|Progressive Calendar 09.24.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 13:47:34 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.24.09 1. Zombie/health/Klob 9.24 3pm 2. Eagan peace vigil 9.24 4:30pm 3. Northtown vigil 9.24 5pm 4. Foodprint cookoff 9.24 5:30pm 5. Fed Writers Project 9.24 7pm 6. Arab night/Iraqi 9.24 7pm 7. Remember/homicides 9.25 11am 8. Lydia/KFAI 9.25 11am 9. Remember/homicides 9.25 3/5pm Duluth MN 10. Palestine vigil 9.25 4:15pm 11. Alt to violence 9.25 5:30pm 12. TakeBackNight 9.25 6:30pm StCloud MN 13. Antiracism/register 9.25 14. PC Roberts - Even the part-time jobs are disappearing 15. Missy Beattie - Obama has already failed/The sound of money 16. Mark Weisbrot - How much repression will Hillary support in Honduras? 17. Hardy/ed - News for Obama Lovers (poem) --------1 of 17-------- From: ty <tytymo [at] gmail.com> Subject: Zombie/health/Klob 9.24 3pm ZOMBIE MARCH for SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE Over 22,000 people die every year for lack of health insurance. We are marching to be their voice. The U.S. for-profit medical system "rations" based on ability to pay, while costing more per capita for worse care than any other industrialized nation. The medical corporations are a powerful lobby and donate millions to both parties, snuffing out any hope for genuine change from Washington. Only a movement from below can win a free, universal, single-payer "Medicare for all" system like in Canada and Europe, allowing policy and medical decisions to be made based on human need, not corporate profits. Thursday Sept. 24th 3:00 pm: Gather on Coffman Plaza, University of Minnesota for speakers, music, zombie make-up 4:00 pm: March to Sen. Klobuchar's office 4:30 pm: Community Rally for Single-Payer outside Klobuchar's office: 1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250 Demand Congress put people before profits and pass single-payer --------2 of 17-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 9.24 4:30pm PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------3 of 17-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 9.24 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------4 of 17-------- From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Foodprint cookoff 9.24 5:30pm The Food Print Project Cook-Offs - Sept 24, Oct 3 & Nov 21 Do It Green! Minnesota is introducing our newest program called The Food Print Project, funded by the City of Minneapolis Climate Change Grant program. The Food Print Project's mission is to educate residents about how the foods we choose impact climate change. We are launching this project through a series of low carbon cook-offs, featuring local chefs producing low carbon dishes and judges who will choose the lowest carbon dish. At the cook offs you can taste test the chefs creations and learn how your food choices can affect the environment. The cook offs will offer: * Low carbon recipes to take home * A display of local foods and resources to get you started * A take home Food Print wallet card with tips and a seasonal foods list * A chance to play Eco Wiggle, a new version of Twister! * The opportunity to take the Minnesota Energy Challenge to begin your journey to reduce your impact! Come visit one of these free and open to the public cook-offs! -Tuesday, September 24th 5:30pm, Camden Farmers Market (4400 Osseo Rd). Chef Jim Malinowski and Chef Mike Longville from Edinburgh U.S.A will be joining us for our first cook off. -Saturday, October 3rd 10:00am, Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market (corner of 7th Ave NE and University Ave NE). Chef Heather Hartman at SpoonRiver and Chef Philip Dorwart with CREATE Catering and Dining Studio will be joining us. -Saturday, November 21st 12:00pm, Green Gifts Fair at Midwest Global Market (920 E Lake St). Chef Paul Lynch with Firelake and Chef Molly Herrmann with Tastebud Tart will be joining us.. We will also be taping the cook offs and posting them as You Tube videos, so even if you can't make it you won't miss out! Click here to start your food print journey - take the Minnesota Energy Challenge and sign up for the Do It Green! Minnesota Team http://cts.vresp.com/c/?twincitiesgreenguide/de54f7fd5a/8acadfd1b4/9bd3c2d257 --------5 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Fed Writers Project 9.24 7pm On Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m., at the Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale St., Saint Paul, watch /Soul of a People: Writing America's Story/, a major documentary about the FWP produced by Spark Media and broadcast by Smithsonian Channel HD. Professor Peter Rachleff, of Macalester College, leads a discussion on the film and the broader aspects of the New Deal's WPA programs following the film. --------6 of 17-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Arab night/Iraqi 9.24 7pm Arab Night with Visiting Iraqi Delegation Thursday, September 24, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. A festive Arab Night will be jointly hosted by the Iraqi delegation, who are leaders