Progressive Calendar 03.18.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2008 04:29:53 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.18.08

1. Muslim day         3.18 9am
2. Media reform       3.18 6pm
3. Irish poetry salon 3.18 6:30pm
4. Invest in energy   3.18 7pm
5. Climate change     3.18 7pm
6. Gay life/TV        3.18 11pm

7. Anti-war sick-out  3.19
8. Eyes open/war      3.19 12noon
9. Vs Iraq war        3.19 12noon Duluth MN
10. Women/welfare     3.19 12noon StCloud MN
11. MapleGrove HS/gay 3.19 2:15/7pm
12. Anti-war rally    3.19 4pm Bemidji MN
13. LakeStBridgeVigil 3.19 5pm
14. Colombia/unions   3.19 6pm
15. Winter soldiers   3.19 6:30pm
16. S StPaul vigil    3.19 7pm

17. Ronnie Cummins - Making Big Pharma buy the pharm
18. Levy/Neilson   - All because I voted for Ralph Nader (song)

--------1 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Muslim day 3.18 9am

Muslim Day at the Minnesota State Capitol  (4th Annual)
Tuesday, March 18, 9:00 a.m. (Training) Minnesota State Capitol Building,
Room 118, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul.10:00
a.m. (Rally) Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Boulevard, St. Paul.

Minnesota was the first state to hold the Muslim Day event and several
states have followed since.  A training session will be provided prior to
a rally that will feature leaders of the Senate, House of Representatives
and local Muslim leaders. Appointments have been made to meet with
legislators so don't miss this opportunity to raise concerns with elected
officials and to join fellow Muslims from across the state of Minnesota.
Co-sponsored by: the Council on American-Islamic Relations Minnesota,
Muslim Youth of Minnesota, Al-Madinah Cultural Center, and Muslim Students
Association at the University of Minnesota.

--------2 of 18--------

From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at]>
Subject: Media reform 3.18 6pm

There are spaces available in two upcoming intro-to-media reform
workshops. Please encourage anyone who's dissatisfied with our media
system to attend and learn about how media reform can create the kind of
media that informs democracy!

Attend a free workshop on media reform!
The news media have all but abandoned its obligation to serve the needs
of an informed democracy. In the "Transforming Our Media System"
workshop, learn about the basic problems with today's media and how we
can unite to fix them with media reform activist Nancy Brown.

Workshop times and locations:

Tuesday, March 18, 6PM-8PM at Nokomis Community Library, 5100 34th Avenue
South, Minneapolis, 55417

Tuesday, April 1, 6:30PM-8PM at Washburn Community Library, 5244 Lyndale
Avenue South, Minneapolis, 55419

To sign up for one of these free workshops or to add your name to the
Media Action email list, please email your name and phone number to
nancy [at]

--------3 of 18--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Irish poetry salon 3.18 6:30pm

March 18 is a wee bit late for St Paddy's Day celebration, but Irish
poetry 'tis lovely any time of the year.  So i am sending this early so
you can find some Irish poetry and bring it to the Salon next Tuesday and
we can have a little blarney.  Green tea and shamrock cookies.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------4 of 18--------

From: FWG <jeiynck [at]>
Subject: Invest in energy 3.18 7pm

Investing in Tomorrow: The Future of Energy
Are you concerned about Global Warming and Peak Oil?
What role can Alternative Energy play in your portfolio?
RSVP to attend an informal discussion and Q&A Session

Tuesday, March 18th 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Common Roots Café, 2558 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis
Sponsored by Progressive Asset Management, MN
Guest Speaker: Scott Metz, Regional Vice President, Calvert Funds
RSVP to Jesse Eiynck, 651.338.1971 or jeiynck [at]
Securities offered through Financial West Group, Member FINRA/SIPC/MSRB
Progressive Asset Management is the socially responsible investing
division of FWG.

Jesse Eiynck, Financial Advisor Progressive Asset Management, MN 1508 Old
West Main St. Red Wing, MN 55066 Phone: 651-338-1971 Fax: 651-846-4946

--------5 of 18--------

From: Maya Petrovic <maya [at]>
Subject: Climate change 3.18 7pm

Climate Change and Environmental Equality

Tuesday, March 18 - 7:00pm
Bryant-Lake Bowl, Uptown

Entire populations have been displaced by droughts and floods, as well as
rising sea levels, which disrupt the food systems. Will climate change
disproportionately affect poorer, less developed nations and communities?
Join environmental activists Shalini Gupta and Cecilia Martinez for an
in-depth discussion about the environmental impacts of global warming on
communities worldwide.

