Progressive Calendar 12.27.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 00:40:49 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    12.27.07

1. Vs peace muzzle  12.27 7pm
2. Jesus/Gitmo/KFAI 12.27 7pm
3. Landmine play    12.27 7:30pm

4. Candlelight/v war 12.28 6:30pm

5. Mosque open house 12.29 11am Rochester MN
6. NWN4P Minnetonka  12.29 11am
7. New Hope vigil    12.29 1pm
8. Rovics/CTV        12.29 9pm
9. Iraq vets benefit 12.29 9:30pm

10. Cynthia McKinney - The black vote
11. Tim Weiner       - Hoover planned mass jailing in 1950
12. John Walsh       - Gitlin, Alterman and the anti-Nader Democrats
13. Mumia Abu-Jamal  - A Christmas cage
14. ed               - Capitalist tollway's end  (poem)

--------1 of 14--------

From: margaret <hope4peace22000 [at] YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Vs peace muzzle 12.27 7pm

Featuring:  Cecilie Surasky of Jewish Voice for Peace
With local Muslim, Christian and Jewish Peace activists

Thursday, December 27, 7:00pm
Macalester Plymouth United Church
1658 Lincoln Ave St Paul, MN 55105
(intersection of Macalester Street and Lincoln Avenue, across the street
from Macalester College)

Cecilie Surasky is the Communications Director for Jewish Voice for Peace
and the editor of MuzzleWatch.  Immediately after hearing of the
cancellation of Desmond Tutu by the University of St Thomas, Cecilie led a
campaign that resulted in thousands of emails and letters to President
Dease.  Founded in 1996, Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots
peace organization with over 20,000 supporters and members dedicated to
promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace,
democracy, human rights and respect for international law.  MuzzleWatch is
dedicated to creating an open atmosphere for debate about US-Israeli
foreign policy by shining a light on incidents that involve pressure,
intimidation, and outright censorship of critics of US-Israeli policy.

Sponsored by The Mideast Committee of WAMM (Women Against Military
Madness) and CAIR-MN (Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic
Free, donations accepted More info: 612-827-5364

Endorsed by: Middle East Peace Now, Al-Aqsa Institute, Twin Cities War
Resisters League, Alliant Action, Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Pax
Christi Twin Cities, The Anti-War Committee, St. Joan of Arc Peace and
Justice Ministries

--------2 of 14--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Jesus/Gitmo/KFAI 12.27 7pm

Thur.DEC.27, 7pm on ART MATTERS (producer/host Marya Morstad) guest hosted
by Lydia Howell, interviewing actor-playwright Mathew Vakey about his
one-man play JESUS AT GUANTANAMO (event info and review below)

ART MATTERS, every Thursday at 7pm on on KFAI RADIO
90.3fm Mpls 106.7fm St. Paul
live streaming and archived for 2 weeks after broadcast at

Mini-review from Lydia Howell:
JESUS AT GUANTANAMO: Soul-stirring play takes on torture

Mathew Vakey has created a script that draws you in immediately with a
Jesus of humor and heart that takes on one of the most crucial issues of
our times - torture. Exercising a delicate balance, Vaky's play has a
perfect rhythm dealing with a tough subject without overwhelming the
audience - yet, exposing raw truth - then, relieving tension with dry
wit.Vaky's Jesus is sometimes rather like a Catskill's Jewish stand-up
comic, other times he's pensive and contemplative of his fate - and ours.
A brilliant playwright, Mathew Vaky shines as an actor that after this
performance you'll want to keep an eye out for.

This play was a high point of the Manna Fest - the spin-off of this year's
"Spiritual Fringe" of the annual Minneapolis Fringe Festival of theater
works. This second chance to see Mathew Vaky's beautiful play shouldn't be
missed (and take a friend - either to turn them on to an unforgettable
theater experience - or to change their mind about Bush's torture policy).

Even if you're not a Christian, you'll be touched by this play. Never
preachy, JESUS AT GUANTANAMO totally entertains even as it delivers a body
blow to the soul.

--------3 of 14--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Landmine play 12.27 7:30pm

Performance: "The Diana Story"

Thursday, December 27 and January 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday December 21, 28
and January 4 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday December 22, 29 and January 5 at 7:30
p.m.; Sunday December 30 and January 6 at 2:00 p.m. The Lowry Labs, 350
St. Peter Street, St. Paul.

"This play is not only powerful but extremely timely."- Former State
Senator Becky Lourey. Written by local playwright Helene Turnbull The
Diana Story makes a dramatic speculation on the friendship between Diana,
Princess of Wales and Mother Teresa cemented by their passion to eradicate
land mines across the globe. Reaching beyond the media circus that has
continued to exploit them Turnbull tells the quiet compassionate story of
two women's struggle against a world of adversity to make a real

Tickets: $15.00 (advance), $16.00 (door), $10.00 (seniors/students
advance) $11.00 (seniors/students door). To order tickets in advance:
<> $1.00 of every ticket will be donated to the Diana
Fund. Sponsored by: Urban Samurai Productions.