in their communities, and sponsoring groups. Live music, Iraqi food and display of joint projects between Sister Cities Minneapolis and Najaf, Iraq, including water-filter photos, Iraqi art, and an opportunity for local children to write to children in Iraqi, as part of the Letters for Peace project. This evening is open to the public and part of the first official exchange between the two cities. The Iraqi delegates come as peacemakers and guests and will help set a foundation for future years of visits and sharing between Minneapolis and Najaf. Come participate, help our Iraqi guests enjoy their time here and provide them with an opportunity to meet peace-loving Americans, share their culture and build relationships. Sponsored by: the Iraqi Delegation, Iraq American Reconciliation Project (IARP), the Minneapolis City Council, the University of Minnesota, Friends for a Nonviolent World (FNVW), and Big Marina Grill and Deli. WAMM is a member of IARP. FFI: Visit http://reconciliationproject.org . --------7 of 17-------- From: "Heather Martens, Protect Minnesota, Citizens for a Safer Minnesota" <csm [at] endgunviolence.com> Subject: Remember/homicides 9.25 11am Friday, September 25 is the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Homicide. Join us in these events for Awareness, Empowerment, and Hope. St. Paul, 11 a.m. Memorial and Call to Action, Capitol Rotunda Memorialize those who are lost but never forgotten. Renew our commitment to change. Gather together in strength. Please reply to this email to RSVP for the Twin Cities memorial event. For more information and to donate, visit www.endgunviolence.com. Heather Martens Executive Director Citizens for a Safer Minnesota --------8 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Lydia/KFAI 9.25 11am FRI.OCT. 2/9, 11 am:KFAI Radio FALL PLEDGE DRIVE on CATALYST Pledge line: 612-375-9030 TUNE in for interviews with MATHEW ROTHSCHILD, editor of THE PROGRESSIVE magazine, based in Madison, Wisconsin, celebrating 100 years of social justice and anti-war journalism! Hear from U of MN alum, now teaching at U of Texas in Austin, radical writer ROBERT JENSEN, talking about his newest book ALL MY BONES SHAKE: his journey to Christianity, as a leftist who critiques what he calls "the four fundamentalisms" of the society we live in. Hear great music from ANNE FEENEY and MICHAEL FRANTI. Hear Pennyslvania Death Row dissident journalist MUMIA ABU-JAMAL on the media. There are premiums related to all these amazing people when you pledge at the $75 level to KFAI on CATALYST. (But, EVERYONE who pledges on Catalyst will get some sort of premium sent to them by me!) ****PREMIUMS on CATALYST:politics& culture: CDs: FRANTI, MICHAEL "Yell Fire!" FEENEY, ANNE "Have You Been To Jail For Justice?" BOOKS: Rothschild, Mathew 100 YEARS OF THE PROGRESSIVE Jensen, Robert ALL MY BONES SHAKE Phillips, Peter "Project Censored Anderson, KIrk "Banana Republic" Felien, Ed "Take The Streets!" Ivins, Molly "Who Let The Dogs In?" --------9 of 17-------- From: "Heather Martens, Protect Minnesota, Citizens for a Safer Minnesota" Subject: Remember/homicides 9.25 3/5pm Duluth MN Friday, September 25 is the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Homicide. Join us in these events for Awareness, Empowerment, and Hope. Duluth, 3 p.m. Bell Ringing, Memorial Bell Garden, Lake Place Park Duluth, 5-6:30 p.m., Reception with book authors Dennis Henigan and Heidi Yewman, Suites Hotel, 345 S. Lake Ave. Click here <http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5610/c/237/t/5480/event/index.jsp?event_KEY=8536> to RSVP and for more information on this fundraiser. Memorialize those who are lost but never forgotten. Renew our commitment to change. Gather together in strength. Heather Martens Executive Director Citizens for a Safer Minnesota --------10 of 17-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Palestine vigil 9.25 4:15pm the weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. the Friday demo starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. there are usually extra signs available. --------11 of 17-------- From: Rowley Clan <rowleyclan [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Alt to violence 9.25 5:30pm FNVW/AVP Please join us in celebrating and supporting the Alternatives to Violence Project Celebrate! of Friends for A Non-Violent World. AVP-MN works in six of Minnesota's prisons and jails and in our communities -- help us strengthen it! Friday, September 25 * 5:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. At the home of Gail Daneker and Ian Keith * 1791 Dayton Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55104 * Between Marshall and Selby/ Fairview and Wheeler Program: People who's lives have been changed by AVP, inside prison and out in the community, will share insights, lessons learned, and maybe a miracle or two! Demetria Carter and Erika Thorne of AVP-MN will set the stage. Musical entertainment to be announced. Donation: $25 (more if you can/less if you can't -all welcome) If you can't make it, please consider a contribution--all amounts are welcome and make a big difference. For more info, please call Gail Daneker at 651/647-5798, or Erika Thorne at 651/644-5851. --------12 of 17-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: TakeBackNight 9.25 6:30pm StCloud MN September 25: Women's Center St. Cloud State University and a host of other sponsors Take Back the Night Rally and March. The march reclaims the rights to walk at night on the streets and to be safe in our own homes. 