Progressive Calendar 03.02.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2008 04:14:59 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.02.08

1. Atheists/AM950   3.02 9am
2. Call for peace   3.02 10:30am
3. Stillwater vigil 3.02 1pm
4. Ellsberg/CSPAN   3.02 2pm
5. KFAI/Indian      3.02 7pm
6. Haiti/film       3.02 7pm

7. Hunting doves    3.03 12:30pm
8. Uhcan-mn health  3.03 7pm
9. E-citizenship    3.03 7pm
10. Jewish films    3.03 7/9pm
11. 3CD Green/CTV   3.03 10pm

12. Aeon housing    3.04 7:30am
13. Newspapers/CTV  3.04 5pm
14. Palestine       3.04 6:30pm
15. Woman's rights  3.04 7pm
16. Green caucus    3.04 7pm
17. WCC register

18. B/K Christison - Nader the best antidote to American imperialism
19. Joshua Frank   - Obama and Israel: the bonds that kill
20. Matt Gonzalez  - The Obama craze: count me out
21. Carol Christen - One final corporative capitalist empire
22. PB Shelley     - Ozymandias  (poem)

--------1 of 22--------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at]>
Subject: Atheists/AM950 3.02 9am

Sunday, March 2, 9:00-10:00 a.m. Central Time - "Atheists Talk"  produced
by Minnesota Atheists (  Air America
Minnesota radio, KTNF AM 950 or stream live on-line at

First guest: Hemant Mehta, who will talk about his blog, his book "I Sold My Soul on eBay," and the
Secular Student Alliance.

Second guest: PZ Myers ( who will
discuss "A Moment of Science: Unintelligent Design."  Studio call-in line:
952-946-6205.  E-mail questions: radio [at]

--------2 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Call for peace 3.02 10:30am

Sunday, 3/2, 10:30 am, "Dona Nobis Pacem: A Call for Peace," with slide
show images of war, and the 1st Unitarian Society chorus & orchestra, 900
Mount Curve Ave, Mpls. or

--------3 of 22--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 3.02 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

--------4 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Ellsberg/CSPAN 3.02 2pm

tune in for an interview with DANIEL ELLSBERG on C-span
in Minneapolis that's on basic cable channel 19

--------5 of 22--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian 3.02 7pm

KFAI¹s Indian Uprising for March 2, 2008 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CST #255

Older Than America (a feature film).  A woman's haunting visions reveal a
Catholic priest's sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the
truth about the atrocities that took place at her Native American boarding
school. A contemporary drama of suspense, Older Than America (filmed on
location in Cloquet, Minnesota) delves into the lasting impact of the
cultural genocide and loss of identity that occurred at these institutions
across the Untied States and Canada.

"Our goal in making this film was... to shed light on a widely unknown
issue that has had a lasting impact on the Native American community...
The phrase Older Than America refers to who we were as a nation before
mandatory assimilation transformed our identity... The film is dedicated
to Georgina Lightning's father, George De Jong, who after years of
battling the demons of boarding school ultimately committed suicide." ~P
Tribal Alliance Productions.

Principal Cast: Adam Beach (Saulteaux - Canada), Bradley Cooper
(Irish/Italian), Tantoo Cardinal (Cree - Canada) and Wes Studi (Cherokee -
Oklahoma).  2008, U.S., 35mm, 102 minutes,

Older Than America, will be the "opening night" film for the Walker Art
Center's 15th Annual International Film Festival (through March 29th), in
Minneapolis, of works by women directors - Women With Vision 2008:
Past/Present. The director and producer will introduce their movie with
guest actress, Tantoo Cardinal.

Older Than America, showing Friday March 7th at 7:30 p.m. at the Walker
Art Center's Cinema. Tickets are $8 ($6 Walker members). They can be
purchased by calling the Walker box office 612-375-7600 or online at

Radio program guests are:

Christine Kunewa Walker (Indigenous Hawaiian), Writer/Producer, Tribal
Alliance Productions

Georgina Lightning (Cree - Edmonton, Canada), Writer/Director/Actor,
Tribal Alliance Productions

* * * *
Indian Uprising a one-hour radio Public & Cultural Affairs program relevant
to Native Indigenous people, broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CST over
KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is
volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. To receive or stop getting announcements:
radio [at]

--------6 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Haiti/film 3.02 7pm

Sunday, 3/2, 7 pm, advance screening of documentary "We Must Kill the
Bandits" about international intervention in Haiti today, 2021 - 26th Ave
S, #2, Mpls.  612-377-4144.  $10 (no one turned away)

--------7 of 22--------

From: Wyn Douglas <wyn_douglas [at]>
Subject: Hunting doves 3.03 12:30pm

On Monday, March 3, 2008, the Minnesota Senate Environment and Natural
Resources Committee will be hearing a bill to repeal the mourning dove
hunting season. This hearing is scheduled to take place at 12:30 PM at the
State Capitol in St. Paul, Room 107.

Please contact the senators who serve on that committee and ask them to
vote for S.F. 2329, supporting the repeal. This is especially important if
one of your senators serve on the committee.

