Progressive Calendar 10.16.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 02:25:00 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.16.08

1. Fed housing conf  10.16 8am
2. New Mid-East      10.16 12noon
3. Eagan peace vigil 10.16 4:30pm
4. New Hope demo     10.16 4:45pm
5. Northtown vigil   10.16 5pm
6. Violence-free     10.16 5:30pm
7. John Milton       10.16 6:30pm
8. Food forum        10.16 7pm
9. Coleen Rowley     10.16 7pm
10. Georgia          10.16 7pm
11. Concert/RCNB     10.16 7pm
12. Amnesty Intl     10.16 7:15pm
13. Rock/vote/Nader  10.16 8pm
14. Mizna film fest  10.16-19

15. Corridor         10.17 8:30am
16. Nader/Clemente   10.17 11am
17. Ohio vote fraud  10.17 12noon
18. Nader/prez/film  10.17 6:30pm
19. Voter fraud/TV   10.17 9pm
20. Jihad for love/f 10.17 9pm

21. Tom Burghardt - Capitalist meltdown - govt readies "pain ray"
22. Toni Solo     - The liquidity of the oligarchs

--------1 of 22--------

From: Minnesota Housing Partnership <jjohnson [at] mhponline.org>
Subject: Fed housing conf 10.16 8am

Audio Conferencing Now Available!  Register Today for the October 16
Federal Housing Policy Forum

Federal Housing Policy Forum:
Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008
"...the most significant new federal housing law enacted in decades..."
October 16, 2008
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

In order to make vital information about the new federal housing laws
accessible to everyone across Minnesota, we are sponsoring audio coverage
of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Now you can call in on
the morning of October 16 to listen to a comprehensive overview of the new
legislation and what it will mean for Minnesota communities! The Act is
the most significant new federal housing law enacted in decades. Federal,
state officials, and housing industry representatives will be on hand at
the forum to describe how the new law will impact renters and homeowners
in Minnesota and provide new tools for communities to address
foreclosures.

We will be selecting questions for the speakers during the forum.  During
the call, you can email your questions to Barb Jacobs at
bjacobs [at] mhponline.org.

*There is a cost of $9.60 per caller. We are offering a discounted rate of
$5.00. We will send call-in information after registration is complete.
Please register below.

Go to the following link to register:
https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/325/donate.asp?formid=meet&c=5098772

Go to the following link for the agenda:
http://www.mhponline.org/files/Final%20Federal%20Housing%20Policy%20Forum%20Agenda.pdf

Sponsored by: Minnesota Housing Partnership, LISC Twin Cities, Bremer
Bank, & Wells Fargo  {hmmm...]

Minnesota Housing Partnership's mission is to promote homes for all
Minnesotans and to assist Minnesota communities in the creation and
preservation of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income people. To
view our Privacy Policy: http://www.thedatabank.com/PMPrivacy.html


--------2 of 22--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: New Mid-East 10.16 12noon

Thursday, 10/16, noon to 1 pm, Westminster Town Hall hosts 30-year Middle
East reporter Robin Wright talking on "The New Middle East: Building a
Culture of Change," Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nicollet Mall and
12th St, downtown Mpls.  http://www.ewestminster.org/town_hall_forum


--------3 of 22--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 10.16 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


--------4 of 22--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: New Hope demo 10.16 4:45pm

NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:45 to 5:45pm at the corner
of Winnetka and 42nd.  You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot
near McDonalds; we will be on all four corners.  Bring your own or use our
signs.


--------5 of 22--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.16 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


--------6 of 22--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Violence-free 10.16 5:30pm

October 16: Family and Children's Service. Initiative for Violence Free
Families Five Key Norms Series Presents: Promoting Positive Norms for
Violence-Free Relationships. 5:30 - 8 PM at 4123 E. Lake Street,
Minneapolis. RSVP.


--------7 of 22--------

From: Sage Holben <Sage.Holben [at] metrostate.edu>
Subject: John Milton 10.16 6:30pm

Thursday, Oct. 16, 6:30 pm
Metropolitan State University Library
645 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul
2nd floor/Quiet Room
Use Maria Avenue Parking Lot

John W. Milton, two term former Minnesota State Senator, will read from
his book, TIME TO CHOOSE, a story about the many choices people
make personal and professional why and how choices are made, and the
consequences of those choices.

In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, the
abortion issue became the most important "blood test" for political
candidates.  Those who didn't follow the party line on this issue had
little or no chance to win their party's endorsement. Anyone seeking
middle ground was caught in the crossfire.

Milton is owner of Afton Vineyards, producing wine grapes.  He was twice
elected to the Minnesota State Senate, representing District 49, and was
also elected to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners.  He's a
contributing writer for the bilingual weekly LaPrensa de Minnesota.  His
novel, The Fallen Nightingale, won two national awards for historical
fiction, and has been republished in Spanish and Catalan translations.
Milton was born in Saint Paul.  He graduated from Princeton University and
the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; he also
studied at the Harvard School of Business.


