Progressive Calendar 06.01.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2008 05:24:52 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   06.01.08

1. Atheists/AM950   6.01 9am
2. ArtCar/GrandOld  6.01 10am
3. YAWR/RNC strike  6.01 12noon
4. Stillwater vigil 6.01 1pm
5. Local win/AM950  6.01 3pm

6. Peace walk       6.02 6pm RiverFalls WI
7. Blog workshop    6.02 7pm

8. Stop dirty coal  6.03 9am
9. RachelCorrie/CTV 6.03 5pm
10. Rethink 9-11/f  6.03 6:30pm
11. CIA history     6.03 7pm
12. Small towns     6.03-04 Morris MN
13. Fran Ford play  6.03 POSTPONED

14. John Pilger   - From Kennedy to Obama: liberalism's last fling
15. Alex Cockburn - Hillary the serial death-wisher
16. Glen Ford     - Barack Obama vs black self-determination

--------1 of 16--------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Atheists/AM950 6.01 9am
 Talk" radio for June 1, 2008

Minnesota Atheists' "Atheists Talk" radio show
Sunday, June 1, 2008, 9-10 a.m. Central Time

The first half hour will feature an interview with Mark Decker, co- author
of "More than Darwin." The second half hour will feature a discussion of
the Twin Cities Freethought Toastmasters.

"Atheists Talk" airs live on AM 950 KTNF in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
To stream live, go to http://www.am950ktnf.com/listen. Podcasts of past
shows are available at http://MinnesotaAtheists.org or through iTunes.


--------2 of 16--------

From: Julie Bates <julie [at] intermediaarts.org>
Subject: ArtCar/GrandOld 6.01 10am

The 14th Annual "Summer of ArtCars"
Intermedia Arts is pleased to present the ArtCars at a number of community
events and celebrations throughout the summer.  Due to lack of funding,
the traditional parade will not take place this year.  However, there are
still many opportunities to create, participate, and enjoy these
one-of-a-kind mobile creations. ArtCars, often humorous, are a symbol of
the right to freedom of expression and the yearning to express
individuality.  ArtCars encourage people to express themselves on a daily
basis.  These works of art open up dialogues and create community
connections.  Every day is a parade when art comes out of the gallery and
rolls into your neighborhood!

Sunday, June 1, 10am: The ArtCars cross the river and take part in Saint
Paul's beloved Grand Old Day Parade. After the parade the cars will stick
around for viewing in the Art District between Pascal and Saratoga on
Grand.


--------3 of 16--------

From: Mike L <twincities [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: YAWR/RNC strike 6.01 12noon

Sunday, June 1, 2008
Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: Ty's House
Street: 3024 Chicago Ave S
City/Town: Minneapolis, MN

Youth Against War and Racism
STUDENT STRIKE
Against the RNC!
A Theatric Walkout and March to Arrest the War Criminals
September 4, 2008

The Republican National Convention is coming to the Twin Cities September
1 - 4 to promote their criminal policies of war and corporate corruption.
On the fourth day of the Convention, George W. Bush will be in town to
crown John McCain the Republican candidate for Commander-in-Thief, and the
corporate media will broadcast their speeches to tens of millions
worldwide.

On this day we need to send a very different message to the world. We will
not allow business as usual to continue while our city is used to promote
the unending occupation of Iraq, paid for by under-funding public
education, and fought by those recruited in the Pentagon's racist poverty
draft.

That's why Youth Against War & Racism and others are calling for a massive
student walkout on September 4th, followed by a festival of resistance
featuring music, speakers, workshops, and more. It will all lead up to a
huge, theatric, visually spectacular "March to Arrest the War Criminals."
Details of time and place to be announced soon!

Get leaflets for your school BEFORE summer break! Call Tyus at
651-210-5342 to arrange getting leaflets, or pick some up at the next YAWR
meeting this Sunday @ 12pm @ 3024 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis (by Midtown
Exchange on Lake St.)

Get active! We need your help mobilizing this summer at concerts,
festivals, and other gatherings. We need artists, musicians and actors to
prepare an amazing day on Sept. 4th. There will be lots of volunteer
opportunities and regular planning meetings all summer, so get in touch
and plug in!


--------4 of 16--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 6.01 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to
<http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/

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


--------5 of 16--------

From: James Mayer <info [at] jamesmayer.org>
Subject: Local win/AM950 6.01 3pm

OF THE PEOPLE: This Sunday, june 1st, 3 p.m. AM 950--Air America
Minnesota's new name; call letters: ktnf--with Host James Mayer.

are you Looking for, realistic, immediately do-able action solutions for
taking back our government of by and for the people?  are you ready for
some good news?

this sunday on the program of the people with James Mayer.  we will
present a recent real life example of a county victory that demonstrates
how to get other citizens to join you or me in democracy-building action
solutions at a grassroots level.


--------6 of 16--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 6.02 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


--------7 of 16--------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Blog workshop 6.02 7pm

WORKSHOP: BLOGGING
Our June 2 workshop is on blogs and blogging (a blog being a website
consisting mainly of dated posts arranged chronologically).  Come learn
the basics of using free tools such as Blogger or Wordpress (depending on
audience interest) to maintain a simple blog or website.  We will also
introduce concepts such as content management, widgets and really simple
syndication (RSS), all of which will be important in upcoming workshops.

