Progressive Calendar 06.17.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 04:11:06 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    06.17.09

1. Howard Zinn/KFAI  6.17 11am
2. Bridge/war/10yrs  6.17 5pm
3. Health series/1   6.17 7pm

4. Eagan peace vigil 6.18 4:30pm
5. Northtown vigil   6.18 5pm
6. Vs Darth Fletcher 6.18 5:30pm
7. Vs Xcel/Hiawatha  6.18 6pm
8. AWC/GLBT/Pride    6.18 6pm
9. Single payer fest 6.18 6:30pm
10. Health system    6.18 6:30pm
11. Amnesty Intl     6.18 7pm

12. Chris Hedges  - The American empire is bankrupt
13. PC Roberts - Why the US wants to delegitimize the Iranian elections
14. Robert Jensen - Finding a stubborn hope to live in a dead culture
15. Agence France Presse - Dem Congress approves $106 bln for war

--------1 of 15--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Howard Zinn/KFAI 6.17 11am

June 17 11am: REPEAT: Howard Zinn and Voices of A People's History
KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at

--------2 of 15--------

From: braun044 <braun044 [at]>
Subject: Bridge/war/10yrs 6.17 5pm

Dear Peacemakers,
This spring marks the tenth anniversary of the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue
Peace Vigil.  We hope you will join with others at a special Vigil,
Potluck and Speakout to remember 10 years of consistent public witness
against sanctions, war and occupation . . . and to share our "bridge

The Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge Peace Vigil:
June 17, 2009

5:00 pm    Vigil on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge
6:30 pm    Potluck dinner at St. Albert the Great Church
     2836 - 33rd Avenue South, Minneapolis
     (parking lot: take driveway on 33rd Avenue between 28th and 29th streets)
7:00 pm    Music by Bret Hesla and Linda Breitag
     Story telling:  Sharing of memories on the bridge

Thousands of people from the Twin Cities and many outside the twin cities
area have been to the vigil on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue bridge.
We hope June 17th will be an opportunity to come together to share our
stories and to support one another in our continuing struggle to end the
wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the bombing of
Pakistan, and focus our government's attention on issues of jobs,
education, housing, health care and other human needs.

It was in the spring of 1999, in response to the U.S. bombing of
Yugoslavia, that a group of peace activists started a weekly vigil on the
Lake Street/Marshall Avenue bridge over the Mississippi, that continues to
this day . . . and has been an inspiration to many others who started
vigils in their own communities across the state of Minnesota and as far
away as Sacramento, California.

Over the years, the vigil has focused primarily on opposing U.S. policy in
Iraq, but vigilers have frequently raised their voice relative to other
issues:  threats of war against Iran, North Korea, and Syria; torture;
attacks on civil liberties; opposing the war on Afghanistan and U.S.
support for the occupation of Palestine; and calling on the government to
fund human services . . . not war.

The numbers at the weekly bridge vigil have varied from seven persons on a
freezing day in January to 1,200 on the day that the BBC filmed Mary and
Nick Eoloffs, adoptive parents of Mordecai Vanunu, during one of the

We believe it is very important that now, when we have a window of
opportunity for significant change, that we come out publicly in large
numbers to tell our government that "we do not want more of the same in
U.S. foreign policy."

Peace in the struggle,
Marie Braun For Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq 612-522-1861
FFI:  Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq (612-522-1861) and Women
Against Military Madness (612-827-5364);

[Ten years of lying promises by master liers of both parties, and ten
years of supreme gullibility and Emily Post niceness inaction and blind
belief in the system. All it has gotten us is ten years more of worse
wars. Do the same thing for the next ten years and we can look forward
to "20yrs on the bridge." Doing something different means taking on the
ruling class, the cause of all wars. Class war, folks. (Oh gosh, maybe
we'd better not; just let all those other killing wars go on... god
forbid we piss off the rich...)  -ed]

--------3 of 15--------

From: Rhoda Gilman <rhodagilman [at]>
Subject: Health series/1 6.17 7pm

Equity in Access to Health Care, 7 p.m.  The
Physicians Perspective

Dr. Oliver Fein, President of the Physicians for a National Health
Program, and local physician, Dr. Elizabeth Frost, will open a seven part
series series on equality in access to health care at Jeanne d'Arc
Auditorium, Whitby Hall, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Avenue,
St. Paul on Wednesday, June 17 at 7 p.m.  The forums will be held once a
month. Please take
advantage of this opportunity to gain a broad perspective on health care
at these free forums.

