|Progressive Calendar 03.24.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 06:28:15 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.24.08 1. DontAsk/DontTell 3.24 6:30pm 2. IRV StPaul 3.24 7pm 3. OnlineVid/YouTube 3.24 7pm 4. Upheaval prep 3.24 7pm 5. DU weapons 3.24 7pm 6. Tibet/KFAI 3.24 7pm 7. Terror/rights 3.25 11:30am 8. Kurds 3.25 3:30pm 9. Tutu/StThomas/CTV 3.25 5pm 10. Chat & chew 3.25 6:30pm 11. Green biz 3.25 7pm 12. Michael Cavlan - Why we do not have impeachment 13. Barbara Ehrenreich - Hillary's nasty pastorate 14. Peter Phillips - An election without meaning 15. Ralph Nader - Bush blisters the truth on Iraq 16. Missy C Beattie - Killer economics: the Bush plan 17. Mickey Z - No occupation without representation --------1 of 17-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: DontAsk/DontTell 3.24 6:30pm March 24: OutFront Minnesota Don't Ask/Don't Tell Event with Aaron Tax, an attorney from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) of Washington D.C., to conduct a "mock" Don't Ask/Don't Tell Separation Proceeding. 6:30 PM at the Auerbach Commons on the main floor of the U of MN Law School - 229-19th Avenue South, Minneapolis - parking available at the West Bank Holiday Inn ramp or the law school. A reception will follow the event. --------2 of 17-------- From: Jeanne Massey <jkmassey [at] earthlink.net> Subject: IRV StPaul 3.24 7pm There is a St Paul Charter Commission public hearing on IRV on Monday night (March 24th) at 7:00 pm. Subsequent to the hearing, the Commission will be considering whether or not to propose an amendment for the November ballot. Please attend to learn more and show your support for IRV. See details here: http://stpaul.betterballotcampaign.org/node/935 Jeanne Massey Executive Director FairVote Minnesota www.FairVoteMN.org jeanne.massey [at] fairvotemn.org 763-807-2550 --------3 of 17-------- From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: Online video/YouTube 3.24 7pm On Monday, March 24th, St. Paul E-Democracy will be hosting a workshop on online video at the Rondo Library in St. Paul. The workshop will give participants the opportunity to gain hands-on experience recording, editing and uploading video, using Windows Movie Maker, iMovie and YouTube. Today it is easier than ever to use video to make yourself heard online; come learn how. Online Video and YouTube FREE WORKSHOP Monday, March 24th 7:00 - 8:30 PM Rondo Community Outreach Library 461 North Dale University & Dale, St. Paul --------4 of 17-------- From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Upheaval prep 3.24 7pm Monday, Mar. 24, 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. Paul. A project of Regaining the Commons (http:// regainingthecommons.tiddlyspot.com). FFI 651-633-4410 --------5 of 17-------- From: Nukewatch <nukewatch [at] lakeland.ws> Subject: DU weapons 3.24 7pm Monday March 24: John LaForge, a Nukewatch staffer, will speak on "The deadly Health Hazards of Uranium Weapons," Monday, March 24, 7:00pm, at Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Ave S., West Bank, Minneapolis. LaForge joined an expert panel Feb. 14th, testifying in The Hague about uranium weapons to the Dutch Parliament's Standing Committee on Defense. (Background <http://www.nukewatch.com/du/index.html> -- Free and open to the public the forum is sponsored by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities. Info.: <christinefrank [at] visi.com> NUKEWATCH PO BOX 649 LUCK WI 54853 715-472-4185 www.nukewatch.com --------6 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Listening Lounge <melby [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Tibet/KFAI 3.12 7pm In this edition of the Listening Lounge (airing at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 24), we learn more about Tibet.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 www.kfai.org. Tibet is back in the news. Activists are pressuring the Chinese government to give Tibet independence again or at least regional autonomy. Mass protests in recent weeks have killed many people, though no one knows the exact number due to lack of a free press. In "Honk for Tibet" (by Todd Melby), begin with a visit to pro-Tibetan protesters in Minneapolis. There, we meet Teinzin Dadon, an 18-year-old high school student. Dadon's father escaped from Tibet three decades ago. After arriving in India, he made his way to the United States. Today, Dadon shouts from a bridge in Minneapolis, asking drivers to support her father and all Tibetans. Also on the program, "Tibetan Uprising: The Meaning of March 10" and "Willing for Trouble: Profile of Tibetan Poet & Freedom Fighter Tenzin Tsundue." Audio links are available here: http://listeninglounge.blogspot.com/ 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 www.kfai.org. --------7 of 17-------- From: Charles Underwood (peacecalendarvisi.com) Subject: Terror/rights 3.25 11:30am Tuesday, 3/25, 11:30 am to 1 pm, Franklin Pierce Law Center prof and Navy JAG Dean Hutson speaks on "How to Lose the War on Terror' by