Progressive Calendar 09.22.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 13:23:01 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   09.22.09

1. Anti Afghan war 9.22 4:30pm
2. NWN4P vigil     9.22 4:45pm
3. RNC court watch 9.22 6pm
4. Ward 4 forum    9.22 6pm
5. Lonely/brave/f  9.22 6:30pm
6. Federal art/MN  9.22 7pm

7. Party/movement  9.23 11am
8. Racial equality 9.23 12noon
9. IonE env front  9.23 12noon
10. Iraq/bridgeVig 9.23 5pm
11. Intell freedom 9.23

12. Margery Otto - Antiracism circles 9.23 registration
13. Alan Nassar  - New Deal liberalism writes its obituary
14. Doug Page    - Our gigantic delusion: can we overcome it in time?
15. ed           - The lawn of life  (poem)

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

From: Steff Yorek <yosteff [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Anti Afghan war 9.22 4:30pm

News Conference
Tuesday, September 22, 4:30 pm
Mayday Bookstore, 301 Cedar Avenue South, on the West Bank in Minneapolis
For more information: Meredith Aby 612 819-3149

Anti-war groups to respond: U.S. military commander calls for more U.S.
troops for Afghan war

News organizations are reporting that the U.S./NATO military commander in
Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal has submitted a report to the
Obama Administration stating that more U.S. military forces must be sent
to Afghanistan.

Twin Cities area anti-war groups will offer a response to this report in a
news conference on Tuesday, September 22 at 4:30 pm at Mayday Bookstore,
301 Cedar Ave. South in Minneapolis.

At the news conference, leaders of the Twin Cities anti-war movement will
respond to the call for more U.S. troops to be sent to Afghanistan. They
will also announce plans for demonstrations this fall against the war in
Afghanistan and the continuing occupation of Iraq.

Speakers at the news conference will include Meredith Aby, member of the
Anti-War Committee, Tracy Molm, member of Students for a Democratic
Society and Wayne Wittman, member, St. Paul Regional Labor Federation.

A statement issued by organizers says in part, "There is growing
sentiment against the U.S. war in Afghanistan among the people of the U.S.
People want an end to the eight-year long war, not an escalation."

A CNN poll conducted this month said 39 percent supported the war and 58
percent opposed it.
"During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the U.S.
government is spending billions for wars and occupations, while millions
lose their jobs and housing and go without health insurance.
"This fall the growing anti-war sentiment will be visible in the streets
across the U.S. as we demand that the troops be brought home from Iraq
and Afghanistan. On October 17, local and regional anti-war actions will
be held in cities around the country, including here in Minneapolis,"
the statement concludes.

The October 17 protest in Minneapolis will be held at 1 pm, gathering at
Lagoon and Hennepin Avenues in Uptown and marching to a final rally at
Loring Park. The event is one of over 30 planned that day across the
United States.


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

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: NWN4P vigil 9.22 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.


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

From: Do'ii <syncopatingrhythmsabyss [at] gmail.com>
Subject: RNC court watch 9.22 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 15--------

From: Marcus Harcus for Minneapolis City Council - 4th Ward
Subject: Ward 4 forum 9.22 6pm

Please come support me at the Ward 4 City Council Candidate Debate @ Salem
Lutheran church - 4150 N Dupont Avenue.
Tues Sept 22nd 2009 - 6:00pm-8:00pm.


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

From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Lonely/brave/f 9.22 6:30pm

This week, the 22nd, is the film, "Lonely and the Brave". a 1962 film
starring Kirk Douglas, adapted by Dalton Trumbo from a story by Edward
Abbey.  The name of the story was, "The Last Cowboy." I can bring the
poppycock.

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 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Federal art/MN 9.22 7pm

Soul of a People: the Federal Writers' Project

On Tuesday, September 22 at 7 p.m. Brian Szott, Art Curator at the
Minnesota Historical Society, will talk about the impact of the Federal
Art Project on the Minnesota cultural scene through a closer look at the
Ah-Gwah-Ching collection, comprised of art and objects created between
1935 and 1943 as part of the Federal Project.

