|Progressive Calendar 10.03.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 03:30:02 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.03.08 1. Venezuela/KFAI 10.03 11am 2. Ffunch 10.03 11:30am 3. Save SD choice 10.03 12noon 4. Palestine vigil 10.03 4:15pm 5. Alt to violence 10.03 6pm 6. Human rights 10.03 7pm 7. Moyers/media 10.03 9pm 8. Human rights 10.04 8:30am Rochester MN 9. Media conference 10.04 9am 10. Peace walk 10.04 9am Cambridge MN 11. Iran 10.04 9:30am 12. Homeless vets 10.04 10am 13. Ghost bike ride 10.04 10:30am 14. NWN4P Mtka 10.04 11am 15. Northtown vigil 10.04 2pm 16. RNC 8 benefit 10.04 4pm 17. Iraq in MN 10.04 6pm 18. Our world today 10.04 6pm 19. Noam Chomsky - Social Summit for Latin American & Caribbean Unity 20. ed - Senate hiaku 21. ed - Senate bumperstickers --------1 of 21-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Venezuela/KFAI 10.03 11am Fri.OCT.3, 11am BOLIVIA-VENEZUELA update KFAI Radio Tune in to hear JOHN PETERSON of the HANDS OFF VENEZUELA Committee gives an update about events in BOLIVIA and VENEZUELA. Right-wing wealthy elites in both countries and the U.S. government (who backs them through the CIA front-organization NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY/NED) are still working to overthrow the democratically-elected leaders Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez. In Bolivia, rightwing militias went on a killing spree. Morales deported the United States Ambassador to Bolivia - and Chavez also deported the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela. The Corporate Media is doing their usual work to put the U.S. government propaganda out there - an Orwellian message that calls ELECTED leaders that the U.S. doesn't like "dictators" - while censoring news about the death squads your taxes pay for in those countries. CATALYST:politics & culture host/producer, Lydia Howell Fridays, 11am on KFAI Radio, 90.3fm Mpls 106.7 fm St. Paul All shows live-streamed/archived on-line for 2 weeks after broadcast at: http://www.kfai.org --- from HANDS OFF VENEZUELA The ongoing coup attempt in Bolivia continues, and yesterday 8 peasants were killed when they were ambushed by fascist gangs of the oligarchy. In the working class area of Plan 3000 in Santa Cruz, the people repelled the fascist gangs which had attempted to enter this area to spread fear. As a result of these provocations Evo Morales has expelled the US ambassador. In the evening of Thursday a coup plot was uncovered in Venezuela. The people immediately gathered outside Miraflores and Chavez addressed them announcing the expulsion of the US ambassador. A mass meeting of PSUV activists and leaders took place afterwards at the Fuerte San Carlos and it was agreed to call a march for today outside Fuerte Tiuna, the city's main military barracks and mass demonstrations in all the regional capitals on Saturday. It is time to say enough is enough. The oligarchy in Venezuela and Bolivia has shown once and again their lack of respect for the democratic will of the majority of the people. We need to organise solidarity. Urgent meetings should take place to plan actions of solidarity around the world. There should be rallies outside of the US embassies and public assemblies to discuss the situation and coordinate further action. The Venezuelan and Bolivian embassies around the world must contacted to help and participate in this mobilisation. IT IS TIME FOR ACTION DOWN WITH THE REACTIONARY COUPS IN BOLIVIA AND VENEZUELA DOWN WITH US IMPERIALISM LONG LIVE THE BOLIVIAN AND BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION FORWARD TO SOCIALISM More information and details of actions as soon as we receive them --------2 of 21-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Ffunch 10.03 11:30am Meet the FFUNCH BUNCH! 11:30am-1pm First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for Greens/progressives. Informal political talk and hanging out. Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul. Meet in the private room (holds 12+). Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous apple pie; is close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines --------3 of 21-------- From: ACLU of Minnesota <pubed [at] aclu-mn.org> Subject: Save SD choice 10.03 12noon The ACLU of Minnesota is heading to South Dakota to fight the potential abortion ban, and we need your help! South Dakota is the scene of a major showdown over reproductive freedom. This Election Day, South Dakotans will be asked to vote on a ban on virtually all abortions. It's political interference in a woman's most personal, private medical decisions. Your neighbors in South Dakota need your help. Join us in Sioux Falls next month to help local activists reject South Dakota's Abortion Ban. We will talk directly to voters and help the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families defeat this dangerous ban. - When: October 3-5 The bus departs at Noon on Friday and returns by 9:00 p.m. on Sunday. - Where: Bus leaves from St. Paul and goes to Sioux Falls, SD. - What: Talking to voters directly Details: Transportation and most meals will be provided. Scholarships to pay for lodging are available. Interested? Contact Jana Kooren at the ACLU-MN at 651.645.4097 x123 or email jkooren [at] aclu-mn.org Looking for more information? Visit ACLU of Minnesota website: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=9N7HSrcn9DIYwPXyyd2Msw.. --------4 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 10.03 4:15pm Friday, 10/3, 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. --------5 