|Progressive Calendar 06.09.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 05:02:52 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.09.09 1. NWN4P vigil 6.09 4:45pm 2. Poor justice/CTV 6.09 5pm 3. RNC court watch 6.09 6pm 4. RNC8/dinner 6.09 6pm 5. Edward Abbey 6.09 6:30pm 6. Amnesty Intl 6.09 7pm 7. China/tank man 6.09 9pm 8. Cop army/KFAI 6.10 11am 9. El Salvador 6.10 6:30pm 10. ed - Cop army: Andy's Qs and ed's A 11. Toussaint/Millet - Partisans of capitalism lose all credibility 12. Michael Collins - The binary fallacy and the end of two parties 13. ed - The rich drive drunk (poem) --------1 of 13-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P vigil 6.09 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. Northwest Neighbors for Peace resumed weekly vigils at Winnetka and 42nd on April 14th but there has been some confusion related to this change and it has been listed incorrectly in some area calendars. Therefore, we want to clarify that we are indeed at Winnetka and 42nd in New Hope every Tuesday (weather permitting) between 4:45 and 5:45 PM. Following our weekly vigils we sometimes gather together for informal fellowship and a bite to eat. But ... why vigil at all? Many young men and women from our area are now serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Many of those who joined the Guard, never anticipated that they would someday be serving so far from home. Whenever I question "why are we doing this?" I think of the scene in the documentary, "Ground Truth" where someone asks a disabled veteran if he had been in an accident. He responds that he was injured in the war in Iraq and the questioner says, "Oh ... is that still going on?" One reason we vigil is _to remind all of our fellow citizens that members of our Minnesota families are continuing to fight and die in our name._ Yes, the wars "are still going on." The change in administration certainly gives us hope that our troops will be leaving Iraq and that the effort in Afghanistan will include diplomacy and other non-military solutions. The increase of troops in Afghanistan, however, makes it clear that there is still a need for a public presence of people who support a diplomatic surge, humanitarian programs, and an emphasis on non-military solutions to problems. For that reason, the signs we carry will stress, "Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home", "Diplomacy", "Peace", "War is not the Answer", "Talk, Not Bombs", "Money for People not for Bombs", etc. We will have signs that you may use or you are free to bring your own. (Park in the lot west of McDonald's.) We hope to be there every week ... unless it is raining. If you ever have a last minute question about whether a vigil is "on" or not, feel free to call me at 763-546-5368. Carole Rydberg email person --------2 of 13-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Poor justice/CTV 6.09 5pm Stirred 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, 6/9, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 6/10, 10am Poor People's Justice Carolina Lamas, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Justice Center in St. Paul and Michael Friedman, Executive Director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis share the basics of the legal process for people who are at risk of arrest including many poor people and people of color. Guest hosted by Jude Ortiz. --------3 of 13-------- From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at] gmail.com> Subject: RNC court watch 6.09 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 13-------- rom: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: RNC8/dinner 6.09 6pm FREE Spaghetti Dinner with the RNC 8 Tuesday, June 9, from 6- 7:30 pm @ Walker Church basement, 3104 16th Ave. S. Minneapolis* The RNC 8 invite you to a FREE spaghetti dinner (cooked by them!) There will be vegan and vegetarian options available. Hope to see you there! For more info go to RNC8.org. --------5 of 13-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Edward Abbey 6.09 6:30pm The salon this Tuesday, June 9, will be a DVD on the life of Edward Abbey (his quote is below), called A Voice in the Wilderness. He was an avid environmentalist, especially of the American West. He died in 1989, way too young. "One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast - a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for awhile and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk- bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculatorrs. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards." -Edward Abbey 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 13-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 6.09 7pm JOIN THE FIRST MINNEAPOLIS AMNESTY MEETUP: TUESDAY, JUNE 9 - 7 P.M. Join other Amnesty members and friends for a casual, agenda-free social meetup on the second Tuesday of each month. Free flowing conversation about our shared interests. Common Roots Cafe, 2558 Lyndale Ave S., Minneapolis MN 55405. Beer, wine, coffee, and food available. Look for (or ask for) Gabe. For a map, directions, and more info on Common Roots Cafe, visit their web site: http://www.commonrootscafe.com/ --------7 of 13-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> From: FRONTLINE Bulletin Subject: China/tank man 6.09 9pm This Week: "The Tank Man" (60 minutes), June 9th at 9pm on PBS (Check local listings) To mark the twentieth anniversary of the crushing of the Chinese pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, this Tuesday night FRONTLINE is re-airing filmmaker Antony Thomas' 2006 report, "The Tank Man," which attempts to solve an enduring mystery: Who was the lone, unarmed man who stepped in front of a column of Chinese Army tanks back in June, 1989? What happened to him afterward? And how did Tiananmen help redefine China's view of itself, and its place in the world? In this definitive account, Thomas uses eyewitness and expert accounts to retell the amazing events of the spring of 1989, and to sort truth from myth about the man who became an icon of the struggle for freedom around the world before disappearing into history. Thomas also attempts to understand how China's leadership charted a course through the tumult, then remade the country into a global economic superpower in subsequent years. The most telling scenes in the film may be those in which the legacy of Tiananmen seems least clear: At one point, Thomas shows the image of "Tank Man" to undergraduates at Beijing University, but none of them recognize it. There are conflicting reports about whether images of "Tank Man" continue to be blocked across China. But, as we recently learned, if you attempt to watch this FRONTLINE film from inside the country, you're sure to find yourself out of luck - your connection will be blocked by Chinese censors, and your Internet browser temporarily shut down. For more on the current situation in China, listen to FRONTLINE's new podcast, featuring an interview with The New Yorker's Beijing correspondent, Evan Osnos. The podcast also includes an interview with filmmaker Thomas who discusses the making of this film, including the moment he showed "Tank Man" to the university students. Go to - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/rss/flpodcast.xml We hope you'll join us for this broadcast Tuesday night. And a reminder: You can watch the show anytime online at our Web site where it is streamed in high quality video. The site also offers much more on this story. --------8 of 13-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: Cop army/KFAI 6.10 11am TruthToTell: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10 - 17 - 24 - 11:00AM SPECIAL REPORT: The Cop Culture: Fear and Loathing in the Streets 1st in a Series- Weds 11AM KFAI 90.3FM TruthToTell examines the dark and isolated world of local police culture and the nature of law enforcement in general. Why has this paramilitary subset of civil society grown so insular, more secretive and more rageful and violent? How can we address the increasing federal conscription of local law enforcement agencies to violently put down legitimate political dissent - while stoking the deepening paranoia over those who disagree with increasingly rightwing and racist policing? Why are we seeing more and more deception in police reports, shredding of documents, disappearing evidence and confiscated money? Why can't we convict renegade cops and redress their abuses? Is there or has there ever been a bright line between some officers and the alleged offenders they arrest and charge? Where is accountability in law enforcement? Is it recoverable? Cops don't live in the places they patrol anymore. What role has that played in the dissociation between police and the people they "protect?" TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with current and former local and federal law enforcement, defense community, critics, policymakers, residents and reporters about what we can do to change these occupying armies back to community policing. Join us for this three-part series. JUNE 10 GUESTS: MICHAEL QUINN, retired Minneapolis Police Officer; Author, Walking with the Devil (Inside the Code of Silence) COLEEN ROWLEY, former FBI agent; 9/11 whistleblower; Peace and Justice advocate JILL CLARK, Criminal Defense Attorney; Plaintiff's Advocate; former judicial candidate BENJAMIN MYERS, Attorney -- On three successive Wednesdays in June - 10, 17, 24 - Truth to Tell will air a series discussing the power and culture in the Minneapolis- St. Paul police cultures. The unfettered power to stop citizens and non-citizens continues to expand with this latest ruling [see below], and anyone experiencing the behavior of rogue cops in the streets can only wonder when society will rein in this power and stop undermining the 4th Amendment against unreasonable seizures and failure to leave charged people free of coercion when being questioned. People are not guilty because they've