|Progressive Calendar 11.12.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 15:21:17 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.12.08 1. Minnehaha-Hiawatha 11.12 5:30pm 2. Away all gods 11.12 7pm 3. Amnesty Intl 11.12 7:30pm 4. Greek WWII front 11.13 11am 5. Eagan peace vigil 11.13 4:30pm 6. Frogtown Rondo 11.13 4:30pm 7. Northtown vigil 11.13 5pm 8. Iraq war moratorium 11.13 5:15pm 9. March on Washington 11.13 5:30pm 10. Moon walk 11.13 7pm 11. Judge election 11.13 7pm Duluth MN 12. Karl Grossman - Tyranny in the tank - break up Big Oil 13. John Pilger - Beware the Obama hype 14. PC Roberts - Obama, Rahm-bo and the End of the New American Century 15. James Keye - Obama Is No Country Song 16. ed - Don't Truth Me In (improved song) --------1 of 16-------- From: Susu Jeffrey [mailto:susujeffrey [at] msn.com] Subject: Minnehaha-Hiawatha 11.12 5:30pm Wednesday, November 12, 5:30-8:30 PM Sanford Middle School 3524 - 42nd Avenue South, Mpls Hennepin County "community forum" to promote development along Hiawatha from the Midtown Greenway to Minnehaha Parkway. What happens north of Minnehaha Park will continue southward. Let's not give them a chance to say "Where were you?" BB. Susu -- From: Kim Jakus <mailto:kim [at] longfellow.org> Subject: [lccndc] County Community Works Open House Below is announcement regarding an open house on November 12th for the Hennepin County Community Works Project for the Minnehaha-Hiawatha corridor. This is a huge multi-year investment the County is undertaking in OUR neighborhood! The County has begun gathering input from residents, but this is the first large scale event designed to give residents info on the initiative as well as soliciting input from residents as to what their vision is for the corridor. So please come bring your family, your neighbors! And look soon for another email from me if youšre interested in volunteering that night. Community Forum on the Minnehaha-Hiawatha Corridor Reinvestment is happening along the Minnehaha-Hiawatha corridor -- the question is, what will that look like and what role do residents have to play in the process? Come learn about and provide input on a major Hennepin County Community Works Initiative for the entire area from Hiawatha Avenue to Minnehaha Avenue South and from the Midtown Greenway to Minnehaha Parkway. Wednesday, November 12th 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Sanford Middle School (3524 - 42nd Ave South) Come anytime between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. and visit stations addressing topics such as transportation and traffic, community image, safety, economic development, green space and parks, housing, commercial revitalization, and MORE! Short presentations on recent corridor studies will be offered twice during the evening: Railroad Study - What is the future of rail in the corridor? [5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m.] Cultural Resources Study What is the corridoršs cultural history? [6:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m.] Market Retail Study What is the existing job and retail market in the corridor? [6:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m.] We will have refreshments and fun activities for all ages. For more information, go to www.minnehaha-hiawatha.com or contact Robb Luckow at Hennepin County, robb.luckow [at] co.hennepin.mn.us or 612-348-9344. This forum is hosted by the Longfellow Community Council Neighborhood Development Caucus and the Community Advisory Committee to the Community Works project. --------2 of 16-------- From: anna fontanna <luvunkljoe [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Away all gods 11.12 7pm Sunsara Taylor will be speaking at True Colors prior to her appearance at the U of M on the 13th. Although the presidential election will be over, the topic of religion and politics is still timely, especially as we consider how they intersect with feminism and LGBT rights. This should be an interesting and provocative discussion! WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 - 7:00 PM AMAZON/TRUE COLORS BOOKSTORE 4755 CHICAGO AVE. SOUTH, MINNEAPOLIS, MN (612) 821-9630 Thursday, November 13 - University of Minnesota , Twin Cities CampusSponsor: CASH - Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13 - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, TWIN CITIES CAMPUS 7:00 - BLEGEN HALL ROOM 10 269 19TH AVENUE S, MINNEAPOLIS , MN 55455 SPONSORED BY CASH - CAMPUS ATHEISTS, SKEPTICS AND HUMANISTS Sunsara Taylor's "Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World" tour hits college campuses as many wonder - could the Biblical literalist and theocrat Sarah Palin soon be a "heartbeat" from the Presidency? Sunsara draws from and promotes Bob Avakian's new book, "Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World" http://www.insight-press.com/site/epage/55427_664.htm- at a time when the issue of religion and religious fundamentalism is more timely than ever, and many have been shocked by the choice of rightwing Christian fundamentalist and Biblical literalist Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate. While the major media studiously avoids discussing religion's role (even as both candidates stump for God and country) Ms. Taylor, in contrast, dives in to the heart of these questions (and much more) with a direct, scientific atheism that pulls no punches. Ms. Taylor will bring alive some of the themes in Avakian's book - challenging people to think critically about the horrors condoned and celebrated in the Bible and that there is a far greater source for morality in confronting the world as it is and struggling to transform it in liberating ways - by telling of her own experience as a Christian teen shocked and horrified when a Christian fundamentalist gunman killed the first abortion provider during the 90's. Sunsara went on to become a militant atheist who has traveled the country to write about and oppose the rise of Christian fascism in this country. Her