--------4 of 14--------

From: braun044 <braun044 [at]>
Subject: Candlelight/v war 12.28 6:30pm

We invite you to join us at a special event during the holidays:

St. Joan of Arc Church
4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis
(Convenient parking available)

In this service, we will commemorate again the children who have been and
continue to be victimized by war.  By keeping alive the memory of these
innocent children, we hope to renew and re-energize our resolve to change
the conditions that caused their suffering and death.  And, so, in the
midst of our struggles for peace and justice, we pause to remember the

The Candlelight Service is also a call to action.

As we write this letter, the war on Iraq continues with little sign that
our elected officials are going to take any significant action to end the
war and bring the troops home.  Many Democrats seem more concerned about
winning the 2008 elections than stopping the war, and from the
Administration, we get more "spin."

The most recent "spin" have been that the surge is working.  We hear that
things are getting better in Iraq, that refugees are returning.  Michele
Obed Naar, from Duluth, Minnesota, tells a different story.  She is a
member of the Christian Peacemaker Team, and is currently residing in the
northern part of Iraq.  In a recent email she said, and we paraphrase,
yes, some Iraqis are returning, but they are not returning because they
want to.  They are returning because their savings have run out, because
they cannot stay in Syria or Jordan legally, because they cannot work,
because they cannot send their children to school . . . because they have
little choice.

And she goes on to say that while there is a bit of calm in Baghdad, which
the western news attributes to the "military surge," most people in Iraq
don't see it that way, believing that there are other reasons for this
quasi calm - the splitting up of neighborhoods and the walling off of the
various religious and ethnic groups through oppressive and violent
tactics; the relocation of the "terrorists" to other areas in the north
where incidents of violence have increased;  and the cease fire called by
Muqtad Al-Sadr - none of which guarantee long term security.

Add to this the recent fears of a cholera epidemic; the lack of food,
medicine, clean water, and electricity; a high unemployment rate; 4.5
million Iraqis displaced from their homes, and the almost total
destruction of the country.  There is no doubt that the cost of this war
to Iraq and its people, particularly the children, is immeasurable . . .
and we who live in the heart of the beast have a special responsibility to
bring this humanitarian catastrophe to an end and to pay reparations for
the damage we have wrought.

This war is also becoming more and more costly for American children.
The total cost of the war is now expected to be more than $3 trillion, a
staggering figure, most of which will be passed on to future generations.
Today an estimated nine million American children are without health
insurance; 85,000 in Minnesota alone.  Many attend overcrowded and
underfunded schools.  Others are victims of Katrina.  Some have lost a
parent who was killed in Iraq.  And, no one knows how many American
children live in homes where a returning veteran parent suffers from post
traumatic stress disorder, brain damage or serious physical wounds.

The hopeful news is that the majority of Americans are calling for an end
to the war and the ongoing U.S. military occupation of Iraq.  Most Iraqis
also want the U.S. military and foreign contractors to leave their
country.  While some Americans have lost hope and feel there is little we
can do to change the current intransigence of the Bush Administration and
many members of Congress, history has shown that politicians respond to
"people power."  This was evidenced in the struggle for women's right to
vote, the abolition of slavery, the civil rights struggles of the l960's,
the effect of the protests during the Vietnam War, and more recently, the
efforts to stopping immigrant-bashing legislation.

We can, and we must, continue our public resistance to war, injustice and
the "politics of empire."  Together we can continue building a world that
will provide for the needs of all children so that one day we can truly
say that "no child is left behind."

Peace and hope in the struggle,

Marie Braun 612-522-1861 For Twin Peace Cities Campaign - Focus on Iraq

P.S.  If you are able to make a financial contribution to help cover the
cost of this event and the ongoing work of the Twin Cities Peace Campaign,
we would sincerely appreciate such support.

--------5 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Mosque open house 12.29 11am Rochester MN

Saturday, 12/29, 11 am to 12;30 PM, meet your Muslim neighbors and hear
answers to questions on Islam, Rochester Mosque Open House, Masjed
AbuBaker, 17 N Broadway, Rochester.  Rochester.Mosque [at] or

--------6 of 14--------

Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 06:52:13 -0500
Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 12.29 11am

NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7
and 101.  Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We
will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available.

--------7 of 14--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: New Hope vigil 12.29 1pm

Saturday, 1-2PM - Weekly NWN4P vigil for peace in New Hope at the corner
of 42nd (Co. Rd. 9) and Winnetka Ave. N.  We usually park in the
Walgreen's lot or near McDonald's. You may  use one of our signs or
bring your own. All welcome. Carole-763-546-5368.

--------8 of 14---------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Rovics/CTV 12.29 9pm

Dearest 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!

12/29/2007, 9pm and 1/1/2008, 8am "David Rovics in Concert: Haliburton
Boardroom Massacre Tour (Part 2)".  The musical voice of Democracy Now!
Part 2 of concert plus post concert interview. (a repeat)

--------9 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iraq vets benefit 12.29 9:30pm

Saturday, 12/29, 9:30 pm, band The Truant Lovers play benefit for Iraq
Vets Against the War and the TC chapter of Vets for Peace, Bryant Lake
Bowl, 810 W Lake St, Mpls.  $8 advance/$10 at the door.