been arrested. Period. The Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments could not manifest more divergent histories in terms of their treatment of people they're in business to protect, but the police culture as a whole has been given extraordinary legal leeway to intimidate regular citizens and non-citizens as they go about their daily lives - most especially residents of color. The greatest disappointment here is that this ruling came at the urging of the Obama - not the Bush - Administration. Barack Obama's mixed politics are beginning to wear thin on progressives expecting the man and his government to defer to the Constitution before he defers to government and police. -Andy Driscoll -- May 26, 2009 Justices Ease Rules on Questioning By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a long- standing ruling that stopped police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer was present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects. The high court, in a 5-4 ruling, overturned the 1986 Michigan v. Jackson ruling, which said police may not initiate questioning of a defendant who has a lawyer or has asked for one unless the attorney is present. The Michigan ruling applied even to defendants who agreed to talk to the authorities without their lawyers. The court's conservatives overturned that opinion, with Justice Antonin Scalia saying ''it was poorly reasoned.'' Under the Jackson opinion, police could not even ask a defendant who had been appointed a lawyer if he wanted to talk, Scalia said. ''It would be completely unjustified to presume that a defendant's consent to police-initiated interrogation was involuntary or coerced simply because he had previously been appointed a lawyer,'' Scalia said in the court's opinion. Scalia, who read the opinion from the bench, said the decision will have ''minimal'' effects on criminal defendants because of the protections the court has provided in other decisions. ''The considerable adverse effect of this rule upon society's ability to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice far outweighs its capacity to prevent a genuinely coerced agreement to speak without counsel present,'' Scalia said. The Michigan v. Jackson opinion was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the only current justice who was on the court at the time. He and Justices David Souter, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the ruling, and in an unusual move Stevens read his dissent aloud from the bench. It was the first time this term a justice had read a dissent aloud. ''The police interrogation in this case clearly violated petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to counsel,'' Stevens said. Overruling the Jackson case, he said, ''can only diminish the public's confidence in the reliability and fairness of our system of justice.'' The Obama administration had asked the court to overturn Michigan v. Jackson, disappointing civil rights and civil liberties groups that expected President Barack Obama to reverse the policies of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush. The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Solicitor General Elena Kagan, said the 1986 decision ''serves no real purpose'' and offers only ''meager benefits.'' The government said defendants who don't wish to talk to police don't have to and that officers must respect that decision. But it said there is no reason a defendant who wants to should not be able to respond to officers' questions. Eleven states also echoed the administration's call to overrule the 1986 case. The decision comes in the case of Jesse Jay Montejo, who was found guilty in 2005 of the shooting death of Louis Ferrari in the victim's home on Sept. 5, 2002. Montejo was appointed a public defender at his Sept. 10, 2002 hearing, but never indicated that he wanted the lawyer's help. Montejo then went with police detectives to help them look for the murder weapon. While in the car, Montejo wrote a letter to Ferrari's widow incriminating himself. When they returned to the prison, a public defender was waiting for Montejo, irate that his client had been questioned in his absence. Police used the letter against Montejo at trial, and he was convicted and sentenced to death. He appealed, but the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the conviction and sentence. The Supreme Court sent the case back for a determination of whether any of Montejo's other court-provided protections, like his Miranda rights, were violated. The case is Montejo v. Louisiana, 07-1529 --------9 of 13-------- From: Socialist Appeal <new [at] socialistappeal.org> Subject: El Salvador 6.10 6:30pm Where is El Salvador Going? A Discussion with Jorge Martin and the FMLN of MN Wednesday June 10 6:30pm 1304 University Ave. NE, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN Call 651-373-7609 if you have trouble finding it or getting in. Phone: 651-373-7609 Email: msp [at] ushov.org Dear Friends of Hands