This program is held at the Minnesota History Center, in the Minnesota
Historical Society Library, at 75 W. Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul.


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

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Parties v movements 9.23 11am

MINNESOTA PROGRESSIVES: Movements and Values vs. Political Power?
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 - 11:00AM
KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at 
<http://www.KFAI.org

Minnesota's long tradition for spawning progressive politics and
movements, often regardless of party, has been so severely eroded over
five decades of undermining our sense of community that the systems all of
us have relied on as preserving the commons and common good preparing and
nurturing successive generations of leaders, citizens, workers and
responsible purveyors of goods and services the fundamental functions of
food production, nutritional intake, education, health care, electoral
processes, environmental stewardship, aesthetic enrichment and a reliance
on science as critical compass for cultural and physical sustainability
may be coming to an end - certainly to a crawl.

The very words, "commons" and "common good," have been challenged as
subversive, in service of "socialist" indoctrination as our public
education system and other institutions ignore the state's history and the
US's founding principles to market and promote consumerism as economic
stability and isolating individualism - not just individual responsibility
- as politic, all of it based on the notion that Number One is paramount
and the devil take the hindmost when it comes to collective needs and
community.

What are the core values that drive the current resurrection of the
commons, of progressive thought and deed, of public policy that serves the
maximum good while inspiring political engagement and community- based
problem-solving? What are the tensions between movements for change and
the power needed to make them happen? Are those tensions fatal to reviving
the values that drive policy for the common good? TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and
LYNNELL MICKELSEN query some thinkers and doers around those values and
the commons in which we all reside, as well as put such efforts in
historical as well as present political context. Heady stuff for a
Wednesday morning.

GUESTS:
 JULIE RISTAU - Executive Director, On the Commons
 DAN McGRATH - Executive Director, Take Action Minnesota
 TOM O'CONNELL, Professor, Political Science, Metropolitan State
University and progressive movements historian
 TOM VELLENGA - President, Heartland Democracy - Progressive Values
Think Tank
 AND YOU! CALL 612-341-0980  CAN'T GET US OVER THE AIR? STREAM TTT
LIVE and LATER


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

From: Joan Vanhala <joan [at] metrostability.org>
Subject: Racial equality 9.23 12noon

Alliance for Metropolitan Stability

Organizer Roundtable: Racial Equity Impact Policies
Noon - 1:30 pm
Wednesday, September 23
Jewish Community Action, St. Paul

Around the nation, local governments are creating policies and programs to
address racial disparities affecting their communities. Here in the Twin
Cities, a dedicated coalition has been working with the St. Paul Planning
and Economic Development Department to create a racial equity impact
policy to promote equitable development within the city of St. Paul.

As members of this coalition, along with the Alliance, our presenters will
discuss how racial equity impact policies can be designed to ensure that
our local development decisions decrease, rather than exacerbate, racial
disparities. Presenters will include Vic Rosenthal of Jewish Community
Action, Nieeta Presley of Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development
Corporation and Metric Giles of Community Stabilization Project. Register
now

Joan Vanhala Coalition Organizer Alliance for Metropolitan Stability 2525
E Franklin Avenue, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55406 612-332-4471
joan [at] metrostability.org


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

From: Institute on the Environment <danie419 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: IonE env frontiers 9.23 12noon

FRONTIERS IN THE ENVIRONMENT

Beginning this Wednesday, the University of Minnesota's Institute on the
Environment will breathe new life into the old lecture series. Frontiers
in the Environment will explore the frontiers of knowledge in climate
change, renewable energy, land use and other environmental hot topics. Our
speakers will provide the audience with a true understanding of the issue,
its global significance and potential breakthroughs on the horizon. Join
us Wednesdays at noon for a presentation and Q&A session, followed by a
get-together in the IonE Commons.

Jonathan Foley, director of the IonE, opens the series with "The Other
Inconvenient Truth: Feeding and Fueling the World," a thought-provoking
talk on our global crisis in land use and agriculture. Read Foley's bio:
http://environment.umn.edu/about/jonfoleybio.html

Frontiers in the Environment Wednesdays, noon to 1 p.m. (starting Sept.
23) IonE Seminar Room 380 VoTech Bldg., St. Paul campus Free and open to
the public; no registration required

Can't make it to the St. Paul campus? The lectures will also air live
online and will be archived for future viewing.

