Progressive Calendar 10.03.08
From: David Shove (
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

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
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:


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

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
More information and details of actions as soon as we receive them

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From: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Ffunch 10.03 11:30am

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

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From: ACLU of Minnesota <pubed [at]>
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]

Looking for more information? Visit ACLU of Minnesota website:

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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] or

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From: Lauren Merritt <merri350 [at]>
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 (
Location: 125 Willey Hall, University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, West
Bank, Minneapolis,MN

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From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at]>
Subject: Moyers/media 10.03 9pm

Bill Moyers Journal | Politics, the Economy and the Media

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."

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From: Lauren Merritt <merri350 [at]>
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
 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

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From: Richard Broderick <richb [at]>
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

October 4, 2008
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

 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
 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

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From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
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

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From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
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.

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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.

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From: Matty Lang <voidoid21 [at]>
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

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 (
14.3 miles extra for Blaine route
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) 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:

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

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

Information about the victims of these tragedies can be found here:
Dale Phillip Aanenson -
Virginia M. Heuer -
Nik Morton -
Jimmy Nisser -

More information on addressing pedestrian and bicyclists fatalities is

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From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
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.

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From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.04 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
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

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From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Iraq in MN 10.04 6pm

Contact:  Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project
Phone: 952-545-9981
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

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. --

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From: Suzanne Linton <bahiabaubo [at]>
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.

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Chomsky Views Latin American Unity & the Bailout

VII Social Summit for the Latin American & Caribbean Unity
By Noam Chomsky
Septmber 30, 2008


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

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

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

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

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

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.

--------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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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