Progressive Calendar 07.14.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 03:20:39 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   07.14.09

1. NWN4P vigil       7.14 4:45pm
2. Neoliberalism     7.14 5pm
3. RNC court watch   7.14 6pm
4. RNC8 free dinner  7.14 6pm
5. Open discussion   7.14 6:30pm
6. Soc justice lit   7.14 7pm
7. health brainstorm 7.14 7:30pm

8. Mpls civil rights 7.15 11am
9. Taser town hall   7.15 6:30pm
10. Harcus +2/ward 4 7.15 6:30pm
11. Palestine        7.15 6:30pm
12. Health/Kolstad   7.15 7pm

13. Mickey Z     - Poverty draft?
14. John Andrews - Trust me (I'm not a leader)
15. Doug Page    - Banking and capitalism at the core of our collapse
16. Eva Golinger - Honduras: Obama's first coup
17. ed           - bumpersticker

--------1 of 17--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P vigil 7.14 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.


--------2 of 17--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Neoliberalism 7.14 5pm

Smiley 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, 7/14, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 7/15, 10am
(Repeat) The Crisis of Neoliberalism
guests: Peter Rachleff, history professor at Macalester College and Karen
Redleaf, people's economist.


--------3 of 17--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at] gmail.com>
Subject: RNC court watch 7.14 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 17--------

From: info [at] rnc8.org
Subject: RNC8 free dinner 7.14 6pm

Spread the word!
Just what it says! Come on down and fill your belly at Walker Church.
Bring a friend and a container to take some food home.
6-7:30PM
3104 16th Ave S. Minneapolis

Defend the RNC8!  http://rnc8.org


--------5 of 17--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Open discussion 7.14 6:30pm

This Tuesday, July 14, is Open Discussion night.  Maybe we can discuss our
meaning of Democracy.  Wm. Greider, in his book, Come Home America, says
that Democracy begins in conversation.  The salon can be a good place to
start.

The newly formed The Little Book of the Odd Month Club will be discussing
it's first little book (only it's not so little in the number of pages, i
found out, but it's little in size) Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey on
the last Tuesday of the month, July 28.  Hope you have found a copy and
have been reading it. -patty

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 17--------

From: Paul Zerby <pgzerby [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Social justice lit 7.14 7pm

THE GRASS is a novel about America in the 1950s and the Korean War.  Tom
Kelly from Fargo is expelled from the University of Minnesota for
protesting the University's firing of its only Black faculty member at the
height of McCarthyism, an event that, as Hy Berman has written, "propels
[Tom] into Korea as an infantryman during the bloody battles raging
without reason before the cease fire of 1953."  THE GRASS was a Finalist
for the Bellwether Prize established by Barbara Kingsolver to promote
literature for social justice.

The next discussion and signing of THE GRASS will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday,
July 14 at the Har Mar Barnes & Noble, 2100 Snelling Ave N, Roseville.


--------7 of 17--------

From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org>
Subject: Health brainstorm 7.14 7:30pm

Meeting for organizing/brainstorming direct health care actions at this
critical time for health care reform.

TUESDAY EVENING, JULY 14th, 7:30PM, Dunn Bros Coffee, 4648 E Lake Street
(at the west end of the Lake street bridge) to brainstorm on actions.
Street pking mainly. We will try for the outdoor seating. Pls get the word
out to other groups, individuals.

Here is the website for this Dunn Bros:
http://www.dunnbros.com/locate_results.asp?location_id=31#


--------8 of 17--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Mpls civil rights 7.15 11am

TruthToTell - THE MINNEAPOLIS CIVIL RIGHTS DEPT.
KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at
<http://www.KFAI.org WEDNESDAY, JULY 15

MINNEAPOLIS CIVIL RIGHTS DEPARTMENT: Can It Survive the Budget Ax?

Mayor RT Rybak's revised 2009 budget recommends severing from the city's
Civil Rights Department the key division that processes complaints and
investigates discrimination cases occurring within the city and
transferring its functions to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
(St. Paul's Human Rights Department does the same in that city.) The
budget proposal eliminates five full time attorney-investigators, two
contract attorney-investigators and an attorney supervisor. All human and
civil rights agencies are plagued by complaint backlogs. Minneapolis is no
exception. The state's backlog is a year or two behind that of
Minneapolis.

Is this a wise move, even under Governor Pawlenty's unallotments - slicing
LGAs (local government aid)? Does this cut and transfer represent a
political "gotcha" in the longstanding feud between Pawlenty and the City
of Minneapolis? If backlogs double and discrimination balloons for lack of
timely complaint determination and resolution, who wins? Who loses?

An appointed Task Force (pushed by CM Elizabeth Glidden) formed to present
alternatives to elimination of the MDCR Complaint Investigation Unit or
find $300,000 to retain it, has just completed its study, findings and
recommendations. The report will go before the Minneapolis City Council's
Health, Energy and Environment Committee Monday, July 20th. Join the
conversation as we dissect the task force report and test its chances for
influencing the budget decision.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and Guest cohost NANCY SARTOR query Minneapolis
officials and a few advocates from the communities most affected by these
decisions and put some of these issues in historical context.

