Progressive Calendar 01.31.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 15:24:03 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    01.31.08

1. Will Steger      1.31 6pm
2. Feminist event   1.31 6:30pm
3. StP human rights 1.31 6:30pm
4. Palestine        1.31 7pm

5. Dave Lindorff - The usual suspects once again

--------1 of 5--------

From: PRO826 [at] aol.com
Subject: Will Steger 1.31 6pm

Focus the Nation - Focus Minnesota
An evening with Will Steger, live music & special  guests
Thursday, January 31, 6-9 p.m.
First Avenue Main Room, Downtown Minneapolis
All Ages.  Free.

On January 30-31st young people across the country will focus their
collective energy on finding solutions to global warming through Focus the
Nation, a non-partisan national teach-in that will inspire us all to
become informed and to take action.  At First Avenue Main Room, Focus
Minnesota will bring together students, young adults, environmental
advocates and politicians for a public conversation about Minnesota's
changing climate.  This free all ages event will feature an illustrated
presentation by arctic explorer Will Steger, appearances by politicians
and young environmental leaders, as well as live music from local hip-hop
collective Doomtree.  Focus Minnesota is a chance to learn more about
global warming, to seek solutions as a community and to network with local
environmental advocates and organizers.

Sponsored by The Will Steger Foundation, The Bell Museum of Natural  History,
Focus the U, Focus the Nation, other University of Minnesota  Collegiate
Partners and Metro Transit.  To learn how  to Go Greener with a free bus ride to
Focus  Minnesota, visit: _http://www.bellmuseum.org_
(http://www.bellmuseum.org/)


--------2 of 5--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Feminist event 1.31 6:30pm

Minnesota Women's Consortium Celebration 28
Thursday, January 31, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Science Museum of Minnesota,
120 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul.

Minnesota feminists will gather in St. Paul to celebrate the Minnesota
Women's Consortium 28th anniversary. Celebration 28 is a festive gala
honoring the accomplishments of Minnesota women working for equality for
women and girls. This year the Minnesota Women's Consortium will honor ten
"Dreamers and Doers," including WAMM founder Polly Mann, who have brought
us this far in the struggle for women's equality. The program for the
evening, emceed by "MPR Morning Edition" host Cathy Wurzer, will include:
hors d'oeuvres and cash bar, networking, and recognition of honorees. The
evening will also include an excerpt from the chamber opera, "Meeting at
Seneca Falls" by composer Carol Barnett and librettist Marisha Chamberlain
which chronicles Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott's plot for the
first women's rights meeting in America.

Admission: $40.00 or "Pay Your Age." Open to the public. FFI: Call
Minnesota Women's Consortium, 651-228-0338 or visit <www.mnwomen.org>.


--------3 of 5--------

From: Lonnie Ellis <ellis.lonnie [at] gmail.com>
Subject: StP human rights 1.31 6:30pm

The City of St. Paul is holding a community briefing after results of a
compliance audit shows deep problems in compliance and enforcement of
human rights laws.

I am the contact person on the response of ISAIAH and the Community
Stakeholders Coalition. We are prepared to lay out the case for the city's
lack of compliance with its own laws, and make key demands for change.

January 31, 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Hallie Q. Brown / MLK Community Center - Club Room C
270 North Kent Street
Saint Paul, MN  55102
Thank you.

Lonnie Ellis Director of Social Justice Ministry St. Thomas More Catholic
Community o: 651-227-7669 ext. 310 c: 612-205-5184


--------4 of 5--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Palestine 1.31 7pm

Reportback Palestine
Thursday, January 31, 7:00 p.m. Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue,
Minneapolis.

Susanne Waldorf will share her recent experiences in
organizing joint speaking tours for Palestinian and Israeli women on the
most recent "Jerusalem Women Speak" tour. She will also discuss her
observations on how the climate toward the issue has changed over the past
5 years. Trish Kanous recently traveled to the West Bank with Peace for
Life, a global faith-based movement resisting militarized globalization
and creating life-enhancing alternatives. Sponsored by: Coalition for
Palestinian Rights. FFI: 612-379-4716.


--------5 of 5--------

This Campaign is a B-Movie with a B-List of Characters
The Usual Suspects Once Again
By DAVE LINDORFF
CounterPunch
January 31, 2008

With the presidential race now effectively pared down to four candidates,
thanks to the departure of John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani, we're left with
a really "B-grade" contest: a bomber (John McCain), a bummer (Hillary
Clinton), a betrayer (Mitt Romney) and Obama (that's Barack with a B).

