Progressive Calendar 06.15.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2008 18:56:47 -0700 (PDT)
               P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   06.15.08

1. Cop report       6.16 6pm
2. What's organic?  6.16 6pm
3. Peace walk       6.16 6pm RiverFalls WI
4. Media blackout/f 6.16 6:30pm
5. Build website    6.16 7pm
6. EXCO/classes     6.16

7. Race/election    6.17 4pm
8. Bennis/empire    6.17 5pm
9. Jewel/salon      6.17 6:30pm
10. NLG/RNC/train   6.17 7pm

11. Cervical cancer 6.18 8:30am
12. Full mooning    6.18 7pm
13. Stop pesticide  6.18 7pm

14. Belfast Telegraph - Kucinich calls for Bush impeachment
15. Gore Vidal        - Gore Vidal's article of impeachment
16. Naomi Klein       - Obama's Chicago Boys
17. Doug Page         - Why is capitalism failing us?
18. ed                - Heavenly bared body  (haiku)

--------1 of 18--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
Subject: Cop report 6.16 6pm

COMMUNITY REPORT ON MINNEAPOLIS INTERNAL AFFAIRS AUDIT
Monday, June 16th, 6-8pm at the Minneapolis Urban League, 2100
Plymouth Avenue N;
Tuesday, June 17th, 6-8pm at the Minneapolis College of Art and
Design, 2501 Stevens Avenue S.

In its "comprehensive assessment" PERF has failed to contact a number of
community organizations such as CUAPB.  Therefore, these meetings appear
to be the only venue for people to have input into this audit.  The
announcement below is from Cam Gordon's newsletter to his constituents:

The Minneapolis Police Department contracted with the Police Executive
Research Forum (PERF) to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the
department's internal affairs operations and practices.  PERF is examining
each component in the internal investigation process of police misconduct
and complaints for both effectiveness and efficiency.  As part of its
assessment, PERF will facilitate two public forums to hear directly from
the community their personal experiences with the department's Internal
Affairs Unit.  The meetings will be facilitated by PERF staff and no
members of the Minneapolis Police Department will be in attendance.


--------2 of 18--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: What's organic? 6.16 6pm

Monday, June 16: Women's Environmental Institute. ORGANIC FARM SCHOOL "How
Do You Know It's Organic?" with Meg Moynihan, Minnesota Department of
Agriculture at Open Book, Minneapolis. 6 - 8 PM. Register.


--------3 of 18--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 6.16 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


--------4 of 18--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Media blackout/f 6.16 6:30pm

Free WAMM Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "American Blackout"
Monday, June 16, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

"American Blackout" questions why the news media fails to accurately
inform the public. It chronicles the recurring patterns of voter
disenfranchisement from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 and examines the tactics
used to control our democratic process and silence voices of political
dissent. Followed by discussion. Sponsored by: the WAMM Third Monday
Movies Committee. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.


--------5 of 18--------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: Build website 6.16 7pm

Our June 16 workshop, Building Your Own Website, will introduce you to the
basics of creating a website, from HTML to content management systems and
hosting. We'll show you what to consider when setting up websites large
and small.

Building Your Own Website
FREE WORKSHOP
Monday, June 16th
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 North Dale
University & Dale, St. Paul

As always, the workshop is free and all are welcome to attend.
Full workshop schedule available online:
http://pages.e-democracy.org/SPED-Outreach Contact
sped-outreach [at] e-democracy.org with questions.


--------6 of 18--------

From: excotc <excotc [at] gmail.com>
Subject: EXCO Summer Class 6.16

Happy Summer! and welcome to the first ever season of EXCO Summer Classes...
Summer Class Registration Has Begun! Register Online Now!

Register online today at www.EXCOtc.org! Tell your friends! Most classes
start the week of June 16th! You can also contact the facilitators
directly, their contact info is listed on our website.

In order to support the community-building spirit of the Experimental
College, please register only for those classes you are sure you can
commit to. We want to create an environment where students and teachers
can cultivate long-term relationships. One change we have made to improve
this is that, when registering online, your subscriptions will have to be
confirmed by the facilitator before you are fully registered. For more
info go to www.EXCOtc.org or contact us at excotc [at] gmail.com or
651-696-8010.

RVSP to dboehnke [at] gmail.com or 651-212-0727. Join us and help EXCO grow to
become the Twin Cities community initiative we know it can be.

Want to help out in other ways? Contact excotc [at] gmail.com. We are
particularly looking for people willing to do fundraising, event planning,
community outreach, facilitate classes on anything for the fall, or do
childcare or translation...
excotc 651-696-8010 excotc [at] gmail.com


--------7 of 18--------

From: TCDP editor <editor [at] tcdailyplanet.net>
Subject: Race/election 6.17 4pm

Reporting on race and immigration in an election year
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/node/11979

The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and La Prensa de Minnesota and the Twin
Cities Daily Planet join in inviting you to become part of this community
conversation on race. Come to talk or come to listen.
Tuesday, June 17
4-6 p.m.
First floor public meeting room
Family & Children's Service
4123 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55406


--------8 of 18--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Bennis/empire 6.17 5pm

Honorable 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, 6/17, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 6/18, 10am Phyllis Bennis.  Pt 1 of
talk "Challenging Empire" given at Mac-Plymouth Church in St. Paul. April
24.


