Progressive Calendar 03.09.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 03:28:35 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     03.09.08

1. Community Ag      3.09 12noon
2. Iran              3.09 12:15pm
3. Stillwater vigil  3.09 1pm
4. SinglePayer/AM950 3.09 3pm
5. Vets/peace        3.09 6pm
6. Organic media     3.09 7pm
7. KFAI/Indian       3.09 7pm
8. Radical community 3.09 time?

9. Peace church      3.10 6:30pm
10. Sprogs           3.10 6:30pm
11. Upheaval prep    3.10 7pm
12. Girl dicks/KFAI  3.10 7pm
13. SocialNetworking 3.10 7pm

14. Peace/war        3.11 4pm RiverFalls WI
15. Media reform/CTV 3.11 5pm
16. Abu Ghraib/film  3.11 6:30pm
17. Pray for peace   3.11 6:30pm
18. Sami/Iraq        3.11 7pm
19. TACSR/stadium    3.11 7pm

20. Ralph Nader - Candidates and Congress ignore Gaza's suffering
21. Susan Crane - Iraq: how many years? Five or seventeen?
22. Joann Wypijewski - The only way to fight the Clintons
23. ed          - Non-elite class happens  (poem)

--------1 of 23--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at]>
Subject: Community Ag 3.09 12noon

CSA Fair
(Community Supported Agriculture)
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Mini-talk on CSAs given at the top of every hour
<http://www.letscook .com>
Let's Cook, 330 E Hennepin Ave, NE Mpls

Own a piece of MN Farm country!
Let us introduce you to local farmers who will give you an opportunity to
bring the farm to your table. CSA members make a commitment to their
farmers in exchange for a share of the season's harvest. Products,
payment schedules, work requirements, delivery and pick-up options vary
from farm to farm. Come meet a number of farmers and see what arrangement
works best for you!

CSA partnerships do not disqualify one from enjoying and spending food
dollars at our local farmers markets. There is always something for
everyone at the markets!

If you have questions please contact Marjorie Hegstrom, Market Director
for Mill City Farmers Market <mailto:marjorie [at] millcityfa rmersmarket.
org>marjorie [at] millcityfa rmersmarket. org CSA Fair sponsored by: Let's Cook
Mill City Farmers Market Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market

--------2 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iran 3.09 12:15pm

Sunday, 3/9, 12:15 to 2 pm, the Peace with Justice Committee of the
Mpls/St Paul ELCA presents Nazrin Jewel talking about Iran, Central
Lutheran Church, 3rd Ave & 12th St (next to Mpls Convention Center), Mpls.
$7 lunch available; validated parking in the Central lot/ramp.
dhilden [at] or 612-825-1581.

--------3 of 23--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 3.09 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 23--------

From: Don Pylkkanen <don [at]>
Subject: SinglePayer/AM950 3.09 3pm

U.S. Rep. Ellison to discuss nat'l. single-payer on Air America Sunday

National single-payer legislation will be discussed by Minnesota's 5th
District Congressman Keith Ellison on Air America's Of the People, AM 950,
this Sunday afternoon, March 9, 3 PM.

Congressman Ellison is a co-sponsor of Congressman John Conyers' bill, HR
676, to expand Medicare to every U.S. resident, which they presented
together at a health care forum last September at the Heights Theater in
Columbia Heights, which filled the seats.

Congressman Ellison first proclaimed his support for single-payer
universal health care at the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition's
legislative kickoff in January, 2005, when he was still a Representative
in the Minnesota House, so he has a long-standing record of supporting it.

So far, he is the only Minnesota Congressman among the 88 Congressmen
nationally who are co-sponsors of HR 676, so he represents what
constituents in the other districts want from their U.S. Representatives
and from the U.S. Senate candidates.

Meanwhile, MUHCC continues to work with co-authors of the Minnesota Health
Act to create a state single-payer health plan.

The broadcast is eighth in a series on the Minnesota Universal Health Care
Coalition's campaign for the Health Act, co-authored by 57 legislators.
Subsequent series broadcasts will continue on following Sundays.  Stay
tuned and tell friends to listen in.

Host James Mayer will get in as much phone time with callers as possible.
Call 952-946-6205.

You can also stream the program, as long as you can put in a MN zip code,
by going to HYPERLINK "";

--------5 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Vets/peace 3.09 6pm

Sunday, 3/9, 6 to 8:30 pm (and the 2nd Sunday of each month), Veterans for
Peace chapter 27 meeting, St Stephens School basement, 2130 Clinton Ave S,
Mpls.  John at 952-448-2664.