Shalini is on the Headwaters Board and Environmental Justice Fund grants
committee. She is a senior energy associate at Izaak Walton League of
America. Cecilia is on the Headwaters Fund of the Sacred Circle endowment
campaign committee and is a consultant with the Women's Environmental

Buy tickets online
or RSVP by calling 612-825-8949. Cost: $5-$10 (pay what you can)

For more information contact David Nicholson
[mailto:david [at]], program director, Headwaters
Foundation for Justice.

--------6 of 18--------

From: IN THE LIFE <info [at]>
Subject: Gay life/TV 3.18 11pm

Documentary stories from the gay experience
IN THE LIFE Airdate Alert
"Voices of Sisterhood"
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 11:00 PM

Always at the forefront of the modern LGBT movement, women have shaped its
perception and given it voice. This month's IN THE LIFE, Voices of
Sisterhood, celebrates Women's History Month with a collection of stories
honoring the struggles, triumphs, and art of LGBT women around the world.

Minnesota 55101-1447 viewerservices [at] phone: (651) 222-1717 fax:
(651) 222-1282 website:

--------7 of 18--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Anti-war sick-out 3.19             (cough! cough!! moan..)

shopping too! & consider no shopping that day either! Lydia Howell)

FROM:  vfp [at] writes:
The Twin Cities (St. Paul-Minneapolis MN) office of Veterans for Peace
is at vfpchapter27 [at]
CONTACT: Michael T.McPhearson (314) 303-8874

SICK OF IT DAY Campaign Kicks Off

Veterans For Peace today kicked off its March 19, 2008 "Sick Of It Day"
campaign to end the war in Iraq.

March 19 is the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and the
campaign is designed to give every person sick of the corruption, the lies
and the war an opportunity to join with others in the classic civil
resistance tactic of "withdrawing consent" from the system.

Based on the principle taken from the Declaration of Independence that
government requires the consent of the governed, everyone who joins Sick
Of It Day will be actively withdrawing their consent, one by one, until
the collective economic impact reverberates through Washington and
politicians are faced with a choice: end the war or have an ungovernable

Giving his personal reason why he is "sick of it," campaign originator and
member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Adam Kokesh said, "I am sick of
seeing America in denial about how much we have been lied to."

Veterans For Peace member and campaign organizer, Mike Ferner, explained
"I've seen the pain on the faces of the people of Iraq and the soldiers
who come back from war. It's something I can't get out of my mind and
there are days when it really does make me sick."

People who call in sick on March 19 can choose from a wide variety of
other things to do that day - from contacting Congress and going back to
bed, to more ambitious ideas like helping quarantine military shipments in
U.S. ports. Campaigners are invited to come up with their own "Sick Of It
Day" activity and post it to the site.

site easy to use and easy to pass along to others. The success of Sick
Of It Day depends on the idea going viral on the internet. With so many
people sick of this war, we think there's a good chance it will."

For more information, please visit or

--------8 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Eyes open/war 3.19 12noon

"Eyes Wide Open Minnesota" Exhibit on the Human Cost of War
Wednesday, March 19, Noon to 4:00 p.m. Minnesota State Capitol, Rotunda,
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul.

As the Iraq War begins its fifth year, take time to honor those who have
died, and to contemplate the human cost of war. The Eyes Wide Open
Minnesota exhibit presents a memorial to those who have fallen and a
witness to our belief that no war can justify its human cost. It includes
a pair of boots for each Minnesota soldier killed in Iraq, shoes
representing Iraqi civilian casualties, and a visual display showing the
human costs of war to our communities.