Hazardous To Your Health!
  A series on equality in access to health care

The Physician's Perspective
Dr. Oliver Fein, Dr. Elizabeth Frost
Physicians for a National Health Program
June 17, 2009
7:00 pm
St. Catherine University,
Whitby Hall,
Jeanne d'Arc Auditorium

The United States is the richest nation in the world; we spend twice as
much as other developed countries on health care, yet our system is in
crisis.  As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said:  "Of all the forms of
inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane".

This inaugural presentation in the series features Dr. Oliver Fein the
national president of Physicians for a National Health Program and local
physician Dr. Elizabeth Frost.  Both will speak about their experience
working with patients and as ad­vocates of health care reform.

Physicians for a National Health Program-Minnesota and the St. Catherine
University are introducing a seven part series on health care,
investigating different forms of inequality and ac cess. Because health
care is a right, not a privilege, it is an issue of justice when necessary
care is unavailable or denied.

All events are free and open to the public.
Presented by Saint Catherine University and Physicians for a National
Health Program, Minnesota. Produced by Queenan Productions

--------4 of 15--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 4.18 4:30pm

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

--------5 of 15--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 6.18 5pm

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

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

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

--------6 of 15--------

From: CRASS info [at]
To: friendsofthernc8 [at]
Subject: Vs Darth Fletcher 6.18 5:30pm

CRASS Event this Thursday - Sheriff Bob Fletcher's post-RNC "Dollars for
Documents" graft party!

[This appears to be an invitation to invade Darth Fletcher's fundraiser
party. And gesture at him and his collaborator co-conspirator
police-staters Rybak/Colemen/et al. How corrupt can it get?  We don't have
to imagine; it's right here in front of our noses. Seig heil! -ed]

A celebration of the continuing corruption and brutality that has defined
Bob's tenure, we will honor not only Bob but his wonderful
co-conspirators, including - but certainly not limited to - Chris Coleman,
Susan Gaertner, Richard Dusterhoft, John Choi, R.T. Rybak, Rick Stanek,
Tim Dolan, John Harrington, Andrew Luger, Heidi Westby, Thomas
Heffelfinger, and thousands of masked riot cops!

WHO: Bob; Bob's apologists; C*R*A*S*S*; and, of course, you!
WHAT: Awesomeness, fun, and spectacle, clearly
WHEN: Thursday, June 18th from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: 0'Gara's Bar and Grill
164 North Snelling Avenue
The Police State of Saint Paul, Minnesota

Please be advised: Maximum contributions are unlimited - Bob will find a way to
accept your money and/or vehicles. In addition, we will provide you with some
limited edition "Fletcher Bucks" to donate if you are low on cash and cars.

Prepared and paid for - with love! -- by the CRASS Pressure Campaign Committee

--------7 of 15--------

From: Tupper <tupper6342 [at]>
Subject: Vs Xcel/Hiawatha 6.18 6pm

High Voltage Line
Citizens Must Voice Concerns and Make Recommendations at Public Meeting;
Thursday, June 18, 2009
At the Midtown Global Market
920 East Lake Street
6:00 p.m.

The Midtown Greenway Coalition requests all interested citizens and
organizations to attend a public meeting sponsored by the Minnesota Office
of Energy Security (OES).  At this meeting input will be gathered
regarding what to study as part of the state's environmental review of
Xcel's proposed High Voltage Transmission Lines (HTVL), leading to a
decision by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a route
permit.  The Coalition encourages all interested persons and organizations
to attend and share their concerns and recommendations.


[Stop this cancer. -ed]

--------8 of 15--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: AWC/GLBT/Pride 6.18 6pm

Button Making Party
Thursday, June18th @ 6pm @ Anti-War Committee office @ 1313 5th Ave. SE Rm
112c, Minneapolis
Come help us make buttons for GLBT Pride.  No skills required.  We'll
teach you how to make fabulous anti-war buttons.  Feel free to stay for
the Anti-War Committee meeting which starts at 7pm.

[Suggestion for a Pride banner:  | Ask. Tell. |   -ed]

--------9 of 15--------

From: MN Universal Health Care Coalition <info [at]>
Subject: Single payer fest 6.18 6:30pm

Single-Payer Summer Celebration and Fundraiser
Thursday, June 18, 2009
6:30-8:30 PM
At the University Club on the corner of Summit and Grand Avenue in St.
Buffet dinner, cash bar, program and live auction

Featured speakers at the program are Dr. Oliver Fein, President of
Physicians for a National Health Program, and Senator John Marty, Chief
Senate Author of the Minnesota Health Act.

Special Musical Guests! Big Sunflower Jazz Quartet will be playing during
dinner, and Prudence Johnson and Dan Chouinard will open our program.

