|Progressive Calendar 07.26.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2008 03:54:34 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.26.08 1. Permaculture 7.26 8am 2. Peace walk 7.26 9am Cambridge MN 3. Pray/meditate 7.26 9am 4. NWN4P Mtka 7.26 11am 5. PP picnic 7.26 11am 6. Northtown vigil 7.26 2pm 7. Sex assault/RNC 7.26 3pm 8. N Mpls artfest 7.26 4pm 9. Cuba/50years 7.26 7pm 10. Cop/brutal/CTV 7.26 9pm 11. Stillwtr vigil 7.27 1pm 12. Green jobs 7.27 1pm 13. Saul Landau - Truth in comedy 14. Dave Lindorff - We're a nation of lemmings 15. PC Roberts - Are you ready to face the facts about Israel? 16. Mickey Z - One little, two little, three little Eichmanns 17. Mumia Abu-Jamal - Business sense 18. ER Bills - 45 Luft balloons --------1 of 18-------- From: Sean Gosiewski <iasa [at] mtn.org> Subject: Permaculture 7.26 8am PERMACULTURE WORKSHOP July 26 8am-5pm Join Guy on Saturday for a "knock your socks off" workshop where you will learn your way into a beginning design that will create harmony with nature's principles and will restore the balance and resiliency of our local natural systems. You will be able to apply what you learn at home, in your neighborhood and at your place of business. The film festival and workshop are free and one may be attended without the other. However, advanced registration is necessary. Call Judy Gregg at 952-474-3001 or email her at Amelia [at] mm.com to sign up. Bring a picnic lunch on Saturday - We'll be eating on the West Slope. --------2 of 18-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 7.26 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------3 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Pray/meditate 7.26 9am Saturday, 7/26, 9 to 10:30 am, Pax Christi Twin Cities invites friends to join them at their monthly prayer and meditation gathering, St Joan of Arc Parish Center, 4537 - 3rd Ave S, Mpls. 651-646-1611. --------4 of 18------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 7.26 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. --------5 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: PP picnic 7.26 11am Saturday, 7/26, 11 am, Peace in the Precincts annual picnic at Indian Mounds Park, 10 Mounds Blvd, St Paul. Details from http://www.fnvw.org --------6 of 18-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 7.26 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------7 of 18-------- From: andy <afahlstrom [at] riseup.net> Subject: Sex assault/RNC 7.26 3pm Sexual Assault in the Twin Cities (and during the RNC) NEXT MEETING: SATURDAY, June 26, 3-6 PM @ the Franklin Library http://www.mpls.lib.mn.us/franklin.asp The first meeting went well with roughly 25 people attending. The next meeting has been scheduled to continue the conversation and begin working on some of concrete things that were identified at the meeting. --------8 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: N Mpls artfest 7.26 4pm SAT. JULY 26:FLOW:North Minneapolis ARTS Fest! Come see what is great about the Northside! The third annual FLOW: Northside ArtsCrawl on Saturday, July 26th from 4PM to 9PM continues to grow as it adds new sites and artists in 2008. Over 200 artists, dozens of art partners, and businesses will all be highlighted as FLOW solidifies its image as a high-quality community art event in North Minneapolis. Visual and Performing art can be found at participating organizations and businesses clusters primarily along West Broadway, including (from west to east): The new Lundstrum Center on 2nd Street North An outdoor stage at Cub Foods Youth activities and gallery space at Juxtaposition Arts in the Emerson Cluster The Historic Capri Theater in the Penn Cluster Homewood Studios on Plymouth Avenue (Plymouth & Penn Cluster) --------9 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Cuba/50years 7.26 7pm Saturday, 7/26, 7 pm, MN Cuba Committee hosts celebration of Cuba's 50th Independence Day at 1314 Marquette Ave, Mpls (in the party room). Refreshments, musicm movies and conversation, for a small donation to support the MN Cuba Committee. http://groups.msn.com/minnesotacubacommittee -------10 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Cop brutality/CTV 7.26 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 watch. Sat, 7/26, 9pm and Tues, 7/29, 8am "Exposing Police Brutality" Interviews of Carla Magnuson of the National Lawyers Guild, regarding rights for protesters at the Republican National Convention, and Communities United Against Police Brutality organizer Daryl Robinson. PLUS: Naomi Klein's speech at the recent National Conference for Media Reform held in Minneapolis. --------11 of 18-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 7.27 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------12 of 18-------- From: KAREN MONAHAN, EJAM: Subject: Green jobs 7.27 1pm Green Jobs Rally with Jim Hightower July 27 The Blue Green Alliance and labor and environmental leaders are having a Green Jobs Rally with Jim Hightower. It is time to raise our voices, and rally for green jobs in Minnesota - to improve our economy and protect our environment. I invite you to be part of this historic event, including the LARGEST HUMAN WIND TURBINE ever in Minnesota ! [Al Franken?] The Green Jobs Rally is on Sunday, July 27 from 1 to 4 pm at Saint Paul College . Our headline speaker is Jim Hightower, activist and New York Times bestselling author. Other speakers include United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and Minnesota AFL-CIO President Ray Waldron. There will also be great music and informational booths from a wide range of organizations. Green Jobs Rally with Jim Hightower Sunday, July 27, 2008 from 1 to 4 pm Saint Paul College , 235 Marshall , Saint Paul Free, so be sure to spread the word! http://action.sierraclub.org/site/R?i=ThGyttd1fJiWnZFIJcoIfA.. [Alas however amusing and sometimes progressive Hightower is, he always ends up urging us to vote Dem, never third party. Ditto with the Sierra Club (above) and the AFL-CIO. You'll probably hear a lot of rah rah for Obama and Franken and any other Dem so long as they can be shown to breathe. So this announcement only marginally belongs in the Progressive Calendar. At least the steelworkers in the past have been more radical than their corporate-compromised brothers. -ed] --------13 of 18-------- Truth In Comedy By Saul Landau July 25 2008 ZNet Have mainstream politicians grown so out of synch with the needs of the people that only comedians address the issues? Traditionally, the court jester dared shine a satiric light on imperial problems. In our society, standup comics and "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" under the guise of clowning get away with exposing corporate rip offs and self-serving government agencies. The mainstream media accept these thug operations as national axioms. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert don't joke about tens of millions of people moaning, not whining, from pain of economic hardship. Because it's not funny! They occasionally refer to the proverbial elephants in the American living room, which grow fatter and nastier. Who but a joker would dare denigrate the "celebrated" armed forces, just because they don't win the wars that politicians manufacture? Or make fun of the "protectors" from Homeland Security? FEMA, part of the Security apparatus, played a cruel joke on the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Let's not forget the "noble" drug warriors. One day in the very distant, as the comics know, they will surely make a dent in addiction rates. The military, "security" and drug baron, prime examples of imperial waste and idiocy, play the big joke on the public: each receives a humongous - or humorous-slice of the national budget. If more than $800 billion annually goes to feed these unproductive monsters who metaphorically eat the country's living room furniture and shit on its floor, how will needed infrastructure repairs take place, how will education, health and social services respond to the growing needs of the nation, now almost officially in recession? Such a question obviously makes my patriotism questionable. Or, I'm a crazed addict! A "Reagan revolution?" Did I hallucinate? Nostalgia oozes from those who remember him fondly. During his reign sleeping with the President meant attending a Cabinet Meeting. Outside the denial addicted White House, income and manufacturing wages have fallen. In some 25 years, the bottom 40%'s share of national wealth dropped along with income of families living on pensions. Funny? US manufacturing jobs have dramatically decreased. Hilarious? On the other side, Reaganomics also inspired growth. For example, the top 1% now "made" more money, and thus spurred the growth rate in the gap between rich and poor incomes. Foreign debt has risen as a percent of GDP. Thanks to Republican economics - supported by many Democrats - the number of hungry people and housing foreclosures have also risen. Jokes! We're still number 1 -- in the size of our armed forces, amount of nuclear weapons, unwanted pregnancies, percentage of people, especially minorities, in prison, and number of crystal methamphetamine labs. (See Sam Smith's The Progressive Review July 14) Barack Obama, satirized by the New Yorker cover as a terrorist, has yet to address issues of eroding infrastructure and causes of suffering. Has he turned into Zelig, as in the Woody Allen film by that title, the adaptable, opportunistic creep who morphs into those he meets? Trying to win elections - then they'll "do something" -turns candidates into PR images to make them look "honest," "tough," and warm and avuncular at the same time. Even Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 said almost anything to get votes. Those who speak their minds like John McCain's economic guru, and arch representative of banking hanky panky, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, should have done his shtick on one of the comedy shows. Poor rich Gramm, sentenced to pariah status -- "He doesn't speak for me," said McCain, disowning his economic mentor. Gramm voiced his and probably other multimillionaires' thoughts about the millions of homeless, hungry, out of work and recently foreclosed people as "a nation of whiners" -- and probably dangerous as well. Gramm's speech patterns sound like the translation into words of the screech made by a piece of chalk working its way across a blackboard. May Gramm aspires to become a columnist for The Onion? "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline," he said. "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession." Very funny! He also questioned the veracity of some poor people. "If they're poor, how come they're fat?" The Don Rickles of politics! After stumping Michigan with his candidate, McCain, and seeing thousands of unemployed factory workers, he smirked. "Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day." Optimistic millionaires like Gramm, whom McCain supported fully for President in 1996, dismiss such statistics. Michigan, once the country's center of major industry, leads the nation in joblessness! Big deal that May unemployment rose 8.5%, up 2 points from April! The national average in May was already 5.5% and rising. And official figures don't include people who have stopped looking for work, those who have just begun to look or are about to seek employment like "thousands of auto workers who are accepting buyout checks to drop off the payrolls of the companies that make autos or auto parts." Gramm and his ilk challenge PC behavior by continuing to buy SUVs. They scoff at "buy America" slogans. The want quality and US autos - and their sales-have gone South because foreign autos are better and production in Mexico is cheaper. "U.S. vehicle sales are expected to drop below 15 million this year. Three years ago, the industry sold 17 million cars and trucks." (BW June 24 2008) "That's free trade," Gramm might say. "Live with it." Perhaps GM, Ford and Chrysler will heed Obama's "yes we can" chant. Bring the mantra to Wall