Progressive Calendar 11.18.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 07:24:56 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.18.08

1. Anoka airport    11.18 11am
2. Smash the empire 11.18 5pm
3. $ crisis/South   11.18 6pm
4. Open discussion  11.18 6:30pm
5. Palestine/I****l 11.18 7pm
6. Ed Felien/book   11.18 7:30pm
7. E3 2008          11.18

8. Foreclosures     11.19 11am
9. US economy       11.19 12noon StCloud MN
10. Liberia         11.19 12noon
11. Bus/GA          11.21

12. Steve Conn   - Where is Nader Country 2008? Mapping Nader voters
13. Mickey Z     - Some things are bigger than any of us
14. Rannie Amiri - Dual loyalties will doom Obama (+ ed comment)
15. ed           - bumperstickers

--------1 of 15--------

From: Ron Holch [mailto:rrholch [at] attg.net]
Subject: Anoka airport 11.18 11am

Anoka Airport Expansion!

I just found out about this sudden move of the County Commissioners.  I
say sudden because I read the paper and listen to the radio and watch the
TV News every day.  I did not see this important issue mentioned anywhere
until I received an email just 24 hours ago.

It is my understanding that this proposal is up for 2 votes in 2
committees back to back just 2 days from now.  I assume that this
expansion idea must have been in the works for quite some time.  I agree
with your contention that "we gather all the facts and analyze the impact
of the proposal before we prematurely draw any conclusions."  I should
think that would also apply to any vote to decide to move the proposal
forward.

I believe that public input is essential here. Simply informing taxpayers
after the fact is not enough. Could you please forward a timeline for any
and all decisions regarding the Airport expansion so that I may pass this
along to others?  Also, could you please consider scheduling the public
meeting on an evening or weekend date? -Thank You, Ron Holch
  _____

From: Robyn West [mailto:robyn_jay_west [at] msn.com]
Subject: RE: FYI Anoka Airport Expansion!

As you note, any extension or change in the Blaine airport is a very
important issue. I share your concerns, however, I believe it is of
critical importance that we gather all the facts and analyze the impact of
the proposal before we prematurely draw any conclusions. Thus, a public
meeting is planned for the week following Thanksgiving. You will have an
opportunity at that time to ask questions of experts on this subject and
voice your concerns. We will have a firm date for the public meeting later
this week and I will pass that information onto you. I look forward to
seeing you there. - Robyn West 2660 Deer Ridge Blaine, MN 55449 cell
612-804-8207
  _____

To: rrholch [at] attg.net
Subject: FYI Anoka Airport Expansion!

Notice: Critical Meetings to expand Blaine Airport impacting your
neighborhood and quality of life!

Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 11:00 AM at the Anoka County Govt. Center Room 772
with the second committee meeting on the same issue at 11:45 AM in Room
772.  Anoka County Board of Commissioners committees will be meeting to
vote on a resolution supporting the expansion of the Blaine Airport.

If it leaves the county board with approval, it will not be easily
stopped.  If you think that you will not be impacted because you live in
the Western or Northern part of Anoka County--think again. If property
values plummet in the impacted areas of the county, your property tax
burden will grow.  If you live in Shoreview, Moundsview, or neighboring
communities, you will likely be impacted by the noise.

Below is a summary of what is happening:
First of all, I think that the people pushing this are well-intentioned in
thinking that extending the runway to 6000 ft from the existing 5000 is
important for safety, however, I do not believe that they understand the
ramifications of approving the extension beyond the 5000 ft. What happens
when you move beyond 5000 ft is that the classification of the airport
changes to an intermediate airport which could have devastating impacts on
the surrounding neighborhoods and communities. Years ago legislation was
put in place that prohibited the expansion beyond 5000 ft without the
consent of an affected local govt entity.