Off Venezuela and the FMLN in MN, With the historic victory of the FMLN in El Salvador, the fates of the Venezuelan and Salvadorean peoples are more closely linked than ever. Now that Mauricio Funes has become President, the hope and need for change in El Salvador and throughout the region is also stronger than ever. What steps has Funes taken in the first days of his presidency? How did the FMLN manage to come to power after years of right wing ARENA governments? How will the world economic crisis affect El Salvador? What policies should the FMLN implement in order to meet the aspirations of the masses? What is the role of the masses in fighting for these policies? What is the role of rank and file groups like the Bloque Popular Juvenil (BPJ)? How will ties between Venezuela and El Salvador be strengthened? Why did Hugo Chavez have to skip Funes' inauguration? Jorge Martin, International Secretary for HOV is in the U.S. for a brief tour. He will be speaking on the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution this Saturday, June 13 at 7 pm at the Central Labor Council in Minneapolis. We are taking advantage of his being in the Twin Cities to organize a discussion with him and local FMLN activists on the future of the revolution in El Salvador. This event is free and open to the public, although donations to help the work of HOV and the BPJ in El Salvador are always appreciated. Free cookies, coffee from Equal Exchange, and Salvadorean tamales will be available. In solidarity, Twin Cities Hands Off Venezuela and the FMLN MN --------10 of 13-------- Andy's Qs and ed's A by ed Andy's first Q [item #8 above]: "Why has this paramilitary subset of civil society grown so insular, more secretive and more rageful and violent?" ed's A: The police always the ruling class first. The ruling class wants fascism ASAP. Because it wants to squeeze the last bit of cash and property and labor from the bottome 99 percent of us. We would rebel, so they need a brutal police state ready and waiting. Before that the aim is to beat us down (cf the RNC) and break our spirits and make us willing slaves and victims. (Now you know why I don't love the rich). The above answer applies to the Andy's other Qs below: " [Why..] the increasing federal conscription of local law enforcement agencies to violently put down legitimate political dissent - while stoking the deepening paranoia over those who disagree with increasingly rightwing and racist policing? Why are we seeing more and more deception in police reports, shredding of documents, disappearing evidence and confiscated money? Why can't we convict renegade cops and redress their abuses? Where is accountability in law enforcement? Cops don't live in the places they patrol anymore. What role has that played in the dissociation between police and the people they "protect?" " It's very dark and grim, so we'd much prefer not to think about it, or to live in denial until The Day (Der Tag) when the rich go for total control. It happened in so-called civilized Germany; it can happen here - as it just did happen here in brief at the StPaul RNC, to the applause of the collaborationist mayors/city councils/corporate press. StPaul RNC was a dress rehearsal for the wet dream of the rich. If we don't want it to happen to us we'll have to act/resist a lot more than we have. -ed --------11 of 13-------- The European Elections The Partisans of Capitalism Have Lost All Credibility By ERIC TOUSSAINT and DAMIEN MILLET June 8, 2009 CounterPunch The partisans of capitalism, and among them, prominently, the EU leaders, have lost all credibility. For years now they have trampled on the rights of peoples while not wavering when it came to making decisions directly opposed to their advertised principles in order to bail out major banks. European government parties could have acted differently and nationalised the banks, thus retrieving the cost of the bailout on the patrimony of major shareholders and CEOs. The public credit instrument that would have resulted could finance socially useful and environment-friendly projects while guaranteeing individual savings. The crisis has brought back onto the agenda proposals that had been swept aside during the long neoliberal night such as a radical reduction of working time (with creation of jobs and no loss of pay) or indexation of wages and social benefits on the cost of living. Europe needs new financial discipline: company ledgers have to be opened to external and internal auditing (through the trade unions among others), all financial products must be regulated, and it must be forbidden for companies to have assets in any tax haven. Major means of production, trade, finance, communication and other services must be transferred to the public sphere and taken away from capitalists' control. Access to public goods must be systematically promoted. In a political perspective, European citizens must retrieve the political power that has been taken away from them. The populations who