|Progressive Calendar 03.29.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 00:34:53 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.29.08 1. Community garden 3.29 9am 2. WAMM annual 3.29 10am 3. NWN4P Mtka 3.29 11am 4. Northtown vigil 3.29 2pm 5. Local foods 3.29 2pm 6. Social investing 3.29 2pm 7. Cynthia McKinney 3.29 3pm 8. GP book club 3.29 7pm 9. St Thomas U/CTV 3.29 9pm 10. WorldToday/CTV 3.29 10pm 11. Stillwater vigil 3.30 1pm 12. Housing/economy 3.30 2:30pm 13. HomeGrownEconomy 3.30-31 5pm Crookston MN 14. Remember Romero 3.30 6:30pm 15. Ted Dooley - Public insurance, private delivery: Ask the candidates II 16. Glen Ford - Obama's crooked game 17. Steven Salaita - Why I won't vote for Barack Obama 18. ed - WE/THEM (bumpersticker) --------1 of 18-------- From: Stephanie Hankerson <hank [at] usfamily.net> Subject: Community garden 3.29 9am Community Gardening season is nearly upon us! Saint Paul gardeners and community gardeners will find this of interest: Announcing the 4th Annual Community Garden Spring Resource Fair Saturday, March 29th. 9:00 am until 2:30 pm First Christian Church, Mpls, MN Will Allen from Growing Power (www.growingpower.org) in Milwaukee is kicking off the Spring Resource Fair, highlighting his organization's innovative work on bridging cultures through gardening. Activities for the kids, workshops, and engaging educational displays during the day. Superb raffle prizes, music and food top off the fun! Details and directions at www.gardenworksMN.org or call GardenWorks at 612-278-7123. Free parking. Come see what community gardening resources are available for you! 9:00 am Coffee/Tea/Light Breakfast & Mingling 9:30 am Keynote Speaker-Will Allen from Growing Power 10:15 am Demonstration. Simply Good Eating Ross Safford from the U of M Extension Nutrition Education Program will demonstrate how to make nutritious meals from your garden. The Nutrition program (known as Simply Good Eating) provides research-based nutrition, cooking, food safety and wise consumerism classes to families with limited resources throughout the state. Come early for a demonstration and learn how your community garden can access this fabulous resource. 10:15 am Workshops. A Successful Fundraiser that Builds Community too! What are the essential components of a successful fundraiser? This workshop will cover critical fundraising points from determining the purpose of the fundraiser, rallying the community & volunteers, to following-up on appreciations. Participants will brainstorm on unique ways to raise funds for their community garden & neighborhood. Host Michael Ziomko will share his experience of Empty Bowls. Make Your Own Mosaic Garden Ball. Join Mosaic on a Stick's Maria Ricke for this hands-on activity. You will learn the basic steps to create outdoor safe mosaics and will create your own small mosaic garden ball. Supply cost is $8. Registration is required by Wednesday, March 26th. Contact GardenWorks to register, 612-278-7123, info [at] gardenworksMN.org. Space for 15 people. Bring payment to workshop. Vermicomposting: An Informative Workshop by Will Allen. Come learn how to construct and maintain a worm bin, how to use vermicompost for fertilizer and making money, and how vermicompost, along with plants, remediate the soil. Learn how to build indoor/small scale compost systems, and design and maintain outdoor systems. 1:00 pm Demonstration. The Community HenHouse Have you ever tasted a freshly-laid egg? Have you been looking for low cost manure, insect control, and a use for all those weeds and spoiled veggies? A flock of chickens is a great project to start in your community garden or backyard! Yes, it is legal and worthwhile to keep your own chickens in the city! In this presentation, Peat Willcutt will cover the basics needs of chickens and the benefits of a home or community henhouse 1:00 pm Workshops. Community Gardens for Beautification: Our Challenges and Best Practices Planting for beautification is an immensely rewarding way to give back to our community and to enhance our own lives as we go about our neighborhoods. However, there are the challenges that surface in these types of community gardens that differ from regular issues in other community gardens. This session brings together gardeners from many ornamental community gardens across the Twin Cites to learn from each other. Breakthroughs and lessons learned will be shared in an informal format to enrich all. Ideas for fundraising, volunteer retention and recruiting, resource acquisition will be discussed. Facilitated by GardenWorks Steph Hankerson. Spirituality in the Garden: Nurturing our Connectedness We will explore and share our own stories of the goodness of planting, tending and harvesting. Gardens historically have been maintained as sacred green space to nurture physical and spiritual connections to Earth and all the living beings. Community gardens are often a rare and vibrant common ground where people of