St. to tackle the financial slide? Tell police officers "yes we can" when they try to get the homeless and crazy people off the street, along with the addicted, depressed and recently "foreclosed." Respond with "Hope" when you read about soaring murder and violent crime rates in cities like Oakland, California, where the number of jornaleros on the street seems to rise as the number of available jobs diminish. Mock the growing number of people trying to augment their $300 "general assistance" checks by pushing shopping carts of cans and bottles to recycling centers. The health care crisis has become truly hilarious. Surely there's something funny about the poor having poor health and limited access to medical facilities. Do you get anxious about rising health care costs? The real joke is not one major candidate dares to offer the single payer option. They remember how the muscular health insurance companies pulled a fabulous gag on Bill and Hillary in 1993 and killed off all health care reform. Candidates understand humor. Single payer health plan? That's a loser! Don't go there! Hey, readers might say, "Obama is much better than..." Of course, Democrats appoint better judges and heads of agencies, offer slightly more equitable tax structures and more spending on social issues. But they won't touch the deep crises in health, education and infrastructure. They can't spend what the Pentagon already spends. Everyone knows national priorities: waste money on the military first, social spending later. The Pentagon budget nears $600 billion, not counting nuclear weapons or "intelligence"-at a time when no nation threatens and demand for social spending becomes desperate. George Carlin might have referred to the "celebrated military" as heroes who specialize in destroying, killing, and shattering the US reputation. Then, they send home the useless crippled young people and psychic wrecks. "Be all you can be and a lot less." Since 1945, the fabled Armed Forces didn't win in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. They do well when no one fights back - Grenada, Panama, and Gulf War I, a technological massacre. What quicker way to piss away tens of billions than awarding it to the CIA and other lettered agencies whose combined work yielded no help before 9/11 and little afterward? Nothing succeeds like failure. Look at our President! Each year, spooks get fat budgets for failing, while failing schools cut bus services and academic schedules to four-day weeks. The National School Boards Association reports that "at least 86 school districts are on four-day weeks." In 2005, Webster County, Kentucky, by cutting off one day, saved "the district more than $400,000 so far." School busses in Ohio stopped picking up kids living less than 2 miles from school. (Gwen Purdom, USA Today July 14, 2008) Barack might change the priorities. Fund education and health, repair the infrastructure and cut the military budget; scrapping the drug war and relocate a stripped down CIA to the Library of Congress. My bookie offered me 100 to one against it. Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow, author of A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD (A/K). Dvds of his films from http://roundworldproductions.com/Site/Films_by_Saul_Landau_on_DVD.html --------14 of 18-------- We're a Nation of Lemmings by Dave Lindorff Published on Friday, July 25, 2008 by CommonDreams.org Listening to the endless stream of cars passing my house every day, and knowing, from watching them from my mailbox, that they are almost all carrying just one person, either commuting to work or running some kind of errand, I know we are headed for disaster. Two days ago, there was a report by Agence France Presse about the ongoing destruction of the world's remaining wetlands (60 percent have already been destroyed by man over the past century), and how they contain within them an amount of stored carbon equal to all the carbon currently in the atmosphere. Global warming and property development are drying out those remaining wetlands, causing the release of that carbon, which will more than negate even the most radical efforts at reducing carbon emissions from power plants, factories and automobiles. There are also credible, well-researched reports that even a few more degrees of temperature rise in the arctic regions of Siberia and northern North America will melt the permafrost and release as much 400 gigatons of methane gas trapped in frozen clathrates for millennia - the release of which would cause global temperatures to soar to levels not seen in 250 million years (methane is 20 times as potent a global warming gas as CO2). Vast regions of Siberia are already bubbling with releasing methane as the permafrost line moves north. Now I grant that our corporate media, ever focused laser-like on important stories like Britney Spears' return to the stage and on the latest gaffe of one or the other presidential candidate, have not been very interested in alerting the masses to these disasters now in progress that could end humanity's run on the planet (along with exterminating most of the rest of the life on the planet too). But that said, at this point everyone has surely heard enough, and witnessed enough in person of the dramatic changes taking place in the earth's climate, to know that something scary is going on. And yet, people are not just going about their business as usual - they are actually, for the most part, complaining not about the lack of highly energy-efficient transportation, the lack of alternative and less energy-wasting public transit, and the lack of government funding for a crash program into researching carbon-free energy solutions, but rather about the high price for carbon fuels. People are clamoring for solutions to make gasoline cheaper! Years ago, back in the 1970s during an Arab-led oil embargo, when gas prices soared, there were mass campaigns to organize car pools. No such campaigns are being organized today, and if any are they don't get any media attention. Instead