--------8 of 22--------

From: David Strand <lavgrn [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Food forum 10.16 7pm

Eastside Food Co-op Hosts Food Forum on "Fair Trade and the Banana: A
New Economic Model" in NE Minneapolis, Thursday, October 16, 7 PM

FREE APPETIZERS & EQUAL EXCHANGE COFFEE! LIVE MUSIC! CASH BAR! FUN-FUN-FUN!

What: Food Forum, featuring special guest Joe Riemann of Equal Exchange,
who presents an exciting video highlighting how the Farmer Cooperative
"Oke USA" is challenging the exploitive plantation-style ownership
structure of banana farming, and vastly improving the lives of small
farmers in Ecuador. (www.okeusa.com)

La Gran Colombia Restaurant 2205 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
Thursday, October 16 7-9pm

Why: Eastside Food Co-op recognizes the social justice benefit of
purchasing fair trade products in order to strengthen communities, reduce
poverty and extend opportunities to small business owners and small-scale
producers worldwide. The only bananas EFC sells are fair-trade. The
co-op's Food Forums aim to build community and educate consumers on topics
related to improving the health of people and the planet.

The Food Forum is Eastside Food Co-op's monthly discussion series on
topics such as local and organic food, gardening, cooking and
sustainability. Food Forums are free and open to the public. October's
event will be held at La Gran Colombia Restaurant and will include Latin
American appetizers and fair trade coffee. Live music and time for
discussion and socializing will follow the educational presentation. This
is a bi-lingual Spanish/English event.

For more information, visit www.eastsidefood.coop or call Kristina
Gronquist: 612-788-0950


--------9 of 22--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Coleen Rowley 10.16 7pm

"That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It!:" Coleen Rowley

Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m. Robbinsdale United Church of Christ, 4200
Lake Road (southeast of County Road 9 and Highway 81), Robbinsdale. Coleen
Rowley, FBI Whistleblower, Time Magazine's "Person of the Year," former
congressional candidate, and peace activist, will speak about her life
journey. Because she feels that recent developments have quickly overtaken
past events, Coleen will focus on "more urgent timely matters." Free and
open to the public. Sponsored by: Northwest Neighbors for Peace. FFI: Call
Carole, 763-546-5369 or email <tearthangel [at] Comcast.net>.


--------10 of 22--------

From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Georgia 10.16 7pm

THIRD THURSDAY GLOBAL ISSUES FORUM, Free and open to the public.
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church,
511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis (at Lyndale & Hennepin) Park in
church lot.
Thursday, October 16, 7-9pm

THE SITUATION IN GEORGIA AND ITS INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

The conflict now being waged in Georgia is not just about that small
state. Rather, it has serious implications for the whole of the ethnically
troubled Caucasus region and poses fundamental dilemmas for Ukraine and
other former Soviet republics in Russia's "near abroad." Beyond that, it
plays a major role in shaping political and economic relations among the
US, our NATO allies in Europe and the newly confident, oil-rich Russian
regime, most of whom apply double standards in dealing with the issues.

Presenters: SAM SCHUETH AND PROFESSOR THEOFANIS STAVROU. Mr. Schueth, a
Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota, has made several trips to
Georgia, beginning in 2001, and has spent 18 months there learning the
language. He has written on Georgia's foreign policy under Edward
Shevardnadze and is currently working on a dissertation on the country's
reform and state-building efforts since the 2003 "Rose Revolution."
Professor Stavrou came to the United States from Cyprus in 1952, began
teaching at the University of Minnesota in 1960 (a year prior to
completing his doctorate at the University of Indiana), and studied for a
year at the University of Leningrad. He has visited the Soviet
Union/Russia every year from 1963 to 1995 and has traveled in every one of
the USSR's constituent republics. A highly acclaimed teacher and author,
he has supervised over 40 dissertations on various aspects of Russian
history.


--------11 of 22--------

From: anh <jade.dragon [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Concert/RCNB 10.16 7pm

Concert for the RNC8
THURS, 10/16 from 7-10 pm @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, 4th & Broadway, St.
Paul, MN

The benefit is to support the RNC Arrestees, including street medics,
legal observers, independent journalists, and victims of mass
arrests!Featuring Junkyard Empire (from the RNC "No Peace for the
Warmakers" concert) and Pocket of Resistance (from the RNC Block Party
concert) and featuring a special message from Submedia.tv's The
Stimulator! All proceeds to Coldsnap Legal Collective and Food Not Bombs!
All ages! No cover! Everyone welcome!Donations requested.

Note:  The AWC will not be holding its weekly meeting on Thursday, October
16th because we are encouraging everyone - including AWC members - to
attend the fundraiser listed above.


