Progressive Calendar 01.12.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 06:56:15 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    01.12.09

1. Court/AWC         1.12 9am
2. Peace walk        1.12 6pm RiverFalls WI
3. Online tools      1.12 6:30pm
4. Xcel substations  1.12 6:30pm
5. Peace church      1.12 6:30pm
6. Sprogs            1.12 6:30pm
7. Vs anti-immigrant 1.12 6:30pm

8. Social justice    1.13 1pm
9. Stop dirty coal   1.13 1pm
10. Arabic classes   1.13 6pm
11. RNC court watch  1.13 6pm
12. Anti-war film    1.13 6:30pm

13. Kip Sullivan - Another warning about the Minnesota Health Security Act
14. Andy Birkey  - Hey gays! Do Campbell's soup, piss off religious right!
15. John Pilger  - Holocaust denied: the lying silence of those who know
16. Naomi Klein  - Israel: boycott, divest, sanction
17. Matt Reichel - Stop American aid to Israel

--------1 of 17--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Court/AWC 1.12 9am

Court Solidarity: Support the "Recruiter 7" arrested at a 5-year
anniversary protest against the Iraq war
Monday, Jan 12 @ 9:00am (expected to continue all day and into Tuesday) @
Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St, Mpls

On March 27, 2008, the Anti-War Committee marked the five-year anniversary
of the war and the occupation of Iraq, with a protest at an Army National
Guard recruiting office in Minneapolis. Many of national guard troops have
been sent to fight, and sometimes die, in Iraq, including those from
Minnesota.

Military recruitment of our sons and daughters fuels the war in Iraq,
risking their lives as well as the Iraqi people. Our young people should
not have to join the military to fund their educations or out of economic
need. These are the issues we brought to light with our protests, and
those of the students we allied with that day. Television, radio and print
media all covered our demonstrations, spreading the word that opposition
to the Iraq war continues.

Our protest led to the arrests of 16 people, and on Monday, 7 of us are
going to court to fight the charges against us.

We need your support. Please come to show the prosecutor, judge and jury
that the war in Iraq is the real crime, and our community supports those
who take a stand against it. Be visible - wear an AWC or other anti-war
shirt. (Buttons won't be allowed, and you will pass through a metal
detector, so don't bring anything else with you that won't make it through
security.)

While we can't know for certain, we expect the trial to continue to
Tuesday. If you can, please be there Monday morning at 9am at the Hennepin
County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St, Mpls. We'll try to have someone
to direct you from the main floor, but you can also ask at the information
desk by the name of Jessica Sundin, or one of the other defendants.

Thank you for your solidarity. We will post updates as they become
available.
Meredith Aby antiwarcommittee.org colombiasolidarity.org


--------2 of 17--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 1.12 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022


--------3 of 17--------

From: Timothy Erickson <tim [at] politalk.org>
Subject: Online tools 1.12 6:30pm

As part of our ongoing E-Tools for all workshop series, St. Paul E-
Democracy Outreach Committee is offering the following (NEW) 4 week
introductory class on social media and social networking tools. The class
is free, however pre-registration is required and space is limited. There
are currently a number of spaces available, please contact me ASAP if you
are interested in participating in this NEW class.

This is an introductory class, no experience or prior knowledge is
necessary.

FREE CLASS at Rondo Community Outreach Library -
Introduction to Social Media:
Online Tools for Community Involvement

Mondays - Jan 12, Jan 26, Feb 2, and Feb 9 - 2009
             6:30 - 8:30 PM
Rondo Community Outreach Library
University & Dale, St. Paul
(FREE indoor parking)

Cost / Registration:
Class is FREE
Pre-registration is REQUIRED (see below for contact info)
Limited to 15 Participants
This is an introductory class, no experience or prior knowledge is
required.

Short Description:
This class will offer participants a hands-on opportunity to explore some
of the powerful social networking and online media sharing sites, with a
special focus on how to use these sites as tools for community
involvement.

How the class will work:
The class is designed to use a combination of demonstrations, small group
discussions, and hands-on exercises - to lead participants through a
series of tasks that will familiarize them with a number of popular social
networking and media sharing sites and offer concrete examples of how
those sites might be useful in their everyday lives. Each student will be
given the opportunity to:

    1) Set-up and edit their own blog
    2) Edit a wiki
    3) Subscribe to an RSS feed (and understand what it is)
    4) Create an audio or video commentary and
       post it to a popular media sharing site
    5) Familiarize themselves with micro-blogging sites
       such as Twitter or Plurk
    6) Experiment with social bookmarking site - de.licio.us
    7) And much, much, more.........

Contact Info:
   To register, email me your: Name, Email, and Phone:
       tim [at] politalk.org
   For additional information, contact:
       Tim Erickson
       tim [at] politalk.org
       651-246-5045


--------4 of 17--------

From: Julia Eagles <jeagles [at] phillipsenergycoop.com>
Subject: Xcel substations 1.12 6:30pm

Xcel Substations Community Forum
Plaza Verde (3rd Floor), 1516 E Lake Street
Monday, January 12th
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Xcel Energy is proposing to build two new substations in the Phillips
community, one near Hiawatha Avenue and another near I-35W, connected by
high voltage transmission lines. The Phillips Community Energy Cooperative
(PCEC) would like to invite its members and friends to a community meeting
about the project on Monday, January 12th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the 3rd
floor of Plaza Verde, 1516 East Lake Street. Free childcare as well as
Spanish and Somali interpretation will be provided.


--------5 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Peace church 1.12 6:30pm

Monday, 1/12, 6:30 pm, Every Church a Peace Church bimonthly potluck
supper meeting, with a presentation by Nils Dybvig and Michele Braley on
"Christian Peacemaker Teams in Colombia," Northeast Community Lutheran
Church, 724 Lowry Ave NE, Mpls.  612-788-2444 or
http://www.neclchurch.org


--------6 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Sprogs 1.12 6:30pm

Monday, 1/12, 7 pm (social time as 6:30), Network of Spiritual
Progressives meets to develop techniques of Spiritual Activism Training
including elevator speeches and canvassing, Plymouth Congregational
Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave S (enter through canopy off Franklin parking
lot), Mpls.