devaluing the rule of law and human rights for some people, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, 2800 LaSalle Plaza, 300 LaSalle Ave, Mpls. Registration required from jkashaeva [at] advrights.org or 612-341-3302 ext 127. --------8 of 17--------- From: Charles Underwood (peacecalendarvisi.com) Subject: Kurds 3.25 3:30pm Tuesday, 3/25, 3:30 to 5:30 pm, University of Haifa prof and Israeli Army vet speaks on "The Kurds between the Vision and Reality," Nolte Center, room 125, 315 Pillsbury Dr SE, Mpls. 612-624-4914. --------9 of 17-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Tutu/StThomas/CTV 3.25 5pm 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, 3/25, 5pm and midnight and Wed, 3/26, 10am "Anna Baltzer" (Part 2) and "CAIR, Fedwa Wazwaz and Marv Davidov". Anna (Part 2): Jewish American author takes questions at the U of St. Thomas. Plus, Fedwa Wazwaz on the the history of the Oslo peace accords and Marv Davidov on the backstory of the re-invitation of Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu to the University of St. Thomas. ---------10 of 17-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Chat & chew 3.25 6:30pm Hi, This Tuesday, March 25 the topic will be Open Discussion. Come and bring your thoughts and ideas to share with all of us. Thanks, patty Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) 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. --------11 of 17-------- From: Do it Green! <Do_it_Green [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Green biz 3.25 7pm Tuesday, March 25: The Fantastically Green Four! Presented by Do It Green! and EcoTuesday Time: 7-8 PM Location: Do It Green! Resource Center (2405 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls) Find out how and why four local sustainable business owners decided to Do It Green! Featuring: -Rachel Maloney, Owner of Natural Built Home -Tina and Ryan North, Owners of Twin Cities Green/Regifts -Barbara Parks, Owner of Green Career Tracks --------12 of 17-------- Why We Do Not Have Impeachment by Michael Cavlan http://www.opednews.com March 22, 2008 at 20:39:01 Over the past eight years, the craven cowardice of the so called left in this country has never ceased to amaze me. Ultimately, it comes down to one central question of how "progressives", and I use that term loosely, relate to the Democratic Party. There are examples of this cowardice everywhere but nowhere is it more evident than in the issue of Impeachment. There is no question that the Bush Administration is one of the most criminal and Impeachable Presidencies in our nations history. From the electoral theft in 2000 and 2004, to Katrina, to the Valerie Plame Outing, to the lies and deceit that got us into Iraq, Wiretapping of US citizens, the list of criminal, impeachable and outright treasonous acts are quite endless. We have likewise heard many experts, such as Elizabeth DeLaVega explain just how Impeachable both George Bush and Dick Cheney are. Or just how important to the future of our democracy Impeachment of these two men are. We even have heroes such as Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney introduce articles of Impeachment into the Congress. In Kucinich's case, he introduced it twice. We have had attempts all over our nation, where Resolutions are passed calling for Impeachment. Some states even attempted to have State Resolutions passed, which would have triggered the Impeachment process, using the mechanism called the Jefferson Manual in the House Rules. Vermont even had two townships call for their arrest. We have demanded accountability for the most Impeachable, criminal Administrations ever. For all of us in the Impeachment Movement, it is also undeniable that this call for accountability has been shut down and outright opposed by none other than the Democratic Party. From Nancy Pelosi's infamous call to keep Impeachment "off the table", to blocking multiple state Impeachment Resolutions, to John Conyer's manipulations to keep Dennis Kucinich's two separate Impeachment Resolutions stuck in Committee. It is now frankly obvious that the Democratic Party Establishment do not want Impeachment. Many will claim that it is because they want to improve their chances of winning the next election. Let us ignore the blatant cowardice of that statement. Let us instead analyze this, looking at the facts. History has shown us that when any political party implements Impeachment, they gain in strength as they are viewed by the public as being strong in defending their rights. With that understanding, we need to look at the words of the Democratic Party Establishment in a new light. If indeed the Democrats would probably gain from pushing for Impeachment, then we need to ask why are they really opposed to it. I put forward to you that the reason is quite simple and makes too much sense. Impeachment would do one simple thing apart from starting the process of accountability. Impeachment would start the needed investigation into the facts surrounding our nations entering