|Progressive Calendar 04.25.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 20:31:40 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 04.25.08 1. Health conf 4.26 9am 2. Bennis/empire 4.26 9:30am 3. Guatemala 4.26 9:30am 4. Muslims/rights 4.26 10:30am 5. NWN4P Mtka 4.26 11am 6. AWC volunteer 4.26 12noon 7. Northtown vigil 4.26 2pm 8. Pots/poets/peace 4.26 2pm 9. WAMM talent show 4.26 6:30pm 10. Story/walk 4.26 7pm 11. CIA/Hmong/film 4.26 7:20pm 12. Anathoth farm 4.26-27 Luck WI 13. Sexual assault 4.27 12noon 14. Stillwater vigil 4.27 1pm 15. Palestine/Iraq 4.27 1pm/3:30pm Northfield MN 16. Sengupta/radio 4.27 3pm 17. PintCounterPint 4.27 4pm 18. Peace walk 4.28 6pm RiverFalls WI 19. Amnesty Intl 4.28 7pm 20. End of empire/f 4.28 7pm 21. Cool Tools 4.28 7pm 22. Peter Camejo - Capitulation 23. Sen John Marty - Tax dollars to pay for Mall of America ramp? 24. Mark Morford - All the president's liars --------1 of 24-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Health conf 4.26 9am Minnesota Health Care as a Human Right Conference: Healthcare, NOT War! Saturday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sabathani Community Center, 310 East 38th Street, Suite 126, Minneapolis. The Health Care as a Human Right Conference brings together people from around the U.S. who are suffering directly from no health insurance or from being underinsured, doctors, nurses, social workers, artists, human rights advocates, lawyers, students, community activists, politicians, providers and others working to win Health Care as a Human Right in the United States. "Money for Health Care, Housing and Education, NOT for War!" Sponsored by: Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and Healthcare Now. FFI and to Register: Call 612-821-2364 or email <ann_p11 [at] yahoo.com>. --------2 of 24-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Bennis/empire 4.26 9:30am Phyllis Bennis: "Empire Building in the Middle East" Saturday, April 26, 9:30 a.m. to Noon Southdale Library, 2nd Floor, 7001 York Avenue, Edina. Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Transnational Institute and the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, which was called "the think tank for the rest of us" by iconoclastic American journalist I. F. Stone. Formerly based at the United Nations, Bennis is the author and editor of books on Palestine, Iraq, and the UN. Recent publications are "Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer," "Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN Defy U.S. Power," and "Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis." Co-sponsored by: Middle East Peace Now (MEPN), Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace, Northwest Neighbors for Peace, Rochester Pax Christi Peace Group, Southeast Minnesota Peacemakers, and the WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364 or visit <www.worldwidewamm.org>. --------3 of 24-------- From: Jeff Martinka <jeffreymartinka [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Guatemala 4.26 9:30am Resource Center of the Americas: Saturday Morning Coffee Hours Are Back!! Please join us at 9:30 AM Saturday, April 26, at Trinity Lutheran Church (2730 E. 31st St. - around the corner from the Resource Center building) Guatemalan Human Rights Workers to speak about their recent work in Guatemala LAGOS sponsors a speaking tour of observers working with Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) After working in Guatemala as human rights observers with the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) in 2007, two Minnesota natives will discuss human rights accompaniment and why Guatemalan human rights workers continue to request this form of international support. Recently returned accompanier Carrie Stengel will relate her stories of working in Guatemala as an observer responding to direct threats to human rights defenders. For eight months she worked with indigenous communities resisting mines, dams, and other large-scale development projects, farm worker unions defending labor rights, and numerous individuals and groups challenging entrenched impunity. After spending twelve months working in rural Guatemala as a human rights observer, Cody Oesterreich will be sharing her experience accompanying Guatemalan National genocide case witnesses. She will give an overview of the genocide cases, a history of Guatemala´s civil war and current political and social realities in the Central American country. Hear about their personal experiences, see a photographic exhibit of the Guatemalans involved and learn about the startling realities of Guatemalan people today. *LAGOS - Lake Area Group Organization in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala --------4 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Muslims/rights 4.26 10:30am Saturday, 4/26, 10:30 am to noon, CAIR-MN presents a panel on "African-American Muslims and the Civil rights Movement," Masjid An-Nur, 1729 Lyndale Ave N, Mpls. $10 tickets (includes dinner) from lsaroya!cair.com or info at 651-645-7102. --------5 of 24-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 4.26 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. --------6 of 24-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: AWC volunteer 4.26 12noon Volunteer Day: Volunteer for Peace SAT, 4/26 at noon @ Anti-War Committee Office, 1313 5th St. SE, Rm 213* Bring your creativity and energy to paint signs, do data entry, make buttons, etc. Artistic skills welcome, but not required. --------7 of 24-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 4.26 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------8 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Pots/poets/peace 4.26 2pm Saturday, 4/26, 2 to 7:30 pm, Nonviolent Peaceforce sponsors "Potters and Poets for Peace" with pottery sale, poetry reading from 3 to 4:30, reception at 4:30, Episcopal Cathedral of St Mark, 519 Oak Grove, Mpls. $25 minimum donation. http://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/ --------9 of 24-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: WAMM talent show 4.26 6:30pm WAMM Talent Show: 26 Years of WAMM Talent Saturday, April 26, 6:30 p.m. (Doors), 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Program) Lake Harriet United Methodist Church, 4901 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis. Comedy! Dance! Music! Unique Performances of all Kinds! Come see how creative and talented WAMM members really are. Return of the WAMMettes, Brigid McDonald, the McDonald Sisters, the Skog Family Extraordinaire, Coleen Rowley, costume artistry of Mary Laurel True and many more! Bring your friends and family, WAMM supporters-young and old-for an evening of entertainment. Suggested Donation: $10.00 to $25.00. FFI: Call WAMM at 612-827-5364. --------10 of 24-------- From: Larry Johnson <elent7 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Story/walk 4.26 7pm STORYTELLING FOR ADULTS with Larry Johnson and Elaine Wynne, KEY OF SEE STORYTELLERS 7 p.m. on April 26 at Dunn Bros. by Loring Park, 329 West 15th St. Call 612-747-3904 for more information. Theme for the Evening -- WALKING TO RELIEVE TRAFFIC, LUNG, AND LANDFILL CONGESTION Larry took a 50 Mile Hike in 1961, when Kennedy promoted them for fitness, and last summer, when he turned 61, he took a 61 Mile Hike for health, better transit use, and better transition to local and international peaceful conflict resolution. He will tell those stories and play music on cleaned up litter from all the walks he's ever taken. He has hike in beautiful forests throughout the world, and will also tell THE HERO OF BREMEN, about an unlikely hiker who bravely walked the perimeter of his city to save it from a greedy land-grabber. Elaine has walked in striking places around the world. She frequently walks on short errands, for exercise and for energy-saving, and she regularly does walking meditation around the perimeter of her places of living and business. She was "trail boss" for the 61 Mile Hike, and since much of her walking is in dance, she will tell THE BUFFALO DANCE, from a time before the railroad cut its way across the prairie. April 28 is NATIONAL WALK TO WORK DAY and May 14-18 is WALK AND BIKE TO WORK WEEK. Short walk stories will emerge as well from the audience, including walking activists and members of the business community. Larry and Elaine have been at this, going back to a time when one had to be a "raging environmentalist". Now, thankfully, business leaders are becoming active because traffic congestion and air pollution are harming the normal flow of commerce. The evening is free, but donations are freely accepted to make it possible for many to walk over the new bridge at the Lake Harriet Peace Garden soon. The great Dunn Bros. coffee is also appreciatively sold. --------11 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: CIA/Hmong/film 4.26 7:20pm Saturday, 4/26, 7:20 pm, MSP Film Fest documentary "The Betrayal" about 20-year journey of CIA-recruited Hmong/Laotian guerilla fighter, later abandoned, St Anthony Main Theater, 115 Main St NE, Mpls. http://www.mspfilmfest.org/2008/ --------12 of 24-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Anathoth farm 4.26-27 Luck WI 4/26 and 4/27, Friends for a Non-Violent World and the Anathoth Community Farm co-sponsor Alternatives to Violence Project in Luck, Wisconsin. $25 to $45 (as you can afford) includes workshop, food and lodging at Anathoth. Register as soon as possible at anathoth [at] lakeland.ws and info at http://avpusa.org --------13 of 24-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Sexual assault 4.27 12noon April 27: Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, others. Out of the Dark -- Into the Light Walk for survivors of Sexual Abuse/Assault. Noon-2 PM. Hamline University Student Center Ballroom, St. Paul. Register by phone at 651/643-3022. --------14 of 24-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 4.27 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 --------15 of 24-------- From: Bill McGrath <billmcgrath52 [at] gmail.com> Subject: Palestine/Iraq 4.27 1pm/3:30pm Northfield MN "Wheels of Justice" activist bus tour visits Northfield. On the bio- diesel bus are educators, journalists and military veterans who give presentations about their personal experiences living under occupation in Palestine or Iraq. The main event in Northfield will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, and then repeated at 