Unfortunately, my colleagues at the county have decided that they are
going to rush this local approval through the county, without the chance
for the public to respond so that it will then rest in the hands of the
legislature. The danger of that is great as once it leaves the local
entity, anything can and will happen. MPLS legislato rs along with the
Metropolitan Airport Commission have desired for years to move the
unwanted traffic from the Mpls airport to another airport. The Blaine
airport has the largest land mass of any other airport in the system, so
once it jumps to the intermediate status, which is 5001 ft to 8000 ft
runway, the cargo type traffic could be diverted to Blaine. Once
legislation is approved to go beyond 5000 ft, it may not stop at 6000
ft--it may go beyond that.

What can you do???  1. Attend the meetings 2. Call your county
commissioner as well as the others on the board.  Dennis Berg--Chair of
the Board Telephone: 763-323-5700 (Government Center) 763-753-3014 (Home)

        Robyn West
Telephone:
763-323-5700 (Government Center)
612-804-8207 (Cell)
Dick Lang
Telephone:
763-323-5700 (Government Center)
763-434-6707 (Home)
612-760-1600 (Cell)
Scott LeDoux (chairs the Airport Committee and sits on Intergovernmental
Committee which will hear this issue)
Telephone:
763-323-5700 (Government Center)
612-229-4269 (Cell)
Dan Erhart (chairs Intergovernmental which will hear this issue and sits on
Airport Committee)
Telephone:
763-323-5700 (Government Center)
763-421-1884 (Home)
Jim Kordiak Telephone:
763-323-5700 (Government Center)
763-788-9651 (Office)

[Sneak a major change down the citizens' throats? Standard arrogant
ruling-class manipulation, and contempt for anyone not themsleves. Any
system in which they rule is a bad system. -ed]


--------2 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Smash the empire 11.18 5pm

Sweet St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm,
midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow!  All
households with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 11/18, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 11/19, 10am
Phyllis Bennis.  Pt 2, audience questions and response after "Challenging
Empire" talk in St. Paul in April. (repeat)


--------3 of 15--------

From:   ICGC <icgc [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: $ crisis/South 11.18 6pm

Teach-In on the Financial Crisis AND THE GLOBAL SOUTH
Tuesday November 18, 2008,  6:00-8:00 pm
3M Auditorium (Room 1-115), Carlson School of Management
University of Minnesota

The current financial crisis impacts not only Wall Street and the United
states financial markets, but also the global economy and people in other
pars of the world.  Join us to learn more about the impact of the
financial crisis in the Global South and on U.S. communities of color and
immigrant communities.

A panel of distinguished scholars will offer insights into these
dimensions of the current economic situation and answer your questions.
Among the speakers are:

Professor Nasrin Jewell, Department of Economics, College of St. Catherine
will highlight the effects of the financial crisis on the developing
countries, the "global south."  She will include comments on the
historical role of IMF, and possible changes due to the current crisis.

Professor August Nimtz, Department of Political Science, University of
Minnesota will speak to the crisis and the logic of late late capitalism,
discussing the Marxist analysis of the crisis as long overdue and only in
its initial phases and how it relates to the struggle between capital and
labor.

Professor Peter Rachleff, Department of History, Macalester College will
address the framework of global neoliberalism, the crisis of employment,
and the positioning of immigrants.

Professor Joe Soss, Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service, Humphrey
Institute, University of Minnesota, will speak to the experience of the
financial crisis in US communities of color, with attention to racial
dimensions of the mortgage crisis, and link his discussion to broader
neoliberal economic policy shifts.

Moderated by Regents Professor ERIC SHEPPARD, Department of Geography and
Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, University of
Minnesota

Light refreshments will be provided
Further information can be found at ICGC website at http://icgc.umn.edu/
Driving directions to the Carlson School of Management and information on
parking are available at http://www.csom.umn.edu/page3409.aspx


--------4 of 15--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Open Discussion 11.18 6:30pm

It's time for the Salon Open Discussion, and what better time than this.
This Tuesday, Nov. 18.  With the election just past, we have alot to talk
about.  Come and let us hear your reactions and reflections on our new
president.