into an illegal war and now occupation on Iraq. That investigation would make public the Democratic Party's lie that they were lied into Iraq. It would make clear that they were not lied to, that in fact they knew the truth and even more damning that they were a critical part of the lie. The Democratic Party leadership knowingly aided and abeited in the lies perpetrated on the American people, with the complicity of their friends in the corporate media. It is this simple fact that explains just why the Democratic Establishment has been fighting against Impeachment as hard as they have. They are afraid of having their complicity in the crimes of Bush exposed. They would rather loose an election to the likes of John McCain than have these truths exposed. This leads to the cowardice of so many who call themselves progressive. >From the pages of the Nation magazine to the Airways of Air America this perspective is never heard. Instead, we hear of just how "progressive" Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton are. There is nothing progressive about these two people. Your Emperor has no clothes. Of course, at this time we expect to hear explanations such as "well, they are the lesser evil" or "it is not them, it is the movement behind them that will push them forward." The answer to this can be exemplified by two names, Al Gore and John Kerry. Both of these two "leaders" were presented with the specter of stolen elections and they both made a conscious decision to let it be stolen. To allow for the deliberate disenfranchisement of poor people, students and Blacks in Florida (and elsewhere) 2000 and Ohio (and elsewhere) 2004. Now some may argue that Al Gore did stand up in Florida but the record shows us the opposite. We have the now infamous Michael Moore movie, Farenheight 9-11 which showed Al Gore, gavel in hand telling the Congressional Black Caucus to sit down and be quiet. They were asking just one US Senator to challenge the electoral fraud in Florida. Later, we had Senator Barbara Boxer who told us that Al Gore had told her not to challenge the election in Florida 2000. Al Gore's supposed fighting back was in fact simply stage managed posturing. In fact, in both these cases, Al Gore and John Kerry actually stopped a real, pro gressive movement to stand up to the electoral theft from developing. That is the result of the lesser evil thinking. Yet so many "progressive" publications, radio stations and organizations refuse to allow this kind kind of dissenting voice into the mix. You have also had multiple voices tell you about this complicity of the Democratic Party in the mess we find ourselves in. From Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Cindy Sheehan or a host of other lesser known activists. Ironically enough, the answer to each of these heroes have been predictably the same. They are attention whores, media whores and Egoists. It is about themselves and their egos. Simply because they all did the same thing. They have challenged you to think critically and admit that your Emperor's have no clothes. They exposed the Democratic Party for their complicity and the liars they are. Wake up progressives, the Democratic Party is where progressive politics goes to die. They are the problem, not the solution. Start holding those who refuse to hold Bush and Co accountable. Stop being cowards and stop being complicit in their crimes. www.michaelcavlan.org Michael Cavlan, RN, was an Official Green Party Observer for the 2004 Ohio Re-Count. He was the Green Party Candidate for US Senate 2006 and is a Candidate US Senate 2008 Seeking Green Party Endorsement in Minnesota. See www.michaelcavlan.org ---------13 of 17-------- Hillary's Nasty Pastorate Barbara Ehrenreich Posted March 19, 2008 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-ehrenreich/hillarys-nasty-pastorate_b_92361.html There's a reason why Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama. You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the "Fellowship," aka The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposť, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May. Sean Hannity has called Obama's church a "cult," but that term applies far more aptly to Clinton's "Family," which is organized into "cells" - their term - and operates sex-segregated group homes for young people in northern Virginia. In 2002, writer Jeff Sharlet joined the Family's home for young men, foreswearing sex, drugs, and alcohol, and participating in endless discussions of Jesus and power. He wasn't undercover; he used his own name and admitted to being a writer. But he wasn't completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners - alone. The Family's most visible activity is its blandly innocuous National Prayer Breakfast, held every February in Washington. But almost all its real work goes on behind the scenes - knitting together international networks of rightwing leaders, most of them ostensibly Christian. In the 1940s, The Family reached out to former and not-so-former