--------6 of 23--------

From: Mike Hazard <mediamic [at]>
Subject: Organic media 3.09 7pm

Come see a free evening of shorts, clips and bits from works-in-progress
by Deb Wallwork and Media Mike Hazard at The Black Dog Café at 7pm, on
Sunday March 9, 2008. The Black Dog is at 308 Prince Street, St. Paul,
right by the Farmers Market. Call 651-228-9274 or visit

Wallwork and Hazard are two well-known home town indie filmmakers who make
organic documentaries on genuine people and places. The show will feature
the late Carol Bly, Elsiešs Farm, C. Beck, Mr. Positive, George Stoney and
other home-grown surprises.

For more, visit <>.

--------7 of 23--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Indian 3.09 7pm

KFAIšs Indian Uprising for March 9, 2008 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CST #256

U.S. presidential candidates 2008 - Program guests are to discuss their
perspectives from an Indigenous, political and personal stance.

Guests are:
 Jamie S. Edwards (Mille Lacs Ojibwe), Government Affairs Coordinator for
the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota and treasurer of the DFL American
Indian Caucus
 Laura Waterman Wittstock (Seneca), Co-Chair, DFL American Indian Caucus,
Minnesota, and former Minneapolis Public Library Board Trustee.

Screw the Voters. Let Superdelegates Decide! by Paul Rockwell for, February 18, 2008

Millions of Americans, many of them first-time activists, voted for Barack
Obama in the Democratic Party primary. They voted in good faith, expecting
their votes to be counted and respected.

Now many young voters are discovering that there are two kinds of
delegates at Democratic Party Conventions: real delegates (duly elected
from the states) and fake delegates, delegates artificially created by the
Democratic National Committee. These delegates, who lack direct support
from primary voters, are called superdelegates. [See earlier PC -ed]

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]

For internet listening, visit, click Play under ON AIR NOW or
for listening later via their archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian
Uprising > STREAM.  Programs are archived only for two weeks.

--------8 of 23--------

From: kimberlee hunter <ivystar333 [at]>
Subject: Radical community 3.09 time?

Next Meeting is March 9th at the Jackpine.

--------9 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Peace church 3.10 6:30pm

Monday, 3/10, 6:30 pm, bimonthly potluck supper meeting of Every Church a
Peace Church, addressing the question "Is your church a peace church?,"
University Lutheran Church of Hope, 601 - 13th Ave SE, Mpls.
ecapcTC [at] or 651-228-7224.

--------10 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Sprogs 3.10 6:30pm

Monday, 3/10, 6:30 pm, monthly meeting Network of Spiritual Progressives,
Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet, Mpls.

--------11 of 23--------

From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at]>
Subject: Upheaval prep 3.10 7pm

Monday, Mar. 10, 7-8:30 pm
Conversations:  Preparing for Coming Upheavals

What are people thinking about the current state of our world?  What are
possible, community driven responses to the current or looming challenges
of severe weather events, continuing environmental and species
destruction, loss of economic security, inflating costs of necessities,
and slowness or lack of effective response by governments? Join us in an
ongoing discussion about possible responses to impending emergencies.
Analyze today's news in relevance to the future, and strategize steps we
can take to prepare.

Every other Monday, 7 to 8 (8:30?) pm, beginning Monday, March 10, at
Cahoots Coffee Bar, 1562 Selby Ave. (a few doors east of Snelling), St.

A project of Regaining the Commons (http://  FFI 651-633-4410

--------12 of 23--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Girl dicks/KFAI 3.10 7pm

Girl Detectives - Airs March 10, 7pm on KFAI Radio's LISTENING LOUNGE

What do you do when a friend's husband is murdered? Girl Detectives is a
poignant and personal piece about the struggles of three women to cope
with that loss in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Frustrated and
unsatisfied with the findings of the police, they try to do some
investigating of their own. Listen to producer Susan Mell's deeply
personal piece about love, loss and the attempt to make it right.

The Listening Lounge airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis and
106.7 FM St. Paul and streaming online at

---------13 of 23---------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at]>
Subject: Social networking 3.10 7pm

On Monday, March 10th, St. Paul E-Democracy will be hosting a workshop on
social networking websites at the Rondo Library in St. Paul.  The workshop
will cover sites including Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and others, as well
as Ning, which allows users to create their own social networking site and
can be seen in action at <>.  If you've
ever wondered about joining a social networking site, then come to this
workshop to learn more.

