|Progressive Calendar 01.27.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 11:43:38 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.27.09 1. Police brutality 1.27 5pm 2. Kip Sullivan/health 1.27 6pm 3. RNC court watch 1.27 6pm 4. HIRE Minnesota 1.27 6:30pm 5. Salon/discussion 1.27 6:30pm 6. Palestine/Obama 1.27 7pm Northfield MN 7. Gitmo/Obama/PBS 1.27 9pm 8. GLBT state policy 1.28 11am 9. Dave Bicking - Announces candidacy for Mpls ward 9 city council seat 10. CUAPB - Victory! 11. Mary Turck - Only 2.5 parking spaces per block: LRT University Av 12. T Hartmann - How the GOP has conned America for thirty years 13. Allan Nairn - Obama's new rules: the torture ban doesn't ban torture 14. D Tripathi - "It's About Humanity": the BBC's day of shame 15. ed - Lover's Lane LRT (poem) --------1 of 15-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Police brutality 1.27 5pm Sensible 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, 1/27, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 1/28, 10am Police Brutality: from the RNC to Everyday Life Guest Michelle Gross, President of the MN-based Communities United Against Police Brutality shares the word from the streets and neighborhoods of the Twin Cities. From cop behavior in St. Paul during the RNC and the increase in cop usage of new "less lethal" weapons to hate crimes being carried out by police relating to the election of President Barack Obama, Ms. Gross lays out reason for us to keep a closer eye on police behavior. Hosted by Karen Redleaf. Stream it: www.ourworldindepth.org --------2 of 15-------- From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at] usinternet.com> Subject: Kip Sullivan/health 1.27 6pm EDINA DEMOCRATS PRESENT HEALTH CARE REFORM, FOR THE PEOPLE? Framing the Health Care Debate Are we in favor of achieving Universal Health Care by giving tax dollars to the insurance industry to expand coverage OR do we support an approach that would expand coverage while reducing health care costs, such as a Single Payer System? Tuesday, January 27th, from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. Edina Grandview Public Library, 5280 Grandview Square Mr. Kip Sullivan Health Systems Analyst for the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition, Steering Committee Member of the Physicians for a National Health Program (MN) Mr. Sullivan will discuss the American health care reform debate from the perspective of a single-payer advocate. There is almost universal public agreement, that all Americans need to be insured and that current health care costs need to be reduced. More importantly, there is also general agreement that all Americans cannot be insured unless health costs are cut. Thus, the most fundamental issue in the debate is how to cut costs without harming patients. On that question, three schools of thought have dominated the debate for the last 40 years: single-payer, managed care, and very high-deductible policies. Kip Sullivan will explain these three approaches and examine the legislation being discussed by the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, and by DFL legislators in the Minnesota legislature and Tim Pawlenty. He will argue that the major issue among Democrats at both the federal and state level then is, whether to attempt to achieve universal health insurance with a single-payer system, or to put off supporting a single-payer system indefinitely in favor of expanding coverage by giving tax dollars to the insurance industry. NEW: All forums will be listed on BarackObama.com and on sd41democrats.org Please RSVP (not required for attendance) at: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/search_simple 1. Enter your zip code 2. 5 mile radius. 3. Click on RSVP and provide your email address for a 48hr. advance reminder. You are invited to bring a small appetizer / dessert to share. Questions? Call Usha at 952 926 0955. Future meetings: February 24, 2009 (topic / speaker to be announced) and March 18, 2009 with Professor David Schultz - CHANGE IN 60 DAYS - BARACK OBAMA STYLE - Old Faces In New Places This event kicks off the 2009 Series of the EDINA DEMOCRATS Kitchen Table Conversations (DFL LINKS), which is generally held on the 4th Tuesday of each month and is free and open to the public. Your hosts are DFL volunteers, who arrange to bring top experts to our community to speak on important local, state and national issues. We invite experts from think tanks, issue organizations and universities, officials from school boards and the Edina City Council, legislators and leaders, to speak at the forums. People of all political persuasion are welcome to attend. Kip Sullivan was an organizer and researcher for Minnesota COACT (Citizens Organized Acting Together) from 1980 to 2000. From 1986 until 2000, Mr. Sullivan's work focused on COACT's campaign for universal health insurance. He was one of two consumer representatives on the Governor's Health Plan Regulatory Reform Commission in 1988. Between 2000 and 2006, he continued to work for universal health insurance as the health systems analyst for the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition (MUHCC). MUHCC consists of 14 organizations, including the League of Women Voters, the Minnesota Farmers Union, Physicians for a National Health Program, the Minnesota Nurses Association, and the National Association of Social Workers. He speaks frequently on behalf of MUHCC. Since 2007 he has served as the health systems analyst for the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition, and has sat on the steering committee of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. Mr. Sullivan has written over 100 articles on health policy, many of which appeared in national newspapers, magazines and journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, the New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times, and the Washington Monthly. He is the author of The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and How We'll Get Out of It (AuthorHouse, 2006). He speaks frequently to the public. He has a BA from Pomona College and JD from Harvard Law School. --------3 of 15-------- From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at] gmail.com> Subject: RNC court watch 1.27 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! --------4 of 15-------- From: Maura Brown and Jennifer Jimenez-Wheatley <jennifer [at] metrostability.org> Subject: HIRE Minnesota 1.27 6:30pm Alliance for Metropolitan Stability January 14, 2008 How can you help grow the economy, protect the environment and ensure thousands of jobs for Minnesotans? HIRE