Nazis, and its fascination with that exemplary leader, Adolph Hitler, has continued, along with ties to a whole bestiary of murderous thugs. As Sharlet reported in Harper's in 2003: During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand "Communists" killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise. At the heart of the Family's American branch is a collection of powerful rightwing politicos, who include, or have included, Sam Brownback, Ed Meese, John Ashcroft, James Inhofe, and Rick Santorum. They get to use the Family's spacious estate on the Potomac, the Cedars, which is maintained by young men in Family group homes and where meals are served by the Family's young women's group. And, at the Family's frequent prayer gatherings, they get powerful jolts of spiritual refreshment, tailored to the already-powerful. Clinton fell in with the Family in 1993, when she joined a Bible study group composed of wives of conservative leaders like Jack Kemp and James Baker. When she ascended to the senate, she was promoted to what Sharlet calls the Family's "most elite cell," the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast, which included, until his downfall, Virginia's notoriously racist Senator George Allen. This has not been a casual connection for Clinton. She has written of Doug Coe, the Family's publicity-averse leader, that he is "a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God." Furthermore, the Family takes credit for some of Clinton's rightward legislative tendencies, including her support for a law guaranteeing "religious freedom" in the workplace, such as for pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions and police officers who refuse to guard abortion clinics. What drew Clinton into the sinister heart of the international right? Maybe it was just a phase in her tormented search for identity, marked by ever-changing hairstyles and names: Hillary Rodham, Mrs. Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and now Hillary Clinton. She reached out to many potential spiritual mentors during her White House days, including new age guru Marianne Williamson and the liberal Rabbi Michael Lerner. But it was the Family association that stuck. Sharlet generously attributes Clinton's involvement to the underappreciated depth of her religiosity, but he himself struggles to define the Family's theological underpinnings. The Family avoids the word Christian but worship Jesus, though not the Jesus who promised the earth to the "meek." They believe that, in mass societies, it's only the elites who matter, the political leaders who can build God's "dominion" on earth. Insofar as the Family has a consistent philosophy, it's all about power - cultivating it, building it, and networking it together into ever-stronger units, or "cells." "We work with power where we can," Doug Coe has said, and "build new power where we can't." Obama has given a beautiful speech on race and his affiliation with the Trinity Unity Church of Christ. Now it's up to Clinton to explain - or, better yet, renounce - her longstanding connection with the fascist-leaning Family. --------14 of 17-------- An Election Without Meaning by Peter Phillips March 22nd, 2008 Will November 2008 bring a meaningful change to America? Will getting rid of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney without impeachment or indictment really make a difference? Will a 600 billion dollar war/defense budget be cut in half and used for desperately needed domestic spending? Will the ninety-three billion dollars profits in the private health insurance companies - those parasitic intermediates between you and your doctor - be used instead for full health care coverage for all? Will Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus be restored to the people? Will torture stop and the US withdraw from Iraq immediately? Will all students in public universities be able to enroll for free? Will the US national security agencies stop mass spying on our personal communications? Will the neo-conservative agenda of total military domination of the world be reversed? The answer to these questions in the context of the current billion dollar presidential campaign is an absolute no. Instead we have a campaign of personalities and platitudes. There is a race candidate, a gender candidate and a tortured veteran candidate, each talking about change in America, national security, freedom, and the American way. The candidates are running with support of political parties so deeply embedded with the military industrial complex, the health insurance companies, Wall Street, and corporate media that it is undeterminable where the board rooms separate from the state rooms. The 2008 presidential race is a media entertainment spectacle with props, gossip, accusations, and public relations. It is impression management from a candidates' perspective. How can we fool the most people into believing that we stand for something? It is billions of dollars of gravy for the media folks and continued profit maximunization