Progressive Calendar 04.16.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 04:42:05 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   04.16.09

           Now that taxes are over, everybody is doing everything.

1. Vs Vikings stadium  4.16 9am
2. Synthetic biology   4.16 11:30am
3. Vs gentrification   4.16 4:30pm
4. Eagan peace vigil   4.16 4:30pm
5. Northtown vigil     4.16 5pm
6. Pentel/environment  4.16 6pm
7. Anti-war rights     4.16 6pm
8. Sustainability      4.16 6:30pm
9. Lisa Ledwidge       4.16 6:45pm
10. Haiti film         4.16 7pm
11. Palestine          4.16 7pm
12. Global food crisis 4.16 7pm
13. Amnesty Intl       4.16 7:15pm

14. Ajamu Baraka       4.17 1:30/3/4:30pm
15. Natl Lawyers Guild 4.17-19 5:30pm
16. Night of noise     4.17 6pm
17. Guatemala film     4.17 7pm

18. Harold Meyerson - Rush builds a revolution
19. Karl Grossman   - A radioactive extension for aging nuclear plants

--------1 of 19--------

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
Subject: Vs Vikings stadium 4.16 9am

Dear friends,

You probably recall that I sent a number of messages to this list a couple
of years ago about the Twins stadium.  Well, we lost - we'll be paying
that sales tax for the next 28 years - but we helped expose some of the
greed, corruption, and undemocratic nature of our government and many
politicians.  Some of us even had some fun in the process!

Now it is time to do some serious organizing to oppose public funding of a
new Vikings stadium.  Yes, the Vikings think it is their turn, either this
year or next year, and they want twice as much public money as the Twins

We have a plan for this Thursday morning, April 16, for those who can come
downtown on a weekday morning.  Details below.

The Vikings want to tear down the Metrodome, and build a new stadium on
the site with a retractable roof.  The pricetag is a little over $950
million.  Zygi Wilf, billionaire owner of the Vikings, is willing to
"contribute" $250 million.  The remainder, presumably, comes from the
public - you and I.  But no one will say how that will happen, or even
propose a method of public financing.  Some could come from a ticket tax,
or parking revenues, or other user fees - that's not so bad, because it
would be paid by the users, not the general public.  But with over $700
million to cover, it is vitually certain that most of it will come from
the general public, as a new tax, or from existing revenues.  With budget
shortfalls at all levels of government, paying for the stadium out of
existing general funds would mean serious cuts in important programs.

I assume that the Vikings, and some politicians, have plans for particular
funding streams, whether state-level, or seven-county metro taxes, etc.
But no one is saying, probably for fear of generating opposition from
whatever group of people who will be expected to pay for it.  So whatever
the plan, they intend to spring it on us at the last moment.  Yes, the
Vikings are good at playing games - at least this type.

I don't think I need to convince you that public funding for a new Vikings
stadium is outrageous.

I am helping to build a new group to fight public funding for the Vikings
stadium.  We are calling it TURFF, or Taxpayers United for Rational
Football Funding.  We would like to form a united opposition that is
prepared to fight this all the way, and we invite anyone to join who
supports our goals.  A website is under construction, at

It will soon have more background information, action alerts, a button to
donate, and a button to sign up for email alerts.  In the meantime, if you
would like occasional emails from the group, send a request to:
TheTeam [at]

Our action on Thursday morning is aimed at the Metropolitan Sports
Facilities Commission (MSFC).  Don't feel bad if you've never heard of it.
It is the public body that owns and operates the Metrodome.  (Kind of like
the new public body that is building the Twins stadium and will own and
operate it: the Ballpark Authority.)  At this point, the MSFC is where the
main action is to push for the new Vikings stadium.  Though, as public
officials, they are supposed to represent the public interest, they have
been shamelessly shilling for the Vikings.

About a year and a half ago, the MSFC conducted a "listening tour" at 8
stops around the state.  They spent $400,000 of public money on this.  It
was mostly a promotional presentation, with very little listening.  And to
make sure they didn't hear us, they promoted their tour almost exclusively
to Vikings season ticket holders.  Some of us showed up anyway and
expressed our opposition.

