|Progressive Calendar 09.29.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 03:23:56 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.29.08 1. Peace walk 9.29 6pm RiverFalls WI 2. Amnesty Intl 9.29 7pm 3. Health activism 9.29 7pm 4. Start a blog 9.29 7pm 5. RNC/potluck 9.30 7pm 6. Eating ethics 9.30 7pm 7. John Gray - A shattering moment in America's fall from power 8. Rich Broderick - Second time as farce: the presidential "debate" 9. Tom Eley - Political dissent as terrorism: charges filed vs RNC08 10. Naomi Wolf - Sarah Palin as head of the coming police state? 11. ed - Politically inoffensive haiku --------1 of 11-------- From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net> Subject: Peace walk 9.29 6pm RiverFalls WI River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from "Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact: d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls, Wisconsin 54022 --------2 of 11-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 9.29 7pm Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, September 29th, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the party room of the 1020 Building, 1020 E 17th Street, Minneapolis. For more information contact Ardes Johnson at 612/378-1166 or johns779 [at] tc.umn.edu. --------3 of 11-------- From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> Subject: Health activism 9.29 7pm Come and hear about the corporate takeover of health care and discuss how we can take it back HEALTH CARE ACTIVISM U of MN EXCO (Experimental College) free Three-Session Series Class meets Mondays from 7PM to 9PM, Sept 29, Oct 13, and Oct 20 Phillips Wangensteen Building Room 6-224 (6th floor), U of M East Bank, entrance on Washington ave. near Harvard Street. Register online at www.excotc.org, click Health Care Activism This series focuses on basic political economy and activism in the struggle for health care justice in Minnesota/U.S. The need for health care as a publicly-funded, human right, based on need, not cost, tops the public agenda. Case studies of successful actions toward this end include: Minnesota seniors taking bus trips to Canada to obtain needed medications; the Ithaca Health Fund, a self- funded pool for the uninsured to avoid middleman insurance companies; AIDS activists holding a "die-in" at the New York Stock Exchange to lower the prohibitively expensive price of AZT, the first life-saving AIDS drug and much more. This is an exciting time to learn about and become a health care activist in empowering communities to take back health care. No prerequisites necessary. Joel Albers, facilitator, is a clinical pharmacist, and health economist, with the Universal Health Care Action Network of MN. Joel has published in various journals and regularly guest lectures at the University of MN and College of St. Catherine. 612-384-0973, joel [at] uhcan-mn.org --------4 of 11--------- From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org> Subject: Start a blog 9.29 7pm ALL workshops listed are FREE on Mondays at 7:00 PM. Unless otherwise noted, all are in the Electronic Classroom at Rondo Community Outreach Library (University & Dale, in St. Paul). Sept 29th - How to Start a Blog Come learn the basics of using free tools such as Blogger or Wordpress to maintain a simple blog or website. We will also introduce concepts such as content management, widgets and really simple syndication (RSS). --------5 of 11-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC/potluck 9.30 7pm Tuesday, 9/30 7 pm, Anti-War Committee potluck to share experiences of the RNC and discuss next steps, Walker Church, 3104 - 16th Ave S, Mpls. Please bring photos or on a DVD so we can project them. http://www.antiwarcommittee.org --------6 of 11-------- From: Sean Gosiewski <sean [at] afors.org> Subject: Eating ethics 9.30 7pm Free lecture by author Jim Mason, "The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter" - Sept 30, 2008 7 to 9pm Coffman Theater, on the East Bank of the U of M - followed by a free, catered reception - Sponsored by Compassionate Action for Animals www.exploreveg.org/ Youth Environmental Activists of MN! Kick Off at MN Powershift! --------7 of 11-------- A Shattering Moment in America's Fall From Power by John Gray Published on Sunday, September 28, 2008 by The Guardian/UK The global financial crisis will see the US falter in the same way the Soviet Union did when the Berlin Wall came down. The era of American dominance is over Our gaze might be on the markets melting down, but the upheaval we are experiencing is more than a financial crisis, however large. Here is a historic geopolitical shift, in which the balance of power in the world is being altered irrevocably. The era of American global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over. You can see it in the way America's dominion has slipped away in its own backyard, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez taunting and ridiculing the superpower with impunity. Yet the setback of America's standing at the global level is even more striking. With the nationalisation of crucial parts of the financial system, the American free-market creed has self-destructed while countries that retained overall control of markets have been vindicated. In a change as far-reaching in its implications as the fall of the Soviet Union, an entire model of government and the economy has collapsed. Ever since the end of the Cold War, successive American administrations have lectured other countries on the necessity of sound finance. Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina and several African states endured severe cuts in spending and deep recessions as the price of aid from the International Monetary Fund, which enforced the American orthodoxy. China in particular was hectored relentlessly on the weakness of its banking system. But China's success has been based on its consistent contempt for Western advice and it is not Chinese banks that are currently going bust. How symbolic yesterday that Chinese astronauts take a spacewalk while the US Treasury Secretary is on his knees. Despite incessantly urging other countries to adopt its way of doing business, America has always had one economic policy for itself and another for the rest of the world. Throughout the years in which the US was punishing countries that departed from fiscal prudence, it was borrowing on a colossal scale to finance tax cuts and fund its over-stretched military commitments. Now, with federal finances critically dependent on continuing large inflows of foreign capital, it will be the countries that spurned the American model of capitalism that will shape America's economic future. Which version of the bail out of American financial institutions cobbled up by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is finally adopted is less important than what the bail out means for America's position in the world. The populist rant about greedy banks that is being loudly ventilated in Congress is a distraction from the true causes of the crisis. The dire condition of America's financial markets is the result of American banks operating in a free-for-all environment that these same American legislators created. It is America's political class that, by embracing the dangerously simplistic ideology of deregulation, has responsibility for the present mess. In present circumstances, an unprecedented expansion of government is the only means of averting a market catastrophe. The consequence, however, will be that America will be even more starkly dependent on the world's new rising powers. The federal government is racking up even larger borrowings, which its creditors may rightly fear will never be repaid. It may well be tempted to inflate these debts away in a surge of inflation that would leave foreign investors with hefty losses. In these circumstances, will the governments of countries that buy large quantities of American bonds, China, the Gulf States and Russia, for example, be ready to continue supporting the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency? Or will these countries see this as an opportunity to tilt the balance of economic power further in their favour? Either way, the control of events is no longer in American hands. The fate of empires is very often sealed by the interaction of war and debt. That was true of the British Empire, whose finances deteriorated from the First World War onwards, and of the Soviet Union. Defeat in Afghanistan and the economic burden of trying to respond to Reagan's technically flawed but politically extremely effective Star Wars programme were vital factors in triggering the Soviet collapse. Despite its insistent exceptionalism, America is no different. The Iraq War and the credit bubble have fatally undermined America's economic primacy. The US will continue to be the world's largest economy for a while longer, but it will be the new rising powers that, once the crisis is over, buy up what remains intact in the wreckage of America's financial system. There has been a good deal of talk in recent weeks about imminent economic armageddon. In fact, this is far from being the end of capitalism. The frantic scrambling that is going on in Washington marks the passing of only one type of capitalism - the peculiar and highly unstable variety that has existed in America over the last 20 years. This experiment in financial laissez-faire has imploded. While the impact of the collapse will be felt everywhere, the market economies that resisted American-style deregulation will best weather the storm. Britain, which has turned itself into a gigantic hedge fund, but of a kind that lacks the ability to profit from a downturn, is likely to be especially badly hit. The irony of the post-Cold War period is that the fall of communism was followed by the rise of another utopian ideology. In American and Britain, and to a lesser extent other Western countries, a type of market fundamentalism became the guiding philosophy. The collapse of American power that is underway is the predictable upshot. Like the Soviet collapse, it will have large geopolitical repercussions. An enfeebled economy cannot support America's over-extended military commitments for much longer. Retrenchment is inevitable and it is unlikely to be gradual or well planned. Meltdowns on the scale we are seeing are not slow-motion events. They are swift and chaotic, with rapidly spreading side-effects. Consider