--------12 of 22--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 10.16 7:15pm

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) meets Thursday, October 16th, at 7:15 p.m.
St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata (near
the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further information,
contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at] NatureWorksLLC.com.


--------13 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Rock/vote/Nader 10.16 8pm

End Corporate Dictatorship!
ROCK THE VOTE
for Nader-Gonzalez '08
HEAR THE BANDS:BLACK AUDIENCE 2Tone Runts GWA
Thursday, October 16, 2008
8:00pm, 18+ show, $10, cash bar
@ the 7th Street Entry
(next to First Ave. - 701 First Avenue North, Minneapolis)

Featuring: 2 Tone Runts - http://www.myspace.com/2tonerunts
G.W.A. - http://www.myspace.com/gaywitchabortion
Black Audience - http://www.myspace.com/blackaudience
The Nightengales

Come to a fundraiser for the Nader for President campaign, featuring high
energy local acts from across the musical spectrum. While the two parties
just handed over $700 billion to bailout Wall Street, the Nader-Gonzalez
campaign is the only one calling for a bailout of working people: for
living wage jobs, single-payer national healthcare, a green jobs program
to end poverty, and cutting the bloated U.S. military budget and reversing
U.S. policy in the Middle East. Come support the campaign and support
local musicians!

Nader-Gonzalez '08 - www.votenader.org <http://www.votenader.org/>
Paid for by Nader for President 2008
and stop by and see our new office at 715 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis
from:Danene Provencher


--------14 of 22--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Mizna film fest 10.16-19

Mizna Film Festival

October 16 to 19 The Heights Theatre, 3951 Central Avenue Northeast,
Minneapolis. Premiere of Arab and Muslim films. Shorts, experimental,
documentary and feature-length films from Arab filmmakers. This year's
themes are: the Arab world, the Islamic world, and/or the Arab/Muslim
immigrant experience in the West. Sponsored by: Mizna, a journal of Arab
American literature. FFI: Visit <www.mizna.org>.


--------15 of 22--------

From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Corridor 10.17 8:30am

The Central Corridor Partnership in collaboration with the Metropolitan
Council is holding three listening sessions in October designed to gain
business and property owners' input concerning business mitigation and
construction mitigation planning along the Central Corridor Light Rail
line. The sessions will be held:

 Oct. 17: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Hallie Q. Brown Center, 270 N. Kent
St., St. Paul (map; transit).
 Oct. 22: 5 to 6 p.m. at Episcopal Homes, Community Room, 1840 University
Ave. W., St. Paul (map; transit).
 Oct. 30: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Vietnam Center, 1159 University Ave. W.,
St. Paul (map; transit)

The Central Corridor Partnership was formed in 2004 by business, community
and government organizations to ensure that the project be funded and
constructed "on-time and on-budget" and that business and parking concerns
would be mitigated in a way that allowed the business community a chance
to thrive after construction completion. While the Metropolitan Council is
responsible for construction mitigation, the Partnership has worked
closely with the Council in addressing business concerns. The three
listening sessions are designed to brainstorm and gather input concerning
such issues as business resources, preferred communication methods, and
programs that can assist businesses during construction. Members of the
Business Advisory Council, which meets monthly, will also be in
attendance.

For more information, contact Karri Plowman, Director Central Corridor
Partnership, (651) 265-2782 or by email.

[Ed is against LRT down University Av.]


--------16 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Nader/Clemente 10.17 11am

PLEDGE PHONE NUMBER: 612-375-9030
SPECIAL Fall 2008 Pledge Drive PROGRAMMING on CATALYST:

FRI.OCT.17,11am: Hear ideas that must be fought for AFTER the 2008
Election - ideas excluded from the presidential debates - from 2 Third
party candidates: independent RALLPH NADER & Green Party VP ROSA CLEMENTE
(running w/GP presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney)

Here's the list of Fall 2008 Pledge Drive Premiums when you pledge at the
$75 or more level to KFAI on CATALYST:
 CD: ELLIS: Break The Spell (3) TC folk-rocker/singer-songwriter's newest
album
 DVD: ARLINGTON WEST:Veterans for Peace creates a cemetery remembering the
soldiers who've died in Iraq and take it around the U.S. (2)
 BOOK: TC author ED FELIEN: Take The Streets! (1972 U of MN student take
over protest the Vietnam War) (5)
 BOOK: JOHN DEAN: Conservatives Without Conscience (Watergate lawyer on
today's conservative movement) (2)
 BOOK: RALPH NADER: The Good Fight (2)
 But, EVERYONE who pledges ANY amount will get some sort of premium
(another book, CD, whatever) sent to you from producer/host ydia Howell.


