Progressive Calandar 08.23.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 18:32:31 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   08.23.09

1. Rally v torture 8.24 7am/9am
2. Rosemary's home 8.24 5pm
3. Peace walk      8.24 6pm RiverFalls WI

4. Bachman forum   8.25 10:15am
5. NWN4P vigil     8.25 4:45pm
6. Hard times      8.25 5pm
7. RNC court watch 8.25 6pm
8. Uhcan-mn        8.25 6:30pm
9. Salon/Basho     8.25 6:30pm

10. Robert Reich - Gang of Six decides health care for 300,000,000 of us
11. PC Roberts   - Americans: serfs ruled by oligarchs
12. Neve Gordon  - Boycott Israel

--------1 of 12--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Rally v torture 8.24 7am/9am

March and Rally Against Torture

Monday, August 24, 7:00 a.m. (Gather) University of Minnesota, Center for
Human Rights, 22919th Avenue South (north side of Mondale Hall),
Minneapolis. 7:15 a.m. (Two-Mile March) to the University of St. Thomas
School of Law (downtown Minneapolis). 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. (Rally)
University of St. Thomas School of Law, 1000 LaSalle Avenue (LaSalle and
10th Street) Minneapolis.

On the first day of classes at the University of St. Thomas Law School, a
copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights given to opponents of
torture by the Center for Human Rights will be carried to the University
of St. Thomas School of Law, by opponents of torture. Those joining in are
asked to: "Bring letters and voices of discontent to Dean Thomas Mengler
regarding Professor Robert Delahunty, along with John Yoo, authored an
infamous memo (1/9/02) for the U.S. Justice Department which advised that
the Geneva Conventions do not apply to the war against al Qaeda, the
Taliban, and terrorism. The 'legal' advice of the memo helped the Bush
administration to legitimize harsh methods of interrogation, which are
widely understood to be torture.

The mission statement of the University of St. Thomas School of Law,
posted currently at the University web site, reads, 'The University of St.
Thomas School of Law, as a Catholic law school, is dedicated to
integrating faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on
morality and social justice.' Given this mission statement, many of us who
also care about morality and social justice, wonder how the University of
St. Thomas can justify maintaining Professor Delahunty on its teaching
staff. We also wonder why Dean Mengler finds it necessary to defend
Professor Delahunty. Is it the position of the University of St. Thomas
Law School that Professor Delahunty's position on torture is morally
correct?" Sponsored by: the WAMM Tackling Torture at the Top (T3)
Committee. FFI: Email Roger Cuthbertson rojo [at]

--------2 of 12--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: Rosemary's home 8.24 5pm

Community Gathering:  Stop Foreclosures Now!  Keep Rosemary Williams in
her home! Monday, August 24, 5 pm 3138 Clinton Ave. So. Minneapolis

Join family, friends and neighbors of Rosemary Williams at a community
gathering August 24. Since Aug. 7, hundreds of people have come out to
support Rosemary Williams to save her family home. Williams has lived on
the block for 55 years. She has spent a year speaking out against
foreclosure and evictions on every level, always noting that she has not
been fighting just for herself but others in the same situation. On Aug.
7, Sheriffs came to the Williams house, forcing her and her family out.
The house was quickly reopened and an around the clock sit-in has been
taking place ever since. Show you support on August 24!  Organized by the
MN Coalition for a People's Bailout.

--------3 of 12--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 8.24 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022

--------4 of 12--------

From: Tom Cleland <tomcleland [at]>
Subject: Bachman forum 8.25 10:15am

If anybody goes, I want to find out if she wants to end Medicare and
Social Security, because those are socialist programs, and if she
wants people to pay or die.

>From Wikipedia:
"In 2009, she ranked eighth of 435 members of congress in campaign
contributions from donors in the insurance industry. She received
$50,900, more than any other of her industry donors. Bachmann
partially inspired the 'death panel' controversy by quoting from a
controversial article."

>From Michele Bachmann forums
Upcoming Forums on Health Care and Social Security
I hope you'll join us for these two important forums:
What Every Woman Should Know about Social Security

With special guest, Cristina Powell, U.S. Social Security Administration

Tuesday, August 25th
Registration begins at 10:15 am
Seminar runs 10:30 am to noon
Great River Regional Library
1300 West Saint Germain Street, St. Cloud

As my staff and I have met with constituents across the Sixth District,
we've noticed that many women have very specific questions about Social
Security and family finances - especially at some of the most difficult
times in their lives, such as in divorce or with the loss of their
husband. I've brought in experts to try to help answer these questions for
you. Whether you are experiencing these difficulties or just want to be
prepared, I hope you'll join us at this important seminar.

