|Progressive Calendar 01.06.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2008 10:51:40 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.06.08 1. Stillwater vigil 1.06 1pm 2. Womens art recep 1.06 1pm 3. Health ins/AM950 1.06 3pm 4. KFAIs Indian 1.06 7pm 5. Jesus/Gitmo/play 1.07 6:30pm 6. uhcan-mn health 1.07 7pm 7. Robert Fantina - Iowa, Democrats and the Iraq War 8. Missy Beattie - Why Obama can't save us 9. Dave Lindorff - DLC myths exposed as frauds; Clinton's Iowa flop 10. Allan Nairn - US elections over before they began 11. PC Roberts - Thinking for yourself is now a crime 12. Juan Santos - The face of fascism: review of Naomi Klein 13. ed - bumpersticker 3 14. ed - Mafia/elite poem --------1 of 14------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 1.06 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 [For less information, forget some of the above. -ed] --------2 of 14-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Women's art recep 1.06 1pm Jean Leuthner and Zannah Martin, Nostalgia and Equity A WARM Works Event AMAZON BOOKS 4755 Chicago Ave. So. Minneapolis, MN 55407 612-821-9630 January 2-30 in the downstairs gallery pening Reception: Sunday, January 6, 1-3pm What connects us? What separates us? How can we feel closer to one another, our shared environment, and/or our collective past? These are among the questions being asked by the artists exhibiting at Amazon this January. Halfway through their 2007-2008 WARM mentorship cycle, these two proteges give us food for thought during this giving season and into a new year: the beauty and inherent difficulties of the dynamics within family life, current issues surrounding affordable housing, and a look at means to view the world differently - to better care for (and share) the limited resources provided by the environment. Using a shoebox of black and white family photos as inspiration, Jean Leuthner shares some of her family history with us - times in which "difficult problems were punctuated by beautiful, happy moments." Leuthner's brightly colored, timeless and universal imagery resonates with viewers - as we are inspired to relive or revisit the various family scenes which line the walls of our subconscious. Zannah Martin has used an array of multiple media in her narrative work which has covered a broad range of subjects concerning tragic events and issues of equity. Through her work, Martin contemplates what connects or separates us, and what barriers prevent us from being our best selves. Her statements are made through her use of bold colors and provocative imagery; they hold the same power to challenge us as do the words of the most passionate of activists. --------3 of 14-------- From: Don Pylkkanen <don [at] coact.org> Subject: Health ins/AM950 1.06 3pm Got health coverage? Can you afford it? The sad truth is that most of us Minnesotans can no longer afford health insurance, and care is no longer guaranteed by our health plans when we need it. How Minnesota got into the health care mess, and how proposed legislation, called the Minnesota Health Act, will get us out of it, will begin to be aired in a series of broadcasts on Air America's Of the People, AM 950, this Sunday afternoon, January 6, 3 PM. The Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition initiated the Minnesota Health Act and will be the focus of the series. The Coalition is a group of leading civic groups, unions, and health professionals working for single-payer health care for all Minnesotans. The Health Act is authored by Senator John Marty and Representative Ken Tschumper, and 55 legislators signed on as co-authors. The Health Act creates the Health Plan, which guarantees full coverage of all necessary care with no high premiums, no co-pays, no high deductibles, no denial of care, and guaranteed choice of providers. Health system analyst Kip Sullivan will begin the series this Sunday by explaining why a single-payer system is the only solution to the health care crisis and how it compares to competing proposals. Host James Mayer will get in as much phone time with callers as possible. Call 952-946-6205. Subsequent series broadcasts, continuing Sunday, January 27, and into February, will have members of the Health Care Coalition explain the Health Act, along with its co-authors, and how listeners can help get it enacted, beginning with calling their legislators. You can also stream the program, as long as you can put in a MN zip code, by going to <http://www.airamericaminnesota.com/listen> http://www.airamericaminnesota.com/listen --------4 of 14------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAIs Indian 1.06 7pm KFAI¹s Indian uprising for January 6, 2008 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center (AIOIC), Minneapolis, is a non-profit corporation with a mission to empower American Indians and people from all other races to pursue career opportunities. "We are passionate about bringing positive changes to the lives of the people we meet. This passion has driven us to create programs to provide opportunities to individuals - to become independent, self-sufficient, and productive - and change their lives." Mission: To empower American Indians to pursue career opportunities by providing individualized Education, Training, and Employment Services in a culturally sensitive environment. www.aioic.org. In 1964, Reverend Sullivan founded Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of America in an abandoned jail house in North Philadelphia. The program took individuals with little hope and few prospects and offered them job training and instruction in life skills and then helped place them into jobs. The movement quickly spread around the nation. With sixty (60) affiliated programs in thirty (30) states and the District of Columbia, OIC has grown into a movement, which has served over two (2) million disadvantaged and under-skilled people. This approach also led to the formation of the Opportunities Industrialization Centers International (OICI) in 1969. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Sullivan Program guests are: Dr. Lee Antell (White Earth Ojibwe), Executive Director, American Indian OIC Annessia Swann (Piscataway People), Program Director, In-An-Da-We (to climb to a higher place - Ojibwe), AIOIC * * * * Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CDT on KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454, 612-341-3144. For internet listening, go to www.kfai.org <http://www.kfai.org> and for live listening, click Play under ON AIR NOW or for later listening via the archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM. Programs are archived for two weeks. --------5 of 14-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Jesus at Gitmo/play 1.07 6:30pm One-Man Play: "Jesus in Guantanamo" Monday, January 7, 6:30 p.m. (Potluck Supper), 7:30 p.m. (Performance and Discussion) Plymouth Congregational Church, Howard Conn Theater, 1900 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis. Sponsored by: Every Church A Peace Church. Matthew Vaky performs this hilariously intense one-man show, which he wrote: Jesus Christ has returned to Earth and, being from the Middle East, has been sent to Guantanamo as a terrorist. He has been denied a lawyer and a trial, hasn't been charged, has been sleep deprived and tortured - and he also has some pretty funny ideas about the Bible and man's inhumanity to man. Vaky is a former member of the Guthrie Acting Company and has written, directed, and acted with many local companies including Mixed Blood, Illusion, Children's Theater, Stepping Stone Theatre, the Fringe Festival, and the Bryant Lake Bowl. He taught at the Guthrie and is on the staff at El Colegio Charter School in Minneapolis. Mature themes and strong language. FFI: Call Carole, 763-546-5368 or email <nwn4p.pbwiki.com>. --------6 of 14-------- From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> Subject: uhcan-mn 1.07 7pm Dear Health Care Activists, The next UHCAN-MN organizing meeting is: Monday, January 7, 7PM, Walker Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Mpls. (Walker Church is 1 block from Lake Street and Bloomington Ave). (Note: regularly scheduled mtgs are now first Monday of each month). Bring your thoughts, ideas, actions for building the Movement for Health Care as a Human Right, a government funded single-payer for all MN and U.S. Suggested items (yours' are welcome): -Welcome, intros, -Orientation, background -MLK Day Jan 21 -Building a grassroots media campaign (f/u from our Forum last month) -Building the grassroots, labor, practitioner group etc network -Legislation:MN Legislative session begins Feb Reportbacks: -Mobile Community Health Screenings/ Ed. Outreach -MN Health Fund Personal Stories Project --------7 of 14-------- Clinton and Edwards Couldn't Hide From Their Votes for the Iraq War Iowa, Democrats and the Iraq War By ROBERT FANTINA CounterPunch January 5 / 6, 2008 Iowa has spoken, and what the Democratic caucus attendees said seems to have been either ignored or overlooked by much of the mainstream media. On the Republican side, there was not much to say anyway. Evangelical voters propelled former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee to victory, over the chameleon-like Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts. Mr. Huckabee's bizarre statements (such as his call to "take this nation back for Christ," whatever on earth that means) notwithstanding, at least his dangerous, far-from-the-mainstream positions on most of the important issues of the day do not undergo situational change, as do Mr. Romney's. So it cannot be surprising that the misnamed Christian Right rejected Mr. Romney as too recent and unconvincing a convert to its far-right positions, as well as breathing a sigh of relief that they did not have to vote for a Mormon. But on the Democratic side there is news. The supposedly invincible Senator Hillary Clinton was relegated to third place, perhaps casting a significant roadblock onto her trek to the White House. Former Senator and 2004 vice-presidential candidate John Edwards came in a dismal and distant second to the victor, Illinois Senator Barack Obama. In 2004, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry surprisingly won the Iowa caucuses and then went on to win the Democratic presidential nomination, only to lose the general election. It was said after that first contest in Iowa in 2004 that the party wanted a candidate who could win; former governor Howard Dean, the media-darling frontrunner, was not so perceived by the voters. Yet Mr. Kerry failed to overcome the reservations of many Democrats who could not overlook his vote to authorize President