Minnesota (Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Renewable Energy Town Hall Meeting Tuesday, January 27 6:30-8:00 pm Lao Family Community of Minnesota 320 W University Avenue, St. Paul The government is poised to make big decisions about how to stimulate our economy by investing in infrastructure and new technologies. And as America rebuilds our economy, green industries will be a major factor in creating jobs and refueling our economic growth. But who will make these decisions and who will benefit from investments? Come and learn about how to join HIRE Minnesota's efforts to ensure new investments result in healthy, sustainable communities. It makes sense! Investments in infrastructure should: * Jump start our economy * Create and preserve millions of jobs * Create sustainable income for low-income people and people of color * Reduce our oil dependency * Ease the climate crisis Come to offer your vision and learn about how you can help join the campaign for smart, green investments that create new jobs for our communities. Free food and musical entertainment! http://mail3.thedatabank.com:80/track?enid=ZW1haWxpZD1zaG92ZTAwMUB0Yy51bW4uZWR1JnVzZXJpZD0zNzE1NTMyMjUyNTcwMDgwMTczNDEzNjIyODkyJmV4dHJhPWV2ZW50MDImdHlwZT1jbGljayZtYWlsaW5naWQ9MzIyJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD0zNjIyOCZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPUMzMjJfTTM2MjI4X0IxJnNlcmlhbD0xMTc4NDc0 OTEwJiYmMjAwJiYmaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGhlZGF0YWJhbmsuY29tL2RwZy8zMjIvbXRnbGlzdHByb2MuYXNwP2Zvcm1pZD1ldmVudCZjYWxldmVudGlkPTE0Mjk2 RSVP online to let the Alliance know you're coming H.I.R.E. Minnesota is a coalition of community groups led by the Summit Academy OIC (SAOIC). Coalition members include: African American Men Project, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Asian American Press, Catholic Charities Office for Social Justice, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, Green Water Energy, Insight News, ISAIAH, LVY Investments, Minnesota Baptist Convention, Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium, Minnesota OIC State Council, Minority Business Television Netowrk, Sabathani Community Center, Stairstep, Will Steger Foundation, Women's Environmental Institute, elected officials, community members, and YOU. Maura Brown and Jennifer Jimenez-Wheatley Alliance for Metropolitan Stability 2525 E Franklin Avenue, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55406 --------5 of 15-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Salon/discussion 1.27 6:30pm This Tuesday, January 27, will be Open Discussion night. Bring your neighbor, bring a friend. We need to see new faces. 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. --------6 of 15-------- From: Bill McGrath <billmcgrath52 [at] gmail.com> Subject: Palestine/Obama 1.27 7pm Northfield MN "Are members of Obama's cabinet going to work for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine?" A slide-show, followed by discussion. 7 pm Tuesday, Jan. 27, Northfield Library, 210 Washington St., Northfield. Presented by Northfield resident Bill McGrath, BLT. Sponsored by Northfield People for Peace and Goodwill (PPG) More info: (507) 645-7660 --------7 of 15-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Gitmo/Obama/PBS 1.27 9pm FRONTLINE on PBS Tue. 9pm "Getting Out of Gitmo," is about one man's Kafkaesque journey through the legal black hole of the U.S. war on terror. Abu Bakker Qassim left home in rural China in 2000 to seek work in Turkey, telling his pregnant wife he'd be back in six months. Swept up in the CIA's dragnet after 9/11, Qassim ended up in Guantanamo. Seven years later, reporters Alexandra Poolos and Serene Fang tracked him down in Albania and through his story, they examine the challenges facing the Obama administration in shutting down Guantanamo. --------8 of 15-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: GLBT state policy 1.28 11am TRUTH TO TELL NOW 900 WATTS STRONG: FM 90.3/Minneapolis-106.7/St. Paul and STREAMING LIVE AT KFAI.org WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28 - 11:00AM GLBT STATE POLICY: What do Minnesota's Gays Want? Not an easy question to ask for this legislative session. Some advocates are pushing hard for a marriage bill and have a raft of stellar legislative co-sponsors in both houses in their corner, BUT, other groups are concerned about backlash and want to eliminate discriminatory statutes one-by-one. Just what do Minnesota's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender activists want - and will division in the ranks fragment or dilute support for any one legislative agenda? TRUTH TO TELL seeks to bring issues often confined to directly affected constituencies and their media outlets to a more general audience. This week, TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL & LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with a variety of GLBT organizations and advocates about this legislative session's agenda around human rights issues and their differing approaches to ensuring equal treatment and recognition of same-sex families in housing, employment, health care, financial and estate matters. GUESTS: LAURA SMIDZIK - Executive Director, PROJECT 515 JOHN TOWNSEND - Co-Host, KFAI's "FRESH FRUIT" and arts writer for Lavender Magazine. AMY JOHNSON, Executive Director, OUTFRONT MINNESOTA, GLBT Advocacy Group DAVID EDWARD STRAND - Co-founder, MARRIAGE EQUALITY MINNESOTA INVITED: YOU AND LEGISLATIVE SPONSORS WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ON THESE ISSUES? CALL AND TELL US OR ASK QUESTIONS: 612-341-0980 --------9 of 15-------- Dave Bicking Announces Candidacy for Mpls 9th Ward City Council Seat NEWS RELEASE For immediate release, January 26, 2009 With more than 60 people attending, Dave Bicking announced his candidacy in the Minneapolis 9th Ward City Council race at his Campaign Kickoff Fundraiser last Saturday, January 24. Bicking is a life-long progressive activist, and is well-known for his work on local issues. He is seeking the Green Party endorsement. Since the late 1960's, Bicking, 58, has been active in anti-war movements, in labor organizing, and in the struggles for economic, social, and racial justice. David Weisberg, an environmental health specialist, says, "I have known Dave Bicking for over three decades, during which time I have been impressed by his sense of ethics, his strong support for anti-racism and issues of social justice, and his deep understanding of environmental issues. He is the only politician I have ever trusted." Convinced by community members to mount a last