Watch and listen online via UMConnect:
http://umconnect.umn.edu/IonEFrontiers See the complete Frontiers
schedule: http://environment.umn.edu/events/frontiers.html


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

From: braun044 <braun044 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Iraq/bridge vigil 9.23 5pm

I am writing to let you know that the Iraqi Delegation will be at the
vigil on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge this Wednesday from 5:00 -
6:00 pm.  The vigil will be followed by a short gathering where delegates
will introduce themselves.

We hope you can come and welcome them to the vigil, which has been a
public witness against sanctions, war and occupation for the past ten
years.


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

From: Shirley Whiting <sgwhitin [at] pressenter.com>
From: Charlotte Knoche <charlotte.knoche [at] csp.edu>
Subject: Intellectual freedom 9.23

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will be the keynote speaker at the
Minnesota Coalition for Intellectual Freedom Annual Dinner, scheduled for
September 23, 2009 at the St. Paul College Club at 990 Summit Avenue in
St. Paul.  The College club is located next door to the Governor's
mansion. [No time was listed -ed]

Charlotte Knoche, Ph.D. Concordia University Library


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

From:  Margery Otto  motto [at] asdic-alliance.org
Subject:  Antiracism Circles  9.23 registration

ASDIC Antiracism Study-Dialogue Circle Now Being Offered in Five
Sessions!

Be part of the reflective and transformative work of Antiracism
Study-Dialogue Circles, now being offered in an easy five-session format.
Together members of the Circle will create supportive relationships as
they explore the ways our social behaviors and identities are formed in
the context of "race" and racism in the United States. Relationships are
built on honest, informed and deep dialogue that leads to formation of
Action Plans.  Through the ASDIC experience we create antiracist patterns
of relationships in the settings of our own lives and in the wider systems
of our society.  Members of past ASDIC Circles report the Circles to be
highly transformative.

This ASDIC Circle will meet in the West Side neighborhood of Saint Paul on
the Saturdays, September 26 - December 12, from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., with
additional Circle gatherings on Tuesdays November 3, November 17, and
December 1 from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.  No Circle meetings on October 24 or
November 7.

Suggested donation is $150 which includes textbook, Manual and all meals.
Kindly pay what you can - all are welcome without regard to
financial circumstances.

To register or FFI: Tim Johnson, 651-227-4275 or cpuc [at] usfamily.net.
www.cherokeeparkunited.org <http://www.cherokeeparkunited.org>  - ADSIC.
Although this ASDIC Circle will be held in a community church building,
ASDIC Circles are not based on any religious tradition and are
non-sectarian in nature.  Address:  371 West Baker St, Saint Paul 55107.

To register or FFI: Tim Johnson, 651-227-4275 or cpuc [at] usfamily.net
<mailto:cpuc [at] usfamily.net> .


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

Time-Released Suicide
New Deal Liberalism Writes Its Obituary
By ALAN NASSER
September 21, 2009
CounterPunch

Since the administration of Jimmy Carter, the Democratic Party has been
galloping to the right like there's no tomorrow. Countless opportunities
to mobilize constituencies against the depradations of
Reaganism/neoliberalism were lost, or better, deliberately misplaced.
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society was the last rallying cry of New Deal
liberalism, and it was not Nixon who initiated the Great Reversal. It was
the luminaries of liberalism itself who got the ball rolling. It's now on
record that the mission has been accomplished. New Deal liberalism is dead
as a doornail.

The gloves are off, and it is now officially open season on working
people.

                        The Official Obituary

The legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society did not drop dead. It
checked out over some time, and with the death of Ted Kennedy its official
obituary became fit to print by the Newspaper of Record.