Iraq. The success of the surge, which has been achieved by bribing the Sunnis, while acquiescing in ongoing ethnic cleansing, has produced a condition of relative peace in parts of the country. How long will this last, given that America's current level of expenditure on the war can no longer be sustained? An American retreat from Iraq will leave Iran the regional victor. How will Saudi Arabia respond? Will military action to forestall Iran acquiring nuclear weapons be less or more likely? China's rulers have so far been silent during the unfolding crisis. Will America's weakness embolden them to assert China's power or will China continue its cautious policy of 'peaceful rise'? At present, none of these questions can be answered with any confidence. What is evident is that power is leaking from the US at an accelerating rate. Georgia showed Russia redrawing the geopolitical map, with America an impotent spectator. Outside the US, most people have long accepted that the development of new economies that goes with globalisation will undermine America's central position in the world. They imagined that this would be a change in America's comparative standing, taking place incrementally over several decades or generations. Today, that looks an increasingly unrealistic assumption. Having created the conditions that produced history's biggest bubble, America's political leaders appear unable to grasp the magnitude of the dangers the country now faces. Mired in their rancorous culture wars and squabbling among themselves, they seem oblivious to the fact that American global leadership is fast ebbing away. A new world is coming into being almost unnoticed, where America is only one of several great powers, facing an uncertain future it can no longer shape. 2008 The Guardian John Gray is the author of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and The Death of Utopia, published by Penguin. --------8 of 11-------- Second time as farce: Russia, America's economy and the Presidential "debate" by Rich Broderick Daily Planet 9/27/08 Maybe it's the time of year - the cusp of October, the approach of yet another anniversary of the Bolshevik's 1917 coup d'etat - but Friday night's surreal "debate" between Barack Obama and John McCain reminded me of A People's Tragedy, The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924, Orlando Figes's magisterial history of Russia's epic revolutionary era. A People's Tragedy is a sobering tome that every American should read, and not only as a cautionary tale of what happens when a country is chronically misgoverned - and ultimately bankrupted - by a callous, sclerotic, and incompetent ruling class that conflates its own self-interest with the welfare of the nation. Over the past 120 years, the Russians have been to hell-and-back so many times that there might as well be a direct line between the Moscow metro and the ninth-circle of Hades. This is a country that has faced one existential threat after another and paid a fearsome price in lives lost in its fight for survival. Four million dead in WWI. Another 1 million to 2 million during the Civil War, perhaps 10 million dead during the manmade famine in the Ukraine, 20 million to 25 million lost during WWII, a few million more to assorted purges, show trials, forced migrations, and to the Gulag's system of slave labor. To think that the United States can now blithely provoke Russia, which sits on vast oil and natural gas reserves as well as several thousand nuclear warheads, with little risk to ourselves borders on the suicidal. Yet that seems to be precisely what McCain and Obama propose. Their descriptions Friday evening of the recent dustup between Russia and Georgia were nothing short of hallucinatory: an innocent but doughty ally suffering an unprovoked invasion at the hands of Vladimir Putin. Can the candidates truly be unaware that the ethnically Russian South Ossetia province of Georgia wanted to secede for exactly the same reasons we cited to justify Kosovo's separation from Serbia only a year ago? Or that Russia's intervention was a response to Georgia's sneak attack on South Ossetia's capital city - a nightime air strike in which some 2,000 civilians were killed? Of course they are not unaware. Nor can they honestly believe (I hope) that we can ring the borders of such a deeply nationalistic, understandably paranoid country with new members of NATO drawn from a pool of such traditionally maritime, long-standing Western partners (!) like Georgia and Ukraine. In 1962, we nearly went to war with the USSR over the introduction of Soviet ICBM's into Cuba, implicitly invoking the Monroe Doctrine as justification for our cause. Do we seriously think there is no Russian version of the Monroe Doctrine covering its immediate borders? Meanwhile, the discourse during the debate about America's financial crisis was equally farcical. At $14.5 trillion (and shrinking) the American economy may indeed be the "largest" in the world. But at the moment, the entire industrial sector makes up a grand total of about 15 percent of our vaunted GDP. Almost all the rest consists of a sector that goes by the apt acronym of FIRE, for finance, insurance, and real estate. America, in other words, produces