|Progressive Calendar 08.22.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 04:33:14 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.22.08 1. Palestine vigil 8.22 4:15pm 2. Copwatch 8.22 6pm 3. Social change 8.22 7pm 4. Steal votes/f 8.22 7pm 5. RNC training 8.22 7pm 6. RNC vigil StCap 8.22 7pm 7. Moyers/DNC/China 8.22 9pm 8. Peace walk 8.23 9am Cambridge MN 9. NWN4P Mtka 8.23 11am 10. RNC training 8.23 12noon 8.24 1pm 11. CUAPB/copwatch 8.23 1:30pm 12. Northtown vigil 8.23 2pm 13. Women's vote 8.23 2pm Duluth MN 14. RNC marshall 8.23 2pm 15. Hour/$ potluck 8.23 3pm 16. Spaghetti/Xwar 8.23 7pm 17. JFK assasination 8.23 7pm 18. Explicit Ills/f 8.23 7pm 19. Dave Lindorff - Loserville: how Obama blew it 20. Joel S Hirschhorn - Obama loses; bye bye Barry 21. Theda Skocpol - Wake up, Obama camp 22. Greg Guma - Vermont: breaking out of the empire box 23. ed - bumpersticker --------1 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 8.22 4:15pm Friday, 8/22, 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. --------2 of 23-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: Copwatch 8.22 6pm CALLING ALL COPWATCHERS OR WANNA-BE COPWATCHERS: WE NEED YOU! Whether we're at the shelters, outside the clubs during closing time or out at Critical Mass or other protest events, we've shown time and again that copwatch is a valuable service that helps to prevent police brutality and that provides important case documentation for people who are brutalized or falsely arrested. In the run up to the RNC, we've seen increased attacks on homeless people in an effort to shove them out of sight. Now that the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington city councils have given free reign to their police to abuse protesters, we know copwatch will be even more important when the elephant show finally arrives. WE NEED LOTS OF TRAINED COPWATCHERS! Come to a copwatch training to learn about your rights in general and about your rights while documenting in the streets and how to work with our technology. We'll spend some time together in a classroom then go out into the streets to practice your new skills. Please attend one of these dates: Friday, August 22, 6:00 PM Thursday, August 28, 6:00 PM Both trainings will be held at Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis. Depending on demand, we may add other dates. If a group is interested in setting up a separate date, please let us know. --------3 of 23-------- From: Anya Achtenberg <aachtenberg [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Social change 8.22 7pm Anya Achtenberg and Sherry Quan Lee will read from their recently published books: Friday, August 22, 2008, at 7:00 pm at Amazon Bookstore Cooperative, 4755 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407. (612) 821-9630 or http://www.amazonfembks.com/ The Stories of Devil-Girl by Anya Achtenberg "Achtenberg is a cutting-edge voice in the literature of the post-globalization age, an era in which we are uprooted geographically and spiritually, and redefining what it means to be home. What a superbly written book! Read it and be changed....Achtenberg's visionary workshops on Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World have received national acclaim." Demetria Martinez, author of Mother Tongue, Confessions of a Berlitz Tape Chicana, and others. - How to Write a Suicide Note serial essays that saved a woman's life by Sherry Quan Lee "Quan Lee breaks the rules and finds her genius. This is a passionate, risk-taking, outrageous, life-affirming book and love letter." Sharon Doubiago, author of Hard Country, Body and Soul, and others. "...a haunting portrait of the daughter of a Black mother and a Chinese father....her story relies on a contextual view...the intersectionality of race, class, age, gender, and sexuality." Beth Kyong Lo, M.A., Psychotherapist Reflections of America Series imprint of Modern History Press http://www.modernhistorypress.com/reflections-of-america/ The writers' websites: http://www.anyaachtenberg.com http://www.sherryquanlee.com --------4 of 23------- From: Laurie Hilty <lhilty [at] frontiernet.net> From: Jennifer J. Thomas Subject: Stealing votes/f 8.22 7pm Please join me for the Minneapolis premier of the powerful new documentary, "STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote". It will be shown at the Oak Street Cinema at 309 Oak Street in Minneapolis at 7:00pm every day, Friday, Aug 22 through Monday, Aug 25. The Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Dorothy Fadiman, will host a discussion immediately following the Screenings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Others will also participate in a post-film discussion each day with information on how you can help. For those of you who have seen the 2006 version of this film on DVD, you will be impressed with this finished work that now includes coverage of the 2006 election, issues for 2008, more history, new interviews, compelling graphs, narration, music - and shown on a big screen! Timed just before both conventions, its' a great opportunity to introduce this NON-PARTISAN issue to a broader audience. Building awareness of the problems with our nation's current elections systems can help create the pressure to pass meaningful reforms. Please join us and bring your friends. Jennifer Jewell Thomas - Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance (www.muusja.org), Co-Director Voting Rights Working Group Working to (1) Protect the right and access to voting for all citizens and (2) Ensure that votes cast are counted and reported accurately. jjthomas [at] skypoint.com Home: 612-920-4246 Mobile: 612-386-5724 --------5 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC training 8.22 7pm 8/22 (7 to 9 pm) and 8/23 or 8/24 (8:30 to 5:30), Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave, Mpls, 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 --------6 of 