--------17 of 22--------

From: Paula Fischer <hbnp [at] fhcare.org>
Subject: Ohio vote fraud 10.17 12noon

Richard Hayes Phillips, author of "Witness to a Crime: A Citizen's Audit
of an American Election" about the election fraud in Ohio in 2004, is
touring the country speaking and doing book signings. Here is his schedule
for Minnesota this coming weekend:

Friday, October 17th, 2008:
Sister Sludge, 46th & Bloomington Ave. S., Noon-2 pm
Common Roots Café, 25th & Lyndale Ave. S. 5-7 pm

Saturday, October 18th, 2008, 3-5 pm:
Coffee News Cafe, 1662 Grand Ave., St. Paul

The book comes with a CD containing 1200 photographs of actual forensic
evidence:  ballots, poll books, voter signature books, and other election
records from Ohio. For more ifo:  www.witnesstoacrime.com

"Richard Hayes Phillips worked day and night for three years compiling
irrefutable evidence of how the Republicans stole the 2004 presidential
race in Ohio.  This landmark investigation is a testament to what private
citizens can accomplish when government officials fail to protect our
right to vote and to count those votes as cast.  Every American should
read this book, and join the fight for democracy's most fundamental
right."
   -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


--------18 of 22--------

From: "Danene Provencher, The Nader Team" <danene [at] votenader.org>
Subject: Nader/prez/film 10.17 6:30pm

Nader for President 2008 Movie Nights (2 separate evenings) - viewing of
"An Unreasonable Man" on Ralph Nader.
At Match Box Coffee Shop 1306 Second Street NE Minneapolis, MN 55413
 October 17th, 6:30pm
 October 18th, 8:30pm

My personal email box is exploding and alot of email does not get
delivered, so please correspond with me at Danene [at] votenader.org


--------19 of 22--------

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org>
Subject: Voter fraud/TV 10.17 9pm

Bill Moyers Journal | Voter Fraud
http://www.truthout.org/101508U

On Bill Moyers Journal: "As the election nears and accusations of voter
fraud run rampant from party to party, Bill Moyers Journal takes a close
look at the charges and what you can do to protect your vote. Bill Moyers
sits down with Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media ecology in the
Department of Culture and Communication at New York University, who has
been following voter fraud allegations in his blog, News from the
Underground."


--------20 of 22--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Jihad for love/f 10.17 9pm

FRIDAY OCT. 17, 9pm
FILM: JIHAD FOR LOVE
(part of Mizna's Arab Film festival)
Heights Theatre
3951 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis

Another kind of resistance seen in Mizna's Arab Film Festival is the human
heart's longing for intimacy,revealed in perhaps the most touching film of
the festival, JIHAD FOR LOVE.
Spanning multiple countries, devout Muslims' struggle to reconcile strong
faith with sexual identity.  In South Africa, a Muslim Imam is a Gay man.
A Lesbian woman in Turkey takes her lover home to meet her mother.  A Gay
Iranian man endures a year in prison, becoming a refugee seeking asylum. I
highly recommend this film embodying the power of love.

MIZNA's Arab Film Festival
Thur. Oct. 16 through Sun. Oct. 19
Heights Theatre, 3951 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis
$8 general/$5 student
$55Festival Pass/$40 at the door
Complete schedule and passes at http://www.mizna.org

Sat. Oct. 18, 9pm concert of DAM and DJ K-Saalam
Cedar Cultural Ctr. 416 Cedar, West Bank, Minneapolis
$25 general /$18 students
(612)338-2674 http://www.thecedar.org/mizna_presents_dam


--------21 of 22--------

Just in Time for the Capitalist Meltdown:
Army, Justice Department to Field "Pain Ray"
by Tom Burghardt
October 15th, 2008
Dissident Voice

Back in July I reported that Raytheon (No. 4 on Washington Technology's
"Top 100 List of Prime Defense Contractors," with $5,170,829,645 in
revenue) was developing a microwave "non-lethal" weapons (NLW) system for
the U.S. Army.

At a cost of $25 million, five truck-mounted NLWs will soon be shipped off
to Iraq for heavy-lifting in Iraqi cities for use against militant oil
workers and citizens should U.S. energy multinationals finally get their
greedy little hands on that nation's oil wealth. A slimmed-down version of
the Active Denial System (ADS) is sought for deployment in the "homeland".
According to Aviation Week,

Raytheon is kicking off a U.S. Army program to mount Joint Silent Guardian
non-lethal, directed energy weapons - with a range of more than 250 meters
- on Ford 550 commercial trucks for crowd control.

The high power microwave (HPM) device heats water in a person's outer
layers of skin to the point of pain. Tests have shown that the effects can
reach through cracks in and around concrete walls and even through the
glass of automobiles, company officials say. (David A. Fulghum, "High
Power Microwave Nearly Operational," Aviation Week, October 9, 2008)

Aviation Week also reports "the program is expected to be awarded by
year's end. A year after the contract is signed, the combination
vehicle/weapons will start be fielded at the rate of one per month".

