Progressive Calendar 05.05.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 04:15:39 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    05.05.08

1. Health care     5.05 9:30am
2. Peace walk      5.05 6pm RiverFalls WI
3. Citizen e-tools 5.05 7pm
4. Health care     5.05 7pm

5. Biofuels        5.06 11:45am
6. Salon/wellness  5.06 6:30pm
7. Miles/torture   5.06 7pm

8. Palestine       5.07 4:30pm
9. MPN4P-Merriam   5.07 7pm

10. Richard Macintosh - Delusions
11. Castillo          - Apolitical intellectuals  (poem)
12. ed                - bumper snicker

--------1 of 12--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Health care 5.05 9:30am

Monday, May 5: American Association of University Women, Minneapolis
Chapter. 8:30 AM: Collection of Personal Clothing. 9:30 AM: Health Care:
Coming Home from War. 10:45 AM: Equity is Still an Issue: Respecting
Women's Moral Choices. Noon: Lunch. 1:15 AM: Literature Program: From
Playwright to Novelist.


--------2 of 12--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 5.05 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


--------3 of 12--------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Citizen e-tools 5.05 7pm

Our May 5 workshop is E-Tools for Citizen Participation.  As the first
workshop in our May-June series, this workshop serves as an introduction
to e-tools and as such is a great time to start attending.  Participants
will learn to use the Internet to become more informed and more involved
with their community.  Tools covered will include discussion forums,
community-built reference sites, citizen journalism, blogs, social
networking and government websites.  We will also provide some examples of
how these tools are being used, and give a brief overview of how you can
go about making use of some of these tools yourself.  This is a great
overview workshop, and a great introduction to our workshop series, so I
hope to see a lot of you there.

E-Tools for Citizen Participation
FREE WORKSHOP
Monday, May 5th
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Rondo Community Outreach Library 461 N Dale University & Dale, St. Paul
As always, the workshop is free and all are welcome to attend.

Full workshop schedule available online:
http://pages.e-democracy.org/SPED-Outreach
Contact sped-outreach [at] e-democracy.org with questions.


--------4 of 12--------

From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org>
Subject: Health care 5.05 7pm

The next UHCAN-MN organizing meeting is Monday, May 5, 7PM,
Walker Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Mpls.

(Walker Church is 1 block from Lake Street and Bloomington Ave).
(Note: regularly scheduled mtgs are now first Monday of each month).
Suggested items ? (yours' are welcome):
-Welcome, intros,orientation, background
-Reportbacks: Legislation
-Demo at United Health (Holdup) Group HMO,Annual Shareholder Mtg
June 4
-Formation of Multi-disciplinary Practitioner Working Group
-Resist the RNC plan actions w/ North Star Health Collective,Poor
Peoples Campaign
-MN Health Fund update UHCAN-MN health screening/outreach

refreshments served
See you there, bring a friend,


--------5 of 12--------

From: Institute on the Environment <danie419 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Biofuels 5.06 11:45am

TUESDAY, MAY 6 * 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Biofuels Production and the Environment
With research funding from the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the
Environment (IREE)

Featuring:
Dr. Stephen Polasky; Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological and
Environmental Economics, Dept. of Applied Economics; University of
Minnesota
Dr. Michael Wang; Manager, Systems Assessment Section, Center for
Transportation Research at Argonne National Laboratory

Moderator: Richard Hemmingsen; Director, IREE; University of Minnesota

Continuing Education Conference Center, Room 42; U of M, St. Paul campus

Oil is the dominant feedstock used to produce transportation fuel. But
rapidly rising prices, reliance on imports from politically unstable
regions, greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution have spurred the
search for alternatives to oil. While renewable biofuels such as ethanol
and biodiesel offer potential benefits to the environment, recent studies
have called those benefits into question. Stephen Polasky and Michael Wang
will examine the current debates over life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions,
water use, local air quality and other important environmental impacts of
producing and consuming biofuels and fossil fuels for transportation.


--------6 of 12--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Salon/wellness 5.06 6:30pm

On May 6, the guests will be David and Pam Nelson from Integrated
Wellness Coaching who will help us with our energy going to healing,
with the titled talk:  Peace Starts Within."

Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.


--------7 of 12--------

From: Susu Jeffrey <susujeffrey [at] msn.com>
Subject: Miles/torture 5.06 7pm

Re: Dr. Steven Miles not allowed to speak at St. Joan of ArcDr. Steven
Miles, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota, is the leading expert
on our nation's practice and acceptance of torture on detainees around the
world.

His work focused initially on the presence of medical personnel when
torture was used and what a violation this is of medical ethics. St. Joan
of Arc Catholic Church was informed by the archdiocese that because of Dr.
Miles' pro-choice views on abortion, he is not allowed to speak at that
church. When someone is banned from speaking, interest in that person and
their work skyrockets!

Dr. Miles' remarks have been rescheduled for presentation at the
Carondelet Center on the campus of St. Kate's, on Tuesday, May 6 at 7 PM.

Steven Miles, MD, responds: "I deeply appreciate the support".


--------8 of 12--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Palestine 5.07 4:30pm

Demonstration: Justice for Palestinians

Wednesday, May 7, 4:30 p.m. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, 900 South 5th
Street (Gather on the Southeast Corner at Chicago Avenue), Minneapolis. In
2008, the destruction of Palestine continues. "What price is statehood?
Not everybody is celebrating!" Israel is celebrating it's 60th Birthday.
The celebration for Israel is a catastrophe for Palestinians. In 1948, as
the state of Israel was founded, 750,000 Palestinians were driven from
their villages and 531 villages were destroyed. Today homes are bulldozed,
Gaza is under siege and people are being killed every day. A 26 foot wall
isolates Palestinian villages from each other and robs Palestinians of
land and contact with others. The occupation continues. Sponsored by: the
Coalition for Palestinian Rights. FFI: Call 612-827-5364.


--------9 of 12--------

From: Krista Menzel <krista [at] kristamenzel.com>
Subject: MPN4P -Merriam 5.07 7pm

Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace Meeting
Wednesday, 5.07
7:00-9:00 p.m.

Merriam Park Library  Meeting Room B (in basement)
1831 Marshall Avenue (at Fairview Avenue), St. Paul

Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace meets the first Wednesday of each month
at 7:00 at the Merriam Park Library. All are welcome!

Free, and open to the public.
More Info: http://www.mppeace.org/events.htm or info [at] mppeace.org or Anne 
at (651) 647-0580 or Krista at (651) 641-7592


--------10 of 12--------

Delusions
by Richard Macintosh
September 22, 2003
Swans

"I hate as I hate Hell's own gate, that man who hides one thought within
him while he speaks another."
--Homer, (words of Akhilleus), Illiad (1)

Using Akhilleus (Achilles) as a starting point, it is a given that
politicians are corrupt, prone to lying, and consequently cannot be
trusted. Most Americans sense this, but ignore it out of necessity. To
face the truth of their leaders' mendacity would dash their hopes and
force them to rely on their own abilities, something they doubt possession
of and fear to confirm. People would far more prefer to place their hopes
on another "bought and paid for" politician in a futile exercise of
"democracy," so-called.

In other words, the electorate votes to "throw out the bums," only to
replace them with a new set of bums. The "bums," themselves, have contempt
for the populace and have pet acronyms for them, such as "OFU," coined by
George H. W. Bush, Sr., which stands for "one fodder unit." (2)

Blind to this contempt, the American people are once again preparing for a
vote that they believe will set the direction of the country. That they
are being set-up for disappointment does occur to some, but the true
believers still soldier on, caught by the false illusion of a democratic
vote that will ensure a free, democratic country.

It is a neat and futile self-deception to think that the direction of the
country will be decided in a democratic way. The word, "democracy," is the
shibboleth (3) of our age. People use "democracy" all the time, but rarely
define it; it is even doubtful if any two persons mean the same thing when
they utter it. If one could coin a word, it might be "democratistic." The
United States has become "democratistic" of late - that is a political
entity crafted to have the appearance of being democratic, while being
quite something else.

What we now have in America is, at best, an oligarchy of the ruling
elites, sanctified through a voting ritual that may or may not have
relevance to the actual outcome. At worst, we have a "junta."