--------10 of 14--------

From: updates [at]
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2007 9:10 AM
Subject: A message from Cynthia McKinney

Some of you are celebrating now or are about to celebrate special days of
religious or cultural remembrance.  This is a time for personal and
national reflection as we prepare to usher in a new year.  Hopefully, we
can reflect on this year that is about to end and say that we did all
within our means to make our communities and our country better.  And we
can certainly commit to doing that in the new year.

Not too long ago, I released a video announcing my political intentions.
Thanks to you and many, many others, that video has now earned three
YouTube honors in the category of News and Politics:  Most Viewed, Most
Linked, Top Favorites.  This means that you shared the VNR with your
friends and posted its link on websites that you frequent.  Help me get
the good news out!  Please share this link with all you know:

Recently, I was invited to give remarks at the Chicago-WVON Pre-Kwanzaa
Celebration.  I hope you will share these remarks with your friends
because I believe its message is now critical.

Finally, please enjoy these days of celebration, remembrance, and
reflection and I wish you all a Happy New Year if I don't get back with
you before this year is out.  Here is my speech:

Cynthia McKinney
Chicago Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration
December 16, 2007

I want to thank Chicagoans for the continuous outpouring of love and
understanding that I've been shown throughout my political career.  In
1991, when George Herbert Walker Bush decided to rain bombs down on
Baghdad, I came under severe attack because, from the well of the Georgia
House of Representatives, I said, among other things, that George Bush
ought to be ashamed of himself.  My colleagues got up and walked out on me
and I was repudiated in the most vicious ways imaginable.  It was the
viciousness that catapulted me into some national notoriety, including
here in Chicago.  As I ran for Congress and added my voice to others
clamoring for justice, peace, truth, and accountability, I began to
experience the same type of vilification as had happened while I was in
the Georgia Legislature.

But what I began to realize was that it was the very fact of such
treatment that caused people around - at first the state of Georgia, and
then later our country - to begin to pay attention.  Because the question
soon arose, What's wrong with a message of justice, peace, truth, and
accountability being delivered by the Representative from Georgia?  And
just as Dr. King said, "There can be no great disappointment where there
is no great love," more and more people became disappointed at the public
flagellation I was continuously subjected to.

You recognized the spirit of Kunte in me.  You showered me with the love
and the nurturing I needed for political survival.  You traveled to
Georgia to prevent the retrenchment of my message and save my presence in
the United States Congress.  You sent dollars to my campaigns and fought
for the restoration of my seniority because you knew that I could be
counted on to remain a consistent voice of empowerment.

My voice for the voiceless, my speaking truth to power, has attracted
support from all sectors of the American community.  Blacks, whites,
Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians; every faith within our human
rainbow are all represented in my support base.  Thank you.  And as I
contemplated the breadth of such support, I also wondered why, since the
Civil Rights Movement, black participation rarely seemed to translate into
broad policy strokes needed to transform our community - indeed, our
entire country.

I do believe that it is still within our power today to transform public
policy to benefit forgotten communities and restore the lost soul of our

I've decided to do something different in an attempt to have something

I do this because I know that part of the story of human survival resides
in the success of humankind's ability to adapt to its changing
environment.  Indeed, the story of evolution is marked by such changes,
passed on from generation to generation, in every form of life from single
cells, to plants, to very complex animals.

It is clear from life's model that a failure to recognize environmental
changes and adapt to them rapidly can mean even the end of life.

Life is the overall purpose of any organism.  And so, there are various
functions within an organism that help it to survive.  For each of us, our
eyes, our ears, our skin, our hearts are all differentiated organs that
sustain our lives.

Whole fields of science have been constructed to understand the role of
differentiation and evolution.  To ensure its survival, the polar bear
evolved into an animal that thrives in cold and ice - an endangered
environment in a global warming world.  And therefore, the polar bear's
existence is threatened if it is unable to adapt to the climatic changes
sweeping our planet.

And finally, for longevity, life must be reproduced.  Life without
reproduction is death.

Because on the other side of the equation, there is the threat to life
that can come from the environment.  In order to survive, an organism, a
species, a specific community, humankind, must understand its environment
and adapt so that it can withstand potentially hostile environmental

Because Africa is so rich in resources upon which civilization as we know
it has grown to depend, because Africans were so resilient in what might
have been harsh environments for others, because black people could be
used to satisfy the needs and wants of others, our very survival has had
to overcome internal and external threats to our very existence.  Our
survival as a distinct group worthy of self-determination and not just as
the source of other people's gratification depends on our ability to
understand our environment, test it for its hostility, fashion strategies
to survive in the face of such hostility, and when that environment
changes, adapt our strategy to the new circumstances.

And it is to the political environment of African Americans that I must
now turn.