With the American automative industry in a death-spiral as a result of
capital's historic credit crunch, what better means to "rescue" the
industry than buying a fleet of Ford 550's for "crowd control'.

Particularly handy for deployment in American cities should "rioters"
object to a stolen presidential election or the state moves to terminate
what little is left of the social "safety net" (in the interest of
kick-starting the "recovery," of course) Silent Guardian is a product
whose time has come!

Raytheon describes the system as "a revolutionary less-than-lethal
directed energy application that employs millimeter wave technology to
repel individuals or crowds without causing injury". Without a hint of
irony considering its intended use, Silent Guardian is touted as a
"protection system" that can "save lives" and even "de-escalate
aggression". Designed as a tool for "law enforcement, checkpoint security"
and "peacekeeping missions," the Department of Justice's (DoJ) National
Institute of Justice (NIJ) has been hawking its "benefits" for several
years. According to the NIJ:

NIJ is leveraging a less-lethal technology developed by the U.S.
Department of Defense for use in law enforcement and corrections. The
technology, called the Active Denial System, causes people to experience
intolerable discomfort. It makes them stop, turn away and leave the area.

The Active Denial System emits electromagnetic radiation (radiofrequency
waves) at 95 GHz. The system stimulates nerve endings and causes
discomfort but does not cause permanent injury - the radiation penetrates
less than 1/64th of an inch into a person's skin. Symptoms dissipate
quickly when the device is turned off or the person moves away from the
radiation beam. .

NIJ has created a small working prototype of the military Active Denial
System that law enforcement and correction officers can carry. ("Active
Denial System Deters Subject without Harm," National Institute of Justice,
October 25, 2007)

It now appears that Silent Guardian is ready for prime time.

But not so fast. A new report by Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSF,
German Foundation for Peace Research) physicist Dr. Jrgen Altmann, states
that the ADS may be highly-damaging or even lethal. According to Dr.
Altmann,

The Active Denial System (ADS) produces a beam of electromagnetic
millimetre waves; such radiation is absorbed in the upper 0.4 mm of skin.
The beam stays approximately 2 m wide out to many hundreds of metres. With
a power of 100 kilowatts, the beam can heat the skin of target subjects to
pain-producing temperature levels within seconds. With a prototype weapon,
mounted in a military multi-purpose vehicle, the effects have been tested
on hundreds of volunteers. In order to produce pain while preventing burn
injury, the power and duration of emission for one trigger event is
controlled by a software program. Model calculations show that with the
highest power setting, second- and third-degree burns with complete dermal
necrosis will occur after less than 2 seconds. Even with a lower setting
of power or duration there is the possibility for the operator to
re-trigger immediately. (Dr. Jrgen Altmann, "Millimetre Waves, Lasers,
Acoustics for Non-Lethal Weapons? Physics Analyses and Inferences,"
Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSF), 2008, p. 4)

Between 1995 and 2006, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and
the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) have spent approximately
$51 million on the technology. What have U.S. taxpayers gotten for their
money? Dr. Altmann avers,

In 2005 the military press reported about requests from the armed forces
and mentioned fast deployment to Iraq. However, in September 2006
Secretary of the Air Force Wynne was quoted as being reluctant to deploy
ADS on the battlefield; to avoid vilification in the world press it should
be used on crowds in the US first.

In January 2007 a media day with live demonstrations of ADS system 1 was
held at Moody AFB, Georgia. A deployment date of 2010 was mentioned; press
reports said that the beam heats the skin to 50C [122F] without lasting
harm, not mentioning the fact that this depends on the beam being switched
off immediately when such a temperature is reached. (Altmann, op. cit., p.
18) [emphasis added]

Yes, you did read that correctly: "to avoid vilification" it was
recommended that the pain beam "should be used on crowds in the US first".
Dr. Altmann continues,

As a consequence, the ADS provides the technical possibility to produce
burns of second and third degree. Because the beam of diameter 2 m and
above is wider than human size, such burns would occur over considerable
parts of the body, up to 50% of its surface. Second- and third-degree
burns covering more than 20% of the body surface are potentially
life-threatening - due to toxic tissue-decay products and increased
sensitivity to infection - and require intensive care in a specialised
unit.  Without a technical device that reliably prevents re-triggering on
the same target subject, the ADS has a potential to produce permanent
injury or death. (Altmann, op. cit., p. 24)

Never mind that the system may cause permanent injury or even death via
"complete dermal necrosis," our capitalist masters are plowing full-speed
ahead! A June 2007 accident report, initially covered-up by the JNLWD,
reveals that a lack of operator training and the removal of ADS safety
features led to a "test subject" suffering painful burns that required
hospitalization in a burn unit. Obtained by Wired defense analyst Sharon
Weinberger the internal JNLWD document describes how,

Crucially - the ADS Crew did not realize that the ADS, when it came back
to "stand-by" mode, had defaulted to the previous setting of 100% power
and allowed at least a 4 second trigger pull.. A casual, or secondary,
factor was related to hardware: specifically, there was no working
built-in range finder during the test, which could have helped prevent
over-exposure.