GUESTS:
 ELIZABETH GLIDDEN, Minneapolis Ward 8 City Councilmember
 DR. JOSIE R. JOHNSON - co-founder, Minneapolis Civil Rights Department;
former University Regent and honoree of the Josie Robinson Johnson Human
Rights and Social Justice Award
 KENNETH BROWN - Chair, Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission
 BILL DAVIS - Co-Chair, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights Task Force;
former MCR Commission Chair, President/CEO, Community Action of
Minneapolis
 LOUISA HEXT - Member, Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission
 INVITED: MAYOR RT RYBAK (or his representative)
AND YOU! CALL 612-341-0980 CAN'T GET US OVER THE AIR? STREAM TTT LIVE and
LATER


--------9 of 17--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
Subject: Taser town hall 7.15 6:30pm

CRA TO HOLD MEETING ON TASER POLICY
Town Hall Meeting on Taser Policy
Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 pm
City Hall, 350 S. 5th St., Room 319

The info below is from a press release issued by the CRA.  We need to pack
that forum and make sure the powers-that-be know that we are serious about
wanting a return to a Taser policy that would have prevented the death of
people like Quincy Smith (who died when tased by five cops simultaneously)
or, better yet, an outright ban on Tasers, which Amnesty International
refers to as "the perfect torture device."

The Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) invites the public
to attend a forum addressing the Police Departmentīs TaserŪ policy and the
question of when and how changes are made to the Minneapolis Police
Department (MPD) Policy and Procedure Manual.  Board members will explain
the history of and differences between the former and current policies for
the use of Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs, the generic term for Tasers).
After the presentations, the CRA will invite public comment on the current
CED policy, and when and how changes should be made to the MPD's policy
and procedure manual.

This public forum comes one week before the City Council's Public Safety
and Regulatory Services Committee will consider measures to govern how
changes are made to the MPD's Policy and Procedure Manual.  The manual
provides the standard of conduct that both the MPD's Internal Affairs Unit
and the CRA look to when determining if police officers committed acts of
misconduct.

The City Council debate and CRA forum are in response to MPD changing
their 2006 CED policy without notice to City Council. The police
department's adoption of the 2006 CED policy was required as part of the
City Councilīs approval of MPD's purchase of 160 new TaserŪ CEDs.  That
policy contained specific directives, such as only one officer should
activate a Taser against a person at a time, and restrictions on employing
Tasers on passive subjects, children, visibly frail persons, pregnant
women, etc.  The MPD changed that policy on August 17, 2007, apparently
giving officers much greater discretion in the use of CEDs. The CRA Board
has recommended a return to the policy adopted in 2006.

--
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: Taser policy meeting

Very important public meeting Wednesday 15!!  I have worked long and hard
on improving the Minneapolis police Taser policy.  Much of that work has
been as a member of the Mpls Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA).

Wednesday's meeting, sponsored by the CRA, is an important step in
bringing the work of the CRA to the public and receiving your public
comments on the Taser policy, and on the overall question of how police
policies should be formulated and approved.

Wednesday, July 15, 6:30pm
Town Hall meeting on Taser Policy
Sponsored by the Mpls Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA)
Room 319 of City Hall, 350 S. 5th St.     (use after-hours entrance: the
center doors on 4th St. - north side of building)

I really hope that you all can come to this - it will be very interesting,
and a good turnout and good comments would be helpful to show how
important this is to the public!

Quick background:  In 2006 the Mpls City Council passed a new Taser policy
which was adopted by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in return for
the authorization of the purchase of 160 new Tasers.  It wasn't perfect,
but it incorporated many recommendations suggested by the CRA.  In August,
2007, the MPD made a change to that policy, essentially removing nearly
all of it from their policy manual.  They did this without consulting, or
even notifying, the City Council or the CRA.  They said that they had just
moved the policy to their training manuals.  When we finally were able to
look at a training manual, it was clear that almost all of the important
provisions were gone, and officers were given much greater discretion. For
instance, they removed restrictions on more than one officer Tasering a
person at a time, or intentionally using the Taser on the head, neck,
face, or genitalia.

The CRA has recommended that the previous policy be reinstated.  The MPD
has recently rejected that recommendation.

The Daily Planet has published some very good background information on
the meeting and on the history of the Taser policy:
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2009/07/08/reporters-notebook-tasers-
minneapolis.html Or, if that link is too long, find it at:
http://tinyurl.com/nkz2jv

There is a lot to read there, and many good links.  This is part of a
larger issue:  The MPD changed its entire Use of Force policy in August
2007.  The Taser policy is just one section of that, but it is one that is
very controversial and easier to understand than much of the rest.  We
need to eventually look at the entire Use of Force policy and the changes
made.  Good policy is essential in providing clear guidance to police
officers, and in holding accountable those who violate the policy.

==
Here is the announcement put out by the CRA:

POLICE TASERŪ POLICY THE SUBJECT OF PUBLIC FORUM
Minneapolis police oversight agency will provide the public a chance to
speak before City Council debates how changes are made to Minneapolis
Police Department's policy manual

DATE:   Wednesday, July 15, 2009
TIME:   6:30 - 8:30pm
LOCATION:  Room 319, Minneapolis City Hall, 350 S. 5th St.
     (use after-hours entrance: the center doors on 4th St. - north side
     of building)

The Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) invites the public
to attend a forum addressing the Police Departmentīs TaserŪ policy and the
question of when and how changes are made to the Minneapolis Police
Department (MPD) Policy and Procedure Manual.  City Council members will
also be invited to attend and participate.  Board members will explain the
history of and differences between the former and current policies for the
use of Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs, the generic term for Tasers). After
the presentations, the CRA will invite public comment on the current CED
policy, and when and how changes should be made to the MPD's policy and
procedure manual.

