|Progressive Calendar 01.24.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 02:18:35 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.24.08 1. Eagan vigil 1.24 4:30pm 2. Northtown vigil 1.24 5pm 3. Atheist pizza 1.24 7pm 4. PrezPower/abuse 1.24 7:30pm 5. War resisters 1.25 12noon 6. No arms to Israel 1.25 4:15pm 7. Glenn Hurowitz 1.25 5pm 8. Glenn Hurowitz 1.25 7:30pm 9. US Judaism 1.25-26 8pm 10. Moyers/Grisham 1.25 9pm 11. GLBT gets old 1.25-26 12. Kip Sullivan - Mn Health Act is a terrific bill 13. PC Roberts - The empire that must be obeyed 14. John Pilger - The Danse Macabre of US-style democracy 15. Ben Terrall - Cindy Sheehan challenges Dem Party complacency 16. Phil Ochs - Love me, I'm a liberal (song) --------1 of 16-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 1.24 4:30pm CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------2 of 16-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 1.24 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------3 of 16-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Atheist pizza 1.24 7pm Thursday, January 24, 7:00pm - 9:00pm. Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists membership meeting. Pizza Party. Coffman Memorial Union, Room 325. (The room for this event may change.) For more information, contact cash [at] cashumn.org --------4 of 16-------- From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com> Subject: PrezPower/abuse 1.24 7:30pm David Schultz, Prof at Hamline U speaks on the Abuse of Presidential Power and what we should do about it. Tom's Schneider Drug Store, University Ave and Bedford in Mpls, just west of Hwy 280 and across the street from KSTP TV Ch 5. 1.24 7:30pm --------5 of 16-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: War resisters 1.25 12noon Vigil for U.S. War Resisters in Canada Friday, January 25, Noon to 1:00 p.m. Consulate General of Canada, 701 4th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Support the troops who refuse to fight! As many as 200 U.S. servicemembers are seeking sanctuary in Canada after refusing to fight in Iraq. The Canadian Parliament will soon decide whether or not they can stay. Join in encouraging Canada to open its doors to the women and men who have the courage to resist. Signs provided. Sponsored by: the Northland Anti-War Coalition, the Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Iraq Veterans Against the War (Minnesota), and Truth in Recruiting (Duluth). FFI: Visit <www.couragetoresist.org>. --------6 of 16-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: No arms to Israel 1.15 4:15pm EMERGENCY RESPONSE End the Israeli Siege of Gaza NOW! Stop the Collective Punishment of Palestinians End US Military Aid to Israel Friday, January 25, 4:15-5:30 PM Corner of Summit and Snelling Aves, St. Paul The Coalition for Palestinian Rights (CPR) joins the international call for emergency protests Jan 25 and 26 demanding an immediate end to the Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza. More than 1.5 million Palestinian people living in Gaza are suffering from life-threatening shortages of food, medicines, fuel and other vital necesities caused by the Israeli military's sealing off of Gaza. The Israeli occupation is in clear violation of international law, which strictly forbids collective punishment and labels collective punishment a war crime. Israel is continuing to excalate its attack on Gaza, killing more than 40 Palestinians just this past week and wounding scores more. Israel's announcement, under international pressure, that it would allow one day's worth of fuel to re-starrt Gaza's only power generating plant does not mean an end to the crisis; Gaza will remain desparate as Israel continues to use the access to vitally needed fuel and other products as a weapon of occupation. US miitary aid supports Israel's occupation and enables the current escalating punishment. We call on the US govt. to end political and monetary aid to Israel. --------7 of 16-------- From: Kari Erpenbach <kari [at] umn.edu> Subject: Glenn Hurowitz 1.25 5pm Glenn Hurowitz will discuss his new book Fear and Courage in the Democratic Party at the University of Minnesota Bookstore on Friday, January 25 at 5:00 p.m. Author Glenn Hurowitz Reading & discussion Friday, January 25 at 5:00 p.m. University of Minnesota Bookstore 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis Contact: Kari Erpenbach, University of Minnesota Bookstore (612) 625-6564, kari [at] umn.edu Glenn Hurowitz, journalist and political veteran, will discuss his new book Fear and Courage in the Democratic Party on Friday, January 25 at 5:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis. Hurowitz reveals little-known history of how the same foundations and corporations that engineered the right-wing takeover of the Republican party used junk political science to move Democrats to the right as well. Hurowitz chronicles the extraordinary stories of five politicians and activists: three "progressive heroes" who exhibited rare political courage who found unexpected political success, and two "spineless weasels" who embraced the "politics of fear" and ultimately failed. Fear and Courage brings recent political history alive as the Democratic party battles between amoral political operatives and a populace hungry for courageous leadership. Hurowitz will sign copies of his book following the discussion. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to order a signed copy visit www.bookstore.umn.edu/genref/authors.html --------8 of 16-------- From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com> Subject: Glenn Hurowitz 1.25 7:30pm [Will the real Glenn Hurowitz please stand up? -ed] MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : For Immediate Distribution : Glenn Hurowitz discusses his new book FEAR AND COURAGE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (Maisonnueve Press) 7:30pm Friday, January 25 at MAGERS AND QUINN BOOKSELLERS. DEMOCRATS DOOMED WITHOUT POLITICAL COURAGE, SAYS CONTROVERSIAL NEW BOOK Democrats need to start showing far more political courage, or they will risk defeat in 2008 and beyond, writes journalist and political veteran Glenn Hurowitz in his controversial new book Fear and Courage in the Democratic Party, being released by Maisonneuve Press on December 11. "If Democrats can't stand up to Rudy Giuliani, Rush Limbaugh, and the Republicans, voters will ask how they are going to stand up to Osama bin Laden," Hurowitz said. The book reveals the little-known history of how the same foundations and corporations that engineered the right-wing takeover of the Republican Party used junk political science to move Democrats to the right as well. Drawing on ground-breaking political science research, Hurowitz tackles the "little tin gods" of the Democratic Party to argue that when it comes to winning votes, "issues don't matter," "politicians should only pander to people who care" and tackles what he calls the "wimp love myth." In a chapter titled "Gutless Wonder," Hurowitz argues that the legacy of Bill Clinton, widely proclaimed his generation's greatest political talent, will actually burden the Democratic Party and the progressive movement for decades to come. And he tells the inspiring tale of how Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone's courage helped him overcome an occasionally hysterical style and an ideology considerably to the left of his constituents to find electoral and legislative success during an era of right wing ascendancy. Written in a rollicking, conversational style, Fear and Courage makes recent political history come alive as an epic battle for the soul of the Democratic party between amoral political operatives and a populace hungry for courageous leadership - with Democratic politicians all too often paralyzed in the middle. A book for political junkies and readers looking for spellbinding narrative alike, this astonishing work is sure to have a major impact on political thought in the United States. Glenn Hurowitz is the president of the Democratic Courage political action committee (www.democraticcourage.com). As a journalist, he has contributed to The New York Times, The American Prospect, The Politico, The Huffington Post, and Grist Magazine. He also appears as a political commentator on CBS, Air America, MSNBC, and Fox. --------9 of 16-------- From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: US Judaism 1.25-26 8pm Armenian-Turkish Research Project Genocide in Our Time College of Liberal Arts Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies Community Events & News Lectures on American Judaism - January 25-26 Lectures on American Judaism at the Sabes JCC and Congregation Darchei Noam, Minneapolis, Minn. "American Judaism" comes to the Sabes JCC and Congregation Darchei Noam in a series of three free lectures presented by scholar in residence Jonathan Sarna, a recognized leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. The January 25-26, weekend event is presented by Congregation Darchei Noam and the Sabes Jewish Community Center. January 25: The first lecture in the series, "The Eastern European Conquest of American Jewish Life"is 8 p.m., January 25, at Congregation Darchei Noam, 5224 Minnetonka Blvd. (entrance off Salem Ave. S.), and will address how Eastern European Jews migrated to the "Golden Land" with big dreams of escaping poverty and persecution for a new way of living. In the process, the American Jewish community absorbed a new way of thinking about Judaism whose effects "for better or worse" are still with us today. What is the legacy of this great migration? How have our lives been impacted by shifts that American Jewish culture made in the early twentieth century? January 26: The second lecture, "Three Paths to American Orthodoxy: Past Answers and Future Directions" takes place Saturday at 11:45 a.m., following the 9 a.m. service at Congregation Darchei Noam and will discuss how after World War II, with the destruction of European Jewry and important centers of study, the United States became the new area of settlement for Orthodox leaders and their followers. What they would do in the coming years would transform the Jewish religious landscape of America. What were their visions and how did they impact the decisions that Orthodoxy Jewry still makes regarding the survival of Judaism? Will the Orthodox of this generation have Orthodox grandchildren? All are welcome to attend both the morning services and the lecture afterwards. January 26: The series concludes with "New Menu for American