transformation from Christianity to atheism was highly influenced by Avakian's earlier works on religion and she brings an enthusiasm and unique angle to a young audience in these highly ideologically charged times. Bob Avakian's provocative and accessible work, which Phil Zuckerman (Associate Professor of Sociology, Pitzer College) calls, "forceful, scathing, and timely" and Laura Purdy, Professor of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, Wells College pronounced "bold, wide-ranging, down to earth, provocative" includes exploration into the following questions: * Is believing in gods actually harmful? * How has Christianity for centuries served as an ideology of conquest and subjugation? * Why is the "Bible Belt" in the U.S. also the "lynching belt"? * In the intensifying conflict between U.S. imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism, is the only choice to take one side or the other? * Why is patriarchy and the oppression of women foundational to so many religions? * Can people be good without god? Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution newspaper, a dynamic speaker and an uncompromising atheist. Her coverage of the rise of Christian fascism has taken her to: the gates of abortion clinics across the country; Terri Schiavo's hospice; inside the stadiums of the BattleCry movement; and led to impressive verbal battles with Bill O'Reilly & Sean Hannity, and thoughtful interviews with reality-based radio hosts. Sunsara co-hosts WBAI (Pacifica) radio program "Equal Time for Free Thought." --------3 of 16-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 11.12 7:30pm AIUSA Group 640 (Saint Paul) meets Wednesday, November 12th, at 7:30 p.m. Mad Hatter Teahouse, 943 West 7th Street, Saint Paul. --------4 of 16-------- From: Write On Radio <writeonradio [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Greek WWII front 11.13 11am Thursday, November 13th, Helen Electrie Lindsay joins us in the studio to talk about Written on the Knee: A Diary of the Greek-Italian Front of WWII. In the second half of the show, J. Otis Powell! and Bill Cottman talk with William Cleveland about his book Art and Upheaval: Artists on the World's Frontlines. William Cleveland will be reading from Art and Upheaval Tuesday, December 9th, at 7:30 p.m. at Common Good Books in St. Paul. Write on radio airs every THURSDAY 11 am - noon central time on 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul and live on the web at www.kfai.org. Shows are archived for two weeks on line. --------5 of 16-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 11.13 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. --------6 of 16-------- From: Steve Boland <steve [at] steveboland.com> Subject: Frogtown Rondo 11.13 4:30pm The Frogtown Rondo Partnership (http://frogtownrondo.org) is having an open house on Thursday at 4:30, 533 Dale Street N in their new Community Change Center. The open house is kicking off the opening of the Center, offices in the old Dale Street Greenhouse building where community members can use some of the latest technology - including some GIS/mapping stuff that is literally still be invented - to make decisions about their community and their own personal development as it relates to Central Corridor. Wanna see a map overlaying jobs, housing and transportation over time? Come ask. Wanna look at scholarships for child care related to location and public transit? How about showing any of that against decades of census data already in the same system? Got our own ideas? Bring them in! On a somewhat related note, there are several other community meetings affecting the area coming up. In an effort to reach as many folks as we can, we're including the Facebook network on these invites. Join our group, and get the news. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34427786458. One of my favorite new posts here: The Central Corridor Project office just announced they are having public comment open houses on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the corridor. Except you can't get the Final EIS to review. Happy public commenting! Steve Boland Livin' in Summit-U Workin' in Frogtown Lovin' Saint Paul --------7 of 16-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 11.13 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. --------8 of 16-------- From: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 <vfpchapter27 [at] gmail.com> From: MPJC SDS <mpjcsds [at] gmail.com> Subject: Iraq war moratorium 11.13 5:15pm Macalester Peace and Justice Committee-Students for a Democratic Society (mpjc-SDS) would like to invite you to a community brainstorm and action planning meeting for the November Iraq War Moratorium.The meeting will begin at 5:15 on November 13th in the basement of the Macalester College Chapel. The Chapel is located off of Grand Ave. just east of Macalester St. As part of the Iraq War Moratorium people all over the United States break their daily routines in order to take action and protest against the current US occupation of Iraq. On the third Friday, of every month people all over the country (and world) screen movies, facilitate community discussions, write letters, picket, pray, protest, strike, and take direct action all with the ultimate aim of stopping the US occupation in Iraq. We feel that in taking action against the occupation of Iraq as part of the Iraq War Moratorium, our actions not only have local significance but also are part of a nationwide (and worldwide) act of opposition to the continuing occupation. This meeting, which will take place the Thursday before the November moratorium, will be a place for people to come together to discuss and plan actions for the Iraq War Moratorium next month. Coffee and cookies will be provided. --------9 of 16-------- From: Lisa Boyd <tigerlily64 [at] usiwireless.com> Subject: March on Washington 11.13 5:30pm 45th Anniversary Celebration of the March on Washington Join us for the 45th Anniversary of The