Blogging FREE WORKSHOP
Monday, June 2nd
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Rondo Community Outreach Library 461 North Dale University & Dale, StP
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.


--------8 of 16--------

From: Cesia Kearns <cesia.kearns [at] sierraclub.org>
Subject: Stop dirty coal 6.03 9am

URGENT ACTION FOR CLEAN ENERGY
Last Chance to Stop Dirty Coal Power from Big Stone II!!
MN Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Votes on Big Stone II NEXT WEEK - come
to these critical public meetings!

Tuesday, June 3rd
9:00am  (PUC meeting begins 9:30am)

Rally prior to the PUC meeting outside the Metro Square building on the
corner of Jackson and 7th Streets in downtown St. Paul to gain media
attention on clean energy solutions to Big Stone II.

9:30am - Respectfully head upstairs to the PUC meeting in Suite 350 We'll
have "No BSII" stickers and a giant global warming "footprint petition" to
display across the meeting room. It is unlikely there will be a time for
public comment as this is a legal proceeding, but it is critical the
Commissioners see the level of public concern over coal-fired power.

Thursday, June 5th 9:30am - See the PUC Commissioners' final vote on BSII

If you can only come to one meeting, it is more critical to attend
Tuesday, June 3rd.  But please, come to both if you can - let's make this
last hearing count!

PUC LOCATION INFO
The Commission offices are located in the Metro Square Building on the
corner of Jackson and 7th Streets in downtown St. Paul. The Metro Square
Building has a glass exterior and is a bluish color and is the only office
building on Jackson and 7th Streets. The Commission's offices are on the
3rd floor - Suite 350.
For directions visit: http://www.puc.state.mn.us/about/directions.htm
Public parking lots are available on the north side of 7th Street and on
the east side of Jackson Street. Short-term street parking is also
available on streets around the Metro Square Building. Several bus lines
go to downtown St.Paul. Visit www.metrotransit.org to determine your
route.

BACKGROUND ON BSII
The Sierra Club and many other grassroots allies have been actively
opposing this huge coal plant expansion located near Western MN - right in
the heart of wind country- for about three years.  This is the final
permitting process within Minnesota for the proposed Big Stone II coal
plant expansion - and could be end of this dirty proposal.  This permit
being deliberated is a "Certificate of Need" for transmission lines
specifically for this expansion.  Recently, an Administrative Law Judge
with the Public Utilities Commission recommended against issuing the
certificate of need, citing that the power demand could be met better and
more affordably with energy efficiency and renewable energy.  Now, the
Public Utilities Commission votes on that recommendation.  There is not
likely to be an opportunity for public comment, but it is important to
show the volume of public concern on this project.  If the PUC votes not
to issue the certificate, the Big Stone II proposal is over.  It will
truly be a clean air and energy victory for Minnesotans, and other
communities fighting to stop dirty coal power and advance clean energy
solutions nationwide.

For questions, RSVP for a hearing, or volunteer, call Cesia at
612-659-9124 ext. 310 or email cesia.kearns [at] sierraclub.org


--------9 of 16--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: RachelCorrie/CTV 6.03 5pm

Gracious St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesdays at 5pm, after
DemocracyNow!, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am.  All households
with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 6/3, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 6/4, 10am [In honor of late local
playwrite Frances Ford.] "Rachel Corrie, A Life for Others"  Local play
about American who gave her life to protect a Palestinian home.  (a
repeat)


--------10 of 16--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Rethinking 9-11/film 6.03 6:30pm

On Tuesday, Michael Andregg, a professor of Peace and Justice Studies at
University of St Thomas will show his film, Rethinking 9-11:  Why Truth
and Reconciliation are Better Strategies Than Global War.  Professor
Andregg founded an educational non-profit in 1982 called Ground Zero
Minnesota which has produced many tv programs and sponsored 1000's of
educational programs in schools, churches and civic groups.  He has
written a book called "On the Causes of War" and for it he has
won a national Peacewriting Award.
We have a projector and will show it on a big screen.

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.


--------11 of 16--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com>
Subject: CIA history 6.03 7pm

Tuesday, June 3 7pm at Minneapolis Central Library
TALK OF THE STACKS: Tim Weiner discusses A Legacy of Ashes: The History of
the CIA

Tim Weiner is a Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter for *The New York Times*
and has written on American intelligence for more than twenty years.
Weiner will discuss his newest work, A Legacy of Ashes which won the 2007
National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a Finalist for the 2008
National Book Critics Circle Award. Based on more than 50,000 documents
(primarily from the archives of the CIA itself and hundreds of interviews
with CIA veterans), the book examines the CIA from its creation after
World War II through its battles in the cold war to its near-collapse
after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A Legacy of Ashes was described as
"truly extraordinary . . . the best book ever written on a case of
espionage" by the *Wall Street Journal*.

Talk of the Stacks is a reading series at the Minneapolis Central Library
exploring contemporary literature and culture. Readings are held at the
Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

The programs are free with open seating to the public. Book sale and signing
follow presentations. Call 612-630-6174 for more info.