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Alt to violence 10.03 6pm 10/3 (6 pm) to 10/5 (5 pm), basic level Alternatives to Violence Workshop, Hennepin County Men's Workhouse, 1145 Shenandoah Lane, Plymouth. avperika [at] gmail.com or http://www.fnvw.blogspot.com --------6 of 21-------- From: Lauren Merritt <merri350 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Human rights 10.03 7pm October 3, 2008 - Evangelicals and Human Rights: Problems and Prospects for the 21st Century. Time: 7:00 p.m.. Cost: Free & open to the public. Evangelicals moved from privatism and withdrawal to public engagement in the late 20th century, and are now in the process of broadening their vision and agenda for public engagement to include human rights and other issues far beyond the agenda of the Christian Right. This lecture will discuss the evolution of recent evangelical public engagement and the growing interest of evangelicals in human rights. The work of Dr. Gushee's group Evangelicals for Human Rights in addressing the torture issue will serve as a case study of both the prospects and problems of evangelical public engagement in the 21st century. David P. Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. Currently, Dr. Gushee's research interests focus on issues emerging at the intersection between Christian faith, ethics and public policy. Sponsored by MacLaurin Institute (www.maclauirn.org) Location: 125 Willey Hall, University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, West Bank, Minneapolis,MN --------7 of 21-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Moyers/media 10.03 9pm Bill Moyers Journal | Politics, the Economy and the Media http://www.truthout.org/100108U On Bill Moyers Journal Friday: "In a week chock full of breaking news and historic moves - from proposed economic fixes to record-breaking market flux to vice-presidential debates - how did the media fare in informing the public? Bill Moyers Journal takes an in-depth look at the news of the week to sort out the media-frenzied information available from what the public still needs to know." --------8 of 21-------- From: Lauren Merritt <merri350 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Human rights 10.04 8:30am Rochester MN October 4, 2008 - 37th Annual League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions Conference. Time: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Cost: Registration for conference = $85; Evening Prior = $25. Celebrating 60 Years of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Strategies to Strengthen & Invigorate Our Communities Addressing: UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Mary Shuttleworth, Youth for Human Rights, International Human Rights Activist Disability Issues Mary Kay Kennedy, Advocating Change Together Keynote Speaker Pete Feigal, National Speaker and Artist GLBT Issues Kristian Maul, TYSN and Haven Herrin, Soulforce Q Close the Gap in Education Kristi Rudelius Palmer, U of M Human Rights Center American Indian Curriculum Jackie Fraedrich, Program Director Student Services for Robbinsdale Area Schools; Marion Helland, LMHRC; Dave Larsen, Assistant Director for American Indian Affairs, Mankato State University Evening Prior Centennial Hall, Kahler Hotel Dinner, Networking, Stage Left Presentation hosted by the 2008 LMHRC Board of Directors Friday, October 3 6:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. Advocating Change Together Education Minnesota Tolerance Minnesota Transgender Youth Support Network Outfront MN The Advocates for Human Rights U of M Human Rights Resource Center Location: Kahler Grand Hotel, 20 Southwest Second Avenue, Rochester, MN --------9 of 21-------- From: Richard Broderick <richb [at] lakecast.com> Subject: Media conference 10.04 9am Tools for Democracy, Strategies for Change: TCMA Fall Media Forum October, 4, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Minneapolis Downtown Public Library 4th & Nicollet "Tools for Democracy, Strategies for Change" is the theme of the Twin Cities Media Alliance's 4th Annual Fall Media Forum, to be held Saturday, October 4 at the downtown Minneapolis Public Library. Featured speakers include Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, on how citizens can use new media as tools for participation in electoral politics; Robyne Robinson on how to use mainstream media, and Amalia Anderson of the Main Street Project, on organizing for media reform and media justice. Afternoon workshop topics will include media justice and media reform; digital skills training, and a talking circle for journalists, participants and bystanders who witnessed the RNC protests. This event is open to the public and free of charge, but donations are welcome. October 4, 2008 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Schedule: 9:00 - 9:30 registration 9:30-10:00 Secretary of State Mark Ritchie: "Using the New Media as Tools of Democracy" 10:00-10:45 KSTP News Anchor Robyne Robinson: How to Use the Mainstream Media 10:45-11: 15 Break (networking opportunity). 