March on Washington. Art Exhibit, Live Jazz by Trio Tipo & Refreshments. "A Conversation" with Syl Jones - Star Tribune Columnist, Author, Playwright and Matt Little - long time Civil Rights Activist President of MN NAACP. A play "The Fire Next Time" directed by Macalester College Professor Harry Waters Jr. November 13th, 2008, 5:30-8pm Downtown Minneapolis Library-Polhad Hall/Auditorium 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis --------10 of 16-------- From: Sue Ann <mart1408 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Moon walk 11.13 7pm Sacred Spring Full Moon Walk to Coldwater Spring Thursday, November 13, 2008 Gather at 7 PM, south end of Minnehaha Park Note that we will walk at 7:00--too cold to wait. Celebrate the "Shaking Off Leaves" Full Moon at Coldwater Spring in the magical moonlight. We'll continue to knit together the 23-acre Veterans Administration land with Coldwater's 27-acres for the 50-acre Coldwater Park vision. Traditional group howl! (The gates are now open 24/7.) Directions: From Hwy 55/Hiawatha in south Minneapolis, turn East (toward the Mississippi) at 54th Street and circle around to your left into the pay (dog- walkers) parking lot. Alternative pay parking along the frontage road south of 54th Street or free across Hwy 55. Sunset 4:46 PM-Moonrise 4:43 PM Info: www.FriendsofColdwater.org COLDWATER PARK America's First Green Museum-A Place Where the Land IS the Museum Before Pres. Bush leaves office, join Friends of Coldwater in advocating for: The 50-acre park proposal for the Coldwater property including: -A 50-acre National Park Service urban wilderness called Coldwater Park, running south along the Mississippi bluff from Minnehaha Regional Park to Fort Snelling State Park. The 50-acre park includes 23-acres of VA land connected to Coldwater's 27-acres. The federal level offers recognition to Native Americans and best available environmental protections. -Park designation as a Green Museum where 10,000-year-old Coldwater Spring is preserved and protected in perpetuity and the land is the museum. Email Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Department of the Interior at webteam [at] ios.doi.gov or phone 202-208-7351 (email preferred) And consider calling or copying your email to: Congressman Keith Ellison 612-522-1212 or http://ellison.house.gov Senator Amy Klobuchar 612-727-5220 or http://klobuchar.senate.gov Senator Norm Coleman 651-645-0323 or http://coleman.senate.gov Friends of Coldwater thank you. More info at www.FriendsofColdwater.org --------11 of 16-------- From: Debbie <ddo [at] mchsi.com> Subject: Judge election 11.13 7pm Duluth MN Judicial Selection and Retention Forum - The Election of Judges November 13, 2008 Thursday Evening at 7:00 PM Inn on Lake Superior (Conference Room) 350 Canal Park Drive Duluth, MN Forum Panelists: The Honorable Barry Anderson, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Helen Palmer, Past President, LWVMN, and member of the Citizens Commission for the Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary 3rd panelist to be announced LWV Duluth has been invited to sponsor a public Judicial Selection Project, funded by the Joyce Foundation and co-sponsored by the 11th District Bar Association alont with the LWVMN State of Democracy Project. With the elections recently over this forum's topic is so relevant. Everyone is invited to learn about the changes in how Minnesota selects and elects judges. It is free and open to the public. Ever wonder who those people are that you see on the ballot for judge positions? How does a voter know if a candidate would not be a fair and impartial judge? Do you even know if who you vote for is really qualified to be a judge? The Honorable Barry Anderson, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, and Helen Palmer, member of the Citizens Commission for the Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary, will present understandable information about the changes now in effect due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. They will describe for you some of the proposals under consideration for Minnesota and how canon law changes have played out in other Midwest states. The speakers will answer your questions and there will be printed information to take home with you. This is a very important issue for every Minnesotan. It is especially important to those of us who depend upon the courts to protect our rights as ordinary citizens. Why is the LWV DULUTH doing a Judicial Selection Forum? In November, 2007, we adopted a new position on judicial selection because a ruling made in 2002 by the US Supreme Court allowed states to permit political party identification of judicial candidates. This represented a significant departure from the Minnesota canon rules. The relative portion of our LWVMN position was reviewed and in light of the change, we adopted the following position: The LWVMN affirms that the judiciary is a co-equal branch of government under the Constitution that must operate in accordance with the principles of independence, impartiality and fairness. A judge's first duty is to the rule of law. LWVMN supports a process of judicial selection and retention that produces judges who: are independent and not beholden to any special interest, moneyed interest, or partisan interest; are accountable to the Constitution and to the rule of law; are competent and possess integrity and afford fair treatment to all participants. LWVMN supports a system of judicial election and retention that: provides for a role for the public; and is as free from political influence as possible. LWVMN supports a system of selection and retention of district court and appellate courts judges that includes: initial appointment to judgeship by the governor, who is required to choose from a list of candidates forwarded by a nominating commission; end-of-term evaluation of the judges' performance by an evaluation commission, results to be made available to the public; retention election; voters