Bush to invade Iraq. Sen. Edwards and Sen. Clinton also voted for war at that time. A brief review of events during that period may be necessary. Mr. Bush was busy rattling his saber at his 'axis of evil,' with oil-rich Iraq being the main target. He, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell all used the fear card as they worked to tell an unconvinced population that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and would soon use them against the U.S. With the wounds of the September 11, 2001 attacks still festering, they strongly implied a connection between the events of that day and Iraq, and hoped to convince the world that Iraq must be neutralized through a 'pre-emptive' strike. In response, Iraq opened its doors to United Nations' weapons inspectors, and granted them unprecedented access to all requested areas. As the inspectors searched the country in vain, Messrs Bush, Cheney and Powell continued their fear-based rhetoric, much of which was dismissed by the U.S. public, but swallowed whole by Congress. And there, voting for war, were Senators Edwards and Clinton. Mr. Edwards was eloquent in his support of the war resolution: "Others argue that if even our allies support us, we should not support this resolution because confronting Iraq now would undermine the long-term fight against terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Yet, I believe that this is not an either-or choice. Our national security requires us to do both, and we can." This statement was made during a speech on October 10, 2002, one day before the vote. Two years later, Mr. Edwards was unapologetic. Appearing on 'Meet the Press' on October 10, 2004, Mr. Tim Russert asked him the following question: "If you knew today - and you do know there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq...would you still vote to go to war with Iraq?" Mr. Edwards responded thusly: "I would have voted for the resolution knowing what I know today, because it was the right thing to do to give the president the authority to confront Saddam Hussein." Mr. Edwards is indeed a late convert to the cause of peace and diplomacy, rather than war and imperialism. Ms. Clinton was more guarded in her 2002 vote. Said she at that time: "Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a United Nations resolution and seek to avoid war, if possible. "Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely and war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our Nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any United Nations resolution calling for unrestricted inspections." It is regrettable that Ms. Clinton was deceived in her belief in Mr. Bush's word that he would seek to avoid war. It is unfortunate that her vote did not 'bring more allies and legitimacy' to the cause. It is also unfortunate that the requirement for unlimited inspections that she wanted to see was not included. Had it been, perhaps today nearly 4,000 dead U.S. soldiers would still be alive, thousands more would not be languishing neglected and underserved in veterans' hospitals, and still others would not have life-altering injuries. Perhaps too over 1,000,000 dead Iraqis would still be alive, enjoying the love of now-grieving families and friends. Perhaps over 3,000,000 Iraqis who have fled their homes in terror would still be able to live in the relative security that their nation offered, rather then fleeing to an unknown future. Perhaps the Middle East would not have been destabilized, risking expanded war throughout much of the world. Perhaps monies that have been poured down the Iraqi war drain could have been used to provide health care for America's 45,000,000 uninsured citizens, a cause which we are led to believe is near and dear to Ms. Clinton's heart. So perhaps Iowa's Democrats could not be fooled again. If a candidate voted for the war authorization in 2002, he or she could not be trusted to end the war. He or she could not be electable, because the general population could not muster sufficient enthusiasm to accomplish it. In 2004 a vote for Mr. Kerry, for many voters, was simply a vote against Mr. Bush. Enthusiasm is generally greater when working for a goal, than when working against one. Enter Mr. Obama. He has the advantage of not needing to apologize for his vote on Iraq, as Mr. Edwards eventually did. Neither must he explain it to death, so as to appear to have done the right thing, while not doing the right thing, as Ms. Clinton has done. Mr. Obama was not in the U.S. Senate at that time, but was a state senator. His remarks of October 2, 2002 are worth reviewing: "What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. "What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. "But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars." The Democratic Party of Iowa was faced with a three-way choice (one hates to discount the other candidates, such as Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, but political realities being what they are, the choice was really between Mr. Obama, Mr. Edwards and Ms. Clinton. In U.S. politics, money talks). In November of 2006 it was made clear to even the dullest student of politics that the Iraq war was the most important issue to the voters. The Congress elected then has betrayed the people, who now look desperately for a president to accomplish what