minute City Council campaign in 2005, Bicking won over 30% of the vote in his first run for elected office despite a late start. "I entered that race at the last minute," Bicking says, "prompted by my experience fighting against a tax to subsidize the Twins stadium. I was appalled by the misplaced priorities and the blatant disregard for public opinion." After four more years of local activism and more intense attention paid to the workings of City Council, Bicking is even more convinced that we need more than just a new City Council member; we need a new way of governing. "We need to increase public control over government, to reverse the consolidation of power downtown. I opposed the changes to the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) which shifted influence from the neighborhoods to the city leadership. But the problem goes far deeper than that. A basic principle of my campaign is grassroots democracy, the principle that decisions should be made with the active participation and consent of those most affected. Many of the current 'public input' opportunities are held after the real decisions have been made. This frustrates and discourages any real community input." "A second basic principle of my campaign is that city government should be judged by how it treats the most vulnerable among us - the poor, the elderly, and the very young. It is unconscionable that people must sleep on the sidewalks next to towering symbols of great wealth. Food, housing, healthcare, and education are basic rights and must be our priorities." Bicking has been active in many of the issues central to his campaign. According to Papa John Kolstad, local musician and business owner, "I have worked with Dave and I have seen that he actually walks the walk, not just talks the talk." - Bicking was a leader in the fight against the Twins stadium sales tax at the county level and at the State Legislature, and is now working to oppose an even larger subsidy for a new Vikings stadium. He will continue to oppose subsidies for millionaires (and billionaires!) and fight powerful interests that would divert our taxes away from pressing human needs. "Any stimulus funds the city receives from the new Obama administration must be carefully spent on infrastructure that will create good permanent jobs and improve our lives well into the future, not on a few expensive boondoggles." - He currently serves on the board of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority, and volunteers with the Midtown Community Restorative Justice Program. He recognizes that reducing crime means emphasizing proven long-term methods such as youth programs, better jobs and better living conditions. He knows that public safety depends not simply on the number of police officers, but also on the quality and priorities of police service. "The police can do a better job of addressing our serious crime problems by consistently treating people with respect and earning their trust. We need an end to racial profiling. We need stronger civilian oversight and effective accountability for very serious ongoing problems of policing in our neighborhoods." - Bicking has worked for 17 years as a mechanic at his own auto repair shop in the 9th ward. He understands and supports the concerns of small businesses which create 90% of new jobs in Minnesota and keep more of our money in the local economy. - He helped defeat the Midtown Burner which would have added more pollution in an area already challenged by childhood asthma and other serious problems. He will continue to work for environmental justice and our children's health. He will listen to and work closely with neighborhood groups and residents. The campaign is off to a strong start. The enthusiastic crowd at last Saturday's party contributed over $1000, but the greatest strength of the campaign will be its volunteer base. Tom Cleland, steering committee member of the local Green Party states, "From the turnout at this fundraiser it is clear that Dave Bicking is a unifying figure." Contact the campaign: 612-276-1213 Website: www.davebicking.org Email: dave [at] davebicking.org --------10 of 15-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: CUAPB NEWS FLASH: Victory! Communities United Against Police Brutality EMAIL NEWS FLASH January 26, 2009 VICTORY! In an exciting courtroom victory today, charges leveled against CUAPB Vice President Darryl Robinson after he was beaten and arrested during copwatch were suddenly dropped by the prosecution in the middle of jury selection. We believe this was indicative of the weakness of the case, once the prosecution realized there were a number of witnesses who could collaborate Darryl's recollections of the incident. Darryl still faces one count of trespass for a previous copwatch incident and that case will go to trial on March 23rd but for now we are all relishing the wonderful victory today. Thanks go to Ted Dooley, attorney extraordinaire, and to the large number of wonderful folks who showed up for courtwatch today--including five members of the RNC 8. The judge really took notice when the entire courtroom stood up as Darryl's name was called. Courtwatch/court solidarity rocks! Please continue to support people going to court on RNC-related charges. For an ongoing court calendar of RNC cases, go to http://twincities.indymedia.org/ and look under the Upcoming Events column. -- "WALL 7" CHARGES DISMISSED! In what many consider the first test of the strength of RNC prosecutions, charges were dismissed on Friday, January 23rd against a group of seven people arrested at Wall and 6th Streets. The "Wall 7" were along a group of 30 people who were arrested on day 1 after they were hemmed in the area by marauding bands of riot cops and bicycle patrols. Each of the defendants faced four misdemeanor charges. The weakness of the case became apparent after three days of cop testimony in which prosecution witnesses tried to tie Wall 7 defendants with incidents in other intersections blocks away. Having enough of the farce, the judge declared that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution and tossed out all charges with no option for the prosecution to bring charges later. The case was also a showcase for the wisdom of court solidarity. Although the "Wall 7" are young people mostly from the northeast, they vowed not to take any deals and to return to court in St. Paul as many times as it took to clear their names. They were aided in this effort by travel funds and other assistance from Community RNC Arrestee Support Structure (CRASS), a group formed to address the arrests and other after-effects