many different faith traditions come together and work side by side on a common goal. Activities such as seasonal celebrations, can add depth and breadth to the community garden experience. How do you experience and name spirituality in your garden? How does gardening nurture your spirit? Facilitators are Jennifer Tacheny, Jill Underdahl, CSJ and Esther Moss of Celestes Dream Community Garden, and Lisa Coons from Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry. Community Food Security: An environmental workshop by Afro-Eco with Will Allen Community food security is a condition in which all community residents have access to a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice. Afro-Eco and Will Allen will share their knowledge and experience on key components of Community Food Security. This workshop focuses on urban food production practices that produce high-quality, safe, healthy and affordable food for all residents in the community. Urban food production connects people to the land and their neighborhood, and builds and sustains urban communities. Growing Greener Community Gardens A-Z Designed to promote good gardening practices regardless of garden type, this interactive workshop is geared towards sharing and discovering ways of cultivating healthier, greener and neighborhood friendly community gardens. Come learn simple, traditional and innovative tips and techniques presented by local horticultural experts and community gardeners. Topics from A through Z will be covered with helpful material and resources and plenty of opportunities to ask questions and share experiences. Facilitated by Master Gardeners: Pete and Mary Meysembourg, Susan Oven, Theresa Rooney Theft and Vandalism Theft and vandalism eat away at the joy of gardening in community, but there are steps that individuals and the garden community can take to address and further prevent these destructive activities. Join GardenWorks Kirsten Saylor as we learn common strategies for all kinds of community gardens and then discuss specific examples. --------2 of 18-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: WAMM annual 3.29 10am WAMM's 2008 Annual Meeting Saturday, March 29, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. Good Music! Good Program! Good Brunch! WAMM Action! Meet old friends. Make new friends. WAMM members Wanda Brown and Phyllis Goldin sing the annual report. WAMM member and Professor of Economics at the College of St. Catherine, Nasrin Jewell, speaks about "The Prospect of War and Peace, Conflict or Compromise, U.S. Iran Relations." Local musicians Clint Hoover and Papa Jon Kolstad perform. Anti-war bannering on the 40th Street pedestrian (enclosed) bridge over 35W following the meeting. Bring a book for the book sale with a comment enclosed. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. --------3 of 18-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 3.29 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available. --------4 of 18-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 3.29 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av.), every Saturday 2:00 -- 3:00 PM. --------5 of 18-------- From: foodforum <foodforum [at] eastsidefood.coop> Subject: Local foods 3.29 2pm Bobby King speaksng about legislative goings on that effect family farmers, lovers of great local, sustainable food and our all too fragile democracy The First in Eastside Food Co-op's 2008 Food Forum Series Eastside Food Co-op; 2551 Central Ave., Suite D, in NE Minneapolis We all eat, no? Free snacks and beverages provided from the Eastside Food Co-op. I wanted to make sure that you know about Eastside Food Co-op's upcoming Food Forum THIS Saturday, March 29th. At 2:00 p.m. Bobby King from the Land Stewardship Project will be visiting the Co-op to shed a little light on the Farm Bill in DC and what is happening right here in our own backyard at the MN State Capitol that effects sustainable family farmers and the food that they produce. Learn what we can do to effect positive change in the food chain. The 2008 Eastside Food Co-op's Food Forum series will be held in Suite D (the former Dollar Store space). You can enter the space though the Co-op at 2551 Central Ave. in NE Minneapolis. Come get filled in on what is happening, ask questions (there are no stupid ones) and find out what you can do! FFI call Amy Fields at 612 788-0950. --------6 of 18-------- From: Do it Green! <Do_it_Green [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Social investing 3.29 2pm Sat March 29th: Socially Responsible Investing with Jim Larson and Jill Longo 2-3:30 PM Washburn Public Library (5244 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls) Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is an investment strategy that integrates social or environmental criteria into financial analysis. In this presentation, learn to: -Align your investment portfolio with your personal values. -Encourage improved corporate