Sponsored by: Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace and Crocus Hill/West 7th
Neighbors for Peace. Co-sponsored by: Friends for a Non-Violent World,
American Friends Service Committee, Veterans for Peace Chapter 27,
Military Families Speak Out Minnesota, and WAMM. FF: Call Anne,
651-647-0580, email <march19 [at]> or visit

--------9 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Vs Iraq war 3.19 12noon Duluth MN

Wednesday, 3/19, noon, press conference and peace vigil against the Iraq
war: "5 Years Too Many!" Civic Center, Duluth.  adamritscher [at] or
northlandequana [at]

--------10 of 18--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Women/welfare 3.19 12noon StCloud MN

Wednesday, March 19: Women's Center St. Cloud State University. Women on
Wednesday - Still Fighting for Our Rights 30 Years Later presents Is There
a Safety Net? Women, Welfare & Poverty with Bharti Wahi, Director of
Programs & Membership at the Minnesota Women's Consortium. Noon-1 PM.
Atwood Theatre, Atwood Memorial Center.

--------11 of 18--------

From: David Strand <mncivil [at]>
Subject: MapleGrove HS/gay 3.19 2:15/7pm

Fwd. David Strand who would like to reiterate Leigh Combs call for support
of these brave students from Maple Grove High School who shouldn't have
had to sue their school for the right to meet as a gropus of students in
support of equal rights for glbt people.

SAGE (Straights and Gays for Equality)

Straights and Gays for Equality, a group formed to address discrimination
against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students at Maple Grove
Senior High School, will present a forum.

Wednesday, March 19th.
2:15 P.M. and again at 7:00 P.M.
Maple Grove Senior High School
9800 Fernbrook Lane North
Maple Grove , MN , 55369

The two students (now college sophomores) who initiated a lawsuit against
the Osseo School District will discuss the circumstances which prompted
them to sue and the results of the proceedings to date.  SAGE students
will discuss how conditions at Maple Grove Senior High have changed
because of the suit and how they are working to raise awareness about GLBT
issues and address anti-GLBT bias.  There will be a question and answer
period at the end.

The forum is open to students, staff, and the community.  For more
information, please contact Donna Speake, SAGE advisor, at 763-391-8715.


Leigh Combs GLBT KIDS: Abuse Intervention Program Coordinator Family &
Children's Service 4123 East Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55406-2028
612-728-2079 statewide GLBT KIDS Information Line: 1-877-GLBT-KID

--------12 of 18--------

From: A Thayer <athayer [at]>
Subject: Anti-war rally 3.19 4pm Bemidji MN

This Wednesday afternoon, March 19th on 3rd and Paul Bunyan Drive in
downtown Bemidji between 4pm and 6pm a few of the community members will
gather to mark the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

This is to bring attention to the issues that are affecting this entire
county and our community, in addition honoring the fallen, we are trying to
send a clear message in this sinking economy: it's time to end the war, and
start using the billions wasted every week on the Iraq occupation to help
folks here at home.

The Bemidji Peace and Justice Coalition will once again stand on the streets
of Bemidji - there may only be few of us but the importance is we are there,
concerned and willing to give our time to express hope that people will
consider the negative affects of this war.

Would you consider giving a few moments, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or two (2)
hours with us with a homemade sign expressing your opinion to share with
those driving by?

You efforts along with mine are important.  We are so quiet - wanting change
- but afraid to step out, concerned we might be challenged by a friend,
neighbor or co-worker on your opinion..we are to be living in a
democracy..we have a right to express our thoughts..please come this

Audrey M. Thayer Member Bemidji Peace and Justice Coalition

--------13 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: LakeStBridge vigil 3.19 5pm

"Not One More Death! Not One More Dollar" Lake Street/Marshall Avenue
Bridge Vigil and Potluck, Program with U.S. Iraqi War Veterans and Sami

Wednesday, March 19, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Vigil) Lake Street/Marshall Avenue
Bridge spanning the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Join us on March 19, the anniversary of the start of the U.S. war on Iraq
by attending the weekly Peace Vigil over the Mississippi River.