--------7 of 17--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Vs anti-immigrant 1.12 6:30pm

Lets get some pro-immigrant voices there!
Suggested talking points below.
-amalia

Monday, January 12 - 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sen. Ron Latz & Rep. Ryan Winkler
Golden Valley Library - Community Room
830 Winnetka Avenue N., Golden Valley, MN 55427

Monday, January 26 - 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sen. Ron Latz & Rep. Steve Simon
The Depot Coffee House
9451 Excelsior Blvd., Hopkins, MN

Minnesota Anti-Immigrant Group Targets Lawmakers to Push Immoral
Political Agenda

Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MINN-SIR, see attachment for
biography) is asking their anti-immigrant base to attend three different
town hall meetings scheduled in January by Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
members, Sen. Ron Latz <http://www.ronlatz.org/ <http://www.ronlatz.org/>>
, Rep. Ryan Winkle, and Rep. Steve Simon. The DFL Party currently supports
a pathway tocitizenship, family reunification; legalizing future migration
flows,protects due process and human rights, and protects U.S. workers
andemployers.

However, sometimes party members don't always support their party's
positions. Instead, party members will support the constituents with the
loudest voice, even if it's anti-immigrant.

Let your voice be heard. Push your local lawmakers to support immigrant
rights by attending one of the town hall meetings.

Five things to say to your Elected Officials:

. While some individuals may be arguing an extremists anti- immigrant
position, the majority of Americans are welcoming to all walks of life and
do not support an anti-immigrant.

. Immigrants are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends. Reactionary
policies that force them into the shadows haven't worked, and are not
consistent with our values. Those policies hurt all of us by encouraging
exploitation by unscrupulous employers and landlords. We support policies
that help immigrants contribute and participate fully in our society.

. Some propose that we disregard the importance of family unity in our
immigration system. But Americans agree that honoring family is a core
value, and one of the values that we most respect in others. Welcoming
newcomers but separating and splitting their families is contrary to who
we are as a nation.

. Anti-immigrant extremists are preventing a legal immigration system that
works and distracting us from addressing our real challenges on education,
health care and employment.

. We've tried the policies of isolation and division, and they don't work
for anybody. We need workable, inclusive policies that serve our entire
state, even as we push the federal government to fix our broken
immigration system.

Monday, January 12 - 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sen. Ron Latz & Rep. Ryan Winkler
Golden Valley Library - Community Room
830 Winnetka Avenue N., Golden Valley, MN 55427

Monday, January 26 - 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sen. Ron Latz & Rep. Steve Simon
The Depot Coffee House
9451 Excelsior Blvd., Hopkins, MN


--------8 of 17--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Social justice 1.13 1pm

January 13: American Association of University Women St. Paul Branch
Meeting. 10:30 AM: Meeting. 11 AM: Angie Eilers, Investing in Students.
Noon: Luncheon. 1 PM: Teaching Social Justice. 990 Summit Ave, St. Paul.


--------9 of 17--------

From: Cesia Kearns  <cesia.kearns [at] sierraclub.org>
Subject: Stop dirty coal 1.13 1pm

Last Chance to Stop Dirty Coal in MN - Pull the Plug on Big Stone II!

We know there's no hope of solving global warming if we build new
coal-fired power plants.  After three years of delay due to our organizing
and our allies' efforts, Minnesota decision-makers will determine the
future - or finality- of Big Stone II, a dirty coal-fired power plant
proposed near the South Dakota border.  This week the Minnesota Public
Utilities Commission (PUC) will vote on the certificate of need for Big
Stone II, and it's critical to have a strong public presence.

Can you join us for one of these important meetings to show the PUC that
Minnesotans want to pull the plug on Big Stone II - once and for all?

WHEN: January 13th 1:00pm - Oral arguments - the lawyers from both sides
of the issue will make their final statements to the PUC Commissioners

January 15th at 9:30am - deliberations and decision- the Commissioners
will discuss the project and then vote.  A strong public presence is
important at both meetings, but the priority is Thursday morning, as this
is when the commissioners will actually vote.  Attend both, or one, and
stay as long as you can - the entire time, or a half hour.

WHERE: The Public Utilities Commission, downtown Saint Paul at 121 7th
Place East, 3rd floor of the Metro Square Building on the corner of
Jackson and 7th Streets.  It will be in the large hearing room.  For
directions to the PUC visit
http://www.puc.state.mn.us/PUC/aboutus/contactus/index.html

CONTACT: To RSVP, for questions, or to volunteer, contact Cesia at
612-659-9124 ext. 310 or email cesia.kearns [at] sierraclub.org Visit
www.northstar.sierraclub.org


--------10 of 17--------

From: Mizna  <mizna-announce [at] mizna.org>
Subject: Arabic classes 1.13 6pm

Mizna's Arabic Classes will start the second week of January.  All classes
held in Mizna's office in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Register now.   Go here to register, or for more information:
http://mizna.org/classes/index.html

Arabic Language for Beginners
Instructor: Antoine Mefleh
Tuesdays, January 13 - March 31, 2009 (10 weeks)
6 - 7:30 pm

The beginning Arabic class focuses on developing basic communication
skills in Arabic. Students will learn Classic Fousha Arabic, standard
vocabulary and grammar, and colloquial dialect. Although all four areas of
language learning will be covered in class (i.e. speaking, listening,
reading and writing), the focus of the Arabic class will center on
developing speaking and listening abilities with the purpose of engaging
in a basic conversation in Arabic. By the end of the course students will
have the confidence to greet people, describe and discuss their
environment, communicate emotions and feelings, and talk about general
situations. Instructor will provide all class materials.