social and environmental performance. -Identify companies with better long-term financial performance through the analysis of social and environmental factors. Sign up online, email ami [at] doitgreen.org or call 612-345-7973 to reserve your spot at the workshops! There is a $5 suggested donation for each workshop, payable online or in person on the day of the event. Do It Green! Minnesota appreciates your support! See website for more details and to sign up for the workshops! http://cts.vresp.com/c/?twincitiesgreenguide/e286b7afa6/8acadfd1b4/e816b7f95f --------7 of 18-------- From: David Strand <lavgrn [at] gmail.com> Subject: Cynthia McKinney 3.29 3pm You are cordially invited to join Minnesotans for Cynthia McKinney. We will come together and generate ideas on how to increase interest in Minnesota for Cynthia McKinney's presidential campaign. Farheen Hakeem will be hosting both of these events. Saturday, March 29, 2008, meeting from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at May Day Cafe 3440 Bloomington Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55407 (612) 729-5627 (May Day Cafe closes at 6 p.m. on Saturdays) --------8 of 18-------- From: Amber Garlan <agarlan [at] hammclinic.org> Subject: GP book club 3.29 7pm Our next Green Party book club is Saturday night at 7:00 on 3/29/08. We vwill meet at the same place, the community room between 161 and 163 on Erie Street in St. Paul. We are reading "The Great Turning" by David Korten. Next month we will be reading "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. I bought my copy of "It Can't Happen Here" at the MayDay bookstore for $15. Open to all. --------9 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: St Thomas U/CTV 3.29 9pm Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!. Households with basic cable may watch. Sat, 3/29, 9pm and Tues, 4/1, 8am "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 18-------- From: Janet Nye <jcarolnye [at] yahoo.com> Subject: WorldToday/CTV 3.29 10pm Suzanne Linton's cable TV show, Our World Today, Saturday, March 29, Channel 17 (cable) 10 to 11 PM - Santwana Dasgupta from Peace in the Precincts talks with host Bill Oldfather Sunday, March 30, Channel 17 (cable) 8 to 9 AM - Dave Bicking and Jeff Nygaard talk with host Karen Redleaf about current events --------11 of 18-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 3.30 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------12 of 18-------- From: Minnesota Housing Partnership <bjacobs [at] mhponline.org> Subject: Housing/economy 3.30 2:30pm Community Forum on Housing & Economy Please join Minnesota Housing Partnership and Minnesota 2020 for a special town hall forum on housing and the economy this Sunday, March 30th at Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka. The forum will start at 2:30 p.m. with Minnesota Housing Partnership's release of new analysis of the worsening housing environment in Minnesota. Space is limited so register now! Panelists include: * Matt Entenza, founder and chair, Minnesota 2020 * Pam Perri Weaver, executive vice president, Builders Association of Minnesota * Matt Fulton, city manager, City of Coon Rapids * Chip Halbach, executive director, Minnesota Housing Partnership * Impacted home and business owners * and more Families, business, and local government representatives from across the metro, MN 2020, and the Minnesota Housing Partnership Town Hall Forum on housing & economy Sunday, March 30 2:30 - 3:45 P.M. Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka The Minnesota Housing Partnership is a statewide nonprofit organization that advances the preservation and creation of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income people as a means of strengthening communities and families. MHP provides local governments and nonprofit housing organizations access to loans, grants, and technical expertise to plan and construct housing, in addition to advocating and educating people on sound housing policies. MHP's work in Greater Minnesota is primarily supported by The McKnight Foundation. Click here to sign up for MHP's various publications and action alert networks. MN 2020 is a nonpartisan, progressive think tank that focuses on the issues that really matter: education, health care, transportation and economic development. New content and analysis can be found daily at www.MN2020.org. For more information please contact Glen Fladeboe, 651-208-3262 (cell) Minnesota 2020 Barb Jacobs, (651) 649-1710 ext. 117 Minnesota Housing Partnership --------13 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: HomeGrownEconomy 3.30-31 5pm Crookston MN The Home Grown Economy Connecting Local Food and Economic Opportunity Local Food and Wine Sampler and Conference Local Food & Wine Sampler Showcase Sunday, March 30, 2008, 5pm-8pm - Kiehle Auditorium, University of Minnesota, Crookston 5-6pm Local Food & Wine Sampler Showcase 6-8pm Presentation by Congressman Collin