we read that geologists are saying that massive quantities of untapped oil reserves exist in the far north. Now the last thing we should be wanting to do is take that nicely sequestered carbon out of the ground and burn it into CO2! But that's what many Americans want done. Screw the climate! We want our cheap gas! There are so many things we could be doing right now to reduce carbon emissions - as individuals and as a nation. Turning off air-conditioners would be one. Why should entire houses be cooled by central air? Cool one room and use it for the hottest part of the day if need be. Live downstairs during the hottest months and close off the upstairs when it gets too hot. Ditto in the winter. There's no need to occupy and heat an entire house when it gets really cold. Most Americans. homes are way too large anyhow, but if you need that much room, use it when it doesn't require all that extra energy to heat and cool. (When I lived in Cambridge, England as a kid, we used to sleep in unheated bedrooms under cozy comforters, and then in the morning, I'd go down and light a fire in the living room where we'd be during the day. It would be cold as hell until the fire started, but not for long.) Share rides. Plan errands so that many things get taken care of on one outing, instead of in multiple run-outs. Use bicycles. I have yet to see, on my own bike rides in down or when driving anywhere, someone who is actually riding a bike on some errand-carrying a load in a basket or in a backpack. The only bikers I see are people dressed like Tour de France racers out for some exercise. What's the matter with using bikes for a purpose, instead of the family car? I'm not trying to criticize, or to say I'm more ecologically virtuous. I'm looking at this as an unprecedented disaster that is dooming my kids, or their future children, to a life of strife, misery and maybe even catastrophe. If I don't take serious action - and I don't just mean individual life changes, but political action - to try and save their world, I am guilty of a serious crime. And so are we all. What the hell happened to any sense of shared responsibility, not just for society, but for our own offspring? Most decent parents are ready to sacrifice in their lifestyles in order to send their kids to college, or to help them out financially when they are starting out as young adults. But for some strange reason nobody seems ready to sacrifice at all when it comes to rescuing their collective future. This makes no sense. And yet, this is what our mass culture has done to us. As a nation, as a people, we cannot think beyond our own noses. We cannot even think about the need to act in our own and our children's interest. Seventeen years ago, I had occasion while living in Shanghai, China, to visit a rural area in Anhui Province that the year before had been devastated by a flood so huge that the entire region had been not just flooded, but put deep underwater. As I neared a county seat town that was my intended destination, the bus I was on passed a dike-building project. Thousands of peasants were laboring by hand, with shovels and wheelbarrows, to erect a 50-foot wall of earth to keep the river in its banks in the event of another such flood. I got off the bus and, with my travel companion, started walking towards the project. When we were spotted, thousands of those workers dropped their shovels and ran towards us. It was a terrifying moment to have so many people heading towards and surrounding us, but they were very friendly - just curious because none of them had ever met a westerner. We began talking with them, and learned that they were all peasants who had left their fields to build this colossal new Great Wall of dirt. They brought us to the worksite and showed us how they would bring their wheelbarrows to the base of the dike, and then attach a cable, which was connected to a winch operated by those ubiquitous one-cylinder, two-stroke kerosene tractors used across rural China. The winch would whip the barrow up the steep hillside, with a peasant running up behind keeping it upright. At the last minute, the peasant would flip the barrow, dumping the dirt and releasing the hook. Then he'd be off down the hill to collect more dirt. What struck me, besides their ingenuity, was how all these thousands of people had left their own fields to labor for the collective good that year. I tried at the time to contemplate my fellow Americans doing the same thing, and couldn't for the life of me imagine it. Now we're in that moment. We know the flood is coming, but no one is willing to join the brigade to take preventive action. No. Buying a Prius is not taking action. Neither is upgrading the insulation on your house or buying carbon offsets when you fly. We need, as a nation, to commit to seriously ending our addiction to fossil fuels, to rapacious development and the concomitant destruction of forests and wetlands. We need to end our nation's imperialist policies and to instead devote the trillion dollars a year spent on war to saving the planet from ourselves. A good start would be seeing that people "get it". That would mean communities starting to organize around improving mass transit, arranging for carpooling, and demanding climate-saving action from our political leaders. I'm not optimistic. [The attitude condemened above fits exactly what the ruling class would have us believe in order to exploit us. I believe it is the conscious result of decades of billions per year of ruling class paid-for propaganda. It isn't us, and it isn't human nature. It's the ruling class and its hugely effective con-job. -ed] Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net --------15 of 18-------- The Epiphany of Rev. Thomas Are Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch July 25, 2008 "On October 21 (1948) the Government of Israel took a decision that was to have a lasting and divisive effect on the rights and status of those Arabs who lived within its borders: the official establishment of military government in the