Social Networking
Monday, March 10th
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 North Dale University & Dale, St. Paul

--------14 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Peace/war 3.11 4pm RiverFalls WI

Tuesday, 3/11, 4 to 6 pm, Peace and War in the Heartland presents Dave
Gutknecht of the Twin Cities Draft Information Center, Frank Kroncke and
Don Olson of the Minnesota 8, Marv Davidov of the Honeywell Project and
Chante Wolf of the Vets for Peace.

University of Wisconsin-River Falls, 410 S 3rd St, River Falls, Wisconsin.
nicholas.shillingford [at] or http.//

--------15 of 23--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Media reform/CTV 3.11 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, 3/11, 5pm and midnight and Wed, 3/12, 10am "Robert McChesney:
Communication Revolution or Counter-revolution? The Media Reform Movement
and the Future of Democracy" co-founder Robert McChesney's
keynote speech at the November '07 annual TC Media Alliance's public forum
in Mpls.  Plus a set from a David Rovics concert in Mpls.  (a repeat)

--------16 of 23--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Abu Ghraib/film 3.11 6:30pm

"The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" documentary
Tuesday, March 11, 6:30-8:30 P.M., Mad Hatter's Teahouse, 943 West 7th
Street, St. Paul.

HBO documentary produced by Rory Kennedy. A candid and thorough look at
all sides of what happened at that infamous Iraqi prison and why.  It
probes the psychology of how typical American men and women came to commit
these atrocious acts, and on a parallel track, explores the policy
decisions that eroded our compliance with the Geneva Conventions.
Suggested donation of $3-$5 includes treat and program.

--------17 of 23--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Pray for peace 3.11 6:30pm

Tuesday, 3/11, 6:30 pm Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet's 11th day
prayer for peace, 1890 Randolph Ave, St Paul. or

--------18 of 23--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Sami/Iraq 3.11 7pm

Sami Rasouli: "Iraq: A Firsthand Account of 5 years of War and Occupation"

Tuesday, March 11, 7:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Avenue
South, Minneapolis. Sami Rasouli is an Iraqi-American who has spent
the last three years living in the city of Najaf, Iraq and traveling
throughout Iraq in his work with the Muslim Peacemakers Team (MPT).
He will talk about "the surge" and ongoing occupation, his work for
peace and national reconciliation, and the projects of the MPT. He
will also share stories of people he has met and give a first-hand
account of conditions in Iraq today. Hear about the situation on the
ground from a true peacemaker. Sponsored by: Twin Cities Peace
Campaign - Focus on Iraq and WAMM. FFI: Call 612-522-1861 or
612-827-5364. PLEASE NOTE: The Iraqi/American Reconciliation Project
will exhibit and have available for sale-notecards and orginal
artwork created by professional Iraqi artists. Proceeds from the sale
of these items will be used to support the artists and the work of
the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.

---------19 of 23--------

From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at]>
Subject: TACSR/stadium 3.11 7pm

Taxpayers For an Anoka County Stadium Referendum
Tuesday March 11, at 7pm

The remaining months we will meet the Second Tuesday of every month.

Centennial High School
Red Building - Room 104 4704 North Road Circle Pines, MN

The red building is on the east end of the high school complex, and is set
back furthest from North Road.  Enter on the East side of the building.
The largest parking lots are near this building.

The most recent news is that leading State legislators and the Governor
have said the stadium will not be a priority for the 2008 Session but:

In December Wilf said "We look forward to advancing the stadium issue
during the 2008 legislative session."

And indeed the Metropolitan Stadium Commission (MSFC) was doing just that
with the "Listening Tour which just concluded January 16 at the Metrodome.
The MSFC spent $400,000.00 of your money on this latest dog and pony show.
Those of us who attended were left to wonder when the listening tours will
begin for our states failing schools, libraries, roads and bridges.

Look for an Op Ed article written jointly by representatives of Citizens
Campaigning against Renegade Legislators (, Citizens Against
Stadium Taxes and TACSR about the listening "Listening Tour" in the
Pioneer Press sometime soon.

The 2008 legislative session has begun. Mr. Wilf has not given up on your
money and neither should you!

The only question left is: when will our representatives stop entertaining
these giveaway welfare schemes to the richest men they can find at the
expense of our future.

Please join us for another episode in the series: "WHO WILL PAY FOR ZYGI'S
STADIUM?"  This could just as well mean a metro wide sales tax, including
the 30 year mortgage at a total of 1.5 billion dollars.  Can someone
calculate how many new bridges that could buy?


Agenda Items Include:
*       Website
*       What is happening in the 2008 Legislative Session?
*       What is happening with our friends to the south metro to stop this,
the newest welfare scheme?

