Progressive Calendar 11.08.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2008 04:21:21 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.08.08

1. Peace walk         11.08 9am Cambridge MN
2. Islam/MN schools   11.08 9am
3. MN health plan     11.08 10am StCloud MN
4. Venezuela          11.08 10am
5. Felien/what now?   11.08 10am
6. NWN4P Mtka         11.08 11am
7. NWN4P GoldValley   11.08 1:30pm
8. NESG/Media forum   11.08 2pm
9. Northtown vigil    11.08 2pm
10. Empire/Bennis     11.08 9pm

11. Atheists/foxholes 11.09 9am
12. Stillwater vigil  11.09 1pm
13. NESG/Dissent film 11.09 2pm
14. Jesuits/NonVio    11.09 3pm
15. Ken Pentel/950AM  11.09 3pm
16. Vets4Peace        11.09 6pm
17. CamPaign          11.09 7pm

18. Richard Rhames - Fooled again: meet the new boss, same as the old boss
19. Alexander Cockburn - Hail to the chief of staff/+ Nader interview
20. Pablo Ouziel   - A paradigm shift in America's intellectual community

--------1 of 20--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Peace walk 11.08 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street


--------2 of 20--------

From: IGS Outreach <outreach [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Islam/MN schools 11.08 9am

Muslims and Islam in Minnesota Schools: Dialogue, Resources, and Community
Saturday, November 8, 2008
9:00am - 4:00pm
Islamic Center of Minnesota, 1401 Gardena Ave NE, Fridley, MN 55432

In the state of Minnesota, the Islamic faith has a long history and great
depth and diversity among its followers. Some Minnesota Muslims are native
to the state of Minnesota and many are newcomers from across the globe.
One shared experience of Minnesota Muslims is finding a way to navigate
schools and structures that will still allow them to practice their faith.
In public schools and charter schools, the public has called into question
the ways that schools and teachers have decided to accommodate their
students and families.

On November 8, the Meeting Minnesota's Muslims project at the University
of Minnesota, in partnership with the Islamic Center of Minnesota, the
Islamic Resource Group, and Al-Amal School will host a public event to
help shed some light on the issues of Islam in Minnesota Schools. The
Islamic Center of Minnesota, home to weekend Islamic schools and Al-Amal
School, a private Islamic school, welcomes the community to learn more
about the variety of approaches schools use to support students, as well
as community resources to learn more about our Muslim neighbors.

Please join us on  November 8  for this important event.
This event is open to the public and free of charge.
 Register here: www.igs.cla.umn.edu
CEUs available to K-12 teachers.
Lunch will be provided thanks to a generous donation from Holy Land Deli.


--------3 of 20--------

From: Joel Clemmer <joel [at] joelclemmer.org>
Subject: MN health plan 11.08 10am StCloud MN

MOBILIZE FOR THE MINNESOTA HEALTH PLAN!

Isaffordable universal health care possible? Yes! The Minnesota HealthPlan
cuts waste, covers everyone, and promotes health and economicsecurity for
our families, farms and businesses, all under a singleaffordable plan.
Come learn how we will educate, advocate, and thenmobilize to pass the
Minnesota Health Plan.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2008, 10 AM - 3 PM
St. Cloud Public Library, 1300 W. St. Germain St., 56301
REGISTER AT MNHEALTHPLAN.ORG/REGISTRATION
<http://mnhealthplan.org/registration/>

The publicity flyer <http://mnhealthplan.org/registration/flyer5a.pdf>
for the conference

The program outline <http://mnhealthplan.org/registration/program.html>

Who should attend the kickoff and training?
 *Supporters of the Minnesota Health Plan and single-payer health carewho
want to network, learn, and become more effective advocates.
 * People who know that we need a fundamental change to our health care
system and want to learn how to make it happen.
 * Political novices and experienced activists.

What will I learn at the legislative kickoff and training?
 * What is the Minnesota Health Plan and how will it work?
 * What are the prospects for the MHP this legislative session?
 * How do I respond to naysayers?
 * How do I answer the hard questions?
 * What is effective organizing and advocacy for health care?

Lunch will be provided
Donations accepted at the meeting
Sponsors:
CAMPAIGN FOR THE MINNESOTA HEALTH PLAN <http://mnhealthplan.org/>
mnhealthplan.org
GREATER MINNESOTA HEALTH CARE COALITION <http://gmhcc.org/>   (888)
694-5055 ~ GMHCC.org
MINNESOTA UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE COALITION <http://muhcc.org/>   (651)
641-4073 ~ MUHCC.org


--------4 of 20--------

From: Stephanie Bates <sbates928 [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Venezuela 11.08 10am

11/8 Venezuelan Revolution at a Crossroads:  Which way Forward after the
Regional Elections?