Next week, Nov. 25 , we will have our 6th year anniversary party for the
salon.  And, next Saturday, Nov 22, we are starting the movie of the
month.  It isn't a salon, just a time to come to a movie at the tea house,
using our new projector on big screen.  I think the first film will be in
honor of Paul Newman, Cool Hand Luke.

Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.


--------5 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Palestine/I****l 11.18 7pm   [ed head]

TUE.NOV. 18:7:00 PM   THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN IMPASSE: Reflections
from the West Bank and Jerusalem
7:00 PM  - 9:30 PM
Leonard Center: Hall of Fame Room, Macalester College
Join Macalester faculty and staff who participated in the 2008 Faculty
Development International Seminar (FDIS) in the Middle East. Students,
faculty and staff will learn and exchange ideas about:
    * Living Under Occupation and Conflict
    * Images of Hope and Despair
    * Possibilities and Limitations of Dialogue
    * Visions of the Future
The forum is chaired by Michael Monahan, director of the International
Center and co-coordinator of the seminar, and features reflections on
selected themes by Wendy Weber (Political Science), Chuen-Fung Wong
(Music), and Olga Gonzales (Anthropology). Light snacks will be
provided. Sponsored by the International Center.
Sponsored by: Institute for Global Citizenship
<http://events.macalester.edu/eventsbysponsor.cfm?Sponsor=2436>


--------6 of 15--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Ed Felien/book 11.18 7:30pm

MAGERS AND QUINN: Long-time local activist and publisher Ed Felien
discusses his book *Take The Streets*, a description of actions by
radicals and anti-war activists in Minneapolis in May of 1972 - 7:30pm,
Tuesday, November 18, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

"The following was written in the summer of 1972. I never got around to
publishing it until now. Things came up. I got involved in other things,
but I always believed it was important for radicals and anti-war activists
to remember those events in May of 1972 when we caused a genuine
insurrection on the streets of Minneapolis to try to stop an obscene war
in Southeast Asia. Today few people talk about those events. Our history
has been written out of their history books, but it's not too late to
correct the record."--from the preface by Ed Felien

For further information, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611
davidu [at] magersandquinn.com
MAGERS AND QUINN BOOKSELLERS 3038 HENNEPIN AVENUE SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS MN
55408 612-822-4611 www.magersandquinn.com


--------7 of 15--------

From: Institute on the Environment <danie419 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: E3 2008 11.18

E3 2008!  [I have very litto info on this - ed]

If you've ever wondered about the potential for algae to cure our oil
addiction, the future of solar power or the role the media plays in
environmental awareness, don't miss out on E3 2008: The Midwest's Premier
Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference.

Visit the E3 Web site to sign up for the conference, taking place Nov. 18
at the St. Paul RiverCentre, and to learn about this year's keynote
speakers, breakout sessions, research posters and other details.


--------8 of 15--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Foreclosures 11.19 11am

TRUTH TO TELL
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19: 11:00AM
FORECLOSURE TSUNAMI: Thousands More in the Streets?

Even as Washington ducks and dodges the real issues of the descending
recession, bailing out criminally irresponsible banking enterprises with
hundreds of billions of tax dollars, the detritus of their folly resides
in some seven million foreclosures nationwide and thousands across
Minnesota. Rural and city dwellers alike find their housing values tanking
while interest rate rises and fraudulently issued mortgages are turning
the American dream into the nightmare we should have seen coming.

Has the American penchant for getting something for nothing once again
come home to roost in the streets and pocketbooks of even the
once-dominant middle class? Who's really responsible for this disastrous
and despairing loss of simple shelter for so many of us?  TTT's ANDY
DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN explore the ways in which our need and
desire for home-ownership and real estate investment as the core of our
economy have collapsed under the weight of greed and incompetence.