--------9 of 18--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Jewel/salon 6.17 6:30pm

HI, Next Tuesday, June 17,  we are honored to be able to present one of
our own salon people, Jewel Mayer, who is a Mississippi native, poet,
musician and story teller who has worked for peace and justice for
years.  Come and listen to her stories and her music.  It will be a
wonderful evening, to be sure.

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.


--------10 of 18--------

From: Gena Berglund <gena [at] bergberg.net>
Subject: NLG/RNC/train 6.17 7pm

National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer Trainings
The next Videographer / Legal Observer training session is on Tuesday,
June 17, 7pm, Merriam Park Public Library (Marshall and Fairview), Saint
Paul. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

There will also be another training in July and several in August.
Please visit our website for more information.
http://www.nlgminnesota.org/legalobservation
Gena Berglund Legal Observer Coordinator 651-208-7964


--------11 of 18--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Cervical cancer 6.18 8:30am

June 18: Women's Foundation of Minnesota UPstart. Cervical Cancer
Prevention and Women's Health in Diverse Populations with Dr. Carol E.
Ball, Planned Parenthood and Lisa Orozco, Centro de Salud. 8:30 AM - 9:30
AM at the Midtown YWCA, Minneapolis.


--------12 of 18--------

From: Sue Ann <mart1408 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Full mooning 6.18 7pm

[see haiku at end of Calendar -ed]
Next Full Moon Gathering
Wednesday, June 18
On a summer's eve!
Gather at 7:00 pm
at the parking lot on the south side of Minnehaha Park just off 54th Street
and Minnehaha Avenue (Minneapolis).  Parking is metered.

 Traditional group howl! 
June's moon is called the strawberry or rose moon in various traditions,
or the mosquito moon!
Sunset 9:02 PM - Moonrise 9:36 PM

Always FREE and Open to the Public
Need directions to Coldwater or to the walk?
check the website at www.friendsofcoldwater.org


--------13 of 18--------

From: foodforum <foodforum [at] eastsidefood.coop>
Subject: Stop pesticide 6.18 7pm

STOP PESTICIDE DRIFT!
Connecting Paths to a Healthier World
stopping pesticide drift - transitioning to organic farming

7:00 PM, Wednesday, June 18
Best Western Dakota Ridge Hotel
3450 Washington Drive
Eagan, Minnesota

Experts Susan E. Kegley and Carol Dansereau discuss pesticides, our
communities and public health. Join us for drinks and snacks after the
presentation!

Featured Speakers: Susan E. Kegley, PhD, Senior Scientist, Pesticide
Action Network North America. Susan works on pesticide use and policy, she
invented the drift catcher being used in Minnesota.

Carol Dansereau, Director of the Farm Worker Pesticide Project in
Washington State. She works with a board of farm worker community members
to end the injustice and health threat of exposures to pesticides.

This fundraiser is sponsored by Clean Water Action, Clean Water Fund and a
collaborative of 140 organizations working to reform pesticide policy and
help farmers make the transition into organics. Co-sponsored by East Side
Food Coop, Linden Hills Coop and Whole Foods Market


--------14 of 18--------

Kucinich Calls For Bush Impeachment
Belfast Telegraph/Ireland
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Former Democratic presidential contender, Dennis Kucinich, has called for
the impeachment of George W Bush claiming that the president set out to
deceive the nation, and violated his oath of office with the Iraq war.

The Ohio representative yesterday introduced 35 articles of impeachment
against Bush on the floor of the US House of Representatives.

Kucinich unveiled a list of alleged illegal and improper acts by Bush,
including war crimes.

He accused Bush executing a "calculated and wide-ranging strategy" to
deceive citizens and Congress into believing that Iraq posed an imminent
threat to the United States.

He went on to say that Bush and Cheney lied to Congress and the American
public about the reasons for invading Iraq in 2003 and abused their
offices in order to conduct the "War on Terror" following the 9/11
attacks. "Bush misled the American people and members of Congress to
believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction so as to manufacture a
false case for war. President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty
of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office," Kucinich said.

He has already introduced a similar impeachment resolution against Vice
President Cheney.

Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com, said: "We've waited seven years to
find one Member of Congress brave enough to stand up for our Constitution,
for which generations of Americans have fought and died.

"We are thrilled and honored that Dennis Kucinich has chosen to be that
one genuine patriot.

