Progressive Calendar 06.09.09
From: David Shove (
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]>
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]>
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]>
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

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]

--------4 of 13--------

rom: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
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.
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

--------5 of 13--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
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 ( )
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]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 6.09 7pm

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

--------7 of 13--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
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

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

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

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 -

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]>
Subject: Cop army/KFAI 6.10 11am

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.

 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
 JILL CLARK, Criminal Defense Attorney; Plaintiff's Advocate; former
judicial candidate

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

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]>
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
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]

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

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
June 8, 2009

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 , 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.

|1| In the Declaration of the Women's Assembly
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]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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