Last September, the MSFC chose an architect and a general construction
contractor for the stadium, and they are now spending several million
dollars - of our public money - to design and plan this stadium that they
won't tell us who will pay for it.  Members of the MSFC have been lobbying
State Legislators during this session.  Their original plan was to get the
stadium funded this year, but that seems unlikely this year, barring a
special session.  Nevertheless, they are busy laying the groundwork.

The head of the MSFC is appointed by the governor, but all the other
members are appointed by the Minneapolis City Council.  No one on the City
Council seems to know or care what their appointed members are doing with
our money.  Just last January, half of the members were up for
reappointment, and all the incumbents were reappointed with very little
discussion and only one dissent (Cam Gordon).

The MSFC meets the third Thursday of each month at 9:30am in an office in
the Metrodome.  Our plan is to attend the meeting this Thursday, April 16,
and have a quiet but visible presence representing the public.  There is
media coverage of the meetings; this will be the first time they notice a
public opposition showing up.  In order to go in as a group and obtain
good seats, we will meet in the parking lot on the east end of the dome
BEFORE 9:00am.  Parking is free for meetings, and the entrance is off of
11th Ave. S., near the SE corner of the Metrodome property.

If you know ahead of time that you can come, please call me at
612-276-1213 to let us know, and to get more info.  Or just show up and
meet us in the parking lot.  I'm sorry about the short notice.  We would
really appreciate your attendance if you can be free on a weekday morning.

I plan to send occasional updates on the progress of the Vikings stadium
and our efforts to fight it, and I'll let you know of future actions.  We
really need to grow the opposition, and make the public more aware of what
is happening.  I'll paste below the announcement made by the TURFF group.

Dave Bicking

- Announcing TURFF -- And a Call To Action

Ah yes, spring is in the air, and once again, just like the noxious weeds
sprouting up on lawns all over the state, plans for building a new
statdium for a billionaire are making their way to the legislature.

To help combat the continued growth of public money for private
entertainment business we are:

Announcing <>

This is a collaberative effort to attempt to prevent Zygi Wilf and the
Vikings from doing what Carl Pohlad and the Twins did to the taxpayers of
the State of Minnesota.


TURFF will be making its first public outing next week.

Thursday, April 16 -- 9:00 AM -- Downtown Minneapolis Minnesota Sports
Commission Meeting -- Free Parking Available at the Dome

We will be downtown for approximately 2 hours, and we need and want as
many warm bodies as we can muster to join with us.

If you are available Thursday morning, please respond ASAP so we can make
final plans.

--------2 of 19--------

From: Consortium on Law & Values and JDP Program <lawvalue [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: Synthetic biology 4.16 11:30am

Drew Endy Dialogue and Notes on Synthetic Biology
Prof. Drew Endy, PhD
Stanford University, Department of Bioengineering
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Note location change-- Mayo Auditorium, Room 3-100

Thirty-five years ago, scientists first learned how to intentionally and
directly manipulate DNA, the genetic material encoding life, using crude
tools to construct relatively simple genetic programs. These early tools
led to the birth of the biotechnology industry, resulting in new drugs and
therapies, as well as many new controversies and unmet promises.

Today, much more powerful tools are rapidly being developed in order to
help make biology easier to engineer, via a new field of research known as
Synthetic Biology.  Already, scientists and engineers have used early
forms of these tools to construct genomes, the entire DNA program for an
organism, from raw chemicals. Young students have already developed simple
genetic programs of their own designs, producing bacteria that can take a
photograph or smell as bananas. As biology becomes easier to engineer,
many more individuals and groups, not just researchers, will likely have
the opportunity to use biotechnology to solve their own problems, just as
many people today can program computers or author a webpage.

Prof. Endy's lecture will address questions such as what role should each
person, group, and nation have in our future biotechnology world? How will
we all best work together to make sure that we choose to apply future
biotechnologies for overwhelming good?