 * Satveer S. Chaudhary (Chair), (DFL-50), 651.296.4334
 * Dan Skogen (Vice Chair), (DFL-10), 651.296.5655
 * Pat Pariseau (Ranking Minority Member), (R-36), 651.296.5252
 * Ellen R. Anderson, (DFL-66), 651.296.5537 (Co-author of dove bill)
 * D. Scott Dibble, (DFL-60), 651.296.4191 (Chief author of dove bill)
 * Steve Dille, (R-18), 651.296.4131
 * Dennis R. Frederickson, (R-21), 651.296.8138
 * Bill G. Ingebrigtsen, (R-11), 651.297.8063
 * Gen Olson, (R-33), 651.296.1282
 * Tom Saxhaug, (DFL-03), 651.296.4136
 * Kathy Sheran, (DFL-23), 651.296.6153
 * Katie Sieben, (DFL-57), 651.297.8060
 * LeRoy A. Stumpf, (DFL-01), 651.296.8660
 * Jim Vickerman, (DFL-22), 651.296.5650

The Green Party of Minnesota is part of a coalition to help save the
mourning dove. This coalition includes the MN Humane Society, the Humane
Society of the U.S., the Avian Welfare Coalition, three chapters of the
Audubon Society in MN, Archbishop Flynn, and several MN wildlife groups.
The Sierra Club may also join the effort.

The Green Party of Minnesota may also be testifying at the hearing. GPMN
Political Chair, David Strand, is working to find someone. (If you have
some expertise in this area and want to help, contact David at
mncivil [at]

Special thanks to Howard Goldman and Jill Fritz of the Humane Society of
the U.S., who are helping to lead this effort.

Eric Makela, Minneapolis Co-Founder, Green Party Animals (The GPMN's
animal rights caucus)

--------8 of 22--------

From: Nora Longley <noralongley [at]>
Subject: Uhcan-mn health 3.03 7pm

The next UHCAN-MN organizing meeting is: Monday, March 3, 7PM, Walker
Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Mpls. in the Art Gallery (lower level)
(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
Single-Payer: Health Care as a Human Right, based on need, government
guaranteed for all MN and U.S.

Suggested items ?  (yours' are welcome):

-Welcome, intros,
-Orientation, background
-Expending the Network, latest base-building attempts
-Legislation:  UHCAN-MN bill for '08 session (expand public programs),&
  single-payer bill
-Direct Action Health Care Affinity Group to Resist the RNC,other actions
-MN Health Fund for preventive/ER/resources services progress

refreshments served
See you there, bring a friend,

--------9 of 22--------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at]>
Subject: E-citizenship 3.03 7pm

This Monday, St. Paul E-Democracy is hosting a free workshop on tools for
e-citizenship.  We will cover topics such as issues forums, local
reference wikis, citizen journalism, community portals and local blogs,
and we will discuss both existing sites and the (often simple) process of
creating your own.  Additionally, SPIF Forum Manager Rick Mons will be
there to talk about the St. Paul Issues Forum.  Come learn how to use the
internet to become more informed and involved in your community!

Tools for E-Citizenship

Date : Monday, March 3rd
Time : 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Location : Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 North Dale
University & Dale, St. Paul

--------10 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Jewish films 3.03 7/9pm

Monday, 3/3, 7 pm, Jewish Film Festival presents "Frozen Days" about a
young Tel Aviv woman who moves into an online friend's apartment after he
is injured in a suicide bombing, Oak St Cinema, 309 Oak St SE, Mpls.

Monday 3/3, 9 pm, Jewish Film Festival presents "The Bubble" about 3 young
Israelis who share an apartment and what happens when one of them falls in
love with a Palestinian man, plus "West Bank Story" about an Israeli
soldier who follows in love with a Palestinian falafel cashier, Oak St
Cinema, 309 Oak St Se, Mpls.

--------11 of 22--------

From: alforgreens [at]
Subject: 3CD Green/CTV 3.03 10pm

3rd Congressional District Green Party Show
aired on Southwest Cable TV- Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins
Channel 15 - 30 min show
Discussion of Green Party Caucus and Legislative Issues
Mon.  March 3 - 10 PM
Tues.  March 4 - 4 PM

--------12 of 22--------

From: Jenny Johnson <JJohnson [at]>
Subject: Aeon housing 3.04 7:30am

Learn how Aeon is responding to the affordable housing shortage in the
Twin Cities. Please join us for a 1-hour Building Dreams presentation.

St. Paul Sessions: March 4 at 7:30 am, April 1 at 4:30 pm

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Jenny Johnson at 612-341-3148 x237

--------13 of 22--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Newspapers/CTV 3.04 5pm

Open-minded St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings at 5pm,
after DemocracyNow!, and midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am.  All
households with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 3/4, 5pm and midnight and Wed, 3/5, 10am "Life After Newspapers:
Changes in Journalism: A Panel Perspective from Twin Cities Journalists"
Short film, "EPIC 2015", about the future of media; plus panel discussion
featuring experienced Twin Cities journalists: Brian Lambert, Steve Perry,
Matt Thompson, Eric Black and Joel Kramer. (a repeat)

--------14 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Palestine 3.04 6:30pm

Tuesday, 3/4, 6:30 pm, Univ of St Thomas justice and peace prof David
Smith speaks on his recent trip to Gaza in "Recognizing Israel,
Recognizing Palestine: An Illustrated First Hand Account" at the Peace
Salon, Mad Hatters Tea House, 943 W 7th St, St Paul.
pattypax [at]

--------15 of 22--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Woman's rights 3.04 7pm

March 4: Women's Programs at Advocates for Human Rights & Friends of the
St. Paul Public Library. Women's Human Rights Film Series. Features "View
from a Grain of Sand " 7 PM. Arlington Hills Branch Library, St. Paul.
Free & open to the public.

