|Progressive Calendar 12.05.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 02:55:07 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 12.05.07 1. Bad local media 12.05 11am 2. Femism/arts 12.05 12noon StCloud MN 3. PwdrhnPk ice rink 12.05 5pm 4. Women's rights 12.05 5pm 5. Electronic bilbds 12.05 5:30pm 6. US v Al-Arian/f 12.05 6:30pm 7. GreenParty intro 12.05 6:30pm 8. Naomi Klein here 12.05 7pm 9. Aeon housing 12.06 7:30am 10. Emergency relief 12.06 4pm 11. FNVW open house 12.06 4pm 12. Hmong in America 12.06 6:30pm 13. Sustainability/f 12.06 6:30pm 14. Jeanne Weigum - Electronic billboards on interstates? 15. Alexander Cockburn - Jackboot state stubs its toe in Ann Arbor 16. Paul Craig Roberts - The lies at the end of the American Dream 17. John V Walsh - Peace movement paralyzed; time for the next step 18. Peter Phillips - US corp media deliberately censors the news 19. ed - Used tollet paper tubes (poem) --------1 of 19-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: Bad local media 12.05 11am TRUTH TO TELL: Wednesday, DEC. 5 at 11AM KFAI 90.3FM Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul - Streaming @ KFAI.org: THE LOCAL MEDIA CRISIS: How the 10 O¹clock News has Not-so-Gently Shoved Us Away from Citizenship TTT's Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen talk with local media observers about the damage broadcast and print media have done to drive citizens away from news and knowledge of their communities and governments, creating instead a consumer culture of celebrity and distraction instead of civic affairs. JOIN THE DISCUSSION. CALL 612-341-0980 during the show. On the street and in-café interviews with news consumers conducted by KFAI intern Sonia Sultan GUESTS: VIVIAN JENKINS NELSEN: President/CEO of The Inter-Race Institute JANE KIRTLEY, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota and Director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law GARY GILSON, former Executive Director, Minnesota News Council, former host of tpt news/public affairs shows and more. AND YOU! CALL 612-341-0980. --------2 of 19-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Femism/arts 12.05 12noon StCloud MN Wednesday, December 5: Women's Center St. Cloud State University. Women on Wednesday Series: Feminism, Philanthropy & Women in the Arts with Elsa Vega Perez & Maria Vega Perez. Noon-1 PM. Atwood Theatre, Atwood Memorial Center. Free & open to the public. --------3 of 19-------- From: *Susan Raffo* <raffo95 [at] gmail.com <mailto:raffo95 [at] gmail.com>> Subject: PwdrhnPk ice rink 12.05 5pm It's true - within the context of struggles we need to be working against, the Powderhorn Ice Skating Rink is not a high-end priority. But in the context of creating neighborhood and community, it's a huge thing. I don't yet have all of the information - and on Monday I will be calling around to get more - but I have now heard from different unconnected parties that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is proposing not to open the ice skating rink on Powderhorn Lake this year. My understanding is that there is a meeting this Wednesday in which the final decision will be made - and that this is a time for community response and input on a large scale. The Powderhorn Park Ice Skating Rink is not just an ice skating rink that some of us use a lot, some of use off and one and some of us never use. As well as being something which makes Powderhorn Park different, a gathering place even when it is freezing cold outside, it's also a piece of history. In the 1930s and 40s, it was a training ground for Olympic medal speed skaters. The ice skating rink has had a hockey league. We've had ice skating competitions that literally packed people on the hillsides in the way that the fireworks and Mayday do today. I have talked with a lot of people who have told me that this was the first place they ever strapped on a pair of skates, fell on their butt, and got up again. For me, it's a stunning thing to live in a place where, when it's cold and lots of me wants to huddle inside, I can just wander down to the park and find people skating. The meeting for this decision is, I believe, this one: *Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting* Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom, Tom Nordyke, Scott Vreeland, Annie Young and President Olson. Date: 12/5/2007 Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m. Type: Regular Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255 Address: 2117 West River Road Minneapolis *Map and Directions* <http://us.rd.yahoo.com/maps/us/insert/Tmap/extmap/*-http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?addr=2117%20West%20River%20Road&csz=Minneapolis%2C+mn+55411&country=us> The agenda should be on the website on Monday or Tuesday. The main number for MPRB is 612 230-6400. This link mentions the intent to reduce the number of ice skating rinks - http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=52&prid=545 <http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=52&prid=545> - so I assume that includes Powderhorn. The list of ice skating rinks is here: http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=677 <http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=677> It will be interesting to see which rinks in which neighhorhoods are up for possible closure. So, if there are folks on this list with more