GUESTS:
 JEFF CRUMP - Associate Professor, Housing Studies, UofM College of Design
 ED NELSON - Marketing/Communications Manager, Minnesota Homeownership
     Center
OTHERS TBD

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis /106.7 St. Paul / Streamed @ KFAI.org
A CivicMedia/Minnesota production


--------9 of 15--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: US economy 11.19 12noon StCloud MN

St. Cloud State University Women's Center. Women on Wednesday Series
featuring Women and Politics: The U. S. Economy: A Downward Spiral? with
presenter Dr. Jenny Keil. Noon - 1 PM at Atwood Theater.


--------10 of 15--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Liberia 11.19 7pm

Wednesday, 11/19, 7 pm, Advocates for Human Rights presents free film
"Iron Ladies of Liberia" about the 2006 election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
and the task of lifting her country from debt and devastation, St Anthony
Park Library, 2245 Como Ave, St Paul.  http://www.mnadvocates.org


--------11 of 15--------

From: Steve Clemens <steveclemens [at] msn.com>
Subject: Bus/GA 11.21

There are still about 4-5 seats available on a bus taking people to the
annual Close the School of the Americas events in GA. The bus will leave
Friday 11/21at 9AM and return Monday afternoon. Cost of $205. includes
shared hotel room. Contact David Weiss at (651)492-1776 ASAP.


--------12 of 15--------

Mapping Nader Voters
Where is Nader Country 2008?
By STEVE CONN
counterPunch
November 17, 2008

Where is "Ralph Nader country?" We know that "Marlboro Country" is a lung
cancer ward and "Countrywide" is a landscape of empty and boarded up homes
as far as the eye can see, but where is Nader Country.? If I were
presumptuous, I would say, behind every seatbelt. In 2008, after his
third, serious, Presidential campaign, Nader Country is both where people
voted for The Man and His Program and in the hearts and minds of his
campaign staff, the alumni of 2008. Both deserve attention.

In 2008 Ralph Nader ran an independent 45 state Presidential campaign and
earned 695,817 votes (and counting) on 45 state ballots and the District
of Columbia. Not included in this total are semi-disenfranchised write-in
Nader voters - in Texas (3,053), Georgia (1,091), Indiana (300), and North
Carolina, where 13,942 total write-ins were not divided by candidate,
except by chance for 22 Nader voters in Rowan County, broken out in a
local news report. American democracy's ultimate electoral black hole,
Oklahoma, does not allow write-ins.

With his typical Lou Gherig approach to civic engagement, Ralph Nader
moved relentlessly through the fifty states, dragging along a new legion
of twenty-something's, who could barely keep up with his seven decades.
sprint, full of righteous indignation and a commitment to win votes for a
progressive program ignored by the major party candidates. Boot camp for
another generation of citizen activists was nearly over when I flew down
to the 2008 Georgetown headquarters to check out his new crew, take their
political temperatures and feel their pain. Sure enough, they had the look
of combat veterans. I could only imagine what they had expected when
invited on to the team and how bright and shiny they were then... The
grind of a Presidential campaign, weathering the attacks from armchair
liberals who expect to be spoon fed progress without effort and Nader's
lead by example style had all done their jobs. Where else could these
young adults experience this test of fire and a consistent demand that
they use their own talents and initiative to make up for scant resources,
while enduring consistent abuse by major party sycophants? The graduating
classes of the 2000 and 2004 Presidential campaigns were already out there
somewhere raising hell on other issues and other campaigns. Each campaign
leaves this enduring residual legacy of new people who finally understand
what Nader means when he challenges his audiences to act on their rights
and duties as Public Citizens.

The staff was battle-hardened from an experience rare for their time and
circumstance in America. No fire hoses in Birmingham had quickened their
maturation  Each drew on talents and strengths which while newly
discovered by them, had been anticipated by Nader when he brought them on.
Any organization could use Ralph Nader to vet its new hires. So could
President-elect Obama.

The 2008 Ralph Nader campaign showed its verve in production of its video,
photo art and web postings, all the work of the class of 2008. Funny and
serious stuff. Now the graduates were ready to try their newly discovered
strengths and talents to other places and take on other issues - once they
got some rest. Nader, of course, was ready to plunge back into his normal
grind. Plans were discussed among alumni to work within home Congressional
districts.

