Progressive Calendar 07.05.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2008 00:54:46 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    07.05.08

1. Peace walk      7.05 9am Cambridge MN
2. Homeless vets   7.05 10am
3. NWN4P Mtka      7.05 11am
4. RNC/cops/rights 7.05 12noon
5. Northtown vigil 7.05 2pm
6. Music 4 peace   7.05 7:30pm
7. Poor march/CTV  7.05 9pm

8. Atheists/950AM  7.06 9am
9. Iraq/response   7.06 10am
10. Stwater vigil  7.06 1pm
11. Harry Boyte    7.06 3pm
12. RNC/hi/KFAI    7.06 6pm
13. Peace camp     7.06-7.14 Luck WI

14. ed        - Take Action / Health bills
15. Laura Flanders - Celebration in Colombia? Not so Fast.
16. Glen Ford - Cynthia McKinney deserves your support, Obama does not
17. ed        - Bush's mouth  (poem)

--------1 of 17--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 7.05 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street

--------2 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Homeless vets 7.05 10am

Saturday, 7/5, 10 to 11:30 am, Homeless Vets for Peace meet at Peacehouse,
510 E Franklin, Mpls. Bob Heberle 612-789-9020.

--------3 of 17--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P Mtka 7.05 11am

NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7
and 101.  Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the
fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available.

--------4 of 17--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: RNC/cops/rights 7.05 12noon

Communities United Against Police Brutality
Fight Back NOW While You Still Can!

Organizing Meeting
Saturday, July 5th
12:00 Noon
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S. Minneapolis

In 2000, after a number of excessive force incidents by Minneapolis police
against protesters, the community successfully pushed for a resolution
that bans police from using rubber bullets, prevents cops from concealing
their identities, blocks police from infiltrating groups and building
dossiers on activists, and provides other important protections.

Over the last month, however, the Minneapolis City Council has been
working on new resolutions.  They claim they want to make it easier to
exercise free speech but, in reality, they passed one resolution requiring
us to get permits to demonstrate­something we've never had to do before.
Then they passed another resolution that has some loosely-worded
protections for activists but that throws out the 2000 resolution and all
of its truly important protections.

There is a proposal on the table by councilmember Cam Gordon that would
bring many of the important protections from the 2000 resolution into the
new resolution.  This proposal was shunted off to a council committee
which was supposed to hear it on June 25th but they postponed it to their
July 16th meeting at request of the police department.

If you want to be safe when protesting the RNC, members of this committee,
the rest of the city council and the mayor need to hear from us NOW! They
need to know we are not going to let them take away the hard-won
protections of the 2000 resolution and we are not going to sit idly by
while they empower cops to use rubber bullets on protesters.  We need to
demand they pass Cam Gordon's proposed changes to Resolution 2008R-248:
Resolution Adopting Police Policies Regarding Public Assemblies.

What can you do?
1) Come to the organizing meeting listed above
2) Contact city council members and mayor
3) Mark your calendar and attend the July 16th
city council's PS&RS committee meeting at 1:00 p.m. at City Hall, room 317

City Council Members:
Paul Ostrow  612-673-2201  paul.ostrow [at]
Cam Gordon  612-673-2202  cam.gordon [at]
Diane Hofstede  612-673-2203  diane.hofstede [at]
Barb Johnson  612-673-2204  barbara.johnson [at]
Don Samuels  612-673-2205  don.samuels [at]
Robert Lilligren  612-673-2206  robert.lilligren [at]
Lisa Goodman  612-673-2207  lisa.goodman [at]
Elizabeth Glidden  612-673-2208  elizabeth.glidden [at]
Gary Schiff  612-673-2209  gary.schiff [at]
Ralph Remington  612-673-2210  ralph.remington [at]
Scott Benson  612-673-2211  scott.benson [at]
Sandra Colvin Roy  612-673-2212  sandra.colvin.roy [at]
Betsy Hodges  612-673-2213  betsy.hodges [at]

R.T Rybak  612-673-2100  rt [at]

--------5 of 17--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 7.05 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------6 of 17--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Music 4 peace 7.05 7:30pm

WAMM Weekend of Music for Peace: July5 & 6

Tom Neilson (the Bard Insurgent) "Celebrating the Struggle for Justice &
Peace" Saturday, July 5, 7:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third
Avenue South, Minneapolis.

