|Progressive Calendar 09.22.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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
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