Two people who reviewed the unredacted report for DANGER ROOM said the
accident raises some basic questions about the weapon. Built-in range
finders 'have been basic features of high tech line-of-sight weapons and
sensors for decades" and typically will prevent operators from using
systems in an unsafe fashion, says one Pentagon official familiar with
weapon's development. "Yet those critical safety features, that were
integrated into the HMMWV [Humvee] ADS System 1, were removed by the AFRL
[Air Force Research Lab] prior to testing, exposing the test subjects to
unconscionable risks". (Sharon Weinberger, "Pain Ray Test Subjects Exposed
to 'Unconscionable Risks'" Wired, October 14, 2008)

Just another day at the office for Pentagon weaponeers. And given how
local beat cops love tasering "suspects," imagine the hijinks when the
riot squad lets loose on a bunch of commie protesters down at the old
Stock Exchange!

As University of Bradford researcher Neil Davison points out, the United
States and their NATO :partners" are resisting any moves to restrict NLWs
from being developed or deployed, despite risks to their intended
"targets": "homeland" citizens rebranded as "rioters" and "domestic
terrorists".

For emerging acoustic and directed energy weapons, however, there are no
international agreements restricting their development and proliferation
beyond compliance with international humanitarian law, and the additional
protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) that
prohibits laser weapons intentionally designed to blind. Military
establishments are keen to resist additional constraints on the
development and use of "non-lethal" weapons technologies, as exemplified
in a recent NATO report: "In order to ensure that NATO forces retain the
ability to accomplish missions, it will be important that nations
participating in NATO operations remain vigilant against the development
of specific legal regimes which unnecessarily limit the ability to use
NLWs". (Neil Davison, "The Contemporary Development of 'Non-Lethal'
Weapons," Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project (BNLWRP), May 2007,
p. 37)

In a telling - and chilling - description of why the ADS is "needed," the
Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, informs us,

The ADS will support a full spectrum of operations ranging from non-lethal
methods of crowd and mob dispersal, checkpoint security, perimeter
security, area denial, port protection, infrastructure protection and
clarification of intent (identifying combatants from non-combatants). Most
currently available non-lethal weapons use kinetic energy, where the size
and range of the target can limit or change the effectiveness of the
weapon. The range of the ADS is 10 times greater than other non-lethal
weapons and will have the same compelling non-lethal effect on all human
targets, regardless of size, age and gender. ("Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding the Active Denial System," Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate,
no date) [emphasis added]

Yet despite these risks, the National Institute of Justice in a cool
"risk-benefit" analysis worthy of Dr. Mengele, is very much interested in
a "hand-held, probably rifle-sized, short range weapon that could be
effective at tens of feet for law enforcement officials".

As global capitalism enters a new and potentially "terminal" phase of its
disintegration, the U.S. ruling class and their European "partners" will
increasingly resort to escalating levels of violence - from the
criminalization of dissent to martial law - should domestic terrorist
threats "get out of hand". A general deployment of "non-lethal weapons"
for use in "homeland" cities clearly has a prominent role to play along
this repressive continuum. As Durham University geographer Stephen Graham
avers,

Those experiencing frequent "terrorist" labelling by national governments
or sympathetic media since 9/11 include anti-war dissenters, critical
researchers, anti-globalization protestors, anti-arms-trade campaigners,
ecological and freedom of speech lobbyists, and pro-independence
campaigners within nations like Indonesia allied to the US. Protagonists
of such a wide spectrum of opposition to transnational US dominance are
thus all too easily dehumanized or demonized. Above all, they become
radically delegitimized. Who, after all, will speak out in favour of
"terrorists" and their sympathizers? ("Cities and the 'War on Terror'".
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 30.2, June
2006, p. 257)

And so it goes during the never-ending "Year Zero" of the Bush regime.
Silent Guardian: Coming soon to a city near you!

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay
Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage
and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military
"Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles
by Tom, or visit Tom's website.

This article was posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 at 9:32am and is
filed under Civil Liberties, Human Rights, Military/Militarism,
Science/Tech, Security, Terrorism. ShareThis


--------22 of 22--------

The Liquidity of the Oligarchs
By Toni Solo
October 15, 2008
ZNet

Everything is too neatly scripted. Prominent serious warnings from
respected establishment figures of a crash, ignored since at least 2003.
Prolonged coordinated currency devaluation of the dollar and increases in
money supply. That steady inflationary trend of the dollar over two years
until early 2008. The sudden inflationary spike in commodities in March.
The dramatic reversal in July. The apparent bewilderment in September,
prompting abrupt decisive coordination in October. The
sun-has-got-his-hat-on markets, all of a sudden. "Back from the brink...."

