|Progressive Calendar 02.06.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 02:42:10 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 02.06.08 1. Biofuels/KFAI 2.06 11am 2. GreenParty/3CD 2.06 4pm 3. Med humanism 2.06 4pm 4. Help EXCO grow 2.06 5pm 5. God not American 2.06 6pm 6. MPN4P MerriamPk 2.06 7pm 7. Rwanda/film 2.06 7pm 8. Black HIV AIDS 2.07 8am-9pm 9. Judges/women 2.07 11am 10. Law & medicine 2.07 11:30am 11. Korea/Japan 2.07 4pm 12. Eagan vigil 2.07 4:30pm 13. Northtown vigil 2.07 5pm 14. Vinyl/eco/film 2.07 7pm 15. Joshua Frank - MoveOn's Obama endorsement: why there's no hope for change 16. John Halle - Whither progressive Democrats? An open letter to the PDA 17. GreenParty - Voting irregularities vs Green Party in Chicago & IL 18. David Macaray - Unions need to stop being so nice 19. ed - Screw-pulls (poem) --------1 of 19-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: Biofuels/KFAI 2.06 11am THIS WEEK: 11:00 AM WEDNESDAY, FEB 6: BIOFUELS. BIOENERGY. BIOMASS: What are they really? And will something work? TTTıs Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen examine the implications of rushing to any old so-called biofuel as peak oil and other fossil fuels are exposed for both pollution potential and dropping capacities. Are biofuels as we have them now better than the status quo, no matter what their impact? What are the pros and cons of various renewable alternatives and is anything safe to burn or digest in the pursuit of a silver bullet killing fossil fuel uses? GUESTS: State Rep. BILL HILTY, Chair, MN House Energy Finance Committee INVITED: SHALINI GUPTA, Isaak Walton League Midwest Chapter MARK ANDERSON, Linden Hills Power&Light JOHN CURRY, St. Paul Neighbors Against the Burner AND YOU: Call in: 612-341-0980 Wednesdays at 11:00AM. --------2 of 19-------- From: alforgreens [at] comcast.net Subject: GreenParty/3CD 2.06 4pm 3rd Congressional District Green Party Show A 30 minute show on introducing the Green Party espousing some their 10 Key Values and contacting the 3rd CD local to meet, and plan for future activities including Green Party caucuses. It will be repeated twice during each hour scheduled. Aired on Bloomington Community Access Television Channel 16 on the following dates: Wednesday 2/6 Channel 16 4-5 PM Thursday 2/7 Channel 16 12-1 AM 8-9 AM Contact : Allan Hancock, chair 3rd Congressional District Green Party Email: 3rdCDGreenParty [at] gmail.com --------3 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Med humanism 2.06 4pm Wednesday, 2/6, 4 pm, former Doctors Without Borders president and Nobel Peace Prize winner James Orbinski talks about medical humanitarianism, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Institute, U of M, 301 - 19th Ave S, Mpls. 612-625-9505. --------4 of 19------- From: Miriam Larson <mlarson [at] macalester.edu> Subject: Help EXCO grow 2.06 5pm It's not quite Spring yet but we have begun the spring season of EXCO classes and I hope many of you are attending several of the classes this week. If you haven't looked at the options yet, please visit www.excotc.org. (Note: The website has been down several days in the past week and we apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you. We hope to make it more reliable and upgrade in other was soon). I write to let you know that we are having an open planning meeting this WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6th at 5:00 pm in Macalester's Campus Center at 1600 Grand Avenue in Room 206. We welcome new and experienced organizers excited about working for more accessible and community-oriented education! This is an exciting and rapidly growing project and we can use all the extra visionary, logistic, and enthusiastic minds we can get. We hope to see you Wednesday or in one of the many classes this week. Stay tuned for other EXCO events this semester. --------5 of 19-------- From: isis <isis [at] iamisis.com> Subject: God not American 2.06 6pm The African American Read-In & Black Men Reading Present: poet/ publisher/actor/activist in support of her new book: God IS not an AMERICAN Wednesday, February 6 6-8pm NorthPoint Health and Wellness 1313 Penn Avenue North Minneapolis This event is free and open to the public. For information, contact Ezra Hyland at 612.626.4780. If the conversation is "this new generation of poets," then at some point the name Jessica Care Moore's name will inevitably come up. One of the most celebrated, published poets and public speakers of her generation, Jessica Care Moore has issued a strong, defiant, and educated voice into the literary, theatrical, publishing and music industries. Jessica is a Poet, Book Publisher, Literary Activist, Scorpio, Playwright, Actor, Mommy and Black Rock Music Artist. She is also the CEO of the thriving publishing house, Moore Black Press. --------6 of 19-------- From: Krista Menzel <krista [at] kristamenzel.com> Subject: MPN4P MerriamPark 2.06 7pm Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace Meeting Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:00-9:00 p.m. Merriam Park Library - Meeting Room B (in basement) 1831 Marshall Avenue (at Fairview Avenue), St. Paul Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 at the Merriam Park Library. All