--------12 of 16--------

From: Ed Davis <ed [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Small towns 6.03-04 Morris MN

Registration is now open for the 6th Annual Symposium on Small Towns "The
Power of Small:  Building Solutions for Energy Self-Reliance"  held June
3rd and 4th at the University of Minnesota, Morris.  Representatives from
P-12 schools, higher education, and local units of government are the
primary audience for this Symposium, which will focus on issues of food,
fuel, and power in small communities.  The focus for this event is
providing solutions for colleges/universities, P-12 schools, and local
governments.  Attendees will learn about the social, economic, and
political factors that surround the building of these systems through
workshops, networking, mentoring, and other educational opportunities.
The University of Minnesota Morris Center for Small Towns is partnering
with the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development
Partnerships, and Minnesota Public Radio.

This year you will enjoy:
    * Keynote speaker: Peter C. Hutchinson, President of the Bush
Foundation, "Going Out Ahead to Show the Way"
    * Energy 101 Classes: will focus on bringing participants up to speed
on the basics of energy such as purchase power agreements or the economics
of local ownership.
    * Energy Project Presentations: will allow participants to ask
questions, share stories, and discuss energy challenges and opportunities
with other participants in their industry.
    * Local Food Supper
    * Evening of musical entertainment by Peter Ostroushko and Ruth Mackenzie,
    * Legislative forum
    * Federal Panel
    * Plus more
Registration Fees:
$65 early-bird fee until May 16th
$80 fee after May 16th
Registration fee covers:
All sessions and materials
Lunch on Tuesday
Dinner & evening entertainment Tuesday evening
MPR members receive a 10% discount.

Please join us for exciting opportunities for networking, learning, and
celebration! Check out the entire agenda, a full listing of workshops and
to register at: www.centerforsmalltowns.org


--------13 of 16--------

From: Florence Steichen <steichenfm [at] usfamily.net>
Subject: Fran Ford play 6.03 POSTPONED

Because of illness among the actors, the reading of Fran's play, "At War
with Women," has been POSTPONED until October. Please do NOT go to Hamline
University on June 3rd.


--------14 of 16--------

>From Kennedy to Obama: Liberalism's Last Fling
by John Pilger
May 31st, 2008
Dissident Voice

In this season of 1968 nostalgia, one anniversary illuminates today. It is
the rise and fall of Robert Kennedy, who would have been elected president
of the United States had he not been assassinated in June 1968. Having
traveled with Kennedy up to the moment of his shooting at the Ambassador
Hotel in Los Angeles on 5 June, I heard The Speech many times. He would
"return government to the people" and bestow "dignity and justice" on the
oppressed. "As Bernard Shaw once said," he would say, "'Most men look at
things as they are and wonder why. I dream of things that never were and
ask: Why not?'". That was the signal to run back to the bus. It was fun
until a hail of bullets passed over our shoulders.

Kennedy's campaign is a model for Barack Obama. Like Obama, he was a
senator with no achievements to his name. Like Obama, he raised the
expectations of young people and minorities. Like Obama, he promised to
end an unpopular war, not because he opposed the war's conquest of other
people's land and resources, but because it was "unwinnable".

Should Obama beat John McCain to the White House in November, it will be
liberalism's last fling. In the United States and Britain, liberalism as a
war-making, divisive ideology is once again being used to destroy
liberalism as a reality. A great many people understand this, as the
hatred of Blair and new Labour attest, but many are disoriented and eager
for "leadership" and basic social democracy. In the US, where unrelenting
propaganda about American democratic uniqueness disguises a corporate
system based on extremes of wealth and privilege, liberalism as expressed
through the Democratic Party has played a crucial, compliant role.

In 1968, Robert Kennedy sought to rescue the party and his own ambitions
from the threat of real change that came from an alliance of the civil
rights campaign and the anti-war movement then commanding the streets of
the main cities, and which Martin Luther King had drawn together until he
was assassinated in April that year. Kennedy had supported the war in
Vietnam and continued to support it in private, but this was skillfully
suppressed as he competed against the maverick Eugene McCarthy, whose
surprise win in the New Hampshire primary on an anti-war ticket had forced
President Lyndon Johnson to abandon the idea of another term. Using the
memory of his martyred brother, Kennedy assiduously exploited the
electoral power of delusion among people hungry for politics that
represented them, not the rich.

"These people love you," I said to him as we left Calexico, California,
where the immigrant population lived in abject poverty and people came
like a great wave and swept him out of his car, his hands fastened to
their lips.

"Yes, yes, sure they love me," he replied. "I love them!" I asked him how
exactly he would lift them out of poverty: just what was his political
philosophy?

"Philosophy? Well, it's based on a faith in this country and I believe
that many Americans have lost this faith and I want to give it back to
them, because we are the last and the best hope of the world, as Thomas
Jefferson said".

"That's what you say in your speech. Surely the question is: How?"

"How? . . . by charting a new direction for America".

The vacuities are familiar. Obama is his echo. Like Kennedy, Obama may
well "chart a new direction for America" in specious, media-honed
language, but in reality he will secure, like every president, the best
damned democracy money can buy.

As their contest for the White House draws closer, watch how, regardless
of the inevitable personal smears, Obama and McCain draw nearer to each
other. They already concur on America's divine right to control all before
it. "We lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the
ultimate good," said Obama. "We must lead by building a 21st-century
military . . . to advance the security of all people [emphasis added]".
McCain agrees. Obama says in pursuing "terrorists" he would attack
Pakistan. McCain wouldn't quarrel. Both candidates have paid ritual
obeisance to the regime in Tel Aviv, unquestioning support for which
defines all presidential ambition. In opposing a UN Security Council
resolution implying criticism of Israel's starvation of the people of
Gaza, Obama was ahead of both McCain and Hillary Clinton. In January,
pressured by the Israel lobby, he massaged a statement that "nobody has
suffered more than the Palestinian people" to now read: "Nobody has
suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the
Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel". Such is his concern for the
victims of the longest, illegal military occupation of modern times. Like
all the candidates, Obama has furthered Israeli/Bush fictions about Iran,
whose regime, he says absurdly, "is a threat to all of us".