choose to retain or not retain the judge. The nominating and evaluation commissions should be broadly based and nonpartisan. In addition, the committee recommends that as long as the current system prevails, we retain our 1999 consensus position statement: "LWVMN strongly favors retaining the incumbency designation on judicial ballots." For more information contact: Nancy Bratrud at 725-3465. --------12 of 16-------- Tyranny in the Tank Break Up Big Oil By KARL GROSSMAN CounterPunch November 12, 2008 This summer, the price of gasoline had skyrocketed in the United States in a few short months to $4.50 a gallon. The oil companies were claiming the fault was China and India going car-crazy and guzzling up gas, problems in the Middle East, then it was refinery capacity and, all along, if the ban on drilling in areas on the continental shelf offshore was only lifted, everything would be different. Filling up a car, at 40 or 50 bucks a shot, was hurting people badly. And it was impacting on the economy. The oil companies were raking in record, indeed obscene profits - billions upon billions of dollars. People were getting angrier and angrier thinking that some kind of price-rigging was going on. Then, suddenly, just in recent weeks - the price of gas went down and down. Now it's about half the price a gallon it was in the summer. The price of a barrel of crude oil has dived - from a high of $145 a barrel in July to as of this week less than $60 a barrel. And people are still car-crazy in China and India, problems continue in the Middle East and no new refineries have been built in the last several weeks. As to that ban on drilling on the continental shelf offshore, it was lifted by Congress - but, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, if drilling starts ASAP, it "wouldn't have a significant impact on domestic prices before 2030". Would you believe? Do you think the oil industry is manipulating the market, grabbing our money to make windfall profits and is deep in deception? I've thought so for years. Decades ago I received my first lesson in oil industry honesty - an oxymoron - when I broke the story of the oil industry exploring in the Atlantic. I was a reporter for the Long Island Press, and I got a tip from a fisherman out of Montauk who said he had seen the same sort of vessel as the boats he observed searching for oil when he was a shrimper in the 1940s in the Gulf of Mexico. I spent the day telephoning oil companies. Public relations people for each said, no, we're not involved in looking for oil in the Atlantic. I was leaving the office when there was the yell that a public relations man from Gulf was on the phone. The PR man at Gulf's headquarters in Pittsburgh said he checked and, yes, Gulf was involved in searching oil in the Atlantic - in a "consortium" of 32 oil companies. These included the companies that all day issued flat denials. Later on, I looked into whether offshore drilling was really as safe as the oil industry claimed. I visited the first rig set up in the Atlantic - off Nova Scotia. Some safe. My article began: "The rescue boat goes round and round - as the man from Shell concedes, 'We treat every foot of hole like a potential disaster..' On the rig were capsules to eject crew members in an accident. 'Workers may all be kept in one piece, but erupting oil won't, the man from Shell admits'" The Shell executive acknowledged that "curtains, booms and other devices the oil industry flashes in its advertising 'just don't work in over five-foot seas'. So, he said, there are "stockpiles of clean-up material on shore. Not straw as in the States. Here we have peat moss". As the President's Council on Environmental Quality in a report on offshore Atlantic drilling later stated: "A major spill along the beaches of Cape Cod, Long Island or the Middle or South Atlantic states could devastate the areas affected - the Atlantic [is a] hostile environment for oil and gas operations. Storm and seismic conditions may be more severe than in the North Sea or the Gulf of Mexico". That's why there was that prohibition on drilling on the continental shelf for 26 years - as of now, as a result of our most recent oil crisis, gone. Meanwhile, the price of gas has come down with about as much logic and sense as it went up. One of the best clues to a part of what has happened was a mention in a front-page piece in the New York Times on June 14. "Plan Would Lift Saudi Oil Output," was the headline, about Saudi Arabia increasing its oil production. There in the fourth paragraph was the statement that the Saudis were concerned that "current prices are also making alternative fuels more viable, threatening the long-term prospects of the oil-based economy." I've seen no mainstream media investigation into the wild gyrations in the price of oil, the Great Gas Rip-Off of 2008. In her fine new book, The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry - and What We Must To Do Stop It, Antonia Juhasz, writes: "The masters of the oil industry, the companies known as 'Big Oil,' exercise their influence - through rapidly and ever-increasing oil and gasoline prices, a lack of viable alternatives, the erosion of democracy, environmental destruction, global warming, violence, and war". She cites a Gallup poll on "public perceptions of U.S. industry. and reports that the oil industry 'earned the lowest rating of any industry'". Americans are on to the oil industry - and we all need to do a lot about it! A full-scale investigation (perhaps by Congress, although the dependence of its members on oil industry campaign contributions make any tough, thorough Congressional probe questionable), or by criminal prosecutors (on the federal level, that'll have to wait for the Obama administration considering the intimate links of the Bush administration to the oil industry), through lawsuits or some other mechanisms. Big Oil in the United States needs to be broken up as it was by the U.S. Supreme Court nearly a century ago after the