are welcome! Free, and open to the public. More Info: http://www.mppeace.org/events.htm or info [at] mppeace.org or Anne at (651) 647-0580 or Krista at (651) 641-7592 --------7 of 19------- From: Human Rights Events Update <humanrts [at] umn.edu> Subject: Rwanda/film 2.06 7pm The Human Rights Center and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Present Ghosts of Rwanda A film by Frontline and the Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBS) Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:00-10:00 p.m. Room 25 Mondale Hall 229 19th Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55455 FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC When the United Nations sent peacekeepers to this small, Central African nation - with the full support of the U.S. government - most of the policy-makers involved believed it would be a straightforward mission that would help restore the U.N.'s battered reputation after failures in Bosnia and Somalia. Few could imagine that, a decade later, Rwanda would be the crisis that still haunts their souls. Ghosts of Rwanda, a special two-hour documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide - a state-sponsored massacre in which some 800,000 Rwandans were methodically hunted down and murdered by Hutu extremists as the U.S. and international community refused to intervene - examines the social, political, and diplomatic failures that converged to enable the genocide to occur. Sponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Human Rights Center, and the Minnesota Chapter of the Genocide Intervention Network For further information Human Rights Center: 612-626-0041 or <mailto:humanrts [at] umn.edu> humanrts [at] umn.edu Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies: 612-624-0256 or <mailto:chgs [at] umn.edu> chgs [at] umn.edu --------8 of 19-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Black HIV AIDS 2.07 8am-9pm Check out/share the following events happening this Thursday here in Minnesota in recognition fo National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day. For more related opportunities -- ?Still Standing Strong? Second Annual NBHAAD Breakfast Sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health and the University of Minnesota MERET Thursday, February 7, 2008 8-9:30am Snelling Office Park Red River Room 1645 Energy Park Drive St. Paul A breakfast and panel discussion on behalf of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) will be hosted by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Emergency Readiness Education & Training (MERET), University of Minnesota. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sandy Johnson, Minnesota Department of Health, (651) 201-4019 or email at: sandy.johnson [at] health.state.mn.us -- ?Each One Teach One? National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Event Sponsored by Pillsbury House Thursday, February 7, 2008 10am-7pm Pillsbury House 3501 Chicago Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55407 Pillsbury House will host a community event in observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). Free confidential HIV testing will be offered throughout the day. Everyone tested will receive a free Target Gift card, but can receive an additional card if they bring in one friend, family member, spouse, etc. Pillsbury?s youth program will be rallying outside on behalf of NBHAAD. For more information, contact Kevin Moore, Pillsbury House, (612) 824-0708, or by e-mail at: moorek [at] puc-mn.org <mailto:moorek%40puc-mn.org>. -- ?Prevention is Power? National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Community Event Sponsored by Turning Point, Inc., Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services 10am-2:30pm The Capri Theater 2027 West Broadway Minneapolis, MN 55411 This event will feature Jevetta Steele, who has authored Two Queens One Castle, along with several local community leaders in a spirited community awareness program on behalf of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Community leaders will include: Juan Jackson, Spike Moss, Jewelean Jackson, Thandisizwe Jackson-Nisan, Sarah Simmons and Woodrow Jefferson. The event is free and open to the general public. Lunch will be provided. To help plan for lunches, please pre-register by contacting Woodrow Jefferson, Turning Point, (612) 520-4004, or by e-mail at: woodrow.jefferson [at] ourturningpoint.org -- Sheryl Lee Ralph performs ?Sometimes I Cry? Sponsored by the Minneapolis Urban League Thursday, February 7, 2008 7-9pm Shiloh Temple ? International Ministries 1201 West Broadway Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55411 This event will feature the nationally renowned actress, Sheryl Lee Ralph, who has starred on Broadway in Dreamgirls and has starred in the long running television series, ?Moesha.? Ms. Ralph will perform, ?Sometimes I Cry,? a one woman dramatization depicting the lives of women living with HIV/AIDS. The event is free and open to the general public. For more information, contact Ramona, Minneapolis Urban League, (612) 302-3144. --------9 of 19-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Judges/women 2.07 11am February 7: Join the Minnesota Women Lawyers to talk about Minnesota's judicial elections, how and why they are changing, and various proposals to reform Minnesota's system for electing judges with Helen Palmer from the League of Women Voters & Karen Cole of Minnesota Women Lawyers. 