|Progressive Calendar 11.14.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 15:24:10 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.14.08 1. Palestine vigil 11.14 4:15pm 2. Ehrenreich 11.14 6pm 3. Moyers/MidEast 11.14 9pm 4. Catholic sword/f 11.14 9:15pm 5. Peace walk 11.15 9am Cambridge MN 6. RNC8/rummage sale 11.15 10am 7. Green gifts fair 11.15 10am 8. NWN4P Mtka 11.15 11am 9. Mpls GP plan 11.15 12noon 10. Prop 8 protests 11.15 12:30pm Mpls StP Duluth Fargo 11. NWN4P GoldenVall 11.15 1:30pm 12. Northtown vigil 11.15 2pm 13. RCTA 25th anniv 11.15 5:30pm 14. Smash empire/CTV 11.15 9pm 15. Bioneers/Klein 11.15-16 16. Mpls hosp tour 11.16 11am 17. Stillwater vigil 11.16 1pm 18. Women/war/peace 11.16 2pm 19. Fetzer/JFK 11.16 2pm 20. Amnesty Intl 11.16 3pm 21. Peace activists 11.16 4pm 22. Prog pol hip-hop 11.16 8pm 23. Charley Underwood - RNC: my letter to the Heffelfinger commission 24. Ralph Nader - Obama & the rogue regime of systemic criminality 25. Lance Selfa - A "center-right nation"? 26. Joel Hirschhorn - A new political party is needed 27. Glenn Greenwald - The Dems of 2002 and 2007 haven't gone anywhere --------1 of 27-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 11.14 4:15pm Friday, 11/14, 4:15 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end US military/political support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, corner Summit and Snelling, St Paul. --------2 of 27-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Ehrenreich 11.14 6pm November 14: Jobs NOW 25th Birthday featuring Barbara Ehrenreich. Cocktail Reception, the Minnesota 150 Exhibit, funny stories, a great dinner, 150 years of worker milestones, a live auction, a silent auction, and more. 6 - 9:30 PM at the Minnesota History Center. Tickets: $50 per person. More information: 651-290-0240. --------3 of 27-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Moyers/MidEast 11.14 9pm Bill Moyers Journal | Middle East Policy http://www.truthout.org/111208U On Bill Moyers Journal Friday: "What will President-elect Obama's promises of change mean for the Middle East? Journal guest host Deborah Amos sits down with Elizabeth Rubin, the Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Slate magazine columnist Fred Kaplan." --------4 of 27-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Catholic sword/f 11.14 9:15pm 11/14 to 11/18, 9:15 pm, former priest James Carroll's documentary "Constantine's Sword," tracing the Catholic Church's transformation of cross into sword during emperor Constantine, the Crusades, through anti-Semitism under Pius XII during the Holocaust, Oak St Cinema, 309 Oak St SE, Mpls. http://www.mnfilmarts.org --------5 of 27-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 11.15 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------6 of 27-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: RNC8/rummage sale 11.15 10am CALL FOR DONATIONS! Clean Out Your Closets for the RNC 8 DEFENSE FUND! Then, come shop for justice!!!! The RNC 8 are young activists who organized a support infrastructure for people to come to St.Paul to protest the Republican National Convention: food, housing, first aid, legal support. In house raids BEFORE the convention even started, these young people were arrested and charged with felony level "inciting to riot in the furtherance of terrorism"--and face 7+ years in prison. These are the first cases charged under the Minnesota state PATRIOT Act and must be resisted! SAT. NOV. 15 10am to 6pm RUMMAGE SALE for the RNC 8! Walker Community Church 3104-16th Avenue South Minneapolis BOOKS! Music & Movies! Clothes! Household goods! Posters/ART! CHILDREN'S STUFF--from toys to clothes! DROP OFF ITEMS THE DAY OF THE SALE Sat. Nov. 15: 8:30am to 11am We have a (LIMITED) ability to PICK UP your stuff the day before the sale. ONLY CALL FOR PICK UP IF YOU REALLY NEED IT! ***(612)874-7867*** --------7 of 27-------- From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Green gifts fair 11.15 10am YOUR ONE CHANCE TO DO ALL OF YOUR GREEN HOLIDAY SHOPPING IN ONE PLACE! Kick-off this holiday season by going green at the 3rd Annual Green Gifts Fair brought to you by Do It Green! Minnesota. 3rd Annual Green Gifts Fair Saturday, November 15th 10am-5pm Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis Lake Street & 10th Avenue * SHOP 65+ local retailers and artists for green, recycled, and organic gifts. * LEARN about green holiday decorating, wrapping, and food and party ideas, and homemade gifts. * EAT a local lunch at many of the restaurants at the market and sample local holiday foods with local chef demos. * CELEBRATE the new 2009 Do It Green! Magazine's kick-off, attend the eco fashion show, or listen to local musicians. * REDUCE bring your own cloth shopping bags and reusable coffee mug for $1 organic coffee at Mapps Coffee & Tea in the market. This event is brought to you by Do It Green! Minnesota, the Midtown Global Market, the City of Minneapolis, City Pages, KFAI and Metro Transit. Click below for the event schedule and to view a list of vendors and workshops: 3rd Annual Green Gifts Fair, Nov 15 http://cts.vresp.com/c/?twincitiesgreenguide/3b8f52062e/8acadfd1b4/597b33d5cb --------8 of 27-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 11.15 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available. --------9 of 27-------- From: Dan Dittmann <dan [at] dandittmann.org> Subject: Mpls GP plan 11.15 12noon On Saturday November 15, the Fifth Congressional District Green Party will hold a 2009 Planning meeting to discuss strategy for the City elections. This meeting will be at 12 p.m. Individuals who are interested should meet at my house at noon. We will walk over to Midtown Market for lunch. My address is 3117 Elliot Ave South. Bus routes which run through the area include 5 and 21. The agenda has not been set in stone but will tentatively include a discussion on wards to target as well as a discussion on issues. If there are any questions, please call (952) 454-2377 or write to dan [at] dandittmann.org. --------10 of 27-------- From: Kevin C <kevinchavis [at] gmail.com> Subject: Prop 8 protests 11.15 12:30pm Mpls StP Duluth Fargo OutFront Minnesota wants to share information about this weekend's protests against the passage of Prop 8 in California on November 4th, which extinguished equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Demonstrations are being planned around the country as part of a strong grassroots response to last week's vote. Here is the information we have: All protests are scheduled for Saturday, November 15th, 12:30 pm Minneapolis Hennepin County Government Center 350 S. 5th St, Minneapolis St. Paul Minnesota State Capitol 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd Duluth/Superior MN Power Plaza at Lake Ave. and Superior Street Fargo/Moorhead Fargo (west) side of the Veterans Memorial Bridge on Main Ave. For more information go to JointheImpact ( http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/page/Minnesota ) OutFront Minnesota supports peaceful, legal protests. They are an important component of civil