Progressive Calendar 09.19.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 06:16:58 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   09.19.09

1. Peace walk         9.19 9am Cambridge MN
2. Foreclosures forum 9.19 9:30am
3. MEPN/Palestine     9.19 10am
4. Small biz/NMpls    9.19 10am
5. Waite Park fest    9.19 11am
6. Northtown vigil    9.19 2pm
7. WPA writers        9.19 2pm
8. Report from Cuba   9.19 4pm
9. Burma VJ/film      9.19 5:15pm
10. KFAI/meal/movie   9.19 6:30pm
11. Peace programming 9.19-28

12. Stillwater vigil  9.20 1pm
13. Amnesty Intl      9.20 3pm
14. RNC defense       9.20 3:30pm
15. Silent auction    9.20 5pm

16. David M Green - Politics in the past tense/can America be salvaged?

---------1 of 16--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Peace walk 9.19 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street


--------2 of 16--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Foreclosures forum 9.19 9:30am

Saturday, September 19, 2009, 9:30 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m. Sabathani
Community Center, Minneapolis
Facing Challenges and Creating Solutions: A Housing and Mortgage
Foreclosure Forum

KFAI Radio presents Facing Challenges and Creating Solutions, a daylong
event focusing on the housing and mortgage foreclosure crisis in the Twin
Cities. The forum will include interactive group discussion, information
from community organizations working on solutions to the housing and
mortgage foreclosure crisis, and an opportunity to create action plans
toward solutions.

Guest speakers include Marcus Mays of ACORN, Richard Amos from St.
Stephen's Human Services, and Cheryl Peterson from Twin Cities Habitat for
Humanity. The forum will be broadcast via online media and a website will
include links to further information.

Facing Challenges and Creating Solutions: A Housing and Mortgage
Foreclosure Forum
Saturday, September 19, 2009, 9:30 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m.
Sabathani Community Center, Banquet Room, 310 East 38th Street,
Minneapolis, 55407

Community and media organizations, scholars, students and individuals of
racially, socially and economically diverse cultures are invited to
participate in this one-day event.

REGISTRATION:  This event is free and open to the public. Pre-register by
September 17th at https://www.kfai.org, by calling KFAI at 612.341.3144,
ext. 33 or in person at KFAI, 1808 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis, Monday --
Friday 10:00 a.m. -- 6:00 p.m. Refreshments and lunch will be served.

This event is presented in partnership with KFAI, Fresh Air Radio and the
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder newspaper. KFAI's Strive To Thrive: Housing
and Mortgage Foreclosure Forum is funded, in part, by the Northwest Area
Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, administered by
National Center for Media Engagement.

CONTACT:  Dixie Treichel, Project Coordinator
PHONE/EMAIL:  612.617.9575, fluidrainbow [at] yahoo.com


--------3 of 16--------

From: William Bailey <wbailey [at] visi.com>
Subject: MEPN/Palestine 9.19 10am

MIDDLE EAST PEACE NOW
Presents
IS A PEACEFUL SOLUTION STILL VIABLE?

DOMINIQUE NAJJAR, a well-known Palestinian lecturer on Israel/Palestine,
will discuss his recent trip to Palestine and current developments there.
A five-day Fatah Congress was held in Bethlehem the first week in August,
the first Fatah congress held in twenty years and the first ever on
Palestine soil.  President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
were re-elected.  A 23-member Central Committee and 120- member Council
were also elected.  Mr. Najjar will address the implications flowing from
the Congress and the viability of a two-state solution in light of the
divisions between Hamas and Fatah.  Mr. Najjar is Vice President and CFO
of Cherne Contracting Corp., Eden Prairie, MN.

SATURDAY, September 19, 2009
9:30 a.m. Refreshments, 10:00 a.m. Presentation and Discussion
SOUTHDALE HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY
7001 York Avenue South, Edina, MN  55435
For information call 651-696-1642 or email mepn [at] mepn.org.
Visit our new MEPN website at http://www.mepn.org


--------4 of 16--------

From: Friends of Springboard <Friends [at] sb501c3.org>
Subject: Small biz rally/NMpls 9.19 10am

[http://www.sb501c3.org] Save the date - Saturday September 19, 10am-2pm.
Corners of Plymouth and Sheridan Avenue North in front of Uncle Bills in
Minneapolis.  2426 Plymouth Ave North, 55411.

