Progressive Calendar 04.30.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 06:51:32 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.30.08

1. Burner/KFAI     4.30 11am
2. Women/health    4.30 5:30pm
3. Cuba/Che/film   4.30 6:30pm
4. Cavlan/Senate   4.30 7pm
5. Ex-neo Nazi     4.30 7pm
6. Iraq/Palestine  4.30 7pm
7. VietnamWar/film 4.30 7pm
8. IRV/StPaul      4.30 7pm
9. Env justice     4.30 7pm

10. Chris Floyd - The torture election

--------1 of 10--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Burner/KFAI 4.30 11am

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul/Streamed@

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis /106.7 St. Paul / Streamed@ ­ A
CivicMedia/Minnesota production

Just when news reports seem to pronounce the embattled Midtown/Phillips
Eco-energy project dead (the project includes Minneapolis Councilmember
Lisa Goodman as an investor), another 50-60 daysı leeway remains for the
principals, Kandiyohi Development Partners, to come up with the necessary
financing, biomass supply sources ,and buy-agreements with customers like
Xcel Energy to make city-imposed deadlines for feasibility. This in the
face of serious environmental justice disputes over the environmental
impact of burning anything more in close-quartered low-income, minority
residential neighborhoods like Phillips and other central neighborhoods
where initial support for the project has melted away.

Is this an innovative biomass energy generator in the making? Or yet another
polluting industry in the already industrialized and polluted central city?

TTTıs Andy Driscoll and Lynnell Mickelsen will query principals on all sides
of the issues and the reporters who have covered them as the clock winds
down to final decisions.


 STATE SEN. PATRICIA TORRES RAY, Senate District 62, adjoining the Midtown
 BARBARA JOHNSON, Minneapolis City Council President
 KIM HAVEY, Partner, Midtown Eco-Energy Project/Kandiyohi Development
 JULLONNE GLAD, Neighborhood activist opposing the project.
 DAVID MORRIS, Executive VP, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
 STEVE BRANDT, Star Tribune Reporter/Analyst
 OTHERS invited: REP. KAREN CLARK, House District 61A, where the project
lives; GREGORY PRATT, MN Pollution Control Agency.

--------2 of 10--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Women/health 4.30 5:30pm

Wednesday, April 30:  Minnesota Women's Consortium spring membership
meeting, "Roundtable on Women & Health Care Reform," 5:30 to 8PM at the
Minnesota Women's Building, St. Paul.  No cost but space is limited!
Please RSVP.

--------3 of 10--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Cuba/Che/film 4.30 6:30pm

Wednesday, 4/30, 6:30 pm, MN Cuba Committee presents Argentinian
documentary "Che: Rise and Fall," Anderson Hall, room 250, U of M West
Bank, 257 - 19th Ave SE, Mpls.  mncuba [at] or

--------4 of 10--------

From: Doriandter [at]
Subject: Cavlan/Senate 4.30 7pm

Dear Friends:  Now that illnesses are cured in our group we can once again
schedule a Campaign Committee meeting.  It's set for next Wednesday, April
30 at 7:00 PM at Michael's home at 3115 Elliot Avenue So.

We are hoping that those of you who were the backbone of our last campaign
will volunteer once again this time.  We need you all.  We hope those
others who have expressed interest since then will also come to make this
a real run for the Senate.

Michael has been busy with several issues during the last year --
impeachment, single payer health care, corporatization of our government
and our world, honest elections, among them.  He has been gaining a lot of
positive attention through these and many more people know who he is and
what he stands for.  This will help build a good campaign.

Please let me know if you can come on next Wednesday and we'll set a chair
for you.  Call me at 612/414-9528.  Thank you.

--Dori Ullman, Manager Campaign to Elect Michael Cavlan to the US Senate

--------5 of 10--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Ex-neo Nazi 4.30 7pm

Wednesday, 4/30, 7 to 9 pm, TJ Leyden speaks on "Turning Away from Hate:
Confessions of an Ex-Neo Nazi," Auditorium of the Bell Museum of Natural
History, 10 Church St SE, Mpls.  hillel [at] umn.ecu or 612-379-4026.

--------6 of 10--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Iraq/Palestine 4.30 7pm

St. Joan of Arc Church
Hospitality Room, 4537 Third Avenue South Minneapolis

Bringing eyewitness accounts to occupation in Iraq and Palestine, the
colorful biodiesel bus has been to hundreds of cities and thousands of
venues over the past three years.