Register now.   Go here to register, or for more information:
http://mizna.org/classes/index.html

---
Arabic Language II
Instructor: Antoine Mefleh
Tuesdays, January 13 - March 31, 2009 (10 weeks)
7:30 - 9 pm

Arabic Language II is for students with a basic introductory knowledge of
Arabic and designed to continue to develop skills in spoken and written
language. Students will work with the instructor and other classmates in
practicing their knowledge of both spoken and written Arabic through in
class exercises as well as written materials. All materials provided by
instructor.

Register now.   Go here to register, or for more information:
http://mizna.org/classes/index.html

---
Arabic Language III
Instructor: Antoine Mefleh
Thursdays, January 15 - April 2, 2009 (10 weeks)
6 - 7:30 pm

Arabic Language III is designed for those students who have had background
in Arabic language study and would like to continue to develop their
skills in reading, writing and speaking. Students will work with
instructor in intense study to develop their language abilities.
Instructor will provide all class materials.

Register now.   Go here to register, or for more information:
http://mizna.org/classes/index.html

---
Arabic Language IV
Instructor: Antoine Mefleh
Max Class Size: 12
Teenagers - Adult

Thursdays, January 15 - April 2, 2009 (10 weeks)
7:30 - 9 pm
Cost: $200.00

Arabic Language IV is a continued advance course for students who want to
further develop their skills in the written and spoken language.

 Register now.  Go here to register, or for more information:
http://mizna.org/classes/index.html

---
Mizna is a forum for Arab American art.  Visit our website at
http://www.mizna.org.


--------11 of 17--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at] gmail.com>
Subject: RNC court watch 1.13 6pm

RNC Court Watchers are in need of participants to help with organizing
court information, documentation and etc.  RNC Court Watchers Meetings are
every Tuesday, 6 P.M. at Caffeto's. Below is announcement for our
meetings.

Preemptive raids, over 800 people arrested, police brutality on the
streets and torture in Ramsey County Jail. Police have indiscriminately
used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tasers and chemical irritants to
disperse crowds and incapacitate peaceful, nonviolent protesters. The
RNC-8 and others are facing felonies and years in jail. We must fight this
intimidation, harassment and abuse!

Join the RNC Court Solidarity Meeting this coming Tuesday at Caffetto's to
find out how you can make a difference in the lives of many innocent
people.

Caffetto's Coffeehouse and Gallery (612)872-0911 708 W 22nd Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Every Tuesday @ 6:00 P.M to 7:00 P.M
participate and help organize RNC court solidarity.
For more information, please contact: rnccourtwatch [at] gmail.com
THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED!


--------12 of 17--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Anti-war film 1.13 6:30pm

This Tuesday, Jan. 13, we will show the film called Soldiers of
Conscience.  It was shown on TV recently and i ordered it as i thought it
was a very important film.  To Kill or Not to Kill!  For some the war is
within.  The message: Every soldier wrestles w/his/her conscience over
killing.  Most decide it is ok to kill, but some refuse.  The story
centers around some of the soldiers of the Iraq war who have decided to be
CO's.

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.


--------13 of 17--------

Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 18:32:23 -0600
From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at] usinternet.com>

Another warning about the Minnesota Health Security Act
by Kip Sullivan

Friday's New York Times carried a front-page story about an Alabama
sheriff who got rich at the expense of prisoners he was responsible for.
This story should be instructive to all those who advocate paying doctors
by a method known as "capitation." The Minnesota Health Security Act, a
bill advocated by Take Action Minnesota, the Children's Defense Fund, and
six other groups, calls for paying doctors who treat Minnesota children by
capitation.

According to the Times, Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett made $212,000
over a three-year period by denying food to Morgan County Jail inmates.
Alabama gives county sheriffs $1.75 a day per inmate to pay for food.
According to an old Alabama law, sheriffs are allowed to keep whatever
portion of the $1.75 they don't spend. The Times (and the next day CNN)
reported that inmates were always hungry (Adam Nossiter, "As his inmates
grew thinner, a sheriff's wallet grew fatter," January 9, 2009, A1).

If the sheriff were a doctor, his method of payment would be called
capitation. "Capitation" is the name given to a fee paid per time period
(usually a year) per patient. Just as the payment Sheriff Bartlett got was
always $1.75 per inmate per day regardless of how much food the inmate
needed, so capitation payments to doctors don't change just because the
patient in question gets sick and needs lots of medical attention. Just as
Sheriff Bartlett got to keep whatever he didn't spend on the inmates, so
capitated doctors get to keep whatever they don't spend on patients.

I don't believe every sheriff would cave into the capitation incentive the
way Bartlett did, and I don't believe every doctor would cave into
capitation and harm patients. But we know some human beings in all walks
of life will cave to incentives like those created by capitation. We know,
in other words, that some patients will be harmed by capitation.

The Minnesota Health Security Act (MHSA), which was announced at a press
conference at the Capitol by the "Make Health Happen" coalition on January
8, calls for insuring all kids by July 2010 and paying their doctors by
capitation. The cover-all-kids program would be run by the Department of
Human Services (DHS), the agency which now administers Minnesota's big
health insurance programs (MinnesotaCare, Medical Assistance, and General
Assistance Medical Care). The MHSA says all "eligible entities" who
contract with DHS to treat children under the new law must accept
capitation. Here is the actual language from Section 9, subd. 2 of the
bill: "Eligible entities under contract: ... shall accept prospective, per
capita payment from the commissioner [of DHS] in return for the provision
of comprehensive and coordinated health care services for enrollees...."
The phrase "prospective, per capita payment" is synonymous with
"capitation." (The MHSA is not yet available on the Legislature's Web
site. The copy I am relying on was sent to me by a legislator.)