information than I have, please let us all know what is happening. I believe there is a petition at the Mayday Cafe. It's been recommended to call the Park Board, our city council members (Gary Schiff and Elizabeth Glidden) and the Commissioners ( http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=36 <http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=36> for names and contact info). So, let's see what happens. --------4 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Women's rights 12.05 5pm Wednesday, 12/5, 5 pm, Women's Human Rights Film Series presents "Journey to Safety" about challenges facing battered immigrant and refugee women, Humphrey Center, U of M, 301 - 19th Ave S, Mpls. http://www.hhh.umn.edu --------5 of 19-------- From: Jeanne Weigum <jw [at] ansrmn.org> Subject: Electronic billboards 12.05 5:30pm Wed. Dec. 5 at 5:30 the Saint Paul City Council will consider a proposal to allow electronic billboards. Below is a guest editorial from Monday's PP. [See item #14 below] http://www.twincities.com/ci_7603394?IADID=Search-www.twincities.com-www.twincities.com&nclick_check=1 In my humble opinion, I believe these things are an extremely unsafe blight upon our community. --------6 of 19-------- From: Bruce Nestor <nestor [at] denestlaw.com> Subject: US v Al-Arian/f 12.05 6:30pm USA vs. Al-Arian - Documentary Film Showing Wednesday, December 5 - William Mitchell College of Law Room 231 -- 6:30 p.m. - 8:30pm The MN National Lawyers Guild is proud to present a screening of an award winning documentary about the Sami Al-Arian case. The movie will last one hour. Afterwards, WMCL Professor Peter Erlinder will discuss his work on the appeal and the case's current status. Background Dr. Sami Al-Arian, was a tenured professor of computer science at the University of South Florida until after 9/11, when the school's administration, in accordance with Gov. Jeb Bush, attempted to fire him for his outspoken views, work for Palestine, and activism for civil liberties. In February 2003, he was arrested with much fanfare, and charged in a bloated terrorism conspiracy case. He spent two and a half years in prison, in solitary confinement and under the most atrocious conditions before he was finally given his day in court. Following a six-month trial that featured over 70 government witnesses (including 21 from Israel), 400 intercepted phone calls (the results of a decade of surveillance and half a million phone calls recorded), and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on the investigation, the jury acquitted Dr. Al-Arian of most of the serious charges against him. On the remaining charges, jurors voted 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal. Two co-defendants were acquitted completely. The defense rested without calling a single witness or presenting any evidence since the government's prosecution was purely of First Amendment-protected activities. Taking a page out of Orwell, the government's evidence against Dr. Al-Arian consisted of speeches he gave, magazines he edited, lectures he presented, articles he wrote, books he owned, conferences he organized, rallies he attended, news he heard and websites no one accessed. In one instance, the evidence consisted of a conversation a co-defendant had with Dr. Al-Arian in his dream. Since his acquittal in December 2005, Dr. Al-Arian has remained in prison. Following the trial, the government indicated its intention to retry him on the remaining charges, which is unprecedented given the jury's overwhelming rejection of the case. For more info see: <http://www.freesamialarian.com/home.htm> http://www.freesamialarian.com/home.htm --------7 of 19-------- From: PRO826 [at] AOL.COM Subject: GreenParty intro 12.05 6:30pm Start: Dec 5 2007 - 6:30pm End: Dec 5 2007 - 8:00pm Learn about our ten key values and more, such as the history, structure and current organization of the party. Discuss the need for participation by third parties who take no corporate or PAC money. Every first Wednesday of the month, at the state party office: 2395 University Ave W. #224, St. Paul Contact Ken Pentel 612-387-0601 _KenPentel [at] yahoo.com_ (mailto:KenPentel [at] yahoo.com) --------8 of 19-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Naomi Klein here 12.05 7pm Wed.December 05, 2007 07:00 PM Naomi Klein: Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism author event Barnes & Noble Booksellers Roseville II Har Mar Mall 2100 North Snelling Ave Roseville, MN 55113 651-639-9256 --------9 of 19-------- From: Jenny Johnson <JJohnson [at] aeonhomes.org> Subject: Aeon housing 12.06 7:30am (formerly Central Community Housing Trust) Learn how Aeon is responding to the affordable housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a 1-hour Building Dreams presentation. St. Paul Sessions: January 23 at 7:30am, February 21 at 4:30 pm, March 4 at 7:30 am Minneapolis Sessions: December 6 at 7:30 am, January 16 at 4:30 pm, February 5 at 7:30 am We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: http://www.aeonhomes.org/bd or call Jenny Johnson at 612-341-3148 x237 Aeon 1625 Park Ave Minneapolis, MN 55404 (612) 341-3148 www.aeonhomes.org <http://www.aeonhomes.org/> --------10 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Emergency relief 12.06 4pm Thursday, 12/6, 4 pm, Doctors Without Borders' 1999 Nobel Prize winner James Orbinski talks on "Moral Dilemmas of