Having seen and lived with war, terror and occupation in Iraq and
Palestine, participants in the Wheels of Justice offer first-hand
experience, irrespective of partisan politics and sound bite sloganeering.
The Wheels of Justice Tour canvasses the United States with education,
outreach, training, active non-violent resistance, and

Sponsored by: the WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI: Visit

--------7 of 10--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: VietnamWar/film 4.30 7pm

Documentary Film Showing:
Hearts and Minds...
...the Academy Award winning 1974 documentary about the Vietnam War
directed by Peter Davis.

Wednesday, April 30th
Mayday Bookstore
301 Cedar Ave (West Bank), Minneapolis

All are invited to join us for to watch and discuss this powerful film on
April 30th, the anniversary the re-unification of Vietnam. Among the best
war documentaries of all time, Hearts and Minds is particularly unique
because it contains substantial interviews of Vietnamese people, providing
a perspective on the war rarely available to US audiences. More info:

Sponsored by Mayday Books and Socialist Alternative <>

--------8 of 10--------

From: news [at]
Subject: IRV/StPaul 4.30 7pm

Greens contributed significantly in the effort to put a proposal to use
Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) on the ballot for St. Paul voters last year.
Despite having enough signatures, the leaders of the Better Ballot
Campaign ( decided to wait until 2008 to
proceed. With Spring here, our opportunity to achieve a historic Green
Party goal in St. Paul has arisen again. Please join us in helping to
gather signatures and promote IRV in St. Paul.

Want to help, but don't know how? Join Troy Trooien, GPSP/4th CD lead
activist on IRV at an open training on April 30. The training will bring
you up to speed on the state of the campaign and take you through some of
the grassroots campaigning tactics we'll need in spades in order to win.

     Merriam Park Public Library (1831 Marshall Avenue)
     Public meeting room - basement
     7pm - 8:15pm, Wednesday, April 30

All interested IRV supporters are welcome.

The first opportunity to ensure IRV gets on the ballot in St. Paul will
be at the Living Green Expo, May 3-4. Contact Troy with any questions

--------9 of 10--------

From: *Maya Petrovic* <maya [at]
Subject: Env justice 4.30 7pm

Headwaters Foundation for Justice
Invites You

Living, Giving and Spending for Environmental Justice
A Conversation with Donors
April Donor Ed
Space is available, please join us!

Joyce Prudden and Michael Shoop Home
2318 Parkwoods Rd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
7:00PM-9:00PM (hors d'oeuvres served)

Hosted by: Linda Alter, Amy Lange, Terese Pritschet, Joyce Prudden, and
Barbra Wiener. Special Guest: Shalini Gupta, Izaak Walton League RSVP to
jennifer [at] Vogel at 612-879-0602 x. 16

As progressives we are committed to responding to the impending climate
crisis, but what actions should we take? How do we move from green as
trendy to true sustainability? Join others to explore how our
environmental values align with the way we live, spend, give and invest.

Shalini Gupta, scientist and environmental activist, will lead a
discussion about environmental sustainability. As a native of India,
Shalini will illustrate how environmental consequences fall
disproportionately on poor and marginalized people across the globe. Her
international perspective will illuminate intersections between
environmental, social and economic justice.

--------10 of 10--------

Deal or No Deal
The Torture Election
April 29, 2008

As the presidential horse race grows more frenzied and absurd - Flag pins!
Bowling! Obliteration!- it is important to keep in mind what the election
is really about: torture.

Specifically, the use of torture as an openly admitted, formally
recognized instrument of national policy, approved at the highest level of
government. The Bush Administration has now dropped all pretense that it
is not engaging in interrogation techniques and incarceration practices
long recognized by both international and U.S. law as blatantly criminal.
What's more, the Administration boldly asserts that the president can
simply ignore laws prohibiting torture if he feels that circumstances
warrant the use of "interrogation methods that might otherwise be
prohibited under international law," the New York Times reported over the

(The Washington Post had a similar story - similarly buried deep inside
the paper. A brazen declaration of presidential tyranny - in the service
of torture, no less - was considered worth mentioning somewhere in the
"papers of record," but obviously not worth making a big fuss about.)

Torture is at the very heart of the Bush presidency, the most
quintessential manifestation of its governing philosophy: a
"Commander-in-Chief" state, where presidential directives can override any
law in the name of "national security." The use of torture demonstrates
that not even the most heinous crimes - including techniques used by Nazi
sadists and KGB brutes - are beyond the pale of the "unitary executive's"
arbitrary will. On the basis of this authoritarian power - established
through a series of presidential orders and "legal" opinions by appointed
lackeys - many other crimes can be "justified": aggressive war;
kidnapping and rendition; indefinite detention; secret prisons;
warrantless surveillance; even the "extrajudicial killing" of people the
president designates as terrorists or terrorist "suspects."