Speaker and Commentators' Biographies
Prof. Drew Endy is currently an Assistant Professor at Stanford
University's Bioengineering Department and President of the BioBricks
Foundation (BBF).  Prof. Endy earned degrees in civil, environmental, and
biochemical engineering at Lehigh and Dartmouth. He studied genetics &
microbiology as a postdoc at UT Austin and UW Madison. From 1998 through
2001 he helped to start the Molecular Sciences Institute, an independent
not-for-profit biological research lab in Berkeley, CA. In 2002, he
started a group as a fellow in the Department of Biology and the
Biological Engineering Division at MIT; he joined the MIT faculty in 2004
where he worked until September 2008. Drew co-founded the MIT Synthetic
Biology working group and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, and
organized the First International Conference on Synthetic Biology. In 2004
Endy co-founded Codon Devices, Inc., a biotechnology startup.  In 2005
Endy co-founded the BioBricks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization
that is working to develop legal and economic strategies needed to support
open biotechnology. Drew's research interests are the engineering of
integrated biological systems and error detection & correction in
reproducing machines.

Commentary will be provided by Prof. Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH,
Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at
the University of Minnesota and Prof. Bill McGeveran, JD, Associate
Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

This event is free and open to the public.
This lecture is intended for students, faculty, attorneys, researchers,
scientists, policymakers, and community members.

Continuing Education--CLE & CME
Application for 1.5 hours of general Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for
attorneys has been submitted.

The University of Minnesota is accredited by the Accreditation Council
for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education
for physicians.

Application for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits has been filed with the
University of Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education.
Determination of credit is pending. It is the policy of the University of
Minnesota Office of Continuing Medical Education to ensure balance,
independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all of its sponsored
educational activities.

Registration is recommended for those requesting continuing
education credit. Registration is available online at, by phone at 612-625-0055, or by email at
lawvalue [at] Please provide your name, email address and indicate
if continuing education credits are requested.

To access a map for the Mayo Auditorium and nearby parking, visit

--------3 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Vs gentrification 4.16 4:30pm

Organizing for Environmental Justice and Equitable Development on
University Avenue's proposed Light Rail/Corridor Redevelopment

Community Forum on Resisting Gentrification
4:30 - 7:30 PM
Dinner Provided.  The general public is welcome.  Please send out this
reminder/updated flyer to your networks!  See you then!!!!!!

Veronica Burt - JUST Equity
Public Policy Advocate/Community Organizer
univaveequity [at]
Organizing for Environmental Justice and Equitable Development on
University Avenue's proposed Light Rail/Corridor Redevelopment

Member of the Preserve and Benefit Historic Rondo Committee: Neighborhood
Residents, Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, St.
Paul-NAACP, Community Stabilization Project and JUST Equity.

"Revitalization without Displacement - Lifting people out of poverty and
not out of the neighborhood"

--------4 of 19--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 4.16 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

--------5 of 19--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 4.16 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------6 of 19-------

From: dorijj [at]
Subject: Pentel/environment 4.16 6pm

Dear Friends:  Ken Pentel, a former three time Green Party candidate for
Governor of Minnesota,will give a powerful presentation on the
environmental crisis we face. He will be at the West 7th Community Center,
at 265 Oneida St. in St. Paul on this Thursday, April 16, beginning at
6:00 pm to 8:00 PM.

Ken is a terrific speaker and has his subject well researched. He
worked for Green Peace for 11 years and with the Green Party for 13. He
believes the environmental damages done to our world have reached
emergency proportions and I agree with him.  I also know that this is
not the world I want to leave to my children, grandchilren and on to
the seventh generation.

Please come to the Community Center to hear Ken Pentel tell how to get
involved in the movement to save the planet for future generations.
Admission is free, but call to register, 651-298-5493. Thank you.
  --Dori Ullman West 7th Resident

Directions to the West 7th Community Center:  Coming from Minneapolis on
I94 get off at the Kellogg Blvd. exit.  Turn right on West 7th St.  and
follow w. 7th to St. Clair, approximately 1 and 1/4 miles. Turn right on
St. Clair.  About five blocks on St. Clair turn left at Oneida St. Park in
the lot just past the tennis courts.

If you have any questions, please be sure to call me at 651-310-9967.

--------7 of 19--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: Anti-war rights 4.16 6pm

Know your Rights training for upcoming anti-war actions
Thursday, April 16th @ 6 pm @ AWC office at 1313 5th St. SE, Mpls, room
112 C (Feel free to stay for our AWC weekly meeting at 7:30)* Interested
in taking a stand for peace with justice?  Want to do civil disobedience
or direct action.  Learn how from Anti-War Committee activists. Discuss
when, why and how to use creative tactics in your organizing.