A classical vocal soloist since childhood, Tom now has ten folk
recordings. He has opened for Dennis Kucinich, Amy Goodman, Ralph Nader,
Cesar Chavez, and played at the Martin Luther King Center in Havana, Cuba.
He has also played at New York City's Town Hall, Washington National
Cathedral, Boston's Symphony Hall and the New England Conservatory of
Music with tenor solos on two classical albums. Folksinger, songwriter,
activist, historian, and educator, Tom provides a voice for all who
believe in the power of music to affect change. His award-winning songs of
humor, compassion and political affairs have been performed in 19
countries on 5 continents. His lyrics are celebrated for their
sophistication, political astuteness, and wit. At the Kerrville Folk
Festival, he was referred to as the "Jon Stewart of folk music." With long
standing involvements with groups working for peace and justice, you will
hear his music at the gates of military bases, nuclear plants, on union
lines, and to free political prisoners such as Leonard Peltier and Mumia
Abu-Jamal. Suggested Donation: $12.00 (contact the WAMM office at
612-827-5364 for $10.00 tickets in advance). FFI: Visit
<>. . Susan Cowsill, Singer/Songwriter (with
special appearances by Rick Robot of Tuesdays Robot and the hot, new local
group Gospel Gossip): "Just Believe It"

Sunday, July 6, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Minnesota Music Café, 499 Payne Avenue,
St. Paul. The Susan Cowsill Band is fresh off great reviews from the main
Acura Stage at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Cowsill will
make a special appearance in St. Paul, on July 6 in support of a Women
Against Military Madness (WAMM) fundraiser. Veteran rock critic John
Swenson had this to say about Susan Cowsill's performance at Jazz
Fest--"Though she's a veteran of the New Orleans music scene at this point
Cowsill still exudes the little girl charm that dates back to the days
when she was the little sister in her family band, the hit-making '60s pop
group the Cowsills. But Cowsill's voice is now a fully mature instrument.
She delivers the knowing sorrow of heartbreak ballads like 'The Rain Song'
with the same skill as the angry payback she dishes on 'Talkin' and the
whimsical joy she brings to her old family's hit 'The Rain, the Park and
Other Things.' But on this opening day of Jazzfest Cowsill's most powerful
moment came with her dramatic reading of 'Crescent City Snow,' her
post-Katrina composition that is fast becoming an anthem for returning New
Orleanians." Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Suggested
Donation: $20.00. FFI: Visit <>.

Larry Olds writes:

I am writing to urge you to join us at this Concert Celebrating the
Struggle for Justice and Peace.  The money from all donations will go to
WAMM as part of the WAMM Weekend of Music for Peace.

I met Tom four years ago in Boston, since have been enjoying his CDs, and
finally am able to help bring him to the Twin Cities for a concert.  His
music is of my favorite genre: folk music from the struggles for justice
and peace with many songs that reflect his commitments against war and
injustices and for environmental justice and a better world.  His songs
can educate and inspire with his progressive political satire, songs of
nonviolence, liberation and human rights.