The MHSA doesn't define "eligible entities," but it's clear from the
context that "entities" refers to the HMOs or clinics that persuade DHS to
contract with them to serve the kids insured by the new program. The MHSA,
then, is going to require that doctors work under the same incentives
Sheriff Bartlett works under. DHS will figure out a set fee per child per
year to pay doctors, and doctors will be free to pocket any portion of
this payment they don't spend on medical care for children.

As I have indicated in previous posts about the MHSA, the MHSA gives DHS
the discretion to choose whether to contract with (and make payments
directly to) doctors, clinics and hospitals, or to contract only with
HMOs.  Odds are very high that DHS will contract almost exclusively with
HMOs. I have also reported that even if DHS wanted to contract with
doctors and hospitals directly, it's unlikely most doctors and many small
hospitals could afford to buy the electronic medical records hardware and
software they'll need to comply with the information requirements imposed
on doctors and hospitals by the MHSA. But, if by some remote chance DHS
did want to contract with a few docs and hospitals directly, and if by
some chance these doctors and hospitals could afford to meet the
information requirements in the MHSA, they would face one last unpleasant
choice: Do they want to be paid like Sheriff Bartlett?

If their patients have any say about capitation, I'm sure they'd say, "No
way." Not only does capitation expose patients to rationing they might not
even be aware of, it forces them to designate one clinic as the only
clinic they'll go to for an entire year. In other words, for capitation to
work, patients have to accept restrictions on which doctor they'll see.

It is conceivable that the people who wrote the MHSA mistakenly used
sloppy language and didn't intend to expose individual doctors or small
clinics, and their patients, to the risks of capitation. It is possible
they intended capitation to be used only with HMOs, which typically have
tens or hundreds of thousands of enrollees, and multi-site clinics that
see tens of thousands of patients. Capitation, when it is applied to very
large groups, can work.  Capitated payments to very large groups are
identical to premiums.

But we have good reason to think the "prospective, per capita payment"
language in the MHSA is not a mistake, and that the authors of the MHSA,
Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) and Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick),
intended to require DHS to capitate even individual doctors and small
clinics and hospitals. The health care "reform" bill introduced by DFL
leaders in the 2008 session of the Legislature (SF 3099/HF 3391) contained
provisions that would have imposed stringent capitation requirements on
all Minnesota doctors and hospitals. These requirements were grandly
referred to by proponents of the bill as "level 3 payment reform."
Moreover, several members of the Take Action coalition, including Take
Action, SEIU, AFSCME 5, and the Minnesota Nurses Association, lobbied for
SF 3099/HF 3391. They had some dubious company. Governor Pawlenty, General
Mills, the Chamber of Commerce, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, and
HealthPartners also supported "level 3 payment reform." Thanks to
resistance in both houses of the Legislature by small rural hospitals and
doctors from all over the state, as well as legislators affiliated with
the single-payer caucus (the Minnesota Health Reform Caucus), "level 3
reform" was defeated.

Given this history, and given who is supporting the MHSA, it is reasonable
to conclude that the capitation provision in the MHSA is not a mistake, it
is intended to apply to all doctors, and it is a vehicle for enacting
"level 3 payment reform" under a new label -- "prospective, per capita
payment."

I should note that the MHSA says DHS will adjust capitation payments to
"eligible entities" (prior to the year in question) to reflect differences
in the medical needs of the patients who get locked in with a particular
"entity" for a year. This process is called "risk adjustment." In theory
risk adjustment determines in advance the health status of patients who
will visit a particular clinic, or who will enroll with a particular
insurance company. In theory, it guarantees that doctors, for example, who
treat sicker patients get bigger payments per patient per year, and,
conversely, that doctors who treat healthier patients get lower payments.
Unfortunately, the science of risk adjustment is in a very primitive state
and has been for decades. The best risk-adjustment methods now predict
somewhere between ten and 15 percent of the variation in expenditures on
patients. This means, for example, that a clinic might incur expenses 100
percent above the average but receive payments that exceed the average by
only ten to 15 percent.  This is obviously way too low to remove from
doctors the incentive to respond the way Sheriff Bartlett did -- by
rationing. Risk-adjustment will never get much more accurate than it is
now.

If you aren't convinced at this point that capitation is a bad idea, let
me try one last argument. Richard Nixon and John Ehrlichman were big
proponents of capititation. We know this thanks to research done by
Michael Moore's staff in the course of producing the movie "Sicko."
Moore's staff discovered a discussion between Nixon and Ehrlichman
recorded on the Watergate tapes. It's 1971. Ehrlichman is talking to Nixon
about the pros and cons of endorsing a new-fangled insurance company
called the "health maintenance organization" modeled on an HMO called
Kaiser Permanente headquartered in California (Kaiser Permanente is the
largest HMO in America today). One of the primary characteristics of the
Kaiser Permanente HMO model under disscussion back in 1971 (and still to
some degree today) was capitation payments to doctors. Here is how
Ehrlichman made the case for capitation to Nixon:

Ehrlichman: "Edgar Kaiser is running his Permanente deal for profit.
[Strictly speaking, Kaiser Permanente has never been for-profit, but it
doesn't matter. Non-profit HMOs operate under the same incentives as
for-profit insurance companies.] And the reason that he can ... do it... I
had Edgar Kaiser come in ... talk to me about this and I went into it in
some depth. All the incentives are toward less medical care, because ...
the less care they give them the more money they make."
    Nixon: "Fine."
    Ehrlichman: "... and the incentives run the right way."
    Nixon: "Not bad."


--------14 of 17--------

Hey gays! Donate Campbell's soup and piss of the religious right!
by Andy Birkey

Campbell's soup is advertising in the Advocate, a LGBT publication, and
the American Family Association is unhappy. One ad features a lesbian
couple cooking with their kid and in another some gay chefs. Campbell's
pretty much told the American Family Association that they will advertise
to the LGBT community if they want to regardless of what AFA has to say
about "homosexuals."