rights movements. They have the capacity to keep the equality message alive and active. Media may show up to cover the protests - if you're interviewed, keep it positive (All we want is equality under the law!). If you engage with counter-protesters, we encourage you to keep it peaceful. And remember - the defeat in California won't defeat our movement! OUTFRONT MINNESOTA 310 38th Street East #204 Minneapolis, MN 55409 www.outfront.org Twin Cities: (612) 822-0127 Statewide: (800) 800-0350 310 E 38th Street, #204 | Minneapolis, MN 55409-1337 US --------11 of 27-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P GoldenValley 11.15 1:30pm Saturday, 1:30-2:30 PM Golden Valley - NW Neighbors for Peace will hold large banners on the pedestrian bridge over Highway 55, just west of Winnetka, in Golden Valley every Saturday. There is plenty of parking in the lot at the NW corner of the intersection; all are welcome. FYI Carole 763-546-5368. --------12 of 27-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 11.15 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------13 of 27-------- From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at] yahoo.com> Subject: RCTA 25th anniv 11.15 5:30pm You are invited to the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Resource Center of the Americas Come Celebrate 25 years of Progressive Action and Education- a time to reflect on past achievements and aspire to renewed hopes and dreams! Meet Resource Center of the Americas Staff and Board Members, rekindle old friendships, meet new people, listen to live Latin American music and poetry, hear about past accomplishments and future plans, and savor delicious Mexican beverages, appetizers and dinner. Latin American arts and crafts will be sold. Saturday,November 15, 2008 5:30 - 9:00 pm St. Paul's ELCA Fellowship Hall 2742 15th Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55407 $25.00 per person for reservations To reserve your spot email your RSVP to pseudoscribe [at] gmail.com or mail your check or money order to Resource Center of the Americas 3019 Minnehaha Avenue, Suite 20 Minneapolis, MN 55406 --------14 of 27-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Smash empire/CTV 11.15 9pm [alt title: Up empire's butt] Lovely Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow! Households with basic cable may watch. ** Sat, 11/15, 9pm and Tues, 11/18, 8am ** Phyllis Bennis. Pt 2, audience questions and response after "Challenging Empire" talk in St. Paul in April. (repeat) --------15 of 27-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Bioneers/Klein 11.15-16 11/15 and 11/16, Northland Bioneers Conference with Naomi Klein (author "Shock Doctrine"), global warming expert David Orr, bio-mimicry expert Janine Benyus and more, Willey Hall, 225 - 19th Ave S, West Bank U of M, Mpls. http://www.nbconference.org --------16 of 27-------- From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org> Subject: Mpls hospital tour 11.16 11am As discussed at monday nite's mtg, UHCAN-MN is sponsoring a fabulous Walking Historic Tour of the Minneapolis Hospital District, Then and Now, to highlight what can be learned from the past, what hospitals were like and their conditions of care, who owned them?, why are there no more public hospitals, comparisons of lengths of stay, costs, and many were started by women. The focus will be on Asbury, St Barnabas, Swedish, and Mpls General in historically developing terms to the present. Hope you can attend. We would love to have folks there to comment on their experiences, perhaps as patient or practitioner, with these hospitals. It's sunday, Nov 16th,11AM, meet at Dunn Bros coffee shop, 811 11th ave s., (a few blocks from the Metrodome, overlooking Elliot Park,if bad weather, we'll do a slide show). The brochure for distribution to promote the event is attached. It is in cooperation with HCMC History Museum, and Elliot Park Neighborhood, inc. Joel Albers Pharm.D., Ph.D. Clinical Pharmacist, Health Economics Researcher Universal Health Care Action Network - MN Community/University Collaborative Research www.uhcan-mn.org email: joel [at] uhcan-mn.org phone: 612-384-0973 address: 3500 35th ave S Mpls, MN, 55406 --------17 of 27-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 11.16 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------18 of 27-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Women/war/peace 11.16 2pm Women, War and Peace: "Hearing Women's Stories of War and Creating Initiatives for Peace" Sunday, November 16, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. University of St. Thomas, McNeely 100, 2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. A panel of women living in the Twin Cities who have experienced war in their countries will share their stories. The panel includes Harper McConnell from HealAfrica who worked in the Congo for two years, Rabbi Amy Eilberg who was the first woman ordained in Conservative Judaism and Muna Matar who is a professor at Bethlehem University in Palestine. Following the panel presentation, audience members will participate in small group conversations about their response, thoughts and possible action for peace both personally and or community based. Tickets: $10.00 (Students: $5.00). Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Visit <www.womenspirit-twincities.org> or call 612-823-5901. --------19 of 27-------- From: DoriJJ [at] aol.com Subject: Fetzer/JFK 11.16 2pm On November 16, 2008, Dr. James Fetzer will present "JFK Remembered" a lecture on the results of his research into the assasination of President John F. Kennedy. It will begin at 2:00 PM at the Bidget Host Inn & Suites, 6010 Main Street, North Branch, MN 55056. He has more than 100 slides and the infamous Zapruder Film. Admission is $10. Contact Wade Olson 651-674-1866 or Dori Ullman 612-414-9528 --------20 of 27-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 11.16 3pm GROUP 37 NOVEMBER MEETING REMINDER: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16 - 3 TO 5 P.M. Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, November 16th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The program for our first hour has not yet been finalized. We will devote some time to planning our Human Rights Day Write-a-thon, scheduled for December 7th, and in our second hour, we will share actions on human rights cases around the world and get updates on the work of our sub-groups. All are welcome, and refreshments will be provided. Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis (corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot behind the center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn). A map and directions are available on-line: http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html --------21 of 27-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Peace activists 11.16 4pm Sunday, 11/16, 4 pm, Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice honors Rhoda Gilman, Betsy Raasch-Gilman and Arvid "Bud" Dixen for lives of peace activism, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 E 31st St, Mpls. --------22 of 27-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Prog pol hip-hop 11.16 8pm ST. PAUL PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL HIP-HOP/JAZZ/INDIE COLLECTIVE JUNKYARD EMPIRE TO HOST: BROADCAST LIVE AND TAINA ASILI Y LA BANDA REBELDE an ALL AGES SHOW! Sun, Nov. 16th music starts at 8pm The Black Dog Cafe and Wine Bar 308 Prince St, Saint Paul Cost: Donation at the Door TWO GREAT NEW YORK BASED SOCIALY AND POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS BANDS: After their big show at the Minnesota State Capital during the now infamous No Peace for the War Makers rally during the RNC, and their very successful release of their new EP Rise of the Wretched, Junkyard Empire is quickly building a buzz both here in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. And as a result, Broadcast Live, a likeminded band from Albany, New York, along with their touring counterpart Taina Asili contacted them about doing a show in the Twin Cities. The Black Dog Cafe and Wine Bar is proud to be the host for this highly political and groovin' night of music. We are putting on this concert in solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters around the world and right here in the United States who are fighting economic and otherwise tyranny and oppression every day, by speaking truth to power, said Junkyard Empire trombonist Christopher Robin Cox. To listen to music, read biographies and look at pictures of all three of these bands, search: Broadcast Live Taina Asili y La Banda Rebelde Junkyard Empire (http://www.myspace.com/junkyardempire) For more information please contact Christopher at junkyardempire [at] gmail.com or the Black Dog (http://www.blackdogstpaul.com) at 651-228-9274. --------23 of 27-------- Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 19:18:02 +1300 (NZDT) From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC: my letter to the Heffelfinger commission (Since I had to work last Thursday night when testimony was being taken regarding the RNC, my only choice was to send my comments to them via email. Note: Comments are being accepted only through today, 11/14,08, by emailing lucie.passus (at) stpaul (dot) gov The following is my letter.) One of the saddest fatalities of the Republican National Convention was the previously good community policing by the St. Paul Police Department. No department is perfect, of course, but the basic relationship between the Twin Cities peace community and the St. Paul Police Department was unusual for the ongoing tone of mutual respect. Even when peace people were performing acts of non-violent civil disobedience and were therefore arrested, the bilateral understanding was that each side was doing its job as professionally as possible. Peace people understood that the police had the job of arresting them for any illegal acts, however non-violent. Police often agreed with the political goals of the protesters if not the tactics, and the police almost always understood that even civil disobedience was devoid of any danger to civic order or to their own personal security. Against this backdrop, a meeting was held nearly a year before the convention, specifically to calm any concerns about the upcoming convention. On October 23, 2007, the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and the University of St Thomas Justice and Peace Department invited the St Paul police to discuss the upcoming Republican National Convention. It was absolutely amazing to look back on the promises made and compare them to what actually happened. Let's review. Assistant St Paul Police Chief Matt Bostrom promised that St Paul would absolutely NOT be a repeat of Seattle 1999. He said that we would not be following the brutal and repressive "Miami model" from the 2003 FTAA protests, but that there would be a warm and welcoming "St Paul model" for all to see. He said that what got him out of bed in the morning was his abiding concern for civil liberties. Bostrom promised that there absolutely nobody would be arrested unless they committed a specific crime, that there would not been any general sweeps. (Fact: There were actually three mass arrests for "being in the wrong place at the wrong time," on Shepard Road September 1, after the Rage-Against-the-Machine concert in Minneapolis on September 3, and on the Marion Street bridge on September 4.) Bostrom promised the police officers would be readily identifiable and wearing regular police uniforms, not tactical gear. (Fact: Nearly all "security" personnel were clad in black "ninja turtle" suits, with no unit or personal identification visible, and even covered up so much that it was usually impossible to determine gender.) Bostrom promised there might be some changes in traffic patterns, but there would be absolutely no restrictions in foot traffic. (Fact: Nearly every bridge near St Paul was closed at one point or another, and major parts of the downtown area were blockaded on each day of the convention.) Bostrom promised that all "security" would be under the supervision of the St Paul Police Department and that any other jurisdictions cooperating with the event would be "partnered" with St Paul officers and under the direct control of the St Paul Police Department. (No contradicting "facts" here, but I have yet to meet a single person who concluded that St Paul Police controlled security of the convention. Most would speculate that Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher was in immediate control, but that the general direction was determined by some anonymous federal agency.) Matt Bostrom declared there would be absolutely no restrictions on free speech and that, in fact, the entire city of St Paul would be a "free speech zone." (Fact: You couldn't even get to the "public expression" zone most evenings of the convention, because the streets were blocked by menacing lines of black-clad individuals in riot gear.) Bostrom said that there would be permits granted in advance, but that officers on the scene would also be able to grant permits "on the fly." (Fact: The Thursday march permit was actually revoked "on the fly" and nearly 400 people were later arrested as they attempted to march to the Xcel Center.) Bostrom promised that St Paul police would not let federal agents "go after people." (This might be technically true, if all those preventative arrests were at the initiative of Bob Fletcher and not merely Fletcher acting on behalf of some federal agency.) Bostrom promised that protesters would be able to confront the Republicans within "sight and sound" in accordance with previous court rulings. (Fact: Thursday's march was specifically prohibited from going crossing Interstate 94 or going anywhere near the Xcel Center.) Bostrom promised that there would be no massive holding pens or arrest quotas of 3,000 people. (Fact: False on the holding pens, but technically correct on the quota number, since only about 800 were actually arrested. It should be mentioned, however, that many more were tased and especially pepper-sprayed than any previous similar event.) Bostrom said