This public forum comes one week before the City Council's Public Safety
and Regulatory Services Committee will consider measures to govern how
changes are made to the MPD's Policy and Procedure Manual.  The manual
provides the standard of conduct that both the MPD's Internal Affairs Unit
and the CRA look to when determining if police officers committed acts of
misconduct.

The City Council debate and CRA forum are in response to the MPD changing
their 2006 CED policy without notice to City Council. The police
department's adoption of the 2006 CED policy was required as part of the
City Councilīs approval of MPD's purchase of 160 new TaserŪ CEDs.  That
policy was the result of a collaboration between the CRA, City Council,
and the Police Chief.  It contained specific directives, such as only one
officer should activate a Taser against a person at a time, and
restrictions on employing Tasers on passive subjects, children, visibly
frail persons, pregnant women, etc.  The MPD changed that policy on August
17, 2007, apparently giving officers much greater discretion in the use of
CEDs.  The CRA Board has recommended a return to the policy adopted in
2006.

The Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority investigates and makes
determinations regarding complaints brought against any Minneapolis Police
Officer.  It may also review Minneapolis Police Department policies and
training procedures and make recommendations for change.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an
interview with CRA staff, please call the CRA office at 612-673-5500 or
email the CRA at cra [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us

-- 
I really encourage you to come, and I encourage you to learn more about
this issue and provide your input, at this meeting, and to your City
Council members. -Thank you, Dave Bicking 612-276-1213


--------10 of 17--------

From: Fredric Markus <Fredric.markus [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Harcus +2/ward 4 7.15 6:30pm

From Marcus Harcus' campaign facebook

You are invited to attend a 4th Ward candidate debate organized by the
Metro Property Rights group:
Wednesday July 15th, 2009  6:30pm-8:30pm
4055 Nicollet Ave. S  Minneapolis, MN 55409
612 600-0155


--------11 of 17--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Palestine 7.15 6:30pm

Talk by Smadar Lavie: "Mizrahi Jewish Feminism and the Question of
Palestine" Wednesday, July 15, 6.30 p.m. Bedlam Theatre, 1501 South 6th
Street (West Bank), Minneapolis.

Educator, author and activist Smadar Lavie will be leading an exciting
discussion about a facet of Israeli society not well known in the U.S.,
and how it relates to Palestinian and Israeli issues. Free and open to the
public. Sponsored by: the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.
Endorsed by: the WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI: Email ijan.tc [at] gmail.com.


--------12 of 17--------

From:    "MetroIBA" <info [at] metroiba.org>
Subject: Health/Kolstad 7.15 7pm

Hazardous to your Health
A series on equality in access to health care
The Business Perspective
MetroIBA President, Nancy Breymeier and board member, John Kolstad will be
part of the panel discussion at this very important event.

Wednesday, July 15, 7:00 PM
St. Catherine University
Jeanne D'Arc Auditorium
2004 Randolph Av StPaul


--------13 of 17--------

Poverty Draft?
by Mickey Z.
July 13th, 2009
Dissident Voice

You take a black kid, Hispanic kid, Italian kid, and a kid of undefined
ethnicity - and let's say each of them - .surprise, surprise - has meager
pecuniary prospects. You know, the whole "economic downturn" thing
everyone is yapping about.

So - the undefined guy weighs his options and promptly enlists in the
United States Marine Corps. The few, the proud, and all that.

Everyone - and I mean, everyone - in his immediate circle applauds this
decision. Not only will undefined guy pull himself out of financial
hardship, they reason (sic), but he also gets to "serve his country".
Bravo.

Meanwhile, the poor black kid weighs his options and promptly "enlists" in
the Crips.

The poverty-stricken Hispanic weighs his options and promptly "enlists" in
Latin Kings.

The uneducated Italian kid weighs his options and promptly "enlists" in
the Mafia.

Like the "heroes" in the military, these three kids are also facing a
stark choicebeing - poor or choosing a uniform and gun - but no one hangs
yellow ribbons for them, no one makes excuses them when they kill
innocents.

No one argues when these kids are called "criminals".

Why?

Well, there's one colossal difference between them and the men and women
who volunteer to join the US military and get paid to wage illegal and
immoral war:

Even though the US military is far more dangerous than any street gang or
Mafia family, the US military is considered legal.

Mickey Z. is the author of the recently released Bizarro novel, CPR for
Dummies, and can be found on the Web at MickeyZ.net.


--------14 of 17--------

Trust Me (I'm Not a Leader)
by John Andrews
July 11th, 2009
Dissident Voice

Many people suspect our leaders cannot be trusted - but it's a sort of
half-hearted suspicion; you can see them thinking: "Well I do trust them
really, but because (insert this week's leadership media scandal) has made
me very cross I'm just going to say they're all very naughty just to show
I was never really taken in. But mark these words well, and think for a
moment about their implications: our leaders really cannot be trusted.

You want proof? Of course you do; and quite right too. I'll give you a
little proof - little not because only a little exists, but because there
is so much proof that even if I were to write a whole book on the subject
I would still only be scratching the surface; and that's if we only talk
about the proven cases of deliberate outright lies our trusted leaders
tell us; if we included the full catalogue of half truths, omissions and
deceptions we could fill entire bookcases.