C. Peterson and Short Films & Clips about Local Foods Conference Program Schedule Monday, March 31, 2008, 8am-4pm ? Bede Ballroom Student Center, University of Minnesota, Crookston 8:00am Registration 8:45am Welcome & Introductions Master of Ceremonies: Teresa Spaeth, Executive Director, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute Chancellor Charles Casey, University of Minnesota, Crookston Collin C. Peterson, Chair U.S. House Agriculture Committee 9:15am Connecting Food to Land, Health and Economic Opportunity Dr. Kate Clancy, Senior Policy Analyst for Union of Concerned Scientists 10:00 am Growth in Local Food Economies ? Trends and Indicators Kenneth A. Meter, MPA, President of Crossroads Resource Center 10:45 am Retail Sales of Local Foods, an Opportunity Ripe for the Picking GiGi DiGiacomo, Endowed Chair for University of Minnesota, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences 11:15 am A Taste of the Region /Moderator: Jim Stordahl, Extension Educator /White Earth Local Foods Challenge ? Stephanie Williams, WETCC Native Harvest ? Todd Sisson, Production Manager, Native Harvest My Sisters Farm; A Local Foods Buying Club ? Noreen Thomas 12:00 pm Locally Grown Foods Lunch & Exhibits and Poster Session 1:00 pm Local Foods in Larger Markets: UM Crookston?s Story /Moderator: Barbara Muesing /UM Crookston Story of Serving Local Foods ? Brent Melsa Community Support Agriculture and Serving Institutional Markets ? Mike Klawitter Buy Fresh, Buy Local Red River Valley ? Linda Kingery 2:00 pm Gaining a Competitive Edge: a Sampler Plate /Moderator: Mary Jo Forbord, Sustainable Farming Association /Mark Askegaard ? Organic Flax and Wheat Lynn Brakke ? Organic Beef Dallas Flynn ? Detroit Lakes Farmers Market Rod & Sue Cloose ? Blackstar Dairy ? Retail Terry Nennich ? High Tunnel Technology & Organic Production Methods 3:30 pm Why Policy Matters & Wrap-Up Rob Larew, Chief of Staff, U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Terry VanDerPol, Community-Based Food Systems Project Director, Land Stewardship Project * Register <http://www.regionalpartnerships.umn.edu/index.pl?iid=4794> brochure <http://www.regionalpartnerships.umn.edu/public/Home%20Grown%20Economy%20Flyer.pdf> *Linda Kingery Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership University of Minnesota 262 Owen, 2900 University Ave. Crookston, MN 56716 877-854-7737 kinge002 [at] umn.edu <mailto:kinge002 [at] umn.edu> --------14 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Remember Romero 3.30 6:30pm Sunday, 3/30, 6:30 pm, annual memorial service Remembering Archbishop Oscar Romero, Faith Mennonite Church, 22nd St E and 28th Ave S, Mpls. steveclemens [at] msn.com --------15 of 18-------- Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 07:02:45 -0500 From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at] winternet.com> Subject: Public Insurance, Private Delivery: Ask the Candidates II According to a national poll that will be released next week, 59 percent of doctors in the United States want a single-payer, public insurance, private delivery, Canadian-style national health insurance system. That's up ten percent from five years ago. Nurses agree. As do the overwhelming majority of Americans. Doctors say yes. Nurses say yes. The American people say yes. Nader/Gonzalez says yes. But the insurance industry continues to say no. The corporate Republicans and Democrats continue to say no. And McCain/Clinton/Obama say no. So, on health insurance, the choice is manifestly clear. If you want a health insurance system run by the wasteful, bloated health insurance industry, then support McCain/Clinton/Obama. Do you want a single-payer, national health insurance system, where everybody is in one pool, and nobody is out, with savings of more than $350 billion a year? Simple as that. They are on one side. We are on the other. Which side are you on? --------16 of 18-------- Obama's Crooked Game by Glen Ford Black Commentator March 28th, 2008 Barack Obama thinks he's a magician. Magicians have always been very popular, so it's no mystery that millions of people are fascinated by the man, and especially that millions of African Americans are desperate to see him pull off the biggest trick of all - become president of the thoroughly racist United States of America. Obama is smart, but his basic game plan is quite simple. Knowing full well the group most hostile to Black progress in the U.S. has always been white males, he aims to neutralize much of this demographic by assuring them an Obama presidency would be aggressively race-neutral. In practice, that means Obama ascribes all racial offenses to the past, where the only guilty white people are dead. The accumulated white wealth and privilege that is the result of hundreds of years of racist exploitation also was due to actions (crimes) of people now mostly dead. Obama forgives the dead racists, and has never expressed any intention of readjusting the ten to fifteen