that there were "no plans" to infiltrate any groups. (Fact: Recent court records relating to search warrants indicated that infiltration had actually started at least the month before, probably under the supervision of the Ramsey County Sheriff's office.) Bostrom indicated that no private security would be hired. (Both Pioneer Press and Star Tribune reported that a million dollars was approved by the St Paul City Council for private security.) I have saved the most interesting promise for last. Professor Gerald Schlabach of the St Thomas Justice and Peace Department asked Chief Matt Bostrom a very serious question toward the end of the evening. Schlabach wondered how Bostrom would react if St Paul lost control of the convention security to a different agency and if all of the promises were broken. Gerald Schlabach asked Chief Bostrom if Bostrom would resign. Matt Bostrom thought quietly for a good long moment. He didn't answer in a way that seemed impulsive or off-the-cuff. Bostrom seemed to really consider the question quite seriously before answering. Then Bostrom answered quite simply that he would resign. (Fact: Bostrom is still employed as Assistant Chief of the St Paul Police Department. Like the other promises, this one was broken.) The video of that evening's presentation is not in my possession, but I have been able to determine where it is and I believe I could obtain a copy for any investigators who have even the slightest interest in reviewing the false promises that officials in St. Paul made prior to the convention. It is not my intention to criticize only Chief Matt Bostrom. The problem is much greater than one person, of course. His was the public face of the many official lies and broken promises surrounding the RNC. Those of us who witnessed many of the events in St. Paul during that time saw numerous cases of arbitrary arrests, arbitrary pepper-spray, massive intimidation of non-violent protest through the use of anonymous and riot-clad officers with lethal batons and less-lethal weapons deployed during legal and permitted protests. Those of us on the streets during those days (I myself was volunteering as a street medic during most of the convention) have spoken to many bystanders who were pepper-sprayed or arrested, sometimes while specifically obeying police orders. Those of us with computers and internet access have seen the videos of wanton police violence against the non-violent. Here's the problem. The St. Paul Police Department and the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office have chosen to protect themselves from any accountability to the public. They have chosen to do this by donning anonymous riot uniforms, disguising not only personal identity, but masking the actual units of the officers as well. It thus became impossible to link any excessive violence with any particular individual, police department or other agency. They have also done this by refusing to release the thousands of hours of videotape to citizen groups or even lawyers defending their clients. They have refused to apologize or even investigate any police misconduct, preferring to close ranks behind the myth that everything was just fine. It is also quite amazing that absolutely no information has been released regarding most of the actual violations of law. I have tried for many hours, for example, to discover if any charges were pending against the individual who broke the Macy's window on September 1 and the individuals who broke the squad car windows on September 1. I have called the St. Paul City Attorney's Office, the St. Paul Police, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, and the Ramsey County Prosecutor's Office. There has been a complete stonewalling, in spite of the fact that these two incidents where the ones used to justify the massive police violence that we witnessed during those days. The general belief in the community is that these incidents will not be charged because they were done by provocateurs. I have no idea if the majority of the property destruction was committed by those on the police payroll, or if there is some other explanation for the lack of arrests for actual breakage. I only know that there were hundreds and hundreds of officers in the area of each incident, that these crimes are not even being mentioned at this point. And I know that only the more speculative and political crime of "conspiracy" is being mentioned through official outlets. In this world, graywater becomes "weaponized" urine and old tires or roofing nails become weapons. Perhaps it is a foregone conclusion that police officers will protect their own regardless of the law, much like Mafia omerta or other gang loyalty. There will be a heavy price to pay, however, if this is the eventual conclusion. Police will be seen exclusively as the protectors of the powerful, rather than the protectors of the people. Police will be seen as dangerous. Police will be seen as the enemy, merely because they have chosen to treat peaceful citizens as the enemy. If we are to return to a model of community policing, if we are to have the police be protectors of the people and enforcers of the law, rather than lawless enforcers of terroristic official power, then we must right a few wrongs committed during the convention. I have several suggestions. First, drop all charges against those rounded up in the mass arrests on Shepard Road, on the Marion Street bridge and in Minneapolis after the Rage concert; charge only those who committed actual acts of violence against people or damage against property. Drop all charges that have to do with being "in the wrong place at the wrong time." Second, drop all the conspiracy charges. These are thought crimes, open to whim, influence and paranoia. Charge only those who committed actual violence. Third, conduct real, open hearings into citizen complaints of police violence. Let there be sworn testimony and the possibility of criminal charges where actual assaults have occurred. Fourth, dismiss all police and sheriff's officers who have made false statements in their reports. Have their statements be evaluated for criminal prosecution. Fifth, examine the legality of anonymous policing. Those black ninja outfits have no place in a democracy, and my understanding is that there are already state laws that prohibit such practices. Sixth, immediately secure all video evidence during the convention so that none may be erased or destroyed. Release such evidence to all lawyers representing defendants, to all journalists of any description, and to the general public at large (perhaps through internet access). Seventh, give some explanation as to why such illegal intimidation and massive use of chemical weapons was allowed to occur. This wasn't the plan. What happened? Last, apologize. Minnesotans are a kind and forgiving people. Mistakes will happen. But most of us hate lies and we love our freedom. We have heard a lot of lies and lost a lot of freedom. A sincere apology by at least two mayors, one police chief and a sheriff would go a long way. Sincerely, Charles Underwood Charley