|Progressive Calendar 06.15.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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. --------18 of 18-------- The Man in the Moon each month gets away with full frontal nudity. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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