11 AM - 1 PM at the Minnesota Women's Building, 550 Rice Street, Saint Paul. "Open house meeting" with coffee & cookies; bring a bag lunch if you like. --------10 of 19-------- From: Consortium on Law & Values JDP Program <lawvalue [at] umn.edu> Subject: Law & medicine 2.07 11:30am 2008 Deinard Memorial Lecture on Law & Medicine The Legacy of the Nazi Doctors' Trial for American Bioethics and International Human Rights Law Presented by Professor George J. Annas, JD, MPH Boston University Thursday, February 7, 2008 11:30-1:00pm Theater, Coffman Memorial Union University of Minnesota Commentators: Prof. Steven Miles, MD Prof. Kathryn Sikkink, PhD This lecture will focus on how American bioethics was born at the Doctors' Trial at Nuremberg (1946-47) at which American lawyers and physicians worked together to prosecute Nazi physicians and scientists for war crimes and crimes against humanity, crimes often committed under the guise of medical experimentation necessitated by national security. The trial court's formulation of the "Nuremberg Code," with its absolute requirement of informed consent, is usually presented as the trial's major medical ethics and human rights law accomplishment. But the real legacy of the doctors' trial is deeper, and includes the beginnings of a convergence of human rights and bioethics at practice levels both above (international human rights law) and below (individual and professional ethics) the level of the sovereign state and its national laws. The bioethics and human rights legacy of Nuremberg includes not only rules about human experimentation, but also rules about physicians' role in executions, interrogations, and torture. On the 60th anniversary of the Doctors' Trial, we are again asking, with Elie Wiesel, "How is it possible?" and again addressing the question of why torture is so attractive to humans. Prof. Annas will explore whether doctors and lawyers, working together as they did at Nuremberg, but with the advantage of a 60-year legacy including the Geneva Conventions and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), can prevent at least some war crimes and crimes against humanity by taking medical ethics - and human rights laws - seriously. George J. Annas, JD, MPH, is the Edward R. Utley Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights of Boston University School of Public Health, and Professor in the Boston University School of Medicine, and School of Law. He is the cofounder of Global Lawyers and Physicians, a transnational professional association of lawyers and physicians working together to promote human rights and health. --------11 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Korea/Japan 2.07 4pm Thursday, 2/7, 4 pm, Yale East Asian languages prof John Treat speaks on "Korea under Japanese Colonialism" concerning the decision to either resist or collaborate (1910--1945), 125 Nolte Center, 315 Pullsbury Dr SE, U of M East Bank, Mpls. http://ias.umn.edu/calendar.php --------12 of 19-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 2.07 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. --------13 of 19-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 2.07 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. --------14 of 19-------- From: Curt McNamara <mcnam025 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Vinyl/eco/film 2.07 7pm Celebrate Sustainability Film Series Doors 6:30 p.m., Film 7 p.m. Free! MCAD College Center Minneapolis College of Art and Design 2501 Stevens Ave. S. Please join us for the following screening about key sustainability issues affecting our world. Discussion with practicing eco-designers after the showing. Blue Vinyl (2002) Feb. 7th Filmmakers Judith Helfand and Daniel B. Gold use humor and chutzpah in their search for the environmental truth about vinyl. --------15 of 19-------- Why There's No Hope for Change MoveOn's Obama Endorsement By JOSHUA FRANK CounterPunch February 4, 2008 MoveOn is mobilizing. The "antiwar" group's Political Action members across the country voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Democratic candidacy of Barack Obama last week. MoveOn claims to have 1.7 million members in states that vote in Tuesday's primaries. "[Our] endorsement means a fresh infusion of people-power for Obama in the critical days before Super Tuesday," read the organization's press release. "MoveOn will immediately connect thousands of progressive activists into the Obama" volunteer operation. Obama's campaign is no doubt pleased, for its mantra of "hope" and "change" has begun to echo in the deep subconscious of many well-intentioned progressives. Obama's best quality at this point seems to be the fact that he's not a Clinton. When it comes to foreign policy, however, he may as well be, which makes MoveOn's shallow approval of his candidacy all the more hypocritical. After Obama won his senatorial race in 2004 he quickly abandoned the antiwar rhetoric he had touted along the campaign trail. While remaining