--------16 of 22--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Green caucus 3.04 7pm

Note, if there is not a convener listed in your senate district, feel  free
to attend the caucus nearest to you.
Bring your resolutions and platform items to your caucus.  They  will be
reviewed by the GPM Documents Committee and brought forth at our  Biennial
Convention in June for discussion by the GPM membership.

find location on-line at:
Green Party 2008  Caucus Locations By Senate District | Green Party of
Minnesota (

--------17 of 22--------

From: Bonnie Watkins <info [at]>
Subject: WCC register

Get Connected!  Speak Up!
Register by March 5 for
Women Come to the Capitol

This event is open to everyone who could use a friendly introduction to
the state legislature.  The cost is $15, payable at the door, but RSVPs
are essential - including your home address so we can make an appointment
for you to meet with your Senator or Representative.

Wednesday, March 12
9:30AM - 1PM
Room 300N State Office Building, St. Paul
9:30 - Introductions
9:45 - Government 101 & Lobbying 101
10:30 - Expert panel on health,
education, & politics
Noon -  Lunch, networking, & meetings
with your elected officials
TO RSVP:  Please write to info [at]
TODAY and include your  home address.

--------18 of 22--------

The One Candidate Worth Our Vote
Nader the Best Antidote to American Imperialism
March 1 / 2, 2008

We want to express our strong support for Ralph Nader's presidential

There are several reasons. The first is a response to the many who say
that, because Obama cannot be seen to sympathize with the Palestinians or
criticize Israel during the campaign, we should all lie low for now, not
even press him on the issue, get him nominated and elected, and then work
on him to change after he becomes president. With all due respect to this
position, which we recognize as legitimate, and to those who believe this,
we feel it is a pipe dream to expect that Obama will ever change after
being elected on a platform of unquestioning support for Israel and its
oppression of Palestinians. He will have huge debts of gratitude to the
Jewish community, and particularly to his very pro-Israeli political
endorsers as well as huge monetary debts to pro-Israeli contributors, that
will keep him from ever looking honestly at what Israel is doing to the
Palestinians and particularly from ever speaking out forthrightly against
this oppression.

Secondly, Obama has taken an extremely immoral stand on the
Palestinian-Israeli issue by, among other positions, actually applauding
Israel's siege and starvation of 1.5 million innocent Gazans, and by
mourning Israel's losses to Palestinian rocket fire (12 people in seven
years) without bothering even to mention the approximately 2,600 Gazans
killed by Israeli rocket fire, airstrikes, and assassinations in those
same seven years. He made one reference last year to Palestinian
suffering, was immediately dumped on by Jewish leaders, and has since said
nothing honest about the occupation - not even expressing support for the
two-state solution.

This is so distasteful that it ought to be totally unacceptable to anyone
who works for peace in the Middle East, not just in Palestine-Israel but
also in the broader region. Many responsible people have said that Israel
is committing or is nearing the commission of genocide against the
Palestinians. How in God's name can we just sit back and wait for the
Israel lobby to work its will before we complain to Obama about his

There might be some mitigating factors here if Obama were truly committed
to really ending the Iraq war, but his position on this is ambiguous and
uncertain enough to make us believe that here too he is at least partly in
the pockets of Israel and its supporters. Anything short of an immediate
withdrawal from Iraq constitutes, in our view, a perpetuation of the
militarism initiated by the Bush/Cheney/neocon/Israel conglomerate and
backed by the centrist DLC. This is horrifying. We also see little hope
elsewhere: although Obama is not bad on Iran, he wants to attack Pakistan!

Our concern about Palestine-Israel, and about the way that oppression of
the Palestinians is always put on the back burner in the interests of not
antagonizing a key voting bloc, is not overdrawn. U.S.-supported Israeli
oppression of the Palestinians is the principal root cause of
anti-American terrorism and of hatred of the U.S. around the world,
particularly the Arab and Muslim worlds. However often Mubarak and the
Kings Abdullah and Abbas assure us that there is nothing to worry about,
that it does not really matter if Palestinians are oppressed, we should
never forget that their people, the proverbial "street throughout the Arab
world, do care and care very deeply. One day, the U.S. will pay dearly -
again - for our obliviousness to Palestinian suffering. And that is quite
apart from the hatred that Iraq and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo arouse.

We feel that Ralph Nader offers an alternative for anyone who longs for a
candidate with principles, and we urge those who simply hope for the
lesser of evils please not to interfere to limit our choices by denying
him the right to run for election. Nader spoke very directly about
Palestine-Israel and Iraq when he announced his candidacy on February 24,
2008, and we applaud him heartily. It's about time we saw a candidate with
the courage of his convictions, the honor to speak out against injustice
no matter how politically risky, and the guts not to sell his soul for the
Jewish vote - to say nothing of a readiness to speak out against the
corporate interests that strangle us and limit our democracy.

As Nader himself said, if the Democrats can't win this election in a
landslide, then they should fold their tent and reassess. He will not win
the election, obviously. But if enough of us who care about the Middle
East were to vote for him because he stands for a set of principles that
greatly concern us all, then maybe we could send a message that cow-towing
to Israel in order to get elected is not good enough. Some of us want some
principle in the U.S. political scene, and only Nader offers this.

We will vote for him if he stays in the race. If he does not, we will
probably - and very deliberately - not vote for president at all.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on
Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of
Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession. She can be reached at
kathy.bill.christison [at]

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National
Intelligence officer and as director of the CIA's Office of Regional and
Political Analysis.

They can be reached at kathy.bill.christison [at]

--------19 of 22--------

The Bonds That Kill
Obama and Israel
February 29, 2008

In an attempt to squelch rumors that he is pro-Palestinian, or god forbid
Muslim, Barack Obama made it clear in the final Democratic Presidential
debate on Tuesday that he is anything but. After being prodded by NBC's
Tim Russert on the issue, Obama said he has long been a "stalwart friend
of Israel's," believing the country to be one of the United States' "most
important allies in the region," and even going as far as to call the
security of Israel "sacrosanct."