23-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC vigil StCap 8.22 7pm Friday, 8/22, 7 pm (and every Friday until the RNC convention), meditation and vigil for peace at the RNC at the State Capitol lawn, St Paul. http://www.rippleeffect08.com or 612-227-1817. --------7 of 23-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Moyers/DNC/China 8.22 9pm Bill Moyers Journal | Middle Class Squeeze http://www.truthout.org/article/middle-class-squeeze Friday on Bill Moyers Journal: "With celebrations set to kick off in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, Bill Moyers Journal travels to Colorado where tough economic times are hitting suburban communities. And, as the Olympics are set to close, Bill Moyers interviews Philip Pan, foreign correspondent and former Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post, on how the emerging economic power of China looks from the ground." ---------8 of 23-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 8.23 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------9 of 23-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 8.23 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. --------10 of 23-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> From Jude Ortiz via Coldsnap Legal Collective <coldsnap [at] riseup.net> Subject: RNC training 8.23 12noon 8.24 1pm Coldsnap Legal Collective will be doing two more *volunteer trainings* this weekend to learn how to volunteer with us for the RNC! If you missed the trainings last weekend, show up *Saturday at Walker Library* in Mpls or *Sunday at Merriam Park Library* in St. Paul to find out everything you need to know about how to protect activists through legal support and solidarity! We will also be doing *Know Your Rights trainings* both days immediately following each volunteer training. These are for everyone who wants to learn how to protect themselves and their communities when approached by the cops, during the RNC or just out on the street! We will be ending the sessions each with *legal support options trainings*, specifically for people who want to learn about creating legal support structures for their affinity groups and fostering jail and court solidarity. TRAININGS: Saturday, 8/23 Walker Library meeting room 2880 Hennepin Avenue, Mpls 12 - 2 p.m.: Volunteer training 2 - 3 p.m.: Know Your Rights training 3 - 4 p.m.: Learn about your legal support options Sunday, 8/24 Merriam Park Library meeting room 1831 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul 1 - 3 p.m.: Volunteer training 3 - 4 p.m.: Know Your Rights training 4 - 4:45 p.m.: Learn about your legal support options For more information, keep reading: Want to get involved during the RNC? Are you planning to be on the streets^×or not? Do more than just exercise your rights^× PROTECT THEM for yourself and your community! Coldsnap Legal Collective is working to protect our communities up to, during, and after the RNC. You (yes, YOU!) can get involved by helping us: Coordinate a street team of legal support activists Answer phones for our 24-hour jail support hotline (651.356.8635) Staff our legal support office Facilitate jail and court solidarity as needed That's right, you can do any or all of this! You don't need any special skills or experience. You just need some dedication and a willingness to help protect a few thousand of your closest friends. It's fun, you'll learn important organizing skills, and you'll get to hang with some awesome people. Seriously, legal support folks are radtastic! Trainings are free and open to everyone. All of our activities can be done in conjunction with your other protest activities, or you can dedicate all your protest energies to us. We'll welcome you either way Here are the different roles you can take: STREET TEAM The street team will be made up of activists who are in the middle of the action and can keep an eye on what the cops are doing, so they can help protect people's rights in the moment. Distinct from both legal observers and copwatchers, the street team will have a more interactive role of being trained to provide ad hoc legal rights trainings as needed on the street, serving as a vital part of the Coldsnap communications team, and witnessing and reporting police actions. Good for: For those of you who were planning on being on the streets anyway, because all of this can be done while still participating in any demonstrations you would like to be a part of. JAIL SUPPORT HOTLINE Our hotline will be available 24-hours a day before, during, and after the RNC. Protestors will be calling this hotline when they or people they know are arrested. We'll take down their relevant info and facilitate getting them the support they need as they are processed through the system ^Ċ turning their one phone call from jail into many. We'll also be working closely with the National Lawyers Guild to ensure people have access to good lawyers while they're being held and when it comes time to fight the charges levied against them. Good for: People with good phone skills who work well in a high excitement, high pressure environment. LEGAL SUPPORT OFFICE We'll need a ton of help to manage our jail support database, make phone calls on behalf of political prisoners, and coordinate our efforts with other support groups. Good for: People who are detail-oriented and good with big-picture stuff. ARRESTEE SOLIDARITY After activists are arrested, they often need people on the outside to put pressure on the jails and courts to ensure they are treated fairly, are not being abused, and are receiving the care they need. And they always need to know their communities support them! Coldsnap can help affinity groups learn their options for creating jail and court solidarity strategies, mobilize the community to call in to the jails to demand fair treatment, stage rallies outside the jails and courthouses, pack the courts during