Could there be any better way to spend a summer evening?
Please join us! Tickets are $50 and are now available on-line. Don't
delay, this event will sell-out.

Is Single-Payer On The Table?
Ever since U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT)
pronounced single-payer "off the table" for serious consideration in
Washington, advocates across the nation have mobilized to put single-payer
"on the table."

What does it mean to have single-payer "off the table?" It means that
single-payer policy experts are not invited to hearings in Washington. It
means that the Congressional Budget Office did not study single-payer (HR
676) in its cost assessment of health care reform proposals. It means that
the reform favored by most American citizens, and most American
physicians, is shut out of the conversation.

How does that sit with Americans? Not well. People are marching in the
streets (3000 in Seattle on May 30), physicians are being arrested, and
letters to legislators are flooding in-boxes.[OntheTable!.jpg]

Is the message being heard?  The media is starting to notice. Legislators
are arranging meetings with single-payer advocates. Single-payer
advocates are re-inspired to creatively and collectively express their
support for the reform we need. Join us in the movement! (add to or
update your contact information). We will send you e-updates of critical
calls to action at both the state and national level.

The Legislature is Adjourned
The legislative session ended as required on May 18th at midnight. Many
people are wondering - what happened and what does it mean?  The Minnesota
Health Plan had three hearings; it passed two committees in the Senate and
was tabled in the House. We gained new co-authors and won votes from some
unexpected legislators. A status update is available on the MUHCC website.

Our lobbyists weigh in on the Budget mess:
Because of Governor Pawlenty's veto of the Budget Bill and promises
to address, the looming $2.7 billion budget deficit on his own,
Minnesotans won't know the 2009 legislative session's impact
on health care for a few weeks. That's despite the fact the
legislature approved at least 25 health care related bills with the
largest, the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill, being 415 pages
long. Read the full article

Take Action for the Minnesota Health Plan

CONTRIBUTEto the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition- WE'VE MADE IT
EASY!  You can contribute by mail or make a secure online contribution.
You can even make an automatic monthly donation right from your savings or
checking account. Consider a contribution of $10 per month- you won't
notice the difference but it will add up for your favorite cause:
single-payer health care for all.

Move the Minnesota Health Plan in the state House and Senate. Help us
mobilize voters by participating in our phone banks. (We call it the
"Campaign for the Minnesota Health Plan" for a reason.) Find out more.

--------10 of 15--------

From: John Schwarz <john [at]>
Subject: Health system 6.18 6:30pm

Reminder that my Health Care System Overview course offered through
Experimental College starts this Thursday - you can register even after
course starts.

A new course called "Health Care System Overview" is being offered through
Experimental College this summer, starting on June 18th, Thursday. The
facilitaror is John Schwarz.

A basic summary is given in the abbreviated description below from the
Course Catalogue.

A seminar that serves as an introduction to the current US health system,
basic health economics theory, European systems, and reform proposals.
Special emphasis on public systems-single-payer and its variations. A look
at the single-payer movement's strategies and suggested reforms. This
course doesn't address medical issues. It will give the student a solid
understanding of health care financing and coverage/access systems. There
are no required readings or assignments.

Full course details found here: Registration is
required to enroll via the EXCO website:

Free and open to anyone.
Location is  155 Ford Hall on U of M - East Bank campus.
Start date is June 18 through July 16. Five Thursdays.
Meeting time is 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Length of course is 1x/week for 5 weeks.

The EXCO site has the full description of the course with a full outline
of material to be covered. It's comprehensive and in-depth for those
seeking that, but can be enjoyed at a more general level for those
interested in that sort of thing.

I have been a very active single-payer advocate for the past 5 years,
often working with health care legislative matters. I've testified at the
legislature 14 times in the past few years about health care issues.  I
was a member of the Legislature's Single-Payer Working Group in 2007 and
was lead author of its final report. My work has centered around research,
analysis, and educating the public about health systems. I have been a
member of or associated with a number of the largest
single-payer/universal and other progressive health reform advocacy
organizations; I list my health policy related experience in more detail
on EXCO in the full course description. I have an MA in Government from
Cornell where my research focus was health systems. I taught a version of
this course in 2006.

Please sign-up and/or send this information to anyone you think might be
interested or relevant listserve. Please contact me for further
information and with comments, questions, and suggestions.

John M. Schwarz (651) 442-8899 john [at] (A progressive
health reform organization, not associated with the United HealthGroup

--------11 of 15--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 6.18 7pm

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) meets Thursday, June 18th, at 7:00 p.m. St.
Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata (near the
intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further information,
contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at]

--------12 of 15--------

The American Empire Is Bankrupt
by Chris Hedges
Monday, June 15, 2009

This week marks the end of the dollar's reign as the world's reserve
currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and
political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of
the American imperium. That's over. It is not coming back. And what is to
come will be very, very painful.

