|Progressive Calendar 08.07.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 07:31:56 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.07.08 1. Health care/Kip 8.07 7pm 2. Palestine vigil 8.08 4:15pm 3. Alt/violence 8.08 6pm 4. Why we fight/f 8.08 7pm Duluth MN 5. YAWR camp 8.08-12 6. RNC peace team 8.08 7. Ralph Nader - How to move an immoveable force 8. Justin Podur - Empires don't build rivals 9. Naomi Wolf - Dear world, please confront America 10. John Pilger - Hiroshima lies: props in 20th century war crimes 11. PC Roberts - The anthrax attacks an assault on civil liberties 12. Sheldon Rampton - The anthrax cover-up 13. Cindy Sheehan - What kind of extremists will we be? This is horseshit 14. Fairvote MN - FairVote Minnesota intervention in IRV lawsuit --------1 of 14-------- From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at] usinternet.com> Subject: Health care/Kip 8.07 7pm Rep. Shelley Madore (one of the founders of the Mn Health Reform Caucus) posted this to the MUHCC discussion forum today. == Please join me for this informative discussion tomorrow night on the state of healthcare here in Minnesota . - Shelley Madore, 37A Senator Jim Carlson Hosts a Discussion on Health Care Reform Sen. Jim Carlson will host an information session and open discussion on health care reform. Kip Sullivan, a recognized authority on health care reform and author of The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and How We'll Get Out of It, will present a history and explanation of our health care crisis. Senator Jim Carlson and Kip Sullivan, Health Care Expert and Author Discussion on Health Care Reform Eagan Community Center , 1501 Central Parkway , Eagan Thursday, August 7th from 7:00-9:00 p.m. "With increasing frequency, I am being contacted by Eagan and Burnsville residents concerned about their health care coverage," said Sen. Carlson. "It is clear that we must take a hard look at the current health care system in order to understand what problems exist. We also need to address the misconceptions in order to create a solution to our health care problem." The discussion will include an overview of single payer health insurance, a health care financing system where there is only one insurance provider rather than a confusing multitude of systems. Individuals and small business leaders are encouraged to attend the event. For more information, contact Sen. Carlson's office at 651-297-8073 or sen.jim.carlson [at] senate.mn. --------2 of 14-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 8.08 4:15pm Friday, 8/8, 4:15 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end US military/political support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, corner Summit and Snelling, St Paul. --------3 of 14-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject Alt/violence 8.08 6pm 8/8 (6 pm) to 8/10 (5 pm), community basic level Alternatives to Violence Workshop, Friends for a Non-Violent World, 1050 Selby Ave, St Paul. avperika [at] gmail.com or http://www.fnvw.blogspot.com --------4 of 14-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Why we fight/f 8.08 7pm Duluth MN Friday, 8/8, 7 pm, film and discussion "Why We Fight" at Friends Meetinghouse, 1802 E 1st, Duluth. earthmannow [at] gmail.com or http://www.wnpj.org --------5 of 14-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: YAWR camp 8.08-12 Overnight Camp: Counter It! Training To Confront Militarism and Oppression August 8 to 12 Garden Farme, 7363 175 Avenue Northwest, Ramsey. At this activist training camp for youth and youth organizers, develop the analysis and skills to meet organizing challenges for the upcoming year. Take an in-depth look at U.S. militarism, its links to class and race oppression here at home, and the wider issues facing our generation. Counter It! is a place for activists and organizers to improve non-violent skills to confront military recruiters and to organize for a just future for the younger generation. Sponsored by: Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR). FFI and to Register: Call Tyrus, 651-210-5342 or email <tyrusathompson [at] gmail.com>. --------6 of 14-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC peace team 8.08 8/8 to 8/10, 8/15 to 8/17 or 8/29 to 8/30, intensive weekend trainings to participate as peace team members during the Republican National Convention. $35. Send registrations to minnesotapeaceteam [at] gmail.com or Minnesota Peace Team/Wojtan, 13341 Everest Ave, Apple Valley 55124. Questions? 612-483-6041. --------7 of 14-------- How to Move an Immoveable Force The Living Legacy of Rosa Parks By RALPH NADER July 31, 2008 CounterPunch Montgomery, Alabama. The Troy University Rosa Parks Museum is located on the side of the old Empire Theatre where this courageous African-American woman declined to "move to the back of the bus" in 1955. A visit to the museum honoring her and other civil rights champions is a sobering reminder of just how courageous such a refusal was in that very segregated South. Mrs. Parks was promptly arrested and thus was launched the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is credited with igniting the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s. What most people do not know about Rosa Parks is that she was a trained civil rights worker who knew the significance of staying in her front seat and not giving it up to a white man. But she could not have predicted what happened after the police took her away. Four days after she was arrested, the bus boycott started on December 5, 1955. A flyer distributed on that date by the Women's Political Council of Montgomery noted the arrest of Mrs. Parks and two teenage "Negro" women - .Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith - who earlier that year were arrested and fined for refusing to give up their seats. The flyer went on to urge "every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial. Don't ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday". They stayed off in the thousands. Since three-fourths of the Montgomery bus riders were "Negroes," the growing boycott grew to become a serious economic drain on the bus company. As it grew, and as the accompanying street marches and demonstrations started, the national news media began to cover it and a young charismatic minister by the name of Martin Luther King. Sam Cook was at the Museum during our visit. He had a scrapbook of old newspaper clippings and photographs from those heady days when he occasionally was a driver for Rev. King. In addition to the Museum's timelines of history, artifacts, documents and memorabilia - there is a replica of the public bus on which Mrs. Parks was sitting - there are classrooms and a library to enhance the serious educational purposes for today that the Museum's staff espouses. The new Children's Wing conveys to youngsters that "things just don't happen in history" - people make things happen. Visitors come to realize that they, too, can make a difference just as Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon, Joanne Robinson, Fred Gray, Claudette Colvin, Georgia Gilmore and many others made a difference following in the footsteps of Dred Scott, Harriet Tubman, Homer Plessy and others who had gone before.. Students today in Montgomery and other southern cities might wonder what all the fuss was about from white folk. The races mix easily in this city on buses, in stores, restaurants, cinemas, schools, hospitals and ballparks. Race, like class, still matters a great deal throughout the United States; but there has been undeniable progress. The contemporary struggles for justice can learn from the ways the civil rights movement overcame a media boycott and moved hitherto immovable forces. To be sure, it used the courts, and the streets with non-violent demonstrations. But never underestimate the personal story of an individual who heroically and selflessly takes on the Machine to spark the requisite rage and empathy that leads to larger and larger numbers of similarly situated people who swell the ranks of those demanding change or reform. So powerful a model is this civil rights approach that when Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American youth counselor in Palestine's West Bank tried to organize nonviolent civil disobedience against the Israeli occupation and repression, the Israeli government deported him in 1988 back to the United States. He proceeded to establish the group, Non-violence International, but he is still banned from Israel. Commercial or labor strikes as a form of political protest received the ire of the Israelis. They would routinely break up strikes by cutting the locks on closed shops or welding doors shut and fining the shop owners. In our country, we need the Rosa Parks of rebellion against gas and drug prices, home foreclosures, cruel prison conditions, huge up-front payments before entering hospitals, junk, obesity-illness-producing food, and breakdowns in municipal services. Each historic, citizen-moving movement has its own style and personality. Granted, the mass media can be very picky indeed, as it has been with the soldiers who have refused to return to the unconstitutional, illegal war-occupation in Iraq. The heartfelt stories of these soldiers told at a recent "Winter Soldiers" gathering were not even covered by the New York Times or the television evening news. (But Amy Goodman did on Democracy Now!) One must believe there is always a way to produce the human spark for a broader public morality and a deeper commitment to a more just society. Rosa Parks, hail to thee! Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent. --------8 of 14-------- Empires Don't Build Rivals By Justin Podur Aug 05, 2008 ZNet In the background of the Indo-US nuclear deal now going into "overdrive", as well as the increasing economic co-operation and (most importantly) the joint military excercises and interoperability efforts and acquisitions made by India, there is a geopolitical notion: that the US is building India's military capacity in order to counter potential rivals China and Russia in the region. Indeed, proponents of the nuclear deal smeared its opponents by suggesting their opposition was "pro-China". As the deal goes forward, with India potentially trading the chance for peace with its nuclear-armed neighbours for the chance to make US companies very rich buying tens of billions worth of technology the West isn't using, acquires the latest US weapons, and makes its military interoperable with the US, a major historical lesson has perhaps been forgotten. Empires don't build great powers. They build clients and dependencies. India has reason to know this, since neighbouring Pakistan is a striking example. For six decades, Pakistan was in the US camp, rejecting nonalignment and joining the US system of alliances (CENTO) against the Soviets early on, then allowing itself to be used as a base for the US to supply the Afghans in their war against the Soviet occupation. Pakistan traded its location on the Soviet borders for the latest American weapons and technology (for use against India). Meanwhile nonaligned India acquired its weapons from Russia, and while it accepted help from major powers (from the USSR in 1971 and from the West against China in 1962) it kept out of their blocs. Today, India, with its high growth rates, electoral democracy, freeish press, and social movements, is benefiting from its past foreign policy choices. Pakistan, with its military entrepreneurship, precarious civilian rule, and periodic US raids and bombings into its territory,† is paying the price for its own choices. It is true that India still has hundreds of millions of its people in brutal poverty, its democracy is hugely flawed, its economic growth threatened by inequality and its natural environment at risk from many different threats. But Pakistan has all these problems and more, and some of Pakistan's additional problems are a consequence of its dependency on the US. Pakistan is not the only example. South Korea, a more economically successful dependent state (partly because it ignored US economic advice and maintained strong regional economic connections), still got North Korea's nuclear weapons pointed at its capital for its trouble. Today most Koreans want peace and integration and the US is the obstacle. On another continent, Colombians paid billions of dollars for American weaponry so that their government could fight a guerrilla insurgency: they were rewarded by paramilitary terror, murdered unionists and journalists, and impunity for the government-sponsored killers. The price of independence can be