Underwood Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis Info about Charley Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood --------24 of 27-------- A Phenomenon of Systemic Criminality Obama and the Rogue Regime By RALPH NADER CounterPunch November 13, 2008 Barack Obama is receiving lots of advice from many people these days about the collapse of Wall Street, the sinking economy and the quagmire wars he will inherit from the Bush regime. However, there is one important matter that he alone can address with his legal training and the sworn oath he will take on January 20 to uphold the Constitution. That phenomenon is the systemic, chronic lawlessness and criminality of the Bush/Cheney regime which he must unravel and stop. To handle this immense responsibility as President, he needs to bring together a volunteer task force of very knowledgeable persons plus wise, retired civil servants to inventory the outlaw workings of this rogue regime. Much is already known and documented officially and by academic studies and media reporting. In the category of "high crimes and misdemeanors", are (1) the criminal war-occupation of Iraq, (2) systemic torture as a White House policy, (3) arrests of thousands of Americans without charges or habeas corpus rights, (4) spying on large numbers of Americans without judicial warrants and (5) hundreds of signing statements by George W. Bush declaring that, he of the unitary presidency, will decide whether to obey the enacted bills or not. To its everlasting credit, the conservative American Bar Association sent to President Bush three reports in 2005-2006 concluding that he has been engaged in continuing serious violations of the Constitution. This is no one-time Watergate obstruction of justice episode ala Nixon that led to his resignation just before his impeachment in the House of Representatives. Nearly two years ago Senator Obama, contrary to what he knows and believes, vigorously came out against the House commencing impeachment proceedings. It would be too divisive, he said. As one of one hundred Senators who might have had to try the President and Vice President in the Senate were the House to impeach. He should have kept impartial and remained silent on the subject. As President, he cannot remain silent and do nothing, otherwise he will inherit the war crimes of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and become soon thereafter a war criminal himself. Inaction cannot be an option. Violating the Constitution and federal laws is now routine. What is routine after awhile becomes institutionalized lawlessness by official outlaws. Domestic Policy abuses are also rampant. Just what are the limits of the statutory authority of the U.S. Treasury Department or the government within a government funded by bank assessments known as the Federal Reserve? Don't read the $750 billion bailout law for any answers! The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and the Majority Leader of the Senate, Harry Reid just sent a letter to Bush asking whether the White House believes the bailout law could be interpreted to save not just the reckless banks, but also the grossly mismanaged Big Three auto companies in Michigan. Didn't Congress know what they were or were not authorizing? Or did the stampede started by the demanding Bush result in blanket, or panicked ambiguity by a cowardly Congress? This week, the Washington Post front paged an article that the Treasury Department unilaterally gave the banks a tax break that was estimated to be worth a staggering $140 billion. Just like that! Fiat! The Post reported that impartial legal experts flatly declared such a decision to be without statutory authority which means the Bush regime usurped the constitutional authority of Congress in matters of taxation and basically took out a 22 year old law enacted by Congress. Not to be outdone, on the same day, the lead article in the New York Times reported a four-year-old Bush doctrine allowing Special Forces and other armed force to pursue terrorists in any country in the world. The Times specified incursions at will into Syria, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan and other countries. Such violations of national sovereignty without formal declarations of war or through formal interventions by the United Nations are violations of international law. The Bush government answers this assertion by its open-ended, totally self-defined, right of "self-defense" under the UN Charter. The same self-determining argument can be made by covert terrorists or covert actions by adversarial governments. This is an example of make-up-your-own international law to suit your own covert operations. As a country that has the most to lose from the shredding of international law and order, the United States under Bush is giving many IOUs to revenge-minded suicidal adversaries. They can simply to their mass audiences say, if the U.S. can do anything it wants, why shouldn't they? It has been widely reported that the Justice Department under Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Gonzalez epitomized contempt for compliance with the laws regarding civil liberties, due process and politically interfering with U.S. Attorneys. Less publicized was its refusal to enforce the laws routinely transgressed by the corporate patrons of the White House - such as environmental crimes, consumer fraud, and anti-trust violations. Obama has tools to restore law and order by the government itself. The Bully Pulpit. Ordering departmental directives. Issuing Executive Orders. Requesting legislation. Highlighting the integrity of the subdued and buffeted federal civil service which, with its oath of office, deserves far more effective whistleblowing protection laws. The ACLU has just released: "Actions For Restoring America: How to Begin Repairing the Damage to Freedom in America After Bush." Mr. Obama would do well to use this important report as blueprint for restoring faith in the U.S. Government's commitment to the Constitution (see http://www.aclu.org/transition/). A second report titled: "Protecting Public Health and the Environment by the Stroke of a Presidential Pen" by the Center for Progressive Reform suggests several Executive Orders that Mr. Obama could sign to advance important health, safety and the environment goals (see http://www.progressivereform.org/). Barack Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Let's have it operate out of the Obama White House. And the time to start laying the groundwork is now! Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions. --------25 of 27-------- A "Center-Right Nation"? by Lance Selfa November 13th, 2008 Dissident Voice No matter how much social change takes place in the US, there always seems to be a well-paid cohort of Washington blowhards ready to declare that things really haven't changed much. That's because, they say, the US is a "center-right" country whose population isn't interested in those left-wing European (or even Canadian) ideas like national health care. Consider the following: * Jon Meacham, Newsweek editor: "It's just this side of possible that Obama will be able to govern what I believe is largely a center-right country". * NBC elder statesmen Tom Brokaw: "And this country, even with the election of Barack Obama last night, remains a very centered country, or maybe even center-right in a lot of places". * And, not to be outdone, Republican strategist Karl Rove: "Barack Obama understands this is a center-right country, and he smartly and wisely ran a campaign that emphasized that". (Question for Rove: If you believe this, why were you advising John McCain to attack Obama as a terrorist and socialist?) Of course, many of these were the same people who assured us after the 2004 election that the Republicans were on their way to building a permanent majority in Washington. But let's put aside their failures as prognosticators and ask if their premise that the U.S. is a "center-right" society is even true. There are several ways to look at the question. First, there is the partisan split in the electorate. Given that most mainstream commentators equate support for the Democrats with support for the "center-left," it's worth noting that the Democrats represented 39 percent of the electorate on November 5, compared to 32 percent identifying themselves as Republicans. The Associated Press called this result "the biggest partisan shift in a generation". Beyond 2008, it's also worth noting that the Democrats have won the popular vote over the Republicans in four of the last five presidential elections. In his review of the 2008 turnout, Curtis Gans of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate pointed out: "Democratic turnout increased by 2.6 percentage points from 28.7 percent of eligible [voting age Americans] to 31.3 percent. It was the seventh straight increase in the Democratic share of the eligible vote since the party's share dropped to 22.7 percent of eligibles in 1980". If anything, this is evidence of a nation moving away from the "center-right". Second, there are the policy preferences of Americans, as expressed in opinion polls. Here again, there isn't much support for the idea that the U.S. is comfortably "center-right". As a March 2007 Pew Research Center for the People and the Press report on social attitudes over the last twenty years explained: Increased public support for the social safety net, signs of growing public concern about income inequality, and a diminished appetite for assertive national security policies have improved the political landscape for the Democrats as the 2008 presidential campaign gets under way. At the same time, many of the key trends that nurtured the Republican resurgence in the mid-1990s have moderated, according to Pew's longitudinal measures of the public's basic political, social and economic values. The proportion of Americans who support traditional social values has edged downward since 1994, while the proportion of Americans expressing strong personal religious commitment also has declined modestly. A Democracy Corps poll conducted after the 2008 election found that voters most consistently chose the more progressive of the two choices when they were given a "liberal" and a "conservative" description of a problem and solution on issues like trade, health care and Social Security. When asked to list in order of priority a list of policies, voters put ones like "repealing the Bush tax cuts" for the rich, providing affordable health care and ending the war in Iraq at the top of their lists. Third, there is the evidence from the 2008 election campaign. Despite the fact that the two parties of American business can be ideologically flexible, the contest between McCain and Obama took on some ideological tones. Obama was fond of saying that his election would be the "final verdict" on a failed conservative philosophy. In his convention acceptance speech, he mocked the Republicans' "ownership society" idea as a cover for telling working people that "you're on your own". On the other side, McCain tried to rally his base by warning against Obama's "redistributionist" ideas - even calling Obama's proposals "socialist". Even though McCain's attacks on Obama were based on grotesque exaggerations and fabrications, they still didn't do him any good. When the votes were tallied - even in supposed "red" states like Indiana and North Carolina - it appeared that the public chose the "socialist" Obama over the tax-cutting, anti-redistributionist McCain. The exit polls showed that 51 percent of the voters said they wanted government "to do more" rather than less, and 76 of that group voted for Obama. In contrast, 43 percent said it thought that government was doing "too much," and 71 percent of them voted for McCain. While these facts shouldn't lead us to conclude that the US is unambiguously left-leaning, we can say for sure that they contradict the claim that the US population leans to the "center right". For those who continue to insist that the U.S. is a "center-right" nation, at least one of these two things must be true: either they didn't observe the same election that the rest of us did; or they did observe it, and have decided to ignore it. Of these two choices, the latter is the most likely explanation. The entire elite punditocracy that has grown up over the last two to three decades was schooled in an era of conservative dominance that has come to a close. But old habits die hard. By the same token, many of these pundits are mouthpieces for an American ruling class that has done quite well for itself in the last political era. It has no desire to see the kind of social change and redress of inequality that millions of Americans want to see. But because advocating openly for the rich is somewhat frowned upon, they appeal to the democratic notion that social change isn't possible or desirable because the majority of Americans is predisposed against it. Many of these voices for do-nothingism come from within the Democratic Party itself - and they are vying to define what's "possible" under an Obama administration. Those of us who want to see fundamental social change are going to have to organize to demand it. And we would do well to ignore those who tell us "no we can't" because the U.S. is a center-right nation. Lance Selfa writes for the Socialist Worker where this article first appeared. This article was posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 at 12:03pm and is filed under "Third" Party, Activism, Democracy, Democrats, Right Wing Jerks. --------26 of 27-------- A New Political Party Is Needed by Joel S. Hirschhorn November 13th, 2008 Dissident Voice Set aside any Obama euphoria you feel. The other important news is that third-party presidential candidates had a miserable showing this year, totaling just over one percent of the grand total with 1.5 million votes nationwide, compared to some 123 million votes for Barack Obama and John McCain. It couldn't be clearer that Americans are not willing to voice their political discontent by voting for third-party presidential candidates. The two-party duopoly and plutocracy is completely dominant. The US lacks the political