11:15-11:45 Amalia Anderson, The Main Street Project: Media Reform and Media Justice: How to Get Involved 11:45-12:30 Multimedia presentation: Citizen Journalists and the RNC (The Uptake, TCDP, Minnesota Independent) 12:30-1:20 lunch break 1:30-2:30 workshops A. Doty Board Room: I-Witness: a talking circle for journalists, participants and bystanders to share their experience of the RNC B. Community Meeting Room: Amalia Anderson and Nancy Brown: Media Reform and Media Justice - How to Get Involved C. Digital Skills tutorial 2:30-3:30 workshops repeat --------10 of 21-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 10.04 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------11 of 21-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Iran 10.04 9:30am William Beeman: "False Alarms on Iran" Saturday, October 4, 9:30 a.m. (Refreshments), 10:00 a.m. to Noon (Program and Discussion) Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina. William O. Beeman explains why Iran is not a danger to either the United States or Israel. He will explore the charges that Iran is the "chief state supporter of terrorism," that Iran's nuclear program constitutes a danger for the world, and that Iran is responsible for attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. Beeman will explain the real reasons why the Bush administration has targeted Iran during the past eight years. Professor Beeman is Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota and President of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. Sponsored by: Middle East Peace Now (MEPN). FFI: Call Florence Steichen, 651-696-1642. --------12 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Homeless vets 10.04 10am Saturday, 10/4, 10 to 11:30 am, meeting Homeless Veterans for Peace, Peacehouse, 510 E Franklin, Mpls. Bob Heberle, 612-789-9020. --------13 of 21-------- From: Matty Lang <voidoid21 [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Ghost bike ride 10.04 10:30am Ghost Bike Memorial Ride to Honor Fallen Bicyclists Minneapolis / St.Paul-October 2008 - This Saturday, the bicycle community will come together to honor the memory of cyclists who have been killed in recent collisions on Twin Cities streets. A memorial ride will visit the sites of three of the most recent crashes, where "Ghost Bikes" have been placed as a memorial to the victims. For more info on Ghost Bikes please visit http://www.ghostbikempls.org Family, friends and cyclists are invited to participate in this group ride. Organizers are asking that participating cyclists please wear a black shirt with orange ribbon around their arm or handlebars. Ribbon will be provided for those who need it. Memorial Ride to Honor Fallen Bicyclists 13.6 miles for Twin Cities route (http://www.bikemap.net/route/89109) 14.3 miles extra for Blaine route (http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2304032) Meet on the traffic island at Summit and Snelling Avenues in St.Paul This Saturday, October 4th, 2008. Meet at 10:30 am; depart 11:00 am Contact: ghostbikempls(at)gmail.com or 612-276-1008 The ride will begin at Summit and Snelling Avenues near the ghost bike memorial for Virginia Heuer Bower. It will then head west down Lake Street to Excelsior and West 32nd Street, the ghost bike memorial for Jimmy Nisser. The ride will then head back up Excelsior/Lake, then northeast on Hennepin to the ghost bike memorial for Nik Morton. There is an unrelated "group photo" event at 3pm at Gold Medal Park (the red square on the bikemap) and participants are welcome to continue on to be part of the "Unite Bike" group photograph: http://www.unitebike.com/ In the afternoon, another ride will head to Blaine in order to place a Ghost Bike at Central and Cloverleaf, where cyclist Dale Aanenson was killed. Riders are expected to be orderly and respectful of traffic. If you are riding recklessly, you will be asked to leave. More discussion on the memorial ride can be found on the community message board Minneapolis Bike Love:http://www.mplsbikelove.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=120680#p120680 Information about the victims of these tragedies can be found here: Dale Phillip Aanenson - http://www.legacy.com/StarTribune/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=117902776 Virginia M. Heuer - http://www.legacy.com/StarTribune/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=118137017 Nik Morton - http://www.legacy.com/startribune/obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=118097033 Jimmy Nisser - http://www.legacy.com/StarTribune/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=117453438 More information on addressing pedestrian and bicyclists fatalities is here: http://www.tcstreetsforpeople.org/node/345 --------14 of 21-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 10.04 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. --------15 of 21-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 10.04 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------16 of 21-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: RNC 8 benefit 10.04 4pm Come taste Lydia Howell's Texas 2-Bean Vegetarian Chile (you WON'T miss the meat!), Harvest Cornbread (w/tomatoes, zuchinni & jalapeno peppers from Lydia's garden!), home-made desserts at a BENEFIT FOR THE LEGAL DEFENSE RNC 8. These are the eight young people facing felony "conspiracy" charges under the Minnesota PATRIOT Act who were PREEMPTIVELY ARRESTED EVEN BEFORE THE RNC PROTESTS HAPPENED! Get an update on these cases from the NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD and also information Corporate Media is NOT telling you about the National Security Police State that's gained far more ground than most Americans know. SAT. OCT.4, 4pm MAY DAY BOOKS, 301 Cedar, basement of HUB Bicycle around the corner from KFAI Radio, WEST BANK, Minneapolis (612)333-4719 --------17 of 21-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Iraq in MN 10.04 6pm Contact: Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project Phone: 952-545-9981 www.mpt-iraq.org fax: 952-545-9981 Iraq: Culture, History and Current Events Lecture with Presentations