Surely all this is yet another internal struggle among the imperialist
oligarchs, hopping and snapping, squabbling like rancid buzzards over what
remains of democracy's corpse in the United States and Europe. What
variety of oligarchy is to run Western Bloc countries now corporate
consumer capitalism's corrupt "free market" bubble-mangle has wrung what
value it can out of them? Much of what remains is in hock for an
as-yet-to-become-clear slew of debt.

The G7 country oligarchs knew they were heading for a fall, because their
economies since the late 1980s have been unable to sustain the required
fabulous profit margins without systemic fraud and debt. From long before
the LTCM failure in 1998 and the subsequent dotcom crash, a continuous
power struggle has divided the oligarchic elites over their best response.
The most greedy and aggressive faction ran the most profitable rackets,
the financial sector.

They very obviously deliberately ran it into lucrative bankruptcy knowing
governments would coerce taxpayers into bailing them out. For the moment,
the elite's power struggle has abated somewhat. Bitching and bickering
over what levels of consolidation can or should be achieved, they ponder
how best to maintain some kind of status differential between their
Western Bloc countries and the rest.

Before saying "told you so..." and welcoming the return of the State as a
primary economic player to stabilize the current apparent chaos, it might
be worth noting how the current round of government financial rescues
follows curtailments of civil rights unprecedented since World War 2.
Current "war on terror" moves are probably the financial phase of
consolidation of oligarchic corporatist government control over society.
They concentrate power more tightly than ever, closing down recognizably
democratic, participative options.

The oligarchic anti-democracy of the latest coordinated response to the
long foreseen crisis has gone mostly unreported. There was no democratic
consultation worth the name. Least of all in the European Union. The
theatrical exception of the utterly predictable five-day House turnaround
in the US Congress over the Paulson save-my-cronies plan hardly counts.
The plan went through clich after clich, dog and pony shows, hoop jumping,
bells and whistles, hung like a Christmas tree and all.

So there is both a financial and a political concentration of power. In
the US, J.P.Morgan Chase now owns Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. Bank
of America owns Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. Citigroup has been
frustrated by Wells Fargo in the oligarchy's noisome-buzzard-spat over the
corpse of the Wachovia bank. The Federal Reserve has steadily expanded its
powers, periodically reporting faits accomplis to Congess.

In Europe, Spain's Santander group snaffled up Bradford and Bingley in the
UK. There too Lloyd's are taking over HBOS. France's Paribas BNP, another
major villain of the piece, is taking over Belgium's Fortis. This wave of
consolidation will continue, as one insolvent outfit after another owns up
to its delinquent debt. The consolidation will run on into Eastern Europe
as banks and insurance outfits there fail, in places like Hungary and
other countries who contracted the poisonous asset-bubble plague.

Emblematic of the consolidation of government control over civil rights in
this period has been the deployment of battle troops for duty in the US
itself, as reported by Naomi Wolf and Amy Goodman. Right now, the UK House
of Lords has rejected Gordon Brown's repressive 42-day detention law. But
seasoned gambler-frauds like Brown always pitch for more than they need.
Even without that measure, the new counter-terrorism bill gives Brown and
his fellow oligarch frontpersons more power than ever to roll back
fundamental rights.

While considering that fact, it may also be worth remembering that Brown
has brought back into government two of his and Tony Blair's key supreme
war crime accomplices - Peter Mandelson and Geoff Hoon - from the criminal
aggression against Iraq of 2003 and earlier. One has to ask what that
might prefigure. International news media recently made great play of
reports that George Bush supposedly dissuaded Israel from attacking Iran
earlier this year. Sounds like a good way of setting up a surprise attack.

One constantly needs to mentally track away from where the corporate media
try to make one look and think. They mention institutional failures but
focus away from institutional consolidation. In report after report of the
bail out and rescue plans floated over the weekend, the need to stoke
liquidity was repeatedly emphasised. But if one tots up what the US
authorities have made available since December 2007 via their numerous
liquidity creation schemes and bail out provisions, to date one is talking
about nearly US$3 trillion.

In Europe, the European Central Bank began flushing liquidity into the
markets back in the summer of 2007. Since then in coordination with the
Bank of England, between them one way and another, they have sloshed
nearly US$2 trillion into their financial markets. That is before the
latest announcment from the central banks. They now still say they have to
sloosh even more liquidity into the financial economies of the US and
Europe. Here's what the central banks are coordinating:

"In order to provide broad access to liquidity and funding to financial
institutions, the Bank of England (BoE), the European Central Bank (ECB),
the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and the Swiss National Bank (SNB)
are jointly announcing further measures to improve liquidity in short-term
U.S. dollar funding markets.