If you ever thought about opening a business, are a business owner - or
interested in getting information about becoming a DBE (disadvantaged
business enterprise) or WDBE (women disadvantaged enterprise) join
Springboard Economic Development Corporation, Minnesota Department of
Transportation, Internet Marketing Giant iNetGlobal and other local
business for the "Bring Small Business Back to North Minneapolis - A Small
Business Rally!"North Minneapolis has not seen business growth, (small or
major) in over 30 years.

This is your opportunity to show there are entrepreneurs and small
businesses in North Minneapolis that want to grow, live and become
profitable in our community. Join us.

Limited booth space will be available for businesses that want to display
or provide information about products and services. A $100 fee will be
charged for individual tables provided by the event planner Additional
promotional packages available.

Jerk Chicken - Jerk Chicken
If you've never tried it, now's your chance. Crispy, juicy and tangy jerk
chicken. If you've never tried it, now's your chance. This is the real
deal, folks, presented by Jamaican chef. Watch her expertly recreate this
amazing chicken exactly - come take a fantastic voyage of Jamaican Jerk
Chicken with Red Beans and Rice. The hottest Jamaican dish with a smile!"

Saturday, Sept 19th, 10am-2pm, 2426th Plymouth Ave North, Minneapolis,
55411.  Corner of Plymouth & Sheridan Ave, formerly Uncle Bill's.
[http://www.sb501c3.org] Information/Booth Rental 612-861-6662,
lennie [at] sb501c3.org

This message was sent by: Springboard Economic Development Corporation,
1901 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Email Marketing by iContact: http://freetrial.icontact.com


--------5 of 16--------

From: Nik <kreuzauge [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Waite Park fest 9.19 11am

This year's Waite Park Fall Festival will be held on September 19 from
11:00 am until 2:00 pm at Waite Park.

We hope you will join your Waite Park friends and neighbors at this annual
gathering put on by the Waite Park Community Council and the Minneapolis
Parks and Recreation Board. Planned events include a bike safety clinic, a
tree planting and soap-making demonstrations. Family activities include
carnival games and live music from the Northeast Community Band and other
local musicians. The Fall Festival will also include our "political soap
box," an informal candidate forum that will feature candidates for City
Council, Park Board, Board of Estimate and Taxation and Mayor.

Waite Park is located at 1800 34th Ave NE in Minneapolis. We hope to
see you there!


--------6 of 16--------

From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 9.19 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday
2-3pm


--------7 of 16--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: WPA writers 9.19 2pm

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library presents a month of lectures,
readings, discussions and activities honoring the 75th anniversary of the
New Deal, and the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers' Project
(FWP).

In the oral history tradition of the FWP, a group of collaborators has
created the WestSide Theater Project, a professionally directed and
designed show based on stories from the people of the West Side of St.
Paul. Professional theater artists gather stories from neighborhood
residents, create a script with community input, and produce and perform
in the neighborhood.  Watch a run-through of this production on Saturday,
September 19, 2 p.m., at the Riverview Branch Library, 1 E. George St.,
Saint Paul.

Alayne Hopkins Programming Coordinator The Friends of the Saint Paul
Public Library 325 Cedar Street Suite 555 Saint Paul, MN 55101
651/222-3242 alayne [at] thefriends.org <mailto:alayne [at] thefriends.org>


--------8 of 16--------

From: Anya Achtenberg <aachtenberg [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Report from Cuba 9.19 4pm

From the Minnesota Cuba Committee   (mncuba [at] minnesotacubacommittee.org)
Reportbacks from Cuba 9/19 and 9/26

15 Minnesotans challenged the US travel restrictions on going to Cuba this
summer. They have returned to tell their story of their interactions with
Cubans through pictures, story and video. Hear what is going on in Cuba
today...Why is this the only country in the world that US citizens are
restricted to travel to by their own government? ...Why is the rest of the
world working with Cuba and isolating United States policy?

