Progressive Calendar 06.02.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 06:46:02 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   06.02.09

1. Protest HMO $$$   6.02 9am
2. NWN4P vigil       6.02 4:45pm
3. Battle/Seattle    6.02 5pm Mankato MN
4. Ramona Africa/CTV 6.02 5pm
5. RNC court watch   6.02 6pm
6. Underground RR    6.02 6pm
7. HIRE Minnesota    6.02 6:30pm
8. Open discussion   6.02 6:30pm
9. Vigil/Dr Tiller   6.02 9pm

10. John Kolstad - Speaker training
11. Ralph Nader  - Statement on GM bankruptcy
12. CAF          - America: a center-left nation

--------1 of 12--------

From: Michele <MRockne [at]>
Subject: Protest HMO $$$ 6.02 9am


United Health Group corporate headquarters, in Minnetonka, a suburb of
Minneapolis, 9701 Data Park Drive.(From DT Mpls take I 94W to I-394 west
to 169 South. Proceed south 5.7 miles to the Londonderry Rd./Bren Rd.
exit. Turn right (west) and circle around until it turns into Data Park

Call for accountable Single-Payer National Health Insurance system. On
Tuesday June 2, 9:00AM, several organizations will demonstrate outside
United Health Groups' Annual Shareholders Meeting, at United Health Group
corporate headquarters, in Minnetonka, a suburb of Minneapolis, 9701 Data
Park Drive. (From DT Mpls take I 94W to I-394 west to 169 South. Proceed
south 5.7 miles to the Londonderry Rd./Bren Rd. exit. Turn right (west)
and circle around until it turns into Data Park Drive.

"United Health Care" is the largest HMO in the U.S., largest most
profiteering corporation in Minnesota . William McGuire, now ousted, is
the highest paid CEO in the history of the state of Minnesota. McGuire's
CEO replacement Stephen Helmsley's stock options exceed $750 million.

The demonstration includes: a die-in of people wearing black to
commemorate unconscionable morbidity and mortality of tens of thousands of
people denied coverage or care by HMOs. Stories from several Minnesotans
whose HMO exploited illness for private profit.

--------2 of 12--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P vigil 6.02 4:45pm

NWN4P vigil every Tuesday.
Corner of Winnetka and 42nd Avenues in New Hope. 4:45 to 5:45 PM.
All welcome; bring your own or use our signs.

--------3 of 12--------

From: Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition <aranney [at]>
Subject: Battle/Seattle 6.02 5pm Mankato MN

Mankato Area Labor Assembly and the MN Fair Trade Coalition Present:
      "Battle in Seattle"

In November 1999, environmentalists, union members, faith groups, farmers
and peace activists gathered in Seattle, Washington to protest the World
Trade Organization's Ministerial Meeting. A very diverse group of people
and interests were united by a common theme, "Fair Trade, Not Free Trade."
The demonstrations in Seattle, helped kick off a campaign that continues
today to assure our trade policies work for and respect all people around
the world, not just global multinational corporations. Please join us for
a free viewing of the movie and discussion on what lessons we can take
from the "Battle in Seattle" as our fight continues.

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
Blue Earth County Library (100 East Main Street, Mankato, MN Auditorium)
Event begins at 5:00pm, Movie at 5:30pm

For more information about the movie, visit:

Questions about the event, please contact Liz McLoone-SE MN Area Labor
Council Field Rep at lmcloone [at] or 507-254-9249
Event is Free and Open to the Public

--------4 of 12--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Ramona Africa/CTV 6.02 5pm

Stircrazy 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, 6/2, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 6/3, 10am
Ramona Africa (pt 2) from the Haille Q. Brown Center

in 1985, the Philadelphia police department dropped a bomb on the home of
Ramona Africa's family, massacring 11, including 5 children.  Ramona, a
member of the MOVE organization, was the sole adult survivor of the
incident.  Ramona talks more about MOVE and critiques "the system".
filmed in April 2009.

--------5 of 12--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at]>
Subject: RNC court watch 6.02 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

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

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]

--------6 of 12--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
From:    "flo x" <flowalksfree [at]>
Subject: Underground RR 6.02 6pm

MN PPEHRC Underground Railroad Volunteer Meeting
June 2nd At 6:00P.M.
310 E 38th St. Room #126

Why: The Underground Railroad Project is a way for average citizens to
help one another in their time of need. "If one is in need, we all are in
need" Learn how you can volunteer and support local work against
foreclosures and evictions.

Contact: Deeq Abdi: Phone: 612-821-2364 e-mail: abdiPPEHRC [at] Flo
Razowsky flowalksfree [at] **

--------7 of 12--------

From: Jennifer Jimenez <jennifer [at]>
Subject: HIRE Minnesota 6.02 6:30pm

Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
HIRE Minnesota is holding a community gathering to celebrate our recent
victories and plan for the future!