Those of you accustomed to hearing my messages know that I will recite the
statistics that inform us of the state of black America.  You know that I
will remind us all of the dire conditions facing our country as well as
our community:  A 2003 Harvard University study found that even when
minorities have health insurance, they tend to receive less than adequate
care.  Black infant and maternal mortality rates are 2 and 3.5 times
higher than for whites.  Dr. David Satcher found in 2005 that 83,750 black
people died premature deaths for no other reason than that they were

The New York Times wrote that by 2003 nearly one half of all black men
between the ages of 16 and 64, living in New York City, were unemployed.

The 2006 National Urban League Report informed us that the overall quality
of life in the U.S. enjoyed by black people is only 73% that of white
Americans and that the economic conditions faced by blacks in the United
States is 56% that of whites in this country.

I read the Hull House-Loyola University Report, "Minding the Gap," which
stated that were there to be no changes whatsoever in policy, that it
would take black Chicagoans 200 years to catch up to the quality of life
enjoyed by those who are white and live in Chicago.  Referencing the
report, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Page by page, paragraph by
paragraph, and line by line the report describes two completely different
cities, documenting disparities in income, education, housing
transportation, health care, and safety."

The Report itself points out: "Whites are 125 percent more likely to use
marijuana than blacks; 181 percent more likely to use cocaine; 431 percent
more likely to use inhalants; 516 percent more likely to use LSD.  And yet
blacks account for 79 percent of all drug arrests."

Even in reading about Chicago politics, it became perfectly clear that
before there was a Colonel Karpinski and Abu Ghraib, there was a Burge and
a Daley responsible for the Chicago Police Department's Area 2.

And finally, in its 2005 report, among other things, United for a Fair
Economy told us that it would take 1,664 years to close the home ownership
gap and that on some indices the racial disparities are worse now than at
the time of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In their 2006
Report, United for a Fair Economy told us that blacks and Latinos lost
ground, and in order to close the racial wealth divide in our country, it
would take the equivalent of a "G.I. Bill for Everyone" that would include
comprehensive federal investment in low-income families and communities,
with an emphasis on people of color.  They recommended, I believe, what
very few in this room would disagree with:  progressive taxes on wealthy
individuals and profitable corporations to fund a real Ownership Society,
not the phony proposals being put forward by the Bush Administration.

And unfortunately, in their 2007 State of the Dream Report, United for a
Fair Economy wrote that people of color support Democrats in the voting
booth, but are still waiting for policies and programs that close the
economic gap between them and whites.  They wrote that African Americans
should expect more from Democrats than what was received in the
Congressional Democratic majority's first 100 hours.  They wrote that
people of color vote blue, but stay in the red.

So where's the outrage?  And where's the agenda for change?

According to the statistics, staying in the red means that our college
graduates will continue to earn on the average half as much as the overall
population of college graduates over their lifetimes;

Staying in the red means continued astronomical incarceration rates for
our children and their continued criminalization even in schools where
administrative remedies exist - like in the Jena 6 and the Palmdale 4

Staying in the red means that more and more of our families will be
displaced in what some have called "Hurricane America" wherein
gentrification is displacing millions of families of color - not nearly as
violently - but the result is practically the same as has happened with
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita;

Staying in the red means that merely increasing the minimum wage is
insufficient because even if the minimum wage were to be increased every
year at 70 cents per year, a minimum wage worker supporting a family of
three still would not rise above the poverty level until 2013.

Without specific funds for affirmative action programs that close the gaps
in health, education, employment, incarceration, and other indices on
which our country fails to perform, staying in the red means continuing to
put up with the same inequalities that in some cases are worsening and
hoping somehow to escape from the consequences of the numbers.

If we continue to do what we've always done, we'll continue to get what
we've always been given.  That means staying in the red.

And clearly, if black people fail to demand a discussion, an agenda, solid
policy proposals that redress these circumstances, in my opinion, the
black body politic could go the way of the polar bear.

I refuse to have my community - or any community in this country - stay in
the red and I refuse to see those statistics go one more day without being

Earlier this year, on my birthday, I declared my independence from the
leadership that voted its complicity in war crimes, crimes against
humanity, torture, and crimes against the peace.  I set as a marker repeal
of the Patriot Acts, the Secret Evidence Act, the Military Tribunals Act.
I asked for enactment of a national living wage, not just an increase in
the minimum wage.  And I asked why is impeachment off the table.  I
decried the Pentagon's missing 2.3 trillion dollars and asked for that
money back - for jobs, for health care, for education, and for our
veterans. I asked for repeal of the Bush tax cuts.

And so, today on my mother's birthday, and in the spirit of Umoja and of
Kujichagulia, I have decided to do something I've never done before so
that we all can have something we've never had before.

In celebration of dedicated service to my community instilled in me by my
parents, and in the spirit of Ujima, Ujamaa, and Nia, I am ready to assert
that the black community cannot and should not be forced to live in the
red not one day longer without an action plan for remedy.  I am ready to
put my entire body against the gears and the levers and the wheels of the
machine and I'm willing to do whatever it is that I can to stop it.