6:30 p.m. (Potluck and Program) Macalester Plymouth United Church. 1658
Lincoln Avenue, (one block south of Grand Avenue and just west of the
Macalester College campus), St. Paul. [See item 15 below]

--------14 of 18--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Colombia/unions 3.19 6pm

March 19, 6pm
Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council
312 Central Ave., Mpls 55414

Topic:  Union Worker Struggles in Colombia - a discussion of the struggle
for trade union organizers and the impacts of economic trade in Colombia
Speakers:  Edgar Paez (National Food Industry Workers Union) in Colombia,
Dan Kovalik (Associate General Counsel of the United Steelworkers and
attorney for human rights cases), Gerardo Cajamarca (United Steelworkers;
Associate Member Program)

FFI:  Alicia Ranney, 612-578-8266, _aranney [at] citizenstrade.org_
(mailto:aranney [at]

--------15 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Winter soldiers 3.19 6:30pm

Public Talk:
Winter Soldiers of Today: Wes Davies and Brandon Day, Iraq Veterans
Against the War and Sami Rasouli, Muslim Peacemaker Teams, just returned
from Iraq, speak on the 5th Anniversary of the War and Occupation

March 19, 2008, the Fifth Anniversary of the Iraq War, 6:30 P.M.
Macalester Plymouth United Church
1658 Lincoln Ave., St. Paul

Americans became familiar with the Testimony of Winter Soldiers from the
Vietnam era when a young John Kerry spoke before congress about the
realities on the ground in that war. This March 13-16, military men and
women, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, gathered in Washington, D.C.
and gave their own Winter Soldier accounts of their experiences in Iraq
and Afghanistan--though not before congress.  The four-day event brought
together veterans from across the country to testify about their
experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan - and present video and photographic
evidence. In addition, panels of scholars, veterans, journalists, and
other specialists gave context to the testimony.

On Wednesday, Wes Davies and Brandon Day, Iraq Veterans Against the War,
will speak at Macalester Plymouth United church, 1658 Lincoln Ave., St.
Paul, Minnesota. They will speak after a "Not One More Death! Not One More
Dollar!" vigil on the Lake Street/Marshall Ave. Bridge spanning the
Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul; participants at the
vigil demand that troops be brought home now to end the war and occupation
of Iraq.

Wes Davies and Brandon Day will be joined by Sami Rasouli, long-time
resident of both Minneapolis and for three years now: Najaf, Iraq. He will
talk about "the surge" and ongoing occupation, his work for peace and
national reconciliation, and the projects of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams
in Iraq, which are patterned after the Christian Peacemaker Teams. He will
also share stories of Iraqi people and give a first-hand account of
conditions in Iraq today.

Sponsored by Women Against Military Madness and Twin Cities Peace
Campaign-Focus Iraq

--------16 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: S StPaul vigil 3.19 7pm

South St. Paul Vigil for Peace
Wednesday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. 5th Avenue Bridge over Highway 494, South
St. Paul. Vigil for peace on the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war.

--------17 of 18--------

Taking Down Big Pharma
Beyond Progressive Malpractice
March 17, 2008

Progressive Malpractice [noun] ignoring the fundamental economic and
political roots of a crisis; taking a single-issue, band-aid approach in
hopes of gaining mainstream support.

Libertarian Narcissism [noun] promoting individual solutions for
collective problems; believing that market pressure alone can bring
out-of-control corporations under control; ignoring the plight of the
poor; pretending major problems can be solved without serious grassroots
organizing and government reform.

Welcome to Sicko Nation: Swimming in a toxic soup of 100,000 synthetic
chemicals - carcinogens, neurotoxins, hormone disruptors, immune
suppressors, excitotoxins ... Worn down by corporate junk food, tainted
consumer products, air and water pollution, incessant advertising,
infectious disease, synthetic drugs, cigarette smoke, and alcohol. Zapped
24/7 with electromagnetic radiation. Stressed out by poverty and economic
insecurity, fear of crime, rampant consumerism, and a murderous work pace.
A growing corps of Americans is chronically sick and dispirited.

Aiding and abetting this massive assault, mainstream medical
practitioners, the corporate media, and elected public officials ignore or
cover-up the toxic roots of Sicko Nation. Money-grubbing politicians offer
band-aid solutions, and then proceed to collect their rewards in the form
of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry and HMOs
(Health Maintenance Organizations). Big Pharma spends more on lobbying -
$855 million between 1998 and 2006 - than any other industry in the United
States, according to the Center for Public Integrity. In addition Big
Pharma feeds the insatiable appetite of the mainstream media, spending
more than $70 billion dollars a year on advertising. Last but not least,
U.S. doctors make more money than any other medical practitioners in the
world, though they typically pay a steep price in terms of a 70-hour
workweek, skyrocketing malpractice insurance, and indentured servitude to
HMOs and giant hospitals. The Emperor of ill health has no clothes, but
very few of our so-called leaders are talking seriously about what to do
about it.