Congress can but refuses to do. There is a healthy degree of skepticism about the possible course a President Edwards or President Clinton would take, based on their past actions. The caucus participants apparently felt far more comfortable with the idea of a President Obama. The dreary, endless primary season has begun. Who the eventual candidates will be is still very much in question. But Ms. Clinton and Mr. Edwards, if they wish to remain viable candidates, must somehow come to terms with the fact that the nation does not have quite the short attention span they may have believed or hoped. They voted for the war, and all the explanations and apologies in the world will not change that. Whether or not his early and consistent opposition to the war will propel Mr. Obama to the White House remains to be seen. Conversely, Mr. Edwards' and Ms. Clinton's early endorsement of the war may be sufficient to deny them the prize they both covet. Robert Fantina is author of 'Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776--2006.' --------8 of 14-------- In the Thrall of AIPAC Why Obama Can't Save Us By MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE CounterPunch January 5 / 6, 2008 Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh recently said that Barack Obama is our "only hope" to "lead a reconciliation between the Muslim countries and the US." Why? Because Obama's father was a Muslim. I simply don't follow Hersh's logic here. Seems to me the actions of a president are more important than some familial affiliation with a particular religion - not to mention that candidate Obama has aligned himself with Israel. These are some of Obama's comments during a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC): "Our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region, "Our job is to do more than lay out another road map." "That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: Our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. "That will always be my starting point." And calling for sustained military support to Israel, Obama said: "We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs." For Barack Obama to say that "our job is to lay out another road map" for peace while we are providing military support to Israel as the country launches attacks on Palestinians is hypocrisy. There is more than a conflict of interest for the US to go to the table, act as peace brokers, and make demands. But, then, that is what we do as self-appointed police officers to the world. We decry the violence in Kenya. Condi Rice has just made a statement that it must stop. But the violence perpetrated on the Iraqi and Afghan populations by her boss's policies continues without end. Our violence is good violence. Anyone else's is barbaric. It matters little to me that Barack Obama says he was against invading Iraq. After all, he votes to continue funding it. If this presidential candidate wanted to mend relations with Muslims, he could start by voting against additional war funding. And he could say no to AIPAC - but this would be political suicide. Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,'05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat [at] aol.com -------9 of 14-------- DLC Myths Exposed as Frauds Clinton's Iowa Flop By DAVE LINDORFF CounterPunch January 4, 2008 The real message of the Iowa caucus yesterday was that the long-operative Clintonian/Democratic Leadership Council assumption that the independent or unaffiliated voter bloc is composed of conservative-leaning, dim-witted and easily manipulated people has got it all wrong. In fact, in Iowa, where unaffiliated voters are free to participate in either a Democratic or Republican caucus, 41 percent of those people voted not for the conservative, tough-talking "centrist" Hillary Clinton. They voted instead for the black, nominally anti-war candidate, Barack Obama. Another significant percentage of independents went for another progressive-sounding candidate, John Edwards. Clinton only got an embarrassing 17 percent of the unaffiliated vote. The implications of this failure on her part are enormous when it comes to next November's general election. If Democratic voters in the upcoming primaries, especially in states like Pennsylvania, where independents are excluded from the voting, end up giving the nomination to Clinton, she will almost certainly end up forfeiting much of the independent vote, just as both Al Gore and John Kerry did in the last two presidential elections. The reality is that many, if not a majority of unaffiliated voters are not at all conservative (or dim-witted). What they are is cynical about the current state of Tweedle-Dum/Tweedle Dee politics in America. They see both the Democratic and Republican parties as being of, by and for the rich and often they don't even see the point in voting. (They are, in other words, in many ways more politically savvy than many registered Democratic voters, who refuse to acknowledge this reality!) Because of the disastrous course of the last seven years under the Bush/Cheney administration, these independents are willing, as they showed in 2006, to give it a shot and vote for Democrats IF (and that word has to be capitalized and put in italics for emphasis) the Democrats will stand for something more than just Republicanism with frills. Exit polls in