And finally, in the spirit of service without expectation of reward, and
in the spirit of Kuumba and Imani, I will rely on our ancestors and our
culture to see us through this journey.  My very first campaign theme was
"warriors don't wear medals, they wear scars."  I have felt the scars, you
have seen my scars; but I also have weathered the storm.

But there are some principles that must be addressed and they are more
important than me.

How will we engage the political process and reverse those statistics
revealing an unacceptable level of pain inside our community?

How do we inject a dose of radical common sense into the political process
and resolve our problems?

Just this past week, reflecting a political impotence heretofore unknown
since we acquired the right to vote, public housing in New Orleans was
demolished despite being habitable enough for displaced residents to

I was awakened yesterday morning by the melodic voice of William Bell
singing Trying to Love Two.  At the time, that song seemed to me a
revelation because perhaps our failure to negotiate an agenda that
addresses those statistics could simply be that in the course of trying to
satisfy others, we lost sight of our own needs, our own agenda, our own
solutions.  Bell concluded that loving two women wasn't easy to do.  He
said it started out just for fun, but now he's the one that's on the run.
Now, he's trapped, not getting anywhere.  And it's messing with his head.
Also sounds like what can happen to a community that fails to respond to
severe threats lurking within its environment.

Finally, and this is a big one.  Electioneering this season will be a
billion-dollar business.  How much of that money is going to minority
printers, minority banks, minority pollsters, minority media and political
consultants; minority newspapers, radio and internet outlets?

Malcolm X said, the black vote can determine who goes to the White House
and who stays in the doghouse.  In 2000, an estimated one million black
people went to the polls and voted their dreams, their hopes, and their
aspirations and the votes of those one million black people were not even
counted.  Who fought for them?

In 2004, it was the black vote again that was targeted for nullification
in an election drive-by shooting.

How much more will we take?

And yet, we still wait.  For justice.  For peace.  And for truth.

I shudder to think what our country might become if we fail to turn these
numbers around.  Join me.  Dare to be different.  Dare to demand.  Our
survival could very well depend on it.

Thank you.

-- "It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey
an order that is either illegal or immoral."  General Pace, Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Press Club, February 17, 2006

"My brother need not be idealized . . . beyond what he was in life.  To be
remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to
right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop
it.  Eulogy of Bobby Kennedy by Teddy Kennedy, June 18, 1968

"Certain material weaknesses in financial reporting and other limitations
on the scope of our work resulted in conditions that, for the 10th
consecutive year, prevented us from expressing an opinion on the federal
government's consolidated financial statements."  David Walker,
Comptroller General of the United States, December 15, 2006

--------11 of 14--------

Hoover Planned Mass Jailing in 1950
by Tim Weiner
Published on Sunday, December 23, 2007 by The New York Times

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime
director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend
habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the
Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military

Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests
necessary to "protect the country against treason, espionage and
sabotage". The F.B.I would "apprehend all individuals potentially
dangerous" to national security, Hoover's proposal said. The arrests would
be carried out under "a master warrant attached to a list of names"
provided by the bureau.

The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years.
"The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of
which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United
States," he wrote.

"In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends
the Writ of Habeas Corpus," it said.

Habeas corpus, the right to seek relief from illegal detention, has been a
fundamental principle of law for seven centuries. The Bush
administration's decision to hold suspects for years at Guantnamo Bay,
Cuba, has made habeas corpus a contentious issue for Congress and the
Supreme Court today.

The Constitution says habeas corpus shall not be suspended "unless when in
cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it". The
plan proposed by Hoover, the head of the F.B.I. from 1924 to 1972,
stretched that clause to include "threatened invasion" or "attack upon
United States troops in legally occupied territory".

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush issued an
order that effectively allowed the United States to hold suspects
indefinitely without a hearing, a lawyer, or formal charges. In September
2006, Congress passed a law suspending habeas corpus for anyone deemed an
"unlawful enemy combatant".

But the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the right of American citizens to
seek a writ of habeas corpus. This month the court heard arguments on
whether about 300 foreigners held at Guantnamo Bay had the same rights. It
is expected to rule by next summer.

Hoover's plan was declassified Friday as part of a collection of cold-war
documents concerning intelligence issues from 1950 to 1955. The collection
makes up a new volume of "The Foreign Relations of the United States," a
series that by law has been published continuously by the State Department
since the Civil War.

Hoover's plan called for "the permanent detention" of the roughly 12,000
suspects at military bases as well as in federal prisons. The F.B.I., he
said, had found that the arrests it proposed in New York and California
would cause the prisons there to overflow.

So the bureau had arranged for "detention in military facilities of the
individuals apprehended" in those states, he wrote.

The prisoners eventually would have had a right to a hearing under the
Hoover plan. The hearing board would have been a panel made up of one
judge and two citizens. But the hearings "will not be bound by the rules
of evidence," his letter noted.