Tom is in the Midwest to attend and perform at the National Green
Convention in Chicago.  You can see him perform his song, "All Because I
Voted For Ralph Nader" at the 2007 Green Convention at  He is also doing concerts in Luck
and Viroqua Wisconsin on days around the 4th of July weekend. (See for details and info on his CDs)

---------7 of 17--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Poor march/CTV  7.05 9pm

Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!.  Households with basic cable may

Sat, 7/5, 9pm and Tues, 7/8, 8am "March for Our Lives" On Sept 2nd in
downtown St. Paul, the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign will
"March For Our Lives".  Cheri Honkala, the campaign's national
coordinator, is interviewed by Karen Redleaf.  (a repeat)

--------8 of 17--------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at]>
Subject: Atheists/950AM 7.06 9am

Minnesota Atheists' "Atheists Talk" radio show
Sunday, July 6, 2008, 9-10 a.m. Central Time

In honor of Independence Day, Edward Tabash will discuss "The Founding
Fathers' Views and Supreme Court Decisions Regarding Separation of State
and Church."

Edward Tabash is Chair of the National Legal Committee of Americans United
for Separation of Church and State, and Chair of the First Amendment Task
Force for the Council for Secular Humanism.

"Atheists Talk" airs live on AM 950 KTNF in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
To stream live, go to Podcasts of past
shows are available at or through iTunes.
Program Notes are available at

--------9 of 17--------

From: jojane [at]
Subject: Iraq/response 7.06 10am

Charlie Clements Minnesota Visit
July 6, 10:00-11:00AM
Sermon for Sunday service at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis.
He will be speaking about the Iraq war and the UUSC's response.  In the
Sanctuary, 3400 Dupont Ave S, Minneapolis.

July 6, 11:00AM
Open feedback session with Charlie, after the service.  Cummins Room,
First Universalist.

About the UUSC and CEO & President Charlie Clements

Mission Statement
UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world,
partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing
to challenge oppressive policies.
Vision Statement
UUSC envisions a world free from oppression and injustice, where all can
realize their full human rights.

Charlie Clements
Charlie Clements is a well-known human rights activist and public health
physician. Throughout the years, Clements has faced several moral dilemmas
that have shaped his life. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he flew
more than 50 missions in the Vietnam War before decidind the war was
immoral and refused to fly missions in support of the invasion of

Later, as a newly trained physician, he chose to work in the midst of El
Salvador's civil war, where the villages he served were bombed, rocketed,
or strafed by some of the same aircraft in which he had previously

For two years in the late 1980s, Clements served as director of human
rights education at UUSC, leading a number of congressional fact-finding
delegations to Central America. In 1997, as president of Physicians for
Human Rights, he participated both in the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and
the treaty signing for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Clements is author of Witness to War (Bantam) and subject of an Academy
Award-winning documentary of the same title.

--------10 of 17--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 7.06 1pm

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

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

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

--------11 of 17--------

From: James Mayer <jmayer [at]>
Subject: Harry Boyte 7.06 3pm

AM 950
(To Stream:>) [still works with
the OLD web address!]

Of the People: This Sunday, July 6th at 3 p.m. on AM 950--Air America
Minnesota's new name; call letters: ktnf--with Host James Mayer.

Do citizens have to feel helpless about what's being done with our country
and government?  Who's the boss, we the people, or the government
representatives who work for us?

Last time on Of the People Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of
the United States showed why and how "we the people" need to join together
and use the tools of democracy to fix what's wrong with our society and

This Sunday we'll go further into how we can join together and use those
tools with Harry Boyte, Founder and Co-Director of the University of
Minnesota Center for citizenship and democracy, who just published his new
book: The Citizen Solution: How YOU Can Make a Difference.

Isn't it time that we, the people, make our own history with our own
actions?  Let's explore this with Harry Boyte. We invite your calls.

Of the People's on-air call-in number is 952-946-6205.
Tune into Of the People this Sunday at 3 P.M. on AM 950, KTNF.*

*Note: You don't have to limit your listening to the car. You can spend
productive time at home and tune into 950 AM or stream US AT (if you put in a MN zip code). Off-air,
you can reach us by calling James Mayer at 651-238-3740, by e-mail at
info [at], or by U.S. mail, address: James Mayer, 970 Raymond
Ave, St. Paul, MN 55114.

