Progressive Calendar 01.06.08
From: David Shove (
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]>
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

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]>
Subject: Women's art recep 1.06 1pm

Jean Leuthner and Zannah Martin, Nostalgia and Equity
A WARM Works Event
4755 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

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]>
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  <>

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

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
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.

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.

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 <>  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]" <wamm [at]>
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

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

From: Joel Albers <joel [at]>
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

Suggested items (yours' are welcome): 

-Welcome, intros, 
-Orientation, background
-MLK Day Jan 21
-Building a grassroots media campaign (f/u from our Forum last
-Building the grassroots, labor, practitioner group etc network  
-Legislation:MN Legislative session begins Feb
-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
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

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

"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:

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

In the Thrall of AIPAC
Why Obama Can't Save Us
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

"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]

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

DLC Myths Exposed as Frauds
Clinton's Iowa Flop
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

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

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

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

Murder and Preventable Death Have Won
U.S. Elections Over Before They Began
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'

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

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
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

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]

--------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

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.

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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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