competition that exists in other western democracies. Without real political competition there is insufficient political choice. A key problem is that for many years, third parties have not offered presidential candidates that capture the attention and commitment of even a modest fraction of Americans, unlike Ross Perot (8.4 percent in 1996 and 18.9 percent in 1992), and John Anderson (6.6 percent in 1980). This year, among the four most significant third-party presidential candidates, Ralph Nader without a national party did the best with 685,426 votes or 0.54 percent of the grand total (a little better than in 2004 with 0.4 percent but much worse than in 2000 running as a Green Party candidate with 2.7 percent). He was followed by Bob Barr the Libertarian Party candidate with 503,981 votes or 0.4 percent of the total (typical of all Libertarian candidates in recent elections, including Ron Paul in 1988), followed by Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party with just 181,266 votes or 0.1 percent, and then Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party with only 148,546 votes or 0.1 percent. Showing the problem of ballot access, engineered by the two major parties, is that there were only 15 states where all four were on the ballot. In all but one, Nader received more votes than the other three third-party candidates. In four states only one of the four candidates was on the ballot; in one state none of them were ( Oklahoma ). Nader's best state was California with 81,434 votes, as it was for McKinney's with 28,624 votes. Baldwin was not on the ballot there. Alan Keyes received 30,787 votes in California - Barr's best state was Texas with 56,398 votes. None of the other three were on the ballot there. In his home state of Georgia where he had been a Representative Barr received 28,420 votes (and none of the other three were on the ballot). Baldwin's best state was Michigan with 14, 973 votes. Nader was not on the ballot there. In round numbers, Barack Obama raised $639 million or about $10 per vote, and John McCain raised $360 million or $6 per vote, compared to Ralph Nader with $4 million and $6 per vote, Bob Barr with about $1 million or $2 per vote, and Cynthia McKinney with only about $118,000 or less than $1 per vote. Money matters, but the ability of the two-party duopoly to keep third-party presidential candidates out of nationally televised debates matters more for media attention, money and votes. It must also be noted that there were countless congressional races with third-party and independent candidates, but none were able to win office, with only a very few reaching the 20 percent level. That third-party candidates can win local government offices means little because political party affiliation at that level is overshadowed by personal qualifications. I say that current third-party activists should admit defeat, shut down their unsuccessful parties, and move on. Unlike so much of American history, current third-parties no longer play a significant role in American politics or even in affecting public policies. They have shown their inability to matter. We need a new, vibrant political party that could bring many millions of American dissidents, progressives and conservatives, and especially chronic non-voters, together behind a relatively simple party platform focused on structural, government system reforms (not merely political change). Examples include: replacing the Electoral College with the popular vote for president, restoring the balance between Congress and the presidency, eliminating the corrupting influence of special interest money from politics, preventing the president to use signing statements to nullify laws passed by Congress. What would unite people is a shared priority for revitalizing American democracy. It should position itself as a populist alternative and opponent to the two-party plutocracy. It should define itself as against the corporate and other special interests on the left and right that use money to corrupt our political system. Possible names: Patriotic Party, United Party or National Party. With Thomas Jefferson as its spiritual founder it should seek the political revolution he said was needed periodically. Here is what helps. Despite considerable enthusiasm for Barack Obama, there is widespread unhappiness with both the Democratic and Republican Parties. One indication is that so voters register as independents. Plus there has always been a chorus of negative views about the two-party system. In one pragmatic sense this is the ideal time to create a new party. Why? Because of the incredible loss of stature of the Republican Party. Why not envision a new party that could replace the Republican Party on the national stage and provide a sharp alternative to the Democratic Party? In other words, we don't need a new third party as much as we need a new major party. Joel S. Hirschhorn has a new book, Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government, which supports constitutional conventions and other peaceful ways to restore American democracy. To join the pro-convention effort or discuss issues write the author: articlev [at] gmail.com. Read other articles by Joel, or visit Joel's website. This article was posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 at 12:02pm and is filed under "Third" Party, Activism, Democracy, Democrats, Right Wing Jerks. --------27 of 27-------- The Democrats of 2002 and 2007 Haven't Gone Anywhere by Glenn Greenwald Published on Thursday, November 13, 2008 by Salon.com Though it hasn't happened yet, it is appearing increasingly likely that Senate Democrats - led by Barack Obama (who seems to be playing a much more active role in all of this than his spokesperson yesterday suggested) - are going to choose Joe Lieberman to serve as their Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the next Congress. If that happens, there will be one important silver lining: it will remind many people, who have understandably forgotten due to the euphoria last week, exactly what most Beltway Democrats are, what their priorities and beliefs are, and to whose opinions and concerns they do and do not pay attention. It is worth remembering that the Democrats who are going to exert dominant political control are the same ones who have provoked so much scorn - rightfully so - over the last several years, and particularly since 2006. This is the same Democratic Party leadership which funded the Iraq War without conditions (and voted to authorize it in the first place); massively expanded the President's warrantless eavesdropping powers; immunized lawbreaking telecoms; enacted the Patriot Act and then renewed it with virtually no changes; didn't even bother to mount a filibuster to stop the Military Commissions Act; refrained from pursuing any meaningful investigations of Bush lawbreaking; confirmed every last extremist Bush nominee, from Michael McConnell to Michael Mukasey; acquiesced to even the worst and most lawless Bush policies when they were briefed on them; and on and on and on. None of that has changed. That