high: Venezuela's president was nearly overthrown for it in 2002, and Cuba has suffered embargo and terrorism for it. But the people in Venezuela live in less fear than their counterparts in Colombia; Cuba regularly sends doctors from its excellent health care system to help people in US dependencies like Haiti or Jamaica that can't afford care. The fate of loyal friends of the empire is always precarious, as the Israelis or Saudis know. But there are few fates worse than that of a former friend of the empire: Saddam Hussein learned that, and Iraqis are still paying the price. Pakistan may face the same in the coming years. India must not set itself up for a similar fate. Justin Podur's blog is www.killingtrain.com. He is based in Toronto but is in India until August 8. --------9 of 14-------- Dear world, please confront America By Naomi Wolf First Published: August 1, 2008 http://dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=15446 Is it possible to fall out of love with your own country? For two years, I, like many Americans, have been focused intently on documenting, exposing, and alerting the nation to the Bush administration's criminality and its assault on the Constitution and the rule of law, a story often marginalized at home. I was certain that when Americans knew what was being done in their name, they would react with horror and outrage. Three months ago, the Bush administration still clung to its devil's sound bite, 'We don't torture." Now, Doctors Without Borders has issued its report documenting American-held detainees' traumas, and even lie detector tests confirm they have been tortured. The Red Cross report has leaked: torture and war crimes. Jane Mayer's impeccably researched exposť The Dark Side just hit the stores: torture, crafted and directed from the top. The Washington Post gave readers actual video footage of the abusive interrogation of a Canadian minor, Omar Khadr, who was seen showing his still-bleeding abdominal wounds, weeping and pleading with his captors. So the truth is out and freely available. And America is still napping, worrying about its weight, and hanging out at the mall. I had thought that after so much exposure, thousands of Americans would be holding vigils on Capitol Hill, that religious leaders would be asking God's forgiveness, and that a popular groundswell of revulsion, similar to the nineteenth-century anti-slavery movement, would emerge. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if torture is not wrong, nothing is wrong. And yet no such thing has occurred. There is no crisis in America's churches and synagogues, no Christian and Jewish leaders crying out for justice in the name of Jesus, a tortured political prisoner, or of Yahweh, who demands righteousness. I asked a contact in the interfaith world why. He replied, "The mainstream churches don't care, because they are Republican. And the synagogues don't care, because the prisoners are Arabs." It was then that I realized that I could not be in love with my country right now. How can I care about the fate of people like that? If this is what Americans are feeling, if that is who we are, we don't deserve our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Even America's vaunted judicial system has failed to constrain obvious abuses. A Federal court has ruled that the military tribunals system Star Chambers where evidence derived from torture is used against the accused can proceed. Another recently ruled that the president may call anyone anywhere an "enemy combatant" and detain him or her indefinitely. So Americans are colluding with a criminal regime. We have become an outlaw nation, a clear and present danger to international law and global stability, among civilized countries that have been our allies. We are rightly on Canada's list of rogue nations that torture. Europe is still high from Barack Obama's recent visit. Many Americans, too, hope that an Obama victory in November will roll back this nightmare. But this is no time to yield to delusions. Even if Obama wins, he may well be a radically weakened president. The Bush administration has created a transnational apparatus of lawlessness that he alone, without global intervention, can neither roll back nor control. Private security firms, for example, Blackwater, will still be operating, accountable neither to him nor to Congress, and not bound, they have argued, by international treaties. Weapons manufacturers and the telecommunications industry, with billions at stake in maintaining a hyped "war on terror" and their new global surveillance market, will deploy a lavishly financed army of lobbyists to defend their interests. Moreover, if elected, Obama will be constrained by his own Democratic Party. America's political parties bear little resemblance to the disciplined organizations familiar in parliamentary democracies in Europe and elsewhere. And Democrats in Congress will be even more divided after November if, as many expect, conservative members defeat Republican incumbents damaged by their association with Bush. To be sure, some Democrats have recently launched Congressional hearings into the Bush administration's abuses of power. Unfortunately, with virtually no media coverage, there is little pressure to broaden official investigations and ensure genuine accountability. But, while grassroots pressure has not worked, money still talks. We need targeted government-led sanctions against the US by civilized countries, including international divestment of capital. Many studies have shown that tying investment to democracy and human rights reform is effective in the developing world. There is no reason why it can't be effective against the world's superpower. We also need an internationally coordinated strategy for prosecuting war criminals at the top and further down the chain of command, individual countries pressing charges, as Italy and France have done. Although the United States is not a signatory to the statute that established the International Criminal Court, violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are war crimes for which anyone-- potentially even the US president-- may be tried in any of the other 193 countries that are parties to the conventions. The whole world can hunt these criminals down. An outlaw America is a global problem that