The hallowed confirmation that he would maintain the US's lopsided support
for Israel came the same day seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli air
strikes in Gaza. Since "peace negotiations" resumed in November, Israeli
military forces have reportedly killed over 200 Palestinians.

Speaking to a group of 100 pro-Israel supporters in Cleveland this week,
Obama assured the crowd that as president he would keep Iran in the
crosshairs to protect Israeli interests.

"Now the gravest threat ... to Israel today, I believe, is from Iran.
There the radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to build a
nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism across the region," he
explained. "Threats of Israel's destruction can not be dismissed as
rhetoric. The threat from Iran is real and my goal as president would be
to eliminate that threat."

After reiterating that he'd end the war in Iraq first, Obama then promised
he would turn his attention to the country's neighbor. "My approach to
Iran will be aggressive diplomacy: I will not take any military options
off the table."

In fairness, Obama did mention something few Democrats in Washington dare
to utter, "I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that
says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that
you're anti-Israel and that can't be the measure of our friendship with

After pointing out the obvious, however, Obama praised Israel's most
recent invasion of Lebanon, the pro-Israel tilt on Capital Hill, and his
quest for Israel to remain a Jewish State.

"[Any] negotiated peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is going to
have to involve the Palestinians relinquishing the right of return as it
has been understood in the past," he averred. "And that doesn't mean that
that there may not be conversations about compensation issues."

How gracious, but what does Obama plan to do with the over 1.4 million
non-Jewish Arabs that live in the country? Continue to treat them like
second-class citizens or just boot them out? Obama has called Israel a
"democracy," but as the former editor of the Harvard Law Review you'd
think he would know what the term actually means. Sure Israeli Arabs can
vote, but they can't hold office if they are democratic secularists who
want civil rights for all of the country's citizens. They have no
constitutional protections (Israel has no formal constitution) and can
only own land in certain locales as a consequence of unfair laws that
grant special treatment to Jewish residents.

Simply put, as Jimmy Carter took so much heat for rightly observing,
Israel is an apartheid-ridden country where the Arab population is not
exactly welcomed with open arms.

Barack Obama won't confront this reality, nor will he end Israel's violent
incursions into the occupied territories or halt the US military threats
toward Iran. The Obama campaign may pledge to bring "hope" and "change" to
the White House, but when it comes to what the Democratic frontrunner
calls our "special relationship" with Israel, that promise an out-and-out

Joshua Frank is the co-editor of, 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,

--------20 of 22--------

Count Me Out
The Obama Craze
February 29, 2008

Part of me shares the enthusiasm for Barack Obama. After all, how could
someone calling themself a progressive not sense the importance of what it
means to have an African-American so close to the presidency? But as his
campaign has unfolded, and I heard that we are not red states or blue
states for the 6th or 7th time, I realized I knew virtually nothing about

Like most, I know he gave a stirring speech at the Democratic National
Convention in 2004. I know he defeated Alan Keyes in the Illinois Senate
race; although it wasn't much of a contest (Keyes was living in Maryland
when he announced). Recently, I started looking into Obama's voting
record, and I'm afraid to say I'm not just uninspired: I'm downright
fearful. Here's why:

This is a candidate who says he's going to usher in change; that he is a
different kind of politician who has the skills to get things done. He
reminds us again and again that he had the foresight to oppose the war in
Iraq. And he seems to have a genuine interest in lifting up the poor.

But his record suggests that he is incapable of ushering in any kind of
change I'd like to see. It is one of accommodation and concession to the
very political powers that we need to reign in and oppose if we are to
make truly lasting advances.


Let's start with his signature position against the Iraq war. Obama has
sent mixed messages at best.

First, he opposed the war in Iraq while in the Illinois state legislature.
Once he was running for US Senate though, when public opinion and support
for the war was at its highest, he was quoted in the July 27, 2004 Chicago
Tribune as saying, "There's not that much difference between my position
and George Bush's position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is
who's in a position to execute." The Tribune went on to say that Obama,
"now believes US forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation a
policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration."

Obama's campaign says he was referring to the ongoing occupation and how
best to stabilize the region. But why wouldn't he have taken the
opportunity to urge withdrawal if he truly opposed the war? Was he trying
to signal to conservative voters that he would subjugate his anti-war
position if elected to the US Senate and perhaps support a lengthy
occupation? Well as it turns out, he's done just that.

Since taking office in January 2005 he has voted to approve every war
appropriation the Republicans have put forward, totaling over $300
billion. He also voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State
despite her complicity in the Bush Administration's various false
justifications for going to war in Iraq. Why would he vote to make one of
the architects of "Operation Iraqi Liberation" the head of US foreign
policy? Curiously, he lacked the courage of 13 of his colleagues who voted
against her confirmation.

And though he often cites his background as a civil rights lawyer, Obama
voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act in July 2005, easily the worse attack
on civil liberties in the last half-century. It allows for wholesale
eavesdropping on American citizens under the guise of anti-terrorism

And in March 2006, Obama went out of his way to travel to Connecticut to
campaign for Senator Joseph Lieberman who faced a tough challenge by
anti-war candidate Ned Lamont. At a Democratic Party dinner attended by
Lamont, Obama called Lieberman "his mentor" and urged those in attendance
to vote and give financial contributions to him. This is the same
Lieberman who Alexander Cockburn called "Bush's closest Democratic ally on
the Iraq War." Why would Obama have done that if he was truly against the

Recently, with anti-war sentiment on the rise, Obama declared he will get
our combat troops out of Iraq in 2009. But Obama isn't actually saying he
wants to get all of our troops out of Iraq. At a September 2007 debate
before the New Hampshire primary, moderated by Tim Russert, Obama refused
to commit to getting our troops out of Iraq by January 2013 and, on the
campaign trail, he has repeatedly stated his desire to add 100,000 combat
troops to the military.