3:30, in the Just Food co-op building, 516 Water Street. Fore more info, go to justicewheels.org, or call Bill McGrath at (507) 645-7660. --------16 of 24-------- From: James Mayer <info [at] jamesmayer.org> Subject: Sengupta/radio 4.27 3pm OF THE PEOPLE: CALL FOR ACTION AM 950 952-946-6205 (To Stream: <http://www.airamericaminnesota.com/listen> http://www.airamericaminnesota.com/listen>) [still the same web address!] OF THE PEOPLE: This Sunday, april 27th, 3 p.m. AM 950 - Air America Minnesota's new name; call letters: ktnf - with Host James Mayer. This Sunday we'll check the pulse of democracy in a very special PLACE located at the center of the twin cities AREA. That special place is a very unique pharmacy on University Avenue just at the city line beteen St. paul and Minneapolis. We'll ask Of The People sponsor and supporter, pharmacist, Tom Sengupta, about serving, building and mobilizing community for the common good. [Generally true, and praiseworthy. One reservation - if someone raises doubts about the Dems just before elections, that talk is gavelled down -ed] Tom has devoted his personal and professional life to community and grassroots democracy. his views on real democracy extend beyond the local community. He recently appeared on "the News hour with Jim Lehrer". The meetings that Tom hosts at his drugstore in Prospect Park one Thursday each month after closing, have been attended for decades by committed citizens and well known political figures, including Paul Wellstone. Join our conversation with him on Of the People this Sunday at 3. Of the People's on-air call-in number is 952-946-6205. Host James Mayer will get in as much phone time with callers as possible. --------17 of 24-------- From: TDunnwald <tom [at] dunnwald.com> Subject: Pint counter Pint 4.27 4pm NE Debates, are you ready? meet at 4 this Sunday, 331 Club 13th and University, NE Mpls. We will meet at the 331 but may meet outside or at Erte' due to a scheduled show inside at 4. Tom 612-245-9048 with questions. --------18 of 24-------- From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net> Subject: Peace walk 4.28 6pm RiverFalls WI River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from "Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact: d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls, Wisconsin 54022 --------19 of 24-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 4.28 7pm Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, April 28th, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the party room of the 1020 Building, 1020 E 17th Street, Minneapolis. For more information contact Ardes Johnson at 612/378-1166 or johns779 [at] tc.umn.edu. --------20 of 24-------- From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at] visi.com> Subject: End of empire/f 4.28 7pm 3CTC April Environmental Forum FREE SCREENING OF WHAT A WAY TO GO: LIFE AT THE END OF EMPIRE There will be a screening of What A Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire. Written and directed by T.S. Bennett, the documentary is described as a disturbing, compassionate, sometimes humorous personal essay about coming to grips with escalating climate change, resource depletion, degraded ecosystems, an exploding world population and teetering global economies. A discussion on how we can go beyond the demise of the American lifestyle and create a human ecology far more Earth-friendly will follow the film. The event will take place on Monday, April 28th at 7:00 PM at Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue South, West Bank, Minneapolis. It is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities. The 3CTC Business Meeting is at 6:00 PM. All are welcome. For further information, EMAIL: christinefrank [at] visi.com or PHONE: 612-879-8937. --------21 of 24-------- From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: Cool Tools 4.28 7pm WORKSHOP: COOL TOOLS FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZING--- In our upcoming workshop, Mike Dean of Tipping Point Strategies will discuss great tools that community organizers are using to improve their communities. The conversation will explore: * how some groups are using mobile technology to reach a more diverse audience. * how free databases can improve your communication and make your organization more organized. * and a few other cool tools. This is a brand new workshop, so if you've come to a Cool Tools workshop before, don't hesitate to come again. More information about Mike Dean can be found at: http://pages.e-democracy.org/Cool_Tools_for_Community_Organizing . Cool Tools for Community Organizing FREE WORKSHOP Monday, April 28th 7:00 - 8:30 PM Rondo Community Outreach Library 461 North Dale University & Dale, St. Paul As always, the workshop is free and all are welcome to attend. --------22 of 24-------- Capitulation By Peter Camejo I was stunned to see Medea Benjamin complaining to the Nader/Gonzalez campaign because the campaign had used the word "shameful" in referring to "progressive" Democrats who had supported the pro-war, pro-Patriot Act, anti-labor, and anti-environmental candidate John Kerry in 2004. I have great personal admiration for Medea Benjamin for many of the stands and actions she has taken