American consumers and employers will spend over two trillion dollars this
year on health insurance, pharmaceutical drugs, and medical bills, yet we
will remain - mentally and physically - among the unhealthiest people on
Earth. Forty-eight percent of U.S. men and 38% of women can now look
forward to getting cancer. Eight percent of our children suffer from
serious food allergies, 17% are diagnosed with learning or behavior
disabilities, and a third of low-income preschool kids are already
overweight or obese. Heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, cancer, and
obesity are spiraling out-of-control among all sectors of the population.

The fundamental causes of most of our chronic health problems are not
genetic or inherited, but rather derive from couch potato/commuter
lifestyles; over consumption of highly processed, high-cholesterol,
nutritionally deficient, and contaminated industrialized foods; and an
increasingly polluted, stressful, and toxic environment. These, of course,
are problems that even the most expensive prescription drugs and high-tech
medical procedures cannot cure. Unfortunately the worst is yet to come.
Within eight years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, America's
health care costs will soar to $4.1 trillion annually, bankrupting
Medicare and millions of American families and businesses. Unless we
quickly change our priorities from "maintaining" our Sicko Nation to
universally preventing disease and promoting overall wellness - including
cleaning up our food supply and environment - America's health crisis will
become terminal. This means we must put an end to tunnel vision,
single-issue health care politics and roll up our sleeves to take on the
real culprits: out-of-control corporations, politicians, and technology.

With millions of Americans mentally or physically debilitated, permanently
hooked on the world's most expensive prescription drugs, Big Pharma, HMOs,
and insurance tycoons rake in billions. According to Dr. Marcia Angell,
former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, in 2002,
"The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9
billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put
together ($33.7 billion) ... Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical
industry has [become] a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious
benefit, [using] its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that
might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic
medical centers, and the medical profession itself."

To put it bluntly we must put the "fear of the grassroots" into the minds
of Congress and the nation's 172,000 elected public officials. But we will
only be able to accomplish this if can move beyond progressive malpractice
and libertarian narcissism. The critics of corporate health care and Big
Pharma must stop quibbling, close ranks, and mobilize a massive united
front of the progressive single-payer health care movement, representing
the 100 million Americans with no or inadequate health insurance;
reinforced by an army of radicals and libertarians, the 50 million
alternative heath consumers who have rejected Big Pharma's trillion-dollar
drug and heath maintenance scam altogether. Unless we bring together
liberals, radicals, and libertarians, and mobilize this new majority, we
will fail.

The toxic side effects of Sicko Nation are poisoning the body politic.
With much of the population fixated on their health and psychological
problems, worried about losing their jobs or their health coverage, doped
up on prescription drugs or alcohol, and, for many, compensating for their
alienating jobs with rampant consumerism, politicians and corporations run
amuck. National and global mega-crises - climate change, peak oil, and
endless war - steadily grow worse. Outgunned and out-maneuvered, public
interest organizations have defensively barricaded themselves in their
respective single-issue silos - competing rather than cooperating, seldom
if ever making the crucial links between food, environment, lifestyle,
work, tax policy, military spending, and health. Intimidated and/or bought
off by Big Pharma and the medical industrial complex, few of the nation's
elected public officials - and none of the major Presidential candidates -
dare talk about the obvious solution to our national health crisis:
universal health care with a preventive and holistic focus.

We need universal, publicly funded health care because millions of sick
and disadvantaged Americans are suffering and dying. We need universal
health care because Big Pharma, HMOs, and insurance companies are gouging
consumers for two trillion dollars a year, profitably "maintaining" their
illnesses, rather than curing them, steadily moving the nation along a
trajectory that, combined with out-of-control military spending and
corporate tax evasion, will eventually bankrupt the economy.