In the August 30 New York Times Week in Review, editor (of both the Week
in Review and the Book Review) Sam Tanenhaus, in "A Vision of Liberalism
Passes With Kennedy," opens with Obama's requiem for Kennedy: "An
important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost
a great leader". Tanenhaus goes on to underscore the far more profound
change signaled by Kennedy's death: "What Mr. Obama didn't say - and
perhaps didn't need to - was that the closed chapter was the vision of
liberalism begun by the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, extended during
the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and now struggling back toward
relevance".

Nowhere in the article does Tanenhaus explain how the "closed chapter" of
what he calls "old-fashioned liberalism" is "struggling back toward
relevance". He does, however, provide a clear characterization of what has
bitten the political dust:

"It holds that the forces of government should be marshaled to improve
conditions for the greatest possible number of Americans, with particular
emphasis on the excluded and disadvantaged. It is not government's only
obligation, in this view, but it is the paramount one".

Wait a minute, this can't be right - it sounds a lot like the socialist
political agenda: the foremost - "paramount" - priority of the state is to
promote the interests of wage-earners, the majority of Americans. No
wonder liberals have been back-pedaling - as we shall see below -
practically from the moment they mounted the Keynesian bike.

Tanenhaus provides his own historical sketch of the Democrats'
retrenchment. Liberals' turnaround, he thinks, begins with Reagan-Thatcher
neoliberalism and comes into its own in the 1980s and 1990s:

"In that period, many Democrats began to rethink the legacy of the New
Deal and the Great Society. Many distanced themselves from 'the L word'.
And Mr. Kennedy appeared out of step. [Quoting a biographer of Kennedy:]
'Even in his own party, his liberalism had seemed, at times, outmoded as
the "third way" of the Clintons gained ascendance in the Washington of the
1990s'".

     Pre-Reagan Liberal Democrats Get Reagan's Ball Rolling

But on second thought, Tanenhaus concedes that the withering away of the
Keynesian state was first effected from within the fold, and well before
Reaganism. The older Kennedy brothers had long ago distanced themselves
from New Deal politics. John F. Kennedy officially introduced
post-New-Deal political cynicism, or "post-ideological pragmatism".
Tanenhaus:

"In 1962, the year Edward Kennedy was first elected to the Senate,
President Kennedy asserted that while 'most of us are conditioned for many
years to have a political viewpoint - Republican or Democrat, liberal,
conservative or moderate,' in reality the most pressing government
concerns were 'technical problems, administrative problems' that 'do not
lend themselves to the great sort of passionate movements which have
stirred this country so often in the past'".

Tanenhaus fails to note the explicitly anti-democratic nature of this
restriction of what passes as politics to the decisions of
"administrative" technicians' Nix on (sic) popular participation in
"passionate movements" driven by commitments to the promotion of, say, the
interests of working people. The Dems proceeded to turn their backs on
organized labor, and Walter Mondale became the last Democrat to even hint
at the inclusion of a full-employment plank in his presidential platform.
What liberals used to call the "party of the working man (sic)" turned
itself into "the party of the middle class". And the citizenry became the
"electorate," which takes on a political identity maybe every few
Novembers.

What all this meant for economic policy was neoliberalism, the return to
the old-time religion of market fundamentalism. The political commentariat
likes to attribute this to the "Reagan revolution," or the "new
conservative agenda". Not so.

  Ditching the New Deal Not the Result of a "New Conservative Agenda"

The foundations of neoliberalism were established in economic theory by
liberal Democrats at the Brookings Institution, and in political practice
by the Carter administration.

Arthur Okun and Charles Schultze had each served as chair of the Council
of Economic Advisors to Democratic presidents. Okun's 1975 book Equality
and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff argued that the interventionist goal of
greater equality had inefficiency costs that injured the private economy.
Schultze's 1977 The Public Use of Private Interest claimed that
politically neutral evidence proved that government policies which impact
markets in the name of fairness and equality are necessarily inefficient.
Schultze was quite explicit that the promotion of social goods as the
direct object of government policy was bound to disadvantage the very
people policymakers intended to protect, and to destabilize the private
economy in the process. Schultze scolded himself for having mistakenly
believed that the "mixed economy" could produce ameliorative outcomes that
he had come to recognize as utopian fantasies. The big mistake, Schultze
argued, was to have "denigrated markets". Here's how he sums up his
epiphany:

"Market-like arrangements' reduce the need for compassion, patriotism,
brotherly love and social solidarity as motivating forces behind social
improvement. Harnessing the 'base' motive of material self-interest to
promote the common good is perhaps the most important social invention
mankind has yet achieved... In most cases the prerequisite of social gain
is the identification, not of villains and heroes, but of the defects in
the price system that drive ordinary citizens into doing things contrary
to the commn good".