for the war machine, Wall Street, and insurance companies no matter who is determined the winner in November. We must face the fact that the US government's primary mission is to protect the wealthy and insure capital expansion worldwide. The US military - spending more than the rest of the militaries of the world combined - is the muscle behind this protect-capital-at-all-costs agenda, and will be used against the American people if deemed necessary to support the mission. Homeland Security, the North American Command, mass arrest practices with the FALCON raids, new detentions centers, and broadened "terrorism" laws to included interference with business profits are all now in place to insure domestic tranquility through extra judicial means if needed. The two party corporate political system is having a HOMELAND presidential campaign - Hillary, Obama, McCain, Election, Lacking, Actual, National, Debate. It is time for real change, but it will only come with a social movement of reform in the tradition of the progressive, labor, civil rights, anti-war movements of the last century. We need to use all of our activist, legal, and political resources to reverse these threats to freedom. Naomi Wolf says it is not too late to prevent totalitarianism, but we have to act fast. Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University, and Director of Project Censored, a media research organization. Read other articles by Peter, or visit Peter's website. This article was posted on Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 9:00 am and is filed under Elections. Send to a friend --------15 of 17--------- Worth the Sacrifice? Bush Blisters the Truth on Iraq By RALPH NADER CounterPunch March 22 / 23, 2008 On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Bush's illegal war of aggression in Iraq, the Fabricator-in-Chief made a speech at the Pentagon, whose muzzled army chiefs had opposed his costly, ruinous adventure from the start for strategic, tactical and logistical reasons. As benefits the dictatorial monarch of yesteryear, evicted by America's first patriots, this modern-day King George blistered the truth, somersaulted the facts and declared that a "strategic victory" in Iraq is near. He called the war "a just and noble cause." Sugarcoating the terrible, impoverished state of daily life in Iraq, he acknowledged "the high cost in lives and treasure," but said the recent situation in Iraq made it all worthwhile. "Worth the sacrifice" is how he put it often in previous statements. At the same time, his V.P. his Prince Regent, Dick Cheney was having this exchange with ABC's Martha Raddatz: Raddatz: "Two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting, and they're looking at the value gain versus the cost in American lives, certainly, and Iraqi lives." Cheney: "So?" Raddatz: "So - you don't care what the American people think?" Cheney: "No," who then inaccurately wrapped Abraham Lincoln's stand during the Civil War around his relentless illegal warmongering in Iraq. In an article called "Defining Victory Downward: No, the surge is not a success," columnist Michael Kinsley exposed the fatuous standards of comparison used by Bush and took his readers to standards back in 2003. Kinsley observed how Bush spouts success against conflicts and conditions that never existed before March 2003. There were no Al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq, no large scale sectarian carnage. There were modicum rudimentary public facilities and necessities, notwithstanding severe Clinton-Bush propelled economic sanctions, under dictator Saddam Hussein, instead of a devastated, riven nation of 4 million refugees and violent street anarchy. At the same time that the rancidly redundant fictionalizations of reality in Iraq by Bush and Cheney were once again receiving front page attention at the New York Times and the Washington Post, protests on the downtown streets of Washington, D.C. and in scores of cities and communities around the country received subdued short articles deep inside these newspapers. Both remarked on the smaller turnout of marchers compared to the large demonstrations in 2003. This decline should not be surprising. Most people are trying to communicate their concerns, and their repeatedly accurate warnings about the impacts of this war of aggression to a wider audience. But the mainstream media, often hardly working on weekends, never gave these outpourings the attention they deserved (even though American public opinion was behind their call to end the war-occupation and said that the war was not worth the cost to America in lives and dollars). Fortunately, along came a Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, with a new detailed book titled "The Three Trillion Dollar War ," (W.W. Norton) to inform the American people just how right they are about the long term cost of Bush's messianic reckless pursuit launched on a platform of lies, distortions and cover-ups. The twisted defiance of Bush, the cowardliness of the majority