of the RNC. For more information on CRASS, go to www.rncaftermath.org Communities United Against Police Brutality 3100 16th Avenue S Minneapolis, MN 55407 Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867) Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South http://www.CUAPB.org --------11 of 15-------- Only 2.5 parking spaces per block: Central Corridor's impact on University Avenue By Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet January 26, 2009 Businesses along the Central Corridor.s University Avenue route overwhelmingly say that their voices have not been heard and that light rail will not help them, according to preliminary study results from the University Avenue Business Association (UABA) survey on construction mitigation. "Parking, parking, parking" wrote one business owner in response to the request to list top three issues for the next two years. "How my customers will park. Whether my sales will drop. Access to my business and parking lot" wrote another. The preliminary results were announced at a January 15 construction meeting, attended by University Avenue business owners, who heard from Senators Patricia Torres Ray and Ellen Anderson, Representatives Erin Murphy and Alice Hausman, St. Paul council members Russ Stark and Melvin Carter, Minneapolis council member Cam Gordon, and Ramsey County commissioners Toni Carter and Peter McLaughlin. Next UABA meeting: January 29 Preserving Parking on University Avenue Thursday, January 29th, 2009 7:30AM - 9:30AM, Coffee and light breakfast served Central Corridor Resource Center: 1080 University Avenue, SE corner of University and Lexington Pkwy Betty Charles, owner of the Shear Pleasure salon, has been in business on University Avenue for 30 years in business. After the meeting, she said her salon needs on-street parking - not a lot, but it needs to be there for her customers. The Central Corridor plan calls for an 83 percent reduction in on-street parking on University Avenue between 29th Street and Rice, leaving an average of only 2.5 parking spaces per block, according to analyses and maps prepared by U-Plan. At the meeting, UABA staff and officers repeatedly warned that the meeting was "not a referendum on light rail," which was seen as inevitably coming. Rather, the meeting was billed as an opportunity to hear from assembled public officials, all of whom expressed deep concern and empathy for the struggles of small businesses and a commitment to mitigating the negative impact that construction of the Central Corridor will have. What was missing was any concrete proposal or plan. A Met Council document sets out "parking management strategies" that focus heavily on limiting side-street parking to two hours and strengthening parking enforcement. State Representative Alice Hausman echoed the frustration that business owners expressed in the UABA survey: What you are experiencing is - entities that plan these projects often do not do well. When I look at the survey results, you feel remote from the Metropolitan Council. I think that, too, on all the problems we face, the biggest problem is getting the attention of anyone who can do anything about it. There is a sense in which governance has been a stumbling bloc - an appointed Met Council that seems remote. There will be discussion this year [in the legislature] about governance models that are more grounded in local officials that have to make it work. [Putting LRT on major 4-lane city roads is done with malice aforethought, as I see it. Small businesses are targeted; after they die, big boxes will take their customers and their land and put up big parking lots, forcing most local customers to them and their absentee-owner cash registers. A war on the city to make it just like the faceless big-box suburbs. More cars, more paved lots, more pollution. LRT can go along the freeway, or on old rail lines, or NOT EXIST. Arrogant advocates always say something they want is "inevitable", when the only way it is is if we buy their BS. Don't let them ram it down our throats. -ed] --------12 of 15-------- Two Santa Clauses or How The Republican Party Has Conned America for Thirty Years by Thom Hartmann Published on Monday, January 26, 2009 by CommonDreams.org http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/01/26-0 This weekend, House Republican leader John Boehner played out the role of Jude Wanniski on NBC's "Meet The Press." Odds are you've never heard of Jude, but without him Reagan never would have become a "successful" president, Republicans never would have taken control of the House or Senate, Bill Clinton never would have been impeached, and neither George Bush would have been president. When Barry Goldwater went down to ignominious defeat in 1964, most Republicans felt doomed (among them the then-28-year-old Wanniski). Goldwater himself, although uncomfortable with the rising religious right within his own party and the calls for more intrusion in people's bedrooms, was a diehard fan of Herbert Hoover's economic worldview. In Hoover's world (and virtually all the Republicans since reconstruction with the exception of Teddy Roosevelt), market fundamentalism was a virtual religion. Economists from Ludwig von Mises to Friedrich Hayek to Milton Friedman had preached that government could only make a mess of things economic, and the world of finance should be left to the Big Boys - the Masters of the Universe, as they sometimes called themselves - who ruled Wall Street and international finance. Hoover enthusiastically followed the advice of his Treasury Secretary, multimillionaire Andrew Mellon, who said in 1931: "Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down... enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people." Thus, the Republican mantra was: "Lower taxes, reduce the size of government, and balance the budget." The only problem with this ideology from the Hooverite perspective was that the Democrats always seemed like the bestowers of gifts, while the Republicans were seen by the American people as the stingy Scrooges, bent on making the lives of working people harder all the while making richer the very richest. This, Republican strategists since 1930 knew, was no way to win elections. Which was why the most successful Republican of the 20th century up to that time, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had been quite happy with a top income tax rate on millionaires of 91 percent. As he wrote to his brother Edgar Eisenhower in a personal letter on November 8, 1954: "[T]o attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything--even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon 'moderation' in government. "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt [you possibly know his background], a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." Goldwater, however, rejected the "liberalism" of Eisenhower, Rockefeller, and other "moderates" within his own party. Extremism in defense of liberty was no vice, he famously told the 1964 nominating convention, and moderation was no virtue. And it doomed him and his party. And so after Goldwater's defeat, the Republicans were again lost in the wilderness just as after Hoover's disastrous presidency. Even four years later when Richard Nixon beat LBJ in 1968, Nixon wasn't willing to embrace the economic conservatism of Goldwater and the economic true believers in the Republican Party. And Jerry Ford wasn't, in their opinions, much better. If Nixon and Ford believed in economic conservatism, they were afraid to practice it for fear of dooming their party to another forty years in the electoral wilderness. By 1974, Jude Wanniski had had enough. The Democrats got to play Santa Claus when they passed out Social Security and Unemployment checks - both programs of the New Deal - as well as when their "big government" projects like roads, bridges, and highways were built giving a healthy union paycheck to construction workers. They kept raising taxes on businesses and rich people to pay for things, which didn't seem to have much effect at all on working people (wages were steadily going up, in fact), and that made them seem like a party of Robin Hoods, taking from the rich to fund programs for the poor and the working class. Americans loved it. And every time Republicans railed against these programs, they lost elections. Everybody understood at the time that economies are driven by demand. People with good jobs have money in their pockets, and want to use it to buy things. The job of the business community is to either determine or drive that demand to their particular goods, and when they're successful at meeting the demand then factories get built, more people become employed to make more products, and those newly-employed people have a paycheck that further increases demand. Wanniski decided to turn the classical world of economics - which had operated on this simple demand-driven equation for seven thousand years - on its head. In 1974 he invented a new phrase - "supply side economics" - and suggested that the reason economies grew wasn't because people had money and wanted to buy things with it but, instead, because things were available for sale, thus tantalizing people to part with their money. The more things there were, the faster the economy would grow. At the same time, Arthur Laffer was taking that equation a step further. Not only was supply-side a rational concept, Laffer suggested, but as taxes went down, revenue to the government would go up! Neither concept made any sense - and time has proven both to be colossal idiocies - but together they offered the Republican Party a way out of the wilderness. Ronald Reagan was the first national Republican politician to suggest that he could cut taxes on rich people and businesses, that those tax cuts would cause them to take their surplus money and build factories or import large quantities of cheap stuff from low-labor countries, and that the more stuff there was supplying the economy the faster it would grow. George Herbert Walker Bush - like most Republicans of the time - was horrified. Ronald Reagan was suggesting "Voodoo Economics," said Bush in the primary campaign, and Wanniski's supply-side and Laffer's tax-cut theories would throw the nation into such deep debt that we'd ultimately crash into another Republican Great Depression. But Wanniski had been doing his homework on how to sell supply-side economics. In 1976, he rolled out to the hard-right insiders in the Republican Party his "Two Santa Clauses" theory, which would enable the Republicans to take power in America for the next thirty years. Democrats, he said, had been able to be "Santa Clauses" by giving people things from the largesse of the federal government. Republicans could do that, too - spending could actually increase. Plus, Republicans could be double Santa Clauses by cutting people's taxes! For working people it would only be a small token - a few hundred dollars a year on average - but would be heavily marketed. And for the rich it would amount to hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts. The rich, in turn, would use that money to import or build more stuff to market, thus increasing supply and stimulating the economy. And that growth in the economy would mean that the people still paying taxes would pay more because they were earning more. There was no way, Wanniski said, that the Democrats could ever win again. They'd have to be anti-Santas by raising taxes, or anti-Santas by cutting spending. Either one would lose them elections. When Reagan rolled out Supply Side Economics in the early 80s, dramatically cutting taxes while exploding (mostly military) spending, there was a moment when it seemed to Wanniski and Laffer that all was lost. The budget deficit exploded and the country fell into a deep recession - the worst since the Great Depression - and Republicans nationwide held their collective breath. But David Stockman came up with a great new theory about what was going on - they were "starving the beast" of government by running up such huge deficits that Democrats would never, ever in the future be able to talk again about national health care or improving Social Security - and this so pleased Alan Greenspan, the Fed Chairman, that he opened the spigots of the Fed, dropping interest rates and buying government bonds, producing a nice, healthy goose to the economy. Greenspan further counseled Reagan to dramatically increase taxes on people earning under $37,800 a year by increasing the Social Security (FICA/payroll) tax, and then let the government borrow those newfound hundreds of billions of dollars off-the-books to make the deficit look better than it was. Reagan, Greenspan, Winniski, and Laffer took the federal budget deficit from under a trillion dollars in 1980 to almost three trillion by 1988, and back then a dollar could buy far more than it buys today. They and George HW Bush ran up more debt in eight years than every president in history, from George Washington to Jimmy Carter, combined. Surely this would both starve the beast and force the Democrats to make the politically suicidal move of becoming deficit hawks. And that's just how it turned out. Bill Clinton, who had run on an FDR-like