|Progressive Calendar 05.29.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 05:50:21 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 05.29.08 1. Culture/peace 5.30 5pm 2. Alt/violence 5.30 6pm 3. Azteca 5.30 4. RNC 5.30-6.01 5. Moyers/war 5.30 9pm 6. Energy/env/wk 5.31 9am 7. Peace walk 5.31 9am 8. NWN4P Mtka 5.31 11am 9. Ntown vigil 5.31 2pm 10. Why Nader 5.31 2pm 11. Picnic/Dahl 5.31 4pm 12. Mike Farrell 5.31 5pm 13. GP book club 5.31 7pm 14. GLBT/CTV 5.31 9pm 15. Ralph Nader - What's really driving the high price of oil? 16. Michael Dickinson - Fry 'em!/Raytheon's pain ray 17. Ron Kovic - Military recruiters must be confronted 18. Stephen Lendman - Plan Colombia heads for Mexico / SPP/NAU 19. anon - Why did the chicken cross the road? 20. ed - Whizzer of Oz (haiku) --------1 of 20-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Culture/peace 5.30 5pm 5/30 (5 pm) to 6/1 (2 pm), nonviolence training for Creating a Culture of Peace using social change techniques of Gandhi, King, Tich Nhat Hahn and others, $210 (includes all expenses), ARC Retreat Center, 75 minutes north of St Paul. http://www.mnfor.org/content/about_us or Joan at joan [at] pleromacoaching.com or 651-641-0946. --------2 of 20-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Alt/violence 5.30 6pm 5/30 (6 pm) to 6/1 (6 pm), Alternatives to Violence Project basic level workshop, Twin Cities Friends Meetinghouse, 1725 Grand Ave, St Paul. $75 to 150 sliding scale. http://www.fnvw.org or avperika [at] gmail.com or 651-644-5851. --------3 of 20-------- From: Human Rights Center Development Desk <hrcfund [at] umn.edu> Subject: Azteca 5.30 May 30, 2008 - 4th Annual Ceremonia Chalchiutlicue: Community Celebration,Traditional Azteca Danza Ceremony & Environmental Justice Summit. Time: All day (see website). Cost: Free and open to the public. Danza Mexica Cuauht moc of Minnesota and the Chalchiutlicue Environmental Project cordially invite you to participate in any part of our three day event including a conference, community celebration, and festival honoring the waters of the world. The weekend celebration includes: environmental justice summit, traditional Azteca Chalchiutlicue dance ceremony, Information Tables, Artisan Vendors, Community Feast, and more. Everything is free and open to the public. See http://www.chalchiutlicue.org for further information Location: Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center, 179 East Robie Street, Saint Paul, MN 55107 --------4 of 20-------- From: rnc08 [at] riseup.net Subject: RNC 5.30-6.01 May 30th - June 1st: Unconventional Midwest Convergence On May 30th - June 1st, 2008, folks from all over the Midwest will be heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota to flesh out solid proposals in regards to how we'll work together against the RNC/DNC come September and August. This 3 day event will include essential party crashing workshops, networking, and intensive strategizing. If you have a specific workshop you'd like to see or facilitate, get a hold of us at the email address at the bottom of this release. TO GET INTO THE STRATEGIZING SESSION YOU MUST BE VOUCHED FOR. If your planning on making it to the strategizing session, please send an RSVP (to the e-mail at the bottom of this release) specifying your willingness to be apart of it. At this point we'll send you a form to complete and send back to us. THE REST OF THE WEEKEND IS OPEN TO EVERYONE. Because of this, we ask that folks to keep security culture in mind to create the safest space possible for all parties involved. http://www.why-war.com/guides/2003/09/security.html PLANNING EARLY. We are asking people to send their proposals and ideas for the strategizing session ahead of time so we can go into this organized. You can send your input to the email address at the bottom of this release. CHILDCARE. We will be providing childcare for most (if not the entire) convergence. Please give the organizers a hand and RSVP ahead of time to the e-mail at the bottom of this release. We need to stock up on toys and supplies! Please RSVP to the following email address well ahead of time so we know what we can expect for food, housing, numbers, ect. midwestmaelstrom [at] riseup.net For more updated information and schedule, head over to the following page: http://uamidwest.wordpress.com/ In rage, -Unconventional Midwest --------5 of 20-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Moyers/war 5.30 9pm Bill Moyers Journal | Casualty of war http://www.truthout.org/article/bill-moyers-journal-casualty-war-1 Bill Moyers interviews former talk show host Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro in this rebroadcast about the true cost of war and the documentary, "Body of War," depicting the moving story of one veteran dealing with the aftermath of war. With extensive excerpts from the film, the filmmakers talk about Iraq war veteran Tomas Young, who was shot and paralyzed less than a week into his tour of duty. Three years in the making, "Body of War" tells the poignant tale of the young man's journey from joining the service after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan, to living with devastating wounds after being deployed to Iraq instead. --------6 of 20-------- From: Julie Risser <julie.risser [at] visi.com> Subject: Energy/env/wkshps 5.31 9am Care about reducing waste, cutting energy consumption, and creating healthy landscapes? Come to the Edina Energy and Environment Workshops Series on Saturday, May 31st. The free workshops will be held 9 a.m. to noon at Edina High School, 6754 Valley View Road. Participants should enter through Door #7. Free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs will be given to the first 40 people who come to the workshops and sign up for the Minnesota Energy Challenge. From 9 to 10 a.m., the following sessions will be held: · Organic Recycling In The Home And Garden · Bicycle-Commuting To Work, Around Town & To School · Understanding Your Energy Bills · Water-Smart Landscaping From 10 to 11, these sessions will be offered: · Dispelling the Myths Of Compact Fluorescent Lighting · Solar Power For Your Home · Organizing A Community-Wide Sustainability Initiative · Outdoor Classroom During the final hour of the morning, the concurrent sessions will be: · Tapping Into The Potential Of Wind · Ten Ways To Save Energy · Organic Recycling