Saturday November 8, 10am
3019 Minnehaha Ave, Suite 20

John Peterson, National Secretary of the U.S. Hands Off Venezuela
Campaign, will bring us up to date on the latest developments in
Venezuela, including the economic situation, the question of the state,
the role United Socialist Party of Venezuela, and the attitude of the new
U.S. administration toward Latin America as a whole. He will also briefly
introduce British author Alan Woods' new book "Reformism or Revolution,"
described by Hugo Chavez on "Alo Presidente" as the best book on the
subject of the Venezuelan Revolution. Copies will be available for sale.


--------5 of 20--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Felien/what now? 11.08 10am

Saturday, 11/8, 10 to noon, Women's International League for Peace and
Freedom hosts editor/publisher and author of "Take the Streets" Ed Felien,
talking about "Post-Election: Where Do We Go from Here?" Van Cleve
Community Center, 901 - 15th Ave SE, Mpls.  http://www.wilpfmn.org or
612-922-79993.


Saturday, 11/8, 5:30 pm, Council on American-Islamic Relations hosts James
Yusuf Yee, former army chaplain at Guantanamo, at their 2nd annual
banquet, St Paul Student Center Ballroom, 2017 Buford Ave, St Paul.
$50/person.  http://cairmn.com or 651-64507102.


---------6 of 20--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P Mtka 11.08 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.


--------7 of 20--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P GoldenValley 11.08 1:30pm

Saturday, 1:30-2:30 PM Golden Valley - NW Neighbors for Peace will hold
large banners on the pedestrian bridge over Highway 55, just west of
Winnetka, in Golden Valley every Saturday. There is plenty of parking in
the lot at the NW corner of the intersection; all are welcome. FYI Carole
763-546-5368.


--------8 of 20--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: NESG/Media forum 11.08 2pm

NESG FORUM ON THE MEDIA
Saturday 11.08 2pm
Maplewood Community Library
3025 Southlawn Drive
Maplewood, MN

 North East Suburban Greens present
An in-depth explanation of how the media works (or doesn't work) for us.

The program begins with Jeff Nygaard, Lydia Howell and Nancy Doyle Brown
in a previously recorded discussion hosted by Suzanne Linton at SCC
studios for 'Our World Today.'

The television show illuminates how the media structures that we have
evolved in this country make it very difficult for journalists to perform
their function of informing the populace and enabling them to be actors in
the political system.  The thinking is that, once we understand why the
media does what it does, we can begin to think clearly about how to build
and support media systems that better meet the needs of our society from a
social justice perspective.

A live panel with Jeff Nygaad and Lydia Howell follows. They will answer
questions from the audience.

Jeff Nygaard is a journalist whose work has appeared in the Star Tribune,
Z Magazine, Counterpunch, Access Press and various other publications.
He has taught media courses and workshops around the Twin Cities.

Lydia Howell is an independent Minneapolis journalist who is winner of the
2007 Premack Award for Public Interest Journalism. She is the
producer/host of "Catalys:politics & Culture" on KFAI radio, Fridays 11am.

Directions:  (Very easy)
Take 35E North out of St. Paul and continue on 694 EAST.
Take the White Bear exit.
Turn right, and then IMMEDIATELY take another right, at the
 first opportunity (stop light).
Go two blocks, and turn left (across from Best Buy) onto Southlawn Drive.
The library is on the right.
Ask for the Community Room.

Contact: Suzanne Linton 651-414-9485 bahiabaubo [at] hotmail.com


--------9 of 20--------

From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 11.08 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday
2-3pm


--------10 of 20--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Empire/Bennis 11.08 9pm

Lovely Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!  Households with basic cable may
watch.

11/8, 9pm and Tues, 11/11, 8am
Phyllis Bennis.  Pt 1 of talk "Challenging Empire" given at Mac-Plymouth
Church in St. Paul in April. (repeat)


--------11 of 20--------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Atheists/foxholes 11.09 9am

Minnesota Atheists' "Atheists Talk" radio show.
Sunday, November 9, 2008, 9-10 a.m. Central Time
Veterans Day Special: "Atheists in the Military"

Yes, there are atheists in foxholes, who serve bravely and honorably along
side their religious colleagues.  ("God and Country" is a false union.)
What is it like to be an atheist in the military?  There have been reports
of persecution by evangelical Christians against atheists, Jews, Muslims,
Catholics, and anyone else who does not have the "proper beliefs."  What
is being done about this?  Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious
Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and Kathleen Johnson of the Military Association
of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) will give us a report from the front
lines.

We welcome questions during the program at (952) 946-6205 or
radio [at] MinnesotaAtheists.org. "Atheists Talk" airs live on AM 950 KTNF in
the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. To stream live, go to
http://www.am950ktnf.com/listen. Podcasts of past shows are available at
http://MinnesotaAtheists.org or through iTunes. Program Notes are
available at http://MinnesotaAtheists.org.


--------12 of 20--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 11.09 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to
<http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560


--------13 of 20--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: NESG/Dissent film 11.09 2pm

North East Suburban Greens (NESG) presents the
Ramsey County Premier of

"Terrorizing Dissent: the 2008 RNC"

Sunday, Nov. 9, 2pm
Maplewood Community Library
3025 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood
(directions below)

Twin Cities Indymedia, and other independent media activists have released
a new film, 'Terrorizing Dissent', an exposť of events at the 2008
Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Featuring first-person accounts and footage from more than forty cameras
on the streets, 'Terrorizing Dissent' focuses on the story of dissent
suppressed. People charged with "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of
terrorism" speak out against the government's campaign to manipulate media
coverage and label civil disobedience and community organizing as
terrorism.