were able to have their say on the Constitutional Treaty turned it down, but leaders ignored their votes without a second thought. Meanwhile Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia show us the way. There, citizens elected a Constituant Assembly in order to draw up a new draft Constitution, which is to be discussed with social movements and sanctioned by referenda. In these three countries voters can now revoke any elected representative mid-mandate, whereas no European Constitution mentions any such highly democratic mechanism. The countries of Europe must stop plundering the natural resources and know-how of the South. They must increase official development aid, which ought to be called "contribution to reparations" by way of repairing the historical, social and environmental damage they brought about. Europe must cancel Third World Debt and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in all its dimensions, including article 13, the right to freedom of movement and residence. Europe must turn away from nuclear power and dismantle all nuclear weapons currently on its territory. Europe must leave NATO and withdraw its troops from all territories under military occupation. Europe must close down all US military bases on its territory. All EU member countries must grant complete independence to populations they still wield colonial power over (the "French" and "Dutch" Antilles, British overseas territories, New Caledonia, Reunion Island.). Europe must rescind all partnership agreements with Israel and see to it that the rights of the Palestinian people be at long last respected. Capitalism has drawn humankind down into a deep multidimensional crisis: it affects the financial sector, the economy, the climate, food and energy supplies, not to mention wars and the arms race. The patriarchal system perpetuates the oppression of women in all areas of life. As asserted at the Women's Assembly at the World Social Forum in Belem on 1 February 2009: We are not interested in palliative answers based on market logic in response to these crises ; this can only lead to perpetuation of the same system. We need to move forward in building alternatives if we are to oppose the capitalist and patriarchal system that oppresses and exploits us. |1| We also support the declaration of indigenous peoples adopted at Belem: The capitalist development model, a model that is Eurocentric, sexist and racist, is in absolute crisis, and is leading us to the greatest social and environmental crisis in the history of humankind. Structural unemployment is aggravated by the financial, economic, energy and production crisis, along with social exclusion, sexist and racist violence and religious fanaticism. That there should be so many simultaneous crises, and so deep, forebodes an authentic crisis of civilization, a crisis of "capitalist and modern development" that endangers all forms of life. But there are those who continue to dream of improving this model and refuse to acknowledge that what is in crisis is capitalism, Euro-centrism, with its model of a State destined for one culturally homogeneous nationality, western positive rights, developmentalism and the commodification of life. |2| Capitalism, patriarchy, and all forms of oppression will not disappear of their own accord: only the conscious and deliberate actions of men and women can yield another system whose goals would be to guarantee indivisible human rights and to protect the environment. We must free our minds of the tragic Stalinist caricature of communism, do away with capitalism, and invent an ecologically viable, socialist and feminist project rooted in the realities of the 21st century. Eric Toussaint, president of the Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt - Belgium www.cadtm.org , author of The World Bank: A Critical Primer, Pluto, London, 2008. Damien Millet, mathematician, is spokeperson for CADTM France (Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt). Joint authors of 60 Questions 60 Rponses sur la dette, le FMI et la Banque Mondiale, CADTM-Syllepse, Lige-Paris, 2008. English version to be published in 2009. Notes |1| In the Declaration of the Women's Assembly |2| http://www.indigenousportal.com/ Translated by Christine Pagnoulle in collaboration with Vicki Briault --------12 of 13-------- The Binary Fallacy and the End of Two Parties by Michael Collins June 8th, 2009 Dissident Voice The results of eight years of Bush-Cheney at the helm make the demise of the Republican Party an easy call. Our financial system is on life support. The major banks are insolvent, according to banking and legal authority William K. Black. If they're not, they're in intensive care. No matter how many trillions of dollars worth of infusions they receive, they're not making loans. The economy is in a free fall with growth down 6% a quarter and job losses running at nearly 600,000 a month. We're stuck in two catastrophic wars. Despite President Obama's election, we're viewed