"We congratulate him on his historic leadership, and pledge to do
everything in our power to persuade Congress to adopt all 35 Articles and
put George W Bush on trial before the Senate of the United States, exactly
as the Founding Fathers wanted".

Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that there will be no consideration of
impeachment proceedings against Bush and said the idea was "off the
table".

Kucinich's case: the 35 points

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War
Against Iraq

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks
of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat
as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq
Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq
Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation.s Natural
Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With
Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And
Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine
Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq
and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both
U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against
Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official
Policy

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to . Black
Sites. Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice
Torture

Article XX
Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and
Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of
Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation
of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and
Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of
American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former
Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration
of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy
Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina,
Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining
Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence
Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders

2008 The Belfast Telegraph


--------15 of 18--------

Gore Vidal's Article of Impeachment
by Gore Vidal
Published on Thursday, June 12, 2008 by TruthDig.com

On June 9, 2008, a counterrevolution began on the floor of the House of
Representatives against the gas and oil crooks who had seized control of
the federal government. This counterrevolution began in the exact place
which had slumbered during the all-out assault on our liberties and the
Constitution itself.

I wish to draw the attention of the blog world to Rep. Dennis Kucinich's
articles of impeachment presented to the House in order that two faithless
public servants be removed from office for crimes against the American
people. As I listened to Rep. Kucinich invoke the great engine of
impeachment - he listed some 35 crimes by these two faithless officials -
we heard, like great bells tolling, the voice of the Constitution itself
speak out ringingly against those who had tried to destroy it.

Although this is the most important motion made in Congress in the 21st
century, it was also the most significant plea for a restoration of the
republic, which had been swept to one side by the mad antics of a
president bent on great crime. And as I listened with awe to Kucinich, I
realized that no newspaper in the U.S., no broadcast or cable network,
would pay much notice to the fact that a highly respected member of
Congress was asking for the president and vice president to be tried for
crimes which were carefully listed by Kucinich in his articles requesting
impeachment.

But then I have known for a long time that the media of the U.S. and too
many of its elected officials give not a flying fuck for the welfare of
this republic, and so I turned, as I often do, to the foreign press for a
clear report of what has been going on in Congress. We all know how the
self-described "war hero," Mr. John McCain, likes to snigger at France,
while the notion that he is a hero of any kind is what we should be
sniggering at. It is Le Monde, a French newspaper, that told a story the
next day hardly touched by The New York Times or The Washington Post or
The Wall Street Journal or, in fact, any other major American media
outlet.

As for TV? Well, there wasn't much - you see, we dare not be divisive
because it upsets our masters who know that this is a perfect country, and
the fact that so many in it don't like it means that they have been
terribly spoiled by the greatest health service on Earth, the greatest
justice system, the greatest number of occupied prisons - two and a half
million Americans are prisoners - what a great tribute to our penal
passions!

Naturally, I do not want to sound hard, but let me point out that even a
banana Republican would be distressed to discover how much of our nation's
treasury has been siphoned off by our vice president in the interest of
his Cosa Nostra company, Halliburton, the lawless gang of mercenaries set
loose by his administration in the Middle East.

But there it was on the first page of Le Monde. The House of
Representatives, which was intended to be the democratic chamber, at last
was alert to its function, and the bravest of its members set in motion
the articles of impeachment of the most dangerous president in our
history. Rep Kucinich listed some 30-odd articles describing impeachable
offenses committed by the president and vice president, neither of whom
had ever been the clear choice of our sleeping polity for any office.

Some months ago, Kucinich had made the case against Dick Cheney. Now he
had the principal malefactor in his view under the title "Articles of
Impeachment for President George W. Bush"! "Resolved, that President
George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the
following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States
Senate". The purpose of the resolve is that he be duly tried by the
Senate, and if found guilty, be removed from office. At this point, Rep.
Kucinich presented his 35 articles detailing various high crimes and
misdemeanors for which removal from office was demanded by the framers of
the Constitution.

Update: On Wednesday, the House voted by 251 to 166 to send Rep.
Kucinich's articles of impeachment to a committee which probably won't get
to the matter before Bush leaves office, a strategy that is "often used to
kill legislation," as the Associated Press noted later that day.

National Book Award winner Gore Vidal has written twenty-three novels,
five plays, many screenplays, short stories, well over two hundred essays,
and a memoir. Copyright 2008 Truthdig, L.L.C.


--------16 of 18--------

Obama's Chicago Boys
by Naomi Klein
Published on Saturday, June 14, 2008 by The Nation

Barack Obama waited just three days after Hillary Clinton pulled out of
the race to declare, on CNBC, "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I
love the market".

