|Progressive Calendar 03.02.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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] gmail.com> Subject: Atheists/AM950 3.02 9am Sunday, March 2, 9:00-10:00 a.m. Central Time - "Atheists Talk" produced by Minnesota Atheists (http://MinnesotaAtheists.org). Air America Minnesota radio, KTNF AM 950 or stream live on-line at AirAmericaMinnesota.com/listen. First guest: Hemant Mehta, who will talk about his blog http://www.FriendlyAtheist.com, his book "I Sold My Soul on eBay," and the Secular Student Alliance. Second guest: PZ Myers (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula) who will discuss "A Moment of Science: Unintelligent Design." Studio call-in line: 952-946-6205. E-mail questions: radio [at] mnatheists.org. --------2 of 22-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> 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. http://www.songofpeace.org/index.html or http://furstunitariansociety.org --------3 of 22-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> 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 <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------4 of 22-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Ellsberg/CSPAN 3.02 2pm tune in for an interview with DANIEL ELLSBERG on C-span SUN.MAR,2 AT 2PM CENTRAL (3PM EASTERN) in Minneapolis that's on basic cable channel 19 http://www.cspan.org http://www.booktv.org --------5 of 22-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> 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, www.TribalAllianceProductions.com. 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 walkerart.org/tickets. 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] spottedeagle.org --------6 of 22-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> 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] yahoo.com> 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. SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES 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] yahoo.com.) 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] hotmail.com> 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] e-democracy.org> 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 FREE WORKSHOP 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] hotmail.com> 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. http://www.mnfilmarts.org 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. http://www.mnfilmarts.org --------11 of 22-------- From: alforgreens [at] comcast.net 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] aeonhomes.org> 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: http://www.aeonhomes.org/bd or call Jenny Johnson at 612-341-3148 x237 --------13 of 22-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> 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] hotmail.com> 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] earthlink.net --------15 of 22-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> 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] aol.com 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 (http://www.mngreens.org/caucus2008/locations) or http://www.mngreens.org/caucus2008/locations --------17 of 22-------- From: Bonnie Watkins <info [at] mnwomen.org> 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. WOMEN COME TO THE CAPITOL 2008 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] mnwomen.org TODAY and include your home address. --------18 of 22-------- The One Candidate Worth Our Vote Nader the Best Antidote to American Imperialism By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON CounterPunch March 1 / 2, 2008 We want to express our strong support for Ralph Nader's presidential candidacy. 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 silence? 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] comcast.net. 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] comcast.net. --------19 of 22-------- The Bonds That Kill Obama and Israel By JOSHUA FRANK CounterPunch 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 Israel." 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 lie. 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. --------20 of 22-------- Count Me Out The Obama Craze By MATT GONZALEZ CounterPunch 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 him. 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. THE WAR IN IRAQ 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 efforts. 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 war? 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. CLASS ACTION REFORM: 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? CREDIT CARD INTEREST RATES: 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. LIMITING NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES: 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 constitution. 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. MINING LAW OF 1872: 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). REGULATING NUCLEAR INDUSTRY: 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 it." 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 fund-raisers." ENERGY POLICY: 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. SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE: 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." NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT: 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. SOME FINAL EXAMPLES: 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 Assembly.) 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. CONCLUSION: 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 candidate. --------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 states. 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 OZYMANDIAS 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] 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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