HIRE Minnesota Community Gathering
Tuesday, June 2
6:30-8:30 pm
Sabathani Community Center, Minneapolis

HIRE Minnesota is a coalition of community organizations that are seeking
public investments that jump-start our economy, provide access for all
people to jobs, training and living wages, and start to ease the climate

We hope you will participate in this community discussion about the
difference we&rsquo;ve made - and will continue to make - in putting
Minnesota&rsquo;s investments to work for our communities and our

Jennifer Jimenez-Wheatley
jennifer [at]
Alliance for Metropolitan Stability I 2525 Franklin Ave E, Suite 200 I
Minneapolis, MN 55406 I 612-332-4471

--------8 of 12--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Open discussion 6.02 6:30pm

Hi, The Salon this week will be Open Discussion.  It could be a
continuance of health care talk since last week's film, Sicko, did not
leave much time for a discussion. patty

Pax Salons ( )
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.

--------9 of 12--------

From: David Strand <lavgrn [at]>
Subject: Vigil for Dr Tiller 6.02 9pm

Vigil for Dr. Tiller
Stand in solidarity for a doctor who stood up for women's health
Host: Minnesota Choice Coalition
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
9:00pm - 9:30pm
Loring Park Minneapolis, MN
Email: danb [at]

On Sunday, May 31st, Dr. George Tiller was murdered as he entered his
church in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Tiller provided abortion services in the
state of Kansas and was a frequent target of harassment and intimidation.
The pro-choice community is reeling from this act of violence against one
of our greatest advocates, and many pro-choice supporters have contacted
us asking what they can do.

Rather than letting this unspeakable act divide us, let's work together
with civility and respect. Let us offer our encouragement and support to
those that continue to make women's health care a priority.

Please join the Minnesota Choice Coalition in a candlelight vigil for Dr.
Tiller this Tuesday, June 2nd from 9-9:30pm in Loring Park in Minneapolis.

There will be no speaking program, no bullhorns, no chanting and no
political rhetoric. We just want to gather to silently reflect on one
man's life and contribution to the pro-choice movement, and to mourn among
other pro-choice supporters.

Please bring your own candle, and meet us in Loring Park tonight from
9-9:30pm. This event is open to the public, but we do ask that you RSVP
simply so we can get an idea of how many people to expect.

Thank you for all you do for the pro-choice movement; we hope to see you
tomorrow night in Loring Park.

--------10 of 12--------

From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at]>
Subject: Kolstad Speaker Training 6.04 6:45pm

Kolstad Speaker Training
NEW CLASS Thursday June 4 6:45pm

"Even if you're already a very good speaker you can always get better;
even concert pianists have music teachers" - J Alfred Prufrocker

Thursday, June 4, Microphone Training, "Effective Use of the Microphone"
will begin at 6:45 and Standard "Speaker Training" will begin at 7 PM.
John's Loft (above Blue Moon) 39th & E Lake/Minneapolis
Open to the general public, to a limit of 8.

with John at 612-722-6649 or jkolstad [at]

Bring two short speeches (1 or 2 minutes each) & 2 copies of each.

Please contribute to the hat each time. A Donation is requested ($10) for
each Session; and John requests you write an evaluation of this training
and send it to him by email.

Speaker Training

John Kolstad, long time musician, performer and public speaker has begun a
speaker training series.  This is designed to help people who have little
or no experience or who have fear and anxiety about public speaking.
However this is also of great value to experienced speakers who wish to
improve on the skills they already have.  In addition to the speaker
training John opens with a brief overview of effective use of a
microphone. [The Do's and Don'ts of using a mic].  Speakers will use the
mic for their speech and will get feedback on its use.

The Speaker Training is done in a relaxed, supportive setting with others
learning the same thing.  Each person makes a short, one to two minute
speech and then John leads a discussion with the group as to what worked
and did not work for the speaker.  Often John will have speakers retry a
certain phrase or sentence with instruction of how to make it more
effective.  Also how effectively they used the mic.

This hands-on class gives the speakers very valuable experience with
speaking that could take years to acquire at occasional opportunities and
events.  They will also learn to overcome or use any nevousness or fear
about public speaking.  This is a place to try new ideas and speaking
techniques or practice a coming speech or presentaion in a non-risk

[These sessions are very effective and rewarding. -ed]

--------11 of x--------

Nader Statement on GM Bankruptcy

WASHINGTON, June 1 PRNewswire-USNewswire - Consumer advocate Ralph
Nader today issued the following statement on GM's bankruptcy filing:

Today's bankruptcy declaration in federal court by General Motors is an
avoidable, crude weapon of mass devastation for workers, dealers, auto
suppliers, small businesses and their depleted communities. For GM's
voiceless owners - the common shareholders - it is a wipeout.