Democrats in Congress and the frustration and powerlessness felt by sensitive Americans who see no light at the end of the Iraq tunnel leaves little room for citizens to gain control of their runaway government. There is a possible way to turn the tide in favor of ending this illusion of "victory" and the occupation that breeds its own opposition in Iraq. Unlike before or during any other war in our nation's history, hundreds of former high military, national security-intelligence and diplomatic officials have spoken, written, testified and some even marched against Bush's tragic folly - before and after the March 2003 invasion. These retired public servants include generals and anti-terrorism specialists who worked inside the Bush Administration. Taken as a whole, were they to aggregate their standing and influence before the American people by banding together as a group, their cumulative impact on Congress, on galvanizing and focusing public opinion during this election year could well turn this deteriorating situation around. These patriotic Americans, with their experience in battles, conflicts and geopolitical tensions, coupled with their desire to wage peace for a change in Washington's policies, could be the catalyst that spells the difference. Compared with Bush and Cheney, successful draft-dodgers during their Pro-Vietnam war past, they make for quite a credible contrast. Will they mobilize themselves for the common good and provide the new dynamic needed? Time will tell. Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions --------16 of 17-------- Killer Economics The Bush Plan By MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE CounterPunch March 22 / 23, 2008 According to George Bush, the Iraq war is boosting the US economy. Recently, he said to NBC's Ann Curry, "I think actually the spending in the war might help with jobs because we're buying equipment, and people are working." Ah, the insensitivity of Bush illogic. Bush is killing our troops, Iraqis, and Afghans to pump up a financial system on life support. So why not strike Iran? If war spending is creating jobs, wage more wars to revive a gasping economy. Makes sense to George Bush. On the fifth anniversary of the illegal occupation of Iraq, Bush offered more illogic - that the invasion has made the world a better place and the United States safer. He said: Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it. The answers are clear to me. Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision, and this is a fight that America can and must win. For Bush to say "there is understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting" is interesting since debate has never been encouraged by this president. While others deliberated the case for war, the Decider was not allowing weapons inspectors to do their jobs, was not searching his soul, and was not losing sleep over the most important decision a president can make. Instead, he was obsessed with being a war president in order to be a peace president, with outdoing Poppy, and with using the Middle East as a bloody arena for his malevolent lust for power. Add to this his egomaniacal business venture to control the resources of an oil-rich nation. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis never entered his consciousness nor did the sacrifice of military families. To Bush, the words "sacrifice," "patriotism," and "freedom" are devices he has used as recruitment tools and support for war. Mission accomplished. But Bush's utterances, arrogance, and actions also have inspired terrorists and hatred of America. Clearly, George Bush lacks the ability to recognize facts. So, he creates his own reality, one unique to him and to supporters with whom he holds sway. And he stands behind his decisions even when experts differ. Bush listens only to people who agree with him and either scorns or forces retirement on those who don't. When Ann Curry asked Bush about the possibility of being wrong and that he wouldn't want soldiers to die in vain, he said: Well, we're not wrong in this case. And the surge is proving us not wrong. Secondly, failure in Iraq would've been an unmit-, will be an unmitigated disaster in the Middle East. I mean it would empower the radicals who still want to hurt us. It would embolden Iran which is a threat to peace. And it would've abandoned the Iraqi people, I mean, who are counting on the United States to continue help them having liberated them from a brutal tyrant who murdered thousands and thousands of his people. So I don't believe it was wrong, as a matter of fact I believe it's right and I believe history will prove it's right. All of this is just another example - as if we needed more - of Bush insensitivity and illogic, which, during the course of his presidency, he has elevated to an art. Yes, George Bush is one artistic criminal. Let's break down Bush's response to Curry. Scrutinize his saying that "the surge is proving us not wrong" and that failure in Iraq would be an "unmitigated disaster." Actually, it is