--------12 of 17--------

From: RNC Welcoming Committee <rnc08 [at]>
Subject: RNC/hi/KFAI 7.06 6pm

Today the airwaves - tomorrow Saint Paul!  Sunday, July 6 from 6-7pm,
organizers from the RNC Welcoming Committee will be on community radio
station KFAI's "Wave Project" access hour.  We'll talk about the
convention, play some music and have a grand old time!

Corporate media and the police have been trying to divide protesters into
"good" and "bad" by making up scary stories about the Big Bad Anarchists -
so listen in to hear what's really being planned, how the RNC will affect
our communities, how you can participate, and a little bit of what
anarchism's really about.

In the Twin Cities, you can listen in at 90.3 FM (Minneapolis) or 106.7 FM
(St. Paul).  You can also listen live from anywhere on Earth at  If you miss it, you can stream the show for up to two weeks
on KFAI's website, and we'll post the show on as well.

See you in September, RNC Welcoming Committee

--------13 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Peace camp 7.06-7.14 Luck WI

7/6 to 7/27, Anathoth Community Farm hosts Action Camp of "Seeds of Peace
Collective" with direct action training (non-violence, direct action,
blockades, affinity groups, etc) on 7/6 to 7/14 (free, donations accepted)
and Wilderness First Responder certification course for $450 from 7/15 to
7/24, followed by Action Medical section 7/25 to 7/27, all in Luck,

--------14 of 17--------

From: ed
Subject: Take Action / Health bills

Request for information:

I have heard that Take Action Minnesota is out canvassing on behalf of
a/some health bill/s.

Have you been contacted or heard of others being contacted?

If so, what bill/s are TA canvassers supporting?

Email me here.
Thanks for your consideration. -

--------15 of 17-------

Celebration In Colombia? Not So Fast.
by Laura Flanders
Published on Friday, July 4, 2008 by GRITtv

It reads like a Hollywood script-Colombian commandos descend into the
jungle and exit with 15 hostages, including a former Colombian
presidential candidate and three American Pentagon contractors who'd been
held by anti-government guerillas. The hostages had been held for six long
years. What a long time and what a relief.

The Pentagon's been getting great press for helping in the raid that
released the hostages in Colombia. The Bush Administration was involved in
the planning of the rescue and provided unspecified "specific support,"
according to the White House. As for John McCain, who admitted being
briefed about the raid the night before it occurred - some at Fox News Fox
News are giving him props for possibly influencing the hostage release:
"There really might be a connection between the high-level visit of the
former prisoner of war, John McCain himself, and the release now of three
American prisoners here in southern Colombia," said reporter Steve

John McCain, Bush and of course, Colombian president Alvaro Uribe are all
too eager to cast the Uribe government in a heroic light. After all,
there's another not-so "free" trade deal at stake.

It's always cause for celebration when hostages are released. But let's
not lose sight of which side the US has been on during Colombia's grim,
dirty conflict.

Although the guerrillas get the coverage, it's not just the FARC that's up
to nasty business in Colombia. Successive Colombian governments and their
allies have waged brutal war on their critics - and they've enjoyed
support from successive US administrations.

What's Colombia got that McCain and Bush want? Resources and industry,
although the place is overwhelmed with poverty. Those who'd relieve that
poverty - trade unionists, for example - have been slaughtered by the
score. Over 400 hundred labor organizers have been murdered under the
Uribe regime alone. That's more than in the rest of the world combined -
in six long years. And for all those six years Washington has done deals
with Colombia, including giving the military aid and more.