plus Art, Music, and Food Saturday October 4th, 6:00 PM Location: Center for Independent Artists (El Colegio) 4137 Bloomington Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN In conjunction with the "Voices in Art from Iraq" art exhibit, local Iraqi-born artist, Adnan Shati, will give two lectures highlighting both the history of Iraq, as well as contemporary issues of the area. Mr. Shati was born in Iraq and educated in Iraq, Italy, and Minnesota. He came to Minnesota in 1990, where he worked as a freelance artist and began a career as a special education teacher using art as an important tool for learning. On Sunday, September 28th, at 6:00 PM, Mr. Shati will give his lecture, focusing on "Iraq Today," on Saturday, October 4th at 6:00 PM. He will discuss the current situation in Iraq from his perspective as a citizen and artist in regular contact with many in Iraq. Center for Independent Artists (El Colegio), located at 4137 Bloomington Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN. Middle Eastern food prepared by Hayat and Iraqi music round out this offering of an "embedded" experience of Iraqi culture today. Sponsored by the Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project (IARP) - dedicated to expanding Americans' opportunities to learn about and know Iraqi citizens. -- --------18 of 21-------- From: Suzanne Linton <bahiabaubo [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Our world today 10.04 6pm Dave Bicking and Jeff Nygaard - "OUR WORLD TODAY" cable tv show Ch. 15 Saturday, October 4 6:00 pm - Sunday 1:00 am & 11:00 am Dave Bicking and Jeff Nygaard do a monthly show on the news of the past month "Changing the Lens: A different focus on the news" It comes on the first Sat. and Sun. of each month. OUR WORLD TODAY is a left/progressive/radical show televised and recorded weekly since 2003. Producers:Suzanne Linton and Bill Oldfather. --------19 of 21-------- Chomsky Views Latin American Unity & the Bailout VII Social Summit for the Latin American & Caribbean Unity By Noam Chomsky ZMagazine Septmber 30, 2008 http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/18958 CARACAS During the past decade, Latin America has become the most exciting region of the world. The dynamic has very largely flowed from right where you are meeting, in Caracas, with the election of a leftist president dedicated to using Venezuela's rich resources for the benefit of the population rather than for wealth and privilege at home and abroad, and to promote the regional integration that is so desperately needed as a prerequisite for independence, for democracy, and for meaningful development. The initiatives taken in Venezuela have had a significant impact throughout the subcontinent, what has now come to be called "the pink tide." The impact is revealed within the individual countries, most recently Paraguay, and in the regional institutions that are in the process of formation. Among these are the Banco del Sur, an initiative that was endorsed here in Caracas a year ago by Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz; and the ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean, which might prove to be a true dawn if its initial promise can be realized. The ALBA is often described as an alternative to the US-sponsored "Free Trade Area of the Americas," though the terms are misleading. It should be understood to be an independent development, not an alternative. And, furthermore, the so-called "free trade agreements" have only a limited relation to free trade, or even to trade in any serious sense of that term; and they are certainly not agreements, at least if people are part of their countries. A more accurate term would be "investor-rights arrangements," designed by multinational corporations and banks and the powerful states that cater to their interests, established mostly in secret, without public participation or awareness. That is why the US executive regularly calls for "fast-track authority" for these agreements - essentially, Kremlin-style authority. Another regional organization that is beginning to take shape is UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations. This continental bloc, modeled on the European Union, aims to establish a South American parliament in Cochabamba, a fitting site for the UNASUR parliament. Cochabamba was not well known internationally before the water wars of 2000. But in that year events in Cochabamba became an inspiration for people throughout the world who are concerned with freedom and justice, as a result of the courageous and successful struggle against privatization of water, which awakened international solidarity and was a fine and encouraging demonstration of what can be achieved by committed activism. The aftermath has been even more remarkable. Inspired in part by developments in Venezuela, Bolivia has forged an impressive path to true democratization in the hemisphere, with large-scale popular initiatives and meaningful participation of the organized majority of the population in establishing a government and shaping its programs on issues of great importance and popular concern, an ideal that is rarely approached elsewhere, surely not in the Colossus of the North, despite much inflated rhetoric by doctrinal managers. Much the same had been true 15 years earlier in Haiti, the only country in the hemisphere that surpasses Bolivia in poverty - and like Bolivia, was the source of much of the wealth of Europe, later the United States. In 1990, Haiti's first free election took place. It was taken for granted in the West that the US candidate, a