Saturday, September 19th
4:00 PM
Room 114 of the Carlson Bldg on the West Bank of U of M, 321 Nineteenth
Avenue South.
A skyway connects the building to the 19th Avenue parking ramp

also Saturday, September 26th
10:00 AM
Resource Center of the Americas,
3019 Minnehaha Ave. basement office

sponsored by 
www.MinnesotaCubaCommittee.org<http://www.minnesotacubacommittee.org/>
call 612-721-8440 for info
For more information about the Minnesota Cuba Committee and meeting times:
www.minnesotacubacommittee.org


--------9 of 16--------

From: info [at] mnfilmarts.org
Subject: MFA Presents Burma VJ, a Human Rights Political Doc,
          Opening Sept. 19

Governmental propaganda, civil rights violations, censorship, protest,
murder.  All these themes fit into the backdrop of Burma, as courageous
young citizens live the essence of journalism by keeping up the flow of
news from their closed country, though risking torture and life in jail.

Minnesota Film Arts is proud to present Burma VJ, a gritty and emotional
documentary geared for human right activists and global political
enthusiasts.  The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism
and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a
thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September
2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching. Compiled from the shaky
handheld footage of the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), acclaimed Danish
filmmaker Anders Østergaard's Burma VJ pulls us into the heat of the
moment, playing almost like a thriller, as the VJs themselves become the
target of the Burmese government. Smuggled out of the country, it confirms
everything you've heard about one of the most repressive countries in the
world today.

The Oak Street Cinema will show Burma VJ on Sept 19th at 5:15pm, t Sunday
at 5:15 & 9:15pm, and Monday - Wednesday at 9:15pm.  Ticket prices are $5
for members, $6 for seniors/students, and $7 general admission.

If you are able to get your organization to come, group rates are also
available.  We would GREATLY appreciate it if your organization could
forward this email. Please contact us via email or phone 612.331.7563, or
visit mnfilmarts.org for more information.  Follow our fall schedule and
future peace/human rights/political documentaries.



From: info [at] mnfilmarts.org
Subject: Burma VJ/film 9.19 5:15pm

Governmental propaganda, civil rights violations, censorship, protest,
murder.  All these themes fit into the backdrop of Burma, as courageous
young citizens live the essence of journalism by keeping up the flow of
news from their closed country, though risking torture and life in jail.

Minnesota Film Arts is proud to present Burma VJ, a gritty and emotional
documentary geared for human right activists and global political
enthusiasts.  The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism
and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a
thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September
2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching. Compiled from the shaky
handheld footage of the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), acclaimed Danish
filmmaker Anders Østergaard's Burma VJ pulls us into the heat of the
moment, playing almost like a thriller, as the VJs themselves become the
target of the Burmese government. Smuggled out of the country, it confirms
everything you've heard about one of the most repressive countries in
the world today.

The Oak Street Cinema will show Burma VJ on Sept 19th at 5:15pm, Sunday at
5:15 & 9:15pm, and Monday - Wednesday at 9:15pm.  Ticket prices are $5
for members, $6 for seniors/students, and $7 general admission.

If you are able to get your group/students to come, group rates are also
available.  Please contact us via email or phone 612.331.7563, or visit
mnfilmarts.org for more information.  Follow our fall schedule and future
peace/human rights/political documentaries.


--------10 of 16--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: KFAI/meal/movie 9.19 6:30pm

SAT. SEPT. 19, 6:30 pm MEAL @ a MOVIE for KFAI COMMUNITY RADIO hosted by
Lydia Howell, host of KFAI's "Catalyst:politics & culture" @ MAY DAY
BOOKS, West Bank (around the corner from KFAI!(, Minneapolis $7-10
plus: RAFFLE Tickets for KFAI mug/T-shirt, Books,DVDs, Art & more!

MOVIE: "Talk To Me"
Inspired by the true story of 'Petey' Green, ex-convict turned Washington
D,C, fiery DJ/call-in radio show host in the late 1960s & '70s. Starring
Academy Award nominee, DON CHEADLE (backed up by greats like MARTIN SHEEN
and CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER), this humorous drama shows the power of radio
to "tell it like it is" and bring community voices to the airwaves!

MEAL: BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Lydia's CHILE--Meat and the vegetarian/vegan
Texas 2-Bean, with Corn Bread, Salad (from Lydia's garden!) and homemade
desserts, including Cheesecake and Vegan Cake.