Seventeen years later the neocon Charles Murray would make the same
argument in Losing Ground.

The economic turnaround found its implementation in the Carter
administration. Carter was the first postwar Democrat to take direct aim
at social programs, which he slashed even as he goosed the military
budget. Reagan picked this up and ran with it, replacing the rhetoric of
capitalism-with-a-human-face with the wacky conceits of the neocons.

Clinton, the most reactionary Democrat since Grover Cleveland, went on in
the same vein, withholding Aid To Families With Dependent Children, and
forcing US workers to compete with Mexican and Chinese labor. As Robert
Pollin explained here in 2003, the policies of the Clinton administration
increased worker insecurity so as to entrench the median wage decline that
had begun in 1973. By making workers accept lower wages and unpaid
overtime, American corporations could retain an edge in the intensified
global competition that began in the mid-1970s.

                  Obama's Up-Front Neoliberalism

Obama is currently out-Clintoning Clinton, hammering superfluous nails
into the New Deal's coffin. Well before the presidential campaign, he was
candid about his neoliberalism. From an interview last year with the
editorial board of the Reno Gazette-Journal: "I do think that the 1980
election was different. I think that Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory
of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill
Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the
country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of
the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't
much sense of accountability... [Reagan] just tapped into what people were
already feeling, which was we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a
return to that sense of dynamism and enttrepreneurship that had been
missing".

In The Audacity of Hope Obama outed himself for mass consumption,
underscoring his disdain for "..those who still champion the old time
religion, defending every New Deal and Great Society program from
Republican encroachment, achieving ratings of 100% from the liberal
interest groups. But these efforts seem exhausted. bereft of energy and
new ideas needed to address the changing circumstances of globalization".

Obama's health care policy indicates that among those "excesses of the
1960" were Medicare and Medicaid. This guy means Business. Working people,
take cover. If current policy stays on track, Obama will have hurt more
regular folks where it hurts the most and over a longer period of time,
than any president in the history of the republic. Ever-declining wages,
fewer good jobs, higher unemployment levels, deteriorating public and
social services and increased working-class indebtedness - that's what the
future looks like from here. (For greater detail, see the CounterPunch
articles by Michael Hudson, Mike Whitney and Paul Craig Roberts.)

Some of us who have never been tempted to cast a Democratic presidential
vote have nevertheless hoped that Obama would win. Here would be
confirmation that any difference between the Dems and the Republicans
would not be worth talking about. Obama has indeed come through: he's
given us Bush.s third term.

Sadly, mass defection to a third party of choice is unlikely, given the
current absence of a conspicuous Left alternative. In these times of
permanent war there is nothing resembling an anti-war movement. The media-
and education-driven propaganda system makes educating and organizing
especially difficult for the Left, but will we say that the apparatus of
domination is invincible? History has no final chapter. The Left could be
gathering its forces to mobilize what the mainstream media tells us is
mass disaffection with ongoing war and transparently elite-driven domestic
policy. But the Left sits on its ass and thereby incurs some
responsibility for the current catastrophe.

Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at
The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He can be reached at
nassera [at] evergreen.edu


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

Our Gigantic Delusion
Can We Overcome It In Time?
by Doug Page
September 21st, 2009
Dissident Voice

We live in a culture wide, all embracing fantasy world. It has become our
total "reality". It is our Conventional Wisdom. Paul Ehrlich called this
intellectual fog "wonderland". In 1973 Jonah Raskin called it "mythology".
In 1978, Columbia Professor Edward Said wrote his famous book Orientalism
in which he surveyed Western academic literature and novels about our
attitudes toward Asia, Arabs, Palestinians, East Indians, and Moslems. He
found that even novelists assumed that Westerners were more moral,
advanced, and enlightened than Asians and that it was our duty to bring
our civilization to them. Orientalism boiled down to racism: Our Caucasian
race, our Western way of life, our civilization, our economy is good and
clean, and theirs is backward, antiquated, dirty, ignorant - and bad.
John Bellamy Foster, Professor of Sociology and Richard York, Associate
professor of Sociology, at the University of Oregon, and Brett Clark,
Assistant Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University, in a
Monthly Review article, "Capitalism in Wonderland," show that all of our
mainstream economists, policy makers, media owners, editors, journalists,
and politicians conform to the dictates of this falsified view of reality.
President Obama, Lawrence Summers and all his other advisors, and most
members of Congress are captives of this false view of reality.

Even when presented with facts that challenge this gigantic delusion,
being frightened, hypnotized, addicted, and brainwashed, we reject them.
The irony is that the delusion is so grandiose, that one like me who
challenges it, runs the risk of seeming to be a grandiose crazy
individual.

Our reigning economic falsehood is that our market economy whose principal
goal is short term private profit, is the best that humans can create, is
the best for everybody, and is in every respect unchallengeable. Moreover,
THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. Thus, we cannot have and cannot even consider:

 Serious measures to deal with the needs of our damaged planet home.
 Socialism in any form.
 Extensive public hiring and public works.

 Caring for ourselves and for each other using the powers of our
government.
 Directly giving people who want to work, employment to meet our vast
unmet needs.
 Mondragon type cooperative businesses.
 The immorality of a system based on selfish, short term, private greed
and absence of caring.
 Medicare for everybody or a VA-type public Hospital and doctor available
for everybody.
 Any health care system that does not provide some private persons with a
generous private profit making opportunity from our accidents and
illnesses.
 Solutions to the ever increasing disparity between the rich and the poor.

Our President and his economic advisors are imprisoned by this reigning
market falsehood. It embodies the further falsehoods that our market
economy is basically stable, contains no systemic defects, contains no
laws of motion or dynamics or anti-social tendencies, and that its minor
aberrations can be managed by unlimited expenditures of our tax dollars or
by borrowing. The fact that systemic defects caused our "capitalism to hit
the fan"1 in 1980 are simply ignored. Thus our President and our
government by exhaustive efforts to restore bank lending, seek to create a
new credit bubble to replace the housing bubble that crashed. Their stated
rationale is that the banks will lend, businesses and individuals will
borrow, and that ultimately new jobs will be created. They seek also to
maintain and restore the many forms of collateralized debt obligations
free of any new regulation. They ignore the basic truth that our economy
can be re-started only by directly creating jobs providing enough earned
income so that citizen employees can afford to purchase the products of
their labor. Moreover, our governmental leaders urge that we must restore
"growth" of our existing economy, with its inevitable growth of our
emissions of carbon into the atmosphere, of pollution, and our depletion
of the planet's finite resources of oil, soil, and fresh water. As a
consequence:

* We are ignoring a basic rule of arithmetic that even "reasonable"
growth of 3% per year leads to doubling within an unexpectedly short time.
(To get the doubling time simply divide the number 70 by the percentage
rate of growth. Thus 70 divided by 3 gives us a doubling time of 35 years.
A 4% growth rate would have a doubling time of 17.5 years. A 6% growth
rate would give a doubling time of about 12 years. Such doubling continues
over and over again so long as the growth rate continues.) Do we really
want to double our carbon emissions and consequent global warming? Do we
really want to double the consumption of oil, soil and fresh water? Do we
really want to double the population of the planet? Is not any talk of
growth idiotic? We need a sustainable, stable economy with zero growth.

* We are frightened and uneasy. We are acting irrationally in street
marches and in public hearings. We do have to fear fear itself. We have no
FDR who promises to meet our needs. We have a presiding eloquent Black
Herbert Hoover and not a Black FDR. There are no plans on the shelf for
any plausible solutions, and no leaders or academicians promoting them.