is still who they are. Joe Lieberman didn't merely campaign against Barack Obama and several other Democrats. That's the least of his sins. He was not only among the most vocal supporters of the Iraq War, but at least as bad, has endorsed and supported every last radical Bush policy to expand executive power and surveillance activities while destroying core constitutional liberties and checks and balances. He used his Chairmanship for only one purpose: to block oversight into Bush scandals and corruption. He has spouted the most defamatory attacks, not only against Barack Obama, but against war opponents generally. More significantly still, Democrats in his own state - his own constituents - booted him out of the party, no longer wanting to be represented by him. That is who Senate Democrats appear well on their way to selecting to serve as their Chairman of Homeland Security, of all committees. That's because nothing that Lieberman has done really bothers them. Endorsing the Iraq War and the full panoply of radical Bush policies isn't disqualifying in the least because so many of them also endorsed that and support it, or, at the very least, it's not a priority for them. They care even less what their "base" thinks, what the so-called "Left" wants. Few things in this world are less likely than them ever taking even a mild stand - such as stripping Lieberman of his Chair - in order to defend some sort of political principle, or to punish ineptitude, or to announce that there are certain lines to the Right that can't be crossed. They don't do that. They never have. And it shouldn't surprise anyone that they won't now. This reveals much about the Beltway mentality. Politicians are not only permitted, but actually encouraged, even required, to scorn the Left. There's even an adoring term for that ("Sister Soljauh") which is almost unanimously considered a truly shrewd and honorable thing to do. By stark contrast, merely replacing someone in the position of a deeply influential Chairmanship who has strayed way too far to the Right and turned himself into a leading advocate for the most wretched policies is considered horribly divisive. To do that is a vindictive, partisan purge (on what planet is it improper for a political party to want to empower people who agree, rather than disagree, with its ostensible views?). These are all lessons that have been learned long ago, re-inforced by one episode after the next. But it's important to be reminded of them again, and few things will rub everyone's faces in it as vividly as this Lieberman episode will. John Cole today insisted that Obama shouldn't be criticized for things he hasn't actually done, and that, in particular, anonymous reports about what he "intends" to do should be viewed with much skepticism. Others have urged patience before judging an Obama administraiton that doesn't even exist yet. That's all fair enough, and I agree with that entirely, as far as it goes. In fact, on several occasions over the past few days, I've made that point myself, and specifically wrote: We ought to wait to see what Obama does before forming conclusions about him and, certainly, before launching all sorts of criticisms at him. He was just elected four day ago and he's not actually the President yet. But that doesn't mean we should remain passive and quiet on issues that we know are going to be vehemently contested (and I don't think John suggested that). It isn't as though we don't know what these Democrats are and what they are inclined to do. We've seen them in action when in the minority and when in the majority, and nobody needs to sit around waiting as though we can't anticipate what's going to happen. We know there are going to be major wars - not with Republicans, but among Democrats, and especially the party's leaders - over things like closing Guantanamo, imposing an absolute ban on torture, restoring habeas corpus, withdrawing from Iraq, reducing executive secrecy and increasing transparency, imposing mild limits and oversight on the surveillance state, returning the Congress to its proper role, and especially investigating prior crimes of high government officials. More generally, there's going to be immense pressure for Obama to prove that he's "centrist" by making only minor modifications, not major changes, to prevailing Bush policies - a view that is a principal motivating belief of the Democratic Party. Yesterday's vague and poorly-sourced Wall St. Journal article reporting that "Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies" is not, in my view, evidence of what Obama will do, but it is definitely compelling evidence that people close to him - those whom he has chosen to be influential - are pushing him in that direction. Notably, the article actually describes minor modifications to (as opposed to wholesale overhaul of) Bush's torture policies as the "centrist" and "pragmatic" approach. It's just a fact that there are all sorts of people close to Obama who have enabled those Bush policies and who are mobilizing now and attempting to ensure that nothing meaningful occurs in these areas. It simply is noteworthy of comment and cause for concern - though far from conclusive about what Obama will do - that Obama's transition chief for intelligence policy, John Brennan, was an ardent supporter of torture and one of the most emphatic advocates of FISA expansions and telecom immunity. It would be foolish in the extreme to ignore that and to just adopt the attitude that we should all wait quietly with our hands politely folded for the new President to unveil his decisions before deciding that we should speak up or do anything. Politicians respond to constituencies and pressure. Constituencies which announce their intention to maintain respectful silence all but ensure that their political principles will be ignored. The Democrats haven't exactly covered themselves with glory on these matters and they don't exactly inspire any confidence. That is why this prediction from Howie Klein will almost certainly prove to be true: This whole thing was a ruse and it wouldn't surprise me if they welcome Holy Joe back into the fold unanimously and the whole caucus sings "For He's The Jolly Good Fellow" on "Fox & Friends" . . . . It's a secret ballot but I bet there aren't half a dozen votes for tossing him out of his chairmanship. The Democrats of 2002 and 2007 are the same Democrats of today. It was inevitable that, sooner or later, they would force everyone to remember that. It looks like they're going to do it sooner, and in some perverse way, they deserve thanks for that. It can't be emphasized enough that the election last week was but the first step to changing things meaningfully. None of that is likely to matter much unless as much energy and effort is now devoted to changing the Democratic Party as was just expended to remove the right-wing from power. Copyright 2008 Salon Media Group, Inc. Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy", examines the Bush legacy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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