In every industrialized country in the world, except for the United
States, medical care is considered a basic human right, alongside food and
shelter, which a civilized society must provide for all. Of course it's
very difficult for a corporate-indentured government like the U.S. to
afford universal health care, if big pharmaceutical companies and HMOs are
allowed to jack up their profit margins at will, while the rich and the
corporations are allowed to evade taxes. Health care reform in the U.S.
must be coupled with price controls on drugs and medical costs, as well as
tax reform, whereby the corporations and the wealthy are forced to pay
their fair share of federal taxes. In the U.S. corporations paid almost
40% of all federal taxes in 1943. Now they pay less than 10%. In 1960,
millionaires were taxed at the rate of 90%. Now the top rate for
millionaires and billionaires is 35%. Putting an end to this
institutionalized tax evasion is a prerequisite for being able to afford
publicly funded universal health care - without raising taxes for the
middle class and the poor.

      The Cure: Disease Prevention & Complimentary Medicine

But government funded universal health care (exemplified by John Conyers'
currently stalled bill in the House, HR 676 ("Non-Profit Medicare for
All") is not enough. We need non-profit universal health care that
promotes wellness and prevents people from getting sick - before they end
up in the hospital or become permanently addicted to expensive
prescription drugs with dangerous side effects. Simply giving everyone
access to Big Pharma's overpriced drugs, and corporate hospitals'
profit-at-any-cost tests and treatment, will result in little more than
soaring health care costs, with uninsured and insured alike remaining sick
or becoming even sicker.

To cure Sicko Nation and revitalize the body politic, we will need to
build up a comprehensive not-for-profit public health system that not only
guarantees everyone access to health care, but makes the life or death
connections between food, diet, and health; exercise and health; exposure
to toxics and health; stress reduction and health; and poverty and health.

As fifty million organic consumers and alternative health consumers can
attest, complimentary and preventive medicine, utilizing natural herbs,
minerals, food based supplements, organic whole foods, lifestyle changes,
and holistic healing practices is safe, affordable and effective.
Preventive health care, natural medicine, and proper nutrition have been
linked to a broad range of health and social benefits, including disease
reduction, increased academic performance, and lower health care costs.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of the U.S. population lacks access to
health care, complimentary medicine, and healthy foods. The only solution
to this unacceptable situation is to shift to a single-payer, publicly
financed, prevention-based, universal health care system. The $350 billion
in savings that will occur by eliminating the profit motive and moving to
a single-payer system will allow us to insure and promote the health and
wellness of our entire population.

In addition, scientific evidence is mounting that Americans' daily
exposure to 100,000 different synthetic chemicals (less than 10% of which
have ever been safety tested) in our food, water, medicines, body care
products, cosmetics, toys, home environments, etc. are undermining our
health and fueling an epidemic of debilitating and deadly diseases
including cancer, heart disease, asthma, allergies, obesity, and chemical

Of course we still need conventional medicine and practitioners:
hospitals, diagnostic tests, surgeons, and specialists, as well as
preventive and holistic healers. I am a vocal advocate for organic food
and integrative medicine, but if I suffer a heart attack, break my leg, or
get shot in an anti-war demonstration, I want to be taken to a
well-equipped and staffed hospital, not to a health food store or my local
acupuncturist. But after my hospital treatment I don't want to become a
prescription drug junky or be driven into bankruptcy court by a $100,000+
hospital bill.

To restore public health and bring Big Pharma to heel will require, as a
minimum first step, that we organize a broad united front between the
nation's 100 million supporters of single-payer health insurance (many of
whom have an outdated or conservative belief system regarding the relative
effectiveness of conventional versus alternative medicine), and the more
radical, often libertarian, 50 million alternative health consumers and
practitioners - who typically hate Big Pharma and the entire medical
industrial complex with a passion.

This united front will require us to move beyond current "progressive
malpractice," whereby single-payer health care activists work in isolation
from alternative health consumers, often dismissing complimentary medicine
and its advocates as "snake oil salesmen." Similarly "libertarian
narcissism" is just as counter-productive: alternative health enthusiasts
who basically say "to hell with all government programs" and "socialized
medicine," in effect ignoring the plight of 50 million poor and low-income
Americans who have little or no access to healthy food, nutrition and
health information, or access to quality health care. Beyond uniting
liberal, radical, and libertarian critics of Big Pharma and the medical
industrial complex, the entire activist rainbow, including
environmentalists, trade unionists, tax reformers, peace activists, and
other progressives will have work hand in hand to treat and cure our
profoundly sick nation.