November 2006 showed that these voters (and a majority of Democratic voters) were looking for Democrats to stand up forcefully for the Constitution, and to put an end to the Iraq War. They were double-crossed. The Democratic Congressional leadership, under the Clintonesque direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have done none of those things, choosing instead to simply pretend to be an opposition, while actually doing nothing on either front. It's an approach that Hillary Clinton clearly would continue to follow if she were somehow to manage to get herself elected to the presidency: a fawning obeisance to the wishes of corporate America and Wall Street, continued foreign wars and occupations, continued "tough talk" on crime with little or no effort to attack its causes (poverty, drugs, racism and hopelessness). It's also an approach that almost certainly would assure us another four to eight years of Republican control of the White House. The truth is that those independent voters who turned out for Obama and Edwards are simply not going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November '08. If it were to become a choice between Clinton and McCain, Clinton and Giuliani or Clinton and Huckabee, they will sit the election out - or even vote Republican. And she's not going to get the other independents either - the ones who really are conservative leaning. If they vote at all, they'll go Republican, offered the choice between Republican or Republican lite with a few liberal bells and whistles. Fortunately, Iowa's Democratic and independent voters have made it clear to the rest of the country that voting for Hillary Clinton is to commit Democratic Party suicide. Her whole campaign has been based upon the notion that she is the most "electable" candidate in the Democratic field - a notion that now stands exposed as a pathetic farce. If Democratic primary voters in the rest of the country are paying attention, they will quickly send her packing back to New York, where she can continue her role, with colleague Chuck Schumer, of Wall Street lickspittle. The rest of the Democrats seeking office or seeking re-election next fall should take heed. There is a frustrated, angry and very large bloc of people out there - independent voters - who are looking for progressive candidates who will not just talk in buzzwords, but who will act to restore some semblance of Constitutional government in America, and who will end the damned war in Iraq. If they're lucky, those voters might give them one more chance despite the wretched betrayal of November 2006. DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006, and now in paperback). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net --------10 of 14-------- Murder and Preventable Death Have Won U.S. Elections Over Before They Began By ALLAN NAIRN CounterPunch January 4, 2008 The US press is reporting that on Thursday the American political system began the process of selecting the next President of the United States. But that is not true. The process is already largely completed, in that we already know that the next president will highly likely be one of eleven rich people each of whom have positions that - if implemented - will kill perhaps eleven million poor people. The plausible candidates - Bloomberg, Clinton, Edwards, Giuliani, Gore, Huckabee, McCain, Obama, Rice, Romney, and Thompson - differ in many ways, including differing marginally in their likely body counts, and differing in whether they have already in their lives facilitated gun murders (Bloomberg, Huckabee, and Romney may not have, since they haven't yet held national office). But they all oppose even-handed enforcement of the murder laws, and they all oppose shifting enough wealth now to prevent all preventable deaths. These should not be controversial goals. Most decent people would support them. And even the US rulers themselves often support them - though only on paper, in principle. Regarding murder, President Bush told the United Nations on November 10, 2001: "We must unite in opposing all terrorists, not just some of them ... No national aspiration, no remembered wrong, can every justify murder of the innocent...The allies of terror are equally guilty of murder and equally accountable to justice." But as Bush spoke, sitting in the audience, as part of his delegation, was Elliott Abrams who was, and is, one of Bush's top policy makers on Israel/Palestine, and who ran the '80s US support for terror killings of civilians in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua (where, as US General John Galvin put it, they went after "soft targets," like farmers' coops). Yet the President did not cap his speech by asking UN security to slap shackles on Mr. Abrams. And the President did not go to the New York Police Department's Midtown South to turn himself in for - at that very moment - bombing Afghan villages, or for arming, training, or financing regimes that in several dozen US-allied countries around the world make a practice of murdering innocents. And none of the possible new US presidents would have done it differently. They all supported the Afghan invasion (though they vary on Iraq), and none have rejected the routine US practice of yearly support for killer regimes (Congress just passed two big defense and foreign operations appropriations bills