6:30 PM in St. Cloud's Barden Park. The Great Phoenix will be fluttering its wings above the marchers to commemorate St. Cloud's 20th annual march and rally. March through downtown and the SCSU campus. The Clothesline Project will be on display. Survivors will have the opportunity to create their own t-shirt for the clothesline project. More information: 320-308-4958. --------13 of 17-------- From: Margery Otto <motto [at] hobt.org> Subject: Antiracism/register 9.25 Margery Otto Volunteer Coordinator In the Heart of the Beast Theatre 1500 East Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55407 612-721-2535 x14, motto [at] hobt.org www.hobt.org Antiracism Circles 9.25 registration From: Margery Otto motto [at] asdic-alliance.org Subject: Antiracism Circles 9.25 registration -- CORRECTED ASDIC Antiracism Study-Dialogue Circles -- CORRECTED Be part of the reflective and transformative work of Antiracism Study-Dialogue Circles. 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 ³race² 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. A new ASDIC Circle will meet in the West Side neighborhood of Saint Paul on Saturday mornings, starting September 26 and continuing through 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 8:30 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. --------14 of 17-------- Even the Part-Time Jobs are Disappearing The Economy is a Lie, Too By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS September 23, 2009 CounterPunch Americans cannot get any truth out of their government about anything, the economy included. Americans are being driven into the ground economically, with one million school children now homeless, while Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announces that the recession is over. The spin that masquerades as news is becoming more delusional. Consumer spending is 70% of the US economy. It is the driving force, and it has been shut down. Except for the super rich, there has been no growth in consumer incomes in the 21st century. Statistician John Williams of shadowstats.com reports that real household income has never recovered its pre-2001 peak. The US economy has been kept going by substituting growth in consumer debt for growth in consumer income. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan encouraged consumer debt with low interest rates. The low interest rates pushed up home prices, enabling Americans to refinance their homes and spend the equity. Credit cards were maxed out in expectations of rising real estate and equity values to pay the accumulated debt. The binge was halted when the real estate and equity bubbles burst. As consumers no longer can expand their indebtedness and their incomes are not rising, there is no basis for a growing consumer economy. Indeed, statistics indicate that consumers are paying down debt in their efforts to survive financially. In an economy in which the consumer is the driving force, that is bad news. The banks, now investment banks thanks to greed-driven deregulation that repealed the learned lessons of the past, were even more reckless than consumers and took speculative leverage to new heights. At the urging of Larry Summers and Goldman Sachs. CEO Henry Paulson, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bush administration went along with removing restrictions on debt leverage. When the bubble burst, the extraordinary leverage threatened the financial system with collapse. The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve stepped forward with no one knows how many trillions of dollars to "save the financial system," which, of course, meant to save the greed-driven financial institutions that had caused the economic crisis that dispossessed ordinary Americans of half of their life savings. The consumer has been chastened, but not the banks. Refreshed with the TARP $700 billion and the Federal Reserve's expanded balance sheet, banks are again behaving like hedge funds. Leveraged speculation is producing another bubble with the current stock market rally, which is not a sign of economic recovery but is the final savaging of Americans' wealth by a few investment banks and their Washington friends. Goldman Sachs, rolling in profits, announced six figure bonuses to employees. The rest of America is suffering terribly. The unemployment rate, as reported, is a fiction and has been since the Clinton administration. The unemployment rate does not include jobless Americans who have been unemployed for more than a year and have given up on finding work. The reported 10% unemployment rate is understated by the millions of Americans who are suffering long-term unemployment and are no longer counted as unemployed. As each month passes, unemployed Americans drop off the unemployment role due to nothing except the passing of time. The inflation rate, especially "core inflation," is another fiction. "Core inflation" does not include food and energy, two of Americans' biggest budget items. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) assumes, ever since the Boskin Commission during the Clinton administration, that if prices of items go up consumers substitute cheaper items. This is certainly the case, but this way of measuring inflation means that the CPI is no longer comparable to past years, because the basket of goods in the index is variable. The Boskin Commission's CPI, by lowering the measured rate of inflation, raises the real GDP growth rate. The result of the statistical manipulation is an understated inflation rate, thus eroding the real value of Social Security income, and an overstated growth rate. Statistical manipulation cloaks a declining standard of living. In bygone days of American prosperity, American incomes rose with productivity. It was the real growth in American incomes that propelled the US economy. In today's America, the only incomes that rise are in the financial sector that risks the country's future on excessive leverage and in the corporate world that substitutes foreign for American labor. Under the compensation rules and emphasis on shareholder earnings that hold sway in the US today, corporate executives maximize earnings and their compensation by minimizing the employment of Americans. Try to find some acknowledgement of this in the "mainstream media," or among economists, who suck up to the offshoring corporations for grants. The worst part of the decline is yet to come. Bank failures and home foreclosures are yet to peak. The commercial real estate bust is yet to hit. The dollar crisis is building. When it hits, interest rates will rise dramatically as the US struggles to finance its massive budget and trade deficits while the rest of the world tries to escape a depreciating dollar. Since the spring of this year, the value of the US dollar has collapsed against every currency except those pegged to it. The Swiss franc has risen 14% against the dollar. Every hard currency from the Canadian dollar to the Euro and UK pound has risen at least 13 % against the US dollar since April 2009. The Japanese yen is not far behind, and the Brazilian real has risen 25% against the almighty US dollar. Even the Russian ruble has risen 13% against the US dollar. What sort of recovery is it when the safest investment is to bet against the US dollar? The American household of my day, in which the husband worked and the wife provided household services and raised the children, scarcely exists today. Most, if not all, members of a household have to work in order to pay the bills. However, the jobs are disappearing, even the part-time ones. If measured according to the methodology used when I was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, the unemployment rate today in the US is above 20%. Moreover, there is no obvious way of reducing it. There are no factories, with work forces temporarily laid off by high interest rates, waiting for a lower interest rate policy to call their workforces back into production. The work has been moved abroad. In the bygone days of American prosperity, CEOs were inculcated with the view that they had equal responsibilities to customers, employees, and shareholders. This view has been exterminated. Pushed by Wall Street and the threat of takeovers promising "enhanced shareholder value," and incentivized by "performance pay," CEOs use every means to substitute cheaper foreign employees for Americans. Despite 20% unemployment and cum laude engineering graduates who cannot find jobs or even job interviews, Congress continues to support 65,000 annual H-1B work visas for foreigners. In the midst of the highest unemployment since the Great Depression what kind of a fool do you need to be to think that there is a shortage of qualified US workers? Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. This fall CounterPunch/AK Press will publish Robert's War of the Worlds: How the Economy Was Lost. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------15 of 17-------- Obama Has Already Failed The Sound of Money By MISSY BEATTIE September 23, 2009 CounterPunch Joe Biden has issued a warning ridiculously peculiar given a system in which Republicans and Democrats are interchangeable. Biden's concern: if Republicans, during the 2010 election cycle, gain the 35 House seats that are in Republican districts, Barack Obama's agenda will wither. And die. Biden said at a political fundraiser on Tuesday: "If they [Republicans] take them back, this [is] the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do". A brief review of Obama-Biden's accomplishments is in order. After campaigning with soaring rhetoric, promising change and the reversal of many of the most craven Bush/Cheney programs