through the years. But her capitulation to the Democratic Party has been truly disappointing. Medea Benjamin eventually joined the "progressive" Democrats and has become an active supporter of the Democratic Party. Without the Democratic Party's support, Bush's war policies could never have been implemented. The Democrats voted in Congress a resolution that included the phrase, "unequivocal support for George Bush's conduct of the war in Iraq." They have voted for all the funding requests for the war in Iraq. In 2005 at the State of Union address, the entire Congress, with few if any exceptions, gave George Bush 39 standing ovations in one hour. They rose to their feet and applauded every time Bush used the word Iraq even before he finished his sentence. Of course this is nothing new for the Democratic Party. This is the Party of human slavery, of the Jim Crow of 5,000 lynchings, of fighting the right of women to vote, and of imprisoning Japanese Americans in camps. This is the Party that launched a war of mass murder killing two million Vietnamese as the "peace" party in the 1960s. It is the party that has supported the destruction of the trade unions, lowered taxes for the rich - while raising them for the poor. The Democrats voted 98% in favor of the Patriot Act in the Senate without reading it. Earlier, 100 percent of Senate Democrats voted to confirm the right-winger Antonin Scalia for the Supreme Court. In 2004 the Democrats ran John Kerry for President - the same John Kerry who said he could implement Bush's war policies better than Bush especially in increasing militarization in America and promoting the war in Iraq. What confuses so many progressively inclined people is they do not really understand that our society is controlled by the corporate power of concentrated money. The corporations and the super rich - through their domination of the government, the media, and educational institutions and of course the two parties - run our society. The totalitarian rule of money is a self correcting mechanism. It has flexibility which is part of why it is so powerful. The two-party system allows the appearance of differences and adjustments to public sentiment. It has become the single most successful political form for the rule of a minority over a majority in the history of the world. How this system of control developed, consolidated, and has survived through the years will be studied for years to come. The front line in this denial of democracy is the Democratic Party because it is the instrument that controls, channels and co-opts the forces that otherwise could challenge the rule of concentrated money. It is precisely the "differences" between the two major parties that makes the system effective. And the front line in the battle for the control of money over people are the so-called "progressive" Democrats who talk the talk. They confuse people, prevent free elections, and fight hardest to undermine a Nader/Camejo candidacy or a Nader/Gonzalez candidacy or any other candidacy whose voice for democracy begins to be heard. They may think they are helping move the country toward a more progressive agenda. But in fact, they are deepening the illusion that answers can be found through the Democratic Party. In turn, this reinforces the two-party domination over the United States, making possible the horrendous policies we have seen over the last eight years. You - Medea Benjamin - are now one of those on the front lines defending the two-party domination, and as a direct result, defending the rule of concentrated money and other illegalities and injustices of our present system. You can't have it both ways. In 2004, the Democrats went further than just supporting Bush's policies. They led a massive campaign to silence the only well known candidacy that opposed Bush's policies. They did this by manipulation. They sent representatives into the Nader/Camejo campaign to disrupt it, to seek to prevent his supporters from getting Nader/Camejo on the ballot. They actively sought to prevent those who disagreed - and favored peace, social justice and democracy - to have a voice. They harassed people trying to petition for Nader/Camejo. They brought at one time over twenty lawsuits to try to block Nader/Camejo's campaign from state ballots. They spent tens of millions of dollars in their battle against free elections and against voter choice. Even today they are trying to "fine" Nader/Camejo tens of thousands of dollars for merely seeking ballot access in the State of Pennsylvania. I personally had to pay them $20,000 not to have a lien put on my home for having been Ralph Nader's Vice Presidential candidate. The Democrats, especially the people you, Media Benjamin, call "progressives," were the most vicious in their endless diatribes against Nader calling him "crazy," "ego maniacal," "stupid," and "agent of Bush." Media Benjamin you are now shocked that the Nader/Gonzalez campaign used the term "shameful." Where was Medea Benjamin during the Democrats hate campaign against democracy in 2004? You were campaigning for a pro-war candidate and supporting the vicious anti-Nader/Camejo campaign. Medea Benjamin in her effort to support John Kerry helped successfully to manipulate within the