The trend away from democratic forms has accelerated during our transition
from republic to empire, a move from "American" to "Americanistic," much
in the same way that the Ancient Greek civilization moved from Hellenic to
the Hellenistic under Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great.
Our old Republic is as dead as the proverbial dodo, affecting a republican
form, without the substance. In its place now exists a poorly disguised
imperial government, destined to run the well-worn path of former imperial
powers from koros to hubris, then to at and finally, nemesis. (4)

The bad news is that the population does not understand the peril. What is
even worse is that the leadership, so-called, may not understand the
danger, either. Why does this situation exist? Because both the leadership
and the citizenry have been blinded by delusions of grandeur. They are in
love with themselves and they have come to believe their own spin (or
"lies," if you prefer). Caught in a narcissistic dream, our current
leaders believe it is America's destiny to reshape the world and it is
their duty to force the change.

Hold it! What sort of change are our leaders talking about? If they mean
bringing democracy to the unenlightened - by force - shouldn't we first
be practicing it here in the good ol' USA? Well, Pilgrim, it depends on
what you mean by "democracy."

The problem for people is that the United States of America is no longer
run exclusively by elected officials (if it ever was), but is increasingly
directed by appointed bureaucrats, federal judges and a shadow cabal
comprised of men and women we common folks seldom hear about, those who
flit back and forth between think tanks, foundations and mercantilist
corporations, masquerading as "free traders." The most visible of these
entities is the federal court system where appointed judges do not have to
face elections and are eligible to serve for life. The federal bureaucracy
is more opaque, thus being less open to inquiry from the citizenry.

Allow me to validate the last point. Have you ever met a person who works
for the IRS - I mean other than during an audit?

I didn't think so.

Apparently a large number of Americans are blind to the danger of a system
that allows the Federal Judiciary - headed by the United States Supreme
Court - to override the democratic vote of the people. Rather than
question this unjust situation, politicians seek the viewpoints of court
intellectuals to justify it and subsequently devise strategies to control
five or more of the justices. In this manner, political forces attempt to
bend the Constitution to their will. The lesson was taught by Justice John
Marshall in the landmark case, Marbury vs. Madison (1803). Justice
Marshall got himself (and the Court) out of a sticky situation by ruling
that the Court had no authority to intervene in the case. But the most
important thing he wrote in his majority opinion was: "it is the duty of
the judicial department to say what the law is." (5)

Ah, a little sleight of hand to stay the forces of Jeffersonian democracy.
Such judicial twisting goes on today, in the name of "democracy," however
defined. Is it any wonder that Bill Clinton, a lawyer by training,
questioned the meaning of the word is?

What Justice Marshall's opinion means is that the words of the law are
merely "directional" when interpreted by the unannointed (the populace).
The words in the law are binding only when the Federal Judiciary have (a)
allowed the law to stand as is, or (b) written an opinion defining what
the words mean. Thus, the Supreme Court takes authority on itself to void
any law deemed by it to be "unconstitutional." This sleight of hand is
accomplished when the justices determine the intent and meaning of words.

Those who can remember their high school days may note that the
legislature's authority to pass bills is similar to that of student
government when faced with administrative review. This may be fine when
voting for things such as providing three flavors of ice cream in the
school cafeteria. Otherwise: Zilch!

OK, the ice cream analogy may sound childish, but remember that the
Congress, reacting to French refusal to join our attack against Iraq, and
further egged-on by such luminaries as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly,
voted to change the name of "French fries" in the Congressional cafeteria
to "freedom fries." Now, THERE'S a vote about something of substance!
("Boy, that otta show them Frenchies who's boss!")

But perhaps you are pleased with the latest vote of the court. You can
clap your hands and jump and shout with delight! ("Oh, thank God for
Sandra Day O'Connor!") Yes, but what the Lord giveth, the Lord can taketh
away. Have you ever thought about how fragile a law is that can be granted
or denied by a vote of nine appointed justices - five to four? How many
Americans, do you suppose, ever thought that nine people who eat, sleep,
and relieve themselves in the bathroom - just as they do - have no
authority to grant or take away their rights?

Probably not many.