that will lethally aid, among many others, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Congo, Pakistan, and Indonesia), and - crucially - none have called for putting US officials on trial for any of these or similar acts. Its a similar story with preventable death. The US speaks against it and has food aid and world health programs, and Bill Clinton has a foundation that spares some lives privately (as well as providing a conduit for big-money donations to the Clintons). But taking the theoretically easy step of shifting enough wealth to stop all the hunger? To stop children from defecating to death, anywhere? None of the possible presidents has ever pushed for that. If the US had wanted to do it it would have been done. Millions now dead would be alive. But they didn't, either during the Republican administrations or the presidency of Clinton/Gore. Indeed, if Michael Bloomberg, personally, had wanted to do it - if he had chosen otherwise - the roughly 5 million kids who died malnourished last year could have been fed, and kept alive, with his own personal money, since, according to Forbes magazine, he's worth 11.5 billion dollars. Such is democracy in America. You get a vote, but not a choice, at least if you want to vote against murder and for keeping hungry kids alive and thinking. No choice, that is, unless you force it. Americans have yet to get that. Allan Nairn can be reached through his blog. --------11 of 14-------- Jane Harman and Liberty's Lost Light Thinking for Yourself is Now a Crime By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch January 4, 2008 What was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bush's "surge" in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress. The American people's attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference. The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly. The bill passed the House on a vote of 404-6. In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and apparently faces no meaningful opposition. Harman's bill is called the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act."When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens. We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract. Who will be on the "extremist beliefs" list? The answer is: civil libertarians, critics of Israel, 9/11 skeptics, critics of the administration's wars and foreign policies, critics of the administration's use of kidnapping, rendition, torture and violation of the Geneva Conventions, and critics of the administration's spying on Americans. Anyone in the way of a powerful interest group - such as environmentalists opposing politically connected developers - is also a candidate for the list. The "Extremist Beliefs Commission" is the mechanism for identifying Americans who pose "a threat to domestic security" and a threat of "homegrown terrorism" that "cannot be easily prevented through traditional federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts." This bill is a boon for nasty people. That SOB who stole your girlfriend, that hussy who stole your boyfriend, the gun owner next door - just report them to Homeland Security as holders of extreme beliefs. Homeland Security needs suspects, so they are not going to check. Under the new regime, accusation is evidence. Moreover, "our" elected representatives will never admit that they voted for a bill and created an "Extremist Belief Commission" for which there is neither need nor constitutional basis. That boss who harasses you for coming late to work - he's a good candidate to be reported; so is that minority employee that you can't fire for any normal reason. So is the husband of that good-looking woman you have been unable to seduce. Every kind of quarrel and jealousy can now be settled with a phone call to Homeland Security. Soon Halliburton will be building more detention centers. Americans are so far removed from the roots of their liberty that they just don't get it. Most Americans don't know what habeas corpus is or why it is important to them. But they know what they want, and Jane Harman has given them a new way to settle scores and to advance their own interests. Even educated liberals believe that the US Constitution is a "living document" that can be changed to mean whatever it needs to mean in order to accommodate some new important cause, such as abortion and legal privileges for minorities and the handicapped. Today it is the "war on terror" that the Constitution must accommodate. Tomorrow it can be the war on whomever or whatever. Think about it. More than six years ago the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked. The US government blamed it on al Qaeda. The 9/11 Commission Report has been subjected to criticism by a large number of qualified people - including the commission's chairman and co-chairman. Since 9/11 there have been no terrorist attacks in the US. The FBI has tried to orchestrate a few, but the "terrorist plots" never got beyond talk organized and led by FBI agents. There are no visible extremist groups other than the neoconservatives that control the government in Washington. But somehow the House of Representatives overwhelmingly sees a need to create a commission to take testimony and search out extremist views (outside of Washington, of course). This search for extremist views comes after