Eat, laugh and support KFAI, your People-Powered Community Radio Station!
You can also sign up to become a KFAI member of or renew your membership.

MAY DAY BOOKS, 301 Cedar Ave. S. (basement of HUB Bicycle), West
Bank,Minneapolis (612)333-4719


--------11 of 16--------

From: Curt Lund <clund [at] mnbookarts.org>
Subject: Peace programming 9.19-28

Minnesota Center for Book Arts is welcoming the Combat Paper Project to
our art studios for an artist residency in September called A Week For
Peace.

The Combat Paper Project mission is to "raise community awareness and
stimulate conversations regarding our responsibilities to returned
veterans and the dehumanizing effects of warfare" and "to help combat
veterans reconcile their personal experiences and challenge traditional
narratives surrounding service, honor and military culture". CPP projects
begin with military uniforms worn in combat, cut up, then beaten into
fiber, and reinvented as handmade sheets of paper used for artwork and
writing.

There are also two Peace-themed readings, a community roundtable and
series of workshops. ALL of the activities are FREE and open to the public
(though preference will be given to veterans for workshops due to limited
space). If your group could help us spread the word of these activities
(Sept 19 through 28), we would be so grateful, we'd like to reach many
many more people beyond our typical reach.  More information on MCBA, CPP
and A Week For Peace events is available at
http://www.mnbookarts.org/peace.

-- Curt Lund Audience Development Manager Minnesota Center for Book Arts
at Open Book . 1011 Washington Ave S, First Floor . Minneapolis MN 55415
Phone 612.215.2527 . Fax 612.215.2545 . clund [at] mnbookarts.org

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation,
Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant
contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts
of papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding to non-traditional
artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless
creative evolution of book arts. To learn more, visit our website at
www.mnbookarts.org.


--------12 of 16--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 9.20 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to
<http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560


--------13 of 16--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 9.20 3pm

GROUP 37 SEPTEMBER MEETING REMINDER: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 - 3 TO 5 P.M.

Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, September 20th, from 3:00 to
5:00 p.m.

We will share other actions on human rights cases around the world and get
updates on the work of our sub-groups.

All are welcome, and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the Center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:
http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html


--------14 of 16--------

From: info [at] rnc8.org
Subject: RNC defense 9.20 3:30pm

RNC 8 Defense Committee Meeting
Sunday, September 20, 3:30-5:30 (at the latest)
Walker Church basement: 3104 16th Ave. S., Minneapolis


--------15 of 16--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Silent shh auction 9.20 5pm

WAMM's 25th Annual Silent Auction!!!
Sunday, September 20, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

The WAMM Silent Auction has been called "the best Silent Auction in town"
and features over 200 items such as gift certificates, vacation homes,
restaurants, health and wellness services, theater tickets, artwork,
gourmet dinners and much more. Be sure to stop by the Hot Buys tables
where you will find small items to go. Enjoy a substantial complimentary
buffet. Supervised children's activities available. Live music. Suggested
Donation: $10.00 to $30.00 (no one turned away). Payment by cash and check
preferred. Visit the WAMM web site at www.worldwidewamm.org to take a look
at and start bidding on great vacation getaways and much more! FFI: Call
WAMM, 612-827-5364.

[Even more appropriately, the WAMM Silent Auction has been called "    ",
and even more appropriately, all the things it has never been called.]


--------16 of 16--------

Politics in the Past Tense
Can America be Salvaged?
By DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
CounterPunch
September 18-20, 2009

I really don't know what to say anymore, about a country in which
proposing a new and better version of corporate-plunder masquerading as
national healthcare gets you burned in effigy for being a socialist stooge
by gun-toting angry mobs.

I really don't know what to say anymore, about a country in which the same
people who hate you for being a socialist simultaneously hate you for
being a fascist.

I really don't know what to say anymore, about a country in which angry
mobs of supposed anti-socialist demonstrators scream at their
congressional representatives to "keep your government hands off my
Medicare".

I really don't know what to say anymore, about a country in which claims
that the government is going to start killing off seniors are taken
seriously by tens of millions of people.