Health Care Reform Public Forum
With special guest, Congressman Michael Burgess, M.D.
Thursday, August 27th
Doors open at 1:45 pm
Forum runs 2:45 pm to 4:00 pm
Oak-Land Junior High School
820 Manning Avenue North, Lake Elmo

Along with my special guest, Congressman Michael Burgess, who practiced
medicine before coming to Congress and who sits on one of the House
committees with jurisdiction over the health care reform legislation,
we'll be discussing the proposals that are making their way through
Congress and hearing your thoughts on this important issue.  I hope you'll
join us for this critical discussion.

--------5 of 12--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P vigil 8.25 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.

--------6 of 12--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Hard times 8.25 5pm

Sunny 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, 8/25, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 8/26, 10am
Jeremy Brecher - The Great Recession: Production for Use and Workers'
Responses to Today's Hard Times

Jeremy Brecher is an author/historian whose books include Strike!,
Globalization From Below, and Gobal Village or Global Pillage.  In this
talk followed by a Q & A session, Brecher speaks around a theme of
"production for use" for today's economic hard times and environmental
challenges. (4/09)

--------7 of 12--------

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at]>
Subject: RNC court watch 8.25 6pm

RNC Court Watchers are in need of participants to help with organizing
court information, documentation and etc.  RNC Court Watchers Meetings are
every Tuesday, 6 P.M. at Caffeto's. Below is announcement for our

Preemptive raids, over 800 people arrested, police brutality on the
streets and torture in Ramsey County Jail. Police have indiscriminately
used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tasers and chemical irritants to
disperse crowds and incapacitate peaceful, nonviolent protesters. The
RNC-8 and others are facing felonies and years in jail. We must fight this
intimidation, harassment and abuse!

Join the RNC Court Solidarity Meeting this coming Tuesday at Caffetto's to
find out how you can make a difference in the lives of many innocent

Caffetto's Coffeehouse and Gallery (612)872-0911 708 W 22nd Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Every Tuesday @ 6:00 P.M to 7:00 P.M
participate and help organize RNC court solidarity.
For more information, please contact: rnccourtwatch [at]

--------8 of 12--------

From: Joel Albers <joel [at]>
Subject: uhcan-mn 8.25 6:30pm

-Note the next cookout/potluck/action planning meeting at joel's house,
next tues, Aug 25, 6:30PM cookout (grill available), 7:30PM mtg.

-Mobilizing:Because events are happening very quickly, we will be highly
dependent on coordinating actions (between mtgs) via list serve and phone
tree (Dorothy Allen makes these calls). Think of us as being a "mobile fly
squad" of sorts, able to quickly mobilize, rapidly deploy ourselves, after
someone posts an action on the list serve and for which there is
reasonable consensus on, and for whomever can get out there. Remember,
UHCAN-MN has all the resources you need from banners to flyers, song
sheets, electronic megaphone, pom-poms, a huge hospital bed etc etc.

So feel free to post potential actions or where our reps and senators are
will be appearing, etc. and here are Some F/u Options for Actions that we
need folks to f/u on:

--------9 of 12--------

From: patty <pattypax [at] EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: Salon/Basho 8.25 6:30pm

Tuesday, Aug. 25, our theme for the evening will be on the poet, Basho.
Basho was a 17th Century Japanese poet.  His history is very interesting.
He walked all over Japan and wrote a combination of prose and poetry about
everything he saw---the people, the land, the places he went.  His work
evolved into Haiku for which he is most famous.  Come and bring your own
Haiku to read.  Gayle Cole will be reading his works.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------10 of 12--------

Why the Gang of Six Is Deciding Health Care for Three Hundred Million of
Robert Reich
Friday 21 August 2009
Robert Reich's Blog

Last night, the so-called "gang of six" - three Republican and three
Democratic senators on the Senate Finance Committee - met by conference
call and, according to Senator Max Baucus, the committee's chair,
reaffirmed their commitment "toward a bipartisan health-care reform bill"
(read: less coverage and no public insurance option). The Washington Post
reports that the senators shared tales from their home states, where some
have been besieged by protesters angry about a potential government
takeover of the nation's health care system.