Some folks have suggested that the LGBT community buy up Campbell's if
they are looking to donate to food shelves this winter. And it sounds like
a great idea.

[Campbell's Hunky Soup? -ed]


--------15 of 17--------

Holocaust Denied
The Lying Silence of Those Who Know
by John Pilger
January 8th, 2009
Dissident Voice

"When the truth is replaced by silence," the Soviet dissident Yevgeny
Yevtushenko said, "the silence is a lie". It may appear the silence is
broken on Gaza. The cocoons of murdered children, wrapped in green,
together with boxes containing their dismembered parents and the cries of
grief and rage of everyone in that death camp by the sea, can be viewed on
al-Jazeera and YouTube, even glimpsed on the BBC. But Russia's
incorrigible poet was not referring to the ephemeral we call news; he was
asking why those who knew the why never spoke it and so denied it. Among
the Anglo-American intelligentsia, this is especially striking. It is they
who hold the keys to the great storehouses of knowledge: the
historiographies and archives that lead us to the why.

They know that the horror now raining on Gaza has little to do with Hamas
or, absurdly, "Israel;s right to exist". They know the opposite to be
true: that Palestine's right to exist was canceled 61 years ago and the
expulsion and, if necessary, extinction of the indigenous people was
planned and executed by the founders of Israel. They know, for example,
that the infamous "Plan D" resulted in the murderous de-population of 369
Palestinian towns and villages by the Haganah (Jewish army) and that
massacre upon massacre of Palestinian civilians in such places as Deir
Yassin, al-Dawayima, Eilaboun, Jish, Ramle and Lydda are referred to in
official records as "ethnic cleansing". Arriving at a scene of this
carnage, David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, was asked by a
general, Yigal Allon, "What shall we do with the Arabs?" Ben-Gurion,
reported the Israeli historian Benny Morris, "made a dismissive, energetic
gesture with his hand and said, 'Expel them'". The order to expel an
entire population "without attention to age" was signed by Yitzhak Rabin,
a future prime minister promoted by the world's most efficient propaganda
as a peacemaker. The terrible irony of this was addressed only in passing,
such as when the Mapan Party co-leader Meir Ya'ari noted "how easily"
Israel's leaders spoke of how it was "possible and permissible to take
women, children and old men and to fill the roads with them because such
is the imperative of strategy - who remembers who used this means against
our people during the [Second World] war - we are appalled".

Every subsequent "war" Israel has waged has had the same objective: the
expulsion of the native people and the theft of more and more land. The
lie of David and Goliath, of perennial victim, reached its apogee in 1967
when the propaganda became a righteous fury that claimed the Arab states
had struck first. Since then, mostly Jewish truth-tellers such as Avi
Schlaim, Noam Chomsky, the late Tanya Reinhart, Neve Gordon, Tom Segev,
Yuri Avneri, Ilan Pappe and Norman Finkelstein have dispatched this and
other myths and revealed a state shorn of the humane traditions of
Judaism, whose unrelenting militarism is the sum of an expansionist,
lawless and racist ideology called Zionism. "It seems," wrote the Israeli
historian Ilan Pappe on 2 January, "that even the most horrendous crimes,
such as the genocide in Gaza, are treated as desperate events, unconnected
to anything that happened in the past and not associated with any ideology
or system. Very much as the apartheid ideology explained the oppressive
policies of the South African government, this ideology - in its most
consensual and simplistic variety - has allowed all the Israeli
governments in the past and the present to dehumanize the Palestinians
wherever they are and strive to destroy them. The means altered from
period to period, from location to location, as did the narrative covering
up these atrocities. But there is a clear pattern [of genocide]".

In Gaza, the enforced starvation and denial of humanitarian aid, the
piracy of life-giving resources such as fuel and water, the denial of
medicines and treatment, the systematic destruction of infrastructure and
the killing and maiming of the civilian population, 50 percent of whom are
children, meet the international standard of the Genocide Convention. "Is
it an irresponsible overstatement," asked Richard Falk, the United Nations
Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
and international law authority at Princeton University, "to associate the
treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective
atrocity? I think not".

In describing a "holocaust-in-the making", Falk was alluding to the Nazis'
establishment of Jewish ghettos in Poland. For one month in 1943, the
captive Polish Jews led by Mordechaj Anielewiz fought off the German army
and the SS, but their resistance was finally crushed and the Nazis exacted
their final revenge. Falk is also a Jew. Today's holocaust-in-the-making,
which began with Ben-Gurion's Plan D, is in its final stages. The
difference today is that it is a joint US-Israeli project. The F-16 jet
fighters, the 250-pound "smart" GBU-39 bombs supplied on the eve of the
attack on Gaza, having been approved by a Congress dominated by the
Democratic Party, plus the annual $2.4 billion in war-making "aid", give
Washington de facto control. It beggars belief that President-elect Obama
was not informed. Outspoken on Russia's war in Georgia and the terrorism
in Mumbai, Obama's silence on Palestine marks his approval, which is to be
expected, given his obsequiousness to the Tel Aviv regime and its
lobbyists during the presidential campaign and his appointment of Zionists
as his secretary of state, chief of staff and principal Middle East
advisers. When Aretha Franklin sings "Think", her wonderful 1960s anthem
to freedom, at Obama's inauguration on 21 January, I trust someone with
the brave heart of Muntadar al-Zaidi, the shoe-thrower, will shout:
"Gaza!"

