|Progressive Calendar 10.09.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 9 Oct 2009 06:07:19 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.09.09 1. Straw bale construction 10.09-11 9am 2. Arts/tools/organizing 10.09 1pm 3. Palestine vigil 10.09 4:15pm 4. Microgrants/Selvaggio 10.09 7:30pm 5. Peace walk 10.10 9am Cambridge MN 6. Solar PV course 10.10 9am 7. StP parks/history 10.10 10am 8. Rwanda/Erlinder 10.10 10am 9. Mounds Park walk 10.10 10am/1pm 10. Palestine freedom walk 10.10 1pm 11. Northtown vigil 10.10 2pm 12. Bicking/food/film 10.10 6pm 13. Robert Parry - Democrats ponder health-care suicide 14. Kevin Zeese - Here we go again/Dems turning off their voting base 15. Missy Beattie - Opinion amplified/outside looking in 16. Allen Roland - Leads world spiritual revolution: Chavez not Obama 17. Glenn Greenwald - Historian's account of Dems & Bush-era war crimes 18. Sahil Kapur - Democrats with guts 19. ed - Dem lems (haiku) 20. ed - Last man (haiku) --------1 of 20-------- From: Kathy Ahlers <kathyahlers [at] gmail.com> Subject: Straw bale construction 10.09-11 9am Straw Bale Construction demo Oct. 9-11, 2009 9 am-5:00 pm all three days (Friday through Sunday) 2601-26th Ave SE Minneapolis, MN Bearpaw Construction is the contractor. Bearpaw Design and Construction Mark E. Morgan memorgan [at] triwest.net A notice is on the bulletin board at Hampden Park Co-op [Raymond Av StP]. People can drop by at any time during the posted hours. --------2 of 20-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Arts/tools/organizing 10.09 1pm Using the Arts as Tools of Social Analysis and Action in Popular Education Organizing Friday, October 9, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, 900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis. This mini-conference is a gathering for activists, community members, educators and anyone who wishes to expand the use of the arts in improving their work against oppression and violence and for democracy, sustainability, justice, and peace. Popular education uses various hands-on techniques and methods to encourage attendees to examine their lives critically and take action for social change and liberation. The mini conference will feature workshops with local artists and activists including: Sha Cage and e.g. bailey, Ricardo Levins Morales, Alejandra Tobar-alatriz, and (invited) Amalia Deloney. Scheduled Concurrent Workshops: (each will be repeated) Spoken Word: "Speak Out" - Using the spoken word as a tool of liberation, voice and choice for the people; Visual Arts: "Pictures can move a thousand feet" - Using images and framing messages for impact; Theater: "ACT UP" - Using the tools of the Theater of Oppressed to engage and organize your community; Video, Audio, and the Digital Arts: "Post it" - Using digital media to promote your cause. 100% of the registration fee goes directly to support artists and pay space rental and food. Registration: $25.00; Students and Low Income: $10.00 (limited number of scholarships). Sponsored by: Popular Education News and Headwaters Foundation fro Justice. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI and to register: Visit www.headwatersfoundation.org . --------3 of 20-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Palestine vigil 10.09 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. --------4 of 20-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Microgrants/Selvaggio 10.09 7:30pm David Unowsky wrote: Local icon Joe Selvaggio discusses his new book Microgrants: It's Working 7:30pm, Friday October 9 at Magers & Quinn Booksellers. Foreword by Joe Selvaggio / Edited by Jim Klobuchar During the late-20th century, a handful of social entrepreneurs in disparate parts of the world - Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh, Pancho and Maria Otero in Bolivia, John and Bob Hatch in Wisconsin, and Joe Selvaggio in Minnesota - developed and put into effect the idea that relatively small amounts of cash, loaned or granted to poor people with ability and drive, could have a profound effect on their lives, their families, and their communities. This book examines the effect such "microgrants" have had on 77 recipients in the Twin Cities area. The stories, compiled by interns from Yale University, relate the grantees' struggles and plans to improve their lives, how they used their grants, and what happened as a result. Jim Klobuchar, author and columnist, was the editor and wrote the preface. Former Minneapolis police chief Tony Bouza wrote the introduction and organized the content and structure of the book. Joe Selvaggio, executive director of Microgrants, wrote the foreword. Though such stories forcibly bring home the profound impact such grants can have, the question is often asked: Is the payback worth the expense? Part two of MicroGrants offers commentary and analysis of the program from several perspectives. It includes essays by: John Mauriel, PhD ("How Did It All Turn Out? A Statistical Analysis"); Mitch Pearlstein, PhD ("Culture, Compassion, and Conservatism"); Tom Fiutak, EdD ("MicroGrants, Poverty and the Liberal Voice of Conscience"); Betsy Buckley ("Women Entrepreneurs"); and Laura Waterman Wittstock, President & CEO, Wittstock & Assoc. ("Women of Color and the Tragedy of Trickle-Down"). For further information, contact: David Unowsky 612/822-4611 davidu [at] magersandquinn.com MAGERS & QUINN BOOKSELLERS 3038 HENNEPIN AVENUE SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS MN 55408 612-822-4611 www.magersandquinn.com <http://www.magersandquinn.com/> --------5 of 20-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 10.10 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------6 of 20-------- From: Laura Cina <laurac [at] mnrenewables.org> Subject: Solar PV course 10.10 9am Solar Energy: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Photovoltaics Saturday, October 10, 2009, 9:00am - 3:45pm $90.00 for MRES members/ $100.00 for non members