Try visiting your favourite on-line book store and typing the words "lies
and history" into the search engine. When I did it 690 books were listed.
O.K., some of them are duplicated or out of stock, and others are
irrelevant to this subject, but you get the point.

Leaders cannot be trusted. The importance of this fact cannot be
understated, as our entire society is founded upon the bedrock of
trustworthy leadership. Now this is not to say that all leaders are
untrustworthy, and certainly not that they are untrustworthy all of the
time - but this just makes the problem worse, because we seldom know for
certain when we're being lied to, or intentionally deceived, until it's
too late.

When ordinary people are sacked from their jobs for misconduct - or even
just a sniff of misconduct, it's almost impossible for them to find
re-employment in similar work on the assumption that they cannot fully be
trusted. But when it happens in public office or corporate boardrooms it
seems to serve as an important examination that's been passed, an
essential rite of passage confirming one's suitability not only for
re-employment, but promotion to properly high office. The biggest prizes
are reserved for those special rising stars where misconduct is strongly
suspected, but cannot be absolutely proven. Ideally these examinations
should not attract too much public attention, but even if they do it
doesn't present anything like the same obstacle to one's career as it
would for millions of lesser mortals.

Once properly schooled our public and private sector leaders then assume
their rightful places as master puppeteers. Many lead quite uneventful
lives and may remain as sleepers throughout their careers and never be
called upon to seriously betray the nation's trust. However, sometimes
they are required to exercise the skills for which they've already shown a
talent, and which won for them their exalted position. They could be
required to lead a largely unwilling nation into an illegal war, say - a
task requiring reasonable acting abilities, a total disregard for the
truth, and psychopathic quantities of inhumanity.

Such is the situation in which we find ourselves. It's not a new situation
- a brief examination of history from the people's perspective quickly
shows that our leaders have nearly always proven themselves completely
worthy of total mistrust. So what can be done about it?

First, and most important of all, is simply recognising that basic truth:
leaders cannot be trusted. This is not an easy step to take, because the
implications are truly immense, but it is an essential step: we can only
fix a problem once we actually realise we have a problem.

It's worth repeating that very few leaders are untrustworthy all of the
time. Many, perhaps most, don't even know themselves they cannot be
trusted. These comprise the junior and middle ranking leaders who form the
essential glue to keep the whole rotten edifice standing upright. Most of
the time this very substantial group sincerely believe in the rightness of
what they're doing for no better reason than they've been told to do it by
someone who they suppose knows what's going on. "Just following orders" -
that famous defence that was rightly blown out of the water at Nuremberg.
How many ordinary soldiers in how many wars would have gone "over the top"
to their certain deaths for absolutely no reason whatsoever except for the
fact that some poor brainwashed fool of a junior leader went over first
shouting: "follow me chaps"?

Next, after accepting that leaders cannot be trusted, we need to think
about a very important question: what do we actually need leaders for?
What "value added" to our lives do they supply? In all the time I've
thought about this subject (and that's quite a lot), the only answer I can
come up with is that in times of crisis it's pretty useful to have someone
who knows what they're doing directing or co-ordinating the actions of
others. But how often do such crises occur? Unless you work in the
emergency services, how often does a real crisis affect your daily life so
badly that you actually need a leader telling you what to do? Providing
you've been properly trained for your job, have the appropriate resources
to hand, and have good lines of communication with equally well-provided
colleagues, how much do you actually need to be led? Even in times of
national emergencies it's not actually leaders we need, but organisation.
Even the greatest leader can achieve nothing without an organisation; but
an organisation may function perfectly well without a leader in sight - it
only needs well trained, properly resourced people with efficient lines of
communication.

Leaders affect almost every aspect of our lives, and the first realisation
that they cannot be trusted comes as something of a shock. However, this
is more than compensated for with the realisation that we don't actually
need them anyway. Anarchists have been telling the world this for many
years, but have singularly failed to get the message across. Not that it's
entirely their fault. Our leaders, some of whom are not very stupid, fully
understand the considerable danger to their positions of a world that
suddenly comprehends it no longer needs them. Consequently they employ the
awesome forces at their disposal to poison the minds of the people to the
powerful messages of anarchy. Indeed, the very mention of the word
conjures up to most people images of mindless wild-eyed fanatics smashing
up anything and everything in their way (individuals who are often paid
agents rather than real anarchists anyway), not something that prizes
noble virtues such as peace, freedom and equality.

Perhaps the most traditional "essential" function of leadership is
decision-making. We are encouraged to believe that our leaders have two
very special qualities to enable them to undertake this vital function.
Firstly we're conditioned to believing that our leaders have particular
natural gifts that enable them to make extraordinarily inspired decisions
- decisions that no ordinary person could ever hope to make. Secondly, and
perhaps more importantly, we're led to believe that our leaders always
place our interests far above their own (the fact they must suffer lives
of pampered luxury while the rest of humanity rubs along as best they can
is no doubt some sort of penance they must endure for their noble
self-sacrifice).

So let's examine a little more closely this special duty of leaders:
decision-making.