threatens the rest of the international community. If this regime gets away with flouting international law, what is to prevent the next administration -- or this administration, continuing under its secret succession plan in the event of an emergency from going further and targeting its political opponents at home and abroad? We Americans are either too incapable, or too dysfunctional, to help ourselves right now. Like drug addicts or the mentally ill who refuse treatment, we need our friends to intervene. So remember us as we were in our better moments, and take action to save us and the world from ourselves. Maybe then I can fall in love with my country again. Naomi Wolf, the author, most recently, of The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot and the forthcoming Give me Liberty: How to Become an American Revolutionary, is co-founder of the American Freedom Campaign, a US democracy movement. This commentary is published by DAILY NEWS EGYPT in collaboration with Project Syndicate (www.project-syndicate.org). --------10 of 14-------- The Lies of Hiroshima Live On, Props in the War Crimes of the 20th Century by John Pilger Published on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 by The Guardian/UK Common Dreams The 1945 attack was murder on an epic scale. In its victims. names, we must not allow a nuclear repeat in the Middle East When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then walked down to the river and met a man called Yukio, whose chest was still etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped. He and his family still lived in a shack thrown up in the dust of an atomic desert. He described a huge flash over the city, "a bluish light, something like an electrical short", after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. "I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead". Nine years later, when I returned to look for him, he was dead from leukaemia. In the immediate aftermath of the bomb, the allied occupation authorities banned all mention of radiation poisoning and insisted that people had been killed or injured only by the bomb's blast. It was the first big lie. "No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin" said the front page of the New York Times, a classic of disinformation and journalistic abdication, which the Australian reporter Wilfred Burchett put right with his scoop of the century. "I write this as a warning to the world," reported Burchett in the Daily Express, having reached Hiroshima after a perilous journey, the first correspondent to dare. He described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries but who were dying from what he called "an atomic plague". For telling this truth, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared - and vindicated. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a criminal act on an epic scale. It was premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. For this reason its apologists have sought refuge in the mythology of the ultimate "good war", whose "ethical bath", as Richard Drayton called it, has allowed the west not only to expiate its bloody imperial past but to promote 60 years of rapacious war, always beneath the shadow of The Bomb. The most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and save lives. "Even without the atomic bombing attacks," concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, "air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that "Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated". The National Archives in Washington contain US government documents that chart Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US dispels any doubt that the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including "capitulation even if the terms were hard". Instead, the US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was "fearful" that the US air force would have Japan so "bombed out" that the new weapon would not be able "to show its strength". He later admitted that "no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb". His foreign policy colleagues were eager "to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip". General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: "There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis". The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Truman voiced his satisfaction with the "overwhelming success" of "the experiment". Since 1945, the United States is believed to have been on the brink of using nuclear weapons at least three times. In waging their bogus "war on terror", the present governments in Washington and London have declared they are prepared to make "pre-emptive" nuclear strikes against non-nuclear states. With each stroke toward the midnight of a nuclear Armageddon, the lies of justification grow more outrageous. Iran is the current "threat". But Iran has no nuclear weapons and the disinformation that it is planning a nuclear arsenal comes largely from a discredited CIA-sponsored Iranian opposition group, the MEK - just as the lies about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction originated with the Iraqi National Congress, set up by Washington. The role of western journalism in erecting this straw man is critical. That America's Defence Intelligence Estimate says "with high confidence" that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 has been consigned to the memory hole. That Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never threatened to "wipe Israel off the map" is of no interest. But such has been the mantra of this media "fact" that in his recent, obsequious performance before the Israeli parliament, Gordon Brown alluded to it as he threatened Iran, yet again. This progression of lies has brought us to one of the most dangerous nuclear crises since 1945, because the real threat remains almost unmentionable in western establishment circles and therefore in the media. There is only one rampant nuclear power in the Middle East and that is Israel. The heroic Mordechai Vanunu tried to warn the world in 1986 when he smuggled out evidence that Israel was building as many as 200 nuclear warheads. In defiance of UN resolutions, Israel is today clearly itching to attack Iran, fearful that a new American administration might, just