'Terrorizing Dissent' shows the results of the $50 million dollars the
Department of Homeland Security gave to local authorities for security - a
large chunk of which went to weaponize the police - and the $10 million
insurance policy contract between the RNC Host Committee and the City of
St. Paul, which shattered Minnesota's civil compact between protesters and
police.

Effectively, the Republican National Committee provided financial cover
for the widespread, organized suppression of dissent. The FBI and Secret
Service coordinated with local police to raid homes and work spaces before
the RNC even began. On the streets, the government's intimidation strategy
shut down peaceful protests through the heavy use of tear gas, pepper
spray, stun grenades, rubber bullets, and other projectiles. This
excessive use of force followed months of harassment and surveillance of
community activists. At every stage, local officials have refused to
release the documentation behind what they did, from the origins of
dubious search warrants to joint powers agreements.

The Republican Party's efforts to control the message and crush dissenting
voices were led by one of the top local Republicans, troubled Ramsey
County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, who personally spearheaded the "pre-emptive
raid" strategy and spun the media by claiming captured household items
were weapons (most notably, the buckets of recycled grey water he dubbed
"urine"). At every stage, from fake urine to riot threats, messages of
fear were distributed to chill Minnesotans from exercising their First
Amendment rights.

Just days before Fletcher launched high-profile preemptive raids against
protesters, two of his closest aides, Mark Naylon and Timothy Rehak, were
found guilty on federal charges after they attempted to steal $6,000 in an
FBI sting. To shore up his murky political future, Fletcher staged an
authoritarian spectacle unparalleled in Minnesota history.

As local Democratic officials cautiously stepped back, Fletcher put
himself in front of a classic "security theater" media campaign to create
a non-existent enemy, equate civil disobedience with terrorism, and move
in to attack peaceful protests. This plan culminated with the blocking and
flashbang bombing of a peaceful march organized by anti-war activists on
September 4th as John McCain delivered his acceptance speech at the Xcel
Center.

Within weeks, John McCain's campaign turned to attacking Barack Obama on
the same grounds as the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group that provided
logistical help such as housing, food and a convergence center for
demonstrators.

This rapidly produced "election cut" shows how the government - even in a
liberal state like Minnesota - easily rolled over to domestic
militarization and criminal abandonment of Constitutional freedoms. As the
Republican National Convention paved the way for a fall of terrifying
national instability and financial chaos, Americans need to know about the
techniques used to silence Minnesota.

Cut from hundreds of hours of donated footage, "Terrorizing Dissent" has
been released for free on the Internet under the Creative Commons /
CopyLeft license, and its producers encourage everyone to share this
important film. More video releases are planned; stay tuned to
http://www.terrorizingdissent.org/ for updates.

Glassbead Collective (glassbeadcollective.org), based in New York City,
brings together individuals from diverse academic and professional
backgrounds to create works which re-contextualize culture and the world
in which we find ourselves today.

Twin Cities Indymedia (twincities.indymedia.org) is the local chapter of
the international Indymedia network, a collective of independent media
organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots,
non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the
creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth. Twin
Cities Indymedia provided up-to-the-minute coverage of the St. Paul's
Republican National Convention with news and media straight from the
streets. see http://www.terrorizingdissent.org/

Sunday, Nov. 9, 2pm
Maplewood Community Library
3025 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood

DIRECTIONS:  Take 35E out of St. Paul ..  continue onto 694 East ...
Take the White Bear Ave. Exit .. Turn right and then IMMEDIATELy
turn right again (Co Rd. D) ... Go to Southlawn Drive (by Best Buy)
turn left .. The library is on the right.  Ask for the Community Room

contact: Suzanne Linton 651-414-9485 bahiabaubo [at] hotmail.com


--------14 of 20--------

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Jesuits/NonVio 11.09 3pm

"Jesuits and Nonviolence:" Reverend John Dear
Sunday, November 9, 3:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Parish Center, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. Hear renowned peacemaker and author,
Reverend John Dear speak on Jesuits and nonviolence. Nominated for the
Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, this "modern prophet of
peace" will have available his recent book "A Persistent Peace." Endorsed
by: WAMM.


--------15 of 20--------

From: James Mayer <jmayer [at] academymayer.com>
Subject: Ken Pentel/950AM 11.09 3pm

PART II ON HOW WE CAN STOP CORPORATE CONTROL AND CONTAMINATION OF OUR
LAND, AIR, WATER, AND GOVERNMENT.  TUNE IN:

Of the People this Sunday, November 9th at 3 p.m. on AM 950 KTNF (formerly
Air America Minnesota) with Host James Mayer.
Call-in line: 952-946-6205

This Sunday James Mayer on Of the People presents Part II of the ECOLOGY
DEMOCRACY NETWORK'S call to action with its lead organizer, Ken Pentel,
nominated three times by the Green Party for Governor of Minnesota, and
host James Mayer.  We are bringing you this call to action and hopeful
realism by Ken Pentel because of what we all recognize or should
recognize:  Our most urgent priority is to unite, organize AND mobilize to
restore the health of our only Earth and government of, by and for the
people, because the future of life on Earth, including ourselves, our
children and grandchildren, depends on what we do now.