The asymmetry of conquest and terror is clear. Plan D is now "Operation
Cast Lead", which is the unfinished "Operation Justified Vengeance". The
latter was launched by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001 when, with
Bush's approval, he used F-16s against Palestinian towns and villages for
the first time. In the same year, the authoritative Jane's Foreign Report
disclosed that the Blair government had given Israel the "green light" to
attack the West Bank after it was shown Israel's secret designs for a
bloodbath. It was typical of New Labour Party's enduring, cringing
complicity in Palestine's agony. However, the 2001 Israeli plan, reported
Jane's, needed the "trigger" of a suicide bombing which would cause
"numerous deaths and injuries [because] the 'revenge' factor is crucial".
This would "motivate Israeli soldiers to demolish the Palestinians". What
alarmed Sharon and the author of the plan, General Shaul Mofaz, the
Israeli Chief of Staff, was a secret agreement between Yasser Arafat and
Hamas to ban suicide attacks. On 23 November, 2001, Israeli agents
assassinated the Hamas leader, Mahmud Abu Hunud, and got their "trigger";
the suicide attacks resumed in response to his killing.

Something uncannily similar happened on 5 November last, when Israeli
special forces attacked Gaza, killing six people. Once again, they got
their propaganda "trigger". A ceasefire initiated and sustained by the
Hamas government - which had imprisoned its violators - was shattered by
the Israeli attack and home-made rockets were fired into what used to be
Palestine before its Arab occupants were "cleansed". The On 23 December,
Hamas offered to renew the ceasefire, but Israel's charade was such that
its all-out assault on Gaza had been planned six months earlier, according
to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

Behind this sordid game is the "Dagan Plan", named after General Meir
Dagan, who served with Sharon in his bloody invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
Now head of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization, Dagan is the
author of a "solution" that has seen the imprisonment of Palestinians
behind a ghetto wall snaking across the West Bank and in Gaza, effectively
a concentration camp. The establishment of a quisling government in
Ramallah under Mohammed Abbas is Dagan's achievement, together with a
hasbara (propaganda) campaign relayed through a mostly supine, if
intimidated Western media, notably in America, that says Hamas is a
terrorist organization devoted to Israel's destruction and to "blame" for
the massacres and siege of its own people over two generations, long
before its creation. "We have never had it so good," said the Israeli
Foreign Ministry spokesman Gideon Meir in 2006. "The hasbara effort is a
well-oiled machine". In fact, Hamas's real threat is its example as the
Arab world's only democratically elected government, drawing its
popularity from its resistance to the Palestinians' oppressor and
tormentor. This was demonstrated when Hamas foiled a CIA coup in 2007, an
event ordained in the western media as "Hamas's seizure of power".
Likewise, Hamas is never described as a government, let alone democratic.
Neither is its proposal of a ten-year truce as a historic recognition of
the "reality" of Israel and support for a two-state solution with just one
condition: that the Israelis obey international law and end their illegal
occupation beyond the 1967 borders. As every annual vote in the UN General
Assembly demonstrates, 99 per cent of humanity concurs. On 4 January, the
president of the General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto, described the Israeli
attack on Gaza as a "monstrosity".

When the monstrosity is done and the people of Gaza are even more
stricken, the Dagan Plan foresees what Sharon called a "1948-style
solution" - the destruction of all Palestinian leadership and authority
followed by mass expulsions into smaller and smaller "cantonments" and
perhaps finally into Jordan. This demolition of institutional and
educational life in Gaza is designed to produce, wrote Karma Nabulsi, a
Palestinian exile in Britain, "a Hobbesian vision of an anarchic society:
truncated, violent, powerless, destroyed, cowed... Look to the Iraq of
today: that is what [Sharon] had in store for us, and he has nearly
achieved it".

Dr. Dahlia Wasfi is an American writer on Palestine. She has a Jewish
mother and an Iraqi Muslim father. "Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic," she
wrote on 31 December. "But I'm not talking about World War Two, Mahmoud
Ahmedinijad (the president of Iran) or Ashkenazi Jews. What I'm referring
to is the holocaust we are all witnessing and responsible for in Gaza
today and in Palestine over the past 60 years. Since Arabs are Semites,
US-Israeli policy doesn't get more anti-Semitic than this". She quoted
Rachel Corrie, the young American who went to Palestine to defend
Palestinians and was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer. "I am in the midst
of a genocide," wrote Corrie, "which I am also indirectly supporting and
for which my government is largely responsible".

Reading the words of both, I am struck by the use of "responsibility".
Breaking the lie of silence is not an esoteric abstraction but an urgent
responsibility that falls to those with the privilege of a platform. With
the BBC cowed, so too is much of journalism, merely allowing vigorous
debate within unmovable invisible boundaries, ever fearful of the smear of
anti-Semitism. The unreported news, meanwhile, is that the death toll in
Gaza is the equivalent of 18,000 dead in Britain. Imagine, if you can.

Then there are the academics, the deans and teachers and researchers. Why
are they silent as they watch a university bombed and hear the Association
of University Teachers in Gaza plea for help? Are British universities
now, as Terry Eagleton believes, no more than "intellectual Tescos,
churning out a commodity known as graduates rather than greengroceries"?

Then there are the writers. In the dark year of 1939, the Third Writers'
Congress was held at Carnegie Hall in New York and the likes of Thomas
Mann and Albert Einstein sent messages and spoke up to ensure the lie of
silence was broken. By one account, 3,500 jammed the auditorium and a
thousand were turned away. Today, this mighty voice of realism and
morality is said to be obsolete; the literary review pages affect an
ironic hauteur of irrelevance; false symbolism is all. As for the readers,
their moral and political imagination is to be pacified, not primed. The
anti-Muslim Martin Amis expressed this well in Visiting Mrs. Nabokov: "The
dominance of the self is not a flaw, it is an evolutionary characteristic;
it is just how things are".

