

Cowardice, Complicity and the Withering of the Soul of America
Zombie Nation
By DAVID PENNER
CounterPunch
November 2, 2007

As The Office of the Vice President continues to scheme and plot for war
with Iran, which would also likely correspond with martial law at home,
the American worker continues to sink deeper and deeper into a horrifying
abyss of economic, moral, and spiritual slavery. Even during the worst
days of the Depression, never was the American worker more crushed, more
beaten, more defeated. Never was he more atomized, more alienated, more
alone.

Listen to what people are talking about on TV, on the streets, and in
restaurants, and it is clear the American people are pathologically
disconnected from reality. This disconnection from reality is particularly
pronounced in both the media and academia, where the most critical issues
of our time are either completely ignored, or drowned in a barrage of
hyperbole and euphemistic blather. It is as if, due to so many decades of
brainwashing, Americans are no longer capable of reason, no longer capable
of independent thought.

It is also becoming harder and harder to obtain a good paying job without
compromising oneself ideologically due to the destruction of the public
sphere. The role that the military and prison industrial complexes play in
providing employment, and the role played by the media and the education
system in indoctrination, pose grave questions about whether
constitutional democracy and American capitalism can continue to coexist,
or whether the elite will sever the marriage entirely ushering in a
military form of government. The unprecedented domination of work in
American society, and the cult of placing one's career above and beyond
all other considerations, has dehumanized the American people and turned
them into collaborators.

In the education system, where universities are increasingly owned lock,
stock and barrel by corporations (many universities are corporations),
free market dogma reigns unchallenged. The education system, together with
the unprecedented power of the mass media, have ushered in a brave new
world where Newspeak reigns over the enlightenment, madness over
empiricism, and barbarism over reason.

As Americans, we are so fond of saying how we have freedom of speech, but
all too often, this simply is not so. How many students at expensive
private colleges are permitted to speak out against any number of the vast
myriad of unspeakable issues: the destruction of families and communities
in American society, the likelihood of war on Iran, the prison-industrial
complex, the use of outsourcing and offshoring to destroy unions, the
current genocide being waged against black Americans, the censorship in
American society? If a student wants to get good grades so as to be able
to secure a good paying job later on, the rules are clear: say what you
are supposed to say, write what you're supposed to write: shut up and do
as you're told. The almost total absence of meaningful intellectual
discussion in many colleges and universities, along with the unprecedented
corporate consolidation of the media, has put American society in a
totalitarian ideological vice. Tenured liberal professors, or even
professors that secretly harbor genuinely radical views, often think
things privately that they would never dream of saying in class.

The American worker is more enslaved to his employer than ever before, but
instead of rebelling against this enslavement, he feels resistance to be
impossible or too dangerous to risk, or he embraces it as proof of his
toughness and loyalty to his country.

Public school teachers that teach poor and disadvantaged students are
under enormous pressures by authoritarian administrators to keep the level
as low as possible and to not intellectually challenge their students.
Those who resist are marginalized, harassed, and eventually forced out.
This tyranny is blindly embraced in the name of multiculturalism, and
enforced by morally bankrupt liberals who view students in troubled inner
city schools as incapable of serious academic work.

The liberal adage "You have to work within the system" embodies the total
moral spiritual, and intellectual collapse of the American people. The
Democrats "work within the system," and consequently we have a one party
system. Tenured liberal professors have worked within the system, and have
gotten so good at it that they have become the system, feeding Amy Tan and
The House on Mango Street to poor students so as to keep them illiterate
in the name of protecting diversity.

Expensive private colleges are dominated by almost total unanimity of
thought in the liberal arts and social sciences, particularly in politics
and economics. What are one's chances of getting hired for a tenure-track
economics position at a four-year university when you have written
polemics attacking the impoverishment of third world countries by the
World Bank and IMF? Almost zero. Is this our great freedom, our great
liberty of thought? This overwhelming pressure to conform ideologically in
the legal system, the media, and academia, and the relentless pressures to
be as obsequious and sycophantic as possible at work, is a cancer that is
slowly tearing at the heart of American civilization.

Blind obedience and brainwashing through Newspeak begin in school. The
media, and other social pressures complete the process. The destruction of
family and community life has made resistance at work extraordinarily
difficult, because the loss of a decent job that can so easily come from
speaking out against unconscionable abuses of power, puts the now atomized
American in a void, a zone of nothingness, a banishment into purgatory.

Americans are constantly lying to themselves about the degree to which
they have allowed themselves to become ideologically compromised at work.
Even more disturbing than the collapse of the New Deal is the inherently
reactionary nature of so many jobs in the twenty first century United
States. It is almost absurd to talk about unions if you work for the
military and are assisting in the manufacturing of new weapons. Jobs in
the mass media and mainstream press are often equally as dubious. The
education system, viewed by liberals from the 1960's in such an innocent
light, bears at least as much responsibility as the media in the
lobotomizing of the American mind.