areas where most of the inhabitants were Arabs". Martin Gilbert, Israel: a History I had given up on finding an American with a moral conscience and the courage to go with it and was on the verge of retiring my keyboard when I met the Rev. Thomas L. Are. Rev. Are is a Presbyterian pastor who used to tell his Atlanta, Georgia, congregation: "I am a Zionist". Like most Americans, Rev. Are had been seduced by Israeli propaganda and helped to spread the propaganda among his congregation. Around 1990 Rev. Are had an awakening for which he credits the Christian Canon of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem and author Marc Ellis, co-editor of the book, Beyond Occupation. Realizing that his ignorance of the situation on the ground had made him complicit in great crimes, Rev. Are wrote a book hoping to save others from his mistake and perhaps in part to make amends, Israeli Peace Palestinian Justice, published in Canada in 1994. Rev. Are researched his subject and wrote a brave book. Keep in mind that 1994 was long prior to Walt and Mearsheimer's recent book, which exposed the power of the Israel Lobby and its ability to control the explanation Americans receive about the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict". Rev. Are begins with an account of Israel's opening attack on the Palestinians, an event which took place before most Americans alive today were born. He quotes the distinguished British historian, Arnold J. Toynbee: "The treatment of the Palestinian Arabs in 1947 (and 1948) was as morally indefensible as the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis. Though nor comparable in quantity to the crimes of the Nazis, it was comparable in quality". Golda Meir, considered by Israelis as a great leader and by others as one of history's great killers, disputed the facts: "It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist". Golda Meir's apology for Israel's great crimes is so counter-factual that it blows the mind. Palestinian refugee camps still exist outside Palestine filled with Palestinians and their descendants whose towns, villages, homes and lands were seized by the Israelis in 1948. Rev. Are provides the reader with Na'im Ateek's description of what happened to him, an 11-year old, when the Jews came to take Beisan on May 12, 1948. Entire Palestinian communities simply disappeared. In 1949 the United Nations counted 711,000 Palestinian refugees. [United Nations General Assembly Appendix 4, No. 15 ] In 2005 the United Nations Relief and Works Agency estimated 4.25 million Palestinians and their descendants were refugees from their homeland. The Israeli policy of evicting non-Jews has continued for six decades. On June 19, 2008, the Laity Committee in the Holy Land reported in Window Into Palestine that the Israeli Ministry of Interior is taking away the residency rights of Jerusalem Christians who have been reclassified as "visitors in their own city". On December 10, 2007, MK Ephraim Sneh boasted in the Jerusalem Post that Israel had achieved "a true Zionist victory" over the UN partition plan "which sought to establish two nations in the land of Israel". The partition plan had assigned Israel 56 percent of Palestine, leaving the inhabitants with only 44 percent. But Israel had altered this over time. Sneb proudly declared: "When we complete the permanent agreement, we will hold 78 percent of the land while the Palestinians will control 22 percent". Sneb could have added that the 22 percent is essentially a collection of unconnected ghettos cut off from one another and from roads, water, medical care, and jobs. Rev. Are documents that the abuse of Palestinians' human rights is official Israeli policy. Killings, torture, and beatings are routine. On May 17, 1990, the Washington Post reported that Save the Children "documented indiscriminate beating, tear-gassing and shooting of children at home or just outside the house playing in the street, who were sitting in the classroom or going to the store for groceries". On January 19, 1988, Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, later Prime Minister, announced the policy of "punitive beating" of Palestinians. The Israelis described the purpose of punitive beating: "Our task is to recreate a barrier and once again put the fear of death into the Arabs of the area". According to Save the Children, beatings of children and women are common. Rev. Are, citing the report in the Washington Post, writes: "Save the Children concluded that one-third of beaten children were under ten years old, and one-fifth under the age of five. Nearly a third of the children beaten suffered broken bones". On February 8, 1988, Newsweek magazine quoted an Israeli soldier: "We got orders to knock on every door, enter and take out all the males. The younger ones we lined up with their faces against the wall, and soldiers beat them with billy clubs. This was no private initiative, these were orders from our company commander. . . . After one soldier finished beating a detainee, another soldier called him 'you Nazi,' and the first man shot back: 'You bleeding heart'. When one soldier tried to stop another from beating an Arab for no reason, a fist fight broke out". These were the old days before conscience was eliminated from the ranks of the Israeli military. In the London Sunday Times, June 19, 1977, Ralph Schoenman, executive director of the Bertrand Russell Foundation, wrote: "Israeli interrogators routinely ill-treat and torture Arab prisoners. Prisoners are hooded or blindfolded and are hung by their wrists for long periods. Most are struck in the genitals or in other ways sexually abused. Most are sexually assaulted. Others are administered electric shock". Amnesty International concluded that "there is no country in the world in which the use of official and sustained torture is as well established and documented as in the case of Israel". Even the pro-Israeli Washington Post reported: "Upon arrest, a detainee undergoes a period of starvation, deprivation of sleep by organized methods