platform of a "new covenant" with the American people that would strengthen the institutions of the New Deal, strengthen labor, and institute a national health care system, found himself in a box. A few weeks before his inauguration, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin sat him down and told him the facts of life: he was going to have to raise taxes and cut the size of government. Clinton took their advice to heart, raised taxes, balanced the budget, and cut numerous programs, declaring an "end to welfare as we know it" and, in his second inaugural address, an "end to the era of big government." He was the anti-Santa Claus, and the result was an explosion of Republican wins across the country as Republican politicians campaigned on a platform of supply-side tax cuts and pork-rich spending increases. Looking at the wreckage of the Democratic Party all around Clinton by 1999, Winniski wrote a gloating memo that said, in part: "We of course should be indebted to Art Laffer for all time for his Curve... But as the primary political theoretician of the supply-side camp, I began arguing for the 'Two Santa Claus Theory' in 1974. If the Democrats are going to play Santa Claus by promoting more spending, the Republicans can never beat them by promoting less spending. They have to promise tax cuts..." Ed Crane, president of the Libertarian CATO Institute, noted in a memo that year: "When Jack Kemp, Newt Gingich, Vin Weber, Connie Mack and the rest discovered Jude Wanniski and Art Laffer, they thought they'd died and gone to heaven. In supply-side economics they found a philosophy that gave them a free pass out of the debate over the proper role of government. Just cut taxes and grow the economy: government will shrink as a percentage of GDP, even if you don't cut spending. That's why you rarely, if ever, heard Kemp or Gingrich call for spending cuts, much less the elimination of programs and departments." George W. Bush embraced the Two Santa Claus Theory with gusto, ramming through huge tax cuts - particularly a cut to a maximum 15 percent income tax rate on people like himself who made their principle income from sitting around the pool waiting for their dividend or capital gains checks to arrive in the mail - and blowing out federal spending. Bush even out-spent Reagan, which nobody had ever thought would again be possible. And it all seemed to be going so well, just as it did in the early 1920s when a series of three consecutive Republican presidents cut income taxes on the uber-rich from over 70 percent to under 30 percent. In 1929, pretty much everybody realized that instead of building factories with all that extra money, the rich had been pouring it into the stock market, inflating a bubble that - like an inexorable law of nature - would have to burst. But the people who remembered that lesson were mostly all dead by 2005, when Jude Wanniski died and George Gilder celebrated the Reagan/Bush supply-side-created bubble economies in a Wall Street Journal eulogy: "...Jude's charismatic focus on the tax on capital gains redeemed the fiscal policies of four administrations. ... [T]he capital-gains tax has come erratically but inexorably down -- while the market capitalization of U.S. equities has risen from roughly a third of global market cap to close to half. These many trillions in new entrepreneurial wealth are a true warrant of the worth of his impact. Unbound by zero-sum economics, Jude forged the golden gift of a profound and passionate argument that the establishments of the mold must finally give way to the powers of the mind. He audaciously defied all the Buffetteers of the trade gap, the moldy figs of the Phillips Curve, the chic traders in money and principle, even the stultifying pillows of the Nobel Prize." In reality, his tax cuts did what they have always done over the past 100 years - they initiated a bubble economy that would let the very rich skim the cream off the top just before the ceiling crashed in on working people. The Republicans got what they wanted from Wanniski's work. They held power for thirty years, made themselves trillions of dollars, cut organized labor's representation in the workplace from around 25 percent when Reagan came into office to around 8 of the non-governmental workforce today, and left such a massive deficit that some misguided "conservative" Democrats are again clamoring to shoot Santa with working-class tax hikes and entitlement program cuts. And now Boehner, McCain, Brooks, and the whole crowd are again clamoring to be recognized as the ones who will out-Santa Claus the Democrats. You'd think after all the damage they've done that David Gregory would have simply laughed Boehner off the program - much as the American people did to the Republicans in the last election - although Gregory is far too much a gentleman for that. Instead, he merely looked incredulous; it was enough. The Two Santa Claus theory isn't dead, as we can see from today's Republican rhetoric. Hopefully, though, reality will continue to sink in with the American people and the massive fraud perpetrated by Wanniski, Reagan, Laffer, Graham, Bush(s), and all their "conservative" enablers will be seen for what it was and is. And the Obama administration can get about the business of repairing the damage and recovering the stolen assets of these cheap hustlers. Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It," and "Cracking The Code: The Art and Science of Political Persuasion." His newest book, due out this summer, is Threshold. --------13 of 15-------- How Obama's New Rules Keep Intact The Torture Ban That Doesn't Ban Torture By ALLAN NAIRN January 26, 2009 CounterPunch If you're lying on the slab still breathing, with your torturer hanging over you, you don't much care if he is an American or a mere United States-sponsored trainee. When President Obama declared flatly this week that "the United States will not torture" many people wrongly believed that he'd shut the practice down, when in fact he'd merely repositioned it. Obama's Executive Order bans some - not all - US officials from torturing but it does not ban any of them, himself included, from sponsoring torture overseas. Indeed, his policy change affects only a slight percentage of US-culpable tortures and could be completely consistent with an increase in US-backed torture worldwide. The catch lies in the fact that since Vietnam, when US forces often tortured directly, the US has mainly seen its torture done for it by proxy - paying, arming, training and guiding foreigners doing it, but usually being careful to keep Americans at least one discreet