to one disparity in median white to Black household income. Yes, Obama knows perfectly well that wealth disparity, if not aggressively dealt with as a racial problem, will take centuries - if ever - to disappear. But Obama accepts the racial status quo as a fait accompli that can only be altered by methods that do not penalize living white people who benefited from their dead ancestors' crimes. In practice, this means Obama would leave American race relationships frozen in time. White men, the recipients of the most unearned privilege, wealth and power over the four centuries of English-speaking settlement (theft) in North American, therefore have nothing to fear from Barack Obama. Obama makes it quite clear that he not only considers white men's riches to be sacrosanct, but he believes every word of the mythical origins of the white settlers who seized power from the British Crown. These men were "farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787," said Obama. No mention of slaveholders or slave traders in the bunch. By dishing out a historical narrative of race in America that omits the theft of the continent and genocide of Native Americans Obama tacitly accepts the lie that most European settlers were escaping religious persecution - a fairy tale that even children's schoolbooks seldom tell anymore - and pretends that the whites acquired Indian lands by legal means. But what's the point of arguing about such matters, since everyone involved - especially the Indians - is dead. Having taken "off the table," so to speak, almost every aspect and resource of American life that over many generations created a thoroughly racist society, Obama then encourages Americans to engage each other in mutual self-help, all the while deftly avoiding any speech that might upset whites, especially males, jealous of their privileges. "I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren". What does that mean? Nothing, except that people should be nicer to each other and avoid hurting anybody's feelings by bringing up racial privilege. Obama's central message for white consumption, here, is that everybody's story is equally compelling, whether you are the grandchild of slaves or slaveholders. This is sometimes called "moral equivalence," and is especially favored by whites of European immigrant descent who remember how hard their fathers worked at jobs that wouldn't hire native-born, English-speaking Blacks. But hey! Everybody's families have had problems, right? Forgetaboutit! Obama claims his political beliefs are based on an "unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people". Of course, he never asks white people to acknowledge, let alone give up an iota of privilege in order to even the score after all these years, so we'll have to accept the existence of this vast reservoir of decency on faith. Even Obama can't deny that slavery was an evil institution - although he abhors the very idea of slave descendants making claims to present day remuneration for their dead relatives' free labor. After all, that would tend to create unnecessary tensions that might stand in the way of the quest for change. The quest for change should be calm, quiet, cost nobody anything, and allow everyone to leave with a good feeling. Preserving good feeling requires that Black people avoid at all cost telling the truth about the United States. Euro-Americans have an absolute right to tell bald faced lies, especially at the expense of Blacks. That's Obama's version of democracy - the sacred right to lie, especially about dead people. Obama's great friend and once-mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright has gone beyond the pale, and represents a one-man threat to racial harmony in the United States. Rev. Wright went a lot farther than speaking out "against perceived injustice". They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Oh, no. Instead. Rev. Wright "expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic". Let's take this slowly, so as not to distort Obama's core beliefs. He denies that racism is or has been "endemic" to American life. The MSN Encarta dictionary defines "endemic" as "characteristic of a particular place, or among a particular group, or area of interest or activity". Since slavery was legal in every single colony that became the United States in 1776, it is safe to say that slavery was "endemic" to the original United States. Nevertheless, Obama is outraged that Rev. Wright has the nerve to "elevate what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America" - in other words, Rev. Wright is more angry about slavery than the nice things that white folks did for Blacks during and after slavery. What those nice things were, Obama doesn't mention, so we'll have to take that on faith, too. "Reverend Wright's comments," says Obama, "were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all". It is at this point that I suspect Obama is playing stupid, but maybe