|Progressive Calendar 07.14.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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 ---------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.