President Bush and the Justice (sic) Department declared that the President can ignore habeas corpus, ignore the Geneva Conventions, seize people without evidence, hold them indefinitely without presenting charges, torture them until they confess to some made up crime, and take over the government by declaring an emergency. Of course, none of these "patriotic" views are extremist. The search for extremist views follows also the granting of contracts to Halliburton to build detention centers in the US. No member of Congress or the executive branch ever explained the need for the detention centers or who the detainees would be. Of course, there is nothing extremist about building detention centers in the US for undisclosed inmates. Clearly the detention centers are not meant to just stand there empty. Thanks to 2007's greatest failure - the Democratic Congress - there is to be an "Extremist Beliefs Commission" to secure inmates for Bush's detention centers. President Bush promises us that the wars he has launched will cause the "untamed fire of freedom" to "reach the darkest corners of our world." Meanwhile in America the fire of freedom has not only been tamed but also is being extinguished. The light of liberty has gone out in the United States. 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 --------12 of 14-------- Sunday, December 30, 2007 A review of The Shock Doctrine: The Face of Fascism in a Global System Heading for Collapse "The signs of war on the horizon are clear. The war, like fear, also has a smell. And now we can begin to breathe its stench in our lands. In the words of Naomi Klein, we need to prepare ourselves for the shock." - Subcomandante Marcos, EZLN A review of The Shock Doctrine: The Face of Fascism in a Global System Heading for Collapse By Juan Santos http://the-fourth-world.blogspot.com/ Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatistas is a poet, but he is not just any poet: he's a poet armed not only with words, but with bullets - and not only with words and bullets, but with the heart of the Mayan people of Chiapas. He is a poet and a revolutionary who abandoned the ivory tower for the jungle - for the Selva Lacandona - to live with, to fight with, and to die with los de 'bajo - the people on the bottom, who lives are crushed beneath the weight of the pyramid of Empire. He has taken their part, their lot, their future as his own. Naomi Klein is a writer, one who sees with the eyes of her heart, one who backs the knowledge and vision of the heart with the most rigorous research - research she uses to build the sharpest and most aggressively articulated and documented of cases, a case developed as if our lives depended on it. They do. And Klein, like Subcomandante Marcos, has taken sides, the side of the poor. Marcos has said her latest book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, "is one of those books that is worth having in your hands. It is also a very dangerous book". "Its danger," he says, "resides in that it is possible to understand what it says." In the clearest terms, The Shock Doctrine lays bare the vicious nature of capitalist globalization, and shows us how and why our world has been so radically transformed over the last half-century; Klein spills the blood of the lie that "free markets" mean free people. She builds and proves a solid - often breathtaking - case that the global "free market" has been imposed around the world through terror. She calls it "shock" - with all the graphic undercurrents of electric shock treatments, torture and deep trauma that the word implies - spelled out in exquisitely researched detail. Her tale is the tale of the rise of "corporatism" - a technical word for the economic and political system called fascism - on a global scale. While a few Left pundits like Alexander Cockburn almost dismiss Klein's work for ignoring the precedents of capitalist terrorism prior to the era of globalization, they miss entirely that her book is focused on a particular period of history and on stripping bare the real meaning of the time we have lived through over the last generation. They also miss the power of the writing and the sense of values and the heart-felt methodology that guides and informs it. Subcomandante Marcos is right when he says that the book's danger for the rulers "resides in that it is possible to understand what it says." Klein has written a book on global political economy - one that is as gripping as the best murder mystery, as well researched as the best investigative journalism - on a par with the work of a Seymour Hersh. The Shock Doctrine is as accessible as a history by Howard Zinn, and nearly as evocative in some of its storytelling as the writing of Eduardo Galeano. That's why The Shock Doctrine - surprisingly for a scathing and in-depth leftist critique of globalization - is already on the best seller lists in six countries. Klein tells a meaningful and fully comprehensible story in human terms that makes sense of the world we have lived in. It's the global story of our lives, one that contextualizes, crystallizes and personalizes the meaning of what we've lived through and often only dimly understood. She brings our recent history, the world around us, and thus our lives themselves, into sudden clarity and focus. Klein's central metaphor - yes, this is a book on fascism and global