hearings, and bring media attention to the way political prisoners are being treated. Good for: People with experience (or want to get experience) coordinating logistics, events, media, etc. In Solidarity, Coldsnap Legal Collective Please note that use of the Minneapolis Public Library System and Saint Paul Public Library System meeting facilities does not constitute endorsement of the beliefs, viewpoints, policies or affiliations of the user by the library board or staff. --------11 of 23-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: CUAPB/copwatch 8.23 1:30pm ALL HANDS ON DECK FOR RNC ACTIONS! During the Republican Convention, CUAPB will play a number of important roles. Along with copwatch as noted above, we'll be involved in jail medical support, jail exit support, documentation of cases through our hotline, court watch/court support, and even assisting homeless people being swept aside in both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. It will take a lot of hands and we really need your help. You can plug in by coming to one of the copwatch trainings listed above or coming to our volunteer meeting on Saturday, August 23 at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church. If you can't make it to the trainings or meeting, please email us back with your contact phone number and how you'd like to be involved. First event on the list will be the Critical Mass on August 29th. This will be the one year anniversary of the attack on Critical Mass that resulted in many injuries and 19 arrests. It will also be a kind of kick off event for protests against the RNC. As such, we think the MPD may have "special plans" for this event and we need all copwatchers out with us that day. Copwatch at Critical Mass Friday, August 29 Meet 4:30 p.m. Loring Park, Harmon Place side near the dandelion fountain --------12 of 23-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 8.23 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------13 of 23-------- From: Debbie <ddo [at] mchsi.com> Subject: Women's vote 8.23 2pm Duluth MN LWV Duluth Daughters Tea Saturday, August 23 2:00 - 4:00 pm Duluth Woman's Club 2400 E. Superior St. Ages 4 to 104 are welcome at this event to celebrate the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment (guaranteeing women's right to vote) and to learn more about women's suffrage in the company of some wonderful women. Enjoy an afternoon of tasty treats, entertainment, summer flowers and favors. Bring your daughter, mother, granddaughter, grandmother, best friend, neighbor, first cousin once removed - - ALL women are daughters!! Special prizes for groups with the most generations of women represented. Tickets are $15.00 per person, $10.00 for children 4-6. Funds raised will benefit LWV Duluth. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Bryce Nixon at 464-0623 or Sally Munger at 728-0711. --------14 of 23-------- From: braun044 <braun044 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: RNC marshall 8.23 2pm As you probably know, the Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq has been very involved in the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. Peacekeeper/Marshall and Volunteer Trainings for September 1 March on the RNC Interested in volunteering at the biggest march in MN history? We could use your help. Please come to one of our 3 marshalling and volunteer trainings so that you can help us have an amazing demonstration on September 1. Organized by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War. For more information: info [at] marchonrnc.org, 612-379-3584. SAT, 8/23 @ 2pm @ Walker Methodist Church, 3104 16th Ave. S. Minneapolis SUN, 8/31 @ 2pm @ Hubert Humphrey Building Room 30 (301 19th Avenue S, U of MN, West Bank, Minneapolis All peacekeeper/marshal volunteers must attend one of these meetings. --------15 of 23-------- From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Hour$ potluck 8.23 3pm Some of you may have been present about 2 or 3 years ago when the time barter network folks in St. Paul, Hour Dollars, presented an explanation of their operations. I have been participating in this organization for years, and I feel it is beneficial to to become involved. Below is a notice of a social event which is open to people interested in exploring whether Hour Dollars is appropriate to join. I hear that participation in the network has been very high lately, in part due to the bad economy. Hour Dollars is a way to get tasks accomplished without shelling out money. I have gotten professional flyer design for a health care forum done, for free, by using an Hour Dollars worker. - To: info [at] hourdollars.org Hour Dollars Potluck - 8/23/08 3 - 6 PM Newell Park in St Paul, MN At Fairview and Pierce Butler. Drinks & paper products provided It's our 10th-year anniversary. Look for the signs. http://www.hourdollars.org/ info [at] hourdollars.org --------16 of 23-------- From: Project to Stop the War Industry <projectatk [at] gmail.com> Subject: Spaghetti/stop war 8.23 7pm Dinner: Stop the War Industry, 8/23 7:00pm On July 2nd, 8 activists who identified themselves as "Project to Stop the War Industry" were arrested in Anoka, MN for locking down and blocking the entrance of an ATK weapons manufacturing plant. They are now facing charges and legal fees. Support PSWI in their endeavors to stop the war industry by joining us for a benefit Spaghetti Dinner with live music on this Saturday, August 23rd at 7pm. There will be vegan options, and childcare is provided. The dinner will be at the Smith Theater, 627 Smith Avenue, St. Paul (space provided by the RNC Welcoming Committee). Suggested sliding-scale donation of $5-$50 RSVP or contribute online: projectatk [at] gmail.com. --------17 of 23-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: JFK assasination 8.23 7pm Noted author and theologian, Jim Douglas, will speak at St Frances Cabrini Church on