former World Bank official who monopolized resources, would easily win. No one was paying attention to the extensive grass-roots organizing in the slums and hills, which swept into power the populist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Washington turned at once to undermining the feared and hated democratic government. It took only a few months for a US-backed military coup to reverse this stunning victory for democracy, and to place in power a regime that terrorized the population with the direct support of the US government, first under president Bush I, then Clinton. Washington finally permitted the elected president to return, but only on the condition that he adhere to harsh neoliberal rules that were guaranteed to crush what remained of the economy, as they did. And in 2004, the traditional torturers of Haiti, France and the US, joined to remove the elected president from office once again, launching a new regime of terror, though the people remain unvanquished, and the popular struggle continues despite extreme adversity. All of this is familiar in Latin America, not least in Bolivia, the scene of today's most intense and dangerous confrontation between popular democracy and traditional US-backed elites. Archaeologists are now discovering that before the European conquest, Bolivia had a wealthy, sophisticated and complex society - to quote their words, "one of the largest, strangest, and most ecologically rich artificial environments on the face of the planet, with causeways and canals, spacious and formal towns and considerable wealth," creating a landscape that was "one of humankind's greatest works of art, a masterpiece." And of course Bolivia's vast mineral wealth enriched Spain and indirectly northern Europe, contributing massively to its economic and cultural development, including the industrial and scientific revolutions. Then followed a bitter history of imperial savagery with the crucial connivance of rapacious domestic elites, factors that are very much alive today. Sixty years ago, US planners regarded Bolivia and Guatemala as the greatest threats to its domination of the hemisphere. In both cases, Washington succeeded in overthrowing the popular governments, but in different ways. In Guatemala, Washington resorted to the standard technique of violence, installing one of the world's most brutal and vicious regimes, which extended its criminality to virtual genocide in the highlands during Reagan's murderous terrorist wars of the 1980s - and we might bear in mind that these horrendous atrocities were carried out under the guise of a "war on terror," a war that was re-declared by George Bush in September 2001, not declared, a revealing distinction when we recall the implementation of Reagan's "war on terror" and its grim human consequences. In Guatemala, the Eisenhower administration overcame the threat of democracy and independent development by violence. In Bolivia, it achieved much the same results by exploiting Bolivia's economic dependence on the US, particularly for processing Bolivia's tin exports. Latin America scholar Stephen Zunes points out that "At a critical point in the nation's effort to become more self-sufficient [in the early 1950s], the U.S. government forced Bolivia to use its scarce capital not for its own development, but to compensate the former mine owners and repay its foreign debts." The economic policies forced on Bolivia in those years were a precursor of the structural adjustment programs imposed on the continent thirty years later, under the terms of the neoliberal "Washington consensus," which has generally had disastrous effects wherever its strictures have been observed. By now, the victims of neoliberal market fundamentalism are coming to include the rich countries, where the curse of financial liberalization is bringing about the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s and leading to massive state intervention in a desperate effort to rescue collapsing financial institutions. We should note that this is a regular feature of contemporary state capitalism, though the scale today is unprecedented. A study by two well-known international economists 15 years ago found that at least twenty companies in the top Fortune 100 would not have survived if they had not been saved by their respective governments, and that many of the rest gained substantially by demanding that governments "socialise their losses." Such government intervention "has been the rule rather than the exception over the past two centuries," they conclude from a detailed analysis. [Ruigrok and von Tulder] We might also take note of the striking similarity between the structural adjustment programs imposed on the weak by the International Monetary Fund, and the huge financial bailout that is on the front pages today in the North. The US executive-director of the IMF, adopting an image from the Mafia, described the institution as "the credit community's enforcer." Under the rules of the Western-run international economy, investors make loans to third world tyrannies, and since the loans carry considerable risk, make enormous profits. Suppose the borrower defaults. In a capitalist economy, the lenders would incur the loss. But really existing capitalism functions quite differently. If the borrowers cannot pay the debts, then the IMF steps in to guarantee that lenders and investors are protected. The debt is transferred to the poor population of the debtor country, who never borrowed the money in the first place and gained little if anything from it. That is called "structural adjustment." And