he's just too sophisticated for my limited understanding. It appears he's saying that Rev. Wright and other Black complainers are responsible for divisions in the nation. If memory serves, it was white folk who extended Jim Crow and all manner of racial division to every aspect of American life, including the toilet bowl, but Barack Obama maintains Blacks have become the present day divisionists. Exactly what year that happened, he doesn't say. However, this great division by Blacks has, according to Obama, interfered with "two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change". Black America overwhelmingly opposed the two most recent wars; I suppose that amounts to creating divisions. Blacks haven't blown up anything on the scale of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, but maybe our constant complaining about racism scares people into fearing we have divisive intentions. We must admit, however, that high Black unemployment and home foreclosures, as well as high infant mortality and shorter life spans, tend to clutter up the landscape with unattended Black bodies, alive and dead, a source of unnecessary divisions in society and stinking to high hell in the warming climate, for which we are also culpable. We should all thank the eloquent and wise Barack Obama for pointing out our collective failure to keep track of all these excessive, bloated Black bodies. "Rev. Wright is more angry about slavery than the nice things that white folks did for Blacks during and after slavery". What those nice things were, Obama doesn't mention? One has to admit, Obama worked extra hard to earn such an historically unprecedented proportion of white male votes. He admonishes us that "to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding". Obama would have us cease and desist all criticism of what might appear to be racist behavior, since there always exists a small chance that a few of us might be mistaken. Such mistakes by Blacks could cause climate warming to go entirely out of control, not to mention war with China. Quite understandably, white males appeared to love Obama's "race" speech. No wonder. Every conceivable mode of eliminating racial disparities has been methodically taken off the table by the Illinois Senator. We are left only with an opportunity to conduct a "dialogue" about race, as long as we do so politely and without a hint of redistributive thought or intention. Marlin Adams seems to have figured out Obama's complicated racial diplomacy. "Barack Obama, as the Grand Mediator, is proposing a racial settlement agreement, Black folks get acknowledgment of our historical struggles, and recognition of that legacy's impact on our condition; White society, for its willingness to listen, gets a cease and desist of the criticism of America's racial past, and full allegiance to a White ethnocentric version of the future". So far, I have heard nothing of facilitating the release of some of the one million Black men and women held captive behind bars on any given day in America. Any references to crim I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? - or innocence of crime - causes great stress among many white males. Therefore, the Black American Gulag, the largest on the planet, is ineligible for dialogue. Malcolm X, in the year before he was assassinated, found himself and other Black notables under pressure to "sit-down" (rather than stand up) and have calm deliberations about what should be presented to white authorities. Sounds very much like Obama's admonitions that Blacks and whites engage in some meaningless "dialogue". "They'll have you sitting in everywhere," said Malcolm. "It's not so good to refer to what you're going to do as a "sit-in". An old woman can sit. An old man can sit. A chump can sit. A coward can sit. Anything can sit. Well you and I been sitting long enough, and it's time today for us to start doing some standing, and some fighting to back that up". But then, Malcolm was not a modern Negro like Senator Obama. Neither was the great Frederick Douglass, who had little patience for idle sitters or time-wasting dialoguers. Called upon by white "friends" in Rochester to speak on the 4th of July, 1852, Douglass delivered a speech that would have caused Barack Obama some sort of seizure: What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour. Clearly, Obama would conclude that Frederick Douglass specialized in unnecessary racial divisions. However, the illustrious Mr. Douglass was an efficient speaker, who did not waste words on fools, no matter how well-meaning. When whites demanded that Douglass convince them just how bad slavery was, he recoiled. "I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light?" In the same manner, what is it about pervasive racism in American life that honest people do not already understand? What does Barack Obama think is within acceptable bounds of dialogue, and what is not? Is he aware of some racial mysteries that have evaded the rest of us? To tell the truth, Obama couldn't manage to keep his own hind parts from being singed when he tried to find some middle ground between the vicious, thieving, genocidal, slaveholding God revered by most white Americans, and the truthful Black narrative of four centuries in an American hell. Barack Obama has literally nothing to contribute to such a conversation. Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, where this article first appeared. He can be contacted at: Glen.Ford [at] BlackAgendaReport.com. Read other articles by Glen, or visit Glen's website. This article was posted on Friday, March 28th, 2008 at 4:59 am and is filed under Capitalism, Democracy, Democrats, Discrimination, Racism, Right Wing Jerks. Send to a friend. --------17 of 18-------- Why I Won't Vote for Barack Obama by Steven Salaita March 27th, 2008 I would like to start by noting that although this will not be an essay about why one should vote for Ralph Nader, I am remarkably weary of liberals wagging their fingers at those unmoved by the Democratic Party and lecturing to us about who we should - nay, must - support. In typically self-righteous fashion, they want to limit our choices because they know what's best for us (which just so happens to be better for them). These folks love to blame Nader for all the injustices that the Democrats have actively pursued or refused to prevent since 2000. They usually cite pragmatic rather than ethical factors to justify their support of the mendacious Democratic Party: electability, lesser-evilism, the necessary beginning of genuine progressivism, and so forth. Nothing makes this class of politico so hysterical as somebody choosing to exercise the right to vote for a candidate who best represents his or her own positions. That hysteria exposes the carefully-unexamined assumption that the purpose of voting is to fortify institutional Democratic agendas. The use of pragmatism to justify this pandering is meant to suggest a political reasonableness, but it actually functions to reinforce complicity in the same centers of power these liberals claim to challenge. These matters illustrate another reason why voting in the United States is mostly disport, a way for the unwitting enablers of imperial neoliberalism to feel like they are participating in a civic and economic system in which they are political surplus, useful only insofar as they spend and consume. Whether or not they vote, the system will continue to operate unabated, its managers welcoming voting because it convinces would-be agitators that they are actually effecting change. Now that these qualifications are out of the way, let's focus on what this essay will be about: why I won't vote for Barack Obama. I hope others will likewise eschew Obama, but I welcome them to vote their conscience. Or, I welcome them to not vote at all. There are better ways to procure a right to complain. I won't vote for Obama because he once was promising but has morphed into an unusually charismatic but typically mediocre politician. A man once known for engaging the issue of Palestinian liberation in Chicago's Arab American community now can be found sharing his message of Israel-love to anybody who will listen. This change of opinion intimates a lack of integrity. Obama's supporters will argue that he is simply doing what allows him to become a viable contender for president, to which I would respond: if one wishes to keep his or her integrity intact, then that person shouldn't seek national office as a Democrat. Obama is willingly forfeiting his integrity for his ambition. That is his choice and it isn't my place to make the decision on his behalf. However, it is my place to decide not to vote for him based on that choice. The primary but not exclusive impetus for my displeasure with Obama is his suddenly avid support of Israel. It is an issue that I and many of my peers in the Arab American community cannot dismiss, as do other progressive supporters of Obama. We may be accused of shortsightedness by rejecting Obama based largely on this issue, but nearly everybody privileges one or few concerns when entering into the American political arena: religion, abortion, a particular foreign policy, immigration, the economy. I cannot listen to the man smilingly discuss the continued dispossession of millions of people who have already suffered unspeakably and then endorse such treachery with a vote. In any case, there is no need to apologize for or shy away from emphasizing Israel's brutality. Far from being a marginal item in the life of the United States, American support for Israeli colonization has serious moral and geopolitical consequences. It, more than any other action, generates justifiable anger toward the United States in much of Europe and almost uniformly throughout the Southern Hemisphere. It extends the bloody tradition of settler colonization in the American polity and in its imagination, a state of mind