Interventions for Emergency Relief," Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Institute, 301 - 19th Ave S, Mpls. http://www.hhh.umn.edu -------11 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: FNVW open house 12.06 4pm Thursday, 12/6, 4 to 8 pm, open house and potluck at Friends for a Nonviolent World office, 1050 Selby Ave, St Paul. http://www.fnvw.org --------12 of 19-------- From: Anne R. Carroll <carrfran [at] qwest.net> From: jovita.bjoraker [mailto:Jovita.Bjoraker [at] state.mn.us] Subject: Hmong in America 12.06 6:30pm The Center for Hmong Studies will host a lecture by Dr. Gary Yia Lee, a Scholar-in-Residence with the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University, on December 6, 2007 from 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm. The lecture is entitled, The Hmong in America: A reflection and oberservation. During this lecture he will share his oberservation of the Hmong American community after having lived in the United States for a year. The lecture will take place in the Buenger Education Center at Concordia University. The lecture is free and open to the public. For questions, please feel free to call Lee Pao Xiong at 651-641-8870. Thank you. Lee Pao Xiong Director Center for Hmong Studies Concordia University 275 North Syndicate Street St. Paul, Minnesota 55104 651-641-8870 xiong [at] csp.edu www.csp.edu/hmongcenter <file:///\\www.csp.edu\hmongcenter> --------13 of 19-------- From: Curt McNamara <mcnam025 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Sustainability/f 12.06 6:30pm CELEBRATE SUSTAINABILITY FILM SERIES An ongoing series of films and discussions on key sustainability issues affecting our world. Minneapolis College of Art & Design 2501 Stevens Av S / Minneapolis, MN Doors at 6:30pm, film @ 7pm MCAD College Center (in main building) Following films: Panel discussion by working eco-design professionals and faculty. Thursday, December 6, 2007 The Ecological Footprint: Accounting for a Small Planet Directed by Patsy Northcutt, 30 minutes, 2005 Dr. Mathis Wackernagel introduces the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures human demand on the Earth. Biomimicry (Series) - Biomimicry: Learning from Nature - Part 2 Directed by Paul Lang, presented by David Suzuki with Janine Benyus, 44 minutes, 2002 Advances in materials and medicine based on research into natural processes. --------14 of 19-------- Electronic billboards along interstates raise risks without delivering rewards JEANNE WEIGUM Pioneer Press opinion letter Article Last Updated: 11/30/2007 06:48:11 PM CST With 600 billboards, St. Paul is the billboard capital of Minnesota. St. Paul has more boards than any other city in the state. Surrounding communities from Shoreview to Maple Grove long ago banned new billboards and now have few, if any, within their boundaries. The industry proposes to upgrade many freeway boards to changeable electronic messages in exchange for removing some smaller boards that are off the beaten path. This is a bad solution to a bad problem. Digital electronic boards feature bright changeable messages that can rotate at intervals less than seven seconds. Traditional billboards contain a single message, sometimes for months at a time. The digital boards can feature eight or more new messages each minute. While the income from old-style neighborhood boards can be thousands of dollars per year, a single electronic board in a prime location can generate more than $100,000 per month. Considering the math, it is scarcely surprising that the industry would like to trade a few of those low-pay boards for some more lucrative boards. For St. Paul, the math works in the opposite direction. Billboards are visual blight. They often obscure scenic views, have lights that shine in residential properties, distract drivers from the road, increase the cost of redevelopment and can lower adjacent property values. Electronic billboards cause all those problems and more. Electronic billboards are jumbo visual pollution. Since the advertisers want them to be seen day and night, the lights must be bright. Very bright. They are often the brightest objects in the landscape, dominating the view. They can be seen for long distances and present a view that can not be turned off. Electronic billboards pose unique safety hazards that could cost taxpayers a bundle. The whole goal of a billboard is to draw motorists' eyes and hold them long enough to read the message. If that message starts to change, drivers find themselves watching to see what is coming next. Anything that draws attention from the road for more than two seconds increases the likelihood of an accident. It can take a driver more than five seconds to comprehend a colorful and complex billboard message. With electronic messages changing every few seconds, many drivers will take their eyes off the road for much longer than is safe. Several national studies are under way to evaluate the impact of digital billboards on safety. [Well, what are the deaths of replacement people (us) compared to the majesty of one or two billionaire families having another billion or two? After all, that is what America & capitalism are all about - a few "better" families getting fat assaulting the environment and us. Thou shalt suffer and die for the rich. And we imagine America has gotten past 5000 years of class war. - ed] Billboards along federally funded