almost nothing anyone really wants or needs. Nonetheless, we continue to include the non-productive, even parasitic growth of FIRE in our swelling GDP without bothering to subtract the much larger societal costs hidden within those figures. Is the price of health care going up by double-digits year-in, year-out? Why, let's just factor that cancer-like metastasis into GDP! How many billions will be shelled out trying to rebuild - partially - New Orleans? Don't forget to add the price of "reconstruction" to GDP, too. And so on. And so forth. Communist China used to refer to the United States as a "paper tiger". Today, it would be more accurate to describe the U.S. as a "paper asset" - much of it owned, incidentally, by Communist China. But you'd never know any of this from listening to Barack Obama and John McCain. Both represent parties completely beholden to the very interests that have brought us to the brink of ruin. Small wonder that, to listen to these two ventriloquist dummies prattle on about "experience" and "judgment," you would be excused for believing that the only issues that matter is whether Obama has the chops and McCain the temperament to continue our unchallenged domination of the world, a glorious Pax Americana that's being paid for, essentially, with a Visa card and a smile. I mentioned a little earlier the astonishing dysfunction of Russia's ruling class leading up to 1917. Also astonishing is the way a corrupt two-party duopoly has come to dominate the United States, a country whose founders explicitly wanted to avoid the development of political parties of any kind; imagine what they would make of the Republicrat Party that now not only receives tens of millions of dollars in federal funding - our tax money - to mount its idiotic national conventions, but whose functionaries also staff the very commission that determines who will be allowed to participate in the presidential debates. Imagine, too, their dismay over the inane analysis of the debate's inanities by the mainstream press, itself another head of the hydra currently devouring the country. Oh, what I would have given to have seen Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and Bob Barr sharing the stage Friday night. Think of the critique they might have provided to the farce that is our political and economic system! --------9 of 11-------- Political dissent as terrorism: "Minnesota Patriot Act" charges filed against RNC Eight By Tom Eley 11 September 2008 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/minn-s11.shtml The charges of terrorism leveled against the eight youth who had sought to organize protests and civil disobedience against the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Minnesota last week sound an alarm that political opposition in the US is on its way toward being criminalized. In what may be the first case of its kind, American citizens have been arrested and charged as terrorists for no other act than planning to protest and obstruct a political event. In this case the occasion was the nominating convention of a party chiefly responsible for policies detested by the majority of Americans, including the war in Iraq and the enrichment of a tiny layer of the enormously wealthy. Even a casual review of the case reveals that the charges are a baseless frame-up, carried out in the name of constitutionally dubious "anti-terrorist" legislation enacted since 2002. More alarming than the case itself, however, is the fact that it has gone virtually unnoted by the national news media. This reporter could also find no mention of the case on the web sites of left-liberal publications such as the Nation, the Progressive, or In These Times. No major politician from either party has commented on the case, including Minnesota's Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar. Attempts to contact the campaign and Senate office of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama revealed that he had not released a statement on the arrests. This silence on the case is no indication of its lack of importance. In essence, the terrorism charges against the RNC 8 show what the World Socialist Web Site has long warned: that anti-terrorism laws like the Patriot Act - enthusiastically supported by both major parties - have never been about protecting the American people from terrorism. They were put into place to create the legal framework for the suppression of basic constitutional and democratic rights of the population. The eight members of the anarchist group Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee (RNCWC) were arrested the weekend before the RNC began and charged with the felony "conspiracy to commit riot in the second degree in furtherance of terrorism." They have since been released on $10,000 bail. If convicted at trial, the RNC Eight could each face five years in prison plus a $10,000 fine. A ninth individual has been named in the police complaint, but has yet to be charged. Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and attorney for Monica Bicking, one of the eight defendants, told the World Socialist Web Site that the authorities have shown no indication that the charges will be dropped. The charges are predicated on an a priori assumption of guilt; not on what actually happened, but what might have happened had no arrest been made. Furthermore, the charges are almost entirely based upon the evidence of two confidential paid informants. Nestor pointed out in an earlier interview with the Minnesota Independent that "the most outrageous allegations made by the authorities are not supported by any evidence other than the statement of the confidential informants. They're not supported by the evidence seized." The physical evidence gathered by law enforcement was even more threadbare than the purchased testimony of informants. "We have the sheriff displaying a single plastic item that he claims was a shield," Nestor said, "as if one shield was going to protect demonstrators from 3,500 armed riot police who have projectile-tear-gas weapons." In addition, police seized a rusty hatchet, nails, lighters and other common household items as evidence, and rather ludicrously reported discovering "weaponized urine." This is the same method the Federal Bureau of Investigation has used in its attacks on Muslim organizations and other "terrorism" suspects. In such scenarios, anonymous police infiltrators enter an organization, create a provocation or even a crime itself, and then turn over uncorroborated testimony, thereby implicating an entire group of people Lawyers for the RNCWC members have also pointed to the climate of fear created surrounding their clients by the very charge of terrorism. "All they do is they label people as terrorists and anarchists, and at that point what people are actually saying and the content of their views has no meaning anymore," said attorney Jordan Kushner. Nestor told the WSWS that the arrests are "part of an overall law enforcement strategy to intimidate people from exercising political rights in the streets and to intimidate people from political organizations, to put citizens outside of the realm of acceptable behavior, to limit acceptable protest to voting and writing letters, and anything else is dangerous and potentially criminal." The arrests are based on a 2002 law enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support in response to 9/11 and the adoption of the national USA Patriot Act. According to Nestor the Minnesota law is a version of the latter. According to the law, "a crime is committed to 'further terrorism' if the crime is a felony and is a premeditated act involving violence to persons or property that is intended to: (1) terrorize, intimidate, or coerce a considerable number of members of the public in addition to the direct victims of the act; and (2) significantly disrupt or interfere with the lawful exercise, operation, or conduct of government, lawful commerce, or the right of lawful assembly" (emphasis added). In other words, the statute lays out a legal framework for the categorization of protest as "furthering terrorism." Police could quite easily determine that a protest aims to "coerce" "members of the public" or "interfere with" the operations of government, industry and meetings. In a broad sense, that is precisely what public demonstrations have always aimed to do. The passing of the 2002 legislation was not the only, or most recent, preparation made by the government for the repression that has unfolded in St. Paul. It has been revealed that the city government of St. Paul and the Host Committee of the Republican National Convention - which organized the event and solicited corporate donors - worked out a bargain whereby the Host Committee would assume the first $10 million in liability resulting from lawsuits civilians might launch against the city's police. This agreement gave a signal to police that financial liability need not serve as a deterrent to police repression of protests. Police preparation in the Twin Cities was elaborate. Because the RNC, like the Democratic National Convention, was declared a "National Security Event," the local police were placed under the supervision of the federal government through the Secret Service and combined with numerous other state and federal police and military agencies. It has also become clear that the media, especially independent media, were targeted for harassment and arrest during the convention. This included the unlawful search and seizure of filming equipment, computers, and cell phones. As the scope of the arrests and police brutality has begun to take shape - multiple reports have emerged of police beatings, gassings, denial of medical treatment, and use of mace and taser guns on protesters and those already detained or arrested - it appears increasingly unlikely that this was simply an overreaction, as some liberal commentators have claimed. The goal of this repression - which most assuredly would be a central preoccupation of the mainstream media had it taken place in, for instance, Russia - was only secondarily aimed at intimidating or squelching the RNC protests. Instead these measures were cut from the same cloth as the sort of massive repression carried out in third world police states. The massive police operation's primary aim was to benumb, intimidate and silence the population as a whole. It also provided the opportunity for a trial run of large-scale repression against