[It is always good for owners to kill workers; it is always bad for
workers to kill owners. OK-murder goes down the social scale; pacifism
goes up the scale. It is never OK to kill anyone higher (except on orders
of someone even higher). The top leader may kill anyone he wants at any
time. It is wrong to harm the leader in any way; pure pacifism toward him.
That's ethics in America. -ed]

So yes, six years is an age - but when it comes to blood-for-profit, it
doesn't seem so long to Washington. And hostage-taking's wrong. But
hostages-to-poverty don't get the sympathy accorded to the
Pentagon-contractor kind. [See comment above -ed]

Laura Flanders is the host of GRITtv on Free Speech TV (Dish Network ch.
9415) and online at

--------16 of 17--------

Cynthia McKinney Deserves Your Support, Obama Does Not
by Glen Ford / July 4th, 2008

Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who seems poised to capture
the Green Party presidential nomination, in Chicago, this month, "is at
this juncture in history the only vehicle through which progressives can
both register their outrage at Barack Obama and begin the process of
rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for real social change." Meanwhile,
the frequency of Obama's Right turns seem to increase in direct proportion
to the nearness of the general election. "Surely no one with a brain any
longer believes that Obama is a closet progressive, or even a genuine
liberal." The question is, How many progressives will put their votes and
resources to honorable use?

We have to bring the war in Iraq to a respectable, responsible and
honorable end," said Barack Obama, sharing a platform with Hillary Clinton
in Unity, New Hampshire, last week.  The list of qualifiers and
impediments to a quick exit from Iraq lengthens with each Obama lurch to
the Right. The closer the Illinois senator gets to the White House, the
farther he projects the Iraq occupation into a future just as murky as
that envisioned by George Bush and John McCain. In Obama's endlessly
conditional world, withdrawal from Iraq must be done "responsibly" -
meaning, in actuality, that the U.S. must retain the power to keep the
Iraqis "responsive" to American military, economic and political demands.
A U.S. military pullout (of who knows how many troops, since Obama has
always been elusive on the question) must be "honorable" - meaning, it
should not give the appearance of weakness or admission of criminality.
Most important, the U.S. must emerge from the withdrawal (or reduction, or
draw-down, or other conjure-word) in a position of "respect" - a total
impossibility, unless respect actually means evoking terror throughout the
neighborhood at the very thought of ever again provoking the Americans
into violating the laws of modern civilization.

Such is the endless elasticity of terms like "peace" and "withdrawal" when
mouthed by Barack Obama, a master of bait-and-switch, a game he apparently
believes he can play indefinitely on the people of the United States and
the planet. The general debasement of language in the U.S. political
culture - a degeneration that devalues meaning and facts, cause and
effect, in favor of bells, whistles, hype and prettily-packaged but hollow
"hope" - provides a perfect soundstage for Obama's politics of vapidity,
in which no term has reliable, lasting definition. Only in a flim-flam
market culture, in which old products are packaged as "new and improved"
and senile reactionary farts like Ronald Reagan are deemed
"revolutionaries," could Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democratic
congressional leadership masquerade as proponents of peace - even as
virtually the entire senatorial Party endorses another $162.5 billion for
Iraq-Afghanistan war funding.

Obama is confident he can retain the "peace candidate" label while
erecting successive obstacles to actual, physical withdrawal from Iraq,
and while simultaneously pledging to add 92,000 troops to the U.S. Armed
Forces in order "to fight two wars and defend our homeland." His
confidence is well-placed, not just because he is the Big Money Candidate
in the current historical shift of corporate dollars from Republicans to
Democrats - money that buys a mass version of reality - but because
generations of two-party homogenized gibberish has rendered millions of
Americans incapable of distinguishing between fact and fantasy, between
waging war and pursuing peace.

The true voices of peace speak clearly, in simple language. "The U.S.
should withdraw all troops and mercenaries from Iraq in as orderly a
fashion as possible," says former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney,
candidate for the Green Party's presidential nomination. "This withdrawal
should be quickly accomplished, since the troops and the equipment were
all pre-positioned in the area to start with, at the start of the

No flim-flam, no equivocations, no inventing of excuses to prolong the
crime against peace (a Nuremburg capital offense). McKinney speaks as both
a former U.S. Representative and a movement activist, one of the
architects of the Reconstruction Party's Power to the People Platform,
which declares:

We need an end to all wars and occupations by U.S. forces, including in
Iraq and Afghanistan. We need an immediate cessation of funding for war.
We need prosecution for all individuals guilty of violating the law,
including having committed or authorized crimes against humanity, crimes
against the peace, torture, or war crimes. We need a complete renunciation
of the pre-emptive war doctrine. We need an end to all wars and war's
utility. We need to dismantle the apparatus that implements schemes of
regime change around the world, and that instead assists in
self-determination of all peoples.