muckraking of Ida Tarbell, but this time the requirement of competition must hold. And we need to consider whether the production of petroleum in the U.S. should remain with a bunch of hyper-greedy corporate liars. "Most countries in the world place ownership and control of oil in the hands of the public," notes The Tyranny of Oil. "Doing so in the United States would simply put us in line with the majority of people on the planet". Karl Grossman is a professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, author of books on energy and the environment, chief investigative reporter at WVVH-TV and host of the nationally-aired television program Enviro Close-Up (www.envirovideo.com). --------13 of 16-------- Beware the Obama Hype by John Pilger November 12th, 2008 Dissident Voice My first visit to Texas was in 1968, on the fifth anniversary of the assassination of president John F Kennedy in Dallas. I drove south, following the line of telegraph poles to the small town of Midlothian, where I met Penn Jones Jr., editor of the Midlothian Mirror. Except for his drawl and fine boots, everything about Penn was the antithesis of the Texas stereotype. Having exposed the racists of the John Birch Society, his printing press had been repeatedly firebombed. Week after week, he painstakingly assembled evidence that all but demolished the official version of Kennedy's murder. This was journalism as it had been before corporate journalism was invented, before the first schools of journalism were set up and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around those whose "professionalism" and "objectivity" carried an unspoken obligation to ensure that news and opinion were in tune with an establishment consensus, regardless of the truth. Journalists such as Penn Jones, independent of vested power, indefatigable and principled, often reflect ordinary American attitudes, which have seldom conformed to the stereotypes promoted by the corporate media on both sides of the Atlantic. Read American Dreams: Lost and Found by the masterly Studs Terkel, who died the other day, or scan the surveys that unerringly attribute enlightened views to a majority who believe that "government should care for those who cannot care for themselves" and are prepared to pay higher taxes for universal health care, who support nuclear disarmament and want their troops out of other people's countries. Returning to Texas, I am struck again by those so unlike the redneck stereotype, in spite of the burden of a form of brainwashing placed on most Americans from a tender age: that theirs is the most superior society in the history of the world, and all means are justified, including the spilling of copious blood, in maintaining that superiority. That is the subtext of Barack Obama's "oratory". He says he wants to build up US military power; and he threatens to ignite a new war in Pakistan, killing yet more brown-skinned people. That will bring tears, too. Unlike those on election night, these other tears will be unseen in Chicago and London. This is not to doubt the sincerity of much of the response to Obama's election, which happened not because of the unction that has passed for news reporting from America since November 4 (e.g. "liberal Americans smiled and the world smiled with them") but for the same reasons that millions of angry emails were sent to the White House and Congress when the "bailout" of Wall Street was revealed, and because most Americans are fed up with war. Two years ago, this anti-war vote installed a Democratic majority in Congress, only to watch the Democrats hand over more money to George W Bush to continue his blood fest. For his part, the "anti-war" Obama never said the illegal invasion of Iraq was wrong, merely that it was a "mistake". Thereafter, he voted in to give Bush what he wanted. Yes, Obama's election is historic, a symbol of great change to many. But it is equally true that the American elite have grown adept at using the black middle and management class. The courageous Martin Luther King recognized this when he linked the human rights of black Americans with the human rights of the Vietnamese, then being slaughtered by a liberal Democratic administration. And he was shot. In striking contrast, a young black major serving in Vietnam, Colin Powell, was used to "investigate" and whitewash the infamous My Lai massacre. As Bush's secretary of state, Powell was often described as a "liberal" and was considered ideal to lie to the United Nations about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Condoleezza Rice, lauded as a successful black woman, has worked assiduously to deny the Palestinians justice. Obama's first two crucial appointments represent a denial of the wishes of his supporters on the principal issues on which they voted. The vice-president-elect, Joe Biden, is a proud war maker and Zionist. Rahm Emanuel, who is to be the all-important White House chief of staff, is a fervent "neoliberal" devoted to the doctrine that led to the present economic collapse and impoverishment of millions. He is also an "Israel-first" Zionist who served in the Israeli army and opposes meaningful justice for the Palestinians - an injustice that is at the root of Muslim people's loathing of the United States and the spawning of jihadism. No serious scrutiny of this is permitted within the histrionics of Obama-mania, just as no serious scrutiny of the betrayal of the majority of black South Africans was permitted within the "Mandela moment". This is especially marked in Britain, where America's divine right to "lead" is important to elite British interests. The once respected Observer newspaper, which supported Bush's war in Iraq, echoing his fabricated evidence, now announces, without evidence, that "America has restored the world's faith in its ideals". These "ideals", which Obama will swear to uphold, have overseen, since 1945, the destruction of 50 governments, including democracies, and 30 popular liberation movements, causing the deaths