It doesn't matter what your ideals are, or what you were told by your
teachers back in the dark ages, or by other representatives of the
political class over the years, leading up to the present. De facto and de
jure, the United States of America is not a democracy.

Sorry. It just isn't. Nope. No way, no how.

But, before you get angry, remember that you are merely "one fodder unit"
(OFU). Angry or not, your vote doesn't really matter. Why? Because the
"fix" is in.

Think tanks and foundations often have great impact on US Administrations.
Men and women who make up favored think tanks are well represented through
appointments to governmental agencies. The Project for the New American
Century - PNAC - is represented in the Bush II administration by the
likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, I. Lewis Libby,
John Bolton and Donald Kagan. (6) The influence of these men has been
powerful in convincing the President to pursue empire through so-called
"preemptive" war.

Note that the President is not a founding member of PNAC. That is because
PNAC - say what you will about it - is an organization of thinkers. The
President is not a thinker; he's a figurehead. Former congressman and
author, Jim Hightower, has him down pat:

"But you mentioned something that I think is important. . . which is it's
stupid just to keep calling Bush stupid. Yes, he doesn't have the brain
muscle for much heavy lifting, but that's not his role. It never has been
in his life, and he knows that. He knows his role and he plays it
beautifully, which is to be the front man for corporate interests." (7)

A good example of Bush's "corporate interests" would be Koch Industries, a
private corporation managed by David and Charles Koch. Investigative
journalist Greg Palast described Koch Industries as follows:

"Koch Industries is the biggest company you've never heard of - and their
owners like it that way. Estimates of its annual turnover, at $35 billion
a year make it bigger than Microsoft or Boeing Aircraft. We can only
estimate because Koch is a private corporation, the second largest in the
United States. . . If you've never heard of the Kochs, the politicians
have. Among the Big Oil that funded the Republican party during George W.
Bush's run for the White House, Koch Industries pumped in more than any
corporation except Enron and Exxon-Mobil." (8)

Two other examples of Bush's "corporate interests," Halliburton and
Bechtel corporations, were recently awarded profitable contracts to
rebuild Iraqi infrastructure without submitting bids. Such behavior is
corporate cronyism of the most egregious kind. It is the sort of
in-your-face arrogance that has characterized the Bush II administration
from the beginning, but especially since the tragedy of 9/11. In effect,
the administration acts first and then dares anyone to do something about
it. "You're either with us, or against us." Period.

But, hold on! Isn't it true that prominent Democrats are also millionaires
who are connected to corporate interests? Yes. Of course. You don't think
the working man really has much say about the goings on in the Democratic
Party, do you? Do you believe that something is "democratic," just because
someone says it is? Really? How old are you? Do you know what is going on,
or not?

We have a deluded population led by a self-deluded leadership: the blind
leading the blind. Irony is not dead.

And all of this is carried off with the satisfaction that Americans are a
special people, a people who "stand tall and see further into the future"
than other peoples. (9) On this subject, the author, Jos Ortega y Gasset
was prescient:

"What the home is in relation to society, such on a larger scale to one
nation before the assemblage of nations. One of the manifestations, at
once most evident and overwhelming, of the ruling "self-satisfaction" is,
as we shall see, the determination taken by some nations to "do what they
jolly well please" in the consortium of nations." (10)

That's us, "the good ol' US of A," doing what we jolly well please, both
at home and abroad.

Our nation is exhibiting hubris: behavior born of delusions of grandeur
and a false sense of democracy.

There will be a hard landing.

References and Resources

1.  Homer, Iliad, Fitzgerald Translation, 1974. Anchor Books, New York.
Chapter 9, lines 283-284.Words of Akhilleus (Achilles) to Odysseus,
regarding Agamemnon. Fitzgerald uses "Akhilleus" in place of the German
"Achilles." He thinks that this spelling is closer to the sound of the
name, when using the English pronunciation of Roman letters.  (back)

2.  OFU = "One Fodder Unit." Attributed to George H. W. Bush Sr., by Al
Martin in his article: "The Ambassador Wilson Affair: The End of Karl Rove
- And George Bush?" Published September 2, 2003,
http://www.almartinraw.com/  (back)

3.  "Shibboleth" is a Hebrew word, which either means a flowing stream, or
a head of grain. The Gileadites used this word to identify which of their
prisoners were Ephraimites. The Ephraimites pronounced the word
"sibboleth." The prisoners were asked to pronounce the word and if they
pronounced it "sibboleth," they were put to death. According to the story,
42,000 Ephraimites were executed. Source: King James Bible, Judges 12:
5-6.