At the same event, Obama committed to keeping enough soldiers in Iraq to
"carry out our counter-terrorism activities there" which includes
"striking at al Qaeda in Iraq." What he didn't say is this continued
warfare will require an estimated 60,000 troops to remain in Iraq
according to a May 2006 report prepared by the Center for American
Progress. Moreover, it appears he intends to "redeploy" the troops he
takes out of the unpopular war in Iraq and send them to Afghanistan. So it
appears that under Obama's plan the US will remain heavily engaged in war.

This is hardly a position to get excited about.


In 2005, Obama joined Republicans in passing a law dubiously called the
Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) that would shut down state courts as a
venue to hear many class action lawsuits. Long a desired objective of
large corporations and President George Bush, Obama in effect voted to
deny redress in many of the courts where these kinds of cases have the
best chance of surviving corporate legal challenges. Instead, it forces
them into the backlogged Republican-judge dominated federal courts.

By contrast, Senators Clinton, Edwards and Kerry joined 23 others to vote
against CAFA, noting the "reform" was a thinly-veiled "special interest
extravaganza" that favored banking, creditors and other corporate
interests. David Sirota, the former spokesman for Democrats on the House
Appropriations Committee, commented on CAFA in the June 26, 2006 issue of
The Nation, "Opposed by most major civil rights and consumer watchdog
groups, this Big Business-backed legislation was sold to the public as a
way to stop "frivolous" lawsuits. But everyone in Washington knew the
bill's real objective was to protect corporate abusers."

Nation contributor Dan Zegart noted further: "On its face, the
class-action bill is mere procedural tinkering, transferring from state to
federal court actions involving more than $5 million where any plaintiff
is from a different state from the defendant company. But federal courts
are much more hostile to class actions than their state counterparts; such
cases tend to be rooted in the finer points of state law, in which federal
judges are reluctant to dabble. And even if federal judges do take on
these suits, with only 678 of them on the bench (compared with 9,200 state
judges), already overburdened dockets will grow. Thus, the bill will make
class actions  most of which involve discrimination, consumer fraud and
wage-and-hour violations  all but impossible. One example: After forty
lawsuits were filed against Wal-Mart for allegedly forcing employees to
work "off the clock," four state courts certified these suits as class
actions. Not a single federal court did so, although the practice probably
involves hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide."

Why would a civil rights lawyer knowingly make it harder for working-class
people ( Or the people of Hunter Point suing Lennar) to have their day in
court, in effect shutting off avenues of redress?


Obama has a way of ducking hard votes or explaining away his bad votes by
trying to blame poorly-written statutes. Case in point: an amendment he
voted on as part of a recent bankruptcy bill before the US Senate would
have capped credit card interest rates at 30 percent. Inexplicably, Obama
voted against it, although it would have been the beginning of setting
these predatory lending rates under federal control. Even Senator Hillary
Clinton supported it.

Now Obama explains his vote by saying the amendment was poorly written or
set the ceiling too high. His explanation isn't credible as Obama offered
no lower number as an alternative, and didn't put forward his own
amendment clarifying whatever language he found objectionable.

Why wouldn't Obama have voted to create the first federal ceiling on
predatory credit card interest rates, particularly as he calls himself a
champion of the poor and middle classes? Perhaps he was signaling to the
corporate establishment that they need not fear him. For all of his
dynamic rhetoric about lifting up the masses, it seems Obama has little
intention of doing anything concrete to reverse the cycle of poverty many
struggle to overcome.


These seemingly unusual votes wherein Obama aligns himself with Republican
Party interests aren't new. While in the Illinois Senate, Obama voted to
limit the recovery that victims of medical malpractice could obtain
through the courts. Capping non-economic damages in medical malpractice
cases means a victim cannot fully recover for pain and suffering or for
punitive damages. Moreover, it ignored that courts were already empowered
to adjust awards when appropriate, and that the Illinois Supreme Court had
previously ruled such limits on tort reform violated the state

In the US Senate, Obama continued interfering with patients' full recovery
for tortious conduct. He was a sponsor of the National Medical Error
Disclosure and Compensation Act of 2005. The bill requires hospitals to
disclose errors to patients and has a mechanism whereby disclosure,
coupled with apologies, is rewarded by limiting patients' economic
recovery. Rather than simply mandating disclosure, Obama's solution is to
trade what should be mandated for something that should never be given
away: namely, full recovery for the injured patient.


In November 2007, Obama came out against a bill that would have reformed
the notorious Mining Law of 1872. The current statute, signed into law by
Ulysses Grant, allows mining companies to pay a nominal fee, as little as
$2.50 an acre, to mine for hardrock minerals like gold, silver, and copper
without paying royalties. Yearly profits for mining hardrock on public
lands is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion a year according to
Earthworks, a group that monitors the industry. Not surprisingly, the
industry spends freely when it comes to lobbying: an estimated $60 million
between 1998-2004 according to The Center on Public Integrity. And it
appears to be paying off, yet again.

The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007 would have finally
overhauled the law and allowed American taxpayers to reap part of the
royalties (4 percent of gross revenue on existing mining operations and 8
percent on new ones). The bill provided a revenue source to cleanup
abandoned hardrock mines, which is likely to cost taxpayers over $50
million, and addressed health and safety concerns in the 11 affected
western states.

Later it came to light that one of Obama's key advisors in Nevada is a
Nevada-based lobbyist in the employ of various mining companies (CBS News
"Obama's Position On Mining Law Questioned. Democrat Shares Position with
Mining Executives Who Employ Lobbyist Advising Him," November 14, 2007).