Barack Obama, and the criminal class on Wall Street, aided by a corporate
media that continues to peddle fatuous gossip and trash talk as news while
we endure the greatest economic crisis in our history, may have fooled us,
but the rest of the world knows we are bankrupt. And these nations are
damned if they are going to continue to prop up an inflated dollar and
sustain the massive federal budget deficits, swollen to over $2 trillion,
which fund America's imperial expansion in Eurasia and our system of
casino capitalism. They have us by the throat. They are about to squeeze.

There are meetings being held Monday and Tuesday in Yekaterinburg, Russia,
(formerly Sverdlovsk) among Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai
Cooperation Organization. The United States, which asked to attend, was
denied admittance. Watch what happens there carefully. The gathering is,
in the words of economist Michael Hudson, "the most important meeting of
the 21st century so far".

It is the first formal step by our major trading partners to replace the
dollar as the world's reserve currency. If they succeed, the dollar will
dramatically plummet in value, the cost of imports, including oil, will
skyrocket, interest rates will climb and jobs will hemorrhage at a rate
that will make the last few months look like boom times. State and federal
services will be reduced or shut down for lack of funds. The United States
will begin to resemble the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe. Obama, endowed by
many with the qualities of a savior, will suddenly look pitiful, inept and
weak. And the rage that has kindled a handful of shootings and hate crimes
in the past few weeks will engulf vast segments of a disenfranchised and
bewildered working and middle class. The people of this class will demand
vengeance, radical change, order and moral renewal, which an array of
proto-fascists, from the Christian right to the goons who disseminate hate
talk on Fox News, will assure the country they will impose.

I called Hudson, who has an article in Monday's Financial Times called
"The Yekaterinburg Turning Point: De-Dollarization and the Ending of
America's Financial-Military Hegemony". :Yekaterinburg," Hudson writes,
"may become known not only as the death place of the czars but of the
American empire as well". His article is worth reading, along with John
Lanchester's disturbing expos of the world's banking system, titled "It's
Finished," which appeared in the May 28 issue of the London Review of

"This means the end of the dollar," Hudson told me. "It means China,
Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran are forming an official financial and
military area to get America out of Eurasia. The balance-of-payments
deficit is mainly military in nature. Half of America's discretionary
spending is military. The deficit ends up in the hands of foreign banks,
central banks. They don't have any choice but to recycle the money to buy
U.S. government debt. The Asian countries have been financing their own
military encirclement. They have been forced to accept dollars that have
no chance of being repaid. They are paying for America's military
aggression against them. They want to get rid of this."

China, as Hudson points out, has already struck bilateral trade deals with
Brazil and Malaysia to denominate their trade in China's yuan rather than
the dollar, pound or euro. Russia promises to begin trading in the ruble
and local currencies. The governor of China's central bank has openly
called for the abandonment of the dollar as reserve currency, suggesting
in its place the use of the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing
Rights. What the new system will be remains unclear, but the flight from
the dollar has clearly begun. The goal, in the words of the Russian
president, is to build a "multipolar world order" which will break the
economic and, by extension, military domination by the United States.
China is frantically spending its dollar reserves to buy factories and
property around the globe so it can unload its U.S. currency. This is why
Aluminum Corp. of China made so many major concessions in the failed
attempt to salvage its $19.5 billion alliance with the Rio Tinto mining
concern in Australia. It desperately needs to shed its dollars.

"China is trying to get rid of all the dollars they can in a
trash-for-resource deal," Hudson said. "They will give the dollars to
countries willing to sell off their resources since America refuses to
sell any of its high-tech industries, even Unocal, to the yellow peril. It
realizes these dollars are going to be worthless pretty quickly".

The architects of this new global exchange realize that if they break the
dollar they also break America's military domination. Our military
spending cannot be sustained without this cycle of heavy borrowing. The
official U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 2008 is $623 billion, before
we add on things like nuclear research. The next closest national military
budget is China's, at $65 billion, according to the Central Intelligence

There are three categories of the balance-of-payment deficits. America
imports more than it exports. This is trade. Wall Street and American
corporations buy up foreign companies. This is capital movement. The third
and most important balance-of-payment deficit for the past 50 years has
been Pentagon spending abroad. It is primarily military spending that has
been responsible for the balance-of-payments deficit for the last five
decades. Look at table five in the Balance of Payments Report, published
in the Survey of Current Business quarterly, and check under military
spending. There you can see the deficit.