Demonstrating that this is no mere spring fling, he has appointed
37-year-old Jason Furman to head his economic policy team. Furman is one
of Wal-Mart's most prominent defenders, anointing the company a
"progressive success story". On the campaign trail, Obama blasted Clinton
for sitting on the Wal-Mart board and pledged, "I won"t shop there". For
Furman, however, it's Wal-Mart's critics who are the real threat: the
"efforts to get Wal-Mart to raise its wages and benefits" are creating
"collateral damage" that is "way too enormous and damaging to working
people and the economy more broadly for me to sit by idly and sing
'Kum-Ba-Ya' in the interests of progressive harmony". Obama's love of
markets and his desire for "change" are not inherently incompatible. "The
market has gotten out of balance," he says, and it most certainly has.
Many trace this profound imbalance back to the ideas of Milton Friedman,
who launched a counterrevolution against the New Deal from his perch at
the University of Chicago economics department. And here there are more
problems, because Obama - who taught law at the University of Chicago for
a decade - is thoroughly embedded in the mind-set known as the Chicago
School.

He chose as his chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, a University of
Chicago economist on the left side of a spectrum that stops at the
center-right. Goolsbee, unlike his more Friedmanite colleagues, sees
inequality as a problem. His primary solution, however, is more education
- a line you can also get from Alan Greenspan. In their hometown, Goolsbee
has been eager to link Obama to the Chicago School. "If you look at his
platform, at his advisers, at his temperament, the guy's got a healthy
respect for markets," he told Chicago magazine. "It's in the ethos of the
[University of Chicago], which is something different from saying he is
laissez-faire".

Another of Obama's Chicago fans is 39-year-old billionaire Kenneth
Griffin, CEO of the hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. Griffin, who gave
the maximum allowable donation to Obama, is something of a poster boy for
an unbalanced economy. He got married at Versailles and had the
after-party at Marie Antoinette's vacation spot (Cirque du Soleil
performed) - and he is one of the staunchest opponents of closing the
hedge-fund tax loophole. While Obama talks about toughening trade rules
with China, Griffin has been bending the few barriers that do exist.
Despite sanctions prohibiting the sale of police equipment to China,
Citadel has been pouring money into controversial China-based security
companies that are putting the local population under unprecedented levels
of surveillance.

Now is the time to worry about Obama's Chicago Boys and their commitment
to fending off serious attempts at regulation. It was in the two and a
half months between winning the 1992 election and being sworn into office
that Bill Clinton did a U-turn on the economy. He had campaigned promising
to revise NAFTA, adding labor and environmental provisions and to invest
in social programs. But two weeks before his inauguration, he met with
then-Goldman Sachs chief Robert Rubin, who convinced him of the urgency of
embracing austerity and more liberalization. Rubin told PBS, "President
Clinton actually made the decision before he stepped into the Oval Office,
during the transition, on what was a dramatic change in economic policy".

Furman, a leading disciple of Rubin, was chosen to head the Brookings
Institution's Hamilton Project, the think tank Rubin helped found to argue
for reforming, rather than abandoning, the free-trade agenda. Add to that
Goolsbee's February meeting with Canadian consulate officials, who left
with the distinct impression that they had been instructed not to take
Obama's anti-NAFTA campaigning seriously, and there is every reason for
concern about a replay of 1993.

The irony is that there is absolutely no reason for this backsliding. The
movement launched by Friedman, introduced by Ronald Reagan and entrenched
under Clinton, faces a profound legitimacy crisis around the world.
Nowhere is this more evident than at the University of Chicago itself. In
mid-May, when university president Robert Zimmer announced the creation of
a $200 million Milton Friedman Institute, an economic research center
devoted to continuing and augmenting the Friedman legacy, a controversy
erupted. More than 100 faculty members signed a letter of protest. "The
effects of the neoliberal global order that has been put in place in
recent decades, strongly buttressed by the Chicago School of Economics,
have by no means been unequivocally positive," the letter states. "Many
would argue that they have been negative for much of the world's
population".

When Friedman died in 2006 [good riddance to fascist rubbish -ed], such
bold critiques of his legacy were largely absent. The adoring memorials
spoke only of grand achievement, with one of the more prominent
appreciations appearing in the New York Times - written by Austan
Goolsbee. Yet now, just two years later, Friedman's name is seen as a
liability even at his own alma mater. So why has Obama chosen this moment,
when all illusions of a consensus have dropped away, to go Chicago retro?

The news is not all bad. Furman claims he will be drawing on the expertise
of two Keynesian economists: Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy
Institute and James Galbraith, son of Friedman's nemesis John Kenneth
Galbraith. Our "current economic crisis," Obama recently said, did not
come from nowhere. It is "the logical conclusion of a tired and misguided
philosophy that has dominated Washington for far too long".

True enough. But before Obama can purge Washington of the scourge of
Friedmanism, he has some ideological housecleaning of his own to do.

Naomi Klein is the author of many books, including her most recent, The
Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Visit Naomi's website at
www.naomiklein.org, or to learn more about her new book, visit
www.shockdoctrine.com .