Now would be a good time to write to your representatives to tell them we
do not need to waste more money on stadium giveaways to Billionaires.
Please continue to tell them we want a vote as required by state law for
any tax increase to pay for a stadium.  Write letters to your local paper
too.  If you have done these things already please do it again.

Any Questions, comments contact me at rrholch [at]

--------20 of 23--------

The Silent Violence of Gaza's Suffering That Candidates and Congress
March 8-9, 2008

The world's largest prison - Gaza prison with 1.5 million inmates, many of
them starving, sick and penniless - is receiving more sympathy and protest
by Israeli citizens, of widely impressive backgrounds, than is reported in
the U.S. press.

In contrast, the humanitarian crisis brought about by Israeli government
blockades that prevent food, medicine, fuel and other necessities from
coming into this tiny enclave through international relief organizations
is received with predictable silence or callousness by members of
Congress, including John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The
contrast invites more public attention and discussion.

Israel has militarily occupied Gaza for forty years. It pulled out its
colonials in 2005 but maintained an iron grip on the area  controlling
all access, including its airspace and territorial waters. Its F-16s and
helicopter gunships regularly shred more and more of the areas - public
works, its neighborhoods and inflict collective punishment on civilians
in violation of Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As the
International Red Cross declares, citing treaties establishing
international humanitarian law, "Neither the civilian population as a
whole nor individual civilians may be attacked".

According to The Nation magazine, the great Israeli human rights
organization B.Tselem, reports that the primitive rockets from Gaza, have
taken thirteen Israeli lives in the past four years, while Israeli forces
have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in the occupied territories in
the past two years alone. Almost half of them were civilians, including
some 200 children.

The Israeli government is barring most of the trucks from entering Gaza to
feed the nearly one million Palestinians depending on international
relief, from groups such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA). The loss of life from crumbling health care facilities,
disastrous electricity cutoffs, gross malnutrition and contaminated
drinking water from broken public water systems does not get totaled.
These are the children and their civilian adult relatives who expire in a
silent violence of suffering that 98 percent of Congress avoids mentioning
while extending billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel annually. UNRWA
says "we are seeing evidence of the stunting of children, their growth is
slowing". Cancer patients are deprived of their chemotherapy, kidney
patients are cut off from dialysis treatments and premature babies cannot
receive blood-clotting medications.

The misery, mortality and morbidity worsens day by day. Here is how the
commissioner-general of UNRWA sums it up, "Gaza is on the threshold of
becoming the first territory to be intentionally reduced to a state of
abject destitution, with the knowledge, acquiescence and - some would
say - encouragement of the international community".

Amidst the swirl of hard-liners on both sides and in both Democratic and
Republican parties, consider the latest poll (February 27, 2008) of
Israelis in the highly respected newspaper - Haaretz: "Sixty-four percent
of Israelis say the government must hold direct talks with the Hamas
government in Gaza toward a cease-fire and the release of captive soldier
Gilad Shalit. Less that one-third (28 percent) still opposes such talks.
An increasing number of public figures, including senior officers in the
Israeli Defense Forces reserves have expressed similar positions on talks
with Hamas."

Hamas, which was created with the support of Israel and the U.S.
government years ago to counter the Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO), has repeatedly offered cease-fire proposals. The Israeli prime
minister rejected them, notwithstanding "a growing number of politicians
and security offices who are calling for Israel to accept a cease-fire,"
according to Middle East specialist, professor Steve Niva.

There is a similar contrast between the hardline Bush regime, the
comparably hardline Democrats in Congress, and a recent survey by the
American Jewish Committee (itself often hawkish on Israeli actions toward
the Palestinians) of American Jewry.

If Democrats and Republicans were serious about peace in the Middle East,
they would showcase the broad joint Israeli and Palestinian peace
movements. These efforts now include the over 500 courageous Israeli and
Palestinian families who have lost a loved one to the conflict and who
have joined forces to form the Parents Circle - Bereaved Families Forum.
Together, these families are expanding a non-violent initiative to push
for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Even though some of the
families have visited the United States, their efforts are almost unknown
even to U.S. observers of that area's turmoil.

A new DVD documentary titled Encounter Point (see
recounts the activities and passion of these Palestinian and Israeli
families steeped in the peace philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson

Do you think members of Congress will give them a public hearing? A
meeting? It would be worth asking your members of Congress to do so.

Ralph Nader is running for the White House as an independent candidate.

