Progressive Calendar 11.12.08
From: David Shove (
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]]
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]>
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 or contact Robb Luckow at
Hennepin County, robb.luckow [at] 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]>
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!

(612) 821-9630

Thursday, November 13 - University of Minnesota , Twin Cities
CampusSponsor: 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" 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

* 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
* 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

--------3 of 16--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
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]>
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

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
Shows are archived for two weeks on line.

--------5 of 16--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
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]>
Subject: Frogtown Rondo  11.13 4:30pm

The Frogtown Rondo Partnership ( 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.  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]
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]

--------8 of 16--------

From: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 <vfpchapter27 [at]>
From: MPJC SDS <mpjcsds [at]>
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

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]>
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]>
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

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]  or phone 202-208-7351 (email preferred)

And consider calling or copying your email to:
Congressman Keith Ellison 612-522-1212 or
Senator Amy Klobuchar 612-727-5220  or
Senator Norm Coleman 651-645-0323 or

Friends of Coldwater thank you. More info at

--------11 of 16--------

From: Debbie <ddo [at]>
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

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
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

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

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 (

--------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

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,

--------14 of 16--------

Obama, Rahm-bo and the End of the New American Century
Conned Again?
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

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

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

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]

--------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] Read other articles by James, or visit James's

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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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