To fund our permanent war economy, we have been flooding the world with
dollars. The foreign recipients turn the dollars over to their central
banks for local currency. The central banks then have a problem. If a
central bank does not spend the money in the United States then the
exchange rate against the dollar will go up. This will penalize exporters.
This has allowed America to print money without restraint to buy imports
and foreign companies, fund our military expansion and ensure that foreign
nations like China continue to buy our treasury bonds. This cycle appears
now to be over. Once the dollar cannot flood central banks and no one buys
our treasury bonds, our empire collapses. The profligate spending on the
military, some $1 trillion when everything is counted, will be

"We will have to finance our own military spending," Hudson warned, "and
the only way to do this will be to sharply cut back wage rates. The class
war is back in business. Wall Street understands that. This is why it had
Bush and Obama give it $10 trillion in a huge rip-off so it can have
enough money to survive".

The desperate effort to borrow our way out of financial collapse has
promoted a level of state intervention unseen since World War II. It has
also led us into uncharted territory.

"We have in effect had to declare war to get us out of the hole created by
our economic system," Lanchester wrote in the London Review of Books.
"There is no model or precedent for this, and no way to argue that it's
all right really, because under such-and-such a model of capitalism ...
there is no such model. It isn't supposed to work like this, and there is
no road-map for what's happened".

The cost of daily living, from buying food to getting medical care, will
become difficult for all but a few as the dollar plunges. States and
cities will see their pension funds drained and finally shut down. The
government will be forced to sell off infrastructure, including roads and
transport, to private corporations. We will be increasingly charged by
privatized utilities - think Enron - for what was once regulated and
subsidized. Commercial and private real estate will be worth less than
half its current value. The negative equity that already plagues 25
percent of American homes will expand to include nearly all property
owners. It will be difficult to borrow and impossible to sell real estate
unless we accept massive losses. There will be block after block of empty
stores and boarded-up houses. Foreclosures will be epidemic. There will be
long lines at soup kitchens and many, many homeless. Our
corporate-controlled media, already banal and trivial, will work overtime
to anesthetize us with useless gossip, spectacles, sex, gratuitous
violence, fear and tawdry junk politics. America will be composed of a
large dispossessed underclass and a tiny empowered oligarchy that will run
a ruthless and brutal system of neo-feudalism from secure compounds. Those
who resist will be silenced, many by force. We will pay a terrible price,
and we will pay this price soon, for the gross malfeasance of our power


Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle, will be out in July, but is available for

--------13 of 15--------

Why the US Wants to Delegitimize the Iranian Elections
Are You Ready for War with a Demonized Iran?
June 16, 2009

How much attention do elections in Japan, India, Argentina, or any other
country, get from the U.S. media?  How many Americans and American
journalists even know who is in political office in other countries
besides England, France, and Germany?  Who can name the political leaders
of Switzerland, Holland, Brazil, Japan, or even China?

Yet, many know of Iran's President Ahmadinejad.  The reason is obvious.
He is daily demonized in the U.S. media.

The U.S. media's demonization of Ahmadinejad itself demonstrates American
ignorance. The President of Iran is not the ruler.  He is not the
commander-in-chief of the armed forces.  He cannot set policies outside
the boundaries set by Iran's rulers, the ayatollahs who are not willing
for the Iranian Revolution to be overturned by American money in some
color-coded "revolution".

Iranians have a bitter experience with the United States government.
Their first democratic election, after emerging from occupied and
colonized status in the 1950s, was overturned by the U.S. government.  The
U.S. government installed in place of the elected candidate a dictator who
tortured and murdered dissidents who thought Iran should be an independent
country and not ruled by an American puppet.

The U.S. "superpower" has never forgiven the Iranian Islamic ayatollahs
for the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s, which overthrew the U.S.
puppet government and held hostage U.S. embassy personnel, regarded as "a
den of spies," while Iranian students pieced together shredded embassy
documents that proved America's complicity in the destruction of Iranian

The government-controlled U.S. corporate media, a Ministry of Propaganda,
has responded to the re-election of Ahmadinejad with non-stop reports of
violent Iranians protests to a stolen election. A stolen election is
presented as a fact, even thought there is no evidence for it whatsoever.
The U.S. media's response to the documented stolen elections during the
George W. Bush/Karl Rove era was to ignore the evidence of real stolen

Leaders of the puppet states of Great Britain and Germany have fallen in
line with the American psychological warfare operation.  The discredited
British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, expressed his "serious doubt"
about Ahmadinejad's victory to a meeting of European Union ministers in
Luxembourg.  Miliband, of course, has no source of independent
information.  He is simply following Washington's instructions and relying
on unsupported claims by the defeated candidate preferred by the U.S.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, had her arm twisted, too.  She
called in the Iranian ambassador to demand "more transparency" on the

Even the American left-wing has endorsed the U.S. government's propaganda.
Writing in The Nation, Robert Dreyfus presents the hysterical views of
one Iranian dissident as if they are the definitive truth about "the
illegitimate election," terming it "a coup d'etat".