People who think they matter are angry at Nader now as others were at
Martin Luther King when he broadened his agenda to matters of the war and
the inequities of economic class. The attacks on Nader are always
personal. He has a personality defect that makes him speaking out instead
of going with the flow, his critics contend. Critics never complain
explicitly that he is raising issues excised from the campaign debate of
that moment by corporate funders and party operatives, pre-screened, you
might say. That he is off script. That would be too honest. Progressives
from the old days who broke with the 2000 and 2004 campaigns have only
admitted privately in later years that their patrons demanded these public
breaks with Ralph Nader and they meekly complied, throwing Nader under the
bus as Obama did his pastor. Again, they never say that Nader campaign is
bringing up issues not to be talked about except in smaller, liberal
circles in nostalgic moments. While Nader demands, like clockwork, a
repeal of the Taft -Hartley Act of 1947 in every Presidential run,  union
membership is in single digits and union demands for card checks as an
organizing tool are all that's left in labor's collective memory of an
organized labor movement before Taft-Hartley. But some of the graduates
from the 2000 campaign are ensconced in the labor movement and have
memories longer than their ages. So their time will come to press for
more. Others from the 2000 and 2004 campaigns worked for Obama and the
Greens or now focus on issue advocacy. They work on single payer health
care or variants of the Equal Rights Amendment, the sleeping giant. Alumni
are everywhere with their Nader campaign experience not always listed on
their resumes, but imprinted indelibly on their psyches.

One of Ralph Nader's strengths is his ability to spot talent and potential
in unusual places. He found campaign staff all over the country. The days
when he recruited from Ivy League Schools are over. Since his staff came
from everywhere and his travels were ubiquitous, it is no surprise that
his votes were clustered in places of similar diversity. So where -
geographically - was Nader country in 2008?

Nader won more votes than any other third party or independent in his 45
states, except in Montana where Ron Paul beat him. In aggregate numbers
available to date, he got something over 700,000 votes in all or more than
the population of Alaska. In the 45 states, where his name and that of
Matt Gonzalez appeared on the ballot, he averaged about .63 percent of the
votes cast. But he took at least one percent of the votes cast in Maine
(1.5), North Dakota (1.3), Arkansas (1.2), Alaska (1.16), South Dakota
(1.1), Connecticut (1.1), Idaho (1.1), and one percent each in  Wyoming,
Minnesota, Vermont, Oregon, West Virginia, and Rhode Island, according the
Associated Press.

Clusters of counties in Arkansas, South and North Dakota, Maine and West
Virginia registered Ralph Nader vote totals of 2 percent or more. In
Arkansas: Lawrence (3.3), Jackson (2.9), Newton (2.7), Poinsett and
Woodruff (2.6), Clay (2.5), Montgomery (2.3), Van Buren and Sharp (2.20),
Cleveland, Logan, and Sevier (2.1)) and Stone, Pike, and Greene (2). In
South Dakota: Perkins (2.3), Sanborn (2.2) and Turner (2.)  In North
Dakota, Towner (2.8), Cavalier (2.6), Logan (2.5), Bowman and Kidder
(2.3), Emmons, Divide and Renville (2.2) and Griggs, Grant and Mercer
(2).In Maine: Grant, Oxford and Franklin (2).In West Virginia, Gilmer
County (2.1).

A bevy of counties from all over the country, among them Wahkiakkum, Yell,
Scott, Randolph, Swift, Bon Homme, Oliver, Walsh, Foster and McIntosh
counties, all finished with 1.9 percent for Nader. People in these
counties know where you are. In 2012, if they get one or two more voters
to go Nader's way, they.ll hit two percent. Note: Alaska has no counties
to divide up its 3460 votes (and still counting).

Nader Country and, at least, 700,283 recorded Nader voters (as of this
writing) have spoken. The 2008 alumni will be heard from, you can be sure.