--------21 of 23--------

I've been thinking about March 19th, and wanted to share these thoughts
with you...Susan Crane. (Jonah House)

IRAQ; HOW MANY YEARS? Five or Seventeen?
Susan Crane of Jonah House

It jolts me to hear "fifth year anniversary" and "beginning of sixth year
of the war in Iraq" when we all know that the US never stopped bombing
Iraq since January of 1991. That's 17 years! Remember the no-fly zones?
Remember looking on page 12 in the papers and seeing a one inch article
about how "sheep were bombed yesterday in Iraq" or some such "news"?

I'm reminded of Carolyn Forche's book of poetry:/ Against Forgetting/. In
it she reminds us that Hitler asked his military cabinet before his
invasion of Poland in 1939:  "Who, after all, speaks today of the
annihilation of the Armenians?"

The media cultivates amnesia in us; the government requires such
mindlessness in us. And yet we have a responsibility as a peace community
to remember the nation that Iraq was before 1991: the water systems, the
electrical systems, the educational, medical and agricultural systems that
were, in some ways, more advanced than what we have today in the states.
We have a responsibility to remember the carpet bombing that in 42 days
systematically destroyed objects "indispensable to the survival of the
civilian population" which is against the Geneva conventions.  In those 42
days, Iraq was bombed to a pre-industrial age and then, through sanctions,
Iraqis were denied trade, telecommunications, power, sanitation, water
repairs, seed, food, medical supplies and equipment.

And how many Iraqi people have been killed?  Must be more than 1,000,000:
a number too large to comprehend, unless you're an Iraqi mother or father
or child who has lost a family member.  And how many Iraqi people have
suffered?  The stories of suffering are heartbreaking: the terror of the
bombs, soldiers breaking down doors, poisoning from depleted uranium
munitions... These stories could fill all the books in the world.

And so we move forward and support all the nonviolent actions on March 19:
we're thankful for the work people have put into planning many good and
creative resistance actions but we must urge remembrance of the many years
our country has punished, bombed, poisoned and killed people of Iraq and
done all in its power to destroy their country.

--------22 of 23--------

You Can't Lick the Boot that Kicks You
The Only Way to Fight the Clintons
March 8-9, 2008
International Women's Day

Three weeks before the Ohio primary Blanche McKinney, an assistant manager
at Stark Metro Housing and a member of CWA Local 4302 in Canton, told me,
"Do we have the time to get someone in there who's inexperienced? No. It's
got to be someone who on day one can immediately begin solving problems,
because we don't have the time." Her union brothers in the group I was
talking to were still undecided at that point, but McKinney was for
Hillary.  The only thing she wasn't sure she liked about the candidate was
her health care plan: "a lot of Canadians don't like their program." She
seemed relieved when I assured her Hillary was not promoting a
Canadian-style single-payer system.

McKinney is solidly in Hillary's most solid base: 59, white, a woman,
making less than =$50,000, rural. Although she works in Canton's public
housing, she and her husband are also small farmers. He doesn't buy
anything unless the label says "Made in America". She says she "never
seriously thought this was a problem" but asks her union brothers anyway
about Barack Obama's name and the "Muslim connection back then in
Indonesia": "You say that doesn't bother you even a little?" The four men,
three white and one black, said they didn't think so. Dustin Robinett,
white, 33, an AT&T repairman, explained what he saw as Obama's slim
"connection to the Muslim nation" (his father's childhood religion, his
step-father's religion) before going into an extended consideration of
multiculturalism, the melting pot, global experience, religion and
politics, the habits of men: "we're all afraid of things that are

"In God we trust", said Bob Ramsey wryly, a long-hair AT&T inspector in a
camo baseball cap, 41, white.

These were the first people I talked to during a week in Ohio before the
primary,  so it wasn't until later that I noticed there was something else
about McKinney that seemed common among Clinton's most passionate
supporters. Most really believed Hillary herself would begin to solve
problems immediately upon taking residence at Pennsylvania Avenue. For all
the talk after her victory of Hillary as "a fighter" and Ohioans as
"fighters" and all of that being a perfect match - the boxing gloves she
held up at events, the endorsement from world middleweight champion and
Youngstown native Kelly ("The Ghost") Pavlik - what seemed truer was that
Hillary's solid rank and file aren't fighters at all, or haven't been for
a long time. The late Youtube entry into the campaign, a sequence of
visuals from Clinton's TV commercials and some still photos backed by John
Stewart's "Survivors," made the point precisely. Clinton Country doesn't
fight; it survives, and hopes for deliverance.

