Progressive Calendar 12.05.07
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.


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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