Forty-seven million Americans currently have no health insurance, while 50
million more of us are woefully underinsured. Unfortunately, being able to
afford conventional health insurance yourself or getting it through your
employer may not help you very much, since Big Pharma and profit-obsessed
HMOs and hospitals are focused mainly on selling you overpriced (often
hazardous) prescription drugs ($300 billion a year), running expensive
tests, and basically keeping you on permanent health maintenance, rather
than preventing and/or curing our most common ailments such as cancer,
hypertension, heart disease, lung problems, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and
mental illness. Rampant medical malpractice and the failure of
conventional medicine to address our serious ailments is the primary
reason that 50 million alternative health consumers are taking matters
into their own hands and paying $30 billion dollars a year out of their
own pockets for complimentary medical supplements and practitioners.

Even worse than just expensively maintaining - rather than curing -
chronic illnesses, the collateral damage of Big Pharma's business as usual
can only be described as catastrophic. As an AMA (American Medical
Association) publication admitted a decade ago, drug related "problems"
kill ... 198,815 people, put 8.8 million in hospitals, and account for up
to 28% of hospital admissions." Over the past decade this carnage has
increased. Newsweek magazine, among others, has reported that side effects
from prescription drugs are now the fourth leading cause of death in the
U.S. As medical analyst Gary Null warns: "A definitive review and close
reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics
shows that ... the number of people having in-hospital, adverse drug
reactions (ADR) to prescribed medicine is 2.2 million ... the number of
unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections is 20
million ... The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures
performed annually is 7.5 million. The number of people exposed to
unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million.

The problem is clear. The solution is obvious. The trillion-dollar life or
death question is whether we can overcome our sectarian divisions and
mobilize the grassroots power of the 150 million Americans who are sick
and tired of living in a Sicko Nation. Can we heal the perennial split
between proponents of conventional medicine and the alternative health
consumer movement? Can progressives and libertarians reach out to the
economically disadvantaged and stressed-out majority to create a massive
grassroots pressure that will literally force the politicians to "do the
right thing?"

The time for action is now. To begin the long overdue process of "pressing
 the politicians" please join thousands of other consumers and taxpayers
and go to where you can click a button to send
a comprehensive Universal Health Care Candidate Survey to your state and
federal elected public officials and candidates running for office in
2008. Once you've "pressed the politicians," an on-line organizer from the
Grassroots Netroots Alliance will contact you.

Ronnie Cummins is director of the Organic Consumers Alliance. He can be
reached at: ronnie [at]

--------18 of 18--------

  Courtesy of Larry Olds
  From the CD program notes:  (it is better as a song than as poetry)

 All Because I voted For Ralph Nader
 Mark Levy / sung by Tom Neilson

 Oh come all ye citizens and hear my tale of woe
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader
 How I ruined the country with my choice 5 years ago
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 In the year 2000, the election was a loss
 The votes were not counted & Bush became the boss.
 & all my liberal friends say I am the cause.
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 Yes, gov Jeb Bush delivered his state
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader
 The votes were never counted in FL to date
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader.

 Blacks could not vote because they were criminalized
 Jews marked Buchanan on those dreaded butterflies
 And the Supreme Court ruled to cover all the lies
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 The twin towers fell & 3000 died
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader
 The terrorists came & there was no place to hide.
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 The Democrats voted to bomb Afghanistan
 To cut back freedoms once enjoyed across the land
 The party of Jefferson afraid to take a stand
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 W set his sites on Saddam in Iraq
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader
 The Democrats gave the ok to attack
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 The president said he'd wage eternal war
 And the Democrats nodded from the senate floor
 And all the while the money dried up for the poor.
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 Now color-coded warnings invade our every thought
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader
 Duct tape and plastic are all that we've got
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 The fires will rage throughout the middle east
 The terrorist threat will continue to increase
 & war will go on there never will be peace.
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader


 I, ed, have added two verses:

 My bunions got bigger and hurt like hell
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader
 My dog humps my leg and leaves a bad smell
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader

 Beautiful women won't join me in bed
 My bank account is always in the red
 People laugh at the wise things I have said
 All because I voted for Ralph Nader


 Would YOU care to add more?


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