It's come down to these six senators. The House has reported a bill as has
another Senate committee, but all eyes are fixed on Senate Finance - and
on these three Dems and three Republicans, in particular. But who,
exactly, anointed these six to decide the fate of the nation's health

I don't get it. Of the three Republicans in the gang, the senior senator
is Charles Grassley. In recent weeks Grassley has refused to debunk the
rumor that the House's health-care bill will spawn "death panels,"
empowered to decide whether the sick and old get to live or die.  At an
Iowa town meeting last Tuesday Grassley called the President and Speaker
Nancy Pelosi "intellectually dishonest" for claiming the opposite.  On
Thursday Grassley told the Washington Post that Congress should scale back
its efforts to overhaul health care in the wake of intense anger at town
hall meetings. But - wait - the anger is largely about distortions such
as the "death panels" that Grassley refuses to debunk.

This week on Fox News Grassley termed the House bill "the Pelosi Bill,"
and called it "a government takeover of heath care, exploding the deficit
because it's not paid for and it's got high taxes in it."

I really don't get it. We have a Democratic president in the White House.
Democrats control sixty votes in the Senate, enough to overcome a
filibuster. It is possible to pass health care legislation through the
Senate with 51 votes (that's what George W. Bush did with his tax cut
plan). Democrats control the House. The Speaker of the House, Nancy
Pelosi, is a tough lady. She has said there will be no health care reform
bill without a public option.

So why does the fate of health care rest in Grassley's hands?

It's not even as if the gang represents America. The three Dems on the
gang are from Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota - states that
together account for just over 1 percent of Americans. The three
Republicans are from Maine, Wyoming, and Iowa, which together account for
1.6 percent of the American population.

So, I repeat: Why has it come down to these six? Who anointed them?
Apparently, the White House. At least that's what I'm repeatedly being
told by sources both on the Hill and in the Administration. "The Finance
Committee is where the action is. They'll tee-up the final bill," says
someone who should know.

[My conclusion, rejected/feared by most (especially "hope" Dems), is that
BOTH parties are as corrupt as they need to be to shill for the rich and
screw the populace, the country, and the future. Both are BAD. The Dem
leaders pretend progressivism and care, but actually don't give a crap.
Having 60 Senators is an embarassment to them - now they have to find
other reasons to not do what we want. It was, is and will be a filthy
setup. Dishonesty and false faces abound. How do you know whcn Dem leaders
lie? When they open their mouths. They are not fools - they are knaves.
They know exactly what we want, and how we want it, but are determined to
not give it to us. Once we admit this, recent history makes sense. Stop
wondering how Dems can be so dense, clueless, etc - they know exactly what
they are doing; just admit their underlying motives fit their actions -
they are not are friends, and are paid/determined to betray us. They are
the knaves. It is we who are the fools.]

--------11 of 12--------

Americans: Serfs Ruled by Oligarchs
Paul Craig Roberts
August 20, 2009

"In a little time [there will be] no middling sort. We shall have a few,
and but a very few Lords, and all the rest beggars." R.L. Bushman

"Rapidly you are dividing into two classes--extreme rich and extreme
poor." "Brutus"

Americans think that they have "freedom and democracy" and that
politicians are held accountable by elections. The fact of the matter is
that the US is ruled by powerful interest groups who control politicians
with campaign contributions. Our real rulers are an oligarchy of financial
and military/security interests and AIPAC, which influences US foreign
policy for the benefit of Israel.

Have a look at economic policy. It is being run for the benefit of large
financial concerns, such as Goldman Sachs.

It was the banks, not the millions of Americans who have lost homes, jobs,
health insurance, and pensions, that received $700 billion in TARP funds.
The banks used this gift of capital to make more profits. In the middle of
the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs
announced record second quarter profits and large six-figure bonuses for
every employee.

The Federal Reserve's low interest rate policy is another gift to the
banks. It lowers their cost of funds and increases their profits. With the
repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, banks became high-risk
investment houses that trade financial instruments such as interest rate
derivatives and mortgage backed securities. With abundant funds supplied
virtually free by the Federal Reserve, banks are paying depositors
virtually nothing on their savings.

Despite the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policy, beginning October
1 banks are raising the annual percentage rate (APR) on credit card
purchases and cash advances and on balances that have a penalty rate
because of late payment. Banks are also raising the late fee. In the midst
of the worst economy since the 1930s, heavily indebted Americans, who are
losing their jobs and their homes, are to be bled into bankruptcy by the
very banks that are being subsidized with TARP funds and low interest

Moreover, it is the American public that is on the hook for the TARP money
and the low interest rates. As the US government's budget is 50% or more
in the red, the TARP money has to be borrowed from abroad or monetized by
the Fed. This means more pressure on the US dollar's exchange value and a
rise in import prices and also domestic inflation.