--------8 of 19--------

From: Diana McKeown <dmckeown [at]>
Subject: Sustainability 4.16 6:30pm

Metro Sustainability Roundtables

Join city staff, elected officials, citizens, and the Alliance for
Sustainability for your region's Sustainability Roundtable. Highlight
current initiatives in your city and learn about others' projects. City
staff and citizens from nine east Metro cities attended the first
Sustainability Roundtable in Oakdale.

North Metro - Thursday April 16, 6:30pm
Family Service Center
400 10th St NW
New Brighton, MN 55112

--------9 of 19-------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: Lisa Ledwidge 4.16 6:45pm

Lisa Ledwidge will speak on "Prospects for a Nuclear Weapons-free World"
on Thursday April 16, 6:45 PM, at the Parish Community of St.  Joseph.

Ledwidge is the Outreach Director of the United States Institute for
Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), a non-profit group that provides
scientific information and analysis on environmental, energy, and security
issues to policymakers, journalists, and the public. What are the real
prospects for a nuclear free world and what role does nuclear energy play
in this debate?

The Parish Community of St. Joseph is located at 8701-36th Avenue N, New
Hope (corner of Boone.)  This program is sponsored by NW Neighbors for
Peace and, like all NWN4P programs, is free and open to the public;
discussion will follow.

--------10 of 19--------

From: biego001 [at]
Subject:n  Haiti film 4.16 7pm

POTO MITAN, a new film about the injustice of Haitian deportations, which
recently opened to great reviews in NYC. There will be discussion

Thursday, April 16 ~ 7pm
University of Minnesota
Minnesota Journalism Center
130 Murphy Hall
206 Church Street SE
Minneappolis, MN

--------11 of 19--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine 4.16 7pm

Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

College of St. Catherine, Library, Room 128, 2004 Randolph Avenue, St.
Paul. People in the United States hear about the emotionally-charged
Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the news regularly, but many know little
except that there is violence and that the issues involved are "complex."
WAMM member, Florence Steichen will supplement the news appearing in
mainstream American media by providing context and some missing pieces.
Florence is a Sister of St. Joseph Carondolet, who has lived, worked and
traveled in the region. She holds a Masters Degree in Theology from the
University of Notre Dame, lived in Bethlehem (1987-1992) and served as
Registrar of Bethlehem University in Palestine. Florence is President of
Middle East Peace Now (MEPN), Treasurer of Pax Christi Twin Cities and
active in the WAMM Middle East Committee. Although each class builds on
the previous one, sessions may be taken individually. Each session will
include ample time for discussion. Handouts will be provided and resources
suggested. Open to the public. $7.00 per class.

Thursday, April 16, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Role of Religion: The influence
of the Biblical texts in the region. Although the conflict is about land,
not religion, religion and politics are deeply intertwined.

Thursday, April 30, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Winding Road to Peace:
Possibilities and obstacles; proposals throughout the years. Should there
be one state or two, and what is the role of the U.S.?

Endorsed by: the WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI and to register: Visit

--------12 of 19--------

From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at]>
Subject: Global food crisis 4.16 7pm

Free and open to the public.
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church,
511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis (at Lyndale & Hennepin). Park in church
Thursday, April 16, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


The global food crisis is often analyzed in Malthusian terms of meeting
expected future demand (sometimes projected 50 years out!) by increasing
supply through public investing in hi-tech solutions. However, such
"solutions" are often economically and environmentally unsustainable.
Decentralized agricultural planning and production, with less import
dependence on both inputs and foods, is a viable option for many
developing countries, particularly as climate change results in greater
supply and price volatility making foreign agricultural investment more

Presenter: STEVE SUPPAN. Suppan has been a policy analyst at the Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) since 1994. He has traveled to
about 35 countries to explain U.S. agricultural, trade and food safety
policy and IATP's views on these issues to non-governmental organizations,
farmer organizations, and intergovernmental organizations. He edits the
quarterly Global Food Safety Monitor and contributes to the food safety
and agricultural markets sections of the International Assessment on
Agricultural Science and Technology for Development

--------13 of 19--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 4.16 7:15pm

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) meets Thursday, April 16th, at 7:15 p.m.
St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata (near
the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further information,
contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at]