might, conduct genuine negotiations with a nation the west has defiled since Britain and America overthrew Iranian democracy in 1953. In the New York Times on July 18, the Israeli historian Benny Morris, once considered a liberal and now a consultant to his country's political and military establishment, threatened "an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland". This would be mass murder. For a Jew, the irony cries out. The question begs: are the rest of us to be mere bystanders, claiming, as good Germans did, that "we did not know"? Do we hide ever more behind what Richard Falk has called "a self-righteous, one-way, legal/moral screen [with] positive images of western values and innocence portrayed as threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted violence"? Catching war criminals is fashionable again. Radovan Karadzic stands in the dock, but Sharon and Olmert, Bush and Blair do not. Why not? The memory of Hiroshima requires an answer. johnpilger.com Guardian News and Media Limited 2008 --------11 of 14-------- "Here, Broken Laws Be Left ... " The Anthrax Attacks and the Assault on Civil Liberties By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS August 5, 2008 CounterPunch In last weekend's edition of CounterPunch, Alexander Cockburn updates the ongoing persecution of Sami Al-Arian by federal prosecutors. Al-Arian was a Florida university professor of computer science who was ensnared by the Bush Regime's need to produce "terrorists" in order to keep Americans fearful and, thereby, amenable to the Bush Regime's assault on US civil liberties. The charges against Al-Arian were rejected by a jury, but the Bush Regime could not accept the obvious defeat. If Al-Arian was not a terrorist, then other of the Bush Regime's fabricated cases might fall apart, too. In open view, the US Department of Justice (sic) proceeded to trash every known ethical rule of prosecution. I don't need to repeat the facts, as they are covered by Cockburn's articles and in The Tyranny of Good Intentions. Instead, I want to point out another meaning of the Al-Arian case. The Justice (sic) Department itself knows that it is persecuting a totally innocent person for reasons of a political agenda - the need to convince gullible Americans of an ongoing terrorist threat. The existence of this threat is used to justify the Bush Regime's adoption of police state measures, such as spying on Americans without warrants, arresting them without charges, and refusing to let go of them when they are cleared by juries. Sami Al-Arian is a fabricated terrorist created by federal prosecutors and judges in behalf of an undeclared agenda. The Al-Arian case proves that terrorists are in short supply and that the Bush Regime has had to create them out of total innocents. The "war on terror" is a hoax used to justify war crimes and the overthrow of America's civil liberties. The anthrax scare is one more example of the Bush Regime's use of disinformation to advance an undeclared political agenda. As Glenn Greenwald reminded us last week in Salon, the Bush Regime used Brian Ross at ABC News to spread the lie far and wide that US government tests proved that the anthrax mailed to various Americans, including prominent US Senators, was made in Iraq by Saddam Hussein. This lie was essential for scaring Congress into passing the Bush Regime's Gestapo laws, such as the PATRIOT Act, and for overcoming opposition to invading Iraq. When it leaked out that the anthrax actually came from a US government lab, the Bush Regime tried to frame a US scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, but failed. On June 28th, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hatfill, "The former Army scientist who was the prime suspect in the deadly 2001 anthrax mailings agreed Friday to take $5.82 million from the government to settle his claim that the Justice Department and the FBI invaded his privacy and ruined his career". Indeed, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton allowed Hatfill's attorneys two years to review all news reports and FBI evidence. Judge Walton stated: "there is not a scintilla of evidence that would indicate that Dr. Hatfill had anything to do with this". The anthrax matter was again news last week when another US government scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, "committed suicide". Instantly, the deceased Ivins was fingered as the culprit. Overnight a man, liked and respected by his colleagues, who had worked on American biological warfare weapons for years, became a deranged homicidal maniac who decided to murder Americans at random in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 by sending them letters containing anthrax. I don't believe a word of it. But assume that it is true. Blaming the anthrax letters on Ivins does not resolve the issue of why the Bush Regime lied to Brian Ross and used ABC to put the blame on Saddam Hussein in order to invade an innocent country. Wouldn't a government that would lie about something this serious lie about other serious matters? The Bush Regime stands against against the truth. That is why it pretends to have the power to prevent executive branch officials wanted for questioning by Congress from appearing before the people's representatives. Nothing could make clearer the contempt that the Bush Regime has for the American people and their elected representatives than its arrogant claim that it is unanswerable to them. Obviously, neither the President nor the Vice President respect their oaths of office. If they will betray such a serious oath, won't they lie about everything? According to the discredited 9/11 Commission Report, a few Muslims hatched a multi-year plot that went undetected by the vast security agencies of the United States and its allies, and within one hour on one morning at four different locations defeated airport security, NORAD, the US Air Force, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, the Pentagon's defenses and crashed three hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center towers and the heart of the US military. Muslims were able to achieve this fantastic feat operating out of caves in Afghanistan. We now know for a fact that the "terrorist anthrax attack" had nothing whatsoever to do with Muslim terrorists. Even the US