critical of the White House and the lies that pushed us towards war, Obama still maintained that US military should remain in Iraq until the job was completed. "Given the enormous stakes in Iraq, I believe that those of us who are involved in shaping our national security policies should do what we believe is right, not merely what is politically expedient," Obama proclaimed in a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in late November 2005. "In sum, we have to focus, methodically and without partisanship, on those steps that will: one, stabilize Iraq, avoid all out civil war, and give the factions within Iraq the space they need to forge a political settlement; two, contain and ultimately extinguish the insurgency in Iraq; and three, bring our troops safely home." Obama continues to favor a "phased redeployment" of our troops as well as "benchmarks" for the Iraqi government, but promises to not "fully withdraw" - hence why the Illinois senator has supported the majority of Bush administration's pork-engorged appropriation bills that are draining the U.S. Treasury. Obama wants to keep cadres of troops throughout Iraq with others all other the region to strike if necessary. So where would President Obama send the troops he's redeployed? A good guess might be Iran. As Obama told the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> on September 26, 2004, "[T]he big question is going to be, if Iran is resistant to these pressures [to stop its nuclear program], including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed if they do not cooperate, at what point . . . if any, are we going to take military action?" He added, "[L]aunching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in" given the ongoing war in Iraq. "On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse." Obama went on to argue that military strikes on Pakistan should not be ruled out if "violent Islamic extremists" were to "take over." "[Iran] is a genuine threat" to the United States and Israel, Obama later expressed at a forum sponsored by AIPAC on March 12, 2007 in Washington D.C. At the event Obama reiterated that he would not rule out the use of force in disarming Iran, a position he shares with rival Hillary Clinton. Earlier that same month, on March 2 2007, Obama spoke at an AIPAC Policy Forum in Chicago, where he succinctly laid out his position on how he would deal with the Middle East, promising not to alter the U.S.'s lopsided relationship with Israel. "[W]e 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," he said. "This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza." How could any critic of the war machine support a candidate like Barack Obama? MoveOn has quite a long history of supporting Democratic candidates, despite said politician's allegiance to the Bush doctrine -- so their support of Obama doesn't come as much of a surprise. But even CODEPINK stalwarts like Jodie Evans and Nancy Kricorian (the latter runs the popular ListenHillary.org) have endorsed Obama for president. Perhaps betrayal is contagious. In the end Super Tuesday, despite MoveOn's public frolicking, won't end up being all that super when the votes are finally tallied. A pro-war candidate from both major parties will likely solidify their side's nomination. Joshua Frank is the co-editor of DissidentVoice.org, and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels, to be published by AK Press in March 2008. He can be reached through his website, BrickBurner.org. --------16 of 19-------- An Open Letter to the PDA Whither Progressive Democrats? By JOHN HALLE CounterPunch February 4, 2008 As board members, you are aware that on Jan 31, in the wake of John Edwards's suspension of his candidacy, the Progressive Democrats of America announced its endorsement of Barack Obama. Appended to the endorsement was the mild qualification that Obama "has not always been a progressive". This is not just an understatement, it is an absurdity. The PDA's "hopes" notwithstanding, where Obama really stands can be seen by comparing Obama's stated positions with the PDA's own seven point "progressive challenge" according to which "candidates should be measured." On almost all counts, Obama fails. For example, the PDA declares that the candidate should "end imperial foreign policy . . . redirecting funding towards needs at home". Nowhere does Obama provide the slightest hint that he would support anything of the kind. He supports not diminishing but augmenting existing troop levels by 90,000 solidiers. He has at no time made any mention of reducing absurdly bloated defense budgets. His team of foreign policy advisors led by Zbigniew Brzezinski are reliable imperialists fully committed to military force as a first resort as was demonstrated by Obama's endorsement of strikes in Pakistani regions likely to harbor terrorists. As for the PDA's second challenge--"heath care for all"-- it is now well known from Paul Krugman's columns that Obama has been consistent in his rejection of universal healthcare. In this respect, he is to the right of Romney who implemented universal health care as Massachusetts governor. Krugman also observes more generally that Obama has consistently positioned himself to the right