Green Party support for David Cobb, the anti-Nader pro-voting Democrat candidate who favored US occupation of Iraq in two public debates with me. She worked to get the Green Party convention to prevent Nader/Camejo from being endorsed after Nader/Camejo representatives won a number of Green Party primaries and state conventions, including California. During the 2004 campaign, there was a letter on David Cobb's web site titled "Vote Kerry and Cobb." And it was signed by Medea Benjamin, among others. If you are going to seek fairness and oppose "trashing," why don't you start with all your friends whose extreme public attacks on Nader/Camejo you never protested? Why not promote among your Democratic friends the publishing of ads apologizing to Nader and the American people for the twenty-four harassing lawsuits in twelve weeks filed by Republican corporate law firms like Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis and abuses they committed in 2004 against the rights of the American people to have free elections and voter choice? Yes Medea Benjamin you have the right - like so many before you - to seek to reform the Democratic Party. The truth is, however, that what you actually achieve is to give cover for this pro-war anti-labor political organization. Millions upon millions have tried to reform the Democratic Party for decades. The AFL-CIO went in to reform the Democrats with millions upon millions of supporters only to be reduced from 33% of the work force to 12% - a submissively controlled force ineffective in defending even their own existence - unable to even get the Democratic Party to repeal the notorious anti-labor Taft Hartley law of 1947. The generation of progressive "leaders" that capitulated in 2004 will have to be replaced by a new generation that will stand by principles like the early abolitionists of the Liberty Party, the Populists who led the uprising of 1890s, the Debsian socialists and Women's Party activists of the early twentieth century - and yes like Ralph Nader who refuses to capitulate to a Democratic Party that has and is selling out the American people. Making personal attacks on Ralph Nader is starting to get a little old. Maybe it's time for your Democratic Party friends to end their political bigotry against Nader/Gonzalez. Yes we should all work together on issues we agree on. Yes we should try to get people regardless of what party they are registered with to support specific objectives. That is how the most massive peace demonstrations ever were organized in the 1960s and 1970s or the millions who marched together for immigrant rights just a couple of years ago. Of course none of those actions were ever supported by your Party, the Democrats. The ranks of the Democratic Party are desperately seeking change. In time they will see that the Democratic Party cannot be and will not be the agency through which peace, social justice and saving our environment will come. On this issue you and I remain divided. On the debate about this issue Nader and those supporting him have been saints in their language in comparison to your friends in the Democratic Party. The Nader/Gonzalez campaign has nothing to apologize for. Nader has been one of the most beautiful examples of showing respect for all including those who disagree with him. It is time for you and your Democratic Party associates to show respect and apologize to Ralph Nader. [Nevertheless, I expect millions of would-be progressives to vote lesser evil in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and on and on and on. It offers them cheap hope, now, so long as they never look back and never look forward beyond the next election. And millions of lesser-evil zombies won't. This is, to paraphrase Camejo above, the most efficient propaganda/domination scheme ever developed. We can't hope for salvation from US citizens - they won't act against their grafted-on second natures. It's DemsDay till DoomsDay. Postive change will come only from events the ruling class can't control, and from other countries not so whipped by infused mental molasses. -ed] --------23 of 24-------- From: Senator John Marty <jmarty [at] apple-pie.org> Subject: Tax Dollars to pay for Mall of America Ramp? Apple Pie Alliance <http://www.apple-pie.org> To the Point! Shopping Mall Parking Ramp to get Public Money? by Senator John Marty April 21, 2008 Using public money to build a parking ramp for the Mall of America is wrong. There are many urgent needs that deserve public funding, but a parking ramp for a shopping mall is not one of them. Yet the Senate tax bill contains provisions allowing for the use of local and metro-wide tax revenue to finance a $186 million parking ramp as part of a new "Phase II" expansion of the Mall of America in Bloomington. Proponents of the parking ramp subsidy argue that this project will create construction jobs at a time when many construction workers are out of work. But we could create just as many construction jobs building schools, or libraries, or roads. In fact, we could create just as many jobs repairing or replacing bridges. Unlike a mall parking ramp, construction of public facilities serves a public purpose, something that is the responsibility of government. The advocates