Instead of desperately trying to ward off a looming martial law, Americans
are busy trying to get ahead at work. Fascism hasn't come to America with
rallies and bonfires but in the fight for the corner office.

Take a good look at what Americans will put up with at ten dollars an
hour, and it is clear that unionization and solidarity have reached their
nadir in American history.

The idea of not making much money, yet waking up in the morning and
feeling good about oneself is a myth if you are a public school teacher
whose hands are tied by anti-literacy administrators, or a defense
attorney forced to betray clients and plea bargain innocent people into
jail.

There is still time for the American worker to awake and take back his
country. There is still time to resist, to stand up for freedom of
expression and worker's rights. For the elite are rapidly taking us to a
place where it may soon no longer be possible to resist. Once that Rubicon
is crossed, there will be naught but demons all around us, the bough will
be broken, and constitutional democracy will drown in a sea of death and
darkness.

David Penner has taught English and ESL at Kingsborough Community College,
CUNY


--------17 of 18--------

And Now They Want to Privatize the Oceans ....
When Capitalists Get a Free Ride
By HEATHER GRAY
CounterPunch
November 3 / 4, 2007

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a friend encouraging me to sign a
petition against the possible privatization of our oceans. I was aghast
even at the hint of this next privatization scheme by the world's
capitalists. So it's come to this. Absolutely everything, even our oceans,
is for sale. Nothing is sacred. I signed the petition with a vengeance.
But as I signed I wondered why we have let these greedy capitalists run
roughshod over all of us. How has this happened? Where are the demands for
economic democracy and protection from greed?

As we discussed land ownership, an elder in the Philippines once told me
"How can you own something given to you by God?" If there was ever a
religious statement in the world with merit, it has to be this statement
of wisdom from the elder.

While some in the U.S. have fought a battle against corporate greed, most
of us have basically let greed have a free ride. In fact, ever since Karl
Marx wrote about the tragic impact of exploitive capitalism in the 1800's
during the industrial revolution, the corporate elite has fought against
those who would regulate their unfettered desires for profit. The effects
of which have definitely been felt. Senator Joseph McCarthy exacerbated
this when he launched his anti-communist campaign in the United States in
the 1950's.

Congress censured McCarthy in 1954, but his mission didn't end then - we
are still feeling the dramatic, tragic and chilling effects of the
McCarthy era. Ever since that period American activists have largely
skirted around the issue of economic policies or even and especially
discussions about economic philosophy.

As this anti-communist campaign continued to resonate in the United States
and throughout the world, the world's capitalists have used it and
continue to use it as a tool to protect or advance their economic
interests.

Labeling someone a communist often has had nothing to do with the targeted
person or group's political or economic beliefs but rather usually that
there is a "collective mindset" - that's what the corporate elite work
against and fear most. A collective mindset, or economic democracy, that
stresses the importance of fairness and equity for the whole - not the
few. (You can call that communism if you like. It sure sounds good to me!
But then the term "communism" has been so bantered about that it no longer
has context or meaning in the United States - it's simply used to demean
without context.)

I was recently called a communist for demanding rights for immigrants!
This creative labeling is often used when someone doesn't agree with you
and they want to denigrate you, regardless of the reason, by calling you a
communist. Examples of this are abundant. It's the "c" word!

And what does the corporate elite want? In a word - "everything". They
want to own everything from the oceans to our schools. Free enterprise
they call it, the privatization of everything and making governments but
hollow shells. Influenced by economist Milton Friedman and the Chicago
School of Economics, to me free enterprise is the pinnacle of evolved
capitalism and it destroys everything - people, culture, nature. It's
deadly to be sure. All right folks, in the debate over economic systems,
can there be anything worse than free enterprise? I can't think of one.
I'm sure everyone wants to bow down to McDonalds or Monsanto or Wal-Mart
and having the stop sign at the end of your street brought to you thanks
to General Electric! Actually the "c" word should stand for "capitalism" -
forbid someone should be called or, in fact, strive toward being a
capitalist, given its vast destruction in the world. [Amen. Eat the rich]

And how do you define "free"? The Oxford/American dictionary defines it as
"not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done
as one wishes." In other words, absolutely no regulations!

George Bush has been great at creating policies that let these corporate
criminals regulate themselves - what a travesty! And yes, we need
regulations to protect us all from this dreadful free enterprise mindset.
The battleground on this has been set some time ago.

So the question the corporate elite has had is how to end or circumvent
democratic systems or the "collective mindset," the "compassion for the
other," the "cries for fairness," the "demands for equity," the
"protection of the environment?" In the United States, for one, they've
used the label "communism" to quell the activism, and more recently in the
U.S., as Naomi Klein notes in "The Shock Doctrine: the rise of disaster
capitalism" they're using disasters such as Katrina to sweep in and buy
everything from schools to land. Internationally, with government or
military collaborators, they've also used torture.