Saturday August 23 at 7 PM. His new book, JFK and the Unspeakable, presents a compelling and persuasive account of why President Kennedy was assassinated and why the unmasking of this truth remains crucial for the future of our country and the world. St Frances Cabrini is located in Mpls at 1500 Franklin Ave. SE. Minneapolis --------18 of 23-------- From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at] winternet.com> Subject: Explicit Ills/f 8.23 7pm FILM SCREENING ADVISORY: EXPLICIT ILLS AWARD-WINNING FILM ON SOCIAL ILLS TO BE SCREENED IN MINNEAPOLIS Minneapolis-born Mark Webber's Directorial Debut Timed to Coincide with Republican National Convention Explicit Ills, a timely new film that explores issues of poverty, health care, and drug addiction in Philadelphia, will premier in Minneapolis on Saturday, August 23 at 7:00pm at Pepito's Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. The film, which stars Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) and Rosario Dawson (Rent) is the directional debut of actor turned filmmaker, Mark Webber (Snow Days and The Hottest State) and recently took home the Audience Award for a Narrative Feature at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Webber was born in Minneapolis and raised in the poor urban neighbourhood of North Philadelphia by his mother, Cheri Honkala, who battled poverty and homelessness after being abandoned by Webber's father, a drug addict. Honkala, who is the National Organizer of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC), and Webber were both homeless while living in Minneapolis and are now outspoken advocates on homelessness and poverty. PPEHRC will also be participating in several events in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention (RNC) to draw attention to poverty in America. Mark Webber, Writer and Director of Explicit Ills Cheri Honkala, National Organizer for PPEHRC Actors from the film expected to attend Minneapolis premier of Explicit Ills Pepito's Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55417 Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 7:00pm --------19 of 23-------- How Obama Blew It Loserville By DAVE LINDORFF August 21, 2008 CounterPunch Well, it's happened, and it's no surprise. Barack Obama, the prospective Democratic presidential candidate, has managed to turn a 5-8 point lead over prospective Republican opponent John McCain into a 7-point deficit - a double-digit slide - in just two and a half months following a campaign that had voters really excited over his candidacy. How did he manage this feat (which is documented in the latest latest Reuters/Zogby poll)? Simple: he followed the tried-and-true strategy of Democratic centrist advisers who have increasingly dominated his campaign since the end of the primaries, and who have a proven track record of producing Democratic electoral disasters now for several decades. Like John Kerry and Al Gore before him, Obama, who ran his primary campaign as a liberal, staking out an anti-war position, has morphed over recent weeks into a Republican-lite candidate, calling for a hard line against Palestinian rights, threatening to attack Iran, calling for an expansion of the disastrous war in Afghanistan, and backing away from genuine health care reform and other important progressive goals here at home. One might think that after watching Democratic candidates lose the last two presidential elections by following exactly this kind of "strategy," if it can be called that, Obama and his campaign managers would have decided to try something different, but it appears that the Democratic Party at the top is hopelessly in the grip of corporate interests that favor war, free-market nostrums and corporate welfare. (Okay, I know Gore really won the 2000 election, but he should have won it so convincingly - for example taking New Hampshire and his home state of Tennessee - that the election couldn't have been stolen. And Kerry, similarly, should not have had his race determined by a close vote in economically distressed Ohio, which should have been his by a blowout.) Obama got where he is - the first African-American major party nominee and the first black candidate with a real shot at winning the White House - by appealing to the Democratic Party's liberal base. Now Zogby reports that Obama's support among liberals has plunged 12 percent. That's liberals folks! I count myself among those on the left who have turned away from this fast-talking eel of a candidate. It's not a matter of turning to McCain, who is if anything more dangerous than President Bush because of his fondness for war and his evident lack of any kind of principles, not to mention his personal greed. But how can I or any progressive vote for a presidential candidate who goes from opposing a war to saying he not only supports the idea of keeping troops in Iraq for another five years - the length of the entire WWII! - but who further says he won't rule out attacking Iran, even if that country poses no imminent threat to the US, simply because it develops nuclear weapons - the same weapons that our putative friends, Pakistan and India, have? How can I vote for a candidate who wants to expand the military (by 65,000 troops) instead of shrinking this huge, bloodsucking parasite of an organization which is costing as much as the rest of the world spends on its armies? How can I or any progressive vote for a presidential candidate who cannot state categorically that he will defend the Constitution by reversing all of President Bush's abuses of power and who will not promise to prosecute the president and members of his administration for any crimes committed while in office? If you look at Obama's vaunted website, and check out his positions on the big issues of healthcare, education, the economy, labor, social security, etc., you can see he's pretty good on most things (okay, his health care "reform" is