The proximate cause of the bankruptcy was supposed to be the inability of
GM and the government's auto task force to reach an accommodation with
GM's bondholders. But late last week, the bondholder problem was moving
toward rapid resolution, and was clearly resolvable. Why then are GM and
its multibillion government financier proceeding with bankruptcy?

The bankruptcy and the GM restructuring plan are the product of a
secretive, unaccountable, Wall Street-minded government task force that
assumed power because of a Congressional abdication of historic
magnitude. By all rights, the restructuring plan should have been
submitted to Congress for deliberative review and decision.

There is little doubt that GM's chronic mismanagement and the deep
recession require restructuring and scaling back the auto giant. But the
bankruptcy and restructuring plan appear poised to do so in ways that
will needlessly harm the stakeholders meant to be helped by Washington's
rescue of GM?

Many, many jobs will be lost that could be preserved. There is reason to
question whether too many plants and brands are being closed - a matter
that should have been taken up in Congress. Just the closing of hundreds
of (GM and Chrysler) dealerships will cost more than 100,000 jobs. These
sacrificed jobs will fray communities and impose enormous expenses on
government entities that will have to provide unemployment and social
relief, while suffering lost tax revenues.

The unionized workforce will see the wage and benefit structure slashed
- even though auto manufacturer wages make up less than 10 percent of
the cost of a car - so that new jobs at GM will no longer be a ticket to
the middle class. This will drag down the wage structure of the entire
auto industry - exactly the wrong direction for the country.

America's manufacturing base will be further eroded, as GM pursues its
Grand China Strategy - increasing manufacturing outside of the United
States, and increasingly from China, for import back into the United
States. Unanswered questions persist about how GM's valuable operations
in China, and unrepatriated profits, will be treated in bankruptcy, or
excluded from bankruptcy.

Victims of defective GM products may find themselves with no legal avenue
to pursue justice. In the Chrysler bankruptcy, with complete disregard
for the real human lives involved, the Obama task force and auto company
have maneuvered effectively to extinguish the product liability claims of
victims of defective cars.

In a worst case scenario for the GM bankruptcy - involving an extended
court proceeding or severe impairment of consumer confidence in the GM
brand - all of these problems will be magnified. Again, given the path
to resolution with the bondholders, this is an avoidable gamble.

The GM/task force bankruptcy plans appear geared to saving the General
Motors entity - but at a harsh and often avoidable cost to workers,
communities, suppliers, consumers, dealers, and the nation's
manufacturing capacity. It will also prove to be a complex political
nightmare for President Obama.

With the company entering bankruptcy, the next challenge will be to
ensure that the government exercises its ownership rights to undo and
mitigate, to the extent possible, these damages. Among other measures,
this should involve revisiting the serious drag-down, concessionary wage
terms imposed on the United Auto Workers; demanding a moratorium on GM's
outsourcing of production of cars for sale in the United States; and
establishing successorship liability for the new GM, so that victims of
dangerous and defective GM cars can have their day in court.

--------12 of 12--------

America: A Center-Left Nation
Campaign for America's Future
Media Matters for America
May 27, 2009
[moderator - the full report is found here:]

[Good article, even though Obama is not "liberal"  -ed]


Barack Obama promised change during his White House campaign last year and
ran on a distinctly liberal platform of comprehensive health care reform,
investing in new energy and good jobs, ending the Bush-era tax cuts for
the very wealthy, and ending the war in Iraq. Obama won more votes than
any other candidate in American history, and his victory capped off
several years' worth of sweeping Democratic electoral wins.

Yet almost within hours of Obama's victory, portions of the political
press corps insisted America remained firmly planted on the "center-right"
of the political spectrum. "This country, even with the election of Barack
Obama last night, remains a very centered country, or maybe even
center-right in a lot of places," NBC's Tom Brokaw announced less than one
day after Obama claimed victory. Brokaw later added, "We still remain a
centered country or a center-right country when you look at the geographic

Soon Newsweek editor Jon Meacham insisted that to govern successfully,
Obama had to become a center-right leader in order to match America's
"instinctively conservative" streak. (The center-right press push actually
began shortly before Election Day, with the late-October Newsweek cover
story "America the Conservative.") And The Washington Post's David Broder
warned that too many victorious Democrats in Congress had "ideas of their
own about what should be done in energy, health care and education."
Broder ignored the fact that surveys indicated most American favored many
of those Democratic ideas.

>From the press' perspective, the broad Democratic wins
last November did not signify a sea change in American politics, which was
how the media treated big Republican wins in 1980 and 1994. Instead, the
Democratic wins last year unfolded in spite of voters' natural
conservative leanings.