What is the source of the information for the U.S. media and the American
puppet states?

Nothing but the assertions of the defeated candidate, the one America

However, there is hard evidence to the contrary.  An independent,
objective poll was conducted in Iran by American pollsters prior to the
election. The pollsters, Ken Ballen of the nonprofit Center for Public
Opinion and Patrick Doherty of the nonprofit New America Foundation,
describe their poll results in the June 15 Washington Post.  The polling
was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and was conducted in Farsi "by
a polling company whose work in the region for ABC News and the BBC has
received an Emmy award.."

The poll results, the only real information we have at this time, indicate
that the election results reflect the will of the Iranian voters.  Among
the extremely interesting information revealed by the poll is the

"Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but
our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the
vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin - greater
than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday's election.

"While Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the
voting portrayed an Iranian public enthusiastic about Ahmadinejad's
principal opponent, Mir Hossein Moussavi, our scientific sampling from
across all 30 of Iran's provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead.

"The breadth of Ahmadinejad's support was apparent in our pre-election
survey. During the campaign, for instance, Moussavi emphasized his
identity as an Azeri, the second-largest ethnic group in Iran after
Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris
favored Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 over Mousavi.

"Much commentary has portrayed Iranian youth and the Internet as
harbingers of change in this election. But our poll found that only a
third of Iranians even have access to the Internet, while
18-to-24-year-olds comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of
all age groups.

"The only demographic groups in which our survey found Moussavi leading or
competitive with Ahmadinejad were university students and graduates, and
the highest-income Iranians. When our poll was taken, almost a third of
Iranians were also still undecided. Yet the baseline distributions we
found then mirror the results reported by the Iranian authorities,
indicating the possibility that the vote is not the product of widespread

There have been numerous news reports that the U.S. government has
implemented a program to destabilize Iran.  There have been reports that
the U.S. government has financed bombings and assassinations within Iran.
The U.S. media treats these reports in a braggadocio manner as
illustrations of the American Superpower's ability to bring dissenting
countries to heel, while some foreign media see these reports as evidence
of the U.S. government's inherent immorality.

Pakistan's former military chief, General Mirza Aslam Beig, said on Pashto
Radio on Monday, June 15, that undisputed intelligence proves the U.S.
interfered in the Iranian election. "The documents prove that the CIA
spent 400 million dollars inside Iran to prop up a colorful but hollow
revolution following the election".

The success of the U.S. government in financing color revolutions in
former Soviet Georgia and Ukraine and in other parts of the former Soviet
empire have been widely reported and discussed, with the U.S. media
treating it as an indication of U.S. omnipotence and natural right and
some foreign media as a sign of U.S. interference in the internal affairs
of other countries.  It is certainly within the realm of possibility that
Mir Hossein Moussavi is a bought and paid for operative of the U.S.

We know for a fact that the U.S. government has psychological warfare
operations that target both Americans and foreigners through the U.S. and
foreign media.  Many articles have been published on this subject.

Think about the Iranian election from a common sense standpoint.  Neither
myself nor the vast majority of readers are Iranian experts.  But from a
common sense standpoint, if your country was under constant threat of
attack, even nuclear attack, from two countries with much more powerful
military establishments, as is Iran from the U.S. and Israel, would you
desert your country's best defender and elect the preferred candidate of
the U.S. and Israel?

Do you believe that the Iranian people would have voted to become an
American puppet state?

Iran is an ancient and sophisticated society.  Much of the intellectual
class is secularized.  A significant, but small, percentage of the youth
has fallen in thrall to Western devotion to personal pleasure, and to
self-absorption. These people are easily organized with American money to
give their government and Islamic constraints on personal behavior the

The U.S. government is taking advantage of these westernized Iranians to
create a basis for discrediting the Iranian election and the Iranian

On June 14, the McClatchy Washington Bureau, which sometimes attempts to
report the real news, acquiesced to Washington's psychological warfare and
declared: "Iran election result makes Obama's outreach efforts harder..
What we see here is the raising of the ugly head of the excuse for
.diplomatic failure," leaving only a military solution.