If that is how things are, we are diminished as a civilized society. For
what happens in Gaza is the defining moment of our time, which either
grants the impunity of war criminals the immunity of our silence, while we
contort our own intellect and morality, or gives us the power to speak
out. For the moment I prefer my own memory of Gaza: of the people's
courage and resistance and their "luminous humanity", as Karma Nabulsi put
it. On my last trip there, I was rewarded with a spectacle of Palestinian
flags fluttering in unlikely places. It was dusk and children had done
this. No one told them to do it. They made flagpoles out of sticks tied
together, and a few of them climbed on to a wall and held the flag between
them, some silently, others crying out. They do this every day when they
know foreigners are leaving, believing the world will not forget them.

John Pilger is an internationally renowned investigative journalist and
documentary filmmaker. His latest film is The War on Democracy. His most
recent book is Freedom Next Time (Bantam/Random House, 2006).


--------16 of 17--------

Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction
By Naomi Klein
January 09, 2009
The Nation
ZNet

It's time. Long past time. The best strategy to end the increasingly
bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global
movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa.

In July 2005 a huge coalition of Palestinian groups laid out plans to do
just that. They called on "people of conscience all over the world to
impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel
similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era." The
campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions--BDS for short--was born.
Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause,
and talk of cease-fires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is
even emerging among Israeli Jews. In the midst of the assault roughly 500
Israelis, dozens of them well-known artists and scholars, sent a letter to
foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. It calls for "the adoption of
immediate restrictive measures and sanctions" and draws a clear parallel
with the antiapartheid struggle. "The boycott on South Africa was
effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves.... This international
backing must stop."

Yet many still can't go there. The reasons are complex, emotional and
understandable. And they simply aren't good enough. Economic sanctions are
the most effective tools in the nonviolent arsenal. Surrendering them
verges on active complicity. Here are the top four objections to the BDS
strategy, followed by counterarguments.

1. Punitive measures will alienate rather than persuade Israelis. The
world has tried what used to be called "constructive engagement." It has
failed utterly. Since 2006 Israel has been steadily escalating its
criminality: expanding settlements, launching an outrageous war against
Lebanon and imposing collective punishment on Gaza through the brutal
blockade. Despite this escalation, Israel has not faced punitive
measures--quite the opposite. The weapons and $3 billion in annual aid
that the US sends to Israel is only the beginning. Throughout this key
period, Israel has enjoyed a dramatic improvement in its diplomatic,
cultural and trade relations with a variety of other allies. For instance,
in 2007 Israel became the first non-Latin American country to sign a
free-trade deal with Mercosur. In the first nine months of 2008, Israeli
exports to Canada went up 45 percent. A new trade deal with the European
Union is set to double Israel's exports of processed food. And on December
8, European ministers "upgraded" the EU-Israel Association Agreement, a
reward long sought by Jerusalem.

It is in this context that Israeli leaders started their latest war:
confident they would face no meaningful costs. It is remarkable that over
seven days of wartime trading, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's flagship
index actually went up 10.7 percent. When carrots don't work, sticks are
needed.

2. Israel is not South Africa. Of course it isn't. The relevance of the
South African model is that it proves that BDS tactics can be effective
when weaker measures (protests, petitions, back-room lobbying) have
failed. And there are indeed deeply distressing echoes: the color-coded
IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the
settler-only roads. Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician,
said that the architecture of segregation that he saw in the West Bank and
Gaza in 2007 was "infinitely worse than apartheid."

3. Why single out Israel when the United States, Britain and other Western
countries do the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan? Boycott is not a
dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against
Israel is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could
actually work.

4. Boycotts sever communication; we need more dialogue, not less. This one
I'll answer with a personal story. For eight years, my books have been
published in Israel by a commercial house called Babel. But when I
published The Shock Doctrine, I wanted to respect the boycott. On the
advice of BDS activists, I contacted a small publisher called Andalus.
Andalus is an activist press, deeply involved in the anti-occupation
movement and the only Israeli publisher devoted exclusively to translating
Arabic writing into Hebrew. We drafted a contract that guarantees that all
proceeds go to Andalus's work, and none to me. In other words, I am
boycotting the Israeli economy but not Israelis.

Coming up with this plan required dozens of phone calls, e-mails and
instant messages, stretching from Tel Aviv to Ramallah to Paris to Toronto
to Gaza City. My point is this: as soon as you start implementing a
boycott strategy, dialogue increases dramatically. And why wouldn't it?
Building a movement requires endless communicating, as many in the
antiapartheid struggle well recall. The argument that supporting boycotts
will cut us off from one another is particularly specious given the array
of cheap information technologies at our fingertips. We are drowning in
ways to rant at one another across national boundaries. No boycott can
stop us.

Just about now, many a proud Zionist is gearing up for major
point-scoring: don't I know that many of those very high-tech toys come
from Israeli research parks, world leaders in infotech? True enough, but
not all of them. Several days into Israel's Gaza assault, Richard Ramsey,
the managing director of a British telecom company, sent an e-mail to the
Israeli tech firm MobileMax. "As a result of the Israeli government action
in the last few days we will no longer be in a position to consider doing
business with yourself or any other Israeli company."

When contacted by The Nation, Ramsey said his decision wasn't political.
"We can't afford to lose any of our clients, so it was purely commercially
defensive."

It was this kind of cold business calculation that led many companies to
pull out of South Africa two decades ago. And it's precisely the kind of
calculation that is our most realistic hope of bringing justice, so long
denied, to Palestine.


--------17 of 17--------

Stop American Aid to Israel: Crack the Mainstream Crooks
by Matt Reichel
January 10th, 2009
Dissident Voice

Since I announced my election bid in Illinois's 5th Congressional
District, former home of Rahmbo Emanuel, I have heard every brand of
"you're insane" imaginable, often from my closest friends and confidants.
People are curious as to why an "un-experienced" peace activist/ French
teacher would find himself qualified to serve in the United States House
of Representatives.