The platform on which McKinney runs is straightforward, eminently
understandable, and in conformance with the substance and spirit of
international law. It is what Barack Obama used to pretend to say, in
front of progressive audiences, only without his mitigating language
designed for ease of reversal - commonly called flip-flop, but more
accurately, betrayal - terms that ultimately smother peace in a pillow of
words like "respectable, responsible and honorable."

This is how Obama uses his impressive language skills: to lure
constituencies that seek peace into the maelstroms of war; to assault the
integrity of language itself with his relentless tinkering with meanings,
until finally, his original peaceful promises turn into their warlike

Obama's modus operandi is consistent and, especially after his recent
flurry of policy reversals, transparent to all who care to observe him
dispassionately. He is a word-hustler, a slickster, a politician/actor who
has always been eager to serve the global aims of the very rich. That's
why, back in the summer of 2003, while a candidate for the Illinois
Democratic U.S. senatorial nomination, he had to be pressured (by Bruce
Dixon and me) to have his name removed from the corporatist Democratic
Leadership Council membership list. And that's why, five years later, he
stripped off his anti-NAFTA clothing to announce on CNBC, the
businessman's cable source: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I
love the market."

As Naomi Klein wrote in "Obama's Chicago Boys" (June 14, The Nation),
Obama "is thoroughly embedded in the mind-set known as the Chicago
School," established by Ronald Reagan's favorite economist, Milton
Friedman, at the University of Chicago, where Obama taught constitutional
law for ten years. Obama's chief economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, is on
the faculty. It was Goolsbee who, back in February, urged the rightwing
Canadian government not to pay too much attention to Obama's campaign
critiques of NAFTA, explaining that the candidate's rhetoric was "more
reflective of political maneuvering than policy."

Goolsby spoke the truth. Obama has maneuvered himself out of the
anti-NAFTA camp, entirely. As he told Nina Easton of Fortune, the
quintessential ruling class magazine:

"Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,"
he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating"
and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade
zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are
always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered.

Obama used to say he would reexamine NAFTA in its totality. Now he says,
"I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally." He has capitulated.

But there is an unwavering progressive in the race. "The  practical effect
of NAFTA is that it is an anti-union policy," says Green candidate Cynthia
McKinney. "Why US unions would support a political party [the Democrats]
that has decisively contributed to their own demise, is beyond me.  I
support the international right to unionize.  My legislation, the
Corporate Responsibility Act and the TRUTH Act sought to compel US
corporations operating abroad to abide by U.S. labor, environmental
standards, thereby lifting up workers in other parts of the world, not
exploiting them.  The Reconstruction Movement Draft Manifesto also calls
for repeal of Taft Hartley, to strengthen workers' rights in this

McKinney cites the Power to the People Platform: "We need to promote and
enact laws for U.S. corporations that keep labor standards high at home
and raise them abroad. Toward that end, it is clear that we need a repeal
of NAFTA, CAFTA, the Caribbean FTA, and the U.S.-Peru FTA and justice for
immigrant workers, including an end to the guest-worker program riddled
with abuses."

Both Black and white progressives deliberately made themselves irrelevant
to the Democratic campaign by failing to challenge Obama before and during
the primary season. Now there is one remaining chance to put a healthy
fear into Obama and to help build a Black-led movement that will fight for
progressive values after the election is over: solidarity with Cynthia

Surely no one with a brain any longer believes that Obama is a closet
progressive, or even a genuine liberal. Last month he finally confessed
that Black Agenda Report has been right about him all the time: he's
Hillary Clinton's political clone "If you look at my positions and Senator
Clinton's, there's not a lot of difference, which is why it's so easy for
advisers, senior advisers of Senator Clinton, to support my candidacy,"
said Obama, unveiling his roster of national security advisors.