On the war in Iraq, Obama the dove and McCain the hawk are almost united.
McCain now says he wants US troops to leave in five years (instead of "100
years", his earlier option). Obama has now "reserved the right" to change
his pledge to get troops out next year. "I will listen to our commanders
on the ground," he now says, echoing Bush. His adviser on Iraq, Colin
Kahl, says the US should maintain up to 80,000 troops in Iraq until 2010.
Like McCain, Obama has voted repeatedly in the Senate to support Bush's
demands for funding of the occupation of Iraq; and he has called for more
troops to be sent to Afghanistan. His senior advisers embrace McCain's
proposal for an aggressive "league of democracies", led by the United
States, to circumvent the United Nations. Like McCain, he would extend the
crippling embargo on Cuba.

Amusingly, both have denounced their "preachers" for speaking out. Whereas
McCain's man of God praised Hitler, in the fashion of lunatic white
holy-rollers, Obama's man, Jeremiah Wright, spoke an embarrassing truth.
He said that the attacks of 11 September 2001 had taken place as a
consequence of the violence of US power across the world. The media
demanded that Obama disown Wright and swear an oath of loyalty to the Bush
lie that "terrorists attacked America because they hate our freedoms". So
he did. The conflict in the Middle East, said Obama, was rooted not
"primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel", but in "the
perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam". Journalists applauded.
Islamophobia is a liberal specialty.

The American media love both Obama and McCain. Reminiscent of mating calls
by Guardian writers to Blair more than a decade ago, Jann Wenner, founder
of the liberal Rolling Stone, wrote: "There is a sense of dignity, even
majesty, about him, and underneath that ease lies a resolute discipline .
. . Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama challenges America to rise up, to
do what so many of us long to do: to summon 'the better angels of our
nature'". At the liberal New Republic, Charles Lane confessed: "I know it
shouldn't be happening, but it is. I'm falling for John McCain". His
colleague Michael Lewis had gone further. His feelings for McCain, he
wrote, were like "the war that must occur inside a 14-year-old boy who
discovers he is more sexually attracted to boys than to girls".

The objects of these uncontrollable passions are as one in their support
for America's true deity, its corporate oligarchs. Despite claiming that
his campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, Obama is backed by
the biggest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, J P
Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as the
huge hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. "Seven of the Obama campaign's
top 14 donors," wrote the investigator Pam Martens, "consisted of officers
and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged time and again with
looting the public and newly implicated in originating and/or bundling
fraudulently made mortgages". A report by United for a Fair Economy, a
non-profit group, estimates the total loss to poor Americans of color who
took out sub-prime loans as being between $164bn and $213bn: the greatest
loss of wealth ever recorded for people of color in the United States.
"Washington lobbyists haven't funded my campaign," said Obama in January,
"they won't run my White House and they will not drown out the voices of
working Americans when I am president". According to files held by the
Centre for Responsive Politics, the top five contributors to the Obama
campaign are registered corporate lobbyists.

What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert
Kennedy's. By offering a "new", young and apparently progressive face of
the Democratic Party - with the bonus of being a member of the black elite
- he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as
Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on
the US anti-war and social justice movements to accept a Democratic
administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to
rapacious America will fall silent.

America's war on Iran has already begun. In December, Bush secretly
authorized support for two guerrilla armies inside Iran, one of which, the
military arm of Mujahedin-e Khalq, is described by the state department as
terrorist. The US is also engaged in attacks or subversion against
Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bolivia and
Venezuela. A new military command, Africom, is being set up to fight proxy
wars for control of Africa's oil and other riches. With US missiles soon
to be stationed provocatively on Russia's borders, the Cold War is back.
None of these piracies and dangers has raised a whisper in the
presidential campaign, not least from its great liberal hope.

Moreover, none of the candidates represents so-called mainstream America.
In poll after poll, voters make clear that they want the normal decencies
of jobs, proper housing and health care. They want their troops out of
Iraq and the Israelis to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbors.
This is a remarkable testimony, given the daily brainwashing of ordinary
Americans in almost everything they watch and read.

On this side of the Atlantic, a deeply cynical electorate watches British
liberalism's equivalent last fling. Most of the "philosophy" of new Labour
was borrowed wholesale from the US. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were
interchangeable. Both were hostile to traditionalists in their parties who
might question the corporate-speak of their class-based economic policies
and their relish for colonial conquests. Now the British find themselves
spectators to the rise of new Tory, distinguishable from Blair's new
Labour only in the personality of its leader, a former corporate public
relations man who presents himself as Tonier than thou. We all deserve
better.

John Pilger is an internationally renowned investigative journalist and
documentary filmmaker. His latest film is The War on Democracy. His most
recent book is Freedom Next Time (Bantam/Random House, 2006). Read other
articles by John, or visit John's website.