a loser and will never fly. He should be calling for a nationally-run insurance system modeled on Medicare and paid for by the government). The problem is that there has been a deliberate effort to soft-pedal all of it, while backpedaling on his position on the Iraq War. It's almost as if he and his campaign think the "smart" progressives will go to his website and be satisfied with his online positions, while the "dumb" unaffiliated voters will not go there and will just base their votes on his gauzy image TV ads. (More importantly, if he can go from anti-war to pro-war, what's to say he won't backpedal in office on the rest of his positions, especially if he won't highlight and defend them vigorously on the campaign trail?) There has clearly been a decision made in the Obama campaign to soft-pedal liberal positions and to make Obama appear "safe' and uncontroversial. The result has been his precipitous slide in the polls. That's not the worst of it, either. Obama is not just losing liberals in droves. Many liberals, after all, will in the end return and vote for grudgingly for Obama, though they probably won't volunteer to do any of the critical campaign work registering voters, promoting his candidacy or getting people to the polls. The worst part is that by becoming just another middle-of-the-road, namby-pamby, Republican-lite clone of Kerry circa 2004 and Gore circa 2000, Obama is losing the young and also the disaffected, unaffiliated voters who were flocking to his campaign during the primaries. This group of erstwhile enthusiasts is down 12 percent, too. And it's those people - particularly the unaffiliated voters - who are raising McCain's numbers. The Zogby poll reports that McCain's support among younger voters has reached 40 percent - not that much below Obama's 52 percent. There is probably still time to turn this electoral debacle in the making around. Obama needs to come out unambiguously for a quick end to the war in Iraq. He needs to do an about face on his call for an expansion of the war in Afghanistan. He needs to flatly rule out preemptive war as a policy for the United States of America, unless the country is in danger of imminent attack. He needs to scotch plans for expanding the military, and instead to start talking about how to reduce military spending, so that those funds can be shifted to domestic priorities like improving education and dramatically increasing research into carbon-free energy production. He needs to call for a national healthcare system that will provide quality, affordable medical care for all, and he needs to call for an aggressive campaign to combat joblessness and to reduce income disparity within the US. Do that, and we will see an Obama presidency and a Democratic sweep of both houses of Congress. Continue with the present losing strategy, and we will see John McCain as president, and the continuation of a weak, compromised, sell-out Democratic Congress for at least the next four years. Now as sympathetic as I am to the politics espoused by Ralph Nader and by the Green Party, I'm well aware of the futility of Third Party campaigns. Even so, count me as one progressive who at this point has stopped supporting Obama. DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net [This is just what Democrats for high office do. If they don't do it, they are not supported by big money and are not endorsed. They all know that, even if we don't. Dems lose office and issues on purpose; it's part of the game plan to fool us while making the elite eliter. If you're in office and you stop playing their game, no more money for you, big money against you (bye bye office), and maybe your small plane goes down. Our elite: Harvard on the outside, Mafia on the inside. They're the ones who have every reason to hate democracy, and do. -ed] --------20 of 23-------- Bye Bye Barry by Joel S. Hirschhorn August 20th, 2008 Dissident Voice The final results are in on this historic November day. Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars he raised, Barack Obama has lost the 2008 presidential election. American voters have boldly spoken truth to arrogance. Turned out that all those pre-election opinion polls that showed Obama's inability to get over 50 percent support were prescient. Much of the public was never comfortable with Obama, though he clearly was so comfortable acting like he already was president. Hillary and Bill Clinton are probably drinking champagne and having the sweetest time since Bill won his first presidential election. Hillary must now bite her lip repeatedly and resist saying publicly that "I told you so!" Hillary in 2012 will reveal that she learned her lessons well. All that Obama audacity of arrogance from the smiling, glib politician finally died the death it so richly deserved. Too many pundits will blame his loss on his blackness and racist voters. But the larger truth is that sufficient voters saw through the many lies and deceptions. Obama always had a hard time giving a simple, short straight answer to tough questions. He was always mentally calculating exactly how to game his answers so that he would achieve all the benefits he had his eyes on. He was simply too damn presumptuous and too smart for his own good. In the end, Americans do not want the smartest person in the presidency or endless nuancing. They want someone they can easily understand and trust, despite their skepticism. There were many reasons not to trust the calculating Obama to do anything he promised to do or, for some people, to fear he might. And now the bloviating pundits will also blame third party presidential candidates for siphoning votes from Obama, as if Americans have no right to exercise their political freedom and vote for someone they honestly think has the best policy positions and would most help restore American democracy. Jon Stewart and other late-night comics will feast on these election