highways have unique protections. Because of successful lobbying by the industry, Lady Bird Johnson's Highway Beautification Act has in reality become "the billboard protection act." Once a billboard is erected along a federal highway, it is nearly impossible to remove it. If a billboard must be removed because of normal highway improvement, the city or state might need to compensate the billboard company for lost revenue. If electronic billboards are allowed along I-35 and I-94 as proposed, and if studies and experience show them to cause a dramatic increase in traffic accidents, removing them could cost millions in compensation to billboard owners. Billboards are considered personal property, similar to a car or books. Parking a car in your driveway does not increase the value of the property, nor does it provide any tax revenue to the city. Because billboards are personal property, St. Paul receives no revenue from them. A billboard in St. Paul generates few, if any, jobs. Billboards can dramatically increase redevelopment costs. If the city wishes to redevelop the land the billboard is on, the billboard company will expect cash compensation from the potential developer even though the billboard company does not own the land. In two recent cases in St. Paul, billboard companies exacted nearly $100,000 in compensation for removing a billboard from land slated for redevelopment. Adding $100,000 to the cost of redeveloping a city lot can be a deal-breaker. If those had been electronic billboards, it would not have been possible to redevelop the land into taxpaying businesses that produce jobs and services. All billboards cause blight and are a distraction. They hamper redevelopment and, at gateways to St. Paul, they crowd out the views of the skyline and the river. Electronic billboards have an even greater negative impact. St. Paul should just say "no." Jeanne Weigum of St. Paul is a member of Scenic Saint Paul. --------15 of 19-------- Jackboot State Stubs Its Toe in Ann Arbor Wilkerson Acquitted By ALEXANDER COCKBURN CounterPunch December 4, 2007 A jury in Ann Arbor, Michigan took four and a half hours on the evening of December 3 to acquit Catherine Wilkerson of two criminal misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident in November 2006. Wilkerson's alleged "crimes" consisted of intervening to assist an unconscious man who in her estimate was in grave risk of asphyxiation after an Ann Arbor cop had inflicted unnecessary and sadistic force, and a paramedic had compounded the brutality by breaking three ampoules of ammonia under the unconscious man's nose, saying, "You don't like that, do you." The entire case is a parable of current trends: the criminalization of free speech; prosecutions intended to chill lawful protest; out-of-control police conduct; a spaniel press; and most sinister of all, a witch-hunting posture towards anything a cop or a prosecutor can construe as "radical terrorism". This posture is embodied in its most sinister guise by the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 404-6 earlier this year and now under review by a committee of the U.S. Senate. Catherine Wilkerson runs a medical clinic for poor people in Ann Arbor. She was not arrested in the November 30, 2006 episode, which I described here last week as the case went to trial. The charges came later, clearly at the instigation of the University of Michigan and intended as a warning that exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech and protest would be dealt with harshly. Although Wilkerson was acquitted we should note that she spent unpleasant months awaiting her days in court, aware that a guilty verdict could have grave professional consequences. In a just world the president of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman, who signed off on this malicious witch hunt by her campus cops, working in cahoots with the Ann Arbor PD, would now spend as many months as Wilkerson wondering whether she had a professional future. Both the campus cops and the Ann Arbor PD conducted themselves in a manner that should have resulted, should still result, in officers being disciplined or dismissed. Seven weeks after the November 2006 incident the campus police compiled a report stuffed with lies, designed to persuade the credulous that at least six armed police enforcers, somehow stood at risk from Wilkerson, as one of their number - a hulking brute - sadistically inflicted PPCT tactics on his physically slight and unresisting captive. "PPCT" stands for Pressure Point Control Tactics, the application of pressure to selected points on the victim's head and neck. As complacently described on one site, "The application of these pressure points is to control passive or defensive resistance and are highly effective no matter what the size or strength level of the officer." "Passive resistance" in this case meant no resistance at all, a state duly rewarded by the punitive application of ammonia to the victim by a medical tech complicit in this exercise of "law enforcement". It should be noted that a vigilant press could have torn this report to shreds and possibly averted the prosecution that followed. The Ann Arbor News's reporting, as well as that of the Michigan Daily, was disgraceful from start to finish, to a level that objective assessment can justifiably stigmatize as complicity with the police and barely concealed