Threats to the health, strength and endurance of a healthy democracy,
society and environment don't go away for the weekend.  Neither does the
bad news the corporate media establishment uses to make us feel alienated
from one another, shocked, depressed, or even helpless, and to distract us
from real priorities, realistic solutions and positive actions we can take
together.  But for a few weekend moments you can refresh and regenerate
your energy with James Mayer on Of the People, a place to go for good news
that the "news" corporations monopolizing our airwaves seldom let through:
people taking action together, on real solutions.

To listen to Of the People on AM 950 KTNF (formerly Air America
Minnesota), go to 950 on your AM radio dial, or Listen online:
http://www.am950ktnf.com/listen


--------16 of 20--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Vets4Peace 11.09 6pm

Sunday, 11/9, 6 to 8:30 pm, monthly meeting of Veterans for Peace chapter
27, St Stephens school basement, 2123 Clinton Ave S, Mpls.  John Varone
952-448-2665.


--------17 of 20--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com>
Subject: CamPaign 11.09 7pm

Dear Friends, Now that the 2008 election is behind us it is time to start
planning for the next election. As you may have already guessed I have
every intention of seeking another term and City Council Member for Ward 2
and would like your help in planning and running that campaign.  To help
us get started some of us will be meeting this Sunday, November 9, from 7
- 9 pm at the Second Moon Coffee Cafe 2225 East Franklin Ave. I would be
honored to have you join us.  Our agenda will likely include: 1. Campaign
Annoucement and Kick off event 2. Discussion and beginning construction of
basic campaign structure including

Finance and fundrasing
Communication
Strategic planning and timeline
Website
Volunteer Coordination
Irrelevant additions by weird editors


--------18 of 20--------

Fooled Again
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss
By RICHARD RHAMES
CounterPunch
November 7 / 9, 2008

"This ... wave (that) Obama is riding, (is an) ... ocean of energy he is
trying to steer into an acceptance of the same old deal, the same old
wars, the same old systemic racism, packaged as something new. This wave
of energy is not something he's inspired, it's something he's riding and
that he is uniquely qualified to channel toward his own ends --- which are
not our ends".
 -Juan Santos, February, 2008

The 2008 campaign season is mercifully over. Friend to Wall Street and the
murderous imperium, Barack Hussein Obama has been anointed with power.
Though he got smoked in the electoral college, candidate McCain, with his
not-so-veiled fascist appeal finished with horrifyingly strong numbers in
the popular vote. McCain and his Rapture-seeking running mate tallied over
45 percent based on their appeals to the basest and most irrational
tendencies still poisonously flowering in our economically tottering
population.

In the end, McCain's desperate attempt to label Obama's tepid tax
proposals as "socialistic" proved his undoing. He asserted in his
tone-deaf way that the American public was opposed to "spreading the
wealth around". It isn't, of course.

But over the last several decades, as the Democratic party lost its way,
becoming a minor wing of the Republican/Business party, the entire
political class has become dedicated to concentrating wealth in the
hands/pockets of The One Percent. The bipartisan consensus now favors
shoveling money to those who funded campaigns for Obama and McCain and the
rest.

The idea of seriously taxing the rich, the Wall Street weak, the currency
speculators, or any of the notorious criminal element that runs things
frankly just never comes up in polite and "responsible" company anymore.

Obama limply proposed raising the marginal income tax rates on those
making $250 thousand annually a few points, to where they were in Bill
Clinton's time. With this minor tweak, the maximum levy would inch up
again from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. That's well south of the 70 to 94
percent marginal rate which afflicted the wealthy in the US for most of
the 20th century.

But when, late in the campaign, McCain/Palin began attacking the timid
proposal as a dark scheme to "spread wealth," a funny thing happened.
Pollsters discovered a nation of closet Marxists enthused by the prospect
of even a trivial Obama-esque wealth redistribution in their favor. As
Alexander Zaitchik noted, "The McCain campaign's attempts to smear Obama
as a Trojan donkey for socialistic UN-Americanism ... belly-flopped, if
not backfired". The McCain/Palin suicide strategy actually wound up
boosting public support for B.H.O.

Zaitchick reported that, "The final national polls before Tuesday all
show(ed) a national hunger for national wealth redistribution downward".
Respondents to Ipsos/ McClatchy pollsters preferred the Democratic plan to
the Republican by 8 points, Pew found a 50-to 39-percent spread. Gallup
found the allegedly "socialistic" scheme favored 58-to-37 percent.