of countless men, women and children. None of this was uttered during the election campaign. Had it been allowed, there might even have been recognition that liberalism as a narrow, supremely arrogant, war-making ideology is destroying liberalism as a reality. Prior to Blair's criminal war-making, ideology was denied by him and his media mystics. "Blair can be a beacon to the world," declared the Guardian in 1997. "[He is] turning leadership into an art form". Today, merely insert "Obama". As for historic moments, there is another that has gone unreported but is well under way - liberal democracy's shift towards a corporate dictatorship, managed by people regardless of ethnicity, with the media as its clichd facade. "True democracy," wrote Penn Jones Jr., the Texas truth-teller, "is constant vigilance: not thinking the way you're meant to think and keeping your eyes wide open at all times". John Pilger is an internationally renowned investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. His latest film is The War on Democracy. His most recent book is Freedom Next Time (Bantam/Random House, 2006). Read other articles by John, or visit John's website. This article was posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 at 10:01am and is filed under "Third" Party, Activism, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Obama. --------14 of 16-------- Obama, Rahm-bo and the End of the New American Century Conned Again? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch November 10, 2008 If the change President-elect Obama has promised includes a halt to America's wars of aggression and an end to the rip-off of taxpayers by powerful financial interests, what explains Obama's choice of foreign and economic policy advisors? Indeed, Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff is a signal that change ended with Obama's election. The only thing different about the new administration will be the faces. Rahm Emanuel is a supporter of Bush's invasion of Iraq. Emanuel rose to prominence in the Democratic Party as a result of his fundraising connections to AIPAC. A strong supporter of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, he comes from a terrorist family. His father was a member of Irgun, a Jewish terrorist organization that used violence to drive the British and Palestinians out of Palestine in order to create the Jewish state. During the 1991 Gulf War, Rahm Emanuel volunteered to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. He was a member of the Freddie Mac board of directors and received $231,655 in directors fees in 2001. According to Wikipedia, "during the time Emanuel spent on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities". In "Hail to the Chief of Staff," Alexander Cockburn describes Emanuel as "a super-Likudnik hawk," who as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006 "made great efforts to knock out antiwar Democratic candidates". My despondent friends in the Israeli peace movement ask, "What is this man doing in Obama's administration?" Obama's election was necessary as the only means Americans had to hold the Republicans accountable for their crimes against the Constitution and human rights, for their violations of US and international laws, for their lies and deceptions, and for their financial chicanery. As an editorial in Pravda put it, "Only Satan would have been worse than the Bush regime. Therefore it could be argued that the new administration in the USA could never be worse than the one which divorced the hearts and minds of Americans from their brothers in the international community, which appalled the rest of the world with shock and awe tactics that included concentration camps, torture, mass murder and utter disrespect for international law". But Obama's advisers are drawn from the same gang of Washington thugs and Wall Street banksters as Bush's. Richard Holbrooke, was an assistant secretary of state and ambassador in the Clinton administration. He implemented the policy to enlarge NATO and to place the military alliance on Russia's border in contravention of Reagan's promise to Gorbachev. Holbrooke is also associated with the Clinton administration's illegal bombing of Serbia, a war crime that killed civilians and Chinese diplomats. If not a neocon himself, Holbrooke is closely allied with them. Madeline Albright is the Clinton era secretary of state who told Leslie Stahl (60 Minutes) that the US policy of Iraq sanctions, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, had goals important enough to justify the children's deaths. Albright's infamous words: "we think the price is worth it". Wikipedia reports that this immoralist served on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange at the time of Dick Grasso's $187.5 million compensation scandal. Dennis Ross has long associations with the Israeli-Palestinian "peace negotiations". A member of his Clinton era team, Aaron David Miller, wrote that during 1999-2000 the US negotiating team led by Ross acted as Israel's lawyer: "we had to run everything by Israel first". This "stripped our policy of the independence and flexibility required for serious peacemaking. If we couldn't put proposals on the table without checking with the Israelis first, and refused to push back when they said no, how effective could our mediation be?" According to Wikipedia, Ross is "chairman of a new Jerusalem-based think tank, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, funded and founded by the Jewish Agency". Clearly, this is not a group of advisors that is going to halt America's wars against Israel's enemies or force the Israeli government to accept the necessary conditions for a real peace in the Middle East. Ralph Nader predicted as much. In his "Open Letter to Barack Obama" (November 3, 2008), Nader pointed out to Obama that his "transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights . . . to a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby" puts Obama at odds with "a majority of Jewish-Americans" and "64 per cent of Israelis". Nader quotes the Israeli writer and peace advocate Uri Avnery's description of Obama's appearance before AIPAC as an appearance that "broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning". Nader damns Obama for his "utter lack of political courage [for] surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention". Carter, who achieved the only meaningful peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs, has been demonized by the powerful AIPAC lobby for criticizing Israel's policy of apartheid toward the Palestinians whose territory Israel forcibly occupies. Obama's economic team is just as bad. Its star is Robert Rubin, the bankster who was secretary of the treasury in the Clinton administration. Rubin has responsibility for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and, thereby, responsibility for the current financial crisis. In his letter to Obama, Nader points out that Obama received unprecedented campaign contributions from corporate and Wall Street interests. "Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart". Obama's victory speech was magnificent. The TV cameras scanning faces in the audience showed the hope and belief that propelled Obama into the presidency. But Obama cannot bring change to Washington. There is no one in the Washington crowd that he can appoint who is capable of bringing change. If Obama were to reach outside the usual crowd, anyone suspected of being a bringer of change could not get confirmed by the Senate. Powerful interest groups - AIPAC, the military-security complex, Wall Street - use their political influence to block unacceptable appointments. As Alexander Cockburn said of Obama in a pre-eection column, "never has the dead hand of the past had a 'reform' candidate so firmly by the windpipe". Obama confirmed Cockburn's verdict in his first press conference as president-elect. Disregarding the unanimous US National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Iran stopped working on nuclear weapons five years ago, and ignoring the continued certification by the International Atomic Energy Agency that none of the nuclear material for Iran's civilian nuclear reactor has been diverted to weapons use, Obama sallied forth with the Israel Lobby's propaganda and accused Iran of "development of a nuclear weapon" and vowing "to prevent that from happening". The change that is coming to America has nothing to do with Obama. Change is coming from the financial crisis brought on by Wall Street greed and irresponsibility, from the eroding role of the US dollar as reserve currency, from countless mortgage foreclosures, from the offshoring of millions of America's best jobs, from a deepening recession, from pillars of American manufacturing - Ford and GM - begging the government for taxpayers' money to stay alive, and from budget and trade deficits that are too large to be closed by normal means. Traditionally, the government relies on monetary and fiscal policy to lift the economy out of recession. But easy money is not working. Interest rates are already low and monetary growth is already high, yet unemployment is rising. The budget deficit is already huge - a world record - and the red ink is not stimulating the economy. Can even lower interest rates and even higher budget deficits help an economy that has moved offshore, leaving behind jobless consumers overburdened with debt? How much more can the government borrow? America's foreign creditors are asking this question. An official organ of the Chinese ruling party recently called for Asian and European countries to "banish the US dollar from their direct trade relations, relying only on their own currencies". "Why," asks another Chinese publication, "should China help the US to issue debt without end in the belief that the national credit of the US can expand without limit?" The world has tired of American hegemony and had its fill of American arrogance. America's reputation is in tatters: the financial debacle, endless red ink, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, rendition, torture, illegal wars based on lies and deception, disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries, war crimes, disregard for international law and the Geneva Conventions, the assault on habeas corpus and the separation of powers, a domestic police state, constant interference in the internal affairs of other countries, boundless hypocrisy. The change that is coming is the end of American empire. The hegemon has run out of money and influence. Obama as "America's First Black President" will lift hopes and, thus, allow the act to be carried on a little longer. But the New American Century is already over. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------15 of 16-------- Obama Is No Country Song by James Keye November 10th, 2008 Dissident Voice The opinion community has embraced Obama in a brotherly hug, a lover's arms, a worshipers supplication, an enemy's arm's length grip and in a madman's clutching. The millions of words swirling in a maelstrom, running hot and cold, all true and all false: Obama, champion of the common man. Obama, the elite's new face. Obama, the hoped for. Obama, the unknown. He is absolutely the new face of elite power: American power and beyond American power. It could be no other way. No one can get to the medium and upper reaches of global power and not be accepted by and acceptable to the world's elite. While not monotonal, the elite does tend, like any interest group, to common harmonies. It is not difficult to know the goals of the world's most powerful and influential people: they wish to remain powerful and in control of their world (which in this case is The World). What doesn't help them in these pursuits is either seen as a danger or as of no interest. A major difference between the elite and the rest of humanity is that they are able to actually do what they imagine. Mr. Obama is now a member. The rest of the