of the major Democratic candidates on questions of "economic justice." As for the PDA's specific demands on this score, there is nothing in Obama's platform which indicates strong support for organized labor or a recognition of the devastating effect of corporate negotiated trade agreements, which Obama has supported. Having failed on the first three points, it is hardly worth itemizing the remaining areas where Obama fails to rise to the PDA's challenges. For ultimately, these are not a reflection of Obama but rather of the PDA itself. Obama, whatever his faults, has run a relatively honest campaign. He has consistently communicated his disdain for the Democratic Party left, issuing thinly coded appeals to "bipartisanship" signaling his willingness to consider extreme right wing policies such as the privatization of social security. Also telling is his support of his Senate mentor Joseph Lieberman and his recent panegyric for Ronald Reagan. In endorsing Obama, the PDA has shown itself to be precisely what some had feared: the latest entry in a time honored series of bait and switch tactics designed to herd progressives into support of the Democratic Party, holding it out as the only possible vehicle for progressive change. As Obama's positions and as the Obama presidency will surely demonstrate, yet again this "hope" has shown itself to be a chimera. Most crucially, yet again the left will be forced to confront anew the necessity for organizing independent challenges to the Democrats and will be required build them from scratch. We sincerely hope you will reconsider lending your names and credibility to an organization which has shown itself, perhaps unwittingly, but increasingly obviously, to be nothing more, or less, than a tool in the hands of the financial, corporate and media elites who own and operate the political system. Yours Truly, John Halle John Halle teaches music theory at the Bard College Conservancy. He can be reached at: halle [at] bard.edu --------17 of 19-------- From: kat swift <kat [at] voteswift.org> Subject: RELEASE Breaking News: IL voters denied Green Party Ballots Forwarded by the Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org Illinois Green Party http://www.ilgp.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEBRUARY 5, 2008 GREEN PARTY FIELDS NUMEROUS REPORTS OF VOTING IRREGULARITIES IN CHICAGO, ELSEWHERE Voters who hoped to participate in the Illinois' first ever statewide Green Party primary are receiving a very rude reception at many polling places, especially in Chicago. In the early hours of voting, Green Party officials began receiving reports from frustrated voters across the state who, in many cases, had been told by pollworkers that there are no Green Party ballots available at their polling places, or that they had to vote on suspect electronic voting machines, even while other parties use paper ballots. Some of the most outrageous incidents, however, occurred across the wards of Chicago, where Green Party ballots have been apparently tampered with so they can't be read and accepted by voting machines, voters are given Democratic ballots despite requesting Green ballots. What follows are a few examples of reports. Check http://www.ilgp.org for more reports as they are received. More information will also be available at the Green Party gathering tonight at Decima Musa Restaurant, 1901 S. Loomis, Chicago (in Pilsen). 1st WARD, 26th PRECINCT A voter reports that all of the Green Party ballots had been folded in half, causing them to not feed through the machine properly. The Republican and Democratic ballots were not folded. Because his first ballot kept getting rejected by the machine, the voter was asked by pollworkers to fill out another Green Party ballot, which also had been previously folded. That ballot was not able to be read and was rejected as well. 25th WARD, 8th PRECINCT Pollworkers didn't have any green ballots available and were asking voters if they wanted a Democratic or Republican ballot (but not Green ballots). 25th WARD, 24th PRECINCT A voter asked for a Green Party ballot three times, and was given a Democratic paper ballot each time. Finally, on the fourth time, the voter was told only touch screen available for Greens. 31st WARD Mary Ann Esler, Green Party Committeewoman in the 31st Ward, went in to vote in the Green Primary this morning. The election judges refused to give her a Green Party ballot. The Democratic Precinct Captain, who was supervising the judges told them that there were no ballots for the Green Primary because the Green candidates were running unopposed. The confrontation ended when Mary found the ballots hidden under some papers on the judge's table. The judges then went into a big huddle with the Democratic Precinct Captain while Mary marked her ballot. 