2008 The Nation


--------17 of 18--------

Why is Capitalism Failing Us?
by Doug Page
June 14th, 2008
Dissident Voice

Our critical human needs are not being met by our capitalist economy that
is now pervasive throughout the planet. We humans do not have adequate
medical care. A very large percentage of us humans cannot get enough food
at a price we can afford, so that millions are dying and millions of
others are malnourished. We are spending billions on foreign wars, while
billions of people are hungry. It seems obvious that so long as our
economic engine is fueled by greed for short term profit, and that the
profiteers from this economic engine control our government, we shall
never deal with Global Warming or planetary ecological damage. We face the
three coinciding crises: Peak Oil, Fragile Economy, and Global Warming. We
still have much freedom, but our effective democratic voting power is
thwarted. What has gone wrong?

The basic question of political economy has always been: How shall we
human beings organize our productive and creative abilities so as to work
together to meet our needs?

The current critically important questions are: Is our present day economy
meeting our human needs? Are there alternatives? To answer these
questions, and even to understand what our economy is, we must analyze its
dynamics, the way it really works.

It is critical at the outset that we state our own values. We seek,
insofar as is possible, to meet the reasonable needs of all humans. No
person should have more than he needs when others are needy. We seek
caring, sharing and cooperation. We seek a sustainable civilized free
existence for all humans on this planet. Only this sort of a Political
Economy will be sustainable, consistent with our values, and consistent
with the wisest values of our spiritual traditions. We are radical in the
first dictionary definition of that term: "one who seeks roots or root
causes".

In considering the following analysis, please try to suspend conventional
wisdom, and your present beliefs and opinions. Like most of us, you may
have never known of an analysis like this one or you may have learned to
regard it negatively. Therefore, please evaluate the following on the
basis of your own personal experience, your personal judgment, and what
you personally observe that seems to be happening.

As Doug Page understands them, the following are some of the main dynamics
of capitalism:

1. The core dynamic of capitalism is this: A private person with money
hires a person without money for the lowest possible wage, in order make
as much profit as possible for the person who already has money.

   a. It is the private hiring of human beings that fuels the economic
engine. Slavery would also work for this purpose temporarily just as well
were it not for the problem of where would slaves get the money to buy
products from the slave master-employer?

   b. Notice the internal contradiction: As Henry Ford observed in the
1920s, employers do not pay employees enough to buy all the products
employees create.

   c. Capitalism inevitably produces more than employees and others can
afford to buy, thus leading to repeated cycles of overproduction, layoffs,
unemployment and recession or depression.

   d. The core dynamic, employed by thousands of private employers over
time, creates a very rich and politically powerful but relatively small
elite group while it produces millions and millions of people who remain
poor and never get wealth or power. The elite get richer and richer and
the rest of us get relatively poorer and poorer. This accounts for the
tremendous disparity of wealth in the United States. The elite use this
power and wealth to control the government through bribes, campaign
contributions and lobbyists.

   e. This small elite group comes to control the government, despite the
fact that formality of voting remains intact. The voters no longer have
effective governmental power. The government unsurprisingly uses its power
and its taxing power only to help the elite.

   f. Notice that the employee creates something, but he keeps no part of
it. He is alienated from the product and the pleasure and pride of
creating it, unlike so-called primitive self-employed crafts people.

   g. Notice that this core dynamic rests on the first employer getting
his initial capital to begin hiring by shrewd bargaining, capture, force,
luck, or theft. The core dynamic thereafter creates capital of the
employer by extracting as much production from the employee for as little
wage as possible. Thus it is true that all of the employer's capital was
one way or the other produced by the human labor of employees. Diamonds
deep in the ground have no value until the labor of human beings brings
them to the surface. This raises the issue of justice: Were the employees
fairly paid? It also raises other questions: Do we really need private
employers? Can we get along without them? (The Mondragon Co-ops of Basque
Spain function perfectly adequately without private employers. When the
hotel owner and employer recently went broke running a hotel in Buenos
Aires, Argentina, the former employees took over the hotel and are
operating it very successfully.)

2. Capitalism must constantly expand profit making opportunities for
capitalists or the economy will cycle into a downturn.

The greed for more profit is insatiable, so capitalists constantly seek
more profits through more production. There is never enough profit for
them. Capitalists cannot relax with the level of income or wealth that
they have at any given moment. With population growth, more capitalists
are born each day. Soon there is more production than poorly paid
employees can buy. Hence the downturn.

3. Competition among capitalist-employers inevitably leads to the
elimination of small capitalists and to the monopoly of a few large firms,
with capacity to produce more than they can sell at a profit.

Despite the ideology of competition, individual employers hate
competition. It increases the risk that they will lose. It is safer and
more profitable to cut a deal with other employers. That is why we have
state and federal laws against monopoly, although they are weak and rarely
enforced. Employers can reduce their risk and their competition for
employees and for sales and increase their mutual profit by cooperating.
Is this not self-evident? Look at the example of the auto industry. There
were once hundreds of car manufacturers. Three remain in the U.S. and
seven world wide. Look at the media industry. There are now five huge
conglomerates that own and control the print media, radio, TV and PR
agencies. With a monopoly, capitalists can limit production, and maintain
the same prices even if demand falls off. Monopoly augments the power and
wealth of the tiny elite.