Government now blames white American citizens, employees of the federal government, for the anthrax letters that, at the time, were blamed on the "Osama bin Laden al Qaeda plot against America". We now know for a fact that this was intentional disinformation planted by the Bush Regime on a gullible and incompetent ABC News reporter, who is a disgrace to journalism. No one denies this. We also know for a fact that ABC News will not say who planted on ABC the lies that committed the United States to the dishonor of an illegal invasion, war crimes, and executive branch attack on the US Constitution. How can anyone anywhere in the world rely on ABC News when it serves as a disinformation agency for a criminal regime? The anthrax letters made the "terrorist attack" seem wider and more general. This increased the sense of peril and Americans' fear and anger, thereby opening wider the door for the Bush Regime.s attack on Iraq and US civil liberty. Now that the dead Ivins can be conveniently blamed for the anthrax mailings, the Bush Regime can declare the case closed, thus protecting the false flag operation from further risk of exposure. Many Americans lack the mental and emotional strength to confront the facts. The facts are too unsettling and many are relieved when the "mainstream media" spins the facts away. Many Americans find it too appalling that any part of "their" government, even a rogue operation, could possibly have been involved in any way in the anthrax attacks. No evidence - not even full confessions - could convince them otherwise. Many Americans have welcomed their brainwashing by the neoconservatives: America is pure; her shining virtue causes evil men to attack her; they hate us because we are good and they are evil. For the sake of argument, let's accept this make-believe. It does not explain why, in order to protect us from evil men, the US Constitution needs to be dismantled and civil liberties set aside. Our Founding Fathers said that dismantling the Constitution and setting aside civil liberties are precisely what would make us unsafe in the extreme. The Bush Regime has never explained how the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution interfere with any legitimate response to terrorism. The fact still remains that the Bush Regime responded to 9/11 and anthrax letters with a comprehensive assault on US civil liberty. The Bush Regime's assault on America has been much more successful than its assault on "terrorism". Who remembers the promise of a "six weeks war"? Americans have been mired for 6 years in two wars without end which the neoconned Bush Regime, in alliance with Israeli zionists, seeks to expand to Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Lebanon. The Republican candidate for president has given his commitment to a 100-year "war against terrorism". Many Americans will vote for this candidate who wants to fight against a hoax for 100 years. In The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America, Jennifer Van Bergen explains the constitutional and legal principles on which American liberty is based and the Bush Regime's intense assault on these principles. Part I of her book sets out the Constitutional principles that are under attack. Part II details the systematic attack on the US Constitution that is the heart and soul of the Republican neoconservative Bush Regime - and a Regime it is as it asserts that it is above the law and unanswerable to law, Congress, the federal courts, and the Constitution that it is sworn to uphold Jennifer Van Bergan likens Bush and his brownshirt supporters to Julius Caesar in motives, though not in courage. She cites the poet Lucan who in his work Pharsalia described Caesar as he flouted the law of the Roman Republic and crossed the Rubicon with his army: "When Caesar crossed and trod beneath his feet the soil of Italy's forbidden fields, 'here,' spake he, 'peace, here broken laws be left; Farewell to treaties. Fortune, lead me on; War is our judge'..". Anyone who believes that the Bush Regime's "war on terror" is about terrorism, oil, getting even with those who attacked us, bringing freedom and democracy to Muslims - whatever rationale makes the gratuitous war crimes committed by the Bush Regime acceptable to gullible Americans - needs to read Jennifer Van Bergan's Twilight of Democracy. Nothing less than American liberty is at stake. The hour is late. Gullible Americans are being marched off into tyranny as the promised land of safety. 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 --------12 of 14-------- The Bush Administration, ABC News and the Scare Tactics That Lead the US to War The Anthrax Cover-Up By SHELDON RAMPTON August 6, 2008 CounterPunch Bruce Edwards Ivins, a top anthrax researcher at the U.S. Government's biological weapons research laboratories, died of an apparent suicide last Tuesday, just as the Justice Department was about to charge him with responsibility for the September 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people in the United States. Glenn Greenwald has written an important piece for Salon.com in which he demonstrates, with copious evidence, that a major government scandal lurks behind the anthrax story. Ivins may have acted alone in carrying out the anthrax attacks. (I don't want to presume his guilt or anything else about this case until we see further details about the government's evidence against him.) However, Ivins most certainly did not act alone in falsifying information so the attacks could be used as a pretext for war. "If the now-deceased Ivins really was the culprit behind the attacks," Greenwald writes, "then that means that the anthrax came from a U.S. Government lab, sent by a top U.S. Army scientist at Ft. Detrick. Without resort to any speculation or inferences at all, it is hard to overstate the significance of that fact. From the beginning, there was a clear intent on the part of the anthrax attacker to create a link between the anthrax attacks and both Islamic radicals and the 9/11 attacks." Greenwald continues: "Much more important than the general attempt to link the anthrax to Islamic terrorists, there was a specific intent -- indispensably aided by ABC News -- to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and Saddam Hussein." ABC claimed it had been told by "four well-placed