McCain, the bomber, wants to "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," ensuring
not just mayhem in Persia, but chaos, bloodshed and disaster across the
Middle East and surely retaliation here at home for a generation to come.
Here's a guy who made his name by getting himself shot down while
committing war crimes against the people of a backward nation in Southeast
Asia, who glommed onto Sen. Russ Feingold's clean government initiative
after carting off wheelbarrows of cash from Charles Keating in the savings
and loan scandal (McCain was one of the infamous Keating Five), and who
claimed to be a renegade Republican and "straight talker" until he decided
in 2004 to cling tightly to President Bush and become the mad Texan's
biggest apologist during his second benighted term. And, after months of
pandering to the Christian right and the neocon loonies, he now wants us
to believe he's a maverick and "middle-of-the-roader."

Hillary Clinton, the bummer, wants to bring her "experience" - that's the
eight years of her so-called "co-presidency" with hubby Bill - to the
White House again. That "experience," for the benefit of those suffering
short-term memory loss, includes kicking off the first term by caving in
to inappropriate criticism from the generals and backing down on a promise
to end the ban on gays in the military, undermining habeas corpus with the
1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, gutting welfare
benefits for the nation's hard-pressed poor, locking up millions of black
and Hispanic Americans on non-violent drug charges, allowing the
clearcutting of original growth forests on national lands, giving away
mineral rights to mining companies, establishing the precedent for
unilaterally attacking other nations (Sudan and Afghanistan), expanding
the military budget in peacetime, failing to defend abortion rights,
appointing hacks to federal court posts, failing to stand by good
appointments to those courts in the face of right-wing attacks, and of
course, in Hillary's own case specifically, throwing away for a generation
a unique chance to establish a nationalized health care system in America.
The very idea of re-"experiencing" any of that eight-year national
disaster is my definition of a bummer.

Mitt Romney, the betrayer, spent his years in Massachusetts at least
pretending to be a New England liberal. He introduced a kind of
state-based health insurance plan that at least had the potential of
making health insurance available to every person in the state, but has
since been running away from it in practice, for fear of sounding too
liberal. As governor he supported a woman's right to control her own body,
and to seek and obtain an abortion if she wanted one, but when it came
time to run for president, he claimed to have undergone a miraculous
conversion to the view of the hard right: that a woman is nothing but a
vessel for growing and delivering babies. Claiming to care about the
workingman, Romney, as a venture capitalist, actually betrayed workers,
eliminating their jobs in the interest of his own and his partners'
personal profits.

And then there is Barack Obama, a man who is trying to gain the presidency
on sheer sophistry. "Change" is his mantra, but change to what? He doesn't
really say. His whole campaign is a feel-good exercise in ducking the
issues. The United States has been pillaged relentlessly since at least
the early 1970s, when Richard Nixon paved the way, with his recognition of
China, for the wholesale offshoring of American industry to Asia.
Administrations since then, Democratic and Republican, have been competing
with each hasten the hollowing out of the American economy. Will Obama
"change" this? No. He has no plan to undo the North American Free Trade
Act, or to demand changes in the World Trade Organization rules. American
labor unions are dying. Does Obama plan to "change" that by undoing
decades of one-sided laws and regulations making it easy for employers to
crush unions? No. He hasn't said a word about defending, much less
expanding the rights of workers. Health care is in crisis. Does Obama have
a solution? No. He is wedded to the same approach as Hillary Clinton,
which leaves the blood-sucking insurance industry in charge of financing
(and denying) care. The US is being bled to death by military
expenditures, which in total account for more than half of the US budget
when honestly accounted for in full. Does Obama plan to slash that
spending, which is greater than all the military budgets of the rest of
the world's nations combined? No. He has not said a word about cutting
military spending (nor is he committed to ending the Iraq occupation). The
Constitution has been undermined, particularly over the last six years, to
the point that it is unrecognizable, with the presidency now more
appropriately called an elected dictator, and Congress now little more
than a talk shop. Does Obama plan to "change" that by voluntarily
restoring the presidency to what it is supposed to be: just on co-equal
branch of a tripartite government? He hasn't said a word about restoring
checks and balances. Obama's "change" rhetoric is as empty as was Ronald
Reagan's talk about America's being a "shining city on a hill."

In the choice between a bomber, a bummer, a betrayer and Obama, it hardly
matters who comes out on top. My guess is whoever wins, we get more
military spending, more war, fewer jobs and fewer rights.

Rep. Ron Paul, for all his flaws (and they are many, including a racist
attitude on immigration, a sexist attitude on abortion, and a doctinaire
view of primacy of the rights of property), is looking better and better.
At least he would end the Iraq War, cut the military budget significantly,
and restore the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Let's hope he quits
this B-rated presidential campaign and runs as an independent or
Libertarian.

[I say None of the Above. All are a waste of 9 months time and energy.  A
waste of a vote in November. Time to begin the many-year task of building
choices outside corporate control. We're not going to get big national
change for several elections.  Let's mobilize outside the box to fight
back and eventually win. Kick the corporate habit. -ed]

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into
the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His book of CounterPunch columns
titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press.
Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment", co-authored by
Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff [at] yahoo.com


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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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