Judaism" Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Sabes JCC, 4330 Cedar Lake Road, Minneapolis. A kosher wine and chocolate tasting reception, hosted in cooperation with the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest and the Jewish Singles Collaborative (you don't have to be Jewish to attend!), will be held following Dr. Sarna' s lecture. The event is free and open to the public. During this presentation Dr. Sarna will talk about how the America Jewish past informs the present. The choices of what it means to be Jewish are multiplying some based on the distant past and some based on recent experience in America. Some have turned to secular ways of defining their Judaism; for others, there is a return to education and commitment to religious Judaism. Where are we going and who will be? What will our grandchildren be and what kind of Judaism will be available for them to embrace? Jonathan Sarna is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Director of its Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. Dubbed by the Forward newspaper as one of America's 50 most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community. Copies of Dr. Sarna's book "American Judaism"will be on sale at the Saturday night lecture. --------10 of 16-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Moyers/Grisham 1.25 9pm Bill Moyers Journal | John Grisham http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/012308U.shtml This Friday on Bill Moyers Journal, see "John Grisham, best-selling author of 'The Firm,' 'The Pelican Brief' and 'The Rainmaker,' in a far-ranging conversation that gives viewers insight into the beliefs and background that influenced Grisham's work and provides an unexpected look at his views about the state of the nation." --------11 of 16-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: GLBT gets old 1.25-26 January 25-26: OutFront Minnesota GLBT Aging Policy Summit, a conference exploring the most recent research on GLBT aging both locally & nationally. Keynote speaker: Amber Hollibaugh of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. Spirit of the Lakes United Church of Christ, Minneapolis. --------12 of 16-------- From: Kip Sullivan Subject: Mn Health Act is a terrific bill Sen. John Marty is putting the finishing touches on SF 2324/HF2522, the Minnesota Health Act (MHA). I really really like this bill. It's an improvement over SF 460 (which is basically the model Minnesota single-payer forces have relied on since 1991) because it adds some useful provisions that SF 460 didn't have, and is better organized than SF 460. I even like it better than HR 676, the national single-payer bill. As those of you who have been on this listserve since at least last spring know, the original version of the MHA created a debate within the single-payer movement when it was introduced in May. Essentially, the Greater Mn Health Care Coalition and I took the position that the MHA allowed insurance companies to continue to operate and was therefore not a single-payer bill. MUHCC's lobbyist at the time argued that it was a single-payer and that listserve members should support it. That debate has been completely resolved now, thanks to the hard work of John Marty and a lot of other people on both sides of the issue. By July John had made it clear he wanted to eliminate those provisions that would have allowed insurance companies to emerge, and by September he had circulated a new version of the bill that was definitely a single-payer bill. Then, some time in November, two members of the MUHCC board - Drs. Jim Hart and Lisa Nilles - asked me if I would join them in a few meetings to see if we could suggest amendments that would resolve a few minor issues that remained and make the bill easier to read. I agreed. At the first meeting, Lisa came up with the bright idea of reorganizing the MHA so that it followed the outline of HR 676. Jim and I agreed immediately. HR 676's structure is clean and quite logical. Jim and Lisa and I spent two long meetings together (I think the total time we spent together was 8 or 9 hours), Lisa spent another dozen or so hours cutting and pasting and writing a new draft, and we all spent more hours reading it. When we had completed our new draft, we sent it over to John Marty's office. John invited the three of us to a meeting in mid-December to go over our draft with him. We scheduled three hours, but our meeting actually went on for five hours. We'd have gotten out sooner if John hadn't been so scrupulous about understanding every little detail in the new draft and thinking through dozens of issues raised by our new draft plus some issues we hadn't thought of. For five straight hours - no breaks, no fresh infusions of coffee - we went over every single word in our proposed draft, compared it to virtually every single word in the September draft, and we even reviewed chunks of SF 460 and HR 676 to help us solve some issues. When John's committee assistant Laura Blubaugh sent Jim, Lisa and me a new draft in January, we sent back two dozen comments, almost all of them style suggestions. John and Laura met to discuss these and mailed back thoughtful comments on all of them. I know other people had comments along the way too, so I don't want to suggest that Jim, Lisa and I were the only ones to