In The Schools · Rain Gardens and Waterless Landscaping This event is sponsored by the nine-member Edina Energy & Environment Commission which was established in 2007 to help the City stay on the forefront of issues of sustainability. For more information on the Edina Energy Challenge or the Commission, visit www.CityofEdina.com. For more information on the Edina Energy & Environment Workshops, contact Commissioner Paul Thompson, 952-920-1547 or Julie Risser at 952-927-7538. --------7 of 20-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 5.31 9am Every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------8 of 20-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 5.31 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. --------9 of 20-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 5.31 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------10 of 20-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Why vote Nader 5.31 2pm Fed up with the war and corrupt government? Tired of empty rhetoric from corporate-sponsored politicians? Want to see a genuine voice for change this election? Get active with the Minnesota NADER CAMPAIGN Saturday, May 31 2:00pm Walker Community Methodist Church 3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis Come hear why Nader is challenging the corporate parties again, why local activists are supporting his campaign, and how you can help build this movement to reclaim our democracy. The two big business parties and the corporate media are trying to shut out any real debate in the 2008 elections. They hope to avoid engaging genuine antiwar voices, any discussion of single-payer universal health-care, of living wage jobs, of a crackdown on corporate crime, mass investment in clean energy, and a host of other issues that the two parties' corporate backers find uncomfortable. Until we build a powerful political alternative that speaks for the millions rather than the millionaires, our votes will be taken for granted and the grip of big money over our democracy will become ever tighter. That is why local activists believe Nader's antiwar, anti-corporate challenge in 2008 is so important. Come join us for a discussion on how to make the biggest impact in 2008, and how we can use the election to lay the foundations for a sustained political alternative in the years to come. Event organized by Minnesotans for Nader To get active locally, contact us at: _danene [at] votenader.org_ (mailto:danene [at] votenader.org) _http://www.votenader.org/action/minnesota/_ (http://www.votenader.org/) --------11 of 20-------- From: Andrew Hine <amhine2 [at] gmail.com> Subject: Picnic/Dahl Hs 5.31 4pm Enjoy more sesquicentennial fun for the entire family! Saint Paul's historic Dahl House, 151 years old, is the site of a Preservation Picnic this Saturday afternoon. Come and see how this formerly threatened home has been lovingly restored to become one of the Brewery Neighborhood's most-favored buildings. Look at photos and plans, chat with the neighbors, and take a tour of the house and surrounding area. Imagine Erie Street 10 years from now. Imagine Ancker Hospital 50 years ago. Enjoy beer, brats, & burgers, and your side dish or dessert. Sat 31 May 4 to 7 pm 508 Jefferson Av just off W 7th across from the historic car wash --------12 of 20-------- From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com> Subject: Mike Farrell 5.31 5pm MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : For Immediate Distribution : Mike Farrell, B.J. on Mash, celebrates the paperback edition of Call Me Mike: A Journey from Actor to Activist (Akashic Books) 5pm Saturday, May 31 at Magers and Quinn Booksellers. From its opening pages, Mike Farrell's new memoir reveals the distinctive voice of a man for whom life is an ongoing odyssey of self-discovery, personal commitment, and uncompromising social engagement. With deep insight and disarming candor, Farrell describes his early years as a timid but restless teenager in West Hollywood, delivering groceries to the homes of Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Jimmy Stewart, and countless other celebrities, while dreaming of having his own career as an actor. In stark but riveting language, he relates his formative years as a Marine recruit, confused, conflicted, and eager to prove himself as a man. Farrell humorously portrays his professional development from a young soap opera player on Days of Our Lives to the amiable star of two popular television series, *M*A*S*H* and Providence,f to the respected producer of successful motion pictures like Dominick and Eugene and Patch Adams. At the heart of his story, Farrell narrates his public struggle to be a responsible citizen of the world. From his first-hand accounts of the ravages of war and oppression in Cambodia, El Salvador, Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and the Gaza Strip, to his tireless advocacy against capital punishment, to his deep commitment to environmental causes, Farrell portrays each of these experiences with passion, outrage, and stubborn optimism. Mike Farrell is best known for his eight years on *M*A*S*H* and five seasons on Providence. He is also a writer, director, and producer. He serves as cochair emeritus of Human Rights Watch in Southern California, and cofounded Artists United to Win Without War. As president of Death Penalty Focus, he speaks, writes, and coordinates efforts to stop executions. He lives in Los Angeles. MAGERS AND QUINN BOOKSELLERS 3038 HENNEPIN AVENUE SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS MN 55408 612-822-4611 www.magersandquinn.com --------13 of 20-------- From: Amber Garlan <agarlan [at] hammclinic.org> Subject: GP book club 5.31 7pm I love the book we chose! "Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow" by Jim Hightower with Susan DeMarco is so positive and solution oriented. On page 13 it quotes Calvin Coolidge "The chief ideal of the American people is idealism". Who would have guessed Calvin Coolidge said that? "Business can be designed around goals more worthwhile that merely funneling the mass of commercial wealth to a royal elite of CEO's and uber-rich financial speculators. Among the structural possibilities are family enterprises, co-ops, partnerships, sole proprietorships, local markets, supply associations, bartering, buying clubs and... (use