step removed. That is, the US tended to do it that way until Bush and Cheney changed protocol, and had many Americans laying on hands, and sometimes taking digital photos. The result was a public relations fiasco that enraged the US establishment since by exposing US techniques to the world it diminished US power. But despite the outrage, the fact of the matter was that the Bush/Cheney tortures being done by Americans were a negligible percentage of all of the tortures being done by US clients. For every torment inflicted directly by Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and the secret prisons, there were many times more being meted out by US-sponsored foreign forces. Those forces were and are operating with US military, intelligence, financial or other backing in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Jordan, Indonesia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, to name some places, not to mention the tortures sans-American-hands by the US-backed Iraqis and Afghans. What the Obama dictum ostensibly knocks off is that small percentage of torture now done by Americans while retaining the overwhelming bulk of the system's torture, which is done by foreigners under US patronage. Obama could stop backing foreign forces that torture, but he has chosen not to do so. His Executive Order instead merely pertains to treatment of "...an individual in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government, or detained within a facility owned, operated, or controlled by a department or agency of the United States, in any armed conflict..." which means that it doesn't even prohibit direct torture by Americans outside environments of "armed conflict," which is where much torture happens anyway since many repressive regimes aren't in armed conflict. And even if, as Obama says, "the United States will not torture," it can still pay, train, equip and guide foreign torturers, and see to it that they, and their US patrons, don't face local or international justice. This is a return to the status quo ante, the torture regime of Ford through Clinton, which, year by year, often produced more US-backed strapped-down agony than was produced during the Bush/Cheney years. Under the old - now new again - proxy regime Americans would, say, teach interrogation/torture, then stand in the next room as the victims screamed, feeding questions to their foreign pupils. That's the way the US did it in El Salvador under JFK through Bush Sr. (For details see my "Behind the Death Squads: An exclusive report on the U.S. role in El Salvador's official terror," The Progressive, May, 1984 ; the US Senate Intelligence Committee report that piece sparked is still classified, but the feeding of questions was confirmed to me by Intelligence Committee Senators. See also my "Confessions of a Death Squad Officer," The Progressive, March, 1986, and my "Comment," The New Yorker, Oct. 15, 1990,[regarding law, the US, and El Salvador]). In Guatemala under Bush Sr. and Clinton (Obama's foreign policy mentors) the US backed the army's G-2 death squad which kept comprehensive files on dissidents and then electroshocked them or cut off their hands. (The file/ surveillance system was launched for them in the '60s and '70s by CIA/ State/ AID/ special forces; for the history see "Behind the Death Squads," cited above, and the books of Prof. Michael McClintock). The Americans on the ground in the Guatemalan operation, some of whom I encountered and named, effectively helped to run the G-2 but, themselves, tiptoed around its torture chambers. (See my "C.I.A. Death Squad," The Nation [US], April 17, 1995, "The Country Team," The Nation [US], June 5, 1995, letter exchange with US Ambassador Stroock, The Nation [US], May 29, 1995, and Allan Nairn and Jean-Marie Simon, "Bureaucracy of Death," The New Republic, June 30, 1986). It was a similar story in Bush Sr. and Clinton's Haiti - an operation run by today's Obama people - where the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) helped launch the terrorist group FRAPH, the CIA paid its leader, and FRAPH itsef laid the machetes on Haitian civilians, torturing and killing as US proxies. (See my "Behind Haiti's paramilitaries: our man in FRAPH," The Nation [US], Oct 24, 1994, and "He's our S.O.B.," The Nation [US], Oct. 31, 1994; the story was later confirmed on ABC TV's "This Week" by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher). In today's Thailand - a country that hardly comes to mind when most people think of torture - special police and militaries get US gear and training for things like "target selection" and then go out and torture Thai Malay Muslms in the rebel deep south, and also sometimes (mainly Buddhist) Burmese refugees and exploited northern and west coast workers. Not long ago I visited a key Thai interrogator who spoke frankly about army/ police/ intel torture and then closed our discussion by saying "Look at this," and invited me into his back room. It was an up to date museum of plaques, photos and awards from US and Western intelligence, including commendations from the CIA counter-terrorism center (then run by people now staffing Obama), one-on-one photos with high US figures, including George W. Bush, a medal from Bush, various US intel/ FBI/ military training certificates, a photo of him with an Israeli colleague beside a tank in the Occupied Territories, and Mossad, Shin Bet, Singaporean, and other interrogation implements and mementos. On my way out, the Thai intel man remarked that he was due to re-visit Langley soon. His role is typical. There are thousands like him worldwide. US proxy torture dwarfs that at Guantanamo. Many Americans, to their credit, hate torture. The Bush/Cheney escapade exposed that. But to stop it they must get the facts and see that Obama's ban does not stop it, and indeed could even accord with an increase in US-sponsored torture crime. In lieu of action, the system will grind on tonight. More shocks, suffocations, deep burns. And the convergence of thousands of complex minds on one simple thought: 'Please, let me die.' Allan Nairn writes the blog News and Comment at www.newsc.blogspot.com. --------14 of 15-------- "It's About Humanity" The BBC's Day of Shame By DEEPAK TRIPATHI Counterpunch January 26, 2009 http://www.counterpunch.org/tripathi01262009.htm The BBC finds itself in a serious controversy every few years, but this is the mother of all. The essence of the latest storm is this. A few days ago, the Disasters Emergency Committee of the United Kingdom, an umbrella group of thirteen leading charities, came out with a plan to launch a television