The only modern precedent for Hoover's plan was the Palmer Raids of 1920,
named after the attorney general at the time. The raids, executed in large
part by Hoover's intelligence division, swept up thousands of people
suspected of being communists and radicals.

Previously declassified documents show that the F.B.I's "security index"
of suspect Americans predated the cold war. In March 1946, Hoover sought
the authority to detain Americans "who might be dangerous" if the United
States went to war. In August 1948, Attorney General Tom Clark gave the
F.B.I. the power to make a master list of such people.

Hoover's July 1950 letter was addressed to Sidney W. Souers, who had
served as the first director of central intelligence and was then a
special national-security assistant to Truman. The plan also was sent to
the executive secretary of the National Security Council, whose members
were the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state and
the military chiefs.

In September 1950, Congress passed and the president signed a law
authorizing the detention of "dangerous radicals" if the president
declared a national emergency. Truman did declare such an emergency in
December 1950, after China entered the Korean War. But no known evidence
suggests he or any other president approved any part of Hoover's proposal.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

-------12 of 14--------

Gitlin, Alterman and the Anti-Nader Democrats
Two Unreasonable Men
December 26, 2007

"An Unreasonable Man," the superb documentary on Ralph Nader, appeared on
PBS on December 18. It is a substantive and very engaging portrait of
Nader - and it has garnered far less attention than it deserves. It holds
one's attention for every minute of its nearly two hours. One of its most
important segments lays to rest the idea of Nader as a purposeful spoiler
or even an unintentional one in the 2000 elections. It may even be that
Nader helped Gore. It deserves careful watching for that reason alone.

Since the documentary lets all sides speak their piece, two of Nader's
principal detractors, Todd Gitlin and Eric Alterman, are given
considerable time to dispense their venom. In fact, after a half hour of
interviewing, the director had to beg Alterman to talk some more, getting
another five minutes out of him. This has not prevented Alterman from
claiming that he was not given adequate time to spew his opinions. Both
Alterman and Gitlin come across as very bitter men, capable of nothing
more than ad hominem attacks on Nader. It is quite a disgusting sight,
enough to forever disabuse one of any trust in these fellows. [Amen -ed]

But a couple of star passages belong to Lawrence O'Donnell, best known as
the director and writer of TV's West Wing and staple liberal voice on the
McLaughlin Group, a favorite of mine which we like to call "The Shouters."
But not so long ago, O'Donnell was the Democratic Chief of Staff of the
United States Senate Committee on Finance from 1993 through 1995. In 1992,
he was Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Environment
and Public Works. So he knows the ways of the Capitol and the Democratic
establishment from deep inside. On a discussion of Ralph's third party
runs for president, O'Donnell had these memorable words:

"If you want to pull the party - the major party that is closest to the
way you're thinking - to what you're thinking, YOU MUST, YOU MUST show
them that you're capable of not voting for them. If you don't show them
you're capable of not voting for them, they don't have to listen to you. I
promise you that. I worked within the Democratic Party. I didn't listen,
or have to listen, to anything on the left while I was working in the
Democratic Party, because the left had nowhere to go." (Caps represent
O'Donnell's emphasis, where he raised his voice.) [Double amen. The Dems
of course don't like it, and savage it as "spoiling"; and after we do what
they want - vote for them - they tell us to go eff ourselves. Time to
respond in kind. -ed]

This thought is certainly not new to CounterPunchers and has been
articulated by Nader and others many, many times. Certainly we have all
heard the comparison of Democratic progressives to the abused spouse stuck
in the relationship because she with no shelter to turn to. But
O'Donnell's background gives the argument new force. In sum, Want to
change the Dems? Join the Greens. Attention "Progressive" Democrats of
America ("P"DA). (And similarly, if you want to change the Republicans,
join the Libertarians.)

On another point, the presidential debates from which Nader was so
unceremoniously excluded in 2000, O'Donnell also scored a trenchant point,

"In an election in which now the Gore world wants to say, 'Ralph Nader
lost the election for us,' I guess he must have been a factor in the
election. But you said he couldn't be in the debates because he wasn't a
factor in the election."

Here as in so many other cases the anti-Nader Democrats get snared in
their own lies until they pile up into outright contradictions.

These are a few the many great moments in "An Unreasonable Man." For those
who have not seen it, it can now be had on DVD. It deserves several
watchings - there is a lot in it. And at the end of it all, Ralph Nader
emerges as the smartest and most principled figure on the current
political stage in the U.S. - a giant. [Triple amen -ed]

John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar [at]

--------13 of 14--------

[What happened to Mumia is a good example of capitalism in action. -ed]

A Christmas Cage - Mumia
by Hans Bennett / December 26th, 2007

After recovering from his gunshot wound and surgery, Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote
"A Christmas Cage". for Philadelphia's Community newspaper (February
1982). He describes his beatings by police on the day of his Dec. 9, 1981
arrest, continued mistreatment following surgery, and the broader
political context of his case. Abu-Jamal is now awaiting a ruling from The
US Third Circuit Court of Appeals following oral arguments on May 17.
Video footage is now available of the Dec.4 "Murdered By Mumia?" press
conference organized by Journalists for Mumia (Parts One and Two), as well
as the Dec. 8 slide show presentation of the newly discovered crime scence
photos that were recently spotlighted by Reuters, NBC's Today Show, and
National Public Radio.