your imagination)." "Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow", by Jim Hightower with Susan DeMarco, page 13. The book goes on to talk about how Peace Coffee was started right here in Minnesota! Organic Valley was started by small farmers in Wisconsin. Sometimes I can get so depressed about the ways things are going, and then I read how people took power into their own hands. It shows that change will come from us locally, not from above. Enjoy! See everyone May 31st, 7:00, at the same location, the community room between 161 and 163 Erie Street, St. Paul. --------14 of 20-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: GLBT/CTV 5.31 9pm Lovely Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!. Households with basic cable may watch. Sat, 5/31, 9pm and Tues, 6/3, 8am "Talking About a Sexual Revolution" Interview of local GLBT youth, media and instant runoff voting activist Brandon Lacy Campos. Hosted by Eric Angell. --------15 of 20-------- In Search of a Sane Government What's Really Driving the High Price of Oil? By RALPH NADER CXounterPunch May 28, 2008 What factors are causing the zooming price of crude oil, gasoline and heating products? What is going to be done about it? Don't rely on the White House - with Bush and Cheney marinated in oil - or the Congress - which has hearings that grill oil executives who know that nothing is going to happen on Capitol Hill either. Last week the price of crude oil reached about $130 a barrel after spiking to $140 briefly. The immediate cause? Guesses by oil man T. Boone Pickens and Goldman Sachs that the price could go to $150 and $200 a barrel respectivly in the near future. They were referring to what can be called the hoopla pricing party on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (NYMEX) Meanwhile, consumers, workers and small businesses are suffering with the price of gasoline at $4 a gallon and diesel at $4.50 a gallon. Suffering but not protesting, except for a few demonstrations by independent truckers. A consumer and small business revolt could be politically powerful. But what would they revolt to achieve? Their government is paralyzed and is unable to indicate any action if oil goes up to $200 or $400 a barrel. Washington, D.C. is leaving people defenseless and drawing no marker for when it will take action. Oil was at $50 a barrel in January 2007, then $75 a barrel in August 2007. Now at $130 or so a barrel, it is clear that oil pricing is speculative activity, having very little to do with physical supply and demand. An essential product - petroleum - is set by speculators operating on rumor, greed, and fear of wild predictions. Over the time since early 2007, U.S. demand for petroleum has fallen by 1 percent and world demand has risen by 1.3 percent. Supplies of crude are so plentiful, according to the Wall Street Journal, "traders of physical crude oil say their market is suffering from too much supply, not too little". Iran, for instance, is storing 25 million barrels of heavy, sour crude oil because, in the words of Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's oil governor, "there are simply no buyers because the market has more than enough oil". Mike Wittner, head of oil research at Societe Generale in London agrees. "There's various signals out there saying for right now, the markets are well supplied with crude". Historically, oil has been afflicted with the control of monopolists. From the late nineteenth century days of John D. Rockefeller, and his Standard Oil monopoly, to the emergence of the "Seven Sisters" oligopoly, made up of Standard Oil, Shell, BP, Texaco, Mobil, Gulf and Socal, to the rise of OPEC representing the major producing countries, the "free market" price of oil has been a mirage. Despite the breakup of the Standard Oil company by the government's trustbusters about 100 years ago, selling cartels and buying oligopolies kept reasserting themselves. In an ironic twist, the major price determinant has moved from OPEC (having only 40% of the world production) and the oil companies to the speculators in the commodities markets. What goes on in the essentially unregulated New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) - without Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforced margin requirements, and, unlike your personal purchases, untaxed - is now the place that leads to your skyrocketing gasoline bills. OPEC and the Big Oil companies reap the benefits and say that it's not their doing, but that of the speculators. Gives new meaning to "passing the buck". Deborah Fineman, president of Mitchell Supreme Fuel Co. in Orange, New Jersey, summed up the scene: "Energy markets have been dictated for too long by hedge funds and speculators, who artificially manipulate the numbers for their own benefit. The current market isn't based on the sound principles of supply and demand but it is being rigged by companies and speculators who are jacking up prices for their own greed". Harry C. Johnson, former banker who worked for many years inside Big Oil and ran his own small oil company in Oklahoma, blames the CFTC, the Department of Energy, the Administration, and Congress, as "asleep at the switch on an issue that is probably costing U.S. consumers $1 billion per day". He cites some industry experts, who profit greatly from the high price of crude, and have stated openly that the worldwide economic price of crude, absent speculators, would be around $50 to $60 per barrel. Imagine, our government is letting your price for gasoline and home heating oil be determined by a gambling casino on Wall Street called NYMEX. The people need regulatory protection from speculators and an excess profits tax on Big Oil. In addition, a sane government would see the present price crises as an opportunity to expand our passenger and freight railroad capacity and technology. A sane government would drop all subsidies and tax loopholes for Big Oil's huge profits and other fossil fuels and promote a national mission to solarize our economy to achieve major savings from energy conservation technology, retrofitting buildings, and upgrading efficiency standards for motor vehicles, home appliances, industrial engines and electric generating plants. Those are the permanent ways to achieve energy independence, reduce our trade deficit, create good jobs that can't be exported and protect the environmental health of people and nature. Those are the reforms and advances that a muscular consumer, worker and small business revolt can focus on in the coming weeks. What say you, America? Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent. --------16 of 20-------- Raytheon's Pain Ray Fry 'Em! By MICHAEL DICKINSON CounterPunch May 28, 2008 Coming soon, from the folks who brought you the microwave - Raytheon! After more than ten years in the making and at a cost of over 40 million dollars, "Silent Guardian", or Active Denial System, (ADS, in it's formal mood), is almost ready for public release! Yes, Raytheon - manufacturer of the 100 bunker buster bombs kindly flown by America to Israel at the height of their bombardment of Lebanon, and supplier of electronic equipment for the apartheid wall built on Palestinian land; - Raytheon - with its 73,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of 20 billion dollars has gone and done it again! For, Raytheon - the world's largest producer of guided missiles, and fifth largest defense contractor in the world, provider of aircraft radar systems, weapons sights and targeting systems, communication and battle-management systems, and satellite components - has come up with a system which could scatter a crowd in a trice without a drop of blood being spilled. Yes, folks, originally designed to protect military personnel against small-arms fire without the use of lethal force, Silent Guardian, ADS, the Pain Ray, call it what you will, (Raytheon would prefer you not to use the latter however), will finally soon be here! Transmitted at the speed of light over a 700 yard distance, the Pain Ray is a millimeter-wave beam that penetrates 1/64th of an inch beneath the skin, causing the water molecules there to bubble, producing an intense burning sensation, said to feel like being burnt by molten lava or a hot iron. Its delivery system attached to a Humvee and aimed right, the Pain Ray makes people run away - fast. Tests conducted at Kirtland Air Force Base south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, employ realistic combat scenarios to determine its potential effectiveness in a deployed environment, the first to expose an entire test subject to the ray. The Defense Department want to use it for protecting Defense resources, peacekeeping, humanitarian missions and other situations in which the use of lethal force is undesirable, but already there have been inquiries from other institutes and wealthy individuals about using it to protect private property. Testing, conducted on human volunteers and animals by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Human Effectiveness Directorate continues, and although it has not been proved that exposure to the ray can cause cancer, it has been ascertained that the corneas of Rhesus monkeys can be damaged. Deployment of the system is slated to begin in Iraq in 2010, but there are rumors that it has already been tested there. Raytheon congratulates itself on having developed a non-lethal weapon which has been described as "Holy Grail of crowd control," but their Silent Guardian also has its critics. One, author Richard Hunter asks: "But what happens if the people faced with such a weapon can't just run away? What happens if they're trapped in a crowd, and the crowd can't move? How much pain must that crowd endure? How long can any member of the crowd be exposed to that weapon before his or her skin - or their eyes - simply cook off? What happens if the devices are used deliberately in a manner designed to cause maximum harm - say, by training the device on prisoners trapped in prison cells until they literally go mad with pain? What happens if the system operator turns up the power? A little bit works well, why not try a lot? What happens if the scientists didn't test the devices thoroughly, and they turn out to render anyone touched by them blind, or impotent, or sterile?" And the National Lawyers Guild of the US has accused Raytheon of being "implicated in the commission of war crime". One critical group, the Derry Anti-War Coalition, occupied the Raytheon weapons factory in Ireland in 2006 to protest at the production of guided missile components there. Said a spokesman: "We are calling for arms components manufacturers to be shut down all over Ireland - North and South. It is disgraceful that so many companies in Ireland are profiteering from the maiming and murder of peaceful and innocent civilians in the Middle East. We are calling for and supporting non-violent occupation of all weapons manufacturers that supply arms to the Israeli Military." The protestors were arrested and charged with damaging Raytheon property. They await conviction. The cheeky blighters have got up a petition to sign to support them! http://www.petitiononline.com/dawc/petition.html As if you would! They wouldn.t have been able to get into the building if a Silent Guardian had been in action. A tiny squirt of the Pain Ray would have quickly sent them yelping away. Roll on the ADS! Coming soon! To a street near you! Michael Dickinson, whose artwork graces the covers of Dime's Worth of Difference, Serpents in the Garden and Grand Theft Pentagon, lives in Istanbul. He can be contacted via his website http://yabanji.tripod.com/ or at: michaelyabanji [at] gmail.com [Some say that tools are neutral, it's all in how they are used, so new tools/weapons are neutral, OK, and no big deal. But new weapons, no matter how devastating or inhumane, are always used by ruling classes. Knowing this, the development of the pain ray is evil. Will it be used at the RNC here in September? If not, sooner or later it will be, to squelch the first amendment right of assembly. With this and other accumulated overwhelming technology, the ruling class could do _anything_ it wanted to us; perhaps their Nazi thousand year Reich will soon be in reach. And as the psychopaths and sociopaths they are, they would be thrilled to bring it on. Only carrots for them, only sticks for us. Endless heaven for them, endless hell for us. Why are we laying around letting them do it? -ed] --------17 of 20-------- Stopping the War Machine: Military Recruiters Must Be Confronted by Ron Kovic Published on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 by TruthDig.com Common Dreams As a former United States Marine Corps sergeant who was