and prolonged periods during which the prisoner is made to stand with his hands cuffed and raised, a filthy sack covering the head. Prisoners are dragged on the ground, beaten with objects, kicked, stripped and placed under ice-cold showers". Sounds like Abu Gharib. There are news reports that Israeli torture experts participated in the torture of the detainees assembled by the American military as part of the Bush Regime's propaganda onslaught to convince Americans that Iraq was overflowing with al Qaeda terrorists. On July 23, 2008, Antiwar.com posted an Iraqi news report that the Iraqi government had released a total of 109,087 Iraqis that the Americans had "detained". Obviously, these "terrorist detainees" had been used for the needs of Bush Regime propaganda. No one will ever know how many of them were abused by Israeli torturers imported by the CIA. Rev. Are's book makes sensible suggestions for resolving the conflict that Israel began. However, the problem is that Israeli governments believe only in force. The policy of the Israeli government has always been to beat, kill, and brutalize Palestinians into submission and flight. Anyone who doubts this can read the book of Israel's finest historian Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006). Americans are a gullible and naive people. They have been complicit for 60 years in crimes that in Arnold Toynbee's words "are comparable in quality. to the crimes of Nazi Germany". As Toynbee was writing decades ago, the accumulated Israeli crimes might now be comparable also in quantity. The US routinely vetoes United Nations condemnations of Israel for its brutal crimes against the Palestinians. Insouciant American taxpayers have been bled for a half century to provide the Israelis with superior military weapons with which Israelis assault their neighbors, all the while convincing America--essentially a captive nation--that Israel is the victim. John F. Mahoney wrote: "Thomas Are reminds me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: an active pastor who comes to the unsettling realization that he and his people have been fed a terrible lie that is killing and torturing thousands of innocent men, women and children. Not without ample research and prayer does such a pastor, in turn, risk unsettling his congregation. The Reverend Are has done his homework and, I suspect, has prayed often and long during the writing of this courageous book". Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran theologian and pastor who was executed for his active participation in the German Resistance against Nazism. Professor Benjamin M. Weir, San Francisco Theological Seminary, wrote: "This book will make the reader squirm. It asks you to lend your voice in behalf of the voiceless". Americans who can no longer think for themselves and who are terrified of disapproval by their peer group are incapable of lending their voices to anyone except those who control the world of propaganda in which they live. The ignorance and unconcern of Americans is a great frustration to my friends in the Israeli peace movement. Without outside support those Israelis, who believe in good will and do not share their government's belief in Lenin's doctrine that violence is the only effective force in history, are deprived, by America's support for their government's policy of violence, of any peaceful resolution of a conflict began in 1947 by Israeli aggression against unsuspecting Palestinian villages. Rev. Are wrote his book with the hope that the pen is mightier than the sword and that facts can crowd out propaganda and create a framework for a just resolution of the Palestinian issue. In his concluding chapter, "What Christians Can Do,. Rev. Are writes: .We cannot allow others to dictate our thinking on any subject, especially on anything as important as Christian faithfulness, which is tested by an attitude towards seeking justice for the oppressed. It's a Christian's duty to know". Duty, of course, has costs. Rev. Are writes: "Speak up for the Palestinians and you will make enemies. Yet, as Christians, we must be willing to raise issues that until now we have chosen to dodge". More than a decade later, President Jimmy Carter, a true friend of Israel, tried again to awaken Americans. moral conscience with his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Carter was instantly demonized by the Israel Lobby. Sixty years of efforts by good and humane people to hold Israel accountable have so far failed, but they are more important today than ever before. Israel has its captive American nation on the verge of attacking Iran, the consequences of which could be catastrophic for all concerned. The alleged purpose of the attack is to eliminate nonexistent Iranian nuclear weapons. The real reason is to eliminate all support for Hamas and Hezbollah so that Israel can seize the entire West Bank and southern Lebanon. The Bush regime is eager to do Israel's bidding, and the media and evangelical "christian" churches have been preparing the American people for the event. It is paradoxical that Israel is demonstrating that veracity lies not in the Christian belief in good will but in Lenin's doctrine that violence is the effective force in history and that the evangelical Christian Zionist churches agree. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts [at] yahoo.com --------16 of 18-------- One Little, Two Little, Three Little Eichmanns by Mickey Z. July 25th, 2008 No, this is not a rehash of the Ward Churchill/Little Eichmann witch-hunt. But I have been contemplating the sentiment behind Churchill's original essay. In Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt wrote, "The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal". She wrote of a "new type of criminal," who "commits his crimes under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or to feel that he is doing wrong". Raise your hand if this sounds frighteningly familiar. The time is long overdue for all of us to be actively and relentlessly reminding the criminals that they are criminals. Until we do, they have the freedom to live in denial. I sent the above paragraph to Rosemarie Jackowski to start a conversation. Rosemarie Jackowski: All over the United States people are working at jobs that result in the deaths of innocent people. There are military contracts and sub-contracts in small towns and villages, big cities, etc. Any job that supports the war machine is a real problem. I understand why people take jobs like that, but it would be a much better world if everyone just made the decision to do no harm. Mickey Z.: You know what that line will provoke - the inevitable "so what can we do?" question. RMJ: I am not sure what we can do. Sometimes I feel that it is hopeless. A big part of the problem is "the system". Ever since the Black Budget was created by Congress in the 40s, we have had a secret government operating. Individual citizens can try to do as little harm as possible. As I say often, even buying a pair of socks does some harm because it supports the war economy. Think of it as a moral continuum. The shopper who buys the socks is doing a slight harm. The voter who votes for a member of Congress who votes to finance the war, well that voter might be closer to the maximum on the scale of evil. The military sharpshooter who kills a civilian and the guard who tortures a prisoner are enabled by irresponsible, uninformed voters. Are we becoming a culture that is totally devoid of compassion and empathy? MZ: Becoming? Our culture views compassion and empathy as nothing more than masks, disguises to hide the harm we're all guilty of. RMJ: Yes, it would be a big help if the average US citizen had an accurate understanding of history. Teachers could play an important role. Too many teach that the pursuit of war is an honorable career option. All students should see the Fisk War photos before they graduate from high school. The sanitized view of history that is taught leads to a culture of entitlement - "it is our oil under their sand". The perfect formula for creating a killer is to teach him that the US never does anything wrong, expose him to a lot of violence in the media, video games, etc., and then apply peer pressure. After that, it only takes a few weeks of basic training. MZ: So we agree: Little Eichmanns do exist. But I'll bet if Ward Churchill had used a different term, he would have remained as obscure as ever. The way I usually phrase it in articles or talks is that with few exceptions, there are no innocent bystanders in America. Any closing thoughts? RMJ: Well, I disagree that Ward Churchill was obscure before, but the "E-word" did bring a lot of additional attention. I knew about him because he is a fellow member of Veterans for Peace. Churchill's use of the "E-word" and the controversy that resulted was a valuable national learning opportunity that was missed. The media attention was misdirected from the facts of history and what Churchill really said. Instead the media focus was directed toward ad hominem attacks on Churchill. It just happened again when Rev. Jeremiah Wright made his comments about US history. Instead of having a national discussion on the merits or flaws in what Wright said, the media was consumed with ad hominem attacks on him. Basically it boils down to this - in the US if you speak the truth you will pay a high price. Mickey, you make an important point. There are no innocent bystanders in the US. We are all complicit - every one of us. MZ: And that goes double for anyone who has fallen for the Obama hype. Mickey Z. is the author of the forthcoming novel, CPR for Dummies (Raw Dog Screaming Press). He can be found on the Web at MickeyZ.net. Read other articles by Mickey, or visit Mickey's website. This article was posted on Friday, July 25th, 2008 at 7:00 am and is filed under Culture, Democrats, Education, History, Interview, Military/Militarism, Philosophy. Send to a friend. --------17 of 18-------- Business Sense by Mumia Abu-Jamal [col. writ. 7/20/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal If there is an overarching ideology at work in America today, it's the ubiquity of the market. On TV, stars shred every last fig-leaf of privacy to sell alleged 'reality.' Everyday folks join the shows in a realm of entertainment that might best be called "Indignity for Dollars." Politicians and press people are virtually for hire to the biggest corporate bidder. Thus politics and media news outlets become multi-billion dollar industries. Moreover, they become industries that feed on each other, as politicians buy millions of dollars worth of commercials, and of course, TV and cable outlets make big bucks by selling ads. Meanwhile, the everyday economy -- of food, fuel, housing and education -- goes from bad to worse. To the average network anchor who pulls in millions per year in fees, this is decidedly under the radar. His (or her) job is to protect the status quo. From this convergence we get the present political structure, where accepted political debate is that which doesn't ruffle the feathers of Wall Street or the corporate elite. When's the last time you've seen or read (in the corporate media) about the sub-prime lending debacle as a crime -- as truly the most premeditated of crimes designed to steal the wealth of millions? Not lately, I'd bet. It's a straight news story, no 'B' roll (or background video). It's usually an anchor reading a script, dry as day-old bread. Because it happens primarily to people who are Black and Latino, it's not a news leader nor headliner, even though it represents the biggest loss of Black wealth in history. According to the group United for a Fair Economy, such people lost between $164 and $213 billion dollars. If it weren't so tragic, it would remind one of the silly character popularized by comedian Mike Myers in his Austin Powers movies -- the nefarious Dr. Evil. (y'know -'$213 billion dollars!') But this is no joke. It is the root of the current foreclosure crisis, which in turn has sent the Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation),the