A Christmas Cage
by Mumia Abu-Jamal
February, 1982

Shortly before 6 A.M., the speaker in this tiny, barren cell blares a
message, said to be from prison superintendent David Owens: "A Merry
Christmas to all inmates of the Philadelphia prison system. It is our hope
that this will be the last holiday season you spend with us".

A guard reads Owen's name and the speaker falls silent for a half-hour. I
wonder at the words, and ponder my first Christmas in the Hospital wing of
the Detention Center. Christmas in a cage.

I have finally been able to read press accounts of the incident that left
me near death, a policeman dead, and me charged with his murder. It is
nightmarish that my brother and I should be in this foul predicament,
particularly since my main accusers, the police, were my attackers as
well. My true crime seems to have been my survival of their assaults, for
we were the victims that night.

To add insult to injury, I have learned that the forces of "law & order"
have threatened my mother and burned, or permitted the burning, of my
brother's street business. Talk about curbside justice! According to some
press accounts, cops stood around the fire joking, and then celebrated at
the stationhouse.

Nowhere have I read an account of how I got shot, how a bullet happened to
find its way near my spine, shattering a rib, splitting a kidney, and
nearly destroying my diaphragm. And people wonder why I have no trust in a
"fair trial!" Nowhere have I read that a bullet left a hole in my lung,
filling it with blood!

Nowhere have I read how police found me, lying in a pool of my blood,
unable to breathe, and then proceeded to punch, kick, and stomp me - not
question me. I remember being rammed into a pole or a fireplug with police
at both arms. I remember kicks to my head, my face, my chest, my belly, my
back, and other places. But I have read no press accounts, and have heard
tell of no witnesses.

Nowhere have I read of how I was handcuffed, thrown into a paddy wagon,
and beaten, kicked, punched and pummeled. Where are the witnesses to a
police captain or inspector entering the wagon and beating me with a
police radio, all the while addressing me as a "Black motherfucker?" Where
are the witnesses to the beating that left me with a four inch scar on my
forehead? A swollen jaw? Chipped teeth?

Not to end prematurely, who witnessed me pulled from the paddy wagon,
dropped three feet to the cold hard earth, beaten some more, dragged into
Jefferson Hospital, and then beaten inside the Hospital as I fought for
breath on one lung?

I awoke after surgery to find my belly ripped from top to bottom, with
metallic staples protruding. My penis, strapped to a tube, and tubes
leading from each nostril to God knows where, was my first recollection.
My second was intense pain and pressure in my already ripped kidneys, as a
policeman stood at the doorway, a smile on his moustached lips, his
nametag removed and his badge covered. Why was he smiling and why the
pain? He was standing on a plastic, square bag, the receptacle for my

Am I to trust these men, as they attempt to murder me, again, in a public
hospital? Not long afterwards, I was shaken to consciousness by a kick at
the foot of my bed. I opened my eyes to see a cop standing in the doorway,
an Uzi submachine gun in his hands. "Innocent until proven guilty?"


Days later, after being transferred to city custody at Guiffre Medical
Center, under armed police guard, I was put in a room (#202) in the
basement's detention unit, which is the coldest in the place.

After I was transferred to what's laughingly referred to as the "new
hospital" wing of the Detention Center, I found out what "cold" really
means. For the first two days the temperature plummeted so low that
inmates wore blankets over their prison jackets.

I had been officially issued a short-sleeved shirt and some tight
high-water pants, and I was so cold that for the first night I could not
sleep. Other inmates saved me from the cold. One found a prison jacket for
me. (I had asked a guard, but he told me I would have to wait until an old
inmate rolls, or gets out. So much for "using the system".) Other inmates,
and a kind nurse, supplemented my night warmth.

The prison issued one bedsheet and one light wool blanket. When I
protested to a social worker she told me defensively, "I know it's cold,
but there's nothing I can do. The warden's been told about the problem".
Why am I concerned about cold? Because the doctor who treated me at
Jefferson Hospital explained that the only real threat to my health was
pneumonia, because of my punctured lung. Is it purely coincidental that
for the next week I spent some of the coldest nights and days of my life?
Is the city, through the prison system, trying to kill me before I go to
trial? What do they fear? I told this all to my prison social worker (a
Mrs. Barbara Waldbaum), and she poo-pooed the suggestion. "No, Mr. Jamal,
we want to see you get better". "Not hardly," I replied.