Bush's crime of invading and occupying Iraq that is unmitigated disaster. And while violence may be slightly down because of the surge, troops and Iraqis are still dying. Each death is one too many. Sectarianism remains a huge problem and so does civil war. Now, take a look at Iran as a "threat to peace." We have proven that we are the hazard to peace, a greater danger than Iran. In fact, the Pew Research Center polled people in 15 countries and found that there is more concern about our presence in Iraq than about Iran's ambition to build nuclear weapons. Examine Bush's spin that the Iraqis are "counting on the United States" for help after we've "liberated them from a brutal tyrant who murdered thousands and thousands of his people." The truth is that most Iraqis don't perceive us to be liberators, saying they preferred Saddam Hussein rather than US occupation of their country. Plus, we are responsible for killing thousands and thousands of Iraqis. Yet, Bush can't grasp that he is, was, or ever could be wrong. Many believe he has no conscience to guide him. Tragically, this means Bush lacks the capacity to understand that he, himself, is the brutal tyrant responsible for countless deaths and disasters. And, so, removing him from power is not only the right decision, it is crucial. It is, also, urgent, because George Bush may commit more crimes against humanity in order to "help" our faltering economy. Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,'05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat [at] aol.com --------17 of 17--------- No Occupation without Representation (and Other Electoral Musings) by Mickey Z. / March 22nd, 2008 If America wants to dominate the globe in the name of spreading democracy [sic], how about giving some love to the subjugated? For example, let's extend the ballot to the citizens of occupied Iraq. Their daily lives are inescapably intertwined with US foreign policy so what better way to teach them about democratic values than to give them a say as to which millionaire is the next figurehead of empire? As Rosemarie "RMJ" Jackowski sez: "No occupation without representation". (Why am I positive that such a plan would result in a landslide for Obama's pastor?) Speaking of Rev. Wright, Senator Obama is taking a lot of heat for things that genuinely shouldn't matter. It's quite an illustration of how backward, blind, and racist America is that the worst thing the right wing can manage is Obama's middle name or what his pastor says. The end result is a general public that sees Obama as a liberal [sic] who wants to change [sic] things. The issues, as always, are ignored. The richer get richer, the sick get sicker, the bombs continue to fall, eco-systems decline and vanish, and American Idol is down to its final 10 contestants. Some of the many reasons to not vote for John McCain: He's funded by Wall Street. He voted for every war appropriation bill he faced. He voted against single payer health care. He refused to be photographed with San Francisco's mayor for fear it'd be interpreted that he supported gay marriage. He supports the death penalty, the Israeli war machine, and the fence on the US-Mexican border. He voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State and to reauthorize the Patriot Act in 2005. Oh shit - wait a minute. Those are some of the many reasons to not vote for Barack Obama. Oops, my bad. And now for the too-logical-to-ever-be-taken-seriously suggestions I make every four years: vote counting must be made foolproof, debates must be open to all candidates, and genuine campaign finance reform (at the very least) must be enacted. Voting should not be held on a Tuesday but instead of over a full weekend. Turnout is bound to be higher over a Friday-Saturday-Sunday period. Also, a "none of the above" option would not only allow disgruntled voters to express their disdain with the alleged two-party system but might also create a run-off election or even a new set of candidates. Speaking of a new set of candidates. Talk to a progressive [sic] about voting for Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney, and you'll usually hear this: "I'd like to vote for them, but they just can't win". Reality check: The only reason Nader or McKinney "can't" win is because progressives [sic] willingly choose to not vote for them. If everyone currently creaming for that eloquent [sic] corporate Democrat masquerading as a motivational speaker were to vote for Nader or McKinney, we'd have what amounts to American Revolution, Part Deux. P.S. The next time someone tells you America has a two-party system, I suggest you demand a recount. [Great line - ed] Mickey Z. is the author of the forthcoming novel, CPR for Dummies (Raw Dog Screaming Press). He can be found on the Web at MickeyZ.net. Read other articles by Mickey, or visit Mickey's website. This article was posted on Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 9:00 am and is filed under Elections, Imperialism. 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