--------14 of 19--------

From: Peter Brown <peterb3121 [at]>
Subject: Ajamu Baraka 4.17 1:30/3/4:30pm

Dear Colleagues for Justice:
We are pleased to confirm three community conversations with Ajamu Baraka,
nationally and internationally recognized human rights scholar, advocate,
and organizer on Friday afternoon, April 17, 2009, in advance of his
keynote address at the National Lawyers Guild-Minnesota Chapter's annual
Social Justice Dinner - Saturday April 18, 6PM at William Mitchell College
of Law Auditorium ---

1.  1:30PM at Minneapolis Urban League, 2000 Plymouth Avenue North,
Minneapolis, MN

2.  3:00 PM at Sabathani Community Center, 310 East 38th Street,
Minneaplis, MN

3.  4:30PM at MLK, Jr. Community Center, 270 Kent Street, St. Paul, MN

To give you a more complete view of Ajamu Baraka's activity here in the
Twin Cities during these days, I am attaching his full itinerary for these

Ajamu is very enthusiastic about this opportunity to meet and speak with
you and the other justice activists you gather for this conversation and
I'm sure with your help we will make the most of our time together.

I am also attaching the poster previously sent since it contains
additional background information about Ajamu Baraka which you may choose
to incorporate into outreach you do for this conversation.
 Peter 612-824-6533

--------15 of 19--------

From: Hamline University Law School in the Twin Cities of St. Paul, and
Minneapolis Minnesota (
Subject: Natl Lawyers Guild 4.17-19 5:30pm

EVENT: Weekend Program of Events at Hamline Law School
National Lawyers Guild - Hamline Chapter

The National Lawyers Guild Midwest Regional Conference will be held April
17, 18 and 19 at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.

WE DISSENT: Taking Back our Civil Liberties

                             Friday April 17th 2009
Sundin Music Hall
5:30 - 7:30 Set Up and Registration
7:00 - 7:30 Meet and Greet ;
7:30 Keynote Speaker ; Ken Tilsen introduced by Bruce Nestor

10:00 - close Rebellious Bar Review ; Bedlam Theatre 1501 S. 6th
St. on the West Bank, Minneapolis

                            Saturday April 18th 2009
9:00 - 10:00
Session 1: Solomon Amendment ; discussion by Phil Duran, staff attorney
for OutFront Minnesota
Room: Sorin Hall A

9:45 - 11:15
Session 2: Twin Cities Culture Panel ; with Abigail Cerra, Abdirizk Bihi
and Roman Gonzalez.
Room: Sorin Hall B

10:00 - 11:00
Session 3: International Human Rights Applied Domestically ; presented by
Peter Brown with Ajamu Baraka, Execitive Director of the US Human Rights
Room: Sorin Hall A

11:30 - 1:00
Session 4:  Ramona Africa ; Move9
Room: LAW 105

1:45 - 3:15
Session 5:  Securing the Human Rights of Arrestees and Detainees: the
Right to Medical Attention ; Peter Brown, former MN NLG President and
Jordan Kushner, sole practitioner
Room: Sorin Hall B

Session 6:  Legal Workers of the World, Unite(d)!  (As faculty for
lawyers after law school.) ; facilitated by Michael Friedman, Executive
Director of Legal Rights Center with Abigail Cerra, Jude Ortiz, Michelle
Room: Sorin Hall A

3:15 - 4:15
Session 8: Inexpensive Legal Research ; Professor Grace Mills, Law
Library Dir. and Assoc. Prof. of Law Hamline University
Room: Sorin Hall B

Session 9: Living with Debt While Being an Effective Advocate ; with
Heather Rastorver Vlieger and Sharon Fischlowitz of LRAP
Room: Sorin Hall A

Minnesota NLG Social Justice Dinner
William Mitchell School of Law

                             Sunday April 19th 2009
9:30 - 10:30
Session 10: TBD
Room: LAW 101

Session 11: Legal Observer Training ; presented by Jennifer McEwen,
Rachel Bengston and Carla Magnuson
Room: LAW 04