35th WARD Jeremy Karpen, live blogging from the 35th Ward polling place, gives the following reports: 9:00am: After reporting an election judge for not orally offering Green Party ballots (when he is offering Dem and Rep) he was visited by the Board of Elections and then he called me [an expletive]. I asked him first to either list all three ballots or simply ask people what ballot they prefer, he said "I can if I want to." 9:09am: Craig (my committeeman and roommate) was just handed a "green" democratic ballot and got all the way to the little voting booth before he realized what had happened. Dear lord. 9:45am: The Election Judge, who now seems to have an attitude, when asked if Green is a real party, said "unfortunately" and stated that it "isn't a real party." The person he was talking to was an electioneer for Bradley's campaign and not a voter but there certainly were other voters in the room. http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=188400239&blogID=354973039 47th WARD A voter was told there were no Green Party ballots. During a call to report the incident, the pollworkers told him that he could vote using an electronic voting machine, but they did not have any paper ballots available (although paper ballots were available for the Republican and Democratic parties). 50th WARD, 5th PRECINCT Green committeeman reports that the election judge is only offering Republican and Democratic ballots. COOK COUNTY, NORTHBROOK An election judge reports that judges were instructed to keep a tally of Green voters on a tally sheet that numbers up to 50. There is no such tally for the Democrats and Republicans. COOK COUNTY, NORTHFIELD TOWNSHIP, 44th PRECINCT A voter writes: "At approximately 11:30 am, at the polling place at 74 Park Drive, Glenview, Green Party ballots were still in shrink wrap, in the box, in the cabinet. Officials at the desk were indignant about my disappointment, and challenged me to "have credentials" in order to register my complaint. DUPAGE COUNTY, MILTON TOWNSHIP, 28th PRECINCT A pollwatcher reports that and election judge asks voter "which parties' primary ballot do you want?" The voter seemed confused by the question and the judge clarified by stating "Republican or Democrat". The pollwatcher immediately interjected and corrected the judge and asked her to please state all three parties in the primary from now on. DUPAGE COUNTY, MILTON TOWNSHIP, 44th PRECINCT A voter writes: "A judge repeatedly tried to give me a Democratic ballot, which I refused. The Green ballots were still wrapped up and semi-out of sight. As I approached the tables, I could hear only "Republican or Democrat?" over and over. JACKSON COUNTY, MURPHYSBORO, 12th PRECINCT A voter writes: "As I was leaving, the head lady was making a call about getting more Green ballots because they had only been sent three and at 7:30a they had already used 2 of them and she was worried about a run on Green voters." MORE REPORTS AVAILABLE ON ILGP.ORG <http://ilgp.org/> AS THEY COME IN. --------18 of 19-------- What Do They Have to Lose? Unions Need to Stop Being So Nice By DAVID MACARAY CounterPunch February 5, 2008 Should labor unions arbitrarily assume that any plan introduced by management will likely have a negative effect on the workers? Should organized labor quit playing ball with management? Should they stop cooperating? In a word, should unions just say No to everything? As cynical and profoundly adversarial as these questions may seem, recent history more or less gives Yes as the answer. Take, for example, the Democracy in the Workplace campaign of the 1980s. Using as its template the Japanese employer-employee relationship (the one reputed to be kicking our butts in the marketplace), American businesses urged unions to think "outside the box," to open themselves up to a whole new philosophy regarding the way we do business. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the statistician and ergonomics expert credited with having "invented" the postwar Japanese business model, traveled the United States conducting seminars and hawking his book ("Out of the Crisis") on how to save the American economy. Japan was clearly on the ascendancy, and we were rapidly falling behind. Management gushed over Deming's innovative 14-point program for improving efficiency, and unions were quick to buy in to his refreshingly pro-labor stance, where workers on the floor were given an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process, share in the profits, and be treated as "equals." Of course, what happened was hideous and predictable. Management degraded Deming's philosophy by implementing only those parts of it that benefited them in the short-term, and rejecting anything that cost money or resembled "joint-ownership" of the workplace. Because they'd always feared and resented unions, they hoped that "going Japanese" would be an opportunity to neutralize them. Democracy in the Workplace turned out to be more hype than substance. It took the form of grassroots employee committees which, predictably (and with the company's urging), ignored or sidestepped the elected union leadership. Not that there's anything wrong with employee involvement; in fact, having a majority of the workers genuinely involved in day-to-day activities is a positive force. But in many cases these ad hoc committees were free-for-alls, with management offering rewards to the weakest, most pliant workers on the floor as payment for supporting company initiatives. This was "democracy" in its least attractive form. Ironically, when it came time for some really serious decision-making to be done, even these company stooges were brushed