When McCain tapped Palin as his plodding mate, I for one was greatly
cheered. I naively expected that media would look to Stalinist Alaska and
its long-standing redistributive Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI). There,
citizens get paid for just showing up through a levy on corporate oil
exploiters. Comrade Palin and her Duma just this year got the GAI boosted
by $1,200 to $3,269.

Only months ago, Red Sarah easily out-commied neo-bama, telling journalist
Philip Gourevitch: "Alaskans collectively own the resources. We share in
the wealth".

Has the allegedly "far-left" Yes-We-Canner proposed creating a GAI for
America's population based on their collective ownership of oil and other
mineral wealth under federal lands, or their collective title to the
"airwaves"/ broadcast spectrum? Couldn't we do that?

No, we can't.

Only the most marginal changes to the economic status quo will be
tolerated by those who bought Mr. Obama's election for him. He is frankly
opposed to instituting a national single payer health insurance system
even though it would insure everyone for less than we're paying now.
During the primaries he used Republican talking points when discussing
Social Security, peddling the fantasy that the system faces a structural
funding "crisis". He's a bright guy. He knows better than that.

During his acceptance speech on election night, he warned his adoring
fans, "we know the government can't solve every problem". He called for "a
new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice". Yes, in a country where
workers toil longer, harder, and for less than in most civilized nations,
where 18,000 to 100,000 die annually for lack of health care, and where
the majority has been on the economic skids since 1973, Mr. Change now
urges yet more sacrifice.

And the deluded cheer.

Despite the tireless work of Democratic party loyalists who hoped that
their party's platform might now be implemented, Obama openly denigrated
their desires. He disparaged partisan struggle as marked by "pettiness and
immaturity". It has "poisoned our politics for so long," he said. He's
"post-partisan" you see, or at least post-Democrat.

The President-elect's first act was to name Rep. Rahm Israel Emanuel as
his chief of staff. Emanuel, characterized as a "take-no-prisoners"
brawler, faithfully served Bill Clinton as the Man From Hope attacked the
Democratic party's base. Politico reports, "Emanuel's first assignment in
Clinton's White House was helping to pass ...(NAFTA) which riled many
Democrats. He was a consistent voice for anti-crime measures, welfare
reform (sic) and other initiatives that pushed against liberal orthodoxy".
After leaving the Clinton administration, Emanuel "returned to Chicago as
an investment bank managing director," and raked in $18 million.

The Washington Post reports that, "Obama's advisors... are well aware of
the (supposed) dangers of interpreting the results as a mandate for
unabashed liberal government". Further, "They are ready for potential
conflict with some Democratic constituencies... (that) ... may clash with
Obama's priorities.."

Meet the new boss.

Fooled again.

Richard Rhames is a dirt-farmer in Biddeford, Maine (just north of the
Kennebunkport town line).


--------19 of 20--------

Hail to the Chief of Staff    [contains Nader interview at **]
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
CounterPunch
November 7 / 9, 2008

The first trumpet blast of change ushers in Rahm Emanuel as Obama's chief
of staff and gate keeper. This is the man who arranges his schedule,
staffs out the agenda, includes, excludes. It's certainly as sinister an
appointment as, say, Carter's installation of arch cold-warrior Zbigniev
Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor at the dawn of his "change is
here" administration in 1977.

Emanuel, as Ralph Nader points out in my interview with him below,
represents the worst of the Clinton years. His profile as regards Israel
is explored well on this site by lawyer John Whitbeck. He's a former
Israeli citizen, who volunteered to serve in Israel in 1991 and who made
brisk millions in Wall Street. He is a super-Likudnik hawk, whose father
was in the fascist Irgun in the late Forties, responsible for cold-blooded
massacres of Palestinians. Dad's unreconstructed ethnic outlook has been
memorably embodied in his recent remark to the Ma'ariv newspaper that
"Obviously he [Rahm] will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why
wouldn't he be [influential]? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean
the floors of the White House."

Working in the Clinton White House, Emanuel helped push through NAFTA, the
crime bill, the balanced budget and welfare reform. He favored the war in
Iraq, and when he was chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee in 2006 he made great efforts to knock out antiwar Democratic
candidates. On this site in October and November, 2006, John Walsh
documented both the efforts and Emanuel's role in losing the Democrats
seats they would otherwise have won.

In 2006 Emanuel had just published a book with Bruce Reed called The Plan:
Big Ideas for America, with one section focused on "the war on terror".
Emanuel and Reed wrote, "We need to fortify the military's 'thin green
line'" around the world by adding to the U.S. Special Forces and the
Marines, and by expanding the U.S. army by 100,000 more troops. "Finally
we must protect our homeland and civil liberties by creating a new
domestic counterterrorism force like Britain's MI5". Recall that Obama has
been calling throughout his recent campaign for an addition of 92,000 to
the US Army and US Marine Corps.