The highest officials of the Bush Administration have gone to enormous
lengths to twist, pervert and destroy legal precepts that have been in
force in Anglo-American law for centuries - precisely because they know
that their policies are criminal under any reasonable understanding of the
law. Bush, and the likely prime mover of the torture regime, longtime
authoritarian Dick Cheney, were told at the very beginning that the
policies they were instigating would leave them and their minions open to
criminal charges. That's why the Administration's legal hacks have devoted
so much relentless attention on subverting the Geneva Conventions, which
are incorporated into and have the full force of American law.

Bush and his minions know that if the rule of law is ever restored - even
partially and imperfectly - they will be rightly be subject to
prosecution, imprisonment and possibly even execution.

And this is why torture is the core issue - perhaps the only real issue -
in the presidential campaign. Iraq is not really an issue; whoever wins,
the war will go on, in one form or another. Even under the so-called
withdrawal plans of the "progressive" candidates, Americans will be
killing and dying in Iraq for years to come. As for the economy, by their
own admission none of the presidential aspirants will do anything more
than tinker around the edges of the present rapacious system - an unholy
marriage of crony capitalism and corporate socialism that has devastated
America's communities, left millions with harsher, diminished lives,
corrupted civic society and degraded and homogenized American culture. For
the elite factions that thrive on war profits and the brutal economic
structure, none of the candidates represents a serious enough threat for
any action - beyond the usual lying, sabotage, vote-rigging and media
manipulation to get their favorite into power, of course.

But torture is a different matter. Consider how many very powerful people
- and hundreds of their minions - face very serious charges if the next
president decides to apply the law. Will they really allow this to happen?
Or even risk allowing this to happen?

Right now, the torturers control the military and the security apparatus,
including many secret forces and units that we know little or nothing
about. They have already used these assets to launch a war of aggression,
to instigate a system of torture, to spy without restraint on the American
people, and to imprison anyone in the world they claim is a terrorist. Why
should we imagine that they will draw the line at using these assets to
save themselves from prison - or the poison needle?

It would seem then that the Bush Administration has only two choices: cut
a deal with the candidates on torture - or eliminate them from the race,
one way or another. It goes without saying that John McCain will do
nothing but revel in the authoritarian powers brought into the open by
Bush; certainly it is inconceivable that he would ever prosecute the
instigators of the Bush torture regime. Thus the focus here falls on the
winner of the Democratic nomination.

It is Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton who will have to come to terms with
the Bush team on torture. (If they have not already done so, that is. ) In
the most benign scenario for these negotiations, perhaps some small fry
will be offered up as a PR sop for the victor. Just as Scooter Libby took
the fall for Karl Rove (in another obvious backroom deal), we might see
John Yoo or that despised putz-for-all-seasons, Doug Feith, put on trial,
while Bush, Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Condi Rice and the other "principals" go

But it is much more likely that any acknowledgement of criminality will be
unacceptable to the torturers. It would establish a principle - or rather,
re-establish a principle - that would forever leave them open to future

So again, we come down to a stark choice for the Democratic candidate:
either agree to "move on" from "bitter partisan rancor" over "enhanced
interrogation techniques" - or else. There are of course several ways to
eliminate someone from public life; the tools have been refined somewhat
since the days when "lone gunmen" stalked the land, removing inconvenient

But given the proven nature of the Bush team - and the dire consequences
they face from any normal, rightful application of the law - we should
assume that they will do whatever it takes to escape those consequences.

And that's why torture is the decisive issue of this campaign. But this
decision will not be in the hands of the voters; it will be made - as most
of the decisions that govern our lives are made - in the inner sanctums of
elite power.

[More evidence that the US is not a democracy. Allegiance to government is
often justifed by the claim that we have chosen it. But we have not chosen
it. It has been imposed upon us by elite power. Lesser-evil voting doesn't
change anything - it only delays, obfuscates, and enables more elite
control. Real change will require much more than voting every 4 years for
elite-approved and manipulated puppets. -ed]

Chris Floyd is an American journalist and frequent contributor to
CounterPunch. He is the author of the book Empire Burlesque: High Crimes
and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium. He can be reached through his


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