the mass opposition to war and social immiseration that will inevitably emerge in the coming months and years. --------10 of 11-------- Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State? By Naomi Wolf, Huffington Post Posted on September 24, 2008, Printed on September 28, 2008 http://www.alternet.org/story/100069/ Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah "Evita" Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state. You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand "Palin Power." A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections - but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don't have freedom. I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites ("the heart of America is on display") and realized Bush's speechwriters were writing her - not McCain's - speeches. I heard her tell George Bush's lies - not McCain's - to the American people, linking 9/11 to Iraq. I heard her make fun of Barack Obama for wanting to prevent the torture of prisoners - this is Rove-Cheney's enthusiastic S and M, not McCain's, who, though he shamefully colluded in the 2006 Military Tribunals Act, is also a former prisoner of war and wrote an eloquent Newsweek piece in 2005 opposing torture. I saw that she was even styled by the same skillful stylist (neutral lipstick, matte makeup, dark colors) who turned Katharine Harris from a mall rat into a stateswoman and who styles all the women in the Bush orbit - but who does not bother to style Cindy McCain. Then I saw and heard more. Palin is embracing lawlessness in defying Alaskan Legislature subpoenas - this is what Rove-Cheney, and not McCain, believe in doing. She uses mafia tactics against critics, like the police commissioner who was railroaded for opposing handguns in Alaskan battered women's shelters - Rove's style, not McCain's. I realized what I was seeing. Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal. The strategy became clear. Time magazine reported that Rove is "dialed in" to the McCain campaign. Rove's protege Steve Schmidt is now campaign manager. And Politico reported that Rove was heavily involved in McCain's vice presidential selection. Finally a new report shows that there are dozens of Bush and Rove operatives surrounding Sarah Palin and orchestrating her every move. What's the plan? It is this. McCain doesn't matter. Reputable dermatologists are discussing the fact that in simply actuarial terms, John McCain has a virulent and life-threatening form of skin cancer. It is the elephant in the room, but we must discuss the health of the candidates: doctors put survival rates for someone his age at two to four years. I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future - for a decade perhaps - a puppet "president" for the same people who have plundered our treasure, are now holding the US economy hostage and who murdered four thousand brave young men and women in a way of choice and lies. How, you may ask, can I assert this? How can I argue, as I now do, that there is actually a war being ramped up against US citizens and our democracy and that Sarah Palin is the figurehead and muse for that war? Look at the RNC. This is supposed to be McCain's America. But you see the unmistakable theatre of Rove's S and M imagery - and you see stages eight, nine and ten of the steps to a dictatorship as I outlined them in The End of America. Preemptive arrest? Abusive arrest? "Newly released footage, which was buried to avoid confiscation, shows riot cops arresting and abusing a giant group of people for nothing." Journalists were arrested - for reporting. Amy Goodman and ABC producers were arrested. Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake and others were forced to lie face down as armed agents tied their hands behind their backs. The riot police wore the black S&M gear of the Rovian fantasy life and carried the four foot batons cops carry in North Korea. All this is not John McCain's imagery or strategy: it is Karl Rove's. In McCain-Palin's America, citizens who are protesting are being charged as terrorists. This means that a violent war had been declared on American citizens. A well known reporter leaked to me on background that St Paul police had dressed as protesters and, dressed in Black - shades of the Blackshirts of 1920 - infiltrated protest groups. There were also phalanxes of men in black wearing balaclavas, linking arms and behaving menacingly - alleged "anarchists." Let me tell you, I have been on the left for thirty years and you can't get three lefties to wear the same t-shirt to a rally, let alone link arms and wear identical face masks: these are not our guys. Agent Provocateurs framing protesters and calling protest "terrorism" constitutes step ten of a police state: "In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism - [they] 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty." "Paid, confidential informants" infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provocateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence." Under the Palin-Rove police state, you will see escalating infringements on your access to a free internet: "Sarah Palin was baptized at Wasilla Assembly of God. Last Sunday our research team released