Miraculously, after my complaints, some semblance of heat found its way
into the cells on my side of the wall. Enough to sleep, at least. Is it
coincidental, too, that the heat began to go on the night I was visited by
Superintendent David Owens? "It is our hope that this will be the last
holiday season you spend with us". Owens' words ring through my mind again
- is there another, grim meaning to this seemingly innocuous holiday


There is another side to this controversial case that people are not aware
of. My cell is reasonably close to the place where Pedro Serrano was
severely beaten and strangled to death. I have talked to eyewitnesses -
some who I know in the street. These brothers, at considerable personal
peril, have told their stories to police and to prison officials, to city
Managing Director W.W. Goode, to the Puerto Rican Alliance, and to me.
Some have been threatened by guards for doing so, but they have done so
despite the threats.

According to several versions Serrano, who had already been beaten by
guards, was shaking his cell door, making noise to attract attention.
Guards, angered at the noise, ordered all inmates into lock-up. Most
complied. One, a paralyzed, wheel chair-bound inmate, did not. He drove
his chair near a wall, and watched in silence.

The guards opened Serrano's cell, dragged him out, and proceeded to punch,
kick and stomp him. He cried out in pain and terror, but the other
inmates, locked up, were helpless. One guard, well-known for his violence,
reportedly whipped him with his long keychain, producing thin red welts in
Serrano's white flesh.

Before this latest assault on my brother and myself, I covered a press
conference called by the Puerto Rican Alliance and members of the Serrano
family. I saw photographs of Pedro Serrano, his face swollen even in
death. I saw a body riddled with swellings, bruises, and welts. I remember
the thick dark bruises beneath his neck and I remember calling David Owens
for a comment.

"Mumia," he answered, "Mr. Serrano was not beaten to death, according to
all the reports I've received. The Medical the Examiner concurs, Owens
said authoritatively. "Mr. Serrano was not beaten by any member of my
staff," Owens would later proclaim to my radio listeners.

Remember the dark bruise around Serrano's neck? Owens told me he
apparently strangled on a leather restraining belt, by exerting pressure
until death. Inmate eyewitnesses say a guard wrapped the leather strap
around Serrano's neck and pulled him back into the room, where he was
again beaten and placed in restraints. Serrano, arrested for burglary, was
described by his wife as being in love with life, and surely not suicidal,
as prison officials have suggested.

Why have I recounted these intricacies of a case that is now public
knowledge? I'll tell you why: because my jailers, the men who decide
whether I am to leave my cell for food, for phone calls, for pain
medication, for a visit for a loved one, are the very same men who are
accused of murdering Pedro Serrano!

Remember the D.A.'s claim that police had enough evidence to charge me
with murder? How much more evidence do they have on Serrano's accused
murderers? Yet every day they come to work, do their do, and return home
to their loved ones - while others sit in isolation and squalor.

Consider the scenario - accused murderers guarding accused murderers! How
insane - yet, how telling it is of the system's brutality.


What is the dividing line? That Serrano was a "spic," a "dirty P.R.," and
thus his life is worthy of the diversions of a system that talks justice,
yet practices genocide. I am accused of killing a policeman, who was,
moreover, white. For that, not even the pretense of justice is necessary.
"Beat him, shoot him, frame him, put fear into his family" is the
unwritten, but very real script.

I have been shackled like a slave, hands and feet, for daring to live.
Those who have dared to question the official version have been threatened
with dismissal from their jobs, and some with death.

Why do they fear one man so much? Not because they loved his alleged
"victim" - but because they fear any questioning of their role of accuser,
and, occasionally, executioner. Who polices the police? The D.A. is
well-known as a character whose only interest is higher political office -
obviously he would oppose a special prosecutor, for he wants his office to
have the glory of hanging murder on "the radical reporter".

Where was Ed Rendell when Winston C.X. Hood and Cornell Warren were
summarily executed, their hands shackled behind them? What credence did he
give the witnesses to these murders? Or the outright, cold-blooded killing
of seventeen-year old William Johnson Green? Or the intentionally
broadcast beating of Delbert Africa? Where was his unquenchable thirst for
justice then? Need we mention Pedro Serrano?

Make no mistaka-jaka! As a nigger or a spic, there is no semblance of
justice and we better stop lying to ourselves.

Who are we to blame? No one but ourselves. For we condone and allow it to
happen. We are still locked in the slavish mentality of our past
centuries, for we care more for the oppressor than for ourselves.

How many more martyrs will bleed their last, before we wake up, stand up,
demand and fight for justice?

And justice, true justice, comes not from the good graces of the
Philadelphia Police Department, the District Attorney's office, the court
system, or your friendly neighborhood lawyer. It comes from God, the giver
of your very life, your health, your air, and your food.

* For more information, the Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal website is: or also visit: (NYC), (SF), (Educators for Mumia), (Mumia.s Radio
Essays), or contact:

International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj [at]

Hans Bennett is a Philadelphia-based photo-journalist who has been
documenting the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political
prisoners for over five years. Read other articles by Hans, or visit
Hans's website.

This article was posted on Wednesday, December 26th, 2007 at 5:00 am and
is filed under Justice, Prejudice, Racism. Send to a friend.

--------14 of 14--------

 fascism prowls at
 capitalist tollway's end
 snarlsharp teeth knifeclaws


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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