aside, particularly when their suggestions conflicted with management's master plan. The mid-1980s and early 1990s turned out to be a period of huge layoffs. Because cutting the workforce was now a priority, Deming's subtle managerial philosophy had been clumsily reduced to an aggressive, unremitting drive to lower head counts. By the time the smoke cleared, and the Democracy in the Workplace movement had petered out, employee rolls had been slashed, unions had been weakened, and company profits had soared. And then, quite suddenly, the so-called "Japanese Miracle" was relegated to yesterday's news. As other emerging Asian markets arrived on the scene and began competing with Japan, the vaunted Japanese model lost a bit of its luster. Today, if you suggest emulating Japanese techniques, you'll elicit yawns. China is the world's new economic hero. Fortunately, its bizarre mixture of bureaucratic Communism and rapacious turbo-capitalism isn't available for export. Another example of a bad idea was NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). This treaty has been with us now for 14 years, and it's obvious that the wildly optimistic predictions were mistaken. NAFTA was supposed to create jobs for American workers; instead, nearly 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. Additionally, NAFTA was supposed to help the Mexican economy to such an extent - create so many new jobs in Mexico - that immigration into the U.S. would be reduced to a trickle. Instead, not only has immigration to the U.S. increased, but Mexican farmers have been devastated by U.S. government subsidies to agribusiness, and workers at the maquiladoras (border factories) have been laid off or had their wages drastically cut. So who profited from NAFTA? No big surprise. It was the most powerful business groups in the three countries privy to the arrangement: Canada, Mexico and the U.S. President Clinton's chief economic advisor, Robert Rubin (formerly of the financial giant Goldman Sachs), was a personal friend of Carlos Salinas, the wealthy former president of Mexico. NAFTA was a classic "inside job," shoved through Congress by a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats. But the best (worst) example of a management enterprise that hurt unions was the swapping of priorities in contract negotiations, which began in earnest during the 1990s and continues today. In order to hang on to their precious health care and pension benefits, unions were persuaded to put off (or even give back) wage increases. With benefits in jeopardy, unions were willing to sign contracts that swapped short-term purchasing power for long-term security. The central flaw in this strategy was that it had no brakes. Once the unions agreed to forego wage increases in return for maintaining their benefits, management's next move was swift and predictable: they came after the benefits. The unions' voluntary waiver of wage increases served no purpose; health care and pension benefits continued to be eaten away. In the end, unions wound up losing both wages and benefits. The same applied to the two-tier wage format. Reluctantly, unions agreed to sign contracts that included two-tier wage structures (a configuration where new hires are locked into a permanently lower wage schedule than senior workers) in return for hanging on to their medical and pension coverage. A case of ideological integrity being sacrificed for long-term stability. This "selling out" of future employees was an extremely tough call for the unions, a trade-off they agonized over. To their credit, many locals refused to go along, even though they were under enormous pressure to do so. For those who did agree, as soon as management had that two-tier wage provision under their belt (and despite assurances that it wouldn't happen), they began cutting into the very medical and pension benefits the union had sold its soul to preserve. It was ugly. So what's the answer? If going the extra mile, meeting management more than halfway and expecting them to do the right thing, isn't the solution, then what is? One suggestion might be that labor needs to move in the opposite direction. Instead of detente and mutual cooperation, a harsher, more "primitive" approach may be what's needed. If accommodating management has lead to treachery and deceit, maybe resorting to strikes, more strikes, lawsuits, and calling management's bluff at every turn would be the more effective tactic. Something needs to be done to back them off. Even if that means going to war. Given all the bitter medicine unions have been forced to swallow over the last 25 years, what have they got to lose? [Amen] David Macaray, a Los Angeles playwright and writer, was president and chief contract negotiator of the Assn. of Western Pulp and Paper Workers, Local 672, from 1989 to 2000. He can be reached at dmacaray [at] earthlink.net --------19 of 19-------- To run for US president, you must have a scruploscopy. If scruples are found, big or small, you must have a scruplectomy. If even one is missed, sooner or later your light plane will go down. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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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