I really don't know what to say anymore, about a country in which people
are all worked up about government czars, but sat silently while the Bush
administration destroyed the Bill of Rights and used a thousand signing
statements to write Congress out of the Constitution.

I really don't know what to say anymore, about a country in which deficits
have all of a sudden become the source of enormous anger among people who
said nothing about them previously, as the tax cuts for the wealthy,
off-budget wars based on lies, and unfunded prescription drug Big Pharma
giveaway transmogrified the biggest surplus in American history into the
biggest deficit ever.

I really don't know what to say anymore, about a country in which
politicians can rant incessantly about other peoples' sexual morality, get
caught screwing prostitutes, and then still be reelected to the highest
ranks of government by trashing the president.

I could go on and on, but what would be the point?  The positions of so
many Americans on so many policy questions are truly inane - yes, for
sure.  I wish that was all that concerned me.  But it all goes so much
deeper than that.

The entire premise of a self-ruling democracy rests on some reasonable
degree of rationality and some reasonable degree of an ability to
discriminate between real information and falsehoods.  Today's American
democracy seems to lack these qualities in increasingly abundant amounts.
And yet it goes deeper than that still.  The entire premise of a society -
any society, democracy or not - is that it possesses a certain degree of
shared community, a "we-ness" that transcends narrower tribalisms and
self-interest in critical ways and at critical moments.  That too has
unraveled of late.  Think of the nice white men with shotguns blocking the
exit from flooded New Orleans during the worst moments of Hurricane
Katrina.

Looking at America today, it all feels so very past tense to me.

In some very profound ways, this is not the place nor the time you'd
expect the implosion of an established democracy and society.  To be an
American is to be a member of the richest and most powerful nation on
Earth.  If they're not whining so much in Botswana these days, who the
hell are we to?

On the other hand, though, it makes a lot of sense.  The moment correlates
precisely with the peaking of the empire several decades ago, now further
exacerbated as the deep wells of remedial pillaging - our credit cards,
our mortgages, our children, a rising Chinese middle class, brown people
everywhere, the environment - have disappeared entirely, with nothing but
despair and moral dessication left in their place.  Moreover, the folks
most aggrieved and most estranged from their senses of late are precisely
the people who were bought off of their sanity at every turn with the
latest form of bigotry du jour, used to assuage their ever-diminishing
sense of relative social status.  Over and over again, the people I see on
my television screen acting absolutely and incoherently stupid in their
senseless rage seem to be little more than fat, white, Southern,
sixty-something racist good ol' boys.

Well past their sell-by dates, they've of course gotten tremendous help
cranking it up again.  That's no surprise.  I'm not sure these crackers
are smart enough to even be stupid without coaching.  As Lyndon Johnson
used to say:  "Couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were
written on the heel".  Lucky for them, those marching orders come from a
host of politicians and media whores who, in an even moderately just
world, would receive a wee taste of Abu Ghraib in repayment for the
reckless destructiveness they've fomented upon the always precarious
edifice of liberal democracy.  There's special place in Hell reserved for
these shouters of "Fire!" in crowded theaters, these bloodsucking
bottom-feeders, especially since they are being paid so handsomely for
their faithful service as prolocutors for predators.

I doubt anyone has ever reminded us of this ongoing danger more eloquently
than did the famous American diplomat, George Kennan, when he wrote: "The
counsels of impatience and hatred can always be supported by the crudest
and cheapest symbols; for the counsels of moderation, the reasons are
often intricate, rather than emotional, and difficult to explain.  And so
the chauvinists of all times and places go their appointed way:  plucking
the easy fruits, reaping the little triumphs of the day at the expense of
someone else tomorrow, deluging in noise and filth anyone who gets in
their way, dancing their reckless dance on the prospects for human
progress, drawing the shadow of a great doubt over the validity of
democratic institutions.  And until peoples learn to spot the fanning of
mass emotions and the sowing of bitterness, suspicion, and intolerance as
crimes in themselves - as perhaps the greatest disservice that can be done
to the cause of popular government - this sort of thing will continue to
occur".

Hear, hear.  Sorry to say it, George, but you're lucky to have died when
you did.  It's only gotten so much worse in just the last few years.