Bill and Hillary themselves are matchless fighters, and the singular
genius of their first eight-year reign was to enlist their supporters as
partisan spectators to their fights: against Gennifer Flowers, against
Pentagon brass who forced them into "Don't ask, don't tell", against
"Harry and Sally", against Newt Gingrich, against the undeserving poor,
against gay-baiters who forced them into the Defense of Marriage Act,
against Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, against Ken Starr and "the vast
right-wing conspiracy." Meanwhile, the spectators themselves became
punching bags, but so thoroughly had they been corralled into the
Clintons' bleachers that it was as if they could do nothing but take it,
perhaps raising a squeak of protest briefly, before turning back to the
main event, cheering on their friends, oppressors, friends, the Clintons.

After Hillary won Ohio, having beaten up Obama on NAFTA, a real estate
deal and the danger an Obama presidency would pose to sleeping children,
the two obvious questions were how did she manage to turn NAFTA into a
negative for him, and why didn't he fight back quicker, harder, more
effectively? The same might be asked of Ohio itself, and everything Ohio
represents, across the long decline of wages and jobs and manufacturing to
the present state of social insecurity for which "NAFTA" has become
shorthand. For the plain fact is that until the anarchists rose up in
Seattle, along with better behaved opponents of neoliberal globalization,
shutting down the WTO meeting in the twilight of the Clinton years, no one
fought at all except the right.

It is almost hard to believe now that the reason health insurance was on
the Clintons' first agenda at all, back in 1992, was because there was a
mini movement for single-payer in the country. Labor unions, citizens
groups, doctors' and nurses' groups, some business leaders, had all been
agitating, making it an election issue in other races, writing letters,
organizing meetings,  protests, media attention. Bill Clinton rode that
wave and immediately after being elected, while in the transition, he
asked his allies to shut up; Wall Street was already breathing down his
neck, the right was bringing heat, trust him and he would, as promised,
"put people first" when it came to health care. A protest caravan that had
been planned was canceled. One of the biggest players in the coalition,
the unions, so flattered to have a president who actually spoke to them,
were eager to comply. Bill gave the job of health care reform to Hillary,
who studiously interviewed all the players, at one point asking Dr. David
Himmelstein, a major exponent of a Canadian-style system "where's the
power?" behind such a reform. "Seventy-five percent of the American
people," he answered, to which she replied, "Tell me something

The people never have been interesting to the Clintons, not in organized,
confident form. They have been interesting as election props and poll
numbers, and interesting as victims, atomized, whose pain could be felt,
causes championed, and misery exploited. They are interesting to Bill on
rope lines, as exemplars of popular adulation and individuals to be
charmed or lectured. Hillary used to hate the rope lines, hate being
touched, and in the 1992 campaign she used to make sure that big men were
around her to keep the plebs at bay. That changed as her ambition grew and
she discovered Purell instant hand santizer. Having purelled universal
health care as a live issue for a generation, she's back at it, just where
she wants to be, as an answer to a murmured prayer, among a populace
mobilized for nothing but elections.

Bill Clinton bribed and buttered up every member of Congress he could to
pass NAFTA in 1993. The unions made speeches and phone calls and rallied
here and there, but it wasn't much of a fight. And it wasn't the only
issue that labor failed to make into an energetic public case. Even as
unions were being crushed by employer intimidation during representation
campaigns, they didn't fight en masse for labor law reform while Clinton
had a Democratic Congress, and they didn't fight, after the long night of
Reaganism, for a seachange in government priorities, for an industrial
policy, for reinvestment to end the bleeding of their jobs and their
communities and the class. Organized labor vowed to throw out the bums who
had passed NAFTA, but ended up backing most of them for re-election in
1994, and did nothing to organize globally with other losers in the
aggressively pro-capital regimen of neoliberal capitalism. The Democrats
lost Congress, which only made unions (if not their members) more loyal.
Clinton lectured delegates to the AFL-CIO convention in 1995 about how he
was right on NAFTA and right in his vision of retraining and lifetime
learning and the high-tech tomorrow, and the union men and women stood,
clapping and hollering their approval. They told their members he was all
that stood between them and destruction in the form of Republicans, and
mobilized voters for his re-election in 1996 and that of his v.p., Al
Gore, in 2000. Now workers come to Hillary's rallies and her "town halls"
telling reporters of the multiple agonies of their towns and their
counties and repeating the rumor judiciously planted by campaign
supporters in the press and on the streets: "You know, privately she was
against NAFTA from the beginning." Now she is the solution, the savior for
everything that ails them.