10:30 - 12:00
Session 12:  The Movement For Reproductive Justice: New Strategies For
Organizing And Coalition Building ; with Kate Hannaher, founder and chair
of Hamline Law Students for Reproductive Justice,  and Sara Thome, Legal
Aid attorney, founder and former chair of Hamline Law Students for
Reproductive Justice.
Room: LAW 101

Session 13: Student Chapter Forum ; facilitated by Micah Ludeke, co-chair
of NLG Hamline Chapter
Room: LAW 04

12:00 - 1:00
Session 14:  Know Your Rights (and how to explain them) ; presented by
Jude Ortiz of Coldsnap Legal Collective
Room: LAW 04

Session 15:  TBD
Room: LAW 101

                             Additional Information
Visitor parking at the Saint Paul campus
      Visitor parking is located in the White House lot on Hewitt
      Avenue at Pascal Street. Parking is enforced Monday-Friday, 8
      a.m.-4 p.m. Visitor parking is enforced as signage indicates.
      All parking lots, with exception of the staff/faculty parking
      Lot H, are open to visitors without permits after 4:30 p.m.
      weekdays and all weekends
Driving Directions
      You may also call 651-523-2441 for directions.

Hamline University School of Law | 1536 Hewitt Avenue Saint Paul, MN
55104-1237 | U.S.A. | 651-523-2941

--------16 of 19--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Night of noise 4.17 6pm

Friday, April 17, 2009
Night of Noise
@ District 202, 1601 Nicollet Avenue South, Mpls

Performance, Open-Mic,
Coming Together to End Homelessness

The Night of Noise is a noisy follow-up to the Day of Silence, where many
students and teachers take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and
protest the discrimination and harassment experienced by LGBT students and
their allies.

This year the Night of Noise will highlight an issue that is too often
silenced within our communities -- queer youth homelessness. Please join
us as we watch the documentary /Homeless Youth: Finding Home/, hear from
youth about their experiences with homelessness, and participate in having
fun and creating community!

This community event is brought to you by the GLBT Host Home Program (of
Avenues for Homeless Youth) and District 202.

--------17 of 19--------

From: Stephanie Bates <Stephanie.Bates [at]>
Subject: Guatemala film 4.17 7pm

Join us for a pre-movie Happy Hour at Glaciers Cafe (above the Resource
Center) from 5:30-7pm hosted by Board Chair Sarah Humpage

Friday, April 17th 7pm
Voice of a Mountain

Voice of a Mountain is a video documentary of the lives of rural
Guatemalan coffee farmers who took up arms against their government in a
civil war that lasted 36 years. This documentary explores Guatemala's
dark history from the perspective of those who saw armed revolution as
their only hope for change in a poverty-ridden nation under years of
military dictatorship.

Program Coordinator
Resource Center of the Americas

--------18 of 19--------

Rush Builds A Revolution
By Harold Meyerson
Washington Post
April 15, 2009

According to a Rasmussen poll released last week, 37 percent of Americans
under age 30 prefer capitalism, 33 percent prefer socialism and 30 percent
are undecided. Among all Americans, 53 percent prefer capitalism, 20
percent prefer socialism and 27 percent are undecided.

How's that again?

If you comb the annals of Americans' ideological preferences, you won't
find figures like these. At socialism's apogee, presidential candidate
Eugene V. Debs got 6 percent of the vote in the 1912 election. After that,
it was pretty much all downhill -- until last week, anyway.

Or consider this: In the first two decades of the 20th century, and again
in the 1930s, there were substantial American socialist organizations that
argued the case against capitalism. I recently came across some issues of
a magazine that the League for Industrial Democracy, a group affiliated
with the Socialist Party, published during the early '30s on the crises of
capitalism and unemployment. Among its regular contributors were John
Dewey and Reinhold Niebuhr. Today, America is home to no substantial
socialist organizations, and virtually no public figures champion
socialism's cause.

So where do these numbers come from? Rasmussen didn't provide any data
that clarify causality, but I think it's safe to infer that the havoc that
Wall Street has wreaked upon the world over the past year and its reliance
on American taxpayers to bail it out haven't exactly helped capitalism's

But there's more to these numbers. For one thing, they signal that the
link between socialism and anti- Americanism has been weakened and, among
the young, all but destroyed. The end of Soviet communism has meant that
the United States no longer has a major adversary that professes to be
socialist. The one remaining powerful Communist Party, China's, has opted
for a capitalist economy. The violent threats to America today come from a
branch of Islamic fundamentalists who wage war on all forms of modernity,
socialism among them. And the actual existing socialists today are the
social democrats who govern or are the chief opposition parties in Western
Europe -- home to the nations with which we are most closely allied.