The New York Times reported that, while campaigning in Iowa in December
2007, Obama boasted that he had passed a bill requiring nuclear plants to
promptly report radioactive leaks. This came after residents of his home
state of Illinois complained they were not told of leaks that occurred at
a nuclear plant operated by Exelon Corporation.

The truth, however, was that Obama allowed the bill to be amended in
Committee by Senate Republicans, replacing language mandating reporting
with verbiage that merely offered guidance to regulators on how to address
unreported leaks. The story noted that even this version of Obama's bill
failed to pass the Senate, so it was unclear why Obama was claiming to
have passed the legislation. The February 3, 2008 The New York Times
article titled "Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate" by Mike
McIntire also noted the opinion of one of Obama's constituents, which was
hardly enthusiastic about Obama's legislative efforts:

"Senator Obama's staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we
could see it weakening with each successive draft," said Joe Cosgrove, a
park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive
runoff had turned up in groundwater. "The teeth were just taken out of

As it turns out, the New York Times story noted: "Since 2003, executives
and employees of Exelon, which is based in Illinois, have contributed at
least $227,000 to Mr. Obama's campaigns for the United States Senate and
for president. Two top Exelon officials, Frank M. Clark, executive vice
president, and John W. Rogers Jr., a director, are among his largest


On energy policy, it turns out Obama is a big supporter of corn-based
ethanol which is well known for being an energy-intensive crop to grow. It
is estimated that seven barrels of oil are required to produce eight
barrels of corn ethanol, according to research by the Cato Institute.
Ethanol's impact on climate change is nominal and isn't "green" according
to Alisa Gravitz, Co-op America executive director. "It simply isn't a
major improvement over gasoline when it comes to reducing our greenhouse
gas emissions." A 2006 University of Minnesota study by Jason Hill and
David Tilman, and an earlier study published in BioScience in 2005,
concur. (There's even concern that a reliance on corn-based ethanol would
lead to higher food prices.)

So why would Obama be touting this as a solution to our oil dependency?
Could it have something to do with the fact that the first presidential
primary is located in Iowa, corn capital of the country? In legislative
terms this means Obama voted in favor of $8 billion worth of corn
subsidies in 2006 alone, when most of that money should have been
committed to alternative energy sources such as solar, tidal and wind.


Obama opposed single-payer bill HR676, sponsored by Congressmen Dennis
Kucinich and John Conyers in 2006, although at least 75 members of
Congress supported it. Single-payer works by trying to diminish the
administrative costs that comprise somewhere around one-third of every
health care dollar spent, by eliminating the duplicative nature of these
services. The expected $300 billion in annual savings such a system would
produce would go directly to cover the uninsured and expand coverage to
those who already have insurance, according to Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler,
an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and
co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Obama's own plan has been widely criticized for leaving health care
industry administrative costs in place and for allowing millions of people
to remain uninsured. "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore ridiculed it saying,
"Obama wants the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care
plan-the same companies who have created the mess in the first place."


Regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement, Obama recently boasted,
"I don't think NAFTA has been good for Americans, and I never have." Yet,
Calvin Woodward reviewed Obama's record on NAFTA in a February 26, 2008
Associated Press article and found that comment to be misleading: "In his
2004 Senate campaign, Obama said the US should pursue more deals such as
NAFTA, and argued more broadly that his opponent's call for tariffs would
spark a trade war. AP reported then that the Illinois senator had spoken
of enormous benefits having accrued to his state from NAFTA, while adding
that he also called for more aggressive trade protections for US workers."

Putting aside campaign rhetoric, when actually given an opportunity to
protect workers from unfair trade agreements, Obama cast the deciding vote
against an amendment to a September 2005 Commerce Appropriations Bill,
proposed by North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, that would have prohibited
US trade negotiators from weakening US laws that provide safeguards from
unfair foreign trade practices. The bill would have been a vital tool to
combat the outsourcing of jobs to foreign workers and would have ended a
common corporate practice known as "pole-vaulting" over regulations, which
allows companies doing foreign business to avoid "right to organize,"
"minimum wage," and other worker protections.


On March 2, 2007 Obama gave a speech at AIPAC, America's pro-Israeli
government lobby, wherein he disavowed his previous support for the plight
of the Palestinians. In what appears to be a troubling pattern, Obama told
his audience what they wanted to hear. He recounted a one-sided history of
the region and called for continued military support for Israel, rather
than taking the opportunity to promote the various peace movements in and
outside of Israel.

Why should we believe Obama has courage to bring about change? He wouldn't
have his picture taken with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom when visiting
San Francisco for a fundraiser in his honor because Obama was scared
voters might think he supports gay marriage (Newsom acknowledged this to
Reuters on January 26, 2007 and former Mayor Willie Brown admitted to the
San Francisco Chronicle on February 5, 2008 that Obama told him he wanted
to avoid Newsom for that reason.)

Obama acknowledges the disproportionate impact the death penalty has on
blacks, but still supports it, while other politicians are fighting to
stop it. (On December 17, 2007 New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed a
bill banning the death penalty after it was passed by the New Jersey

On September 29, 2006, Obama joined Republicans in voting to build 700
miles of double fencing on the Mexican border (The Secure Fence Act of
2006), abandoning 19 of his colleagues who had the courage to oppose it.
But now that he's campaigning in Texas and eager to win over
Mexican-American voters, he says he'd employ a different border solution.

It is shocking how frequently and consistently Obama is willing to
subjugate good decision making for his personal and political benefit.