provide helpful feedback. What I do want to stress is that MUHCC and GMHCC worked hard over the last six months to write a bill we could all agree on, and John Marty went overboard to ensure that any misunderstandings created by his original bill were resolved and that the final bill was well written. Like any movement, we will continue to have day-to-day debates about tactics and minor issues, but from my perspective we are united and we have a great bill to work for. I would not have scripted the tension that we had to deal with last spring. But because all the parties focused on issues and not personalities, we got a result none of us planned for - a very good single-payer bill, probably the best in the country. [If you agree you might post John a thank you to: sen.john.marty [at] senate.leg.state.mn.us And then support him and his allies in the coming months in the Legislature. -ed.] --------13 of 16-------- The Empire That Must Be Obeyed What Gives the US the Right to Claim a Moral Monopoly Over the World? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch January 23, 2008 "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction." -Five Western military leaders. I read the statement three times trying to figure out the typo. Then it hit me, the West has now out-Owellled Orwell: The West must nuke other countries in order to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction! In Westernspeak, the West nuking other countries does not qualify as the use of weapons of mass destruction. The astounding statement comes from a paper prepared for a Nato summit in April by five top military leaders - an American, a German, a Dutchman, a Frenchman, and a Brit. The paper, prepared by men regarded as distinguished leaders and not as escapees from insane asylums, argues that "the West's values and way of life are under threat, but the West is struggling to summon the will to defend them." The leaders find that the UN is in the way of the West's will, as is the European Union which is obstructing NATO and "NATO's credibility is at stake in Afghanistan." And that's a serious matter. If NATO loses its credibility in Afghanistan, Western civilization will collapse just like the Soviet Union. The West just doesn't realize how weak it is. To strengthen itself, it needs to drop more and larger bombs. The German military leader blames the Merkel government for contributing to the West's inability to defend its values by standing in the way of a revival of German militarism. How can Germany be "a reliable partner" for America, he asks, if the German government insists on "special rules" limiting the combat use of its forces in Afghanistan? Ron Asmus, head of the German Marshall Fund and a former US State Department official, welcomed the paper as "a wake-up call." Asmus means a call to wake-up to the threats from the brutal world, not to the lunacy of Western leaders. Who, what is threatening the West's values and way of life? Political fanaticism, religious fundamentalism, and the imminent spread of nuclear weapons, answer the five asylum escapees. By political fanaticism, do they mean the neoconservatives who believe that the future of humanity depends on the US establishing its hegemony over the world? By religious fundamentalism, do they mean "rapture evangelicals" agitating for armageddon or Christian and Israeli Zionists demanding a nuclear attack on Iran? By spread of nuclear weapons, do they mean Israel's undeclared and illegal possession of several hundred nuclear weapons? No. The paranoid military leaders see all the fanaticism, religious and otherwise, and all the threats to humanity as residing outside Western civilization (Israel is inside). The "increasingly brutal world," of which the leaders warn, is "over there." Only Muslims are fanatics. All us white guys are rational and sane. There is nothing brutal about the US/Nato bombing of Serbia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, or the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, or the Israeli ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, or the genocide Israel hopes to commit against Palestinians in Gaza. All of this, as well as America's bombing of Somalia, America's torture dungeons, show trials of "detainees," and overthrow of elected governments and installation of puppet rulers, is the West's necessary response to keep the brutal world at bay. Brutal things happen in the "brutal world" and are entirely the fault of those in the brutal world. None of this would happen if the inhabitants of the brutal world would just do as they are told. How can the civilized world with its monopoly on morality allow people in the brutal world to behave independently? I mean, really! God forbid, they might attack some innocent country. The "brutal world" consists of those immoral fanatics who object to being marginalized by the West and who reply to mass bombings from the air and to the death and destruction inflicted on them through myriad ways by strapping on a suicide bomb. Unable to impose its will on countries it has invaded with conventional arms, the West's military leaders are now prepared to force compliance with the moral world's will by threatening to nuke those who resist. You see, since the West has the monopoly on morality, truth, and