This article was posted on Saturday, May 31st, 2008 at 6:02 am and is
filed under Africa, Anti-war, Capitalism, Class, Democracy, Democrats,
Economy/Economics, Elections, Empire, Finance, Imperialism,
Israel/Palestine, Media, Poverty, Racism, South America, Venezuela. Send
to a friend.


--------15 of 16--------

The Serial Death-Wisher
In Her Mind She's Killed Before
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
CounterPunch
May 27, 2008

Hillary Clinton continues to spend a million a day, staying in the
nomination race on the calculation that that Barack Obama might
assassinated, a possibility she is methodically fostering by race-baiting
him as a black man trying to hustle his way into the Oval Office.
Mrs Clinton frankly outlined this strategy last Friday in the offices of a
South Dakota newspaper in Sioux Falls. Answering the question, why was she
running when the delegate math conclusively dooms her bid she told the
serried serfs of Gannett's Argus Leader, "My husband did not wrap up the
nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the
middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in
June in California".

This is not the first time Mrs Clinton has taken an amiable posture
towards the Reaper. In the wake of my weekend piece on Mrs Clinton's Obama
Deathwatch, CounterPuncher Roger LeBlanc sent us this very timely
reminder:

Thank you for pointing out that Hillary's dreams of an Obama offing have
been ongoing for awhile. I'd like to add that assassinating troublesome
opponents seems to be among the first thoughts that pop into the minds of
Hillary and her inner circle. Just ask Ralph Nader.

In November 2000, Bill and Hillary's election eve party had one prevailing
sentiment, "Let's kill Ralph Nader." Washington Post reporter Lloyd Grove
reported that an election-night gathering at Bill and Hillary Clinton's
hotel room, publishing figure Harry Evans exclaimed "I want to kill
Nader!"

Hillary Clinton reportedly replied, "That's not a bad idea!", immediately
followed by collective cry of "That's off the record!"

Well Hillary's latest assassination dreams are now on the record.

Long-term opponents of the Clintons have had their suspicions for a while.
On May 20, according to Christian Newswire, Paul Schenck told anchorwoman
Day Gardner on the Daily Life News Show that he believed Clinton has
stayed in the race because she suspects Obama will be assassinated.

Schenck told Gardner "I have a very dark suspicion why Hillary Clinton
remains in the race. I think she believes that Obama has a high risk of
being assassinated, and she plans on being the next in line to be picked."

Alexander Cockburn can be reached at: accockburn [at] asis.com


--------16 of 16--------

Barack Obama vs Black Self-Determination
by Glen Ford
May 31st, 2008
Dissident Voice

Obama-ism - a thoroughly corporate political concoction soaked with
banalities and wrapped in fraudulent brown packaging - presents a clear
and present danger to perhaps the greatest legacy of the Black Freedom
Movement: African Americans' embrace of their right to self-determination.
Although African American yearnings for self-determination are evident in
all previous eras, the general and dramatic emergence of this fundamental
understanding among Blacks of their distinct "peoplehood" and inherent
right to shape their own collective destiny, free of veto by or need for
validation from dominant whites, marks the Sixties as a transformational
period in African American history.

Barack Obama, whose disdain for what he calls the "excesses of the 1960s
and 1970s" is palpable, seeks to eradicate all vestiges of Black
self-determination, root and branch. The Senator has never made a secret
of his intentions, dating from his 2004 Democratic National Convention
declaration that "there is no Black America," to his categorical rejection
of the Black counter-narrative of American history, as preached by Rev.
Jeremiah Wright and understood by most African Americans.

Obama has revealed himself as a rabid nationalist of the standard, white
America variety. "I categorically denounce any statement that disparages
our great country," says Obama - which pretty much says it all. The
candidate has repeatedly telegraphed his contempt for any worldview that
fails to glorify the U.S. rise to global dominance - a ritual that
collides instantly with truth as it actually exists, with history as Black
people have known it, and with Black aspirations to make their own way in
the world unencumbered by the burden of white lies. Obama promises that he
will oppose, with all the powers of his office, those who, like Rev.
Wright, "use incendiary language to express views that have the potential
not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the
greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and
black alike". (Philadelphia "Race" speech, March 18.)

If Obama were already president, dissidents would have cause to shop for a
safehouse or foreign getaway.

                         Victims as Perpetrators

Clearly, if the United States is inherently good, then Black people and
Native Americans must have done something catastrophically wrong to bring
down upon themselves such suffering at the hands of the U.S. government -
not to mention the sins committed by Vietnamese, Nicaraguans, Angolans and
all the other peoples that have gotten in the way of white American
Manifest Destiny.

President Obama will wage war against the heresies of deviant worldviews
that dare to question America's moral superiority - as exemplified by Rev.
Wright's "profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees
white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America
above all that we know is right with America".

If racism is merely an aberration in American life, as Obama believes -
and which is the greatest concession that general white society is
prepared to make to Blacks - then all the fuss about institutional racism,
endemic police brutality and such are insults to the "national honor".
Certainly, Obama behaves as if he thinks so. Every manifestation of Black
entitlement to self-determination - that is, the right to rely on one's
own people's collective memory and sense of the truth - must, from Obama's
standpoint, be resisted, denounced and suppressed as "divisive" and, in
general, against the national interest.

In order for Obama's vision of America to be true, most of Black America
must be liars, Black self-determination equals treason, and the Sixties
era was the Mother of Corruption.