The Soviet Union's collapse is surely responsible for some of the
variations by age group that turn up in Rasmussen's polling:
Thirty-somethings, while not quite so socialistic as 20-somethings, remain
decidedly cooler on capitalism than their elders. The Left Bank of the
Seine doesn't quite convey the terror that Stalin's gulag once inspired.

Moreover, those Americans opting for socialism are doing so when
socialists themselves aren't calling for, and don't believe in, the kind
of revolutionary transformations -- the abolition of wage labor, say --
for which their forebears routinely campaigned in the days of Debs and the
Depression. Today, the world's socialist and social democratic parties
basically champion a more social form of capitalism, with tighter
regulations on capital, more power for labor and an expanded public sector
to do what the private sector cannot (such as providing universal access
to health care).

Which means there are real areas of overlap between European social
democracy and American liberalism: The former has defined its Eden down to
a form of social capitalism, while the latter, prompted by Wall Street's
implosion, has upgraded its project to the creation of, well, a form of
social capitalism. Doctrinal differences persist, but these overlaps
certainly underpin Rasmussen's polling: While Republicans preferred
capitalism to socialism 11 to 1, Democrats favored it by 39 percent to 30

The data on the young are particularly telling. Twenty- somethings are
more open to socialism -- or social capitalism -- than 30-somethings not
only because they never lived through the Soviet threat but because the
economy, during the years in which deregulatory policy and Wall Street
financialization were at their height, hasn't worked very well for them.
Americans under 29 scored well to the left of the general public in a
recent survey by the Center for American Progress, and voters under 30
backed Barack Obama by a 34-point margin in November, 66 percent to 32

The young may now disdain Wall Street -- but what do they know of
socialism, past and present? Who even speaks of socialism in America
today? The answer, of course, is the demagogic right. According to Rush
Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and their ilk, Obama is taking America
down the Socialist Road. As Benjamin Sarlin has noted on the Web site the
Daily Beast, the talkmeisters of the right have linked a doctrine that
never commanded much support in America to a president whose approval
rating hovers around 60 percent and much higher than that among the young.

Rush and his boys are doing what Gene Debs and his comrades never really
could. In tandem with Wall Street, they are building socialism in America.

meyersonh [at]

--------19 of 19--------

Time to Abolish the NRC?
A Radioactive Extension for Aging Nuclear Plants
April 13, 2009

For 10 years now, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been busily
extending the operating license of nuclear power plants - designed to run
for 40 years - another 20 years.

Imagine driving down a highway in a 60-year-old car.

But safety concerns are minimized by the NRC, a lapdog of the nuclear
industry. Just as the NRC has never denied a construction or operating
license for a nuclear plant anywhere, anytime in the U.S., it has
rubber-stamped every application for a 20-year extension for now 52
nuclear plants.

That's half the 104 nuclear plants in the U.S. and, as the 40-year
licenses of the rest get set to expire, watch the NRC extend their
licenses to run for another 20 years, too.

And it may end up to be more than 20 years. The New York Times in a report
April 2 on the NRC extending the operating license to 60 years of the
oldest nuclear plant in the U.S., Oyster Creek in New Jersey, noted that
"some commission officials have even discussed the possibility of a second
round of extensions that would allow reactors to operate for up to 80

Imagine driving down a highway in an 80-year-old car.

Consider how trustworthy that 1929 antique would be racing down the

"This decision is radioactive. To keep open the nation's oldest nuclear
power plant for another 20 years is just going to lead to a disaster,"
said Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club. "We could easily replace the plant
with 200 windmills that will not pose a danger".

At the NRC hearings on the re-licensing of Oyster Creek, evidence was
presented that the critical drywell liner - the shell that encases the
reactor and is supposed to suppress radioactive steam during an accident -
is too corroded to deal with a mishap. Major deterioration was also found
in other areas of the plant 60 miles south of New York City.