Firstly, consider the notion that they might have particular natural gifts
and abilities. Undoubtedly there have been one or two leaders in the past
with quite extraordinary personal abilities - but usually these talents
have manifested themselves in the form of awesome ruthlessness and
inhumanity. Upon closer examination, about the only notable quality of
your average national leader, like some of Britain's monarchs and certain
American presidents for example, seems to be a quite spectacular lack of
intelligence. Even the really bright ones seem unable to demonstrate an
original thought they might once have had. How could such people possibly
glide effortlessly from one inspirational decision to the next?

Then there's the notion of self-sacrifice - the view that our leaders are
driven only by the purest of ideals: to serve the greater good, a noble
desire to do what's best for us, the lowly mortals who gaze up with
misty-eyed trusting awe at our saintly protectors. In other words we are
conditioned to believing that the decision-making of our leaders can be
wholly trusted because they always act in our best interests.

Armies are quite a good place to look for examples of leadership in
practice; after all, they do epitomise the rigid hierarchical control
model that is mirrored almost everywhere else in society. But there's a
bit of a problem. If military leaders (or their political masters) are so
selfless in all their decision-making, why do they always locate
themselves behind expensive desks in comfortable offices at very safe
distances from any real danger? Why does their self-sacrifice on our
behalf confine itself to sending ordinary people to distant deserts and
frozen wastelands to kill and die for their own good? Why do our trusted
leaders never lead from the front, or send their own sons and daughters to
have a turn at getting up close and personal with death?

Directly related to the principle of self-sacrifice is what I call the
payola-paradox. The private sector is the best exemplar of this (although
the public sector is not far behind). The payola-paradox says that whilst
all the best leaders will naturally be fully committed to self sacrifice,
the best way for all that selflessness to be demonstrated is for them to
accept top dollar - but the best way for workers to demonstrate their own
self sacrifice is by working for nothing. So the greater a leader's
wealth, and the greater the workers' poverty, the greater must be purity
of decision-making and sacrifices everyone is making for the common good.

It's cruel I know, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, and
mocking such high-principled self sacrifice just has to be done in order
to make a pretty valid point: the only people our leaders truly serve, and
have ever truly served, are themselves.

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a little self interest;
after all, it's directly related to the survival instinct that's common to
every living thing. The real problems occur when the self interest of some
individual, or class of individuals, is awarded grossly preferential
weighting to the self interest of others (as it always has been).

So where are we? We've established that leaders cannot be trusted, and
we've established the myth of perfect decision-making by self-sacrificing
leaders; but the most significant point to take on board is that we don't
actually need leaders anyway. We're perfectly capable of making our own
decisions.

This is scary stuff; but consider it for a moment. What goes into making a
good decision?

There are just three basic components: information, information and
information.

First off, you need just the right amount of background information about
any situation that requires a decision. This is best provided not by
dozens of experts all repeating each other, but simply by two experts -
who disagree with each other. Then you need the right consequential
information about the possible results of any decision you might make - no
chess player worth her salt ever makes a move without thinking about all
the possible consequences; and finally you need a reliable means of
informing relevant people about what the decision is. None of these
components are, of themselves, difficult; but they are often made
extremely difficult by devious people serving their own self-interested
agendas.

It isn't difficult to grasp the essential requirements of a good decision
- it's only taken me one paragraph to write it. So instead of being
conditioned to rely on people we can never fully trust to make our
decisions for us, why can't we instead be conditioned to just make our
own? And the decisions of government should be OUR decisions to make.
After all, we pay for them - often with our lives.

Some would rightly argue that oftentimes group decisions need to be made;
and that if a group of people is involved in anything it must be led. Not
so. Groups need organised systems with a few key individuals providing
specific communication functions, not leadership. Ah, but you need a
leader to create the organisation. No you don't. Groups are more than
capable of organising themselves when there's a real need to do so, as
tens of thousands of rebel groups throughout history can testify.

But perhaps the most compelling argument for the failure of the principle
of leadership, and why we have to abandon it, is this: the world is full
of leaders, and look at the state of it. We have permanent war, ecological
catastrophe, and a global economy that institutionalises massive poverty
and obscene wealth for tiny all-powerful elites who, coincidentally, are
the most strident advocates of leadership. Leadership is a failed
experiment. The people, properly informed, must be free to manage the
governments they pay for.

John Andrews is a writer whose main work is Free Democracy - Government
for the Twenty First Century. Free Democracy is an entirely new system of
government of which he is the creator.


--------15 of 17--------

Two Powerful Human Institutions at the Core of Our Collapse
Have We Evolved Enough To Change Them?
by Doug Page
July 11th, 2009
Dissident Voice

The recent cancellation of fireworks displays by insolvent American cities
is an indicator of the total collapse of our political and economic
institutions and the loss of the American Dream. We no longer remember nor
do we celebrate what it is that made the US the hope of mankind. It is
apparent that we have lost our effective voting power and that our local
and national political institutions are in immobilized gridlock in so far
as benefit to us is concerned.

Our founding fathers were inspired in giving us the Declaration of
Independence and our Constitution. Brilliant as they were, they could not
have known and did not provide for control of emerging and rapidly growing
economic dynamics of private banking and of capitalism. These two human
institutions can be thought of as gigantic private tornado funnels that
extract our wealth created by our work, for the benefit of the super rich.
These two institutions are also parasitic in that in impoverishing their
human hosts, they are also destroying themselves. These beneficiaries of
the wealth and power generated by these two uncontrolled political-
economic forces have now captured control of our governments, our military
and intelligence forces, our media, our mainstream religions, our academic
institutions, and what we study, what think and what we dream.

