|Progressive Calendar 06.01.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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. 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