shot and paralyzed from my mid-chest down during my second tour of duty in Vietnam on Jan. 20, 1968, I am sending my complete support and admiration to all those now involved in the courageous struggle to stop military recruitment in Berkeley and across the country. Not since the Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s has there been a cause more just than the one you are now engaged in. Who knows better the deep immorality and deception of military recruiters than those of us who, decades ago, entered those same recruiting offices with our fathers, believing in our hearts that we were being told the truth - only to discover later we had been deceived and terribly betrayed? Many of us paid for that deceit with our lives, years of suffering and bodies and minds that were never the same again. If only someone had warned us, if only someone had had the courage to speak out against the madness that we were being led into, if only someone could have protected us from the recruiters whose only wish was to make their quota, send us to boot camp and hide from us the dark secret of the nightmare which awaited us all. Over the past five years, I have watched in horror the mirror image of another Vietnam unfolding in Iraq. So many similarities, so many things said that remind me of that war 30 years ago which left me paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for life. Refusing to learn from the lessons of Vietnam, our government continues to pursue a policy of deception, distortion, manipulation and denial, doing everything it can to hide from the American people their true intentions and agenda in Iraq. As we pass the fifth anniversary of the start of this tragic and senseless war, I cannot help but think of the young men and women who have been wounded, nearly 30,000, flooding Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals all across our country. Paraplegics, amputees, burn victims, the blinded, shocked and stunned, brain-damaged and psychologically stressed, a whole new generation of severely maimed men and women who were not even born when I came home wounded to the Bronx Veterans Hospital in New York in 1968. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which afflicted so many of us after Vietnam, is just now beginning to appear among soldiers recently returned from the current war. For some the agony and suffering, the sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and awful bouts of insomnia, alienation, anger and rage will last for decades - if not their whole lives. They will be trapped in a permanent nightmare of that war, of killing another man, a child, watching a friend die - fighting against an enemy that can never be seen, while at any moment someone, a child, a woman, an old man - anyone - might kill them. These traumas return home with us and we carry them, sometimes hidden, for agonizing decades. They deeply impact our daily lives, and the lives closest to us. To kill another human being, to take another life out of this world with one pull of a trigger, is something that never leaves you. It is as if a part of you dies with that person. If you choose to keep on living, there may be a healing, and even hope and happiness again, but that scar and memory and sorrow will be with you forever. Why did the recruiters never mention these things? This was never in the slick pamphlets they gave us. Some of these veterans are showing up at homeless shelters around our country, while others have begun to courageously speak out against the senselessness and insanity of this war and to demand answers from the leaders who sent them there. During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, returning soldiers formed a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War, just as we had marched in Miami in August of 1972 as Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Still others have refused deployment to Iraq, gone to Canada and begun resisting this immoral and illegal war. Like many other Americans, I have seen them on television or at the local veterans hospitals, but for the most part, they remain hidden like the flag-draped caskets of our dead returned to Dover Air Force Base in the dark of night, as this administration continues to pursue a policy of censorship, tightly controlling the images coming out of that war and rarely allowing the human cost of its policy to be seen. Many of us promised ourselves long ago that we would never allow what happened to us in Vietnam to happen again. We had an obligation, a responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, as human beings, to raise our voices in protest. We could never forget the hospitals, the intensive-care wards, the wounded all around us fighting for their lives, those long and painful years after we came home, those lonely nights. There were lives to save on both sides, young men and women who would be disfigured and maimed, mothers and fathers who would lose their sons and daughters, wives and other loved ones who would suffer for decades to come if we did not do everything we could to stop the momentum of this madness. Mario Savio once said, "There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all". It is time to stop the war machine. It is time for bold and daring action on the part of us all. Precious lives are at stake, both American and Iraqi, and military recruiters must be confronted at every turn, in every high school, every campus, every recruiting office, on every street corner, in every town and city across America. In no uncertain terms we must make it clear to them that by their actions they represent a threat to our community, to our children and all that we cherish. We must explain to them that condemning our young men and women to their death, setting them up to be horribly maimed, and psychologically damaged in a senseless and immoral war, is wrong and unpatriotic and will not be tolerated by Berkeley - or, for that matter, any town or city in the United States. The days of deceiving, manipulating and victimizing our young people are over. We have had enough, and I strongly encourage all of you to use every means of creative, nonviolent civil disobedience to stop military recruitment all across our country. I stand with you in this important and courageous fight, and I am confident your actions in the days ahead will inspire countless others across our country to do everything they can to end this deeply immoral and illegal war. (Note: This statement represents portions of several essays and writings I have done over the past five years.