Americans will thus pay for the TARP and low interest rate subsidies to
their financial rulers with erosion in the purchasing power of the dollar.
What we are experiencing is a massive redistribution of income from the
American public to the financial sector.

And this is occurring during a Democratic administration headed by
America's first black president, with a Democratic majority in the House
and Senate.

Is there a government anywhere that less represents its citizens than the
US government?

Consider America's wars. As of the moment of writing, the out-of-pocket
cost of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is $900,000,000,000. When
you add in the already incurred future costs of veterans benefits,
interest on the debt, the forgone use of the resources for productive
purposes, and such other costs as computed by Nobel economist Joseph
Stiglitz and Harvard University budget expert Linda Bilmes, "our"
government has wasted $3,000,000,000,000--three trillion dollars--on two
wars that have no benefit whatsoever for any American whose income does
not derive from the military/security complex, about which five-star
general President Eisenhower warned us.

It is now a proven fact that the US invasion of Iraq was based on lies and
deception of the American public. The only beneficiaries were the
armaments industries, Blackwater, Halliburton, military officers who enjoy
higher rates of promotion during war, and Muslim extremists whose case the
US government proved by its unprovoked aggression against Muslims. No one
else benefited. Iraq was a threat to no one, and finding Saddam Hussein
and executing him after a kangaroo trial had no effect whatsoever on
ending the war or preventing the start of others.

The cost of America's wars is a huge burden on a bankrupt country, but the
cost incurred by veterans might be even higher. Homelessness is a
prevalent condition of veterans, as is post-traumatic stress. American
soldiers, who naively fought for the munitions industry's wars, for high
compensation for the munitions CEOs, and for dividends and capital gains
for the munitions shareholders, paid not only with lives and lost limbs,
but also with broken marriages, ruined careers, psychiatric disorders, and
prison sentences for failing to make child support payments.

What did Americans gain from an unaffordable war in Iraq that lasted far
longer than World War II and that put into power Shi'ites allied with

The answer is obvious: nothing whatsoever.

What did the armaments industry gain? Billions of dollars in profits.

What about President Obama? "A corporate marketing creation," sums up the
distinguished British journalist John Pilger.

Obama is the presidential candidate who promised to end the war in Iraq.
He hasn't. But he has escalated the war in Afghanistan, started a new war
in Pakistan, intends to repeat the Yugoslav scenario in the Caucasus, and
appears determined to start a war in South America. In response to the
acceptance by US puppet president of Columbia, Alvaro Uribe, of seven US
military bases in Columbia, Venezuela warned South American countries that
the "winds or war are beginning to blow."

Here we have the US government, totally dependent on the generosity of
foreigners to finance its red ink, which extends in large quantities as
far as the eye can see, completely under the thumb of the
military/security complex, which will destroy us all in order to meet Wall
Street share price expectations.

Why does any American care who rules Afghanistan? The country has nothing
to do with us.

Did the armed services committees of the House and Senate calculate the
risk of destabilizing nuclear armed Pakistan when they acquiesced to
Obama's new war there, a war that has already displaced two million

No, of course not. The whores took their orders from the same
military/security oligarchy that instructed Obama.

The great American superpower and its 300 million people are being driven
straight into the ground by the narrow interest of the big banks and the
munitions industry. People, and not only Americans, are losing their sons,
husbands, brothers, and fathers for no other reason than the profits of US
armaments corporations, and the gullible American people seem proud of it.
Those ribbon decals on their cars, SUVs and monster trucks proclaim their
naive loyalty to the armaments industries and to the whores in Washington
who promote wars.

Will Americans, smashed and destroyed by "their" government's policy,
which always puts Americans last, ever understand who their real enemies

Will Americans realize that they are not ruled by elected representatives
but by an oligarchy that owns the Washington whorehouse?

Will Americans ever understand that they are impotent serfs?

Author's Bio: Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US
Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has held
numerous academic appointments. He has been reporting shocking cases of
prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The
Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a
documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, was
published by Random House in March, 2008. Back

--------12 of 12--------

Boycott Israel
By Neve Gordon
Los Angeles Times
August 20, 2009,0,1126906.story

An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save
his country.

Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the
push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn
from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world
for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a
celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics
produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the
kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in
South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.

Not surprisingly, many Israelis - even peaceniks - aren't signing on. A
global boycott can't help but contain echoes of anti-Semitism. It also
brings up questions of a double standard (why not boycott China for its
egregious violations of human rights?) and the seemingly contradictory
position of approving a boycott of one's own nation.

It is indeed not a simple matter for me as an Israeli citizen to call on
foreign governments, regional authorities, international social movements,
faith-based organizations, unions and citizens to suspend cooperation with
Israel. But today, as I watch my two boys playing in the yard, I am
convinced that it is the only way that Israel can be saved from itself.

I say this because Israel has reached a historic crossroads, and times of
crisis call for dramatic measures. I say this as a Jew who has chosen to
raise his children in Israel, who has been a member of the Israeli peace
camp for almost 30 years and who is deeply anxious about the country's

The most accurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state.
For more than 42 years, Israel has controlled the land between the Jordan
Valley and the Mediterranean Sea. Within this region about 6 million Jews
and close to 5 million Palestinians reside. Out of this population, 3.5
million Palestinians and almost half a million Jews live in the areas
Israel occupied in 1967, and yet while these two groups live in the same
area, they are subjected to totally different legal systems. The
Palestinians are stateless and lack many of the most basic human rights.
By sharp contrast, all Jews - whether they live in the occupied
territories or in Israel - are citizens of the state of Israel.

The question that keeps me up at night, both as a parent and as a citizen,
is how to ensure that my two children as well as the children of my
Palestinian neighbors do not grow up in an apartheid regime.

There are only two moral ways of achieving this goal.

The first is the one-state solution: offering citizenship to all
Palestinians and thus establishing a bi-national democracy within the
entire area controlled by Israel. Given the demographics, this would
amount to the demise of Israel as a Jewish state; for most Israeli Jews,
it is anathema.

The second means of ending our apartheid is through the two-state
solution, which entails Israel's withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders (with
possible one-for-one land swaps), the division of Jerusalem, and a
recognition of the Palestinian right of return with the stipulation that
only a limited number of the 4.5 million Palestinian refugees would be
allowed to return to Israel, while the rest can return to the new
Palestinian state.

Geographically, the one-state solution appears much more feasible because
Jews and Palestinians are already totally enmeshed; indeed, "on the
ground," the one-state solution (in an apartheid manifestation) is a

Ideologically, the two-state solution is more realistic because fewer than
1% of Jews and only a minority of Palestinians support binationalism.

For now, despite the concrete difficulties, it makes more sense to alter
the geographic realities than the ideological ones. If at some future date
the two peoples decide to share a state, they can do so, but currently
this is not something they want.

So if the two-state solution is the way to stop the apartheid state, then
how does one achieve this goal?

I am convinced that outside pressure is the only answer. Over the last
three decades, Jewish settlers in the occupied territories have
dramatically increased their numbers. The myth of the united Jerusalem has
led to the creation of an apartheid city where Palestinians aren't
citizens and lack basic services. The Israeli peace camp has gradually
dwindled so that today it is almost nonexistent, and Israeli politics are
moving more and more to the extreme right.

It is therefore clear to me that the only way to counter the apartheid
trend in Israel is through massive international pressure. The words and
condemnations from the Obama administration and the European Union have
yielded no results, not even a settlement freeze, let alone a decision to
withdraw from the occupied territories.

I consequently have decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions movement that was launched by Palestinian activists in July 2005
and has since garnered widespread support around the globe. The objective
is to ensure that Israel respects its obligations under international law
and that Palestinians are granted the right to self- determination.

In Bilbao, Spain, in 2008, a coalition of organizations from all over the
world formulated the 10-point Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign
meant to pressure Israel in a "gradual, sustainable manner that is
sensitive to context and capacity." For example, the effort begins with
sanctions on and divestment from Israeli firms operating in the occupied
territories, followed by actions against those that help sustain and
reinforce the occupation in a visible manner. Along similar lines, artists
who come to Israel in order to draw attention to the occupation are
welcome, while those who just want to perform are not.

Nothing else has worked. Putting massive international pressure on Israel
is the only way to guarantee that the next generation of Israelis and
Palestinians - my two boys included - does not grow up in an apartheid
regime. _____

Neve Gordon is the author of "Israel's Occupation" and teaches politics at
Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel.

Copyright c 2009, The Los Angeles Times


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