As a person who has seen it all from inside the U.S. government, I believe
that the purpose of the U.S. government's manipulation of the American and
puppet government media is to discredit the Iranian government by
portraying the Iranian government as an oppressor of the Iranian people
and a frustrater of the Iranian people's will.  This is how the U.S.
government is setting up Iran for military attack.

With the help of Moussavi, the U.S. government is creating another
"oppressed people," like Iraqis under Saddam Hussein, who require American
lives and money to liberate.  Has Moussavi, the American candidate in the
Iranian election who was roundly trounced, been chosen by Washington to
become the American puppet ruler of Iran?

The great macho superpower is eager to restore its hegemony over the
Iranian people, thus settling the score with the ayatollahs who overthrew
American rule of Iran in 1978.  That is the script.  You are watching it
every minute on U.S. television.

There is no end of "experts" to support the script.  For one example among
hundreds, we have Gary Sick, who formerly served on the National Security
Council and currently teaches at Columbia University:

"If they'd been a little more modest and said Ahmadinejad had won by 51
percent," Sick said, Iranians might have been dubious but more accepting.
But the government's assertion that Ahmadinejad won with 62.6 percent of
the vote, "is not credible."

"I think," continued Sick,  "it does mark a real transition point in the
Iranian Revolution, from a position of claiming to have its legitimacy
based on the support of the population, to a position that has
increasingly relied on repression. The voice of the people is ignored."

The only hard information available is the poll referenced above.  The
poll found that Ahmadinejad was the favored candidate by a margin of two
to one.

But as in everything else having to do with American hegemony over other
peoples, facts and truth play no part.  Lies and propaganda rule.

Consumed by its passion for hegemony, America is driven to prevail over
others, morality and justice be damned. This world-threatening script will
play until America bankrupts itself and has so alienated the rest of the
world that it is isolated and universally despised.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be
reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at]

--------14 of 15--------

Let Us Find Our Prophetic Voices
Finding a Stubborn Hope to Live in a Dead Culture
June 16, 2009

For many years I said that we live in a "dying culture," but I have
abandoned that phrase. The dominant culture in the United States -
hyper-nationalist ethnocentrism and a predatory corporate capitalism
shaped by patriarchy and white supremacy, playing out within a broader
human assault on the planetary ecosystem - is not dying. It is already
dead. Of course the United States government and United States-based
corporations continue to wield incredible power at home and around the
world, and it may seem odd to refer to a society that can impose its will
on so much of the world as a dead culture. Sick, maybe even dying,
certainly in the last throes of imperial power - but dead? Yes, in the
sense of the deadness at the soul of the culture.

Rather than saving the dominant culture, our task is not only to let it
pass from the scene but to hasten that transition. Jesus recognized, in
his own time, that a radical departure from the old was necessary. When a
disciple agreed to follow him but asked that he first be permitted to go
and bury his own father, Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead
to bury their own dead". [Matt. 8:21-22]

It is time for us to stop trying to revive our dead culture, to stop
believing that the nation-state and capitalism - born in, and still
infected by, patriarchy and white supremacy - can be the basis for a just
and sustainable future. It is time to go to a deeper level. Even with the
economic and military setbacks of recent years, many in the United States
hold on tightly to a delusional triumphalism - a belief that the United
States is the ultimate fulfillment of human promise, that shining city
upon the hill, a beacon to the world. The faith we need must give us
strength to recognize we live in a dead culture and to speak this harsh

Beyond that, it must allow us, first, to be decent to one another despite
our knowledge that being heartless will be rewarded. Second, it must
embolden us to confront systems that will be intensely resistant to change
and will reward those who refuse to acknowledge the urgent need for
change. Third, our faith must empower us to maintain these personal and
political commitments with no guarantee that we can transcend and survive
this dead culture.

The ultimate test of our strength is whether we can recognize not only
that we live in a dead culture but also that there may be no way out. It's
true that throughout history cultures have died, empires have fallen,
societies have been replaced by challengers. Through all that, the world
survived. But consider the unprecedented destructive capacity of the
United States military, the entrenched pathology embedded in our psyches
through capitalism, the ecological damage already done, and the further
damage likely to occur during a collapse - it's no longer clear that by
the time the United States empire collapses, the world will survive in
anything like the form we know it. And as this future unfolds, we will
have to cope with the delusions (both of grandeur and victimization) that
power and affluence tend to produce in elites and the general public,
which will undermine the clear thinking that will be so desperately

The ultimate test of our strength is whether we would be able to persevere
in the quest for sustainability and justice even if we had good reasons to
believe that both projects would ultimately fail. We can't know for sure,
but can we live with that possibility? Can we ponder that and yet still
commit ourselves to loving action toward others and the non-human world?