Emanuel and Reed had fond words for the mad-dog Peter Beinart, neocon
warrior theoretician for the Democrats, roosting Marty Peretz's The New
Republic, and author of The Good Fight where Beinart explained why a tough
new national security policy is as essential to the future of of
progressive politics as a united front against totalitarianism and
communism was to the New Deal and the Great Society. Emanuel and Reed also
commended Anne-Marie Slaughter's proposal for "a new division of labor in
which the United Nations takes on economic and social assistance and an
expanded NATO takes over the burden of collective security." In other
words, let NATO shoot the natives and the UN clean the floors.

Walsh took a hard look at the 2006 Democratic primary race between
Christine Cegelis and Tammy Duckworth in Illinois's 6th CD, a Republican
District, which had elected the disgusting Henry Hyde from time
immemorial. In 2004 Cegelis, who iwas only mildly antiwar, ran as the
Democrat with a grass roots campaign and polled a remarkable 44 per cent
in her first run. It was not too long before Hyde decided to retire, and
the field seemed to be open for Cegelis in the November poll, in 2006.

Enter Rahm Emanuel, who promptly dug up a pro-war candidate, Tammy
Duckworth. Although she had both her legs blown off in Iraq, she remained
committed to "staying the course" in Iraq. Duckworth had no political
experience and did not live in the 6th District. Emanuel raised a million
dollars for her and brought in Joe Lieberman, Barak Obama, John Kerry,
John Edwards and Hillary Clinton to support her. Despite all this help and
with the Cegelis campaign virtually penniless, Duckworth barely managed to
eke out a primary victory by a measly four percentage points.

To win the House, the Dems had to win 15 seats from the Republicans. Walsh
identified 22 candidates hand picked by Emanuel to run in open districts
or districts with Republican incumbents. Of these, nine adopted a US "must
win" in Iraq position and only one of Rahm's candidates was for prompt
withdrawal from Iraq.

Then, after the election, Walsh assessed Rahm's supposed brilliance in
winning back the House. "Looking at all 22 candidates hand-picked by
Rahm," Walsh wrote, "we find that 13 were defeated [including Duckworth],
and only 8 won! And remember that this was the year of the Democratic
tsunami and that Rahm's favorites were handsomely financed by the DCCC.
The Dems have picked up 28 seats so far, maybe more. So out of that 28,
Rahm's choices accounted for 8! Since the Dems only needed 15 seats to win
the House, Rahm's efforts were completely unnecessary. Had the campaign
rested on Rahm's choices, there would have been only 8 or 9 new seats, and
the Dems would have lost. In fact, Rahm's efforts were probably
counterproductive for the Dems since the great majority of voters were
antiwar and they were voting primarily on the issue of the war (60 per
cent according to CNN). But Rahm's candidates were not antiwar.

Talking to Nader about the Campaign, on November 5. **

AC: In 2000, you drew nearly 10,000 people to a speech in Portland,
Oregon. This year you got barely 2,000 in in the whole of Multnomah County
where Portland lies, perhaps the most progressive county in the nation. Is
this a sign of the withering of the progressive left or the dead end of
independent political campaigns?

Nader: It's a sign of the swoon in the voting booth by people who told
pollsters that they were going to vote for me at a level of 4 to 7
million; that is, 6 per cent nationally in the summer and 3 per cent the
day before the election, according to CNN. In Washington DC district Obama
got 94 per cent. I said to people, how many years have you known me? And
they answered, it's a historic occasion. I wanted to be part of history.
The real issue in this campaign is the voters. These are people who knew
all about Obama's flipflops, his support for offshore drilling, for FISA,
his role as the number one corporate candidate.

When you're in prison and you're told you can't get out and to chose
between TB and cancer you'll chose. It's beyond politics, it's psychology.
This is what happens when we're trapped in the winner take all closed
system, watching tv.

The pattern is: Progressive politics for three years, and in the fourth
year it renews itself with heavy doses of regressive politics and charges
forward again.  [I share Nader's analysis and his total disgust. -ed]

I thought we'd get two to three millon votes. We had a huge internet
presence.

AC: How many votes did you get? This year and in the last two campaigns?

Probably 700,000. In 2000 it was 2.8 million. In 2004, 450,000. But those
figures don't tell the story. In New York this time for example it was
almost impossible to find me on the ballot.

AC What about you calling him an Uncle Tom on Fox?

Nader: On Fox I said that as the first African American president we wish
him well. The question is, will he be Uncle Sam for the people or Uncle
Tom for the giant corporations which are driving America into the ground.
Fox cut it off after "corporations".

He is less vulnerable to criticism and harder to criticize because of his
race. When I said he was talking White Man's talk, the PC people got
really upset.

It doesn't matter that he sides with destruction of the Palestinians, and
sides with the embargo. It doesn't matter that he turns his back on 100
million people and won't even campaign in minority areas. It doesn't
matter than he wants a bigger military budget, and an imperial foreign
policy supporting various adventures of the Bush administration. It
doesn't matter that he's for the death penalty, which is targeted at
minorities. But if you say one thing that isn't PC, you get their
attention. I tell college audiences, a gender, racial or ethnic slur gets
you upset, reality doesn't get you upset.