Steve Conn lived in Alaska from 1972 until 2007. He is a retired
professor, University of Alaska. His email is steveconn [at] hotmail.com.


--------13 of 15--------

Some Things Are Bigger than Any of Us
by Mickey Z.
November 17th, 2008
Dissident Voice

One of the good things about everything being so fucked up - about the
culture being so ubiquitously destructive - is that no matter where you
look - no matter what your gifts, no matter where your heart lies -
there's good and desperately important work to be done.
  - Derrick Jensen

In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Law was passed and both Northerners and
Southerners were now legally required to turn in runaway slaves. One year
later, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin (or Life Among the
Lowly) as a serial in an antislavery paper, The National Era. In 1852, the
Boston publishing company Jewett published it as a book and, as they are
wont to say, the rest is history.

Widely considered to be the first social protest novel published in the
United States (and the first major novel to have a black hero), Uncle
Tom's Cabin sold more copies - with the exception of The Bible - than any
book had ever sold in America until that point with sales reaching 300,000
copies in the first year.

Stowe's graphic depiction of slave life - based on true stories
personalized - the issue, reclaiming it from the sanitized domain of
courtroom legalese.  Her story outraged some and inspired many others. To
her critics, she answered with A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1853 to
provide documentation that every incident in her book had actually
happened. Upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862, Abraham Lincoln
remarked: "So you're the little woman that wrote the book that made this
great war".

There was a time when slavery was believed too deeply entrenched in
American culture to ever be abolished. The movement to end this "peculiar
institution" was made up of individuals willing to recognize that some
things in life are bigger than any of us. Whether they literally risked
their lives by rescuing slaves and running the Underground Railroad or
they did their part by sewing clothes or blankets for escaped slaves or,
yes, writing books like Uncle Tom's Cabin, the movement needed every
single one of these brave humans doing their partsmall - or large.

What seems impossible and irreversible today can be addressed if we're
willing to wake up and do the hard work. If we're willing to stop making
excuses for the reprehensible leaders (sic) - both political and
corporatewho - profit from our complacency.

So, the next time you're deciding between watching a Will & Grace re-run
or updating your Facebook book, step up instead. Take a good, long look
into heart and an even longer look at the choices you make all day, every
day - not from place of guilt and shame but with a sense of revelation.
Accept the challenge to be better human being, a more responsible
earthling. It takes courage to perform self-examination. It takes courage
to accept everything you know just might be wrong. It takes far more
courage to do this than to volunteer to wage illegal and immoral wars.

Let's face it: Things sucked under George W. Bush. Things will suck under
Barack Obama. Things have sucked under every president. Nothing will
change until we change our minds. We can't be as indifferent as those
before us. They didn't think enough about future generations so now we
have to work twice as hard. It sucks, I know, but this not an issue of
fairness. It's about survival.

Some things in life are bigger than any of us. The anti-slavery movement
recognized this. Today, the entire planet is enslaved - to profit-seeking
corporations and the corrupt politicians they own (yes, including the Pope
of Hope). Are this generation's abolitionists ready to step up and create
change? Not ask for change, create change.

Why not embrace your outrage and frustration and let it challenge you,
inspire you, and motivate you? Instead of channeling your ambitions toward
climbing a mountain, running a marathon, or striving to make your first
million before you're 30, what greater goal could any of us ever aim for
than to leave the planet much better off than how we found it?

You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Mickey Z. is the author of the recently released Bizarro novel, CPR for
Dummies, and can be found on the Web at MickeyZ.net.


--------14 of 15--------

The Blue and White Elephant in the Oval Office
Dual Loyalties Will Doom Obama
By RANNIE AMIRI
CounterPunch
November 17, 2008

"Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't
he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the
White House."
 - Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, father of Rahm Emanuel, predicting his son's
impact in an Obama administration (Ma'ariv, 6 Nov. 2008).