                      Sixties Transformation

A half-century ago, in a veritable end-of-marathon sprint to
self-emancipation, Black Americans not only achieved full legal
citizenship within barely the space of a decade, but in the process threw
off the chains of subservience to the oppressor's national historical
narrative, the legitimizing mythology of white American Manifest Destiny.
Inevitably, and in the glare of a global anti-colonial firestorm, African
Americans finally perceived en masse the true nature of the centuries-old
crime still-in-progress - that distinct and peculiar monstrosity, U.S.
imperialism. Born of the Middle Passage and Pilgrims making bonfires of
Pequot Indian women and children, 20th Century U.S. aggression against
mainly non-white peoples abroad was inextricably linked to chain gangs and
street cop justice at home. African Americans focused their "third eye"
that could see across oceans and centuries, a political optic that
discerned not just blood kin on The Continent, but peoples on other,
distant shores, also victims of Euro-American predation, and equally
deserving of Black solidarity.

African American solidarity with continental Africans - and with
Vietnamese who "never called me nigger" - grew in tandem with the Black
domestic struggle for self-determination: the fight for political rights
with which to defend, control and shape the futures of Black communities.
It is a truism that those who are engaged in struggle for their own
people's self-determination are most sincerely empathetic towards others
seeking liberation - especially when it is understood that the two peoples
share a common antagonist. The period loosely defined as The Sixties saw
not only unprecedented popular mobilization on domestic issues (10,000
separate demonstrations in 1965, alone, the vast bulk of them "civil
rights" related), but soaring Black identification with liberation
movements elsewhere in the world. African Americans were preparing
themselves to become full fledged citizens of the planet, not just the
United States.

The language of self-determination, always a strong current in historical
Black political thought, entered the popular Black vocabulary through
Malcolm X. "We assert that we Afro-Americans have the right to direct and
control our lives, our history, and our future rather than to have our
destinies determined by American racists," declared Malcolm's Organization
of African-American Unity (OAAU), in a document scheduled for release on
the day of his assassination, February 21, 1965. "[W]e are determined to
rediscover our true African culture, which was crushed and hidden for over
four hundred years in order to enslave us and keep us enslaved up to
today".

Self-determination was item number one of the Black Panther Party for
Self-Defense Ten-Point Program, promulgated in 1966:

"We Want Freedom. We Want Power To Determine The Destiny Of Our Black
Community. We believe that Black people will not be free until we are able
to determine our destiny".

Two years later, 100 Black nationalists in Detroit declared the founding
of the Republic of New Africa (RNA), to further Blacks' entitlement to the
full rights of a nation. Following the Nation of Islam's ideological lead
and citing Malcolm X as the "Father of the Black Nation," the RNA
identified five southern states - Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia
and South Carolina - as the "Promised Land" for Black Americans.

The embrace of self-determination was not limited to the Black Left and
land-seeking nationalists, but resonated throughout Black society, from
Black capitalists to Marxists and everyone in between. There can be no
doubt that the people who Dr. Martin Luther King was certain would "get to
the promised land" were on a conscious, mass journey of
self-determination. It was up to Black people to decide precisely where
the ultimate destination might be - a question over which Dr. King
agonized during the last years of his life. "I think we'll be integrating
into a burning house," King told entertainer/activist Harry Belafonte, in
1968 - a clear acknowledgement that African Americans were not simply a
darker variety of citizens, but a distinct people within the United
States. King imagined that Blacks would play the role of firemen in the
"American" house - but at any rate, that would be their choice to make.

By definition, the right to self-determination is independent of minority
or majority status - otherwise, no such right can exist in the face of
white majority power. Therefore, self-determination transcends simple
one-man, one-vote rule which, in the United States, affords historically
hostile white majorities a permanent veto over Black aspirations. U.S.
history has provided ample proof that electoral "democracy" is no cure for
institutionalized suppression of racial minorities. With Voting Rights
legislation secured by the mid-Sixties and understanding the limits of
winner-take-all ballots, African Americans, including Dr. King, insisted
on the right of Blacks to exercise effective power over their own lives as
Blacks. Naturally, such rights would obtain in the growing number of
localities in which Blacks were emerging as majorities. However, the
principles of self-determination, as interpreted at the time, demanded
that Blacks and others claiming "peoplehood" be entitled to control those
resources necessary for the development of their group independent of the
majority's wishes - "rather than to have our destinies determined by
American racists," as Malcolm's organization put it.

The domestic Black American application of self-determination principles
were adapted from United Nations language that states: "All peoples have
the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely
determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social
and cultural development".

The UN's International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Economic Rights
fit the Black liberationist sentiments of The Sixties to a tee. Just as
small nations have rights that powerful nations are required to respect,
so the Black minority in the United States has the right to speak and act
for itself, and to claim a share of the national treasure for itself,
regardless of majority claims and sentiments. In a world of evolving
standards of civilization, true "democracy" does not allow the big to lord
it over the small.