Said differently: What if our species is an evolutionary dead end? What if
those adaptations that produced our incredible evolutionary success - our
ability to understand certain aspects of how the world works and
manipulate that world to our short-term advantage - are the very
qualities that guarantee we will destroy ourselves and possibly the world?
What if that which has allowed us to dominate will be that which in the
end destroys us? What if humanity's story is a dramatic tragedy in the
classical sense, a tale in which the seeds of the protagonist's
destruction are to be found within, and the play is the unfolding of the
inevitable fall?

No one can know for sure, of course. But what if? Do we have the strength
to ponder that? In a let's-roll-up-our-sleeves-and-get-to-work culture,
what if we were to roll up our sleeves forever and still not be able to
get the job done? Most people would say we demonstrate our strength when
we tackle such jobs with a can-do attitude. A demonstration of greater
strength - maybe the greatest strength we can imagine - is to take on
those jobs with an understanding not only that failure is possible but
that it may be likely. This goes against the grain in a culture that
assumes that success is inevitable. But there is no requirement in
theology or politics that the prognosis always be favorable. There may be
not only specific social ills for which there is no cure - it may be that
we humans are just smart enough to get into trouble on all fronts but
never quite smart enough to get ourselves out. What if the tragedy of
human intelligence is that we are bound to create complex problems for
which there are no simple solutions?

If we are truly strong - if we love with all our strength - we must face
these questions. Strength is exhibited not by manufacturing a sense of
hope that ignores reality but by facing up, while not succumbing, to a
situation that may be hopeless. It doesn't mean hope is unavailable to us,
but that we have to find honestly what Albert Camus called a "stubborn

Tomorrow the world may burst into fragments. In that threat hanging over
our heads there is a lesson of truth. As we face such a future,
hierarchies, titles, honors are reduced to what they are in reality: a
passing puff of smoke. And the only certainty left to us is that of naked
suffering, common to all, intermingling its roots with those of a stubborn
hope. [Albert Camus, "The Wager of Our Generation," in Resistance,
Rebellion, and Death, (New York: Vintage, 1960), pp. 239-240.]

If we are to claim a stubborn hope, we must come to it honestly and act
from it with integrity. That is what it means to speak prophetically.
Never before has it been more important for all of us to find our
prophetic voices.

This essay is excerpted from Robert Jensen's new book, All My Bones Shake:
Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, from Soft Skull Press.

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at
Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center His latest book is Getting Off: Pornography
and the End of Masculinity (South End Press, 2007). Jensen is also the
author of The Heart of Whiteness: Race, Racism, and White Privilege and
Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (both from City
Lights Books); and Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins
to the Mainstream (Peter Lang). He can be reached at
rjensen [at] and his articles can be found online at

--------15 of 15--------

Congress Approves $106 Bln for War, Swine Flu
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Agence France Presse

WASHINGTON - Congress on Tuesday gave final approval to a 106 billion
dollar emergency bill to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, shore
up efforts to fight swine flu, and fund US participation in the IMF.

By a vote of 226 to 202, lawmakers in the US House of Representatives
approved a compromise version of legislation, to reconcile differing House
and Senate versions.

Among other budget items, the measure provides 79.9 billion dollars for
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 7.7 billion dollars to combat the
A(H1N1) flu virus, and eight billion dollars for the International
Monetary Fund.

House Democrat David Obey, a key figure during negotiations on the
spending measure talks in that chamber, acknowledged some resistance among
lawmakers to the IMF funding, but said the monies were necessary to
bolster a still-sagging global economy.

"You know, this is a tough reality. We have to participate in the world,
and when the world economy becomes shaky, we have a responsibility to
ourselves to try to stabilize that world economic situation," he said.

The supplemental spending measure was bogged down after the Senate
legislation - over the objections of Democrats in the House - banned
public release of the controversial images allegedly showing abuse of
detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of US military personnel.

President Barack Obama broke the logjam last week, however, offering in a
letter to negotiators, to "continue to take every legal and administrative
remedy available to me to ensure the ... detainee photographs are not

The compromise bill also includes provisions on prisoners held at
Guantanamo Bay, but does not include the 80 million dollars originally
requested by the Obama administration to close the detention facility at
the US naval base in southern Cuba, where some 230 detainees remain.

Under the agreement reached by the Senate and the House, a Democratic
source said the government could transfer some prisoners to US soil only
to face trial, although the highly sensitive issue of where they would
serve out their sentence remains unresolved.

 2009 AFP

[Damn the Dems and their hope-blind followers.  Just more death and
destruction, paid for by you and me. Let us hear no more about how the
Dems are going to save us, or do anything at all that we the people want.
We will have to do it all ourselves. -ed]


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