-R.K.) Paralyzed from the chest down by Vietnam War wounds, and confined to a wheelchair for almost 40 years, Ron Kovic stands as a symbol of the brutality of war. He also exemplifies a man's ability to transform such tragedy into a lifelong pursuit of peace - for himself and his country. Copyright 2008 Truthdig, L.L.C. --------18 of 20-------- Plan Colombia Heads for Mexico By Stephen Lendman May 29, 2008 ZNet It's called "Plan Mexico," or more formally the "Merida Initiative," and here's the scheme. It's to do for Mexicans what Plan Colombia has done to that nation since 1999, and, in fact, much earlier. Since then, billions have gone for the following: - to establish a US military foothold in the country; - mostly to fund US weapons, chemical and other corporate profiteers; it's a long-standing practice; in fact, a 1997 Pentagon document affirms that America's military will "protect US interests and investments;" in Colombia, it's to control its valuable resources; most importantly oil and natural gas but also coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, silver, emeralds, copper and more; it's also to crush worker resistance, eliminate unions, target human rights and peasant opposition groups, and make the country a "free market" paradise inhospitable to people; - it funds a brutish military as well; already, over 10,000 of its soldiers have been trained at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) - aka the School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia; its graduates are infamous as human rights abusers, drugs traffickers, and death squad practitioners; they were well schooled in their "arts" by the nation most skilled in them; - it lets Colombia arm and support paramilitary death squads; they're known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC); for more than a decade, they've terrorized Colombians and are responsible for most killings and massacres in support of powerful western and local business interests; - it funds drug eradication efforts, but only in FARC-EP and ELN areas; government-controlled ones are exempt; trafficking is big business; laundering drugs money reaps huge profits for major US and regional banks; the CIA has also been linked to the trade for decades, especially since the 1980s; after Afghanistan's invasion and occupation, opium harvests set records - mostly from areas controlled by US-allied "warlords;" the Taliban's drug eradication program was one reason it was targeted; Colombia's drug eradication is horrific; it causes ecological devastation; crop and forest destruction; lives and livelihoods lost; large areas chemically contaminated; bottom line of the program - record amounts of Colombian cocaine reach US and world markets; trafficking is more profitable than ever; so is big business thanks to paramilitary terror; - it's to topple the FARC-EP and ELN resistance groups; Latin American expert James Petras calls the former the "longest standing (since 1964), largest peasant-based guerrilla (resistance) movement in the world;" it's also to weaken Hugo Chavez, other regional populist leaders and groups, and destabilize their countries; and - it supports the "Uribe doctrine;" it's in lockstep with Washington; its policies are hard right, corporate-friendly and militarized for enforcement. Plan Colombia turned the country into a dependable, profitable narco-state. Business is better than ever. Violence is out of control and human rights abuses are appalling. It gets worse. Two-thirds of Columbians are impoverished. Over 2.5 million peasant and urban slum dwellers have been displaced. Thousands of trade unionists have been murdered (more than anywhere else in the world), and many more thousands of peasants, rural teachers, and peasant and indigenous leaders have as well. Paramilitary land seizures are commonplace. Colombian latifundistas profit hugely. Wealth concentration is extreme and growing. Corruption infests the government. Many thousands in desperation are leaving. Colombia's "democracy" is a sham. So is Mexico's. Plan Mexico will make it worse. That's the whole idea, and it's part of the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership [SPP] - aka the North American Union [NAU]. It's planned behind closed doors - to militarize and annex the continent. Corporate giants are in charge, mostly US ones. The idea is for an unregulated open field for profit. The Bush administration, Canada and Mexico support it. Things are moving toward implementation. Three nations will become one. National sovereignty eliminated. Worker rights as well. Opposition is building, but moves are planned to quash it. That's the militarization part. Business intends to win this one. People are to be exploited, not helped. That's why it's kept secret. The idea is to agree on plans, inform legislatures minimally about them, get SPP passed, then implement it with as few of its disturbing details known in hopes once they are they'll be too late to reverse. SPP is ugly, ominous and hugely people destructive. Hundreds of millions in three countries will be affected. Others in the region as well. Plan Mexico is a contribution to the scheme. Below is what we know about it. Plan Mexico - Exploitation Writ Large The plan was first announced in October 2007 as a "regional security cooperation initiative." It's to provide $1.4 billion in aid (over three years) for Mexico and Central America on the pretext of fighting drugs trafficking and organized crime linked to it. FY 2008 calls for $550 million for starters with about 10% of it for Central America. In fact, Plan Mexico is part of SPP's grand scheme to militarize the continent, let corporate predators exploit it, and keep people from three countries none the wiser. Most aid will go to Mexico's military and police forces with its major portion earmarked back to US defense contractors for equipment, training and maintenance. It's how these schemes always work. This one includes a menu of security allocations, administrative functions, and special needs like software, forensics equipment, database compilations, plus plenty more for friendly pockets to keep our Mexican