justice, those in the outside world are obviously evil, wicked and brutal. Therefore, as President Bush tells us, it is a simple choice between good and evil, and there's no better candidate than evil for being nuked. The sooner we can get rid of the brutal world, the sooner we will have "freedom and democracy" everywhere that's left. Meanwhile, the United States, the great moral light unto the world, has just prevented the United Nations from censuring Israel, the world's other great moral light, for cutting off food supplies, medical supplies, and electric power to Gaza. You see, Gaza is in the outside world and is a home of the bad guys. Moreover, the wicked Palestinians there tricked the US when the US allowed them to hold a free election. Instead of electing the US candidate, the wicked voters elected a government that would represent them. The US and Israel overturned the Palestinian election in the West Bank, but those in Gaza clung to the government that they had elected. Now they are going to suffer and die until they elect the government that the US and Israel wants. I mean, how can we expect people in the brutal world to know what's best for them? The fact that the UN tried to stop Israel's just punishment of the Gazans shows how right the five leaders' report is about the UN being a threat to Western values and way of life. The UN is really against us. This puts the UN in the outside world and makes it a candidate for being nuked if not an outright terrorist organization. As our president said, "you are with us or against us." The US and Israel need a puppet government in Palestine so that a ghettoized remnant of Palestine can be turned into a "two state solution." The two states will be Israel incorporating the stolen West Bank and a Palestinian ghetto without an economy, water, or contiguous borders. This is necessary in order to protect Israel from the brutal outside world. Inhabitants of the brutal world are confused about the "self-determination" advocated by Western leaders. It doesn't mean that those outside Western civilization and Israel should decide for themselves. "Self" means American. The term, so familiar to us, means "American-determination." The US determines and others obey. It is the brutal world that causes all the trouble by not obeying. 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 --------14 of 16-------- The Danse Macabre Of Us-Style Democracy By John Pilger ZNet Commentary January 23, 2008 The former president of Tanzania Julius Nyerere once asked, "Why haven't we all got a vote in the US election? Surely everyone with a TV set has earned that right just for enduring the merciless bombardment every four years." Having reported four presidential election campaigns, from the Kennedys to Nixon, Carter to Reagan, with their Zeppelins of platitudes, robotic followers and rictal wives, I can sympathise. But what difference would the vote make? Of the presidential candidates I have interviewed, only George C Wallace, governor of Alabama, spoke the truth. "There's not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans," he said. And he was shot. What struck me, living and working in the United States, was that presidential campaigns were a parody, entertaining and often grotesque. They are a ritual danse macabre of flags, balloons and bullshit, designed to camouflage a venal system based on money power, human division and a culture of permanent war. Travelling with Robert Kennedy in 1968 was eye-opening for me. To audiences of the poor, Kennedy would present himself as a saviour. The words "change" and "hope" were used relentlessly and cynically. For audiences of fearful whites, he would use racist codes, such as "law and order". With those opposed to the invasion of Vietnam, he would attack "putting American boys in the line of fire", but never say when he would withdraw them. That year (after Kennedy was assassinated), Richard Nixon used a version of the same, malleable speech to win the presidency. Thereafter, it was used successfully by Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and the two Bushes. Carter promised a foreign policy based on "human rights" - and practised the very opposite. Reagan's "freedom agenda" was a bloodbath in central America. Clinton "solemnly pledged" universal health care and tore down the last safety net of the Depression. Nothing has changed. Barack Obama is a glossy Uncle Tom who would bomb Pakistan. Hillary Clinton, another bomber, is anti-feminist. John McCain's one distinction is that he has personally bombed a country. They all believe the US is not subject to the rules of human behaviour, because it is "a city upon a hill", regardless that most of humanity sees it as a monumental bully which, since 1945, has overthrown 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed 30 nations, destroying millions of lives. If you wonder why this holocaust is not an "issue" in the current campaign, you might ask the BBC, which is responsible for reporting the campaign to much of the world, or better still Justin Webb, the BBC's North America editor. In a Radio 4 series last year, Webb displayed the kind of sycophancy that evokes the 1930s appeaser Geoffrey Dawson, then editor of the London Times. Condoleezza Rice cannot be too mendacious for Webb. According to