Progressive Calendar 04.25.08
From: David Shove (
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]" <wamm [at]>
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]>.

--------2 of 24--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
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 <>.

--------3 of 24--------

From: Jeff Martinka <jeffreymartinka [at]>
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

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

--------4 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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! or info at 651-645-7102.

--------5 of 24--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
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]>
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]
Subject: Northtown vigil 4.26 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------8 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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.

--------9 of 24--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
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

--------10 of 24--------

From: Larry Johnson <elent7 [at]>
Subject: Story/walk 4.26 7pm

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.


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.

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]>
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.

--------12 of 24--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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] and info

--------13 of 24--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
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]>
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

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------15 of 24--------

From: Bill McGrath <billmcgrath52 [at]>
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, or
call Bill McGrath at (507) 645-7660.

--------16 of 24--------

From: James Mayer <info [at]>
Subject: Sengupta/radio 4.27 3pm

AM 950
(To Stream:  <>>) [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]>
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]>
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]

Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls, Wisconsin 54022

--------19 of 24--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
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]

--------20 of 24--------

From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at]>
Subject: End of empire/f 4.28 7pm

3CTC April Environmental Forum

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] or PHONE:

--------21 of 24--------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at]>
Subject: Cool Tools 4.28 7pm


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
    * 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: .

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--------

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

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

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

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]>
Subject: Tax Dollars to pay for Mall of America Ramp?

Apple Pie Alliance <>

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

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

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

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

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

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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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