Anyone who wants chapter and verse on how cynical the Clinton team was on
the price of deindustrialization should read Louis Uchitelle's book of a
couple of years ago, The Disposable American. And for a refresher course
in the realities of the "peace and prosperity" that the Clintons promise
to bring back - and anyone who has trailed the campaigns in a primary
state cannot miss that "the Clintons" are indeed running as a team
promising to do just that - there is Robert Pollin's devastating account
of global austerity at the end of the '90s, Contours of Descent. But the
larger point is how they got away with it. The prison population and
prison labor (engaged in everything from taking reservations to sewing
jeans to building furniture and transmissions for pennies an hour)
mushroomed under Clinton's three-strikes-you're-out and kindred crime
policies, and organized labor didn't fight. Prisons expanded, and
organized labor didn't fight. (To the extent that more cops and more
prison guards and more construction crews were real or potential union
members, this development was sometimes even welcomed.) Privatization
moved apace here as in so many other sectors, and organized labor didn't
fight. The prisons filled with young black and Latino men, and black
leadership didn't fight, Latino leadership didn't fight, the civil rights
movements didn't fight - not in any robust, sustained and visible
fashion, just like the unions with job loss, NAFTA and the decline in real
wages. Now one in less than 100 adult Americans is locked up. That was a
blip in the news during the campaigns in Ohio and Texas. Hillary Clinton
called for even more cops on the streets, more community policing and only
lastly a review of sentencing.

I don't know if Obama, then struggling to defend himself as someone who
would not allow America's sleeping children to be slaughtered by
foreigners, said anything at all. But there was no popular outcry he might
have ridden or been pressured by, no mass organized black or Latino
outcry, just as there had been none during the Clinton reign. Critics say
Obama is isolated because he's maintained a careful distance from black
leadership, and that is true, except that that leadership has allowed its
children to be criminalized and locked up, and all the while cheered for
Bill, rustled votes for Bill, just plain liked Bill, and in many cases
signed on early to his wife's campaign without making mass incarceration
an issue. Prisons have been the only real growth industry in Ohio's
Mahoning County, home of Youngstown and its supposed population of
fighters, and the county went 64 percent for Hillary on March 4.

Organized feminists didn't fight when Clinton continued Reagan's war on
"welfare queens" in more polite language. They didn't fight as women were
made peon labor, displacing unionized public workers, or as they were made
a captive labor force for multinationals like Tyson's chicken. Or as they
were threatened with eviction from public housing. Or as they were forced
into more peon labor in exchange for that public housing. NARAL fought
against the forced imposition of chemical contraception on poor women, but
again on an issue that potently united the interests of organized labor,
women, blacks, Latinos, the poor, there was no mass sustained, visible
fight. ACORN launched a campaign to organize welfare workers, and pushed
for them to get gloves while picking up garbage for a few dollars a day in
public parks. There were protests here and there, just as there were
strikes here and there, labor rallies here and there, marches of blacks
and others angered by the criminal control system here and there during
the 1990s. But mostly there was abject surrender.

Predatory lending increased, and there was no fight. Household
indebtedness increased, and there was no fight. Deregulation marched on,
leading the way for the current foreclosure crisis among other things, and
there was no fight. Hillary Clinton's closest foreign policy adviser now,
Madeleine Albright, said the death of half a million children because of
sanctions on Iraq was "worth it", and there was no fight. The drug war
escalated on American city streets and in Colombia with the bribing and
arming of government-linked paramilitaries, and there was no fight. Bill
Clinton wrote anti-gay discrimination into law in the Defense of Marriage
Act and there was no fight. While he had a Democratic Congress and
squandered an opportunity for banning discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation in civilian life, he won cheers from gays and their
bloc vote at the ballot box for fighting for their equal opportunity to be
paid killers and cannon fodder.

Talk about the "kitchen sink"! If Barack Obama wanted to throw it at the
eight years of First Lady experience that Hillary Clinton has made central
to her resume for "the job" she says she wants us to "hire" her for, there
is plenty there. People on the left who say he won't, he can't because
he's just like her, a creature of capital and empire, may be right in the
grand scheme, but they shouldn't be smug, because there aren't exactly
models of successful radical or even liberal fights against the Clintons.
There are barely models of noble but failed fights. And Hillary's own
revamped self-presentation as the populist fighter, sworn foe of big
corporations, friend of the little people, ultimate underdog, makes clear
that Obama's ties to Wall Street should be no more an impediment than hers
are in the game of political fisticuffs.