hostility to Wilkerson, very possibly because her political activities have included solidarity with the Palestinian cause. This depressing example of shoddy journalism was balanced by very useful internet reporting before and during the trial done by the Committee to Defend Catherine Wilkerson. The jackboot state in its local guise here took the form of the Washtenaw County Prosecutor, Brian Mackie, and assistant prosecutor Margaret Connors who, incredibly, tried to add additional charges before and during the trial. Remember that this entire legal arsenal was brought to bear on a woman who at no point did anything other than offer verbal medical advice aimed at protecting the life of an unconscious man in danger of asphyxiation. During the trial Connors made frequent efforts to demonstrate to the jury that defense witness bore the taint of having been involved in radical activities - otherwise known as lawful exercise of rights of free speech and assembly, including efforts to defend Wilkerson's rights. To quote from the Committee to Defend's daily web report, During cross-examination of the witnesses who came to protest last year, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Margaret Connors highlighted the political motivations of this prosecution by frequently asking protesters about their protest history as if regularly exercising your First Amendment rights somehow makes you an untrustworthy 'repeat offender.' This is a police state mentality, pure and simple, one where criticizing the government makes you a suspect when your testimony contradicts the official story of police and prosecutor. At times, Connors' courtroom antics have been laughable but there is nothing funny about the (mis)use of state power to silence or punish government critics. One witness was also excluded at the prosecution's request due to involvement with these updates and defendwilkerson.org, demonstrating what we already knew - police and prosecutors cruise the internet and use it to collect 'criminal intelligence.' "Heroes: Bill Wilkerson, [Catherine's husband] who taught me about Ho Chi Minh, another hero and about the immorality of the US war against Vietnam." The prosecutor made specific reference to Ho Chi Minh and his status as a hero. The intent of this line of questioning seemed to be to stress Dr. Wilkerson's politics in an effort discredit her and her fellow protesters as dishonest radicals who contrived the whole incident last year as "political theater." The defense seems to have been fortunate in having a reasonable judge, Elizabeth Pollard-Hines, and - above all - a jury which had no difficulty in throwing out the absurd charges and discounting Connors' accusations and inferences. Wilkerson's lead attorney Buck Davis opened his final speech to the jury about telling them they should thank Wilkerson for giving them opportunity to defend the US constitution and that the University of Michigan and Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie were trying to criminalize speech and protest. So they were. In this instance they failed, albeit against a darkening national backdrop. On October 23, 2007, the House of Representatives passed the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by a vote of 404-6. The nays were: Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), John Duncan (R-TN). [Hmm - I don't see our local hero Keith Ellison here. I guess if you talk the talk you don't need to walk the walk. Perhaps a walker will run against him next time. -ed] Where was Barbara Lee? She voted for it. Ron Paul? His staff says he was campaigning in New Hampshire. Where were the other few protectors of the Constitution? [Instead we hear lame excuses why the ayes had to sell out, excuses which in their craven submission are almost worse than the bad vote. Slavery/serfdom anyone? Behind the neo-cons are a ruling class itching to get its hands on our stuff, our freedom, and our unpaid labor. -ed] There are many lessons in the Wilkerson case and her victory - of which the central one is solidarity: Wilkerson's fidelity to her medical principles; her supporters' efforts in her defense; overall, solidarity in support of thea First Amendment and the Bill of Rights against its many assailants. [Amen -ed] --------16 of 19-------- The Shortage Myth The Lies at the End of the American Dream By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch December 4, 2007 Last June a revealing marketing video from the law firm, Cohen & Grigsby appeared on the Internet. The video demonstrated the law firm's techniques for getting around US law governing work visas in order to enable corporate clients to replace their American employees with foreigners who work for less. The law firm's marketing manager, Lawrence Lebowitz, is upfront with interested clients: "our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker." If an American somehow survives the weeding out process, "have the manager of that specific position step in and go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position - in most cases there doesn't seem to be a problem." No problem for the employer he means, only for the expensively educated American university graduate who is displaced by a foreigner imported on a work visa justified by a nonexistent shortage of trained and qualified Americans. University of California computer science professor Norm Matloff, who watches this