4. The normal path of mature monopolistic capitalism thus leads inevitably
to stagnation. Due to excess productive capacity, there are insufficient
opportunities to make a profit by investing in production of goods and
services to meet human needs. Vast unemployment and economic depression
would result if nothing was done.

There are people other than employees who buy capitalist goods such as
self employed farmers and crafts persons. However, they do not earn much
either because their income is reduced by competition from the
capitalists. Thus, capitalism is unstable. It powerfully tends toward
overproduction as competing employers try to get a share of the profit,
but then more is produced than employed and self employed people can
afford to buy. They may need the product, food for example, but they
cannot afford to buy it. So plants shut down, employees lose jobs, farmers
also cannot sell their products and a depression results.

Human beings were shocked and startled by the Great Depression of 1929,
particularly so, capitalist employers. Capitalists learned, even if we did
not, that capitalism simply would not function without public money. U.S.
capitalist employers remained without profit making opportunities for 14
years until World War II, despite the public expenditures of the New Deal.
The vast public expenditures of WWII, primed the pump of capitalism.
Billions and Billions of dollars of public money have sustained capitalism
and avoided stagnation from 1940 to date. We now have:

   * $49 trillion in interest-bearing debts, according to the U.S. Federal
Reserve Board .
   * $50 trillion in federal contingency debts, according to the
Government Accountability Office (GAO), and .
   * $164 trillion in derivatives, according to the U.S. Comptroller of
the Currency (OCC).

That's a grand total of $263 trillion in debts and obligations, twenty
times more than the total size of the entire U.S. economy.

Despite this massive public expenditure, our capitalism remains always on
the brink of stagnation.

What do we mean by "stagnation?" It means absence of profit making
opportunities, too much productive capacity, and much unemployment.

The huge unmet consumer needs that had built up during the depression and
WWII, provided profit making opportunities until around 1970. Capitalist
employers were determined that no future depression would again lay them
low. All capitalists thus enthusiastically supported the vast public
expenditures for defense during the Cold War from 1946 to 1990, the Korean
War, and the War in Viet Nam. We are now spending $1 Trillion per year on
the Iraq War

Despite all of this, capitalism remains fragile, prone to stagnation, and
desperately dependent upon contribution of public tax money or borrowed
money to keep it going. If there had not been this public taxpayer support
of capitalism, there would have been another depression or to some
solution like the Germans adopted in 1933.

5. The National Government is now a critical component of capitalism and
to an ever increasing degree, capitalism and capitalists control the
government. Capitalism and the government are "one". We now have corporate
state capitalism.

   a. Even in Adam Smith's day, the state and society were essential to
the functioning of pure capitalism. The state provided laws and courts to
protect private property, private ownership of resources, and provided the
sole legal imperative for corporations to make money in the short run for
shareholders. The state always did more than this. Through its sheriffs
and army, it enforced its laws by force, if necessary. Law enforcement has
always intervened in employee strikes on the side of employers. Society
provided the ethical and practical incentive for capitalist employers to
pay their employees at least enough to survive and continue working for
the employers. (But with the global outsourcing of jobs, this social
constraint has been abandoned. See below.)

   b. The National Government, being effectively under the full control of
capitalist employers and bankers, now provides "whatever public money it
takes" to keep capitalism going for the elite and to avoid the loss of
profit making opportunities. Thus the government provides massive public
money for "defense," "Cold Wars", War in Korea, War in Viet Nam, War
against "communism," and now for the perpetual "War against Terror".
Spending for human social services would prime the pump also, but the
capitalist elite always vigorously opposes this because it would increase
wage costs by making employees less desperate to work.

6. Since capitalists must make a profit, when profit making opportunities
dwindle at home, capitalists, using the National Government and the
Military go abroad to seek new profit opportunities, new resources,
additional customers, and employees willing to work for lower wages.
Capitalism at home tends inevitably toward capitalism abroad: Imperialism.

   a. Capitalists do not go abroad to help foreign residents, to bring
freedom, or to impose democracy. They go to make a short term profit.

   b. Imperialism does not require colonialism with an occupying force.
Imperialism is now more often a purely economic activity, perhaps aided by
bribes of local officials, loans with unfavorable conditions for foreign
peoples, and CIA toppling of unfriendly foreign governments.

   c. Capitalists now pay employees at the cheapest wage rate they
possibly can with total disregard of whether or not the employee will
survive. Survival of human employees is somebody else's problem under
modern mature capitalism.

   d. The voting public is caused to support each major foreign war by a
"false flag" events such as Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

7. Despite the massive aid to capitalism from Imperialism, state spending
and monopoly, capitalists, beginning in 1970, found insufficient profit
making opportunities in investing to produce things human beings need. The
capitalist elite began increasing investment in speculation in the
financial sector to produce the short term profit upon which the survival
of capitalism depends. This serves no human need except the speculators'
profit. We now have the phenomenon of Financialization.