Already it looks like Obama's advisers are getting it completely wrong,
though, challenging her for her First Lady papers and her tax returns and,
implicitly, the source of her and Bill's immense wealth. Obama can no more
beat the Clintons at this kind of game than the right could. Every small,
personal complaint looks petty or desperate or sexist, and only allows
Hillary to play the part she likes best, after mud slinger and policy
wonk, which is survivor. She played that part in New Hampshire and in
Ohio, and she'll play it again any time she wants to put on the show that
"for anyone who's ever been counted out", for anyone who's ever had to
struggle against the odds, for anyone who's ever been treated unfairly,
she's their gal. It's as phony a show as can be imagined, but it's the one
the Clintons perfected against the right, and their hard core supporters
are on autopilot now to respond to it. Likewise, Obama can't beat the
Clintons in pure bloviating wonkery. Some of his advisors are saying he
should quit the big inspiring rallies and do small tedious meetings of the
type that Hillary's supporters walk out of, even as they'll later pull the
lever for her at the polls. It's not her "plans" that draw voters; like
Blanche McKinney, most people don't even know what those plans involve
even after reading them. It's her aura of dogged competence, based on the
entirely fraudulent story of "putting people first" and thus widening the
circle of peace and prosperity during the Clinton years. It's also her
skin color, and if anyone doesn't think Bill Clinton knew what he was
doing in South Carolina, locking up the white racist vote for his wife,
they should talk to some of her supporters in Ohio.

Obama can't do anything about that last "asset" of Hillary Clinton, and
maybe it is her ultimate chip, but it would make for a more interesting
campaign going forward if he would challenge that First Lady experience by
implicitly challenging the myths on which it stands, projecting an idea of
the future unmoored from the Reagan-Clinton continuum, something Hillary
is locked into. What drew so many people originally to Obama's campaign
was its call to "turn the page" on past Republican and Democratic politics
alike, and its recognition that people are just fed up. But that call
could never sustain itself purely on some attacks on lobbyists and the
usual timid party nods toward health care, education and the environment.
It was always going to need more meat on its bones.

In Ohio the working-class people I talked to who were leaning toward Obama
or had decided to vote for him were those who had reviewed the past with
workers competing to outproduce or outconcession each other, and who saw
clearly the pattern of ratcheted down wages and conditions for all. They
were people like IBEW Local 1985 president Jim Repace in North Canton, who
remembered his own endless defenses to his members of Bill Clinton and the
Democrats, even as those members grew increasingly skeptical, and who told
me, "Enough is enough." Enough of capital unleashed, of bridges falling
down, levees being breached, cities unable to rebuild from disaster, the
economic base corroding in town after town, full-time workers losing their
homes, severe poverty unabated even in supposed "boom" times, and
government incompetent to do anything but lock people up. Bill Clinton now
marches around lecturing workers on how their mortgages got transformed
into stocks, making oodles of money for speculators, ending the story
before it gets to the part about his own administration's culpability.
"Who deregulated the financial industry?" a worker at the GM Lordstown
plant in Ohio said to me, knowing the answer to his own question but
somehow hoping that Hillary would turn on that legacy of her own
"experience" even as she's now turned on NAFTA.

Obama has been foolish not to call for a moratorium on home foreclosures,
and it would be hardly wild-eyed now to take up the AFL-CIO's call for
that and reregulation of the mortgage and credit markets. Or to talk about
employment-led growth, instead of 90s-era growth based on low wages, mad
consumption, household debt, deunionization and the temporary luck of the
stock market. Or about immigration in light of decades' long global
economic policies that make it impossible for people to live in their own
countries. The list goes on - even within the limits of mushy
progressivism that is the outer limit of mainstream political discussion -
for redefining security and insecurity distinct from the hair-raising
style that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain are so comfortable with.
(I should add that as he reassesses his campaign Obama should definitely
sideline Austin Goolsbee, the economic advisor who gave him NAFTA-gate
plus rotten advice on foreclosures.)

I used to think that calling into question the Clinton legacy by charting
a break from Clintonism would be impossible for anyone running for the
Democratic nomination. Maybe it still is. But now that it's clear that the
Clintons, who cannot win by the delegate math, are prepared to destroy the
party in Denver by kicking the blacks (its most loyal base and the most
loyal constituency of its greatest support engine, organized labor), the
young, the new voters, the formerly disenchanted, there's a new fight
song, "Anything Goes". All the survivors might start calculating how to
fight President McCain.

JoAnn Wypijewski writes for CounterPunch and other publications. She can
be reached at jwyp [at]

--------23 of 23--------

 Non-Elite Class Happens

 We are inferior beings
 Made of sores and pus
 We are inferior beings
 Please piss all over us

 We're second rate
 Ourselves we hate

 Please shut your gate
 We'll wait and wait

 Crap on our plate
 Give us our fate

 We are inferior beings
 Made of sores and pus
 We are inferior beings
 Please piss all over us


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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