Although there was not to be a land-based Black "nation" within U.S.
borders, the core principles of Black self-determination have been largely
incorporated into the political outlook and expectations of African
Americans, and grudgingly acquiesced to by most whites. Blacks and, later,
other minority groupings in white institutions, most notably academia,
demanded and received resources based on their standing as Blacks within
the larger body. The autonomy of Black political sentiment has, until
recently, been at least paid lip-service by whites throughout U.S.
society. Indeed, much of what some whites mean-spiritedly call "playing
the race card" is simply Black assertion of group rights and prerequisites
that should not be curbed by white majorities. Television programs
produced by and for Blacks, now nearly extinct, were responses to demands
that Black people be allowed to speak for themselves - a right under the
umbrella of self-determination. In Democratic Party circles, at least,
"the Blacks" cannot appear to be left out of decision making exercises,
which usually require the (cosmetic) presence of trustworthy African
Americans as a semblance for Black group inclusion. The moral authority of
Black caucuses (including that which has been frittered away by the
Congressional Black Caucus) is derived from the larger authority of
self-determination principles.

                          Solidarity

The 1960s Black embrace of political self-determination freed African
Americans from the burdensome inheritance of United States' enemies. As
Muhammad Ali is said to have declared in 1966, "No Vietnamese ever called
me nigger". Self-determination meant the right to declare solidarity with
whomever one chooses, to side with African kin in the struggle for
decolonization of the continent while the U.S. thwarted true liberation at
every turn; and to identify as friends those who shared status as
designated enemies of the U.S. government, abroad.

During the Sixties, it was discovered that African Americans, whose
foreign policy opinions had previously been only sporadically surveyed,
were more opposed to American military adventures abroad than any other
U.S. ethnic group. The basis of Black anti-war sentiment was rooted in,
not some vague group pacifism, but the conclusion that Washington is a
bully who revels in abusing persons of color (and gets rich doing it).
African Americans had amassed centuries of experience as victims of U.S.
government policy, treated as foreigners in their own land. Blacks,
therefore, harbor the healthiest skepticism about U.S. motives, especially
regarding non-white peoples. The right of self-determination, as African
Americans understood it, liberated Blacks from any obligation to support
Washington's depredations around the world. Moreover, bonds of solidarity
with Africa required active opposition to U.S. foreign policy.

For many Blacks, the "newfound" knowledge of self-determination principles
meant, literally, the right to enjoy freedom of speech for the first time!
African Americans had always understood that Washington cared as little
for the interests of foreign non-whites as it did for "colored" folks at
home. Now, they could shout it, without fear of being branded traitors -
at least, not by other Black people. By 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King found
his true voice and began speaking in what was essentially solidarity with
the Vietnamese people.

Two generations later, the contradictions of ailing U.S. imperialism
become ever more acute. The United States challenges as never before the
rights of smaller nations to manage their own resources and political
affairs as they see fit. International law is treated as a dead letter, by
corporate Democrats as well as Republicans. Barack Obama is no different -
except in the imaginations of his fans.

Obama plans to leave 60-80,000 U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely, retain
the services of many of the 140,000 private mercenaries (contractors)
currently in the country, and add 92,000 additional soldiers and Marines
to overall U.S. force structures - the same number the Bush regime
requested from Congress. Far from being a peace candidate, Obama favors a
huge increase in U.S. war-making capacity, in order to fight yet a third
war while still mired in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 Washington will have no problem finding locations for its new war(s).

Outside of the Middle East, the fault lines run through Africa and Latin
America. George Bush has already begun the occupation of the Horn of
Africa under the ruse of "anti-terror," with Ethiopia's brutal
dictatorship acting as U.S. surrogate. Backed by every military resource
of the United States, including the huge American base in Djibouti, the
might of U.S. Indian Ocean naval and air power, and with U.S. Special
Operations "advisors" deployed down to the company level, Ethiopia in late
2006 crushed the only stable government Somalia has had since 1994. The
US-Ethiopian aggression created what United Nations officials describe as
the "worst humanitarian situation in Africa" - worse than Darfur.

Barack Obama has had nothing to say about Somalia except to express
outrage at his opponents posting pictures of himself dressed up in the
garb of a Somali elder, during a visit to neighboring Kenya (Obama's
father's homeland) several years ago. Suppression of Somali resistance to
occupation threatens to destabilize Kenya, with its large Somali
population, and Ethiopia, itself, where ethnic Somalis and others are in
rebellion against the dictatorship.

It is fair to say that Somalia is the first African war to be tackled by
the new American military command, Africom. So widespread is public
opposition on the continent, fearing an attempt to re-colonize the region,
no country has agreed to host Africom. But Barack Obama fully supports the
robust U.S. military presence. "There will be situations that require the
United States to work with its partners in Africa to fight terrorism with
lethal force," said Obama. "Having a unified command operating in Africa
will facilitate this action".

 Obama's enthusiasm for swamping Africa in an ever-expanding "war on
 terror," is obvious.

On the western shores of the continent, Obama was rumored in early May to
have proposed a cease fire in the guerilla war over oil resources in
Nigeria's Niger River delta. The insurgents, who claim the central
government excludes delta residents from the benefits of oil production,
have also asked former President Jimmy Carter to mediate the dispute.
Whether anything comes of either request, it is certain that Nigeria,
Africa's number one oil producer, will always be a leading candidate for
Africom intervention. The presence of guerillas in the delta is all the
Americans - including Obama, based on his own words - will need to invoke
the terror threat.

Venezuela claims that recent explorations confirm that the South American
nation has surpassed Saudi Arabia in oil reserves. Barack Obama is nearly
as bellicose as John McCain when it comes to Venezuela's "rogue" leader,
President Hugo Chavez, a hugely popular politician who was fairly elected
three times under the watchful eyes of international observers. But
democratic credentials don't matter to American politicians anxious to
prove they can play warmonger with the meanest blowhards in the pack.