cohorts on board. After failing on May 15, House passage will likely follow the Senate's approval on May 22 - below the radar. It's one of many appropriations tucked into the latest Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental funding request, and its purpose is just as outlandish. It will militarize Mexico without deploying US troops. It will also open the country for plunder, privatize everything including state-owned oil company PEMEX, give Washington a greater foothold there, and get around the touchy military issue by allowing in Blackwater paramilitaries instead to work with Mexican security forces. Only privatizing PEMEX is in doubt thanks to immense citizen opposition. Thousands of "brigadistas" were in the streets, protesting outside the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, as lawmakers considered ending PEMEX state-control. They paralyzed debate and brought it to a halt - temporarily putting off a final resolution of this very contentious issue. Big Oil wants it. Most Mexicans don't. The battle continues. Mexico's military may get involved. The US State Department describes them as follows: - ...."impunity and corruption (in Mexico's security forces are) problems, particularly at the state and local levels. The following human rights problems were reported: unlawful killings; kidnappings; physical abuse; poor and overcrowded prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and detention; corruption, inefficiency, and lack of transparency in the judicial system; (coerced) confessions....permitted as evidence in trials; criminal intimidation of journalists leading to self-censorship; corruption at all levels of government; domestic violence against women (often with impunity); violence, including killings, against women; trafficking in persons; social and economic discrimination against indigenous people; and child labor." Mexico's military fares little better with promises Plan Mexico will worsen it. President Calderon now deploys troops around the country. People fear them when they come. They're purportedly against drugs traffickers, but that's mostly cover. Their real purpose may be sinister - a possible dress rehearsal for martial law when SPP is implemented. Mexican soldiers are hard line. Their reputation is unsavory. People justifiably fear them. They commit flagrant human rights abuses and get away with them. The major media even report them. The New York Times, CNN, BBC, USA Today and others cite evidence of rape, torture, killings, other human rights abuses, corruption, extortion, and ties to drugs traffickers. Little is done to stop it. Government and military spokespersons often aren't available for comment. They're part of the problem, not the solution. Plan Mexico promises more of the same and then some. Billions from Washington back it. Social protests in the country already are criminalized. Hundreds are filling prisons. Many languish there for years. Labor and social activists are most vulnerable. Injustice and grinding poverty motivate them. Plan Mexico ups the ante. Things are about to get worse. Militarizing society is toxic. Police state enforcement follows. Accountability disappears. The rule of law no longer applies. Plan Mexico assures it. So does SPP for the continent. In classic doublespeak, the White House claims it will "advance the productivity and competitiveness of our nations and help to protect our health, safety and environment." Its real purpose is to annex a continent, destroy its democratic remnants, lock in hard line enforcement, and secure it for capital. SPP Backdrop of Plan Mexico A detailed SPP explanation can be found on the 2007 article link. It's titled The Militarization and Annexation of North America - http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6359 Plan Mexico is part of SPP. It will militarize and annex the continent. It was formerly launched at a March 23, 2005 meeting in Waco, Texas attended by George Bush, Mexico's President Vincente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. They forged a tripartite partnership for greater US, Canadian and Mexican economic, political, social and security integration. Secretive working groups were formed to accomplish it - to devise non-negotiable agreements to be binding on all three nations. Details are hidden. No public input is permitted. Pro forma legislative voting is approaching. It will try to avoid a NAFTA-type battle. Legislatures aren't being fully informed. The worst of SPP is secret. It's not a treaty, and the idea is to pass it below the radar and avoid a protracted public debate. What's known so far is disturbing, and considerable opposition has arisen but thus far too inadequate to matter. SPP, Plan Mexico, and a final continent-wide plan amount to a corporate coup d'etat against three sovereign states and hundreds of millions of people. It's to erase national borders, merge three nations into one under US control, and remove all barriers to trade and capital flows. It's also to militarize the continent, create a fortress-North America security zone, and have in place police state laws for enforcement. Billions will fund it. All for corporate gain. Nothing for public welfare. SPP takes NAFTA and the "war on terrorism" to the next level en route to extending it further for more corporate plunder. It's based on outlandish notions - that doing business, protecting national security, and securing "public welfare" require tough new measures in a very threatening world. SPP bolsters US control. It enhances corporate power, quashes civil liberties, erases public welfare, and creates an open field for plunder free from regulatory restraints. It's being plotted behind closed doors. A series of summits and secret meetings continue with the latest one in New Orleans from April 22 to 24. Three presidents attended and were met by vocal street protests. They convened a "People's Summit" and also held workshops to: - inform people how destructive SPP is; - strengthen networking and organizational ties against it; - maintain online information about their activities; - promote their efforts and build added support; and - affirm their determination to continue resisting a hugely repressive corporate-sponsored agenda. Opponents call it Nafta on steroids. Business-friendly opposition also exists. Prominent is a "Coalition to