that helps facilitate so many of today's imperialist adventures. And it renders every politician who has ever lectured an Arab nation about human rights glaringly hypocritical. Obama's wasted potential as a candidate is exemplified by his already-legendary "Race in America" speech. Obama critiqued the topic of race in a way that would be considered tame in an Ethnic Studies department, but that was audacious by the standards of mainstream politicians. Unexamined in the chorus of praise, however, was the following statement, offered as a rebuke of Reverend Jeremiah Wright's beliefs, which Obama patronizingly dismissed as misguided despite his refusal to condemn their messenger: But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam. The statement does lots of things at once. From a public image standpoint, it allowed Obama to further distance himself from accusations that he is secretly Muslim while simultaneously cozying up to his still-slightly-suspicious Zionist patrons. As rhetoric, it enabled Obama to fulfill the requisite demand that whites be made adequately comfortable, a demand that entails the condemnation of anything that might actually threaten their privilege. This injunction is de rigueur for people of color. But I don't want to highlight these stupid political games. I'm more interested in what the statement doesn't do, which is to convey anything even incidentally truthful. Obama's claim is a profound insult not only to the Palestinians who have courageously fought for their physical and cultural survival, but to anybody who values the use of evidence to express an informed opinion. In no framework other than Zionist extremism can the Israel-Palestine conflict be attributed to "radical Islam". Even those who disagree vehemently about the history of Palestine concur that the conflict is fundamentally territorial. The very construct of a "radical Islam," in fact, means nothing of substance; it is a rhetorical ploy for the intellectually vacuous. Much of Palestine's resistance, in the past and present, has been conducted by members of the Christian minority. Palestinians, far from being religious extremists, are noted for their progressive secular institutions. The first Palestinian suicide bombing, an act said to exemplify "radical Islam," didn't even occur until 1994. To Obama, this is apparently the point at which the Israel-Palestine conflict started. It is utterly indecent for a person to deem himself a moral authority on tolerance while concurrently recycling an anti-Arab racism whose existence has been devastating for the Palestinians. For these reasons, I won't vote for Barack Obama. His liberal supporters claim that as a complete package Obama is superior to any other candidate, despite whatever flaws may exist in his platform (if flaws are even acknowledged). To me, though, his revivalist Zionism is a flaw that I cannot overlook and that liberal pragmatists should not ignore. Obama made a choice to court the AIPAC bloc, and we fail in our duty as citizens of a democracy if we do not hold him accountable for his immorality. We fail to strengthen the well-being of our own society, and we fail in our moral obligation to those who suffer the brute end of the imperialism our taxes bankroll. Obama should therefore be punished for his choice by those who stand against Israel's oppression of Palestinians. When the liberal cognoscenti lecture Nader supporters for our obstinacy or naivete, they are yet again performing the conceit of the privileged: they are telling us that they know our needs better than we do. (It happens right around the time they accuse Nader of egomania.) They are telling us that a commitment to Palestinians, whose dispossession the United States underwrites, is silly or unimportant. And they are telling us, without having to confront any of the consequences, to accept the permanence of Israel's violence. We should know well enough that what they imagine to be virtuous or commonsensical is ultimately a projection of their own needs and interests. So, consider voting for somebody other than Obama. Or consider not voting at all. It's your choice, after all. Whatever you choose, though, just quit telling the Palestinians that their lives don't matter. Steven Salaita is assistant professor of English at Virginia Tech. He is author of three books: Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where It Comes from and What It Means for Politics Today; The Holy Land in Transit: Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan; and Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics. Read other articles by Steven. This article was posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008 at 5:01 am and is filed under Democracy, Democrats, Elections. Send to a friend. --------18 of 18-------- Obama is THEM McCain is THEM Hillary is THEM Where are WE? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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