and patterns, Obama, in office, has simply renewed the George/Dick horror show. Sure, Barry was never the antiwar candidate, although many voters hoped he would be. By stating that Afghanistan was the "right war," Obama implied that the war in Iraq was wrong - an implication leading many to believe that at least one war would end. Wrong. Troops are now called trainers and a huge mercenary army is enforcing war policy without accountability. Our military still is threatened by insurgents who resent and violently denounce the occupation of their country by killing as many Americans as possible. These insurgents are not terrorists; they are protectors of their country from U.S. militarism. Civilians, including children, are dying - daily. Back to that "right war" in Afghanistan. Seems Obama is unsure of a plan and is considering and reconsidering his decision to send more troops to this country, a sinkhole for empires - where coalition and civilian casualties are climbing, corruption is rampant, women have fewer rights, desolation persists, and the Stan McChrystals, in their medal-bedecked costumes of mass egomania, strategize about what is required to win - a huge delusion since our loss there began eight years ago. And, recently, we learned that at least eight guards, all contractors working for Wackenhut Services, have lost their jobs because of lewd behavior. These guys were serving alcohol to each other from their ass cracks, giving new meaning to the toast, "bottoms up". These aren't just men being boys, partying nude, venting, drinking, and making merry. Their weapons were nearby during the orgy, at the ready, in case the enemy penetrated the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, which they were supposed to be protecting. Oh, yes, Wackenhut retains its contract. Paid with our tax dollars. Don't get me wrong. I'm no prude. I just like my wine from a glass. And the Patriot Act, which Obama promised to repeal because it grants the government too much authority to intrude in the private lives of Americans, is now valued by the former constitutional scholar as necessary enough to be extended. The failure of Barack Obama is not dependent on the 2010 election as Biden would have us believe. Obama has already failed. With a continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the unmanned drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, aggressive rhetoric to Iran, slaps on the wrists to Israel for her ruthless disregard for Palestinian rights and life, Obama's foreign policy is a threat to the safety of the world. Add to this a plan for more drones in Pakistan. This translates to civilian death. And that translates to failure. Pile on the job losses here at home - last month 216,000 Americans lost theirs. And benefits, including health care. But it is not just the Obama/Biden agenda that's on death row. It's, also, the American agenda. You know, the imperialistic, war-loving, conquest-oriented, resource-raping trail of blood that is ravaging our humanity here at home while savaging the lives of those who live in the countries we invade. What Joe and Barack are trying to accomplish is what most politicians in our one-party system do so well. Pimping and prostitution - the oldest professions. They pimp and prostitute whatever principles they once embraced. They pimp and prostitute their constituents. Like the private contractors who drank from each other's rear ends, most members of the House and Senate say "bottoms up" or "have your way with me" to the big corporate donors who host their fundraisers and finance their campaigns. Shilling and swilling. Romping all the way to the bank. Meanwhile, we the ordinary, the voters and hardworking citizens of this country, have no voice. Our leadership listens only to the sound of money. Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,'05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat [at] aol.com --------16 of 17-------- Zelaya's Return How Much Repression Will Hillary Clinton Support in Honduras? By MARK WEISBROT September 23, 2009 CounterPunch Now that President Zelaya has returned to Honduras, the coup government - after first denying that he was there - has unleashed a wave of repression to prevent people from gathering support for their elected president. This is how U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the first phase of this new repression last night in a press conference: "I think that the government imposed a curfew, we just learned, to try to get people off the streets so that there couldn't be unforeseen developments". But the developments that this dictatorship is trying to repress are very much foreseen. A completely peaceful crowd of thousands surrounded the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, where Zelaya has taken refuge, to greet their president. The military then used the curfew as an excuse to tear-gas, beat, and arrest the crowd until there was nothing left. There are reports of scores wounded and three dead. The dictatorship has cut off electricity and water to the embassy, and cut