a video, a ten-minute mini-documentary, focusing on the Wasilla Assemblies of God and the video seemed on the verge of a massive "viral" breakthrough when YouTube pulled it down, citing 'inappropriate content'. At the point the video was censored by YouTube it had been viewed by almost 160,000 people. The short of it is that YouTube has censored a video documentary that appeared to be close to having an effect on a hard fought and contentious American presidential election" Under the coming Palin-Rove police state, you will witness the plans now underway to bring Iraqi troops to patrol the streets of our nation. This is not McCain's fantasy: it is Rove's and Cheney's. Under the Palin-Rove police state, there will be no further true elections. Mark Crispin Miller has done sensational and under-reported investigating to establish that - as I warned - indeed the GOP staffers on the US Senate Judiciary Committee have been. The evidence is also buried on the Website of the Majority House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. WASHINGTON - Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe. From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight - and with what tactics. - "Senate panel's GOP staff spied on Democrats" By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | January 22, 2004 Do you think that spying like this will ever end under a Palin-Rove regime? Dream on. If she and McCain are elected, then every single strategy memo and speech and debate prep note from every opposition candidate from now and on into forever will be read by the regime in power while it is still in the computers of the challengers. Under the Palin-Rove police state, citizens will be targeted with state cyberterrorism. Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda, a former Reagan official, warned me three years ago that the Bush team went after a Republican who had crossed them through cyberstalking: they messed with his email, messed with his phones and I believe messed with his bank account - he became a cyber-pariah, unemployable and haunted. With modern technology, there really is less place to hide from the state than there was in East Germany in the Cold War era. I remember feeling a chill: of course. That is the wave of the future once we breach the protections around citizens of FISA and the fourth amendment. That way lies the abyss for us all. Am I trying to scare you? I am. I am trying to scare you to death and ask you to scare your Republican and independent friends most of all. How do you know when it is war on citizens? When there are mass arrests, journalists are jailed, the opposition is infiltrated, rights are stripped and leaders start to ignore the rule of law. Almost everyone I work with on projects related to this campaign for liberty has been experiencing computer harassment: emails are stripped, messages disappear. That's not all: people's bank accounts are being tampered with: wire transfers to banks vanish in midair. I personally keep opening bank accounts that are quickly corrupted by fraud. Money vanishes. Coworkers of mine have to keep opening new email accounts as old ones become infected. And most disturbingly to me personally is the mail tampering I have both heard of and experienced firsthand. My tax returns vanished from my mailbox. All my larger envelopes arrive ripped straight open apparently by hand. When I show the postman, he says "That's impossible." Horrifyingly to me is the impact on my family. My childrens' report cards are returned again and again though perfectly addressed; their invitations are turned back; and my daughters many letters from camp? Vanished. All of them. Not one arrived. Try explaining that to a smart thirteen year old. Try explaining it in a way that still makes her feel secure and comfortable. I am not telling you this because it's about my life. I am telling you this because it is about your life - whoever you are, Conservative or Liberal, independent or evangelical. Your politics will not protect you in a police state. History shows that nothing protects you in a police state. This is not about my fear and anxiety: it is about what awaits you and everyone you love unless you see this for what it is: Scharansky divided nations into "fear societies" and "free societies." Make no mistake: Sarah "Evita" Palin is Rove and Cheney's cosmetic rebranding of their fascist push: she will help to establish a true and irreversible "fear society" in this once free once proud nation. For God's sake, do not let her; do not let them. Naomi Wolf is the author of 'The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot' (Chelsea Green, 2007). © 2008 Huffington Post All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/100069/ [If they have gone to this much trouble to make Palin the head of the coming police state, would they leave the 2008 election to chance? They fixed 2000 and 2004 and we and the Dems did nothing about it so why not do it again, this time once and for all? -ed] --------11 of 11-------- Politically inoffensive haiku Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. Munch! Burp! Farrrppp! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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