Obama growls about bringing sanctions against Venezuela for allegedly
undermining its neighbor, Colombia, Washington's narco-death
squad-client-state. With the U.S. guzzling down 60 percent of Venezuela's
oil exports, and plenty of other customers willing to take America's
place, the sanctions threat is just plain silly. But Obama's hostility to
Chavez (who does not return the insult, even when Obama derides Chavez's
"predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian
government, and checkbook diplomacy") is a bad omen for peace in the
region.

The U.S. supports secessionist efforts by the moneyed classes in Venezuela
and two of its closest allies, Ecuador and Bolivia. Not coincidentally,
all three plots are centered in the countries' main oil or gas-producing
regions. Another coincidence: after 60 years deactivation, the U.S. Navy
this month revived its Fourth Fleet, with responsibility for South and
Central America. Eva Morales, President of Bolivia, called it "the Fourth
Fleet of intervention".

The spark can come any time the Americans decide to set off a regional
conflict. Barack Obama, the phony peace candidate, is already providing
warlike rhetoric, vowing to support Colombia if it repeats incursions into
neighboring Ecuador or Venezuela in search of FARC "terrorists".

"We will support Colombia's right to strike terrorists who seek safe-haven
across its borders," Obama promised Cuban exiles and their progeny in
Miami. "And we will shine a light on any support for the FARC that comes
from neighboring governments. This behavior must be exposed to
international condemnation, regional isolation and - if need be - strong
sanctions. It must not stand".

                       The Southern Color Line

The renewed American threats to Latin American sovereignty occur when
Black, brown and indigenous (Indian) populations throughout the region are
in the midst of a political awakening, a deep social transformation in
which Venezuela's Chavez, Bolivia's President Evo Morales and Ecuador's
President Rafael Correa are major players. The non-whites of Latin America
are asserting their rights to self-determination - that is, their rights
as Indians, or as persons of African descent, regardless of majority or
minority status in society. Where they are majorities, non-whites are
seizing political power.

Long retarded by the fiction that Latin America has no racial problem,
people of color are finally confronting the racial dimensions of Latin
American poverty (disproportionately non-white) and oligarchy (always
white).

As usual, the U.S. is on the white oligarchy's side. So is Barack Obama,
whose support for the oligarchic, super-corrupt Colombian regime amounts
to backing a barbaric, color-coded caste system. One need not be fluent in
Spanish to understand the meaning of political cartoons in the newspapers
of the rich that portray Hugo Chavez as a monkey.

                African Americans and Solidarity

Wider war is coming to South America and Africa, an inevitability given
the Democrats' failure to choose a real alternative to the Republicans.
There is absolutely no indication that Barack Obama (or his fading
political twin, Hillary) will disassemble the U.S. foreign policy elements
that were put in place specifically as tripwires for and facilitators of
wars. Quite the opposite. Obama will maintain over one hundred thousand
military and civilian personnel in Iraq, with others "over the horizon";
step up the militarization of Africa through Africom, continue backing the
Ethiopian occupation of Somalia, and possibly draw neighboring Eritrea
into a larger conflict; attempt to destabilize Hugo Chavez and other
progressive leaders of mostly non-white constituencies in Latin America,
with the aim of seizing control of fossil fuel resources.

African Americans, despite their relative quiescence compared to the
roiling Sixties, will respond to these aggressions through solidarity with
Washington's victims on both continents. After 40-plus years, we have
still not forgotten our self-determination right to declare solidarity as
Black people with whomever we choose. We can confidently predict that
President Obama will overreact to dissent, especially to significant Black
protest. He already revealed his character and core worldview in the
confrontation with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Let us revisit the incident:

Barack Obama's denunciation of Rev. Wright's narrative on American
society's genesis in genocide and slavery - a narrative with which the
vast majority of Blacks are in general agreement - was in fact a demand
that Blacks cease telling their own story, in deference to white opinion
and the foreign policy interests of the United States.

In framing Rev. Wright's critique of the United States as "not only wrong
but divisive," Obama came perilously close to charging the minister and
those who think like him with something resembling "un-American"
activities. Wright's worldview, said Obama, is "divisive at a time when we
need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to
solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a
falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating
climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or
Asian, but rather problems that confront us all".

In short, Blacks of Wright's political persuasion are culpable for more
crimes against the planet than Hitler's propagandists blamed on the Jews.
If any of this were even half-true, most people would agree that all those
who sympathize with Rev. Wright should be silenced and imprisoned, for the
sake of humanity!

Barack Obama is not yet president, or even the Democratic nominee, but he
has already made it clear that he believes African Americans are obligated
to uphold the honor and reputation of the United States under any and all
circumstances, refrain from actions or statements that might create
"division," and avoid agitation for either their own rights to
self-determination or anybody else's.

I think I smell a thug.

Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, where this article
first appeared. He can be contacted at: Glen.Ford [at] BlackAgendaReport.com.
Read other articles by Glen, or visit Glen's website.

This article was posted on Saturday, May 31st, 2008 at 6:01 am and is
filed under Activism, Africa, Anti-war, Capitalism, Class, Democrats,
Discrimination, Economy/Economics, Iraq, Middle East, Military/Militarism,
Poverty, Prejudice, Racism, Solidarity, South America, Venezuela. Send to
a friend.


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