Obama aggressively opposed initiating impeachment proceedings against the
president ("Obama: Impeachment is not acceptable," USA Today, June 28,
2007) and he wouldn't even support Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold's
effort to censure the Bush administration for illegally wiretapping
American citizens in violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act. In Feingold's words "I'm amazed at Democrats cowering
with this president's number's so low." Once again, it's troubling that
Obama would take these positions and miss the opportunity to document the
abuses of the Bush regime.


Once I started looking at the votes Obama actually cast, I began to hear
his rhetoric differently. The principal conclusion I draw about "change"
and Barack Obama is that Obama needs to change his voting habits and stop
pandering to win votes. If he does this he might someday make a decent
candidate who could earn my support. For now Obama has fallen into a
dangerous pattern of capitulation that he cannot reconcile with his
growing popularity as an agent of change.

I remain impressed by the enthusiasm generated by Obama's style and skill
as an orator. But I remain more loyal to my values, and I'm glad to say
that I want no part in the Obama craze sweeping our country.

Matt Gonzalez is a former president of the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors and is running on Nader's ticket as a vice presidential

--------21 of 22--------

One Final Corporative Capitalist Empire
by Carol Warner Christen

(Swans - February 25, 2008)   Corporative is a word most of us never hear
or use. It means, in its third sense according to Webster's Dictionary,
that political and economic power is vested in an organization of
corporations. From what I read, this is what my and our country has been
reduced to on the national scale, albeit not fully within the individual

The party presidential race for Democrats now has "super delegates." They
are over and above the ordinary delegates because they are part of
government in various places with the huge privatization of our common
constitutional life. They will have more say than the elected delegates -
a strange turn of events. Do their votes count for more than the People's?
If so, how and why did that happen? Who gains by privatizing the unreal
votes before the real actual votes when we get to November 2008?

And, how did all these special bodies come into play? There is the
National Security Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the
Trilateral Commission, all of which seem to make decisions before the
Congress does for the Congress. They are closer to the Executive Branch;
however, their missions are all about what our country's purposes must be
for resources, laws, profits, war, and hegemony, as in leadership or
dominance of one state or nation over others. This has become their
country. We do not count anymore.

Has anyone noticed that our national attention is not on the United States
and the People? The attention is all over the world, except here. We have
been deliberately distracted. As our people are neglected, lose jobs, get
sicker, have fewer resources, have lost real Fourth Estate information,
suffer from pollutants of every kind, lack good education, our
corporatives - that sounds like a cooperative of corporations - band
together to make us pay and pay and pay as they hire shills to strip us of
the world under our feet with superficial distractions to buy and consume.
Pay no heed to the content; just do it for the corporative. The
distortions are so huge that every kind of distraction has been encouraged
so we do not notice.

Even if we do notice, what good would it do? All of our ancient rights
have been rescinded. We don't have any one left unless we pretend. No one
in Congress answers my letters about this problem. The police are
paramount and free speech is punished. How is that going to be corrected?
Why don't police officers get demoted for overreacting on people who have
gathered to protest one thing or another? The backlog of outrages against
the People grows daily. Is free speech dangerous? To whom? Why?

Which brings up the question of the spy because we have hired innumerable
persons to secretly see what We, the People, are doing, thinking, being,
without our permission. What is worse, our taxes are paying for this
without our permission. The executive branch gave itself permission and,
then, strong-armed the Congress into agreeing with every anti-American
agenda it can come up with, such as checking our "radical" thoughts,
warring on the world to enrich the military-industrial complex, stealing
the resources of the world's peoples by bombing them back to the stone
(rubble) age, building a wall to keep people out after we devastate their
economies and kill their children, teaching the police military tactics to
be sure the First Amendment is defeated on the streets, polluting the
world with radioactive materials just to rub it in forever, and on and on
and on. We, the People, on the other hand, shop and shop and shop to
"consume," even things inedible, watching "The Other Light" - electronic -
as I wrote two weeks ago, to give us internal guidance in good citizenship
because "taking it to the streets" is too dangerous.

The original culture of the landmass called "America" was one that did not
approve of hierarchies, such as the Iroquois Nation. The Founders of the
United States copied the concepts of the Iroquois Nations into the
Constitution (see William H. Kotke's The Final Empire - The Collapse of
Civilization and The Seed of the Future, 2007, for a complete discussion
of our founding ideas) because those documents precluded the rise of
imperial ideas, such as have been occurring today since we invented the
atomic bomb. As Lord Acton, a British historian, said, "Power corrupts and
absolute power corrupts absolutely," which is the basic concept that
destroys humanity wherever, and whenever, it rears its ugly head.

Working behind the scenes and right in front of our noses, those who
believe the world belongs solely to them for profit, power, and the good
life have slowly undone the Constitution and its checks and balances with
political appointees and elite spokespeople of every type. We, the People,
are never invited to their soires. We do not count anymore, even by
voting. In 1896, a clerical mistake made corporations into "persons" as
I've said innumerable times before. This gives them the rights I have
(lost, thanks to them) without the need for the lot of them to go to jail,
or worse, for their massive transgressions against humans since the
Vietnam War. Their money and power allows them to buy our senators,
representatives, the executive branch, none of whom, by the way, have to
do what we want.

Somehow, the skew is that our elected no longer intend or wish to do what
we want. The fawning and partying, the trips and junkets, the rubbing
elbows with worldwide groups who treat their peoples shabbily, have
changed our so-called "leaders" into sycophants (flatterers, toadies, and
parasites in too many cases). One small example: the king of Saudi Arabia
is listed as the fourth worst dictator in the world. Our executive branch
hobnobs, aids, and abets most of the others on the list in yesterday's
"Parade" enclosure in the Sunday Oregonian. What is that about? How does
that aid anyone except those at the top of the new food chain? After all,
outlaws used to rob people until the sheriff locked them up. Now, the
"sheriff" helps the outlaws rob and kill dissidents.