Can Obama speak truth to the white power structure? There's every
indication he doesn't want to. For example, in February he stiffed the
State of the Black Union annual meeting in New Orleans. He's a very
accommodating personality.

AC: Ralph, Why do you think Ron Paul was able to excite younger voters and
you weren't?

Nader: Ron Paul? There's the novelty aspect. It was his first try. He
hasn't been losing. He gets the hard core people focused on the gold
standard, and abolishing the federal reserve. The "Get government off our
back", rock-ribbed Goldwater people. He says the things mainstream
Republicans can't.

AC: Are the Republicans down for the count for a while?

Nader: Any time there's a terrorist attack they're back in business.
Enough people will soon forget what Bush and Co actually did. At the
moment conservatives have been subjected to Obama's shock and awe, but
they still have all these social issues. As a candidate Obama dodged the
Gay Marriage Ban ballot, but they'll throw the social issues at him. The
Republican inventory is intact: "tax and spend", "over regulation", plus
all these social issues.

AC Does Palin have a future?

Nader: No.

AC: How about the liberals and the left now?

Nader: The real crisis is the self-destruction of the liberal progressive
community. It's got nowhere to go, other than to renew its three out of
four year cycle of criticism of the Democrats. They've nowhere to go
because they've made no demands. He's been a candid right-center Democrat
and they've given him a free ride. No demands. From Labor? No demands. He
gave them a sop on the card check. He campaigned for two years, promised
blacks nothing, Latinos nothing, women's groups nothing, labor nothing.
Contrast the lack of demands on the liberal progressive side to what the
Limbaugh crowd exacted from McCain.

AC: You think Michael Moore could have made some demands in return for his
support?

Nader: Moore knows were his bread is buttered. He's seen what the
Hollywood set and the others did to me.

AC: How do you see the next phase playing out?

Nader: Obama faces three crises: wars overseas, economic collapse and the
deficit. They can't use fiscal policy very much, so he's going to be
strapped by things like Medicare.

He's got along on general rhetoric, but now each decision will shake some
section of the liberal constituency.

They need to launch a comprehensive program dealing with poverty, low
income housing, corruption and extortion in the ghettoes, and doubling the
minimum wage to compensate for inflation.

They need to address the right of labor to form trade unions without
coming up against the steel wall of Taft Hartley

Health insurance? He'll extend tax supports which will give the insurance
companies more business. He should deal with drug prices, but that's a
battle he won't undertake.

How's he going to deal with the auto companies which are in deep trouble?
Take the proposed GM-Chrysler merger which makes no sense and will mean
lay-offs for 90,000 workers. If people don't want the cars then the
sacrifices and subsidies are to no avail.

The only way this guy can ever get his head above water is if he is
courageous. What he's basically doing so far is giving the Clinton crowd a
second chance. Rahm Emanuel? He's the worst of Clinton. Spokesman for Wall
Street, Israel, globalization.

Second: demilitarize foreign policy, establishing the international
stability that flows from our becoming a respectful but energetic
humanitarian superpower, confronting world issues like drinking water and
infectious diseases.

He has to reverse course on Afghanistan. As Ashraf Ghani former finance
minister for Karzai has said, the approach to Afghanistan should be the
need for justice, the fundamental basis of all public order.

Third, he's got to develop economic policy for the greatest good for the
greatest number. Public works not bailout. Put money where it matters.

He's got to say to the rich and powerful, you have to give up your greed.
It should be a two-track presidency, dealing with issues day to day, and
strengthening the fiber of democratic society. That's partly a matter of
shareholder authority, worker-owned pension funds, which is a third of
Wall Street. If every such fund was given the authority to control what
they own, it would be over. Look at all institutional shareholders in
Fannies. Their holdings are worth one per cent of what they were and these
were the second safest investments after Treasuries! Believe in first
principles: what you own, you control. If you screw up you're free to sink
-- the first and second principles of capitalism.

I'm going to write Obama a letter in the next month saying, what you have
to do is a pre-State of the union where you lay out exactly where the Bush
Administration has left America, in category after category, so you will
not be hung with it. In the pre-state of the union, Obama should say, This
is the mess I've inherited.

Second, Obama has to cut the sequence of war crimes and high crimes and
misdeameanours. If not, he'll become a war criminal himself within a
month. Shut down Guantanamo with strict directives, no torture. If he
continue his policies, then he'll become a war criminal. If you going to
restore the rule of law, you have got to draw the line between what you're
going to do and what you refuse to inherit. Then it's a real fresh start.

Obama's a guy who's got away with a ten minute speech for two years. He
won too easily. He didn't have to respond to the liberal constituencies.
He's really had it very easy, because he had an easy act to challenge and
an easy act to follow ,

AC: How do you feel about your run?

Nade: I'm happy I ran, because the alternative is total surrender. I
carried the banner to 50 states. I surprised myself. Look at the
abolitionist Liberty Party in the mid-19th century. It didn't get a tenth
of one per cent. Did you think those people wasted their vote? We were
quite successful this time in beating back ballot access barriers, in
Arizona and Ohio. It's like the early stages of fighting Jim Crow laws.