* We, of the political left, right and center, with good reason, are
worried about how we and our children will pay for all of this vast
expenditure of public tax dollars. We worry whether there will be the
disastrous inflation experienced by Argentina a few years ago, deflation
even worse than the Great Depression of our grandfathers, or, for us, both
at the same time.

Then there are the many falsehoods that accompany the extension of this
reigning falsehood, our "good" market economy abroad to foreign countries,
an extension that we used to call Imperialism:

* Does anybody really believe that our own sons and daughters in the
military, and Afghanistan and Pakistan civilian men women and children are
being killed or wounded every day as a part of our effort to help them or
to bring them Democracy?

* Does anybody really believe that the Honduran military Generals trained
in our School for the Americas, financed by loans and grants from our
government, using a plane that we financed, landing on the way out at a US
military base in Nicaragua, acted without U.S. consent in deposing
democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya?

* Does anybody really believe that we are getting out of Iraq when we
replace every soldier withdrawn with a hired Blackwater mercenary soldier,
and when we are building 4 large permanent military bases in Iraq, and the
most lavish US Embassy building in Asia?

* Do we really need 800 military installations in 45 foreign countries
staffed with 240,000 military personnel?

Then there is the deepest secret of all, so well hidden in our gigantic
delusion, that almost nobody is aware of it. It is the secret Ponzi-like
scheme of our private bankers that produces an almost unimaginable annual
private profit for them at our expense. This secret private money creating
scheme involves the following characteristics:

   1. Congress in 1913 delegated the power to create our money supply to
the private bankers that constitute the Federal Reserve system. Congress
does not use its power to coin our money. Private bankers create 95% of
our money supply simply out of thin air. The privately owned "Federal"
Reserve Bank simply writes a check out of thin air and issues the money to
a private bank. The private bank then loans this money to a private or
governmental borrower who promises to repay with interest. The promise to
repay becomes an "asset" of the lending bank that it then uses to make
many other loans under what is called "fractional reserve banking". It is
thus a fact that 95% or more of our money is based on debt. All existing
money thus equals the total of all public and private debt.

   2. Our government instead of using its Constitutional power to issue
money directly to meet governmental needs (as Lincoln did to finance the
Northern side of the Civil War) borrows money to meet its needs from
private bankers and pays private bankers interest on what it borrows.
Repayment is promised from our tax dollars.

   3. Over time, the annual profits for the owners of private banks have
compounded enormously. We cannot know how much because the private bankers
secured a federal law making it unlawful to audit the activities of the
Federal Reserve Banks. One can estimate the annual profit by simply
multiplying a probable average interest rate times the total money supply
since all money is debt. Is it reasonable to assume that the rate of
return is at least 3 %? The total money supply was recently estimated to
be $50 Trillion. 3% x $50 Trillion gives private bankers an annual gross
profit of $1.5 Trillion per year. This profit compounded over the decades
produces an unimaginable stash of total wealth for the owners of the
private banks.

   4. The private banks use this immense secret stash of wealth to control
our government and to override our votes on every issue that is important
to banks. Thus it is accurate to say that we have a government of, by and
for private bankers. It is also accurate to say that every aspect of the
reigning gigantic delusion about our capitalism, including the Imperialism
of defending and promoting capitalism abroad, partially set forth above,
serves the interests and the profits of private bankers.

   5. These private bankers, having the authority to create money out of
thin air have created too much money in the recent past and caused
inflation, and are now creating too little money and thus are causing our
current depression.

In the 1990s, Professor Jared Diamond wrote his book Collapse where he
studied four civilizations that had perished in the past and two that
survived. The two that survived, managed to overcome their prevailing
falsehoods, their Conventional Wisdoms. The four fallen civilizations
could not and did not. The question for all of us is: Do we have what it
takes to overcome our gigantic delusion? Or will our democratic
civilization fall into a new dark age where the only law is the Law of the
Jungle?

See University of Massachusetts Professor Rick Wolff's You Tube video,
"Capitalism Hits the Fan". [.]

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.


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


 We are worms in the
 lawn of life. Corporations
 are birds at the feast.



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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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