taxpayers in the rich country, who also gained nothing from the loans, sustain the IMF through their taxes. These doctrines do not derive from economic theory; they merely reflect the distribution of decision-making power. The designers of the international economy sternly demand that the poor accept market discipline, but they ensure that they themselves are protected from its ravages, a useful arrangement that goes back to the origins of modern industrial capitalism, and played a large role in dividing the world into rich and poor societies, the first and third worlds. This wonderful anti-market system designed by self-proclaimed market enthusiasts is now being implemented in the United States, to deal with the very ominous crisis of financial markets. In general, markets have well-known inefficiencies. One is that transactions do not take into account the effect on others who are not party to the transaction. These so-called "externalities" can be huge. That is particularly so in the case of financial institutions. Their task is to take risks, and if well-managed, to ensure that potential losses to themselves will be covered. To themselves. Under capitalist rules, it is not their business to consider the cost to others if their practices lead to financial crisis, as they regularly do. In economists' terms, risk is underpriced, because systemic risk is not priced into decisions. That leads to repeated crisis, naturally. At that point, we turn to the IMF solution. The costs are transferred to the public, which had nothing to do with the risky choices but is now compelled to pay the costs - in the US, perhaps mounting to about $1 trillion right now. And of course the public has no voice in determining these outcomes, any more than poor peasants have a voice in being subjected to cruel structural adjustment programs. A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that cost and risk are socialized, while profit is privatized. That principle extends far beyond financial institutions. Much the same is true for the entire advanced economy, which relies extensively on the dynamic state sector for innovation, for basic research and development, for procurement when purchasers are unavailable, for direct bail-outs, and in numerous other ways. These mechanisms are the domestic counterpart of imperial and neocolonial hegemony, formalized in World Trade Organization rules and the misleadingly named "free trade agreements." Financial liberalization has effects well beyond the economy. It has long been understood that it is a powerful weapon against democracy. Free capital movement creates what some international economists have called a "virtual parliament" of investors and lenders, who can closely monitor government programs and "vote" against them if they are considered irrational: for the benefit of people, rather than concentrated private power. They can "vote" by capital flight, attacks on currencies, and other devices offered by financial liberalization. That is one reason why the Bretton Woods system established by the US and UK after World War II instituted capital controls and regulated currencies. The Great Depression and the war had aroused powerful radical democratic currents, taking many forms, from the anti-fascist resistance to working class organization. These pressures made it necessary to permit social democratic policies. The Bretton Woods system was designed in part to create a space for government action responding to public will - for some measure of democracy, that is. John Maynard Keynes, the British negotiator, considered the most important achievement of Bretton Woods to be establishment of the right of governments to restrict capital movement. In dramatic contrast, in the neoliberal phase after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system, the US Treasury now regards free capital mobility as a "fundamental right," unlike such alleged "rights" as those guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: health, education, decent employment, security, and other rights that the Reagan and Bush administrations have dismissed as "letters to Santa Claus," "preposterous," mere "myths." In earlier years the public had not been much of a problem. The reasons are reviewed by Barry Eichengreen in his standard scholarly history of the international monetary system. He explains that in the 19th century, governments had not yet been "politicized by universal male suffrage and the rise of trade unionism and parliamentary labor parties." Therefore the severe costs imposed by the virtual parliament could be transferred to the general population. But with the radicalization of the general public during the Great Depression and the anti-fascist war, that luxury was no longer available to private power and wealth. Hence in the Bretton Woods system, "limits on capital mobility substituted for limits on democracy as a source of insulation from market pressures." It is only necessary to add the obvious corollary: with the dismantling of the system from the 1970s, functioning democracy is restricted. It has therefore become necessary to control and marginalize the public in some fashion, processes that are particularly evident in the more business-run societies like the United States. The management of electoral extravaganzas by the Public Relations industry is one illustration. The primary victims of military terror and economic strangulation are the poor and weak, within the rich countries themselves and far more brutally in the South. But times are changing. In Venezuela, in Bolivia, and elsewhere there