History will record the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign to have been one
in which American Arabs and Muslims were politically marginalized,
ostracized and disparaged like no time before. Contrary to initial
expectations, those bruised sensibilities are unlikely to find in
President-elect Barack Obama the salve so desperately needed.

The first hint of future disappointment came with the realization that
although his background and upbringing inspired malicious rumors and
innuendos, he did little if anything to rebuke their bigoted nature. After
winning the presidency, the decision to employ the services of the
Israel-firsters was a tell-tale sign the wounds will be left to fester.

The whispering campaign against Obama was first started by Sen. Hillary
Clinton and continued thereafter by a consortium of Republican operatives,
all directly or indirectly impugning Obama was a closet Muslim -
shamelessly using the term in the pejorative - and ergo, dangerous. In
September, a shadowy "nonprofit" organization called The Clarion Fund
(subsequently discovered to be synonymous with the fundamentalist Israeli
group Aish HaTorah or "Fire of the Torah") distributed the anti-Muslim DVD
"Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" to 28 million
households. It was a transparent attempt to bolster Sen. John McCain's
chances in battleground states using fear-mongering tactics.

Remarkably, Obama reinforced the same Islamophobia. His staff prohibited
two women wearing the hijab, or Islamic head scarf, from sitting behind
him in full view of the cameras at a Detroit rally. He described the
mischaracterization of him as a Muslim as a "smear". He also forsook
campaigning with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), America's first Muslim
congressmen (and certainly not because he is African-American).

To help repair the damage, Mazen Asbahi, a Chicago corporate lawyer, was
appointed as Muslim outreach coordinator. He was quickly forced to resign
on flimsy links to extremist groups promulgated by right-wing bloggers and
picked up by the Wall Street Journal. Just recently, Obama disowned his
friend Dr. Rashid Khalidi, renowned, distinguished professor and Edward
Said Chair of Arab Studies at Columbia University, after vice presidential
candidate Sarah Palin labeled him an "extremist" and John McCain called
him a "neo-Nazi".

Despite all this, American Muslims voted overwhelmingly for Obama. A poll
of 600 Muslims in 10 states conducted by the American Muslim Task Force on
Civil Rights and Elections revealed 95% of those polled voted - the
highest percentage turnout ever recorded for a single group in a U.S.
election. Of those, eight-nine percent voted for Obama, nearly matching
the record 93% of African-Americans who did so.

As the punching bag throughout the campaign season, American Arabs and
Muslims relegated to pre-election "necessity" all that had occurred. It
was said that the vice presidential selection of Sen. Joseph Biden, who
once famously proclaimed "I am a Zionist," was made only to placate the
Israeli lobby when Hillary Clinton failed to garner the nomination. Once
he finally became president though, Obama would remember his roots, his
friends, and take a principled stand on civil liberties while ushering in
a new era of American foreign policy.

After Nov. 4, they were still found scratching their heads.

Rahm Emanuel

In his first executive appointment as president-elect, Obama chose Chicago
congressmen Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff. In case there was any
question as to who claimed him as one of their own, the headline in the
Israeli paper Haaretz (6 Nov. 2008)said it all:

Obama's first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff.

The vulgar and boorish Rahm is son of Benjamin Emanuel, former arms
smuggler to Irgun, a pre-Israel terrorist group which carried out numerous
attacks on Palestinian civilians in addition to the 1946 bombing of
Jerusalem's King David Hotel. His statement to Ma'ariv above remains
consistent with Zionism's historically racist overtones.

As many have since come to learn, Rahm Emanuel left the U.S. during the
1991 Gulf War for Israel. There he became a civilian volunteer responsible
for servicing military vehicles near occupied southern Lebanon. As
chronicled by Ali Abunimah in the Electronic Intifada, Emanuel has a track
record on Israel well to the right of George Bush. This includes signing a
2003 letter justifying Israel's policy of political assassinations and
amazingly criticizing Bush for not supporting Israel enough. After
throwing his weight behind a resolution backing the country's vicious
bombing of Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Rahm called on his own
government to cancel a planned speech to Congress by Iraqi Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki because he had condemned Israel's actions.