appeal to raise funds for humanitarian relief in Gaza. The umbrella organization includes names like the British Red Cross, Save the Children, Care International and Oxfam. The BBC refused to broadcast their appeal. Its Director-General, Mark Thompson, and Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Thomson, came out with two reasons. The corporation's 'impartiality would be compromised' and how could the BBC be certain that money raised would go to the 'right people'? The refusal, and the reasons given, by the BBC have infuriated many people in Britain and abroad, where World Service has a devoted audience. There have been angry demonstrations in London. More than ten thousand complaints had been received by Sunday and the number was growing. Blogs and newspaper websites are inundated with messages attacking the decision, despite a determined counter-offensive by a handful of pro-Israel entries that keep repeating themselves. Leaders of all major political parties have criticized the corporation. They include ministers in a British government that pursues pro-Israel policies. Christian clergymen and prominent members of the British Jewish community have called upon the BBC executives to reconsider their decision. The Archbishop of York summed it all up when he said, "It is not a row about impartiality, but rather about humanity." He compared the situation to British military hospitals treating prisoners of war as a result of their duty under the Geneva Conventions. "By declining the request of the Disasters Emergency Committee," the Archbishop said, "the BBC has already forsaken impartiality." Not one BBC journalist I know agrees with the decision. Writing in the Observer newspaper on January 25, 2009, the respected former Middle East correspondent of the corporation, Tim Llewellyn, calls it 'a cowardly decision' that 'betrays the values the BBC stands for'. John Kampfner, another ex-correspondent, says in a recent article in the Guardian that, apart from some honorable exceptions, the questioning of Israeli spokespeople during the Gaza conflict has been weak compared with, for example, the widely-acclaimed Channel 4 News. Kampfner's verdict - Israeli officials have rarely been truly pressed on BBC outlets. During my 23 years as a BBC journalist, there were many occasions when the corporation stood up to outside pressure. During the Suez crisis in 1956, the British government tried to force the BBC to tow the line in reporting the invasion of Egypt as it began to falter. The corporation refused, despite a real risk that it might be shut down. When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India acquired authoritarian powers under emergency rule in the 1970s, foreign correspondents were ordered to submit all their reports to the censors before filing. Mark Tully, the BBC Delhi correspondent, refused to bow. Instead of submitting his reports to the censors, he took the next plane to London. In 1985, a month after the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, had proclaimed that 'terrorists should be starved of the oxygen of publicity', she learned that a BBC documentary had interviewed a senior figure in the IRA, which was conducting an armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland. Thatcher's government tried to ban the documentary, but it was eventually shown. During my time as the BBC correspondent in Afghanistan under the Communist regime of Najibullah, I was threatened with expulsion several times. Every time, I handed in my passport to the relevant official and asked him to issue an exit visa and expulsion order. I knew I had the support from my employer. Every time, the Afghan government withdrew the threat. Why is today's BBC so timid? Not only is it due to the relentless pressure on journalists and researchers since the launch of the 'war on terror' by George W Bush and Tony Blair. The failure of leadership at the BBC has also played a part. The corporation, under its charter, broadcasts in the national interest. It does so at its best when this obligation is interpreted in the widest possible sense, meaning the 'national interest' is served by providing accurate, authoritative and the most wide-ranging perspective on world events that the audiences will trust. The current leadership of the BBC has failed in this important task. The refusal to broadcast an appeal from the country's leading charities for funds for humanitarian work in Gaza, to which the British government itself will contribute, is difficult to understand for most people. Editorial independence is about resisting the bully. It requires protection against susceptibilities to pressure from the powerful in the interest of objectivity and the need to give proper coverage to the weak. Some years ago, for expediency and in the name of efficiency, the BBC embarked on a drive to set up large news bureaus in a number of big cities around the world. One such bureau is in Jerusalem, from where much of the coverage of the Middle East is done. The recent Gaza conflict has mostly been covered by BBC correspondents standing in front of cameras miles away from the battle in the safety of the Israeli side and under the close watch of their Israeli minders. Today, the Israelis have a stranglehold on the BBC and it will go to any lengths not to offend them. While the BBC, once the world's best broadcaster and still a good one, fights for its reputation, other British news outlets have decided to broadcast the appeal for Gaza. They have accepted the assurance from the Disasters Emergency Committee that it is the committee's job to see the aid reaches the right people. The Charity Commission supports this assurance. And the BBC Director General stands isolated. Senior executives congratulate themselves for their 'excellent coverage' on their own channels. But the corporation has been found deficient when compared to new media players like Al Jazeera English and Press TV. With the latest storm over the Gaza appeal, the BBC also risks losing the battle for the moral high ground. Imagine a day when Al Jazeera carries an appeal by Britain's Disasters Emergency Committee while the British Broadcasting Corporation refuses. Deepak Tripathi, former BBC journalist, is a researcher and an author. His works can be found on http://deepaktripathi.worpress.com and he can be reached at: DandATripathi [at] gmail.com. [More evidence of the evil effects of Zionism. -ed] --------15 of 15-------- They put LRT down Lover's Lane; now there's no parking for lovers. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
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