To demonstrate this Naomi Klein writes in the "The Shock Doctrine" that
Argentina's privatization policies (thanks to the Chicago school) in the
1970's included torture in an attempt to rid the concept of collectivism
from the mindset of activists. Torture was used "to cure" them of
collectivism and to instill greed whenever possible. She said that most
who were arrested were "community workers, many church based, who
organized the poorest sectors of society to demand health care, public
housing and education - in other words the 'welfare state' being
dismantled by the Chicago boys. 'The poor won't have any do-gooders to
look after them anymore!' Norberto Liwsky, an Argentine doctor, was told
as 'they applied electric shocks to my gums, nipples, genitals, abdomen
and ears."

Some history to set this in context: Since the McCarthy era activists have
often been afraid, and some still are, to open their mouths with anything
that might smack of radicalism or against the economic exploitation
they've witnessed. Often there was a fear that an informant was likely in
their midst who would report to the FBI. For fear that you would be placed
on a list for observation or whatever else the FBI deemed necessary to
make your life miserable, or that, forbid, you would be labeled as a
communist by the community where you work. I know people today who are
still so nervous they will not admit they were communist card-carrying
members in the 1950's or won't talk about it even if they were not members
but labeled as such.

It was thought that if you were labeled as a communist, all of your work
for justice (whatever it might be) would be undermined. There was some
truth in that, unfortunately, and it still resonates today. The chilling
effect is a reality. In the 1950's, during this intensive anti-communist
period, people were arrested, cajoled, labeled, blacklisted for anything
that smacked of challenging the status quo whether economically based
accusations or not. Your demands for social justice and human rights made
you vulnerable.

The elite in the Southern United States honed this skill of communist
labeling in the 1950's and 1960's in an attempt to keep out anyone
challenging the Jim Crow laws of racial segregation or demanding fair
wages or maybe adequate housing, healthcare and pubic education. The
Southern elite still does this to a degree!

During the Jim Crow years, white folks having Blacks to dinner were
sometimes called communists. The Highlander Center in Tennessee that
focused on assisting and training for social justice and workers rights
was labeled as a "communist school." Blacks, of course, were targeted when
opposing Jim Crow. Martin Luther King was called a communist. The NAACP
was called a communist front, as were labor unions. There seemed no limit
to this senseless battering of movements that were demanding justice.
Because of this many people were forced out of the South - we, in fact,
have always had a brain drain in our region because of the arrogant
anti-democratic Southern elite.

Even in Atlanta today there are people who will not consistently honor one
of our greatest early residents - the renowned and brilliant W.E.B. Dubois
who taught at Atlanta University in the early 1900's, was one of the
founders of the NAACP, who later joined and left the Communist Party
because it would not appropriately address the issue of racial
exploitation. The fear of honoring Dubois is of being labeled by
association. It's astounding that the effects of this are still felt.

The additional problem is that since the 1950's the successful chilling
effect of the use of the "communism" label to anyone working for justice
in the United States has spread internationally. The results have been
devastating! The practice has become accentuated by the corporate and
political elite in countries the U.S. has wanted to control from Chile,
Argentina, Bolivia, Vietnam, to the Philippines, to name only a few
thankfully a lot of this is now being reversed in South America. And in
those countries being black listed as a communist usually means you are
subject not only to harassment but often to torture and/or summary
execution. I witnessed this in the Philippines in the late 1980's and it
continues in that country.

In the realm of economics, those of us in the United States have generally
left to "others" what should always have been our responsibility. This
applies to even serious discussions about economic justice, about
capitalism versus communism or mixed economies, or curbs on massive wealth
and a distribution of wealth, or understanding the global markets and what
effect they have on our domestic and international economies, or about the
importance of labor rights and fair wages.

Regarding the importance of economic justice, years ago economist Ray
Marshall, President Jimmy Carter's Secretary of Labor, told me that "The
basic evolution is that first you have political institutions that are
controlled by the people and not special interest groups - that's
political democracy. After workers get the right to vote then you have
industrial democracy, which means worker participation in the work place.
That's collective bargaining. Most countries have taken that further than
us. Then there's social democracy where you have safety nets - a minimum
level of welfare services. Every industrial country in the world is more
developed in social democracy than us in, for example, health care and
education. Finally, there's economic democracy where individuals and not
special interests control their economic institutions. Economic democracy
strengthens all other forms of democracy. If you have economic democracy
then people can't intimidate you when you vote."

This year the NAACP held an event to bury the "N" word. We need to do the
same with "anti-communism." It needs to be buried and replaced with
economic activism focusing on just and fair economics that is "people"
centered and controlled and not "corporate" centered and controlled. I
have enough faith in people to think that if we had done this long ago we
would not now be talking about privatizing our oceans. Time is of the
essence.

Heather Gray produces "Just Peace" on WRFG-Atlanta 89.3 FM covering local,
regional, national and international news. She can be reached at
hmcgray [at] earthlink.net


--------18 of 18--------

 When there are no books
 Christianity will be
 spread by oral sects.


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