results, as they should. I can't wait to hear jokes about Obama's wife becoming a more vocal and militant critic of the good old USA, now that she has proof positive that so many Americans are stupid white racists. Of course, now the nation must suffer through the ineptness, confusion and dementia-like dullness of the living-in-the-past John McCain, tough-talking but brain dead. Will the McCain presidency look like an extension of the incredible terrible George W. Bush White House? Of course. Still living off a once-true characterization as a maverick, McCain must now surround himself with people who actually are smart and knowledgeable about myriad issues. Should be no problem finding enough lobbyists. Pundits will start speculating that McCain will be lucky just to stay alive for four years, but thankfully his vice-president seems more capable. One thing for sure: the power plutocracy that really runs the country will have little trouble pulling the strings behind the scenes and keep the puppet McCain dancing to tunes written by corporate interests. Ralph Nader summed up this way: "A large fraction of Americans know that we need a Jeffersonian political revolution to fix our corrupt system. They were not fooled by the Obama rhetoric about change, not from someone that has been a product of and servant for the two-party plutocracy. Yes, all the votes for me and the other third-party presidential candidates spelled the difference between Obama winning and losing. Our voters correctly protested against the corrupt two-party system. They did not elect McCain. Only those who voted for McCain elected him, and that is something they must live with as they watch a McCain administration continue dismantling American democracy and budget-busting global warmongering". Cynthia McKinney wisely noted that "It is time to stop saying God bless America, and begin repeating God save America. The good news is that we will build even greater public support for a true political revolution during the McCain presidency. All too often things must get much worse before they can get better. They will get worse". As to Obama, half-jokingly he said: "I may come back as a third-party candidate". Or did that reflect a calculation that Democrats had learned their lesson? As to all the screaming from the left that the Republicans stole this election also, Obama immediately said: "John won it fair and square". Thanks Barry, exactly what I expected from a phony change agent. Joel S. Hirschhorn has a new book, Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government, which supports constitutional conventions and other peaceful ways to restore American democracy. To join the pro-convention effort or discuss issues write the author: articlev [at] gmail.com. Read other articles by Joel, or visit Joel's website. This article was posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 at 6:00 am and is filed under "Third" Party, Corruption, Democracy, Democrats, Elections. --------21 of 23-------- Wake Up, Obama Camp by Theda Skocpol Published on Thursday, August 21, 2008 by TPMCafe Common Dreams The last month has been excruciating for Obama supporters, watching him and his campaign squander so many hopes and resources on an utterly wimpy campaign. For me, the last straw was yesterday - in the VFW speech when supposedly Obama was gettting tough against McCain's character assassination strategy - to watch him speak like a soporific college professor, repeating McCain's charges at length, flattering McCain as honorable and patriotic, and then, finally, sort of begging McCain to take it back! Josh Marshall is totally right to call Obama out on this. What are they thinking in Chicago? Why would they ever imagine that Americans will vote to make President a candidate who evades and begs? This is like football. If you are hit hard in the pile, you hit back, you don't run to the refs. If the refs (media in this context) make a bad or missed call, you just get up and play harder, hit back harder, throw passes. You never expect the other side to play nice, you never beg for that; and you take for granted that the refs will overlook a lot of stuff. On evasion: A national, turning-point campaign is not an academic discussion of the issues! You don't go into Saddleback and give a ridiculous, distanced, abstract, evasive, talmudic answer to the abortion question you knew was coming! You look the television camera/voters in the eye and crisply explain your own personal moral perspective in clear, plain language - acknowledging AFTER you state your views that other moral people can have different views and underlining that you will always respect them, listen to them, and look for common ground. This is not rocket science! On fighting back: For weeks, Obama has ignored or wheedled when McCain and Lieberman attacked his patriotism and judgement. He has repeatedly begged them to stop because, supposedly, they are more honorable than that. He has asked them to discuss the issues dispassionately. What an insipid approach! McCain has NOT been honorable or honest, and Obama and his surrogates need to hammer on that incessantly. Use words like "lying" and "losing himself" or " (better) "forgetting what he is supposed to stand for." Stop focusing on decades ago in the POW camp. Talk about now, about the last years and months. Make the really obvious point that no candidate for President at this time can really be putting country first if he runs a dirty, lying campaign of false smears. That betrays the public trust. Tell it like it is, Obama! Politics is not just about issues, it is a metaphorical test of strength. If a man will not get immediately - if quietly - angry and fight back when his patriotism is attacked, why should we trust him to defend the country? And if he won't punch back by explaining clearly why his approach to foreign policy is actually tougher and smarter, why McCain's