for the parking ramp argue that it is part of a $1.8 billion expansion that would more than double the size of the Mall of America (MOA), making it once again the world's largest shopping mall. This expansion might create as many as 7000 construction jobs and perhaps 7000 retail and entertainment jobs. The lobbyists for the project claim that unless taxpayers pay for a new parking ramp, the developers will decide not to expand the MOA. But that is not a realistic claim. You could search throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Iowa -- the entire upper Midwest, and you would not find a piece of property more desirable to a developer than the Mall of America property. The Mall owners and developers are fully aware of the economic gains they will get from the expansion; they can't afford not to build. They are going to expand regardless of the taxpayer subsidy. This is not the first time that taxpayers have subsidized the developers here. Several years ago, lobbyists for the MOA succeeded in pressuring politicians to essentially give them the valuable property north of the current Mall. The MOA traded it for a piece of real estate that they had previously purchased for one dollar. Taxpayers essentially gave this property to the developers for free, and now taxpayers are asked to pay $186 million to put a parking ramp on it. It's not as if the developers don't have enough money. They are expanding the Mall of America to increase their profits. That's great; but not at taxpayer expense. There would be a public outcry over this if it was widely known. However, these payments are hidden by complex financing arrangements that obscure what is happening. Even some politicians agreeing to the deals may not fully understand what they are doing. In this case, the parking ramp would use tax increment financing (TIF) and an exemption from the fiscal disparities pool. Few people understand the fiscal disparities pool or TIF, and most people's eyes glaze over if you try to explain them. In short, both subsidies shift the tax burden to others. It is not too late to block this government subsidy for the MOA parking ramp from passing the legislature. Picture how refreshing it would be if Minnesota let shopping mall developers pay for their own projects and invested instead in building affordable housing, or improving the facilities at our schools, colleges and universities. The lobbyists for the MOA might complain, but you can bet their expansion project will move forward anyway. Meanwhile, Minnesota could once again become a national leader through our investments in education, truly building for the future. --------24 of 24-------- Published on Friday, April 25, 2008 by the San Francisco Chronicle All the President's Liars by Mark Morford Fun new game! Which TV news "military expert" is really a whore for the Bush administration? (Hint: all of them) Did it work? Were you duped? Were you calmly and methodically and rather nefariously led to believe that maybe, just maybe, the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the rest, right along with tales of soldier suicides and torture and staggering civilian body counts and the utterly disastrous Bush military policy weren't really all that bad after all? Did you watch any CNN or Fox News or MSNBC, lo, these past five or six years, listen to the pundits and ponder the wise, informed comments of all the military experts the networks brought on to discuss Iraq policy, then conclude that maybe this war, this appalling invasion might actually be positive, that maybe the surge is working and torture ain't all that bad and the democracy is taking root and America is proud and perky and victorious once again? Did you believe any of it? Because oh my God, they sure as hell worked us over like a rabid dog works a hunk of gristle. Who are "they," exactly? Why, they're the newly discovered and rather unexpected fraternity of expert BS artists, a highly specialized group known to gullible Americans as stoic, stern-faced retired generals, colonels, majors, military advisers, former Pentagon officials, the ones you've heard and seen on TV news for years, but who are known to the Bush administration as a delightfully dishonest gaggle of preferred liars, lackeys, shills, puppets and mouthpieces for Dick Cheney and Donny Rumsfeld and Dubya himself. The truth is as sad as it is revolting: You have been lied to, again and again, perhaps even more than you imagined, in a rather unexpected way, perhaps like no other time in American history, in a more carefully orchestrated and widespread effort than any presidential administration has managed to attempt in the past. Here is the New York Times, still managing to do what it does best despite the era of dying newspapers and disrespected journalism, running a simply astonishing piece on all the dishonest "military consultants" who've appeared for the past half decade on every major network - and yes, Fox adores these liars best of all - to discuss Iraq, surges, U.S. military strategy, the works. Here is the Times revealing, after two years of battling the Defense Department to release the 8,000 pages of incriminating documents by way of instigating lawsuits and leveraging the Freedom of Information Act - and barely even then - that this entire dour fraternity of deceitful military cretins has been in service of BushCo since Sept. 11 - and still is, to this very day. To clarify: Whenever you've seen one of those dour-faced retired generals discussing details of U.S. war strategy on MSNBC, chances are staggeringly good he was/is in the pocket of Rummy or Cheney. Whenever a wise old colonel has appeared on Fox or CNN or CBS News to say the surge is working or troop morale is strong or that all those suicide bombings aren't really so bad, chances are overwhelmingly good that he is lying outright and you're hearing exactly what Donald Rumsfeld wanted him to say. Isn't that refreshing? The Times story is simply astounding. Up and down the line, from major to general to colonel to every sort of expert they have, it's the same story. Over and over again, presented "tens of thousands of times" and totaling countless hundreds of TV and radio hours, it's been a near constant stream of calculated deception and misrepresentation and bogus pro-Iraq spin. Neutrality? Fair analysis of the war? Criticism of Bush? Not a chance. You may ask: Why would they do such a thing? What's in it for the generals and the colonels to lie outright to the American populace and the embarrassingly blind news networks, to whore their credentials and trash their distinguished reputations in favor of defending a lost war and useless president? That's easy: Access. Access to the White House, to the corridors of power and influence; access to the perks and the pals and snifters of brandy, the backroom handshakes, the business deals, the hugely lucrative military contracts, the sweet, sweet piles of cash and privilege and power awaiting them if they just toe the line and keep their real opinions to themselves. Also worth mentioning: Many are military men down to the bone. Failed war and inept commander in chief or no, they will defend any U.S. military operation, simply because it's a U.S. military operation. It's just automatic. Reminds me, in a depressing sort of way, of that gaggle of Big Tobacco CEOs who banded together not long ago in a hilarious attempt to convince the nation - and the courts - that cigarettes aren't all that bad and there's little evidence smoking causes cancer or impotence or death, and in fact small children really love secondhand smoke and so do puppies and flowers and Jesus, and if you want to have fun sometime, walk into a hospital nursery and fire up a fresh Marlboro and blow that yummy smoke straight into the faces of the newborns. Watch them squirm with delight! Except wait, no, it's not like that at all. One major difference: Big Tobacco execs are professional liars, de facto and a priori and understood. It's what they do. Not even the most ardent smoking advocate would trust one those jackals as far as he could throw him into a vat of chemotherapy drugs. Different, at least in theory, with these high-grade military men. They have a potent aura of trustworthiness, fairness, decency. They are f-ing generals, for chrissakes, and hence we like to think of them as straight-talking, no-BS working men whose word is solid and whose authority unquestionable and therefore no wimp-assed monkey-faced president or scabrous Defense secretary could make them say something they didn't actually believe. Wrong. Oh, how horribly wrong. So I ask again, did it work? Was America duped? Well, yes and no. There's little doubt that this insidious, sustained PR attack - and make no mistake, it was/is an attack on the American people; such calculated "psychological operations" aimed at U.S. citizens are actually very illegal, though it's enormously difficult to prove so in court - swayed millions of Americans, gave fuel to the preemptive attack argument, inflamed (and still inflames) the warmongering right, scammed the media, fanned the pro-war fires for years before the public recoil finally kicked in. But oh, kick in it did. This is the fascinating thing. Even all those high-ranking military experts lying like well-decorated dogs in one of the most impressive, appalling PR campaigns in American history could not keep Bush from collapsing, could not prevent Americans from learning the real facts of the failed war and toxic presidency - eventually. And maybe this is a good thing. Because now, given the scope of the Bush administration's lies - the true scale of which we may never fully know - the recoil is even more forceful than it ever might've been, the anti-neocon, anti-Bush revolt is potent and heartening and enormously helpful to the Democratic cause, perhaps far more than if Bush and his cronies had told the truth in the first place. Then again, if they had been the slightest bit honest, if Bush had even a hint of integrity, we'd never have launched this staggeringly botched, futile war in the first place, and maybe we wouldn't be where we are now, with the American experiment under Bush far less of an experiment and far more of a cyanide tablet. Thoughts for the author? E-mail him. Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SFGate and in the Datebook section of the San Francisco Chronicle. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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