The first and most cogent response is: We'd be better off with a 435-long
pack of hounds than what we currently have. I am insulted that anyone
would dare compare my moral fabric to the corrupt lawyers and businessmen
who pretend to represent us in Washington. To even reduce my credentials
to the point of uttering my name in the same breathe as these foul and
disingenuous people is demeaning and unsettling.

The "Other America" has been rapidly gravitating to my campaign: everyone
from Progressives to Paleos knows that it's not worth a second of their
time to consider the usual establishment crooks. When I challenged the
other candidates to rise to a level of moral decency by refusing checks
from corporate interests, they all sloughed me off as crazy. Luckily, from
an early age, my dear parents prepared me for the plight faced by
functioning minds in the United States, so I am quite used to being
considered crazy for my rational pursuits. I thought I would at least
convince one of the other minor candidates, or someone posturing as a
progressive, to take up the cause. But, alas, it will be just Matt Reichel
refusing those corporate donors.

My next step is to make the other candidates, 19 and counting, commit to
cutting off aid to Israel.

Oops! Did I just say that? I should probably be sent off to the nearest
nut house and loaded full of big pharma drugs, sucked of all ambition, and
planted in front of a television. Maybe then, after a few months of visual
bombardment by Murdoch's pawns, I'll come around to understanding why the
American taxpayer need fund Israeli atrocities year in and year out.

Instead, I gave AIPAC their couple hours of lobby action a few weeks
before Christmas. I can imagine that it would be one hellish nightmare for
the organization to go from Rahm Emanuel to me, so I at least wanted them
to see that I am a real, breathing ambitious human being.

We met at a Starbucks downstairs from their office on LaSalle St in
Chicago, just upwind from the brooding Board of Trade. The place was
packed with important looking people, as we sat there leisurely chatting
about the recent history of Israeli murder and the military benefits
brought thus to the United States.

My rapidly moving eyeballs bounced back and forth between Vladimir's eyes
and his lapel pin (the one with the Israeli and American flags in union).
I pressed him on what he thought of the numerous UN resolutions condemning
Israel that have been singly stamped out by American vetoes. Firstly, he
explained, you have to understand that the United Nations General Assembly
is made up of people who are a small step above pirates on the
evolutionary latter. There is a reason that the Security Council exists,
he assured me, and it is to give a heightened voice to the respectful
people of the world.

I responded: "I can't believe you think so highly of Stalin!"

Vladimir continued (I paraphrase): "The other thing you have to remember
is that France would veto those stupid resolutions as well, but they
prefer to have the U.S. take the lead so as to not disturb their leverage
in the Arab world".

I couldn't come up with any quick witticism, because I had just heard one
of the most ridiculous assertions ever from someone sitting in a
Starbuck's next to a bunch of important looking people.

We then stopped shootin' the bull and started moving on to business.
Actually, I would have been content to continue chewin' the ol' rag all
day, but AIPAC came to accomplish something. And that something,
accompanied by an attractive glossy brochure, was convincing me of all of
the benefits that come to Americans as a result of our investment in
Israel.

One example is the Bradley Reactive Armor Tile, currently being used by
American tanks in Iraq. Unsurprisingly, Israel is at the forefront of the
development of military hardware, and, thanks to their experience in
bulldozing through civilian neighborhoods in the occupied territories,
they have made it safer for American troops doing the same in Iraq.

They are also particularly skilled in the domain of security and law
enforcement, a fetish they hold in common with the United States.
Increasingly since 9/11, various state, federal and municipal law
enforcement bodies have regularly visited Israel to gain priceless
tutelage on how to manage an Apartheid state. Among other things, this
training has focused on "urban combat," which has paid enormous dividends
in our efforts to target civilians in our convoluted Empire building in
Iraq.

American aid to Israel is an investment that just keeps paying off. Since
they don't accept any of that wasteful, socialistic humanitarian aid, and
instead take only military handouts, the money comes boomeranging back to
Americans in the form of contracts for our wonderful merchants of death
i.e. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Meanwhile, voting against aid to Israel is made purposely difficult by our
friends in Washington. The Congress stuffs this figure into the larger
foreign aid bill, so that you have to vote against real humanitarian aid
in order to vote against military support to Israel. Even if you were a
man or woman of principle on Capital Hill, the crooked lawyers and bankers
who run the Big House would never make life simple on you.

However, they prefer to not let you get there at all by rigging the
electoral charade. The easiest and most time tested way to get elected is
to convince all of your investment banker friends to shoot you a quick 2
g-notes, while your boys involved in the big media swindle trumpet your
run as something monumental.

So say you don't have any wealthy and powerful friends? Your interest is
running a campaign rooted in principles of peace, internationalism and
workers' rights. You seek to re-frame the nation's understanding of the
American dream by re-focusing our cultural energies on communing with the
world, re-committing ourselves to a liberal arts based education so as to
re-invigorate the national discourse, while urging the citizenry to
respect and live foreign cultures and languages. In this case, your only
option is to challenge the other candidates on their moral credentials
until they crack.

Despite living in an era where our political system is in shambles due
mostly to the disastrous effects of corporate lobbies, none of the other
candidates in Illinois's 5th district are interested in raising the moral
bar. Absolutely none of them expressed any readiness to pledge with me
against the acceptance of corporate donations.

And despite living through another humanitarian crisis brought on by an
over-zealous outpost to the American empire, I'm sure that I will be the
only candidate in this race ready to rise to the challenge of ending these
crimes being committed in our names with our tax dollar.

Anyone in the Congress with a moral backbone should be pledging to
immediately cease American aid to Israel. Likewise, anyone running for
federal office at this hour should do the same. You can call me insane all
you want, but I call myself the only man running in this primary that is
willing to question Israel and corporate financed elections.

With a little luck and a lot of public pressure, we can get the mainstream
crooks to crack.

Matt Reichel is running for Congress in Illinois' 5th District. His
website is www.mattreichel.us and he can be reached at:
mereichel [at] gmail.com.


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