and separate sources" that the anthrax used in the September attack contained bentonite, which therefore suggested it was produced in Iraq. As Greenwald points out, "That means that ABC News' 'four well-placed and separate sources' fed them information that was completely false." In all likelihood, "the same Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on Iraq. ... Surely the question of who generated those false Iraq-anthrax reports is one of the most significant and explosive stories of the last decade." Greenwald goes on to provide details about the psychological impact that the anthrax fabrications played in influencing journalists and propagandizing the American public to support the invasion of Iraq. He also notes that John McCain and Joe Lieberman were among the first people to claim publicly, during an appearance on the David Letterman Show, that the anthrax came from Iraq. (Interestingly, the Bush White House repeatedly denied this claim, despite its overall tendency to exaggerate and fabricate evidence linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction.) Of course, ABC News knows the identity of the "well-placed sources" who fed this false information to them and, through them, to the American public. I'll leave it to Greenwald to explain the implications: And yet, unbelievably, they are keeping the story to themselves, refusing to disclose who did all of this. They're allegedly a news organization, in possession of one of the most significant news stories of the last decade, and they are concealing it from the public, even years later. They're not protecting "sources." The people who fed them the bentonite story aren't "sources." They're fabricators and liars who purposely used ABC News to disseminate to the American public an extremely consequential and damaging falsehood. But by protecting the wrongdoers, ABC News has made itself complicit in this fraud perpetrated on the public, rather than a news organization uncovering such frauds. That is why this is one of the most extreme journalistic scandals that exists, and it deserves a lot more debate and attention than it has received thus far. If indeed Ivins was the person who carried out the anthrax attack, there is one possible scenario that Greenwald does not seem to have fully considered. Perhaps Ivins himself was the person who fabricated the claim that the anthrax contained bentonite. ABC's sources might have been merely repeating what he told them. If so, however, that is an important story in itself and needs to be reported. Just as the FBI has a responsibility to share publicly its evidence linking Ivins to this crime, ABC has some explaining to do about the disinformation that it helped disseminate to the American people. The anthrax attack of September 2001 was an act of terrorism that killed five innocent people. At the time, and for years thereafter, many people were led to believe that the perpetrators were Islamic extremists in service to a hostile foreign power. The FBI is now claiming that the perpetrator was a Roman Catholic and an employee of the U.S. army who held a position of trust that gave him access to biological weapons -- even though he was, according to his counselor, "homicidal, sociopathic." This is a major scandal by any measure. The public deserves to know how American institutions -- including the U.S. Department of Defense as well as the news media -- could have failed them this badly. Sheldon Rampton is a reseracher at the Center for Media and Democracy (where this essay originally appeared) and co-author of two books about the war: Iraq: Weapons of Mass Deception and The Best War Ever. --------13 of 14-------- What Kind of Extremists Will We Be? This is Horseshit By CINDY SHEEHAN August 6, 2008 CounterPunch It is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists will we be? -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr You know, I don't care if it's not proper for a Congressional candidate to say: "horseshit." I don't care if it is not a good "tactic" to get kicked out of a Congressional non-impeachment hearing that was just a bunch of horseshit anyway. I don't care if I get accused of being too "extreme" for bucking the (cyst)em by doing everything from camping in a ditch in Crawford, Tx to non-violent civil disobedience to, lately, running for Congress as (oh no!) an independent. If people can't see how this nation is teetering on the precipice of financial ruin and dragging the rest of this planet down with us as we destroy our ecology, too - and if people don't realize how desperate our situation is, then I must say, that's horseshit! I am angry. No, I am incensed that hundreds of thousands of people are dead, dying, wounded, displaced from their homes or being imprisoned and tortured by the sadists that reside or work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the approval of their accomplices down the road in Congress. I am furious that I buried my oldest son when he was 24 years old for the unrepentant lies and the unpunished crimes of the Bush mob. Are you incensed? If not, maybe you should ask yourself: "Why?" Hypothetically: "Why am I not enraged that my country has killed or hurt so many people for absolutely no noble cause in my name and with my tacit approval?" I am steamed that the working class has to, once again, pay for the excesses of the capitalist criminals that feeds its rapacious appetite with the flesh and blood of our children and won't rest until it owns every penny in this world and has all the power. You may say, "But Cindy, it is not polite to be angry or to use such strong language in public." Horseshit! In my opinion, every citizen in this country should rise up in anger and DEMAND that George Bush and Dick Cheney not only be impeached and removed from office, but be tried and convicted for murder and crimes against the peace and humanity! We should all walk off of our jobs and refuse to work and refuse to be cogs in the wheels of psychotic consumerism until our troops, military contractors and permanent bases are removed from Iraq and Afghanistan. We should, but most of us won't. We won't because it may mean that we would lose something of "value." Material possessions are so transitory, as are our lives. We can leave a lasting impression by our courageous activism and moral