AC: The history of third parties over the past thirty years is not very
encouraging.

Nader: We're advancing majoritarian programs and the majority voters are
trapped into the two party choice  This is what happens. Obama sank public
funding. Not only did he betray the principle and therefore shattered his
credibility. In so outdoing he way outraised McCain. I read the trade
literature. Not one of these industries -- banking, insurance, automotive,
oil, agribusiness, international trade - is worried. They're all totally
calm. The corporate state moves on.

Corporate power has unique characteristics. It is perfectly willing and
able to corrupt, regardless of sexual or ethnic preference. It offers
equal opportunities to be corrupted or coopted. That's why it's very
difficult for the civil community, which is affected by principles,
nuances, honest disagreements, to confront the monistically commercial
corporations. No one says "the big debate inside Exxon is whether to go
more for oil or solar" That's why every religion in the world, in their
scriptures, issues a warning not to give too much power to the merchant
class. The commercial instinct is relentless, consistent, limitless in
achieving its goal. It will run rough-shod to destroy, co-opt or dilute
civic and spiritual values that stand in its way.


--------20 of 20--------

A Paradigm Shift in America's Intellectual Community
by Pablo Ouziel
November 7th, 2008
Dissident Voice

Contrary to popular belief, the big change in America's society stemming
from the recent presidential elections was not the election of the first
black president. The most important event has taken place in the
intellectual community, in which a paradigm shift has taken place and few
have noticed.

The new era of voting for the lesser of the two evils has penetrated the
core of America's critical intellectual community, and some of the biggest
voices for change have endorsed Obama. In effect, what has taken place is
the union between those opposed to imperial ideology and those endorsing
it. Although this serious event has gone largely unnoticed, American
intellectuals will need to reflect on its consequences seriously if they
are to contribute to the building of a stable future for humanity as a
whole, and in particular to mending the tarnished corrupt fabric of
American society.

One American intellectual, James Petras, has been able to identify the
direct social consequences of such a paradigm shift and prior to the
elections has publicly expressed his views in an article titled "The
Elections and the Responsibility of the Intellectual to Speak Truth to
Power: Twelve Reasons to Reject Obama and Support Nader/McKinney".

As the title of the article clearly states, Petras voices the reasons why
intellectuals have the responsibility of voting against Obama just like
they should vote against McCain. In regards to those intellectuals who
have endorsed Obama he says:

They are what C. Wright Mills called "crackpot realists", abdicating their
responsibility as critical intellectuals. In purporting to support the
"lesser evil" they are promoting the "greater evil": The continuation of
four more years of deepening recession, colonial wars and popular
alienation.

After listening last night to Obama's first speech after his victory, a
victory he said was of the people, what Petras is saying seems
disturbingly accurate when looked at through the prism of critical
discourse analysis. One can look back now to the presidency of George W.
Bush and listen to his rhetoric. What has been his message throughout the
last 8 years? When Obama's core messages are compared to Bush's, it
becomes apparent that the coming presidential plans are not too different
to current presidential policies.

Even more disturbing, is the fact that when Bush spoke throughout his
presidency there was always a slight cynical reaction by the majority of
the public, as most of the surveys have shown time and time again.
However, last night the cynicism seemed to have vanished and the hope of a
new American century was reborn with full force, to the clapping thunder
and joyous splendour of the reborn American people. With every word
uttered by Obama one could see how the empire was not gone, Bush almost
killed it, now Obama the symbol of hope, together with all the American
people in unity, are going to reconstruct their country and the world,
restabilising America's faltering hegemony.

For those in the struggle against imperial expansion, the task ahead is
going to prove daunting. Perhaps the echoed endorsement of the new
presidency by some of the world's most public intellectuals is going to
set back the struggle for true justice, in the sense that although voting
without "illusions", a landslide victory has been handed out to Obama by
millions of delusional Americans. Expect more bailouts of the economic
elite, expect the war drums to continue, expect more people to lose their
homes and jobs. Keep organizing at the grassroots level because millions
of Americans are going to need help, like the billions of people around
the world who year after year ravaged by the smiling face of capitalist
imperialism, have been shouting out and had their voices ignored.

The essence of capitalism in the twenty-first century is one of popular
misery, thunderous war, and smiling politicians, as the global elites
struggle to save pieces of their crumbling cake. In the middle of this
chaos there is room for "hope", there is certainly no "illusion", and
respect must go to Ralph Nader for fighting on and James Petras for
speaking truth to power. As for the paradigm shift faced by America's
intellectual community, strong choices must be made and a new generation
of intellectuals must begin to drive critical thinking into a more serious
and coherent direction, if humanity as a whole, is to overcome the
obstacles it faces.

Pablo Ouziel is an activist and a freelance writer based in Spain. His
work has appeared in many progressive media including ZNet, Palestine
Chronicle, Thomas Paine.s Corner and Atlantic Free Press. Read other
articles by Pablo.

This article was posted on Friday, November 7th, 2008 at 7:31am and is
filed under General, Imperialism.


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