And while the O'Reillys and the Reagans of our time have joined forces to
turn "the counsels of impatience and hatred" into an entire political
party and more, they are, of course, mere conscious tools of the Big Green
Greed that ultimately drives the system.  They know they are prostitutes,
but the money's good.  And so is the fame and adulation - no small thing
for these sorry critters.  Look at the Becks and Limbaughs and Gingriches
of this country.  Were there ever people in this world with so much
self-esteem ground to be made up from the transparent ostracization of
their younger days?  Were there ever individuals so obviously motivated by
retribution against everyone who treated them like the jerks they were in
their formative years?  Was there ever a walking warning sign more
brightly flashing about the costs to society of youthful bullying?  I'm
sorry Glenn, I'm sorry Rush, I'm sorry Newt.  I know when you were younger
you were pudgy fast-talking smart-ass petulant pricks who made up in
wedgies from bigger guys what you never got in attention from attractive
women.  But isn't about time you stopped taking it out on America?  I'm
sorry you got your ass kicked on a weekly basis, but I didn't do it.

Though I'm thinking about it now.

It takes a willful act of ignorance (something we see a lot of these days)
not to perceive the United States as the latest in history's falling
empires.  Like Rome, the true contribution of its sometimes great ideas
has ultimately been substantially buried under the rubble of its ill-fated
decision to greedily grasp the nettle of empire.  Unlike Rome, this puppy
is taking decades, rather than centuries, to collapse.

Empires come and go, of course.  Rising and falling is what they do.  It's
their job in life.  What is truly frightening to contemplate, however, is
what happens when an empire falls in the era when technological capacity
absolutely dwarfs political maturity?  And what happens if that occurs not
just anywhere, but in arguably the most immature, self-serving and
self-indulgent of developed societies on the planet?

The only model we have for this so far is the Soviet implosion of two
decades ago, though even that is only a partial representation, since the
Soviet bear was no match for the American boor in piggishness.  Even so,
that history does not bode so well, outward appearances notwithstanding.
We should all collectively be walking on eggshells thinking about the tens
of thousands of strategic and smaller tactical nuclear warheads that may
or may not be accounted for.  Nor is the renascent and rather irredentist
new Russia necessarily a pretty picture either, a fact that may become
increasingly relevant in the coming decades.  Still, all this noted, the
Russian imperial collapse has to be said to have been relatively
uneventful, closer to the post-war British and French experiences than to
any cataclysmic end of days scenario.

I wish I could be so sanguine about the implosion of the American empire.
In one sense, it was probably a good thing for the Russians to go through
this experience with only a fake democracy and repressed civil liberties
in place, and some serious if undemocratic quasi-dictators running the
show.  It might have saved the country from the worst elements seizing
control.  I don't much care for the product of American democracy and
political discourse as things now stand.  Imagine how it might all turn
out under real duress, with the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs further
egging on both the angry rabble on the ground and the Sarah Palins in the
political sphere.

I'm tired of overused Nazi references these days, but the most salient
analogy has to be to 1930s Weimar Germany.  The economy is broken, the
political system is broken, the public is struggling, angry and full of
nationalistic rage at their country's failure to possess all the riches
and glory it and they deserve.  And so say bombastic demagogues, backed by
a small army of street thugs, and offering both a scapegoat and a
solution.  Given a democratic election in which voters can choose between
a dynamic, assured and energetic salvation figure, on the one hand, and an
enervated, inept and passionately passionless status quo government, on
the other, it's not hard to figure what will happen.  And what did.

Above all, what is wrong with this country (and what therefore inevitably
becomes the world's problem too - just ask the people of Iraq), is not so
much the vicious thugs who would just as soon vacuum it free of any piece
of wealth they can get into their hands as take their next breath.  Nor is
it the existentially petrified Confederate Crackers for Jesus who find
that hate and violence is a pretty decent emollient to mitigate for the
moment their otherwise completely debilitating fears.

That stuff always happens, though admittedly not often quite like this.

What's really wrong is the near total absence of prominent political
figures willing to sacrifice much of anything to protect their country
from these depredations.

It's been so long now that I've forgotten for sure, but didn't they used
to call that patriotism?

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra
University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to
his articles (dmg [at] regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time
constraints do not always allow him to respond.  More of his work can be
found at his website, www.regressiveantidote.net.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - 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.