world's people imagine more with hope than with action, hope ranging from studied possibility to desperation (thus, the power of "hope" as a political word). We want to continue the life we have and to have a little more. Obama knows that world well. This is the great appeal of Mr. Obama, a man with the melodies of the multitudes supposedly still in his ear; now one of the leaders with the apparent power to write the music, a "stealth" leader carrying the cacophony of the crowd. But it is inconceivable that the major planned movements of humanity will not originate in the desires, expectations and adaptations of the elites. If we understand this reality, then we can find some voice even when we have none. If we understand nothing else, we must know that Obama is no longer of the many, but he will remember for a time the power of the many when they act in unison. Much of the power of the multitude is in the unplanned movements of events and the degree to which the elite require the ordinary folk to support them in uncertainty. It is in this that Obama will, to some extent, have to chose sides: Will he use his depth of understanding to include the voices of the people in the adaptations of the elite or will he use that understanding to defeat those voices? To be a great leader is ultimately not in answering the call of the multitude, but in getting the elite to realize the importance of including some of the needs of the multitude in the elite's expectations. If we ask the right questions, we will get the right answers. Not, will Obama be co-opted by power? But, are people commonly co-opted by power? Not, will Obama remember his roots even in the face of great pressure? But, do people generally remember the experiences that form them? Not, will Obama act with disregard for others to support his personal and family self-interest? But.? You get the idea. I believe that the ball in now in our court. (Please excuse the shift of metaphor; I could have said that we have counted out the "rest" of the last 8 years and we have now been cued to our next part in the score.) When I sort through the answers to the above questions a most likely image forms: A new president with a willingness to listen to well presented argument and responsive to pressure from all sources. The most powerful and forming sources will be from the elites that have vetted him and found him acceptable, but he will not forget that when he was of the multitude he could get things done. The last administration had no such understanding and thus the depth of their failure in all things, except the flagrant and obvious support of the elite; like the obvious and embarrassing sycophancy of a fool. The multitude never has an agenda and so is easily ignored, and difficult to please. This is the moment when an agenda is desperately needed. The much maligned intellectual community must listen to each other and get serious. We cannot complain that "the administration" doesn't do the right thing unless, first we, and then, they know what the right thing is. The president and his advisors are not there to do the right thing, but to figure out the details of doing the right thing they are told to do. As I wrote in a different and more passionate context: "(W)e need the counselors of caution to be resurgent by a force of will, driven from a desire to survive, driven to rise up from the backwaters, from the insane asylums, from the dusty library stacks and in an increasingly harmonious voice singing out, 'enough is enough' - the classic tautology of unacceptable surplus - singing out with the narcotic voice of the Sirens, 'we are changing ourselves to death; we are growing the world to death; we cannot kill off the world and remain ourselves'". I think that there is some reasonable chance that an Obama administration will listen to the multitude for a time, even as it does the bidding of the elite. Simple randomness would suggest that every now and again someone will come to power who can realize, if only momentarily, the greater press of global biophysical reality. If enough of us are loud enough, are consistent enough and in tune enough, then there is a chance that this new administration will respond - for a time. I heard a "screaming lobster" metaphor the other day, but by then it is too late. James Keye is the nom de plume of a biologist and psychologist who after discovering a mismatch between academe and himself went into private business for many years. His whole post-pubescent life has been focused on understanding at both the intellectual and personal levels what it is to be of the human species; he claims some success. Email him at: jkeye1632 [at] gmail.com. Read other articles by James, or visit James's website. This article was posted on Monday, November 10th, 2008 at 7:01am and is filed under Class, Democracy, Philosophy. --------16 of 16-------- Song to maintain hope in America [Sung to the tune of Don't Fence Me In] Oh, give me lies, lots of lies under starry skies above, Don't truth me in. Let me ride through the wide open fable that I love, Don't truth me in. Let me be by myself in the falsehood sleeze, And listen to the murmur of the corporate pleas, Shut my mind forever and I ask you please, Don't truth me in. Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle Underneath the western lies. On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder Till I feel the angel's thighs. I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences And gaze at the tube till I lose my senses And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences Don't truth me in. Oh, give me lies, lots of lies under starry skies above, Don't truth me in. Let me ride through the wide open fable that I love, Don't truth me in. Let me be by myself in the falsehood sleeze, And listen to the murmur of the corporate pleas, Shut my mind forever and I ask you please, Don't truth me in. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
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