It made sense for partisan conservatives, eager to downplay their losses,
to push the center-right claim in the wake of November's stinging defeats.
(Karl Rove, appearing on Fox News the day after Obama's win: "Barack Obama
understands this is a center-right country.") It's misleading, though, for
the news media to echo that spin, since it's not factually sound. Still,
months into Obama's first term, the center-right claim enjoyed widespread
media acceptance.

"You could make the argument that this is still a center-right country,"
said Fox News anchor Chris Wallace in February, just minutes after
displaying an on-air graphic that showed widespread Republican losses in
recent elections. "We remain a center-right nation in many ways -
particularly culturally, and our instinct," Newsweek's Meacham reiterated
that month. And MSNBC's Chris Matthews echoed the claim in April: "I've
noted that we're right of center except when we're in a crisis, when we're
left of center." In May, too: "The true north is somewhere right of
center, not left of center."

The center-right trend is a familiar one. For years, the Beltway press has
consistently announced, in spite of widespread issue-based polling data
that proved otherwise, that America leans center-right, while implying
that Democrats are electorally successful only if they're able to
camouflage whatever liberal impulses they might have.

"These Democrats that were elected last night are conservative Democrats,"
said CBS' Bob Schieffer the day after they scored big wins in the 2006
midterm elections. It wasn't true, though. A Media Matters survey of the
30 newly elected House Democrats who took Republican seats in 2006 found
that they advocated liberal positions, such as raising the minimum wage,
changing course in Iraq, funding embryonic stem cell research, and
opposing any effort to privatize Social Security.

For the press, Democratic victories are explained away as candidates'
having moved to the right, while Republican victories are confirmed as a
true expression of America's conservative pulse.

Even after the Democratic landslide victory in November - following a
campaign in which Republicans branded Obama as "the most liberal" member
of the U.S. Senate - and even after Democrats took control of both house
of Congress and won governorships and state legislatures nationwide, the
news media continued to propagate the falsehood that America is a
fundamentally conservative country.

The strong job approval ratings that Obama has posted during his first
months in office, during a period when he unveiled an often proactive and
progressive agenda, undercut the claim that the country is center-right.
In fact, conservative commentators, particularly those on Fox News, have
portrayed Obama as so liberal that his activist agenda bordered on
socialist or even Marxist. Yet according to Gallup polling, Obama's
approval ratings for this first 100 days in office were higher than those
of any president since Ronald Reagan and higher than seven of the last
eight presidents at the 100-day mark. It doesn't seem likely that an
entrenched center-right nation would reward such a liberal president with
historically high job-approval ratings. However, a centrist or center-left
nation would.

And all indications today are that America is becoming just that. Polling
data regarding a wide range of issues, including the role of big business,
health care reform, gay marriage, stimulus spending, international trade,
and Social Security, indicate that Americans are increasingly receptive to
and comfortable with a progressive agenda.

It would be hard, furthermore, to argue that voters were somehow fooled
about what Obama's agenda would be. A Pew Research Center poll in October
2008 showed that voters identified Obama as "liberal" and roughly as far
to the left as John McCain was to the right. By overwhelming numbers,
voters selected the liberal candidate over the conservative one.

The idea that America is a center-right country whose citizens are
skeptical of, if not hostile toward, progressive candidates and policies
has long been a staple of political commentary. There would be nothing
problematic in journalists' relying on this notion if actual evidence
existed to support it. The truth, however, is that in most policy areas,
it is progressive ideas that enjoy majority support. At a time when
Democrats control not only the White House and both houses of Congress but
a majority of governorships and state legislatures, as well, the picture
of America as a center-right country has become particularly hard to

The term "center-right" itself is based on questionable premises. It comes
from the notion that combining the "right" - self-described conservatives
- with the "center" - self-described moderates (or in a partisan
context, Republicans with independents) - creates the center-right
majority of the country. But on issue after issue, and in growing
percentages over time, nominal independents or moderates increasingly
mirror the opinions of nominal Democrats or liberals. The majority is
center-left; it is the right that is isolated.


The role of government: Sixty-six percent of people - a 9-percent
increase since 2004 - believe "there are more things government should be
doing," compared with 32 percent who believe "less government the better."

Business: Five times as many people (78 percent vs. 15 percent) believe
"[t]oo much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies"
as opposed to those who believe that the largest companies "do not have
too much power."

Health care: Fifty-four percent of Americans think it is the
responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have
health care coverage; 46 percent support the implementation of a
government insurance plan, compared with 28 percent who favor private
insurance plans.

Taxes: Sixty-seven percent of Americans believe corporations pay too
little in federal taxes and 60 percent believe high-income people pay too
little. Unsurprisingly, a March Pew poll found that 61 percent of the
public supported Obama's proposal to raise taxes on those making more than
$200,000 per year.

The culture war: Sixty-one percent of Americans support "government
funding for research" on embryonic stem cells; 77 percent support allowing
gays to serve in the military; 61 percent support same-sex marriage or
civil unions.


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