And what a "Back to the Future" crew of Bill Clinton and Bush #1
retrograde hacks he has chosen! Obama's core group of foreign policy gurus
is non-change personified - U.S. imperialism from the pre-Bush #2 era in
the flesh. (See "Background of Obama's Foreign Policy Group," Institute
for Public Accuracy.) Endless war is written on their faces. Progressives
should have taken Obama seriously when he announced to everyone who would
listen, back in March, "The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a
return to the traditional, bipartisan, realistic foreign policy of George
Bush's father, John F. Kennedy, of in some ways Ronald Reagan."

Obama had the gall to praise Reagan and the elder Bush while on a "Stand
for Change" bus tour.

Cynthia McKinney offers real change - peace for a change.

"The United States should and must engage the world, but not in empire,
not in military," said McKinney, who was first elected to the U.S.
Congress from a suburban Atlanta district in 1992. "Ninety percent of the
US security budget is dedicated to some military engagement with the
world.  The United States should stop arming factions, supporting
factions, new elections should be held [in Iraq] with international
advisors, and the "coalition of the willing" should work with the United
Nations to disarm and restore to the extent possible the Iraqi civil

The Reconstruction Draft Manifesto calls for an end to US militarism and
the establishment of a Department of Peace by restructuring the US State

So it does. The manifesto is a comprehensive movement document, a basis
for political action beyond the narrow confines of electoral contests.
"Sadly," says the manifesto, "the Bush-Pelosi war policy is a formula for
endless global conflict, deterioration of the rule of law among nations,
and growing impoverishment, indebtedness and evisceration of civil
liberties at home."

More and more each day, "the Bush-Pelosi war policy" is also Barack
Obama's policy, as further evidenced by his about-face on Bush spying on
U.S. citizens with the aid of U.S. telecom companies.

In going the extra, unrequested mile for AIPAC, the Israel lobby, Obama
moved to the Right of every U.S. president in history. Obama's blustering
vow that Jerusalem will remain forever an "undivided" "Jewish" city would
lock the U.S. into a position unacceptable to every Arab or Muslim
government on Earth. His bellicosity regarding Iran differs from John
McCain's, only in that Obama would theoretically deign to hold talks with
Iranians "at a time and place of my choosing," while refusing to rule out
a preemptive strike.

Every Obama foreign policy instinct seems to support the "special" and
unlimited "relationship" with Israel, robust defense of American Manifest
Destiny, ever-increasing war expenditures, and inherent supra-national,
extra-legal U.S. rights - formulas for planetary doom. On not one major
foreign policy front does Obama any longer advocate positions consistent
with peaceful planetary development. Not one!

It's time for people claiming to be progressives who supported Obama, to
accept that they were bamboozled by a champion slickster. Actually, that's
putting the best face on the situation, since most of Obama's progressive
credentials were simply wished into existence by folks who were tired of
even pretending to fight. Obama now dares to drop all pretense of
progressivism, trusting that there will be no ramifications on the Left,
especially among the otherwise most dependable progressive constituency,
African Americans.

Will the next few weeks and months prove Obama right? Cynthia McKinney
deserves Black and Left support, while Obama manifestly does not.

McKinney, whose last act in Congress was to submit articles of impeachment
against George Bush in 2006; who courageously questioned the White House
version of events before and after September 11, 2001; who acted as a
one-person conscience of the House Armed Services Committee, speaking out
against corporate and military mega-theft under both Clinton and Bush; who
has with amazing consistency always placed principle above her own
personal and electoral fortunes, is at this juncture in history the only
vehicle through which progressives can both register their outrage at
Obama and begin the process of rebuilding a mass, Black-led movement for
real social change. (Ralph Nader cannot, for reasons of temperament and
race, achieve such dual purposes.)