In our age, politicians, writers, and common people parrot the word,
"democracy," using it as a sort of "shibboleth," but what do they actually
mean by it? Are they interpreting it or using it properly?  (back)

4.  The Ancient Greeks believed the path to personal destruction ran from
stability (koros) to self-delusion (hubris), which leads in turn to
madness exacerbated by attempts to hold on to delusions (ate). Once in a
state of ate, personal ruin (nemesis) is inevitable. This road to
catastrophe can also be applied to groups, political, military and
economic. The key survival is to recognize hubris and back away from it,
but the afflicted, are so in love with the feeling of omniscience that
they tend to ignore the warning signs. There is a very good chance that
the current President of the United States and his "cabal" are caught in
this classic description of decline.  (back)

5.  Garraty, John A. 1975. Quarrels that have Shaped the Constitution,
Harper and Row Publishers, New York, p. 12.  (back)

6.  http://www.newamericancentury.org/   Project for the New American
Century (PNAC). Current US foreign policy (including the Iraq war) cannot
be placed in proper context without understanding what PNAC is and who is
behind it.  (back)

7.  BuzzFlash interview with Jim Hightower. August 21, 2003.
http://www.buzzflash.com/interviews/03/08/21_hightower.html  (back)

8.  Palast, Greg. 2003. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Plume Books, New
York, p. 111.  (back)

9.  Albright, Madeline, NBC "Today" show, February 19, 1998: "If we have
to use force, it is because we are America! We are the indispensable
nation. We stand tall, and we see further into the future."  (back)

10.  Ortega y Gasset, 1932. Revolt of the Masses, W.W. Norton, New York,
pp. 102-103.  (back)

Richard Macintosh was a Public High School Teacher in California
(1956-1989). Ed.D, Educational Leadership, BYU, 1996. MA, Liberal Studies,
Wesleyan University, 1982. BA, history, Stanford University, 1956...
Macintosh is currently a part-time consultant on Personnel/Team matters in
Washington State. (Added May 1, 2008: Richard died of heart failure in
June 2005. Please see his commemorative Web page on this site.)


--------11 of 12--------

 APOLITICAL INTELLECTUALS

 One Day
 the apolitical intellectuals
 of my country
 will be interrogated
 by the simplest of our people.
 They will be asked what they did
 when their nation died out
 slowly, like a sweet fire,
 small and alone.

 No one will ask them
 about their dress,
 their long lunch breaks,
 no one will want to know
 about their sterile combats
 with "the idea of the nothing"
 no one will care about
 their higher financial learning.

 They won't be questioned
 on Greek mythology,
 or regarding their self-disgust
 when someone within them
 begins to die
 the coward's death.
 They'll be asked nothing
 about their absurd justifications,
 born in the shadow
 of the total lie.

 On that day
 the simple men will come.
 Those who had no place
 in the books and poems
 of the apolitical intellectuals,
 but daily delivered
 their bread and milk,
 those who mended their clothes,
 those who drove their cars,
 who cared for their dogs and gardens
 and worked for them, and they'll ask:
 "What did you do when the poor
 suffered, when tenderness
 and life burned out in them?"
 Apolitical intellectuals of my sweet country,
 you will not be able to answer.
 A vulture of silence
 will eat your gut.
 Your own misery will pick at your soul.
 And you will be mute in your shame.

--Castillo
Guatemalan poet wrote it in 1965- was tortured and burned to death for
his activities

[From: _American Pictures_ multi-media show pamphlet.]
[Email harelb [at] math.cornell.edu for address or see IGC's "gen.references"]

fw: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>


--------12 of 12--------
bumper snicker


                        ---------------------
                         Vote Lesser Weevil!
                        ---------------------



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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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