Beginning in 1970, the capitalist elite had no shortage of capital.
Wealthy individuals and corporations had huge reserves of cash. There was
simply no profitable place to invest it to meet human needs. Public
expenditures for wars and defense, including the War against Terror were
simply not enough. In this era of Financialization, corporations seldom
invest their own accumulations of cash. There is much more profit to be
made by "leveraging" that is, using borrowed money with as little of the
corporations' own cash as possible.

Wall Street created numerous novel investment vehicles where a short term
profit could be made: Hedge Funds, and Collateralized Debt Obligations,
Collateralized Mortgage Obligations, with each level serving as "security"
for yet another level of Collateralized Debt Obligations.

Whereas finance used to support investment for production,
Financialization took on a life of its own, unrelated to the real economy
and production for human needs. The Fed and the big bankers created a
"monstrous bubble of cheap credit". "The monstrous explosion of debt,
consumer, corporate and government (equal to well over 300% of the GDP by
the housing bubble's peak, both lifted the economy and led to growing
instability".

This investment in the financial sector and speculation has become the
dominant and necessary feature of current capitalist investment, if a
serious depression is to be avoided. While this investment may make a
profit for the wealthy investors, it does absolutely nothing for human
beings or the real economy. It is so necessary to keep capitalism going
that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernacke absolutely refuses to regulate this
financial speculation. If he did, stagnation would be the result. Bernacke
gave the big banks almost $30 Billion "to avoid a total breakdown of the
world economy". Did the Big Banks use this public money to invest in new
production to serve public need? Absolutely not! They used public money
and barely secured loans to invest in foreign currencies so that they
could augment their reserve capital to meet the difficulties from the
worthlessness of the collateralized debt instruments!

It is now apparent for all to see that despite all of the foregoing
Capitalism is still extremely fragile and vulnerable to stagnation. More
importantly, Capitalism is failing to meet our most critical human needs.

8. Capitalism as it existed in the days of Adam Smith no longer exists in
the Twenty First Century. Capitalism has mutated so as to cause the merger
of corporate power with state power so that we now have corporate state
capitalism whose powers are exercised solely to benefit of the global
elite at the expense and starvation of the rest of us.

The elite causes the government to print massive amounts of paper money to
rescue the institutions of the elite, and to stave off a massive economic
collapse. This paper money is funded by the Chinese and the Arabs buying
U.S. Bonds which we citizens and taxpayers will ultimately have to pay
off.

It is conceivable that the US could default on its bonds. The US could
simply not pay them, and start over with a new currency based on the Gold
Standard. This would mean an immense depression in the US, the end of
capitalism, and a new economy based on public hiring, public utilities,
co-ops, partnerships and self employment.

Unfortunately, the existing power elite are not likely to sit passively by
and to allow this to happen. It is far more probable that they will choose
a military dictator favorable to their interests and to impose martial
law. The power elite are hurt far less than the rest of us by massive
depreciation of the value of the dollar.

As John McChesney says:

"One thing is certain. Large capitalist interests are relatively well
positioned to protect their investments in the downswing through all sorts
of hedging arrangements (Doug adds: Investment in foreign currencies, and
repossession and ownership of houses and other assets) and can call on the
government to bail them out. They also have a myriad of ways of
transferring the costs to those lower down on the economic hierarchy.
Losses will therefore fall disproportionately on small investors, workers,
and consumers, and on third world economies".

It seems abundantly clear that the wealthy powerful elite served so well
by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernacke is far more concerned with
maintaining the stability of its banking institutions than with inflation.
The elite have ways of profiting from inflation such as investing in
stable foreign currencies.

9. The Propaganda Arm of the corporate capitalist state. The capitalist
elite owns and controls all the major print and electronic media, public
relations and advertising agencies. The capitalist elite thus imposes the
ideas and ideology that benefit it, including the taboo against analyzing
capitalism, its social inadequacy and its dynamics, upon all of us.

We must learn the truth of the points above by ignoring the massive taboo
imposed by the elite, and by becoming aware of the degree which each of us
has been brainwashed by the elite. The short term capitalistic best
interests of the small ruling elite determine the ideas and ideology of
the elite. The ideologies and ideas of the ruling elite are projected or
imposed by this dominant elite on all members of that society in order to
make the elite's interests appear to be the interests of all. This is of
course augmented by the ruling elite's control of all of the mass media,
by the dependence of us employees on the employers whose jobs are our only
means of survival, and by monetary support of the elite to non
governmental organizations and the academic community.