Even an avid nuclear power booster, William Tucker, who recently published
a pro-nuclear book, is calling for no operating license extensions for
Oyster Creek and the Indian Point nuclear plants, 28 miles north of New
York City which the NRC is also soon to rule on re-licensing. "Veterans of
the nuclear industry I talk to say they are very concerned that relying on
aging reactors like Oyster Creek and Indian Point is eventually going to
lead to an accident which will kill nuclear power in this country
forever," said Tucker in a statement last week.

But many, many people would be killed, too.

[Well, yes, but, in the meantime, some sterling rich fellows are going to
have longer yachts! Longer yachts! Now, aren't you willing to risk a
little nuke disability for you and your friends and family et al, so these
sterling rich fellows can cavort on their longer yachts? I know I am, and
I hope you are too. It's capitalism, the very heart and soul of
capitalism, where we rabble go under so the best men can go over. So maybe
worst case we melt in a nuclear ray bouquet? Hey, that's what we've been
trained to do. Die for our betters. And speak only when spoken to. -ed]

The NRC working with Sandia National Laboratories did an analysis in the
1980s on the consequences of a meltdown with breach of containment at
every nuclear plant in the United States - including Oyster Creek and the
two operating Indian Point plants.

Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences for U.S. Nuclear Plants
(acronymed CRAC-2) projected, for Oyster Creek: 16,000 "peak early
fatalities;" 10,000 "peak early injuries;" 23,000 "peak cancer deaths;"
and $79.8 billion in "scaled costs" in terms of property damage - and that
was in 1980 dollars. For Indian Point 2, in a more densely populated area
with more valuable real estate that would be rendered uninhabitable for
millennia, it would be: 46,000 "peak early fatalities;" 141,000 "peak
early injuries;" 13,000 "peak cancer deaths" and $274 billion in "scaled
costs". And for the slightly larger Indian Point 3 plant, it would be
50,000 "peak early fatalities;" 167,000 "peak early injuries;" 14,000
"peak cancer deaths;" and $314 billion in "scaled costs". Again, those are
1980 dollars; it would be triple that today.

The World Nuclear Organization notes how "most of today's nuclear
plants were originally designed for 30 or 40-year operating lives.Some
components simply wear out, corrode or degrade to a low efficiency. The
properties of materials may degrade with age, particularly with heat and
neutron irradiation".

But operators of nuclear power plants want to wring out as much from their
investments as they can - and not only do they want them to operate beyond
their expected lifetimes, they are seeking to run them hotter and harder
in order to generate more power. And the NRC has been obliging the
industry on this, too.

The first nuclear facilities the NRC gave permission to operate another 20
years were the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plants in Maryland 45 miles
southeast of Washington, D.C. That was in 1999.

"The public has been closed out of the process," said Paul Gunter, then
with the Nuclear Information & Resource Service. He added: "The whole term
'nuclear safety' is an oxymoron. It's an inherently dangerous process and
an inherently dangerous industry that has been aging".

Last week Gunter, now director of the Reactor Oversight Program of the
organization Beyond Nuclear, said the NRC re-licensing program is "blind
to how these machines are breaking apart at the molecular level - they
embrittle, crack and corrode". The agency in its "rigged game" is driving
the nation toward a nuclear disaster, he said.

Can the NRC be stopped before disaster occurs?

The U.S. Congress finally became so disgusted with the Atomic Energy
Commission and its nuclear boosterism -it, too, never denied a
construction or operating license for a nuclear plant anywhere, anytime in
the U.S...that it abolished the AEC in 1974. Congress then created the NRC
to ostensibly properly regulate the nuclear industry.

That has never happened.

It's time that the NRC be abolished, too, along with the toxic technology
that it promotes - nuclear power - before it is too late. Safe, clean
renewable energy technologies are here today making dangerous nuclear
power unnecessary.

Meanwhile, by extending the licenses of nuclear plants by 20 and now
perhaps 40 years, the NRC has gone beyond tempting fate. It is asking for
it, the it being an atomic catastrophe which would kill tens of thousands
and render a part of the United States a dead zone.

Karl Grossman is professor of journalism at the State University of New
York/College at Old Westbury and author of books involving NASA including
The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet and
writer and narrator of television programs among them Nukes In Space: The
Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens (


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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