Besides these two institutions, we civilized humans are confronted, with
the coinciding problems of over-population, Global Warming and the end of
the age of oil. We humans in the United States and the Western World must
make very profound changes in our values, life styles, and institutions,
if we are to maintain sustainable civilized life. Our challenge is: Have
we humans have evolved enough to make these profound changes? Can we do
this when we face the relentless opposition of the main stream media and
we have no comparable way of communicating the truth among the millions of
us?

THE FIRST WEALTH EXTRACTING "FUNNEL TORNADO": CREATION OF MONEY AND CREDIT
BY PRIVATE BANKS

Even during the times of our Founding Fathers, there was public
controversy about whether money should be issued solely by the government,
solely by private banks, or by a mixture of the two. Prior to our
Revolution, the State of Pennsylvania had been especially successful in
creating public money. This was well known to the Founding Fathers who had
just won the Revolutionary War financed by publicly created money issued
by the various Colonies. At that time, the private European banks had
found it to be immensely profitable for private banks to be in control of
the money supply. It is said that branches of the banks of the Rothschild
family financed both sides of the Napoleon's Wars. Alexander Hamilton
vigorously proposed private money creation. Benjamin Franklin and others
wanted our new government to be the sole creator of money, public money.
The resulting language of our Constitution was a compromise. The US
Congress was given the power to create money, but it did not necessarily
have to be the sole source of money-creation, and the Constitution left
the private banks free to create money. The private banks seized the
opportunity. Today, for practical purposes, all money is created by
private banks

The actual workings of private banking and money creation are well
documented,1 but are totally unknown by voters and even many elected
officials. The facts and the dynamics of private banking are startling:

 -The Federal Reserve System is not a public institution. It is privately
owned by the private banks. The Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950
section, 31 USC 714(b), dictated that congressional audits of the Federal
Reserve may not include .deliberations, decisions and actions on monetary
policy matters..2

 -Our money is created by private banks out of nothing. NOTHING!!!

 -All money is debt!!! All money is created by private banks making loans
to the government and to individuals and corporations. The private banks
simply write a check for the requested loan, with no actual cash deposits
to back up the loan. Banks do not ordinarily make loans from actual
savings on deposit.

 -Each loan becomes an account receivable by the bank which is then used
as a "reserve" to issue even more loans.

 -In the past, a ratio of 10 to 1 was common so that a bank with a loan,
and thus an account receivable "reserve," of say, $10,000, could issue 9
more loans for total loans of $100,000. This is called "fractional
reserve" banking. All this money is created out of nothing by the private
banks. In recent years, the 10 to 1 traditional reserve requirement has
been largely ignored, and loans were issued at will sometimes with very
little "reserves".

 -All money being debt, and that money plus interest being owed to the
private banks, the resulting annual private profit for them is huge. Total
private and public debt is now said to be over $50 Trillion, ($50 Thousand
Billion), all owed to private banks. Taking into account the 18-21%
interest charged on credit cards, and the much lower interest on
Government Bonds, the average rate of interest must be well over 3% per
year. But even 3% x $50 Trillion results in annual profit to private banks
and their owners of $1.5 Trillion per year. The private banks are owned by
the wealthiest 1% of Americans and foreigners. This is one of the
principal causes of the immense and ever increasing disparity of wealth
between the rich and the non-rich.

 -We thus have a gigantic, fraudulent, secret, private banking system
that is killing our civilized democracy and impoverishing us.

Money is power, power with which the tiny numbers of people constituting
the super rich finance candidates for public office, finance their
re-elections, finance their opponents if they fail to do the donor's
bidding, power finance lobbyists, think tanks, academic studies, and
universities. George Washington's Blog on July 2 gave us the result:

"Leading economist Dean Baker wrote today 'Banks Own the US Government'.

"The number two ranking Democrat in the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin
(D-IL), said: 'Frankly, banks own the place'.

"Collin Peterson, Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, said: 'The banks
run the place - I will tell you what the problem is - they give three
times more money than the next biggest group. It's huge the amount of
money they put into politics".

This anti-democratic private power and wealth could be curtailed if we
caused the United States Congress to exercise its power to cause the
United States to be the sole creator of our money. We then would not need
to tax ourselves to pay off public and private loans. This public money
could simply be issued to rebuild our infrastructure, provide universal
medical care, and to provide free education through college. Public money
could be loaned at controlled interest rates for private businesses.3

THE OTHER WEALTH EXTRACTING "FUNNEL TORNADO": CAPITALISM

The dynamics of capitalism, based solely on private greed, are more
familiar than the workings of private banking, but still largely
suppressed by the main stream media.

The core dynamic is this:

A person with money hires a person without money at the lowest possible
wage, to produce as much profit as possible, for the man who already has
money.

In 1789, this core dynamic seemed harmless. Persons without money could
always go "out West," or become self-employed. Our Founding Fathers did
not and could not have anticipated how this private wealth creating
institution standing parallel with a government "of, by and for the
people" would capture control of the government.