is thoughtless and reckless, why would we think he is better to be Commander in Chief? And on issues like oil drilling, why not recognize that McCain has adopted an ACTIVE metaphor that makes emotional sense to people? He is saying we should act to tap U.S. resources, and people are not really concerned about how many years it would take to tweak pump prices. They hear action and will and resolve - and these are highly valued in a President! Obama can certainly get a hearing for other active steps, but he and the Dems should stop pretending that they can parry drilling with logic. Obama is lucky he is not further behind already. And he is going to fade fast if he just runs a feel-good, bland convention about abstract "hope" and "change." In addition to getting gritty and colorfully clear about his recipe for making Americans' lives better - AND about his approach to make this nation safer and stronger in the world - Obama needs to signal all the major speakers at next week's convention to go after McCain in a key part of each speech. We need to hear why McCain is wrong and dangerous and no longer so honest and honorable. It needs repeating with force and humor and passion. Otherwise, the Convention will be wasted, and this historic turning point for our country will be lost. And pick a FIGHTER for VP, please. Do it yesterday. Obama, you need someone who will push hard at your side and make you better, too. And you never should have gone on vacation (shades of Kerry) without a VP to carry on. Biden will work, I think, but - and I never expected to believe this - it might be time to turn to Hillary. She is at least a fighter, and this election really matters to a lot more than you and her. Copyright 2007 TPM Media LLC. Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology and former Dean of the Graduate School at Harvard University. [I include Skocpol only to show how ballistic even core Dem theorists have become. Maybe certain MN elected Dems should stop anticipating a call to Washington in January. And as for the "hope" that some Dems like to substitute for reality, after it falls to the ground, what new pleasing fictions will they invent to keep a weak smile on their clouded faces? -ed] --------22 of 23-------- Vermont Breaking Out of the Empire Box By Greg Guma August 21, 2008 Source: Maverick Media ZNet Three days after the 2008 presidential election, no matter which political party takes the White House, a convention will be held in Vermont's Statehouse to consider more radical solutions to the problems facing the nation. The organizing group is the Second Vermont Republic, a citizens' network that aims to dissolve the United States and, in particular, return Vermont "to its status as an independent republic." This may sound unlikely, if not impossible. Yet a recent Zogby poll commissioned by the Middlebury Institute, a think tank studying "separatism, secession, and self-determination," indicates that that 20 percent of Americans think "any state or region has the right to peaceably secede from the United States and become an independent republic." More than 18 percent told pollsters that they "would support a secessionist effort in my state." Could it happen? Frank Bryan, a political scientist who co-authored a 1989 book that called for restructuring Vermont democracy along decentralist lines, has argued that "the cachet of secession would make the new republic a magnet" and "people would obviously relish coming to the Republic of Vermont, the Switzerland of North America." For Thomas Naylor, the former Duke University professor who launched the movement in 2003, the question isn't "if" but "when." "Lincoln persuaded the public that secession was unconstitutional and immoral," Naylor has noted. "It's one of the few things that the left and right agree on. We say it's constitutional - and ultimately it is a question of political will: the will of the people of Vermont versus the will of the government to stop us." As you might guess, there's no shortage of skeptics. According to Vermont attorney and historian Paul Gillies, "It doesn't make economic sense, it doesn't make political sense, it doesn't make historical sense. Other than that, it's a good idea." Vermont archivist Gregory Sanford even claims that some of the arguments for secession, in Vermont at least, are based on "historical facts of dubious reputation." The State Archives often gets requests for copies of an "escape claus e" in the Vermont Constitution, which supposedly allows Vermont to withdraw from the US. "The truth, drawn from documents, is less satisfying; there is no, nor has there ever been, such an escape clause," he says. But the underlying issue isn't whether there is legal authority, but why millions of people across the country think it's a reasonable and attractive idea. An answer worth considering is provided by Rob Williams, editor of Vermont Commons, a newspaper that covers secession and related issues. "The argument for secession is that the US has become an empire that is essentially ungovernable - it's too big, it's too corrupt and it no longer serves the needs of its citizens," he explains. "Congress and the executive branch are being run by the multinationals. We have electoral fraud, rampant corporate corruption, a culture of militarism and war. If you care about democracy and self-governance and any kind of representative system, the only constitutional way to preserve what's left of the Republic is to peaceably take apart the empire." Vermont has been fertile ground for such "outside the box" thinking in the past. For example, the state didn't immediately join the new United States after the War of Independence, remaining an independent state from 1 777 until 1791. Plus, half a century later it was the first state to elect an Anti-Mason governor during a period when opposition to the secret society was growing. The Anti-Mason movement - which