political economy that has a central metaphor - is shock treatment; its development as a means to wipe clean the meaning of a human personality and to replace it with a newly programmed persona, one in line with the electrical master's wishes. At the outset of her book, she talks in depth with - she encounters - a survivor of electroshock - one of the victims of the early experiments that would be used by the CIA to write manuals on torture - as the woman struggles daily with the problems of reclaiming a memory that has been erased, and with reconstructing a life, a history and a personality that has been wiped out by a man - call him a doctor, call him a torturer -sworn to heal her, by a man sworn to do no harm. In The Shock Doctrine the personal and political are inseparable. The lies, betrayals and brutal political manipulations of its antagonists (who seek to wipe the slate clean in "maladjusted" countries and bring them under their own control the way that experts in electroshock and CIA torturers seek to wipe out human memory and personality) and the valiant and often tragic resistance of its protagonists, are told with an immediacy that is lacking in any kind of "charitable" pity or condescension. Instead, the immediacy and vividness of her story is empowered and made more compelling by a consistently rigorous research that, in Klein's hands, nails the truth and that makes its emotional impact inescapable. Although she doesn't bore us with the "correct" theoretical arguments that critics like Cockburn would seem to prefer, Klein is dealing in The Shock Doctrine with one of the core contradictions of capitalism, the relationship between bourgeois dictatorship and bourgeois democracy, and she shows us, through example after compelling example, how, under capitalism and imperialism, the reality of bourgeois dictatorship trumps the illusion of bourgeois democracy every time. She shows us in vivid examples the reality behind the theory, how "democracy" and negotiation and the power to make decisions over our lives is reserved for the capitalist and imperial elites, who then impose the end result of their of their debates - their desires - on those who are most vulnerable to them, and how they do so, consciously, just at the moments when we are most critically vulnerable. As "free market" economist Milton Friedman put it, "Only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change." The logic, actually, the pathology, Klein exposes, is the now-global pathology of the rapist, the serial killer, the fascist, of the torturers of Abu Ghraib; of the Hannibal Lectors in business suits who both run and gorge themselves on the world. Here the essence of the world capitalist, who, as Marx put it, is the "soul of capitalism personified." The brutal pathology and machinations of these men are shown, in concrete example after example, unmistakably for what they are; the pathology and methodology of torturers whose aim is not mere terror, but the gutting of people's lives and livelihoods - the gutting of the world for their own enrichment. Klein doesn't rely, as such, on the terms for them that I've just used. She's not name-calling or breathing hell and damnation. She lets the stories she tells and the documentation that backs the stories - the documentation that makes them coherent extensions of one another across decades and vast distances - speak for themselves. They do just that, and the conclusions to be drawn from the picture the stories reveal are unavoidable. What do the iconic events of our era - Pinochet's coup in Chile, the death squads throughout Latin America, Tienanmen Square and the capitalist conversion of China and Russia, the strangulation of the liberation struggle in South Africa, NAFTA, the birth of a new spirit of resistance in Latin America, the planes slamming into the towers in New York, the "Shock and Awe" unleashed against Iraq, the so - called "War on Terror," and the preparations for fascism in the US have to do with one another? What are globalization and neoliberalism, and how and why did they arise? Klein lays it out in stunning detail. See the finely produced short film that introduces the book at the link below. http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/short-film For all the horror and overwhelming power of the global elites that Klein depicts, her conclusion is as hopeful as it is realistic. She tells us, in effect, that systems based on shock, terror, repression and exploitation cannot be sustained. She puts the matter simply and with concrete examples from around the world: Shock wears off. The story returns, memory, continuity, coherence and meaning return. The soul returns. The victim of torture can come to her senses once more. Submission can be cast aside, the will to resist, the will to live, reasserts itself. Lives, homes, cultures and economies shattered by crisis and repression - wiped out by shock- can be restored. "Information," she tells us, "is shock resistance. Arm yourself." --------13 of 14-------- bumpersticker #3 -------------------------------------- Have You Kissed Corporate Butt Today? -------------------------------------- --------14 of 14-------- The Mafia is rude and crude. Yuk! The elite steals with style. Oohhh! Aahhh! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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