electricity to what little is left of the independent media, as well as some neighborhoods. This is how the dictatorship has been operating. It has a very brutal but simple strategy. The strategy goes like this: they control the national media, which has been deployed to convince about 30-40 percent of the population that their elected President is an agent of a foreign government and seeks to turn the country into a socialist prison. However, that still leaves the majority who have managed to find access to other information. The strategy for dealing with them has been to try to render them powerless: through thousands of arrests, beatings, and even some selective killings. This has been documented, reported, and denounced by major human rights organizations throughout the world: Amnesty International, the Center for Justice and International Law, Human Rights Watch, the Inter American Commission on Human Rights and others. One important actor, the only major country to maintain an ambassador in Honduras throughout the dictatorship, has maintained a deafening silence about this repression: that is the United States government. The Obama administration has not uttered one word about the massive human rights violations in Honduras. This silence by itself tells you all that you need to know about what this administration has really been trying to accomplish in the 87 days since the Honduran military squelched democracy. The Obama team understands exactly how the coup government is maintaining its grip on power through violence and repression. And President Obama, along with his Secretary of State, has shown no intention to undermine this strategy. In fact, President Zelaya has been to Washington six times since he was overthrown, but not once did he get a meeting with President Obama. Why is that? Most likely because Obama does not want to send the "wrong" signal to the dictatorship, i.e. that the lip service that he has paid to Zelaya's restoration should be taken seriously. These signals are important because the Honduran dictatorship is digging in its heels on the bet that they don't have to take any pressure from Washington seriously. They have billions of dollars of assets in the United States, which could be frozen or seized. But the dictatorship, for now, trusts that the Obama team is not going to do anything to hurt their allies. The head of the Organization of American States' Inter-American Human Rights Commission, Luz Mejias, had a different view of the dictatorship's curfew from that of Hillary Clinton. She called it "a clear violation of human rights and legal norms" and said that those who ordered these measures should be charged under international criminal law. What possible excuse can the military have for breaking up this peaceful gathering, or can Ms. Clinton have for supporting the army's violence? There was no way that this crowd was a threat to the Brazilian embassy - quite the contrary, if anything it was protecting the embassy. That is one reason why the military attacked the crowd. On August 11, sixteen members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to President Obama urging him to "publicly denounce the use of violence and repression of peaceful protestors, the murder of peaceful political organizers and all forms of censorship and intimidation directed at media outlets". They are still waiting for an answer. Some might recall what happened to President Bill Clinton when his administration sent mixed signals to the dictatorship in Haiti in 1994. President Clinton had called for the dictator Raul Cedras to step down, so that the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide could be restored. But Cedras was convinced - partly because of contradictory statements from administration officials like Brian Latell of the CIA - that Clinton was not serious. Even after Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell, and then Senator Sam Nunn were sent to Haiti to try to persuade Cedras to leave before a promised U.S. invasion - the dictator still did not believe it. In September of 1994 President Clinton sent 20,000 troops to topple the dictatorship and restore the elected president (who ironically was overthrown again in 2004, in a U.S.-instigated coup). By now, the coup government in Honduras has even less reason than the 1994 Haitian dictatorship to believe that the Obama team will do anything serious to remove them from power. What a horrible, ugly message the Obama administration is sending to the democracies of Latin America, and to people that aspire to democracy everywhere. Mark Weisbrot is an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy. He is also president of Just Foreign Policy. This column was originally published by The Guardian. --------17 of 17-------- News for Obama Lovers There is no hope. There's no hope there's hope. There's only hope there's hope there's hope. -Thomas Hardy, haikuized ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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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