elected two governors and ran a candidate for president in 1832 - lasted only a decade, and most of its political leaders eventually joined either the short-lived Whig Party or the more durable Republicans. Along the way, however, it pointed out the dangers of elite groups and, on a practical level, initiated changes in the way political parties operated. The Anti-Masonic Party wasn't only the first third party in US national politics. It introduced the concept of nominating conventions and the adoption of party platforms, reforms soon embraced by the other parties. This wasn't the only time a short-lived political movement produced unexpected change. In 1912, the new Progressive Party, formed by Theodore Roosevelt when he lost the Republican nomination to William Howard Taft, led to the election of Woodrow Wilson. Roosevelt soon left the Party, but its work continued under the leadership of Robert La Follette. Although La Follette's run for president in 1924 netted only 17 percent of the vote, he won in his home state of Wisconsin, and successful reforms were implemented=2 0there. So, what can a campaign for secession accomplish, even if the goal isn't achieved? To answer that, consider the basic agenda underpinning the Second Vermont Republic: political independence, human scale, sustainability, economic solidarity, power sharing, equal access, tension reduction, and mutuality. Running through it all is a strong decentralist thrust. Secession advocate Kirkpatrick Sale describes decentralism as a "third way," already evident in bioregional movements, cooperative and worker-owned businesses, land trusts, farmers markets, and a wide variety of grassroots initiatives. In a recent article assessing whether Vermont could "go it alone," Bill McKibben argues, "Functional independence would be the proper first step, and useful in its own right." He also provides a list of practical projects to help create more food self-sufficiency, energy independence, and local economic power. Although he thinks "any political independence movement is going nowhere now" - the main reasons given are the hope offered by Barack Obama and problems requiring global action - McKibben's advice is to build some affection and trust in the meantime by sharing information and making small but effective moves in t he right direction. Naylor aims for the fences, calling secession a rebellion against empire designed to retake control from big institutions, and help people care for themselves and others by "decentralizing, downsizing, localizing, demilitarizing, simplifying, and humanizing our lives." In some ways, the movement is reminiscent of an earlier effort in Vermont to reframe the debate. In 1976, dissidents from the Democratic and Republican Parties attempted to create a "third way" called the Decentralist League of Vermont. The group was convened by Bob O'Brien, who had just lost the Democratic primary for governor, and John McClaughry, a Republican scornful of his Party's leadership. Each invited allies for a series of meetings to define a joint agenda. Contrary to some accounts, left-wing leaders such as Murray Bookchin and Bernie Sanders weren't involved, finding an alliance with people on the political Right unappealing at the time. Although the Decentralist League lasted only a few years, ultimately disbanding when its Left wing opted for electoral politics and Right signed on for the Reagan "revolution," it pointed to what might unite people who find the current national and global order unsustainable and dangerous. Taking a im at all forms of centralized power and wealth, the League asserted that decentralism is the best way to preserve diversity, increase self-sufficiency, and satisfy human needs. "Decentralists believe in the progressive dismantling of bureaucratic structures which stifle creativity and spontaneity, and of economic and political institutions which diminish individual and community power," said the group's Statement of Principles. The political platform included support for local citizen alliances; widespread ownership of industry by employees; a viable and diverse agricultural base; a decent level of income for all; education that stresses self-reliance, creativity, and a combination of learning and work; technologies that increase energy self-sufficiency; and mediation of disputes rather than reliance on regulations and adversary proceedings. On the other hand, the League's demise underlines the fragility of a left-right alliance, which also has recently created difficulties for the Second Vermont Republic. The controversy began when the Southern Poverty Law Center accused Naylor and the group of talking to an allegedly racist group, the League of the South. Critics pounced, and Seven Days, a liberal weekly in Vermont that was distributing Vermont Commons as an insert, decided to end the arrangement. Labor groups soon demanded the removal of offensive web links on Second Vermont Republic's website, disassociation from certain groups or individuals, and the release of a statement clearly opposing racism, fascism, bigotry, and discrimination. Although there is no evidence that Vermont secessionists condone such things, they've been pressured to prove it. Whether Vermont's secession movement can recover and grow, especially in the face of demands to break ties with groups that don't embrace all progressive principles, remains to be seen. In the meantime, however, the Decentralist League and McKibben's project list may point toward a platform with practical, short-term benefits. Greg Guma writes about media and politics on his website, Maverick Media (http://muckraker-gg.blogspot.com). The full text of the Decentralist League's Statement of Principles can be found there. --------23 of 23-------- ------------ REPEAL CAPITALISM ------------ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
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