are promising efforts to bring about desperately needed structural and institutional changes. And not surprisingly, these efforts to promote democracy, social justice, and cultural rights are facing harsh challenges from the traditional rulers, at home and internationally. For the first time in half a millennium, South America is beginning to take its fate into its own hands. There have been attempts before, but they have been crushed by outside force, as in the cases I just mentioned and other hideous ones too numerous and too familiar to review. But there are now significant departures from a long and shameful history. The departures are symbolized by the UNASUR crisis summit in Santiago just a few days ago. At the summit, the presidents of the South American countries issued a strong statement of support for the elected Morales government, which as you know is under attack by the traditional rulers: privileged Europeanized elites who bitterly oppose Bolivian democracy and social justice and, routinely, enjoy the firm backing of the master of the hemisphere. The South American leaders gathering at the UNASUR summit in Santiago declared "their full and firm support for the constitutional government of President Evo Morales, whose mandate was ratified by a big majority" - referring, of course, to his overwhelming victory in the recent referendum. Morales thanked UNASUR for its support, observing that "For the first time in South America's history, the countries of our region are deciding how to resolve our problems, without the presence of the United States." A matter of no slight significance. The significance of the UNASUR support for democracy in Bolivia is underscored by the fact that the leading media in the US refused to report it, though editors and correspondents surely knew all about it. Ample information was available to them on wire services. That has been a familiar pattern. To cite just one of many examples, the Cochabamba declaration of South American leaders in December 2006, calling for moves towards integration on the model of the European Union, was barred from the Free Press in the traditional ruler of the hemisphere. There are many other cases, all illustrating the same fear among the political class and economic centers in the US that the hemisphere is slipping from their control. Current developments in South America are of historic significance for the continent and its people. It is well understood in Washington that these developments threaten not only its domination of the hemisphere, but also its global dominance. Control of Latin America was the earliest goal of US foreign policy, tracing back to the earliest days of the Republic. The United States is, I suppose, the only country that was founded as a "nascent empire," in George Washington's words. The most libertarian of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, predicted that the newly liberated colonies would drive the indigenous population "with the beasts of the forests into the Stony Mountains," and the country will ultimately be "free of blot or mixture," red or black (with the return of slaves to Africa after eventual ending of slavery). And furthermore, it "will be the nest, from which all America, North and South, is to be peopled," displacing not only the red men but the Latin population of the South. These aspirations were not achieved, but control of Latin America remains a central policy goal, partly for resources and markets, but also for broader ideological and geostrategic reasons. If the US cannot control Latin America, it cannot expect "to achieve a successful order elsewhere in the world," Nixon's National Security Council concluded in 1971 while considering the paramount importance of destroying Chilean democracy. Historian David Schmitz observes that Allende "threatened American global interests by challenging the whole ideological basis of American Cold War policy. It was the threat of a successful socialist state in Chile that could provide a model for other nations that caused concern and led to American opposition," in fact direct participation in establishing and maintaining the terrorist dictatorship. Henry Kissinger warned that success for democratic socialism in Chile might have reverberations as far as southern Europe - not because Chilean hordes would descend on Madrid and Rome, but because success might inspire popular movements to achieve their goals by means of parliamentary democracy, which is upheld as an abstract value in the West, but with crucial reservations. Even mainstream scholarship recognizes that Washington has supported democracy if and only if it contributes to strategic and economic interests, a policy that continues without change through all administrations, to the present. These pervasive concerns are the rational form of the domino theory, sometimes more accurately called "the threat of a good example." For such reasons, even the tiniest departure from strict obedience is regarded as an existential threat that calls for a harsh response: peasant organizing in remote communities of northern Laos, fishing cooperatives in Grenada, and so on throughout the world. It is necessary to ensure that the "virus" of successful independent development does not "spread contagion" elsewhere, in the terminology of the highest level planners. Such concerns have motivated US military intervention, terrorism, and economic warfare throughout the post-World War II era, in Latin America and throughout much of the world. These are leading features of the Cold War. The superpower confrontation regularly provided