Apparently, civilization is never sustainable. Not one in all the history
of the world has succeeded until this day. They are gone because their
goals were selfish and ugly and personal. They destroyed what they wanted.
Today will be no different soon. The scientists have now named a new age
to replace the Holocene; it's called the Anthropocene. This is the name of
the First Age of Humankind's Depredations to the planet. I could list most
of our "sins," but our "consumers" aid and abet the destroyers of the only
planet we have. Perhaps, the dry "oceans" of the moon and Mars offer
solace to them because our problem seems to be: "It can't happen here."

We have, apparently, lost jobs, lost our healthcare, lost our taxes to war
without any accounting whatsoever, lost our honor, lost our morals, and,
finally, lost our way of life. The exalted humans still talking to each
other in the halls of power are working very hard to remove every shred of
social security, among other items. The power of education has been
diluted for the young. Our students rank 27th in the world in mathematical
concepts. The quality of our foodstuffs is suspect; the safety of our
children's toys is worse because we know they contain poisonous substances
and, yet, the executive branch has fired its real scientists for "cute"
political operatives as we see on television.

We have abandoned the law for the quick and dirty ancient fix of "guilty
until proven innocent" through torture as if the medieval churches were
still in charge of trials, instead of citizen juries. We have promulgated
so many laws to jail humans that our prison population numbers ten times
as many as it used to be. There are not more crimes; there are just more
"privatized" prisons run by corporations requiring big profits for
despicable care of those sentenced.

As to the profits once again, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole
world and lose his soul?" Read the five short chapters - 21 pages - by
Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler's "War Is A Racket." It's the most succinct
writing on obscene profits for death I've ever seen.

The worst about this time in history is the lack of care about the People,
the children, the taxes, the Constitution, the state of the actual world,
the lack of accounting as if "money grows on trees" philosophy. Being
healthy, wealthy, and wise is a mere nursery rhyme today. No one cares if
people are sick, poor, and ignorant because no one counts except the
elites and their mouthpieces, the media, behind which is always a
mega-corporation. I keep asking myself who profits when there is no one
left to flesh out the bottom lines? This leads me to believe that everyone
is living for the moment and there is no future. We, the People, just
haven't realized yet that alpha persons are extremely selfish and base for
all the pampering that goes into their upkeep.

These elites intend to remove ordinary farmers from planting seeds saved
on their small farms. The earth will soon be a desert with the tweaking of
the legacy of thousands and thousands of years of humanity's care for
life, seeds, and land. The new seeds self-destruct unless fed chemicals of
dubious benefit to anyone except the moneyed class. No doubt they will
raise their foods in greenhouses using slave labor. I wonder if any of
them knows that a spiral can wind down to a point; then, what? They will
poison themselves; we won't be liable for it as they are now "innocently"
poisoning the rest of us on the lands and in the grocery stores and in the
air we all breathe.

Another amazing thing is that overpopulation is happening; yet, women are
not supposed to freely limit their families if they choose. This is a
religious concept, often written into state laws, to prevent the death of
a fetus; whereas, the death of a child or a soldier or a mother in war is
fine, good, for it prevents "terror." The worry about "terrorists" is also
religious in scope. It's the followers of Christ and Abraham against the
followers of Mohammed. Certain humans use this as the best way to war
against other humans for profits: oil, land, money. The fact that Christ
said the opposite seems of no concern to anyone except the Quakers.

Honesty seems to be sorely lacking in these first few years of the new
century. Is war the reason? Is life getting worse, so much worse, because
ethics are meaningless to most people? Debt has risen to absurd
proportions, both nationally and personally. I cannot comprehend the size
of a nine trillion dollar national debt - some say fifty-three trillion.

What did the People do to deserve this malfeasance in office where the
miscreants remain untouched by laws or impeachment or removal from office?
Maybe it was our focus. We focused on electronic lights that dazzled us
with made-up stories instead of truth. We want to believe the country is
just as the Founders left it to us.

We lost our way somewhere in the Vietnam War and haven't found the path
back to sanity since. Perhaps, it is karma; i.e., what goes 'round, comes
'round. Now, it's our turn. The people - most of them - running the
country and the corporations are one singular generation of
individualistic idealists. The "Boomers" are legion and their idealism is
not to the group but for each of them alone to define. This makes for
saintly ideals in a world where terrorist witches are tortured - a world
we once had and have again because we do not want to hear that ideals can
be deadly if not matched by understanding, learning, and compassion. Since
these are in short shrift today, we have governmental and world chaos at a
cost to the children who will inherit a broken, alien earth from us.
Perhaps, they will grow up and change everything back to living with and
within nature, rather than outside of it as we think we can.

After all, this is merely the third dimension; none of us gets to stay
here forever. Our progeny will probably thank God we are all gone. This
may be why the Bible says a mere 144,000 humans will survive. That's a
loss of 48,541,000 people for each person who lives through this new
Anthropocene Age, the Age of Mankind. Were the Maya correct in their
assessment of human nature? Who will be here to notice? Will the
corporative cooperative survive, too? I hope not. That goes double for
empires, rumors of empires, and rulers - unelected - of every kind.

--------22 of 22--------

              PB Shelley

 I met a traveller from an antique land
 Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
 Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
 Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
 And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
 Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
 Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
 The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
 And on the pedestal these words appear:
 "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
 Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
 Nothing beside remains: round the decay
 Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
 The lone and level sands stretch far away.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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