Rice, the US is "supporting the democratic aspirations of all people". For Webb, who believes American patriotism "creates a feeling of happiness and solidity", the crimes committed in the name of this patriotism, such as support for war and injustice in the Middle East for the past 25 years, and in Latin America, are irrelevant. Indeed, those who resist such an epic assault on democracy are guilty of "anti-Americanism", says Webb, apparently unaware of the totalitarian origins of this term of abuse. Journalists in Nazi Berlin would damn critics of the Reich as "anti-German". Moreover, his treacle about the "ideals" and "core values" that make up America's sanctified "set of ideas about human conduct" denies us a true sense of the destruction of American democracy: the dismantling of the Bill of Rights, habeas corpus and separation of powers. Here is Webb on the campaign trail: "[This] is not about mass politics. It is a celebration of the one-to-one relationship between an individual American and his or her putative commander-in-chief." He calls this "dizzying". And Webb on Bush: "Let us not forget that while the candidates win, lose, win again . . . there is a world to be run and President Bush is still running it." The emphasis in the BBC text actually links to the White House website. None of this drivel is journalism. It is anti-journalism, worthy of a minor courtier of a great power. Webb is not exceptional. His boss Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, sent this reply to a viewer who had protested the prevalence of propaganda as the basis of news: "It is simply a fact that Bush has tried to export democracy [to Iraq] and that this has been troublesome." And her source for this "fact"? Quotations from Bush and Blair saying it is a fact. --------15 of 16-------- The Virtues of Divisiveness Cindy Sheehan Challenges Democratic Party Complacency By BEN TERRALL CouterPunch January 22, 2008 Though it seems to have made little impression on the Democratic Party's leadership, grassroots pressure for impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and President Bush continues to grow in the U.S. On January 15, the anti-war group Code Pink held a rally at the San Francisco Federal Building where they presented an aide to Nancy Pelosi with more than 8,000 signed letters from U.S. voters urging impeachment of Cheney and Bush. Cindy Sheehan, whose decision to run as an independent against Pelosi in the next election was precipitated by the Democratic Congresswoman's refusal to support impeachment, spoke to the assembled protestors. Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, said, "I believe that when George Bush commuted Scooter Libby's sentence for a crime that he was complicit in, he committed treason. A president can commute sentences, a president can pardon people, but not when they are involved in the crime." She continued, "I believe that Nancy Pelosi committed treason when she took impeachment off the table. You cannot ignore our constitution. And not only that, they have also been going against the constitution by approving torture, which goes against the Eighth Amendment, by approving spying on us without warrants, which goes against the Fourth Amendment." The former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who is running for the Green Party's Presidential nomination, appeared at the San Francisco demonstration and spoke in support of Sheehan's campaign. McKinney said, "People who betray the values of their constituents do not deserve to be part of the government. The government, actually, is us, it's supposed to be us. McKinney added, "We have an opportunity to learn from countries where people power has stepped up and through the power of the ballot they have changed things, like in Venezuela, like in Bolivia, like in Chile, like in Argentina, like in Ecuador. They have changed things. People power and so our campaign is called the power to the people committee, and we are asking people of every political persuasion to join with us in the creation of a new people power movement that can change our country, that can change the policies and the values of our country, and take our government back." The day after the San Francisco rally, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) urged the House Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment hearings targeting Vice President Cheney for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Wexler said, "In the history of our nation, we have never encountered a moment where the actions of a President or a Vice President have more strongly demanded the use of the power of impeachment." Wexler, a member of the Judiciary Committee, noted that though "a growing chorus of American citizens are calling for this Administration and this Vice President to be held accountable the response from Congress thus far has been silence and denial." Wexler's office set up a website for U.S. voters to endorse the Florida congressman's call for hearings. As of January 16, more than 189,000 people had signed on to the site's petition. Bay Area-based impeachment activist Brad Newsham, organizer of multiple "Beach Impeach" actions, told me, "Wexler is the Man of the Moment in the impeachment movement. Shortly after Wexler appeared on the Randi