with suspicion and disregard throughout the world. The public knows which party bears the primary blame for all of this and they're not about to forget any time soon. The Republican Party is headed for the political graveyard. They're not going to rely on past achievements though. Through their self-proclaimed national leader, the odious Rush Limbaugh, they've chosen to attack the first Latino nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, for being a "racist". Former Oxycontin addict Limbaugh said, "She brings a form of bigotry and racism to the court". He went on to say that nominating her was like nominating Klansman and Aryan Nation advocate David Duke for the highest court. These charges are quite literally bizarre, particularly with Limbaugh calling anyone else a racist. Newt Gingrich has joined Limbaugh in a duet of stupidity. This is appropriate since Gingrich is the architect of the power and policies used by Republicans to drive the nation into its current crisis. The political impact for Republicans will be devastating. Sotomayor is the first Latino nominated to the Supreme Court. Latinos represent the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. They're the fastest group ever to assimilate to U.S. culture and achieve middle class status. Latinos went for Obama 67% to McCain's 33%, and comprised 9% of the electorate in 2008. Among Latino youth, the fastest growing segment of the Latino population, the choice was 76% Obama compared to 19% McCain. Sotomayor is also a woman nominee. Women comprised 53% of the electorate in 2008 and they went for Obama 56% to 43% for McCain. Many of those women are working and struggle with fools like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich on a regular basis. The Republicans are like an early adolescent frenetically trying on new identities, each seemingly stranger than the last. Led by the Southern wing, the party began by opposing the bailout for the big three U.S. automakers. Acting as though the nation doesn't need any heavy industry or a few million people don't need a job, their mask of fiscal rigor hid the fact that key southern states have the manufacturing base for major foreign automakers. They then turned to Rush and, at the same time, held a national protest in April. Sparsely attended, this nationwide event acquired the unfortunate name of "Tea bagging". It failed to produce anything more than some Jerry Springer quality footage for a brief spot on local news. Recently, the national Republican Party, backed by early presidential aspirant Gingrich, tried to rename the Democrats as the "Democratic Socialist Party". There is no end in sight to this parade of irrelevant, out of touch efforts. We're now seeing the final phases of the Republican dance macabre. The Limbaugh-Gingrich anti-Latino campaign is so dangerous that some Republican senators, including right wing Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), are moving away from the slanders against Sotomayor. John McCain (R-AZ) also sees the implications for his party. He's signed up to attend the National Council of La Raza conference this summer to counter the anti Latino rhetoric spread by other Republican leaders. Democratic loyalists are acting as though the Republican demise is an accomplishment on their part. It is as though their understated - but very complicit - support of the Republican policies of empire and wealth transfer to the ultra wealthy will go unnoticed. Congressional Democrats voted in the majority to authorize the Iraq invasion. They voted in the majority to fund the Iraq adventure long after the lies leading to war were well known. A majority of Senate Democrats voted for the Patriot Act. A Democratic controlled Senate allowed further government spying on personal communication (FISA Amendments) in 2008 and a third of Senate Democrats supported the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which gutted habeas corpus, and Democrats voted for the initial Wall Street welfare bill; also known as the bailout. Right now, the Obama administration is responsible for doubling the Bush administrations cash transfer form the U.S. Treasury to Wall Street and the banks. Democrats failed to pass the only major bill to ease rampant foreclosures. This left 1.7 million families likely to lose their homes. Democrats did pass a credit card reform bill but forgot to cap those 29% interest limits that the banks arbitrarily assign. There was an announced policy to leave Iraq. To date, all we've seen are plans to open up a new phase of the Afghan war with tens of thousands of troops simply switching job assignments from Iraq to an even more treacherous landscape. Ominously, we now have plans for super embassy in Pakistan to rival the fortress constructed in Iraq. Democrats don't want people to see pictures of Bush-Cheney torture from the prison at Guantanamo, probably because it occurred with funding that they helped provide. They don't want to close that facility if it means