sacrifice, or we can leave a pile of rusting metal or rotting wood. I choose the former for myself. We should come out of our comas of too much TV news and not enough non-biased information to push for alternatives to fossil fuels that are clean and renewable and protest nuclear facilities and off-shore oil drilling like we used to in the olden days when people actually cared enough about not poisoning our world to get off of their couches or (today) out from behind their computer screens to do something constructive instead of complacently shelling out hundreds of dollars a week for gasoline and food. I get so pissed off when one of my supporters has a tooth ache and can't afford to go see a dentist to fix it or when my sister has had a cough for almost two years and doesn't have the health insurance she needs to get fully well. And when I think that almost 50 million people in this country are non-insured or under-insured, I see red. Why, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, do some have the "privilege" of being fully insured and healthy, when health care is a basic human right, not a privilege for the elitists? My heart hurts every night when the men who sleep propped up against my campaign office, huddled under their blankets against the San Francisco chill, wish me a "good night" and I can't choke the same words back to them, or do much of anything but give them coffee to keep warm and books to read to help pass the time. My campaign office is being visited on a daily basis by Iraq war vets who can't access the help they need to get physically or mentally healthy---and I am "extreme" because I actually want things to really change and choose to act on this desire and not sit around passively pretending that this horseshit doesn't exist? Since Casey died, even though every day I am filled with pain and longing, I have tried to be the poster-mom for this pain telling my neighbors and fellow Americans how it feels to be profoundly hurt by the Military Industrial Complex and that it wouldn't be too long before the cancer of BushCo would strike every American home and now that this prediction is awfully coming true, I see more and more apathy and less and less action. Three years ago today, I first sat in a ditch in Crawford, Texas and three years later, we are in dire straits, my friends, and the prognosis is not good, unless we all make a conscious effort to sacrifice some of today's comfort for the sake of our children and grand-children's futures. Sixty-three years ago today, the monsters of the US war machine dropped a WMD on hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children and since then, this nation has just descended into a further spiral of war and profiting from war and preparing for war and more profiting from war; which is destroying every aspect of our society and we MUST reclaim our very souls from the Military Industrial Complex before it is too late. Please don't wait for November, or January or for the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius because every second we allow this demented pattern to continue, is one second too long! Cindy Sheehan is running for congress as an independent. She can be reached through her website. --------14 of 14-------- Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 12:16:17 -0400 From: FairVote Minnesota <info [at] fairvotemn.org> Subject: Help Move IRV Forward - FairVote Minnesota E-News, August 6, 2008 Update: FairVote Minnesota Intervention in IRV Lawsuit Last week, we told you about FairVote Minnesota's plans to intervene in the lawsuit against IRV. The lawsuit opposes IRV's implementation in Minneapolis, slated for 2009, and was brought by a small group of activists who oppose more open elections and more choices for voters. In St. Paul, the lawsuit is being used as justification for blocking a citizen petition - signed by more than 7,000 voters - to put an IRV charter amendment question on the ballot this November. Similar challenges to IRV in other states have been unsuccessful, and we expect that to be the case in Minnesota as well. Nonetheless, FairVote Minnesota will be working to ensure the rights of voters, who overwhelmingly adopted IRV in Minneapolis with 65 percent of the vote, are not impeded. All parties involved in the lawsuit have indicated their support for FairVote's intervention request. Since last week, an October 8 hearing has been scheduled. FairVote is pleased to have top legal counsel working on this matter, including lead co-counselors James Dorsey of the Fredrikson & Byron law firm and Keith Halleland of the Halleland, Lewis, Nilan and Johnson law firm. Many others will be of assistance, including former city and state government officials and top legal and political minds at the University of Minnesota and Hamline University. Stay tuned for regular updates. It Takes Money FairVote Minnesota must raise $25,000 in August to defend IRV in court and to continue its mission of working for better democracy through election reform. IRV will bring more choices, diverse voices and independent thinking into elections. But until the Minneapolis lawsuit is settled, progress implementing IRV in Minneapolis and adopting IRV in St. Paul and elsewhere will be impeded. While FairVote Minnesota's legal counsel will be donating their services for the Minneapolis lawsuit, other expenses will be incurred in the course of winning this crucial battle. Your gift of $25, $50, or $100 to our Legal Fund will help us decisively defeat the court challenge and continue the progressive momentum for IRV in Minnesota. Please contribute today at www.fairvotemn.org/contribute/online. [Standard. Citizens organize, get petitions signed, meet legal requirements for action (in this case for a referendum on IRV on the ballot), and the government level in question (in this case the StPaul city council, 6 of 7 members) finds some (any) excuse to override and deny it. And then, standard, the only redress for the citizens is to go to court. Send money. And for the future, make local government shape up by pointedly not re-electing those 6 StPaul city council members; start now scouting for their replacements to run against them in the 2011 city election. -ed] --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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