On Venezuela, the difference between Obama and McCain is narrow, indeed:
Obama has reflexively included popularly (and repeatedly) elected
President Hugo Chavez among the world's "rogue" leaders, deriding his
"predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian
government, and checkbook diplomacy," while McCain's pitiful verbal skills
at first allowed him only to sputter that Chavez is "wacko." More
recently, McCain vowed to "work to impede Venezuela and Bolivia from
following the same path of failure that Castro followed in Cuba." McCain
criticized Obama for, again, being theoretically prepared to meet with
Chavez. Not to be outdone, Obama held a match to the region, condoning the
Colombian narco-state's armed intrusion into the territory of Ecuador, a
nation friendly to Venezuela.

McKinney's position on the region is as follows:

It is totally irresponsible to call Hugo Chavez an 'oil tyrant' as
published some time ago.  Totally irresponsible to support the violation
of the territorial integrity of Ecuador, a country that has signaled its
desire to join the framework for peace and against destabilization by
pulling out of the school of the Americas.  I pledge untiring support for
self-determination in Bolivia, wracked now by a secessionist-type
'autonomy' movement, probably fomented outside Bolivia's borders.

Obama wholeheartedly backs the militarization of Africa through the new
U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM. "There will be situations that require the
United States to work with its partners in Africa to fight terrorism with
lethal force. Having a unified command operating in Africa will facilitate
this action," said Obama.

McKinney has acted as a sentinel for Africa, on guard against U.S.
recolonization of the continent. She correctly regards AFRICOM as a threat
to the region. "More than likely, this force will be used in just the same
way as Plan Colombia is used - to police dissent and punish the innocent
solely for pecuniary reasons.  The last thing Africa needs is AFRICOM,
U.S. soldiers, or a School of the Americas-type relationship with Africa."

When Obama is not carrying imperial water in the bullying of weaker
nations, he is silent on burning global issues - especially those of keen
interest to African Americans.

The December 2006 U.S.-instigated Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, which
according to the United Nations created "the worst [and still ongoing]
humanitarian crisis in Africa," elicits not a peep from Obama. In fact,
the only comments from Obama on Somalia that we have found are his
complaints about pictures taken during a trip to his father's homeland,
Kenya, depicting Obama in the ceremonial tribal garb of the overwhelming
Muslim Somalis.

McKinney has repeatedly denounced the U.S. overthrow of Haiti's elected
government in 2004, the kidnapping and exile of President Jean Bertrand
Aristide, and Brazil's and the United Nation's role in occupying the
country on behalf of the Americans.

Obama's last recorded comments on Haiti, from 2005, were summarized on his
Senate web site:

"Obama said he favors a congressional fact-finding mission to Haiti. He
said additional aid is needed there, but it must come with strings
attached to ensure it is used properly and not to line the pockets of
politicians, as happened in his father's native Kenya."

This is apparently all that Obama has to say about the bloody suppression
of the Haitian nation by the U.S. and its allies.

There can be no effective reasoning with those African Americans who want
only that a member of The Race occupy the Oval Office - no matter the
character and politics of that Black individual. But self-described
progressives of all races cannot excuse their own docility in the face of
Obama's rightward lunge - especially when there exists one last
opportunity to threaten the Democratic nominee-to-be with a backlash
against his betrayals of progressive principles - one last chance to
affect Obama's behavior before Election Day, November 4, and beyond.
Cynthia McKinney has made herself available to the Green Party's
convention in Chicago, July 10-12, and will almost surely be their

If progressives cannot bring themselves to vote honorably, they can at the
very least go to McKinney's campaign site and send money. Even a little
principled behavior is better than none at all.

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

This article was posted on Friday, July 4th, 2008 at 5:00 am and is filed
under "Third" Party, Elections. Send to a friend

--------17 of 17--------

 Bush's mouth is so
 slick it's gotta be fulla
 oil! Drill there! Drill now!


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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