Block the North American Union." The Conservative Caucus backs it. It has a "NAU War Room." It's the "headquarters of THE national campaign to expose and halt America's absorption into a 'North American Union (NAU)' with Canada and Mexico." It opposes building "a massive, continental 'NAFTA Superhighway.' " It has congressional allies, and on January 2007 Rep. Virgil Goode and six co-sponsors introduced House Concurrent Resolution 40. It expresses "the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in (building a NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada." The April summit reaffirmed SPP's intentions - to create a borderless North America, dissolve national sovereignty, put corporate giants in control, and assure big US ones get most of it. Militarism is part of it. It's the reason for fortress-North America under US command. The US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) was established in October 2002 to do it. It has air, land and sea responsibility for the continent regardless of Posse Comitatus limitations that no longer apply or sovereign borders easily erased. Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also have a large role. So does the FBI, CIA, all US spy agencies, militarized state and local police, National Guard forces, and paramilitary mercenaries like Blackwater USA. They're headed anywhere on the continent with license to operate as freely here as in Iraq and New Orleans post-Katrina. They'll be able to turn hemispheric streets into versions of Baghdad and make them unfit to live on if things come to that. SPP maintains a web site. It's "key accomplishments" since August 2007 are updated on it as of April 22, 2008. Its details can be accessed from the following link: http://www.spp.gov/pdf/key_accomplishments_since_august_2007.pdf It lists principles agreed to; bilateral deals struck; negotiations concluded; study assessments released; agreements on the "Free Flow of Information;" law enforcement activities; efforts related to intellectual property, border and long-haul trucking enforcement; import licensing procedures; food and product safety issues; energy (with special focus on oil); water as well; infrastructure development; emergency management; and much more. It's all laid out in deceptively understated tones to hide its continental aim - enhanced corporate exploitation with as little public knowledge as possible. Militarization will assure it, and consider one development up North. On February 14, 2008, the US and Canada agreed to allow American troops inside Canada. Canadians were told nothing or that the agreement was reached in 2002. Neither was it discussed in Congress or the Canadian House of Commons. It's for "bilateral integration" of military command structures in areas of immigration, law enforcement, intelligence, or whatever else the Pentagon or Washington wishes. Overall, it's part of the "war on terror" and militarizing the continent to make it "safer" for business and be prepared for any civilian opposition. Congress may soon pass SPP, but with no knowledge of its worst provisions kept secret. It's to assure enough congressional support makes it law. Nonetheless, federal, state and local opposition is building. It ranges from private activism to vocal lawmakers. In 2008, a dozen or more states passed resolutions against SPP. Around 20 others did it in 2007. Congress began debating it last year with opposition raised on various grounds - open borders, unchecked immigration, a NAFTA Superhighway System, and the idea of giving unregulated Mexican trucks free access to US roads and cities. There's also talk of replacing three national currencies with an "Amero." Unfortunately, little is heard about trashing the Constitution or giving corporate bosses free reign. There's even less talk about a militarized continent against dissent. SPP is a "new world order." Companies are plotting to get it. People better hope they don't. Disruptive opposition might derail them. It's building but needs more resonance to matter. Time is short and slipping away. These schemers mean business. They want our future. We can't afford to lose it. Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. [It's what the ruling class has planned for us. Don't you just love the rulers & their capitalism imperialism authoritarianism greed inhumanity and bottomless nastiness? They're as American as apple pie. And we love 'em. And we love it when they spit on us, kick us in the teeth, test the sharpness of their swords on our arms and legs; our love is mindless masochism writ large. -ed] --------19 of 20-------- Why did the chicken cross the road? BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE! JOHN MCCAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road. HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure - right from Day One! - that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me ....... DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems. OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens. GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here. COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road... ANDERSON COOPER- CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road. JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it. NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks. PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American. DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told. ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone. JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?' That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side'. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that. GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough. BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&(C%........ reboot. ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken ? BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken? AL GORE: I invented the chicken! COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one? DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun? AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens. --------20 of 20--------- Can you guess what the Whizzer of Oz is doing behind that curtain? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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