issue closely, said that Cohen & Grigsby's practices are the standard ones used by hordes of attorneys, who are cleaning up by putting Americans out of work. The Cohen & Grigsby video was a short-term sensation as it undermined the business propaganda that no American employee was being displaced by foreigners on H-1b or L-1 work visas. Soon, however, business organizations and their shills were back in gear lying to Congress and the public about the amazing shortage of qualified Americans for literally every technical and professional occupation, especially IT and software engineering. Everywhere we hear the same droning lie from business interests that there are not enough American engineers and scientists. For mysterious reasons Americans prefer to be waitresses and bartenders, hospital orderlies, and retail clerks. As one of the few who writes about this short-sighted policy of American managers endeavoring to maximize their "performance bonuses," I receive much feedback from affected Americans. Many responses come from recent university graduates such as the one who "graduated nearly at the top of my class in 2002" with degrees in both electrical and computer engineering and who "hasn't been able to find a job." A college roommate of a family member graduated from a good engineering school last year with a degree in software engineering. He had one job interview. Jobless, he is back at home living with his parents and burdened with student loans that bought an education that offshoring and work visas have made useless to Americans. The hundreds of individual cases that have been brought to my attention are dismissed as "anecdotal" by my fellow economists. So little do they know. I also receive numerous responses from American engineers and IT workers who have managed to hold on to jobs or to find new ones after long intervals when they have been displaced by foreign hires. Their descriptions of their work environments are fascinating. For example, Dayton, Ohio, was once home to numerous American engineers. Today, writes one surviving American, "I feel like an alien in my own country - as if Dayton had been colonized by India. NCR and other local employers have either offshored most of their IT work or rely heavily on Indian guest workers. The IT department of National City Bank across the street from LexisNexis is entirely Indian. The nearby apartment complexes house large numbers of Indian guest workers filling the engineering needs of many area businesses." I have learned that Reed Elsevier, which owns LexisNexis, has hired a new Indian vice president for offshoring and that now the jobs of the Indian guest workers may be on the verge of being offshored to another country. The relentless drive for cheap labor now threatens the foreign guest workers who displaced America's own engineers. One software engineer wrote to me protesting the ignorance of Thomas Friedman for creating a false picture of American engineers being outdated and for "denouncing American engineers and other workers as 'xenophobes' for opposing their displacement by foreign guest workers." The engineer also took exception to the "willful ignorance or cynicism of Bruce Bartlett and George Will" who he described as "bootlicks for pro-outsourcing lobbies." On November 6, 2006, Michael S. Teitelbaum, vice president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, explained to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology the difference between the conventional or false portrait that there is a shortage of US scientists and engineers and the reality on the ground, which is that offshoring, foreign guest workers, and educational subsidies have produced a surplus of US engineers and scientists that leaves many facing unstable and failed careers. As two examples of the false portrait, Teitelbaum cited the 2005 report, Tapping America's Potential, led by the Business Roundtable and signed onto by 14 other business associations, and the 2006 National Academies report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, "which was the basis for substantial parts of what eventually evolved into the American COMPETES Act." Teitelbaum posed the question to the US Representatives: "Why do you continue to hear energetic re-assertions of the Conventional Portrait of 'shortages,' shortfalls, failures of K-12 science and math teaching, declining interest among US students, and the necessity of importing more foreign scientists and engineers?" Teitelbaum's answer: "In my judgment, what you are hearing is simply the expressions of interests by interest groups and their lobbyists. This phenomenon is, of course, very familiar to everyone on the Hill. Interest groups that are well organized and funded have the capacity to make their claims heard by you, either directly or via echoes in the mass press. Meanwhile those who are not well-organized and funded can express their views, but only as individuals." Among the interest groups that benefit from the false portrait are universities, which gain graduate student enrollments and inexpensive postdocs to conduct funded lab research. Employers gain larger profits from lower paid scientists and engineers, and immigration lawyers gain fees by leading employers around the work visa rules. Using the biomedical research sector as an example, Teitelbaum explained to the congressmen how research funding creates an oversupply of