However, this core dynamic repeated by thousands of employers hiring
millions of employees, over the past 230 years has caused what we have
today: The employers and those who finance the employers have gotten very
rich and powerful. We employees have had a stagnant standard of living
since 1970. An immensely powerful private business system now controls the
government with its wealth in the same way that the private banks do. We
now experience the resulting disparity of poverty and wealth. We
experience our own voting impotence. Even though 70% or more of us voters
want Single Payer Health Coverage, so great is the power of privately
owned insurance companies and HMOs, that this coverage is not even on the
legislative table for consideration. The super rich will allow no
government solution to any of our problems unless it provides a profit
making opportunity for them. Hence the relentless pressure to "privatize"
every human enterprise from health care to freeways to municipal water
works, and to cut the taxes of the rich.

So, our only hope is to seek sources of information and inspiration
outside of these dominant mainstream institutions, from our own experience
and observation, from our prophets and sages over the ages, and from our
own sense of right and wrong. The current economic crisis provides a
fertile opportunity, if only we had the wisdom courage to press our
advantage. The Banks are bankrupt. We can use no more loans or "credit".
We are maxed out on debt. Capitalism is in its terminal phase. Capitalism
has extracted all that it possibly can from us. We are working harder and
longer and for stagnant wages. Capitalism has extracted so much from us,
that we can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that our labor
provides. In extracting wealth from us, these two institutions, private
banking and capitalism, are reducing us to feudal poverty and are killing
themselves.

As activist John Stoltenberg says:

"American capitalism is confronted with the greatest economic/financial
crisis in its over 230 year history. Meanwhile, the capitalist class, its
corporate management and its political elite, i.e. the capitalist
oligarchy which has the real economic and political power, do not have any
real solutions for the economic/financial problems confronting American
capitalism. Therefore, the capitalist oligarchy has created our de facto
fascist state whose sole function is to preserve the economic and
political power of the capitalist oligarchy in the face of its failure to
solve the problems associated with their very mature, dysfunctional and
failing capitalist economic system.

"Concurrently, people outside of the ruling capitalist oligarchy, people
without much real economic or political power, people who do the grunt
work to keep American capitalism functioning, who do the dirty work of
fighting its wars, the expendable people who are unemployed, live on food
stamps, have no health insurance, try to make capitalism work no matter
how dysfunctional it is, no matter how badly it is failing as an economic
system. It is these people who still believe the American republic with
its democratic political process, our civil rights, the rule of law, and
the separation of church and state still exists, and try to make our
political system function as it was intended to function."

Since we have no public "bull-horn" comparable to the mainstream media
with which to communicate among ourselves and to organize, we still can do
the following:

 -We can recognize our own denial that all of this is happening, our false
belief that "everything will turn out all right," and our wish to die if
we cannot keep our material goods. Guided by cutting edge people like
Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., a Jungian psychologist, educator, and author of
Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's
Collapse, we can adjust to our current reality and create the sustainable
survival of our human civilized community. We can be comforted and
enlightened by the book, The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, Founder
of the Transition Movement.

 -We can openly and honestly accept our impotence at the ballot box, and
that we no longer have effective voting power. We can be aware of the
immense private forces that control President Obama's actual acts, as
contrasted with what he says in his moving speeches.

 -We can stop getting our information from the main stream media. We can
"cut the cord". We can and we must rely on non-mainstream internet sources
like World Socialist Web Site, MRzine, George Washington's Blog,
Counterpunch, and Dissident Voice. We must become aware that even sources
like Move On.org, NLPF, Huffington.s Post, NPR, PBS, and The Nation are
beholden to and influenced by private banks and the private business
institutions. We must judge their proposals, "insights" and "information"
accordingly, and we must become aware of what they simply leave out of
their coverage.

 -We can use the internet to communicate and organize, perhaps using
something like Face book.

 -We can have one day or many day "buyers' strikes" where we simply buy
nothing, to demonstrate our power and our outrage, to mobilize ourselves,
and to challenge the power of the super rich.

 -We can have one day "work stoppages" or "sick days" where we simply do
not work.

-We must be ever on guard that our use of the internet will be foreclosed
or monitored by the powers that be.

1.See, for example, former Congressman Wright Patman.s report to the
Congress and to the American people entitled .Money.; See also Paul
Grignon.s eye opening 47 minute video, Money as Debt. [.]

2.. (b) Under regulations of the Comptroller General, the Comptroller
General shall audit an agency, but may carry out an onsite examination of
an open insured bank or bank holding company only if the appropriate
agency has consented in writing. Audits of the Federal Reserve Board and
Federal reserve banks may not include.

(1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a
foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization;

(2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters,
including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities
credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations;

(3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market
Committee; or

(4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of
the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve
System related to clauses (1)-(3) of this subsection.. [emphasis added]
[.]

3.See the draft of the proposed American Monetary Act drafted by Steven
Zarlenga and others. [.]

Doug Page is a retired lawyer for unions, a former Democratic politician,
and a life long observer of government, unions and business. He can be
reached at: dougpage2 [at] earthlink.net.


--------16 of 17--------

Postcards from the Revolution
Eva Golinger
Monday, July 13, 2009
UPDATES: 2 HONDURAS ACTIVISTS KILLED; VENEZUELAN JOURNALISTS EXPELLED;
COUP LEADERS HIRE TOP DEMOCRAT LOBBYISTS TO JUSTIFY THEIR DE FACTO
GOVERNMENT

Things are getting worse each day inside Honduras. Over the weekend, two
well-known social leaders were assassinated by the coup forces. Roger
Bados leader of the Bloque Popular & the National Resistance Front against
the coup d'etat, was killed in the northern city of San Pedro Sula.
Approximately at 8pm on Saturday evening, Bados was assassinated and
killed immediately by three gun shots. Bados was also a member of the
leftist party, Democratic Unity (Unificacin Democrtica) and was president
of a union representing workers in a cement factory. His death was
denounced as part of the ambience and repressive actions taken by the coup
government to silence all disent.