federally insured mortgage assistance agencies to the brink of bankruptcy. How does the government respond to this crisis? It has thrown a life preserver to the agencies (and through them the banks and traders who hustled the sub-primes), and turned its back on the people who got swindled. Typical. What we are seeing is the perverse logic of the market, or in a tighter phrase, 'business sense.' Anything goes to get money, and if you fail, don't worry, for the fake free traders in government will bail you out, but only if you're big enough. -- Mumia Abu-Jamal is a political prisoner in the United States facing possible execution. For more on his case see: (Myth #1) "Five eyewitnesses saw Mumia shoot officer Faulkner." http://indybay.org/newsitems/2007/07/19/18436405.php Labor Action to Free Mumia http://www.laboractionmumia.org/ Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC http://freemumia.com/ --------18 of 18-------- 45 Luft Balloons by E.R. Bills Dissident Voice July 25th, 2008 When Larry Walters was a child, he dreamed of flying. Like so many of us, his childhood aspirations initially eluded him. He wanted to join the Air Force, but his vision wasn't good enough. He became a truck driver instead, and his early dreams of flight were deferred until he decided to improvise. He and his girlfriend bought helium tanks and forty-five weather balloons. They attached the balloons to a patio chair and filled them with helium. He packed a CB radio, sandwiches, drinks, a camera, a parachute and a pellet gun (which he intended to use to lower himself by shooting the balloons one-by-one). He expected to ascend to 100 feet and fly a little piece of the sky before coming down. When Walters launched his lawn chair on July 2, 1982, the makeshift craft wildly exceeded expectations. Within seconds he was a UFO hovering at height of 16,000 feet. From his home in San Pedro, California he drifted several miles into controlled airspace near Long Beach Airport. He used his CB to alert air traffic controllers. After forty-five minutes aloft, Walters began shooting the balloons and descending slowly. Near the ground, his dangling balloon cables got caught in a power line and caused a 20-minute blackout in the area. When he touched down, he was immediately arrested by Long Beach police officers and a regional FAA Safety Inspector was reported to have said "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed". When a reporter asked Walters why he did it, he said "A man can't just sit around". Whenever I feel aggrieved by "standard operating procedures" or the typical pencil-neck rigamarole, I fondly recall Walters' feat. Was it prudent or practical? Definitely not. Was it ill-advised? Perhaps. But that's the genius of it. I'm tired of being consistent and reliable. I'm sick of being steady, solid and stable.i.e., predictable, sedimentary and dull. Half the time I don't recognize myself. I'm hardly sentient. I travel hither and thither vaguely aware and vaguely interested, like a doomed automaton, and I know it wasn't always so. What kind of life is it that we've built for ourselves that metaphysical inaction maintains a prominent role in our daily go of it? Is a culture that virtually commands we surrender to conformity, conservatism and cowering worth preserving? What happened to us? Our better-adjusted friends and relatives will dismissively say we just "grew" up. But is that what it's really all about? Over the last couple of decades, one of my dad's friends has repeatedly imparted an adage regarding this issue. He says if you're not a liberal when you're young, you have no heart; but if you're not a conservative when you're old, you have no brains. I resent it every time I hear it. He states it like an unapproachable truism. I think it's a ridiculous cop-out. If I'm not officially old, I'm on the cusp of being old and it seems to me that middle age and Golden-Year conservatism is not the product of brain presence (or prowess). No offense, but I think it's the result of stagnation, habit-clinging and general disengagement. Obviously, most young people have more energy, resilience and gumption than we thirty- and forty-somethings. But that's no excuse. They're less informed and less experienced. We don't abandon progressive movements and liberal principles because conservative ideology makes more sense to us. Our better angels simply run out of steam. We give up on youth and youthful visions because we become complacent and lazy. We're bought off through our own indulgences and brought down by our own resignation. Then, instead of being critical of ourselves, we become critics of who we were, attempting to rationalize and justify what we've become. Larry Walters didn't give up so easy. Instead of sitting around and settling in for the long, cozy mediocrity that awaits most of us, he reached for something radical and way-out. This is what's missing from the American Dream today. Even if we secure the means or possess the wherewithal to do something special or heroic or inspiring, we almost invariably fritter it away on paths or projects of less resistance and more traditional scale. Electing a black man to the highest political office in the galaxy is a fine start, but we all have a long way to go. And it doesn't take much to put us on the right track. It's simply a matter of building something or planting something or stepping forward or refusing to step back or speaking out or taking a chance. Where we're at isn't all there is; it's just what we've brought ourselves to. It could change overnight if we improvised and stopped sitting around. E. Bills is a writer from Ft. Worth, Texas. His work appears regularly in The Paper of South Texas, Fort Worth Weekly, etc. He can be reached at: accentelect [at] yahoo.com. Read other articles by E.R.. This article was posted on Friday, July 25th, 2008 at 7:01 am and is filed under General, Philosophy. Send to a friend. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
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