There are conflicting reports as to whether Emanuel is a dual
American-Israeli citizen (Haaretz evidently thinks so). That, however, is
far less important than Emanuel's dual loyalty. As one of the most
powerful positions in the executive branch of government, the chief of
staff has the ability to control access to the Oval Office and play a key
advisory role on policy matters. Emanuel has already demonstrated he
places Israel's interests on par or above that of the U.S., as he did in
opposition to the proposed 2006 Dubai Ports deal, claiming it could harm
Israel.

Emanuel will not be the only one in an Obama administration exhibiting
dual loyalties.

Dennis Ross

Another is likely to be Dennis Ross, former Middle East envoy and
negotiator under President Clinton. Since then, he has been a fellow at
the AIPAC-affiliated Washington Institute for Near East Policy and
chairman of the Jerusalem-based think tank, the Jewish People Policy
Planning Institute.

It was Ross, acting as ostensible honest broker at the December 2000 Camp
David Summit, who placed the blame for its failure on the Palestinians. He
conveniently neglected to mention that Israel's desired annexation of
large swathes of the West Bank thereby slicing it into isolated cantons,
and maintaining complete control over all of Jerusalem, including Muslim
holy sites, were the deal breakers.

Ross was also one of the authors of Obama's fawning June speech to AIPAC
in which Jerusalem (unsurprisingly) was once again promised to Israel.
Many suspect Ross aspires to take charge of the Iran portfolio at the
State Department under President Obama.

Eric Holder

Of less than stellar repute is Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general
under President Clinton and current Obama legal advisor. His name is being
floated as a candidate for attorney general. Holder was instrumental in
orchestrating the pardon of Marc Rich in the waning hours of the Clinton
presidency. Rich, indicated on charges of tax evasion and cutting oil
deals with Iran during the hostage crisis, was once on the U.S. 10 Most
Wanted list. He was also financier of several projects in Israel, which
caused then Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert to remark, "Israel owes him". It
remains to be seen whether Holder's role in the payback will preclude him
from becoming attorney general.

Hillary Clinton? Joe Lieberman?

Based on the latest reports, it appears that Hillary Clinton has been
offered the position of secretary of state [Alas yes and she has accepted.
ed]. It also seems that Sen. Joseph Lieberman, at Obama's behest, will be
allowed to remain within the Democratic caucus and maintain his
chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. Their reputation as hawks
on Middle Eastern affairs needs little elaboration.

Neither president nor country can be well served when those with dual
loyalties are given positions of authority in the executive branch or
cabinet. There were higher expectations for Obama, with many believing the
new direction he pledged to take the nation and world would not be
abandoned for political expediency.

Alas, Arabs and Muslims under Obama's spell have finally come to their
senses. After excusing his behavior for far too long, bringing Biden,
"Rhambo" and Hillary on board has confirmed their worst fears about the
president-elect: "change" will not be coming their way and Middle East
policy will remain decidedly unbalanced.

The audacity of hope, indeed.

Rannie Amiri is an independent commentator on the Arab and Islamic worlds.
He may be reached at: rbamiri <at> yahoo.com

[ed comment:
With expletive-deleted Rahm and double expletive-deleted Hillary and her
triple expletive-deleted husband, Obama becomes just another space-filler
in the dust-bin of history. Didn't take him long, either. So much for
expletive-deleted "hope".
 Pessimist novelist Thomas Hardy wrote, "There's no hope.  There's no hope
that there's hope. There's only hope that there's hope that there's hope."
If he were living today he might add one more. One could hope.  -ed]


--------15 of 15--------

 bumperstickers

 ---------
 Hope not.
   Act
 ---------

 ----------------------------------
 Obama - the small-change president
 ----------------------------------

 ---------------
 Hillary is THEM
 Rahm is THEM
 Obama is THEM
 ---------------


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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