The BoE, ECB, and SNB will conduct tenders of U.S. dollar funding at
7-day, 28-day, and 84-day maturities at fixed interest rates for full
allotment. Funds will be provided at a fixed interest rate, set in advance
of each operation. Counterparties in these operations will be able to
borrow any amount they wish against the appropriate collateral in each
jurisdiction. Accordingly, sizes of the reciprocal currency arrangements
(swap lines) between the Federal Reserve and the BoE, the ECB, and the SNB
will be increased to accommodate whatever quantity of U.S. dollar funding
is demanded. The Bank of Japan will be considering the introduction of
similar measures.

Central banks will continue to work together and are prepared to take
whatever measures are necessary to provide sufficient liquidity in
short-term funding markets."

"Any amount they wish for appropriate collateral"...."whatever quantity of
U.S. dollar funding is demanded". The banks are going to accept worthless
corporate debt against good thin air funny money. Taxpayers and their
children and grandchildren will be paying it back for ever. This is the
Procrustes' bed foreign debt scam that has crushed developing country
peoples into subservience. Now Paulson, Bernanke, Brown, Sarkozy and
Merkel and their accomplices are applying it to Western Bloc electorates.
The corporate media applaud.

When they talk about liquidity what they mean is debt. That and other
obvious things are notably absent from mainstream corporate propaganda
media coverage of the continuing economic debacle. Little if any mention
is made of the role played by almost 60 fiscal paradises or tax havens
around the world. Nor has any forthright analysis been made of financial
institutions and their shifty Arthur Andersen-style auditors failing to
come clean about massive off-balance sheet obligations.

The contrary insistence that impoverished taxpayers stump up virtually
endless liquidity, means banks, insurance companies and investment outfits
can keep their Enron-style off-balance sheet transactions and associated
shell companies - often off-shore entities - afloat. It gives them time to
work out how to magic away the losses those shell companies and
subsidiaries hide. One way of doing that is to dismantle their fraud
piecemeal dissolving it in a flood of liquidity, courtesy of taxpayers
held hostage by the Western Bloc oligarchies.

Non-specialists can get a clear focus on those issues by stepping outside
the general run of mainstream and peripheral media. If one reads
principally Western Bloc media, only a handful of journalists, very late
in the day, are finally currently writing honestly and critically, at
least by their lights. Of that handful, hardly anyone was writing
decisively, until the last month or so, on the scale of the collapse that
has now arrived. All this writing and almost all financial blogging stays
well within the accepted framework of oligarchic corporate capitalism.

Reading outside that framework, one ends up looking at Western Bloc
imperialism's sadism and hypocrisy as it is, rather than draped in the
fairytale benevolence of corporate news media. One finds oneself reading
people like the experienced and respected Arab-world analyst Rene Naba:

"The Washington Consensus has above all hidden away, note against note, a
planetary system articulated around multnational criminality. Western
commentators have for a long time shown discretion on this subject, more
readily denouncing the Islamist Peril or the Yellow Peril, after having
for so long denounced the Red Menace. According to the International
Monetary Fund, quoted by Le Monde on May 23rd. 2006, between US$1.1
trillion and US$2.5 trillion flows between banks, fiscal paradises and
financial markets, despite tougher legislation and greater controls."

Those trillions are the proceeds of every imaginable kind of criminal
activity and corporate fraud, including the wholesale Western Bloc
financial institution off-balance sheet variety. Naba notes the contagious
progression from fiscal paradises through offshore zones, into money
market centre cash flows, outsourcing multinational company capital and
wildly imbalanced budget deficits. Even his analysis seems to leave out
the way hugely expensive Western Bloc military aggression also facilitates
cash flows for dominant Western Bloc financial institutions.

Among countless others, a million Iraqis have died needlessly, among other
reasons, to improve Wall Street and City of London moneyness. That is why,
when the next oligarch figurehead takes over at the White House in January
any change will be cosmetic. The wars engaging the US and its NATO allies
directly in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue. The devastating proxy war
in Somalia and the conflict in Palestine threatening Lebanon and the
region will continue. Colombia's narco-terror regime and its civil war,
along with destabilization of the ALBA countries will continue.

Avowing economic contraction, the European and US oligarchies may well cut
back in real terms on healthcare, education and social welfare to their
peoples. Pleading terror and menace, the 700-plus US military bases will
not be cut back. Western Bloc governments are consolidating their system
of terror-based global gangsterism abroad and repressive corporatist
oligarchy in their own countries. The hypocrisy and sadism they have so
cynically deployed to crush hope for peoples overseas is likely to be
deployed ever more cynically against the pressing aspirations of their own
peoples at home.

toni writes for tortillaconsal.com


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