Ramon Garcia, another social leader in Honduras, was also killed on
Saturday evening by military forces who boarded a bus he was riding in
Santa Barbara and forced him off, subsequently shooting him and wounding
his sister. Juan Barahona, National Coordinator of the Bloque Popular &
the National Resistance Front against the coup, stated that these actions
are committed by the coup government "as the only way to maintain
themselves in power, by terrorizing and killing the people."

Despite statements made by representatives of the coup government, the
national curfew remains in place. Different social organizers from
Honduras have been denouncing the curfew is still in effect and that the
coup government is lying about lifting it, so as to seem less repressive
to the international community.

However, over the weekend, foreign journalists from Telesur, Venezolana de
Televisin (VTV - Venezuelan State TV) and EFE, were detained by military
forces and expelled from Honduras. The Venezuelan journalists returned
last night to Venezuela, while Telesur is still trying to find a way to
maintain its correspondents on the ground. For now, they are all in
Nicaragua after being forcibly expelled from the country. This means few,
if any, international media are left in Honduras covering the reality on
the ground, of a coup d'etat now 15 days in the making.

Honduran media, which supports the coup, reported on the journalists'
detention stating that the police arrested and deported them due to "car
theft". The massive censorship inside Honduras by the media and coup
government is already taking an extraordinary toll on the people of
Honduras who each day are finding it more difficult to resist.

Meanwhile, the coup government has hired top notch democrat lobbyists in
Washington to make their case before Congress and the White House and
convince the US people to recognize them as a legitimate government. The
New York Times has confirmed that Clinton lobbyist Lanny Davis, former
Special Counsel for President Bill Clinton from 1996-1998, and close
advisor to Hillary's campaign for president last year, has been hired by
the Latin American Business Council - an ultraconservative group of Latin
American businesses - to represent the coup leaders in the U.S. Davis
arranged a series of meetings with congress last week, including a hearing
before the House Foreign Relations Committee, where he testified in favor
of the coup government alongside Iran-Contra propaganda man Otto Reich, as
well as several private meetings in the State Department and interviews
with U.S. media. Another lobbyist, Bennett Ratcliff of San Diego, another
close friend and advisor of the Clinton's, was also hired by the coup
government in Honduras to advise them on the negotiations taking place in
Costa Rica.

Ratcliff actually accompanied the coup representatives and dictator
Roberto Micheletti himself, to Costa Rica, presenting the "conditions" of
a negotiated return for President Zelaya to Honduras.

So what's up with the Clinton advisors and lobbyists hanging out with the
coupsters? Obviously, it's a clear indication of Washington's support for
the coup regime in Honduras, despite the rhetoric we heard last week
"condemning the coup" and blah, blah, blah. The real actions show just the
opposite: clear, undivided support for Micheletti and a definite rejection
of President Zelaya's return to the presidency in Honduras.

Ratcliff's conditions for the negotiation - approved by Secretary of State
Clinton in Washington - included the following five main terms:

1. Zelaya can return to the presidency, but not to power. The presidency
and the exercise of power are two different things.
2. Zelaya must not pursue any plans to reform the Constitution or promote
polls or referendums that give voice to the people.
3. Zelaya must distance himself substantially from President Chavez. "This
is essential", they said.
4. Zelaya must share governance with the Congress and those in the coup
regime until the elections in November.
5. Zelaya must give amnesty to all those involved in the coup.

Well, there you have it! Obama's first coup and Hillary's first use of
"smart power" to achieve the ouster of a left-leaning president that was
further opening the doors of Central America to Latin American integration
and sovereignty. There is no doubt that this coup has been executed to
cease the expansion of socialism and Latin American independence in the
region.

Posted by Eva Golinger at 3:39 PM

Eva Golinger
Venezuela

Eva Golinger, named "La Novia de Venezuela" (the Bride of Venezuela) by
President Hugo Chavez, is a Venezuelan-American attorney from New York and
author of the best-selling books, "The Chavez Code: Cracking US
Intervention in Venezuela" (2006 Olive Branch Press) and "Bush vs. Chavez:
Washington's War on Venezuela" (2007, Monthly Review Press). Her two
latest books, "The Empire's Web: Encyclopedia of Interventionism and
Subversion" and "La Mirada del Imperio sobre el 4F: Los Documentos
Desclasificados de Washington sobre la rebelin militar del 4 de febrero de
1992" were released in Venezuela in early 2009. Since 2003, Eva, a
graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and CUNY Law School in New York, has
been investigating, analyzing and writing about US intervention in
Venezuela using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain
information about the US Government's efforts to destabilize progressive
movements in Latin America. Her first book, The Chavez Code, has been
translated and published in five languages (English, Spanish, French,
German and Italian) and is presently being made into a feature film.

[May Barack Dubya Obama and Hillary Dubya Clinton rot in hell. The US
government represents the rich, not us, we're on our own. Obama who? -ed]


--------17 of 17--------


                          ----------------
                           Bushrack Obama
                          ----------------


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