Rhodes show Thursday morning, his "Impeach Cheney" petition cracked 200,000 signatures and has added nearly 10,000 since then." Newsham emphasized, "Pro impeachment phone calls and emails have been pouring in to the offices of members of Congress, and Wexler has asked that we keep up the pressure (especially on John Conyers)." At a January 17 press conference, Speaker Pelosi responded to a question about her reluctance to hold Cheney's "feet to the fire" by insisting she was sticking to her long-stated view that "an impeachment of the Vice President or the President of the United States would be divisive in our country." She added, "the unity of our country is something that we all value, and that would not be in furtherance of promoting that unity." I contacted Cindy Sheehan for a response to Pelosi's comments. Ms. Sheehan told me, "What George Bush and Dick Cheney have done with the cooperation of congress is divide the country - this country is the most polarized it's ever been in my lifetime." Ms. Sheehan said Congress needs to be focus on "justice and a commitment to rule of law and the constitution. About impeachment, she said, "I don't know if it would bring unity to our country, but it would show our leaders are committed to the principles of the Founding Fathers." Sheehan speculated that "one of reasons for not digging too deep" is the complicity of leading Democrats with much that is impeachable: "Like in 2002, Pelosi was briefed on torture." Further, "There's been a consolidation of power in one branch of government, and the Democrats know that, [but] think they can win and take advantage of that power when it becomes theirs." Cindy Sheehan said in Spring 2007 that if Pelosi agreed to support impeachment by July 23, she wouldn't continue to run against the veteran Democrat. But now the maverick campaign is underway and Sheehan is meeting with housing rights, immigration, environmental justice and other activists throughout San Francisco, and her campaign is pulling in veteran Green Party and other progressive activist volunteers. Sheehan told me, "if [Pelosi] came out tomorrow to let articles of impeachment go forward," the campaign would continue. "We think the war and accountability are major issues, but we want and advocate for single payer universal health care, good and free or cheap education and want the environment cleaned up." Sheehan especially stressed the need to push for environmental and economic justice in Hunter's Point, a traditionally African-American San Francisco neighborhood where a decommissioned naval shipyard doubles as a superfund cleanup site. The area now faces accelerating gentrification and construction of a new 49ers stadium on toxic land. Sheehan noted these domestic concerns won't be addressed "when our government is spending twelve million dollars an hour in Iraq our futures are being sucked dry." She concluded, "we need to solve the problem of militarism, especially the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, to solve pressing social issues." Ben Terrall is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He can be reached at bterrall [at] igc.org --------16 of 16-------- Artist: Phil Ochs Song: Love Me, I'm a Liberal [song from the 70s] I cried when they shot Medgar Evers Tears ran down my spine I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy As though I'd lost a father of mine But Malcolm X got what was coming He got what he asked for this time So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal I go to civil rights rallies And I put down the old D.A.R. I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy I hope every colored boy becomes a star But don't talk about revolution That's going a little bit too far So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal I cheered when Humphrey was chosen My faith in the system restored I'm glad the commies were thrown out of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board I love Puerto Ricans and Negros as long as they don't move next door So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal The people of old Mississippi Should all hang their heads in shame I can't understand how their minds work What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain? But if you ask me to bus my children I hope the cops take down your name So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal I read New republic and Nation I've learned to take every view You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden I feel like I'm almost a Jew But when it comes to times like Korea There's no one more red, white and blue So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal I vote for the democratic party They want the U.N. to be strong I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts He sure gets me singing those songs I'll send all the money you ask for But don't ask me to come on along So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal Once I was young and impulsive I wore every conceivable pin Even went to the socialist meetings Learned all the old union hymns But I've grown older and wiser And that's why I'm turning you in So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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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