pretexts, mostly fraudulent, much as the junior partner in world control appealed to the threat of the West when it crushed popular uprisings in its much narrower Eastern European domains. But times are changing. In Latin America, the source is primarily in moves towards integration, which has several dimensions. One dimension of integration is regional: moves to strengthen ties among the South American countries of the kind I mentioned. These are now just beginning to reach to Central America, which was so utterly devastated by Reagan's terror wars that it had mostly stayed on the sidelines since, but is now beginning to move. Of particular significance are recent developments in Honduras, the classic "banana republic" and Washington's major base for its terrorist wars in the region in the 1980s. Washington's Ambassador to Honduras, John Negroponte, was one of the leading terrorist commanders of the period, and accordingly was appointed head of counter-terrorist operations by the Bush administration, a choice eliciting no comment. But here too times are changing. President Zelaya declared that US aid does not "make us vassals" or give Washington the right to humiliate the nation, and has improved ties with Venezuela, joining Petrocaribe, and in July, joining the Alba as well. Regional integration of the kind that has been slowly proceeding for several years is a crucial prerequisite for independence, making it more difficult for the master of the hemisphere to pick off countries one by one. For that reason it is causing considerable distress in Washington, and is either ignored or regularly distorted in the media and other elite commentary. A second form of integration is global: the establishment of South-South relations, and the diversification of markets and investment, with China a growing and particularly significant participant in hemispheric affairs. Again, these developments undercut Washington's ability to control what Secretary of War Henry Stimson called "our little region over here" at the end of World War II, when he was explaining that other regional systems must be dismantled, while our own must be strengthened. The third and in many ways most vital form of integration is internal. Latin America is notorious for its extreme concentration of wealth and power, and the lack of responsibility of privileged elites for the welfare of the nation. It is instructive to compare Latin America with East Asia. Half a century ago, South Korea was at the level of a poor African country. Today it is an industrial powerhouse. And much the same is true throughout East Asia. The contrast to Latin America is dramatic, particularly so because Latin America has far superior natural advantages. The reasons for the dramatic contrast are not hard to identify. For 30 years Latin America has rigorously observed the rules of the Washington consensus, while East Asia has largely ignored them. Latin American elites separated themselves from the fate of their countries, while their East Asian counterparts were compelled to assume responsibilities. One measure is capital flight: in Latin America, it is on the scale of the crushing debt, while in South Korea it was so carefully controlled that it could bring the death penalty. More generally, East Asia adopted the modes of development that had enabled the wealthy countries to reach their current state, while Latin America adhered to the market principles that were imposed on the colonies and largely created the third world, blocking development. Furthermore, needless to say, development of the East Asian style is hardly a model to which Latin America, or any other region, should aspire. The serious problems of developing truly democratic societies, based on popular control of all social, economic, political and cultural institutions, and overturning structures of hierarchy and domination in all aspects of life, are barely even on the horizon, posing formidable and essential tasks for the future. These are huge problems within Latin America. They are beginning to be addressed, though haltingly, with many internal difficulties. And they are, of course, arousing bitter antagonism on the part of traditional sectors of power and privilege, again backed by the traditional master of "our little region over here." The struggle is particularly intense and significant right now in Bolivia, but in fact is constant in one or another form throughout the hemisphere. The problems of Latin America and the Caribbean have global roots, and have to be addressed by regional and global solidarity along with internal struggle. The growth of the social forums, first in South America, now elsewhere, has been one of the most encouraging steps forward in recent years. These developments may bear the seeds of the first authentic international, heralding an era of true globalization - international integration in the interests of people, not investors and other concentrations of power. You are right at the heart of these dramatic developments, an exciting opportunity, a difficult challenge, a responsibility of historic proportions. [The privileged classes in the US and Venezeula persist in calling Chavez a dictator, incipient dictator, etc. Only the people like and defend him. -ed] --------20 of 21-------- The Senate got on its knees and gave a blow job to the ruling class. --------21 of 21-------- --------------------- US Senate Brothel on The Hill --------------------- ------------------------ US Senate Big Brothel Loves You lie back & enjoy it ------------------------ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.