housing prisoners in the United States. This forced their president into the extraordinary and troubling position of maintaining current prisoners in Cuba. As the Democratic Senators participated in the 90 to 6 vote to refuse President Obama funds to close Guantanamo, they were resolute in failing to mention that only 10 of over 400 prisoners there are charged with a violent crime. To borrow an appropriate response, You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, at long last? Apparently not. Democrats won't even talk about the deaths of over a million Iraqi civilians due to civil strife caused by the war that they funded. Failing to talk about it means it never happened, they hope. Despite all of the alleged but obvious crimes of Bush-Cheney against people here and around the world, the Democrats want to "look forward" and bypass prosecutions of any sort against the Bush administration. The Binary Fallacy The binary fallacy is the crude dialectic that assumes that the two political parties are the only choices for voters and that what's bad for one party will always be good for the other. As evidence for this, we have Nixon's Watergate scandal followed by huge Democratic victories in congressional elections. President Carter's economically distressed four years begat the Reagan revolution and so forth. Democrat Party operatives see the collapse of the nation and attendant pain as working against the Republicans since they were in control when the decline was assured by Republican sponsored programs. The situation is so bad, they argue, no one will take the Republicans seriously over the near and midterm. Add the highly favorable demographics among youth, women, and the emerging Latino population and you've got the dominant political party of the next few decades. Republican loyalists speak of the risks that the Obama administration has inherited. When he falters, as he may given the circumstances that Republicans know all too well, his failure will assure a Republican comeback they argue. Both parties fail to realize two flaws in their embedded fallacy. First, the fallacy became a manufactured truth over decades due to the rigged game of U.S. politics. Funding and access to major media presume membership in one of the two major parties. Third party candidates need to poll equal or ahead in the public opinion polls, as Ross Perot did in 1992, in order to get any media attention or money. When the system is heavily rigged to exclude third parties, then, of course, there are only two choices. The second flaw in the binary fallacy is embodied by our current troubles. The fallacy does not take into account successful performance during extreme crises. We're either in a depression or we're in the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. Times are desperate for tens of millions. The vast majority lives in fear of entering the world of the unemployed, homeless, and bereft. Iraq is the biggest foreign policy disaster in modern times. Our new plans for an Afghanistan adventure have the potential to equal Iraq in terms of national loss and increased threats of blowback. One party created the current disaster. The other has embraced the broadest parameters of the policies that created the disasters that voters want fixed - wealth transfers to the ultra rich while the vast majority gets just about nothing plus mindless, counter productive fantasies of empire through war. The two parties and the elitists who look down their noses on the overwhelming majority of citizens assume that the people will simply tolerate the creation of a catastrophe by one party and the perpetuation of that grave injustice to citizens by the other. When you're broke, you know it. When you're out of work, you know it. When there are no jobs, you know it. And when the country continues to fight overseas but does nothing to protect economic security at home, you know it. The game is up. The party is over. The people have a fundamental right to survive, at the very least. If both parties continue to promote policies that leave out almost all citizens, as is now the case, there will be alternatives that look nothing like the current two political parties. The binary fallacy and the two parties that fail to address our crises will be no more. Relying solely on the failures of the opposing party while embracing their programs will soon be defunct. -Special thanks to Kathyn Stone for her helpful comments. Michael Collins writes for Scoop Independent News and a variety of other web publications on election fraud and other corruptions of the new millennium. He is one of few to report on the ongoing struggles of Susan Lindauer, an activist accused of being a foreign agent, who was the subject of a government request for forced psychiatric medication. --------13 of 13-------- The rich drive fast drunk wild blind hit peds crunch laugh ha ha ha ha ha ha ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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