scientists that requires ever larger funding to keep employed. Teitelbaum made it clear that it is nonsensical to simultaneously increase the supply of American scientists while forestalling their employment with a shortage myth that is used to import foreigners on work visas. Teitelbaum recommends that American students considering majors in science and engineering first investigate the career prospects of recent graduates. Integrity is so lacking in America that the shortage myth serves the interests of universities, funding agencies, employers, and immigration attorneys at the expense of American students who naively pursue professions in which their prospects are dim. Initially it was blue-collar factory workers who were abandoned by US corporations and politicians. Now it is white-collar employees and Americans trained in science and technology. Princeton University economist Alan Blinder estimates that there are 30 to 40 million American high end service jobs that ultimately face offshoring. As I predict, and as BLS payroll jobs data indicate, in 20 years the US will have a third world work force engaged in domestic nontradable services. [That's capitalism for you. -ed] Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------17 of 19-------- Time for the Next Step Peace Movement Paralyzed By JOHN V. WALSH CounterPunch December 4, 2007 The war on Iraq has dragged on for almost five years now. The American people have learned a great deal about their government in the process. Perhaps everything that could be said about the war has been said - not once but many times. There is in fact little room left for analysis - but enormous room for action. The greatest lesson, which is understood and voiced even by segments of the mainstream media, is that the Democratic Party is every bit as thoroughly and completely a party of war and empire as is the Republican Party - and perhaps even more so. From the senatorial vote for the war in October, 2002, when the Democrats were in control, to the prowar campaign of John Kerry in 2004 endorsed by Dennis Kucinich, to the election of a Democratic Congress in 2006 which promised peace but has continued to fund the war, the Democrats have been complicit every step of the way. And they now promise troops in Iraq until 2013 - at least. Lobbying the Democrats or electing more of them has come to naught. [Right. Time to move on. -ed] Whatever we may think of tactics to move the antiwar project forward, it would clearly be immoral and unethical to elect a Democrat in 2008. To do so would make us complicit in the Democrats' complicity in this war. [Your ed has not voted for a Dem for prez since 1992; and never again.] The second most important lesson is that the strategy of endless street demonstrations, vigils, lobbying has been played out and has now run into a brick wall. By themselves these cannot do the job, and with that recognition they have declined in size and spirit. But more of the same is all that United For Peace and Justice, thoroughly in the clutches of the Democrats, and ANSWER can offer. That means that the only route to end war and empire is through electoral activity outside the structure of the war parties. But there is as yet precious little activity in this direction, even though time is running out. Instead the antiwar movement seems to be wandering in a fog, incapable of taking this step. It is time for this to end. And not in some abstract call for "independent" electoral action but in the real world. So what does the real world offer? There are four alternatives on the horizon right now. First, the Green Party has the organization to put a genuine peace candidate on the ballot in a majority of states - and perhaps in all of them. (It is unfortunate that the Libertarian Party seems moribund at the moment, but it lost a lot of its following when most inside the Beltway libertarians betrayed their principles and opted for the war.) Second, Ralph Nader has the stature, integrity, following and electoral apparatus to get on the ballot in all 50 states and the D.C. - perhaps on his own, but definitely with the assistance of the Greens. (For this reason there is and will be a dirty tricks effort by the Dems to prevent Nader from getting Green Party support, a combination that has them very frightened. [SOB]Todd Gitlin and his ilk are already very busy on this project.) [Lower and colder than snake's bellies. -ed] Third, there is Ron Paul who also has the stature, integrity and following to mount a serious campaign outside the Republican Party whose nomination he is unlikely to win. (But should Paul win the Republican nomination, then an entirely new dynamic will emerge and the Republicans will be returned to their paleoconservative, libertarian roots, emerging as the antiwar party as they were before World War I. I assume here that Paul will not win the Republican nomination, but that will not be known with certainty until after the New Hampshire primary.) Fourth, there are other national leaders who can put together an electoral peace movement or be part of one. Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney come to mind. So there are some real world alternatives right now to the "duopoly," as many like to call the two war parties. The most powerful antiwar and anti-empire movement would be an alliance of Greens and Libertarians under the leadership of Nader, Paul, Sheehan and McKinney and perhaps others. Barring that, we should make use of all the real world options available. I would hope that they would sit down for coffee sometime very soon. It is time to abandon the old ways of thinking, which are all embedded in the Cold War, and to form new, unexpected and surprising alliances adapted to the present time. Let us put an end to war and empire and then try to resolve other differences in the spirit of peace and liberty. John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar [at] gmail.com. --------18 of 19-------- US Corporate Media Deliberately Censors the News by Peter Phillips / December 4th, 2007 The corporate media in the US likes to think of themselves as the official most accurate news reporting of the day. The New York Times' motto of "all the news that's fit to print" is a clear example of this perspective. However with corporate media coverage that increasingly focuses on a narrow range of celebrity updates, news from "official" government sources, and sensationalized crimes and disasters the self-justification of being the most fit is no longer valid in the US. We need to broaden our understanding of censorship in the US. The dictionary definition of direct government control of news as censorship is no longer adequate. The private corporate media in the US significantly under covers and/or deliberately censors numerous important news stories every year. The common theme of the most censored stories over the past year is the systemic erosion of human rights and civil liberties in both the US and the world at large. The corporate media ignored the fact that habeas corpus can now be suspended for anyone by order of the President. With the approval of Congress, the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006, signed by Bush on October 17, 2006, allows for the suspension of habeas corpus for US citizens and non-citizens alike. While media, including a lead editorial in the New York Times October 19, 2006, have given false comfort that American citizens will not be the victims of the measures legalized by this Act, the law is quite clear that "any person" can be targeted. The text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for "any person" regardless of American citizenship. The MCA effectively does away with habeas corpus rights for all people living in the US deemed by the President to be enemy combatants. A law enacted last year allowing the government to more easily institute martial law is another civil liberties story ignored by the corporate media in 2007. The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 allows the president to station military troops anywhere in the United States and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder". The law in effect repealed the Posse Comitatus Act, which had placed strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement in the US since just after the Civil War. Additionally, under the code-name Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally) three federally coordinated mass arrests occurred between April 2005 and October 2006. In an unprecedented move, more than 30,000 "fugitives" were arrested in the largest dragnets in the nation's history. [They got a falcon' from the feds. -ed] The operations, coordinated by the Justice Department and Homeland Security, directly involved over 960 agencies (state, local and federal) and are the first time in US history that all of the domestic police agencies have been put under the direct control of the federal government. Finally, the term "terrorism" has been dangerously expanded to include any acts that interfere, or promotes interference, with the operations of animal enterprises. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), signed into law on November 27, 2006 expands the definition of an "animal enterprise" to any business that "uses or sells animals or animal products". The law essentially defines protesters, boycotters or picketers of businesses in the US as terrorists. Most people in the US believe in our Bill of Rights and value personal freedoms. Yet, our corporate media in the past year failed to adequately inform us about important changes in our civil rights and liberties. Despite our busy lives we want to be informed about serious decisions made by the powerful, and rely on the corporate media to keep us abreast of significant changes. When a media fails to cover these issues, what else can we call it but censorship? A broader definition of censorship in America today needs to include any interference, deliberate or not, with the free flow of vital news information to the American people. With the size of the major media giants in the US, there is no excuse for consistently missing major news stories that affect all our lives. Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University, and Director of Project Censored, a media research organization. Read other articles by Peter, or visit Peter's website. This article was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 at 5:00 am and is filed under Civil Liberties, Media. Send to a friend. --------19 of 19-------- To save money our next bridge will be built of used toilet paper tubes. These will be at your hand next bridge fall. Oh crap! you'll gasp, but you'll land clean. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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