The ideology of a capitalist society is enormously important since it
confuses us employees and voters, causes us to abandon our own economic
and political best interests and creates a false consciousness such as the
addiction to consumer goods. It is a part of the false American civil
religion.

The elite through their ownership and control of the media are well aware
of and make full use the manipulative power of Nationalism, of Patriotism,
and of the "dogs of war".

We set forth three current examples:

    The NYT acted as a branch of the government in publishing known lies
that led us to support the war in Iraq.

    The NYT and the media publicized the views of retired military
officers as objective efforts, knowing the fact was that they were acting
as spokesmen for the military and Bush Administration.

    A huge majority of American voters want Universal Health Coverage, but
neither Obama, nor Hillary Clinton, nor John McCain can promise to try to
implement that wish of the voters.

Application of the analysis of these dynamics to current conditions:

Both capitalism and a government of, by, and for the people no longer
exist. We now have corporate state capitalism with its military,
intelligence agencies, and media, all controlled by the elite.

There are now three economies in the US each dominated and controlled by
the elite:

    The economy of the very rich, for the support of which the Elite uses
their control of media, academia, government, Federal Reserve Bank, and
our taxes.

    The Stock Markets that we should think of as simply a gambling casino,
with hidden government financial support and manipulation to aid the rich
in the fleecing of little stock holders. (Do you know of the "Plunge
Protection Team," who controls it, whose money it uses, and under what
circumstances? None of us do and we invest in the stock market at our
peril.)

    The Real economy where the rest of us live in immense insecurity, with
many unmet needs and we struggle to survive.

We have lost our ballot box control of the government. We have no means to
control the ecological destruction of capitalism. Al Gore may be living in
a fool's paradise in his efforts to control Global Warming unless he deals
with the dynamics of capitalism. We have no direct means of curbing,
controlling or regulating corporate state capitalism. We can no longer
study "economics" as a subject distinct from "political science" if we are
to have any hope of enlightenment.

Because we do not have a visible dictator, because we still have
substantial freedom to speak, write, communicate, and organize, and
because the forms of ballot box democracy still remain in place (although
not the substance), it is not yet accurate to call our global corporate
state "fascism," such as existed in Italy under Benito Mussolini.

The capitalism of Adam Smith, relatively free of government support, is no
more. Monopoly Capitalism and the government are now one. However, even
corporate state capitalism is fragile as we have seen. The government
cannot keep borrowing forever to support this fragile institution. We
citizens and taxpayers cannot pay ever higher taxes simply to keep
capitalism from depression. Moreover, present day Corporate State
Capitalism is parasitically dependent on us as consumers and as employees
for its existence. This capitalism is like a cancer that in killing its
human hosts, it kills itself. Its laws of motion take it inevitably in the
direction of fascism, dictatorship and martial law. Its destructive energy
in sucking away the profit from our labor, and in its total lack of
concern for our wellbeing, makes us think of a tornado.

It is now probable that the ruling elite with its vast economic, military,
media, and governmental powers, can avoid another Great Depression for
them. There may be another great depression for the rest of us, although
the mainstream elite media, using falsified statistics, may never
acknowledge or publicize that fact. Runaway inflation where our wage
dollars buy less and less would itself be a Great Depression for us. If a
Great Depression really threatens the elite, it is probable that the elite
would turn to a popular general like General Petraeus as military dictator
and impose martial law. The elite would engage our "support" of this
dictator by "false flag" operations, and by a media PR campaign,
manipulating our own fear, and playing on our national honor,
nationalism, consumerism, racism, religious differences, patriotism, "evil
enemies at home and abroad," and "the dogs of war". In this, the elite
will be successful unless we learn to be intellectually and emotionally
immune to these false manipulations.

This being the case, what shall we do? What can we do?

It is clear that we cannot successfully or morally use force against the
armed juggernaut of the elite, and against those among us who are
successfully brainwashed by the elite.

    We can learn and communicate the dynamics of corporate state
capitalism and its false PR manipulative strategies.

    Since even this mutated form of capitalism is parasitically dependent
upon our work, and our consumption, we can stop working for large private
employers. We can slow down our pace of work.

    We can stop our consumption of the products of the elite. We can
boycott the products of the elite

    Insofar as is possible, we can grow our own food and meet our own
needs as our ancestors did

    We can support a democratic government as our employer to meet those
needs we cannot meet ourselves.

Our sustainable survival, our freedom, our democracy, and our civilization
are dependent upon our overcoming the taboo imposed by the elite, and
learning capitalism's dynamics.

Is this analysis plausible? What part of it, if any, is illogical, or
contrary to your own experience and observation? Is it worth considering?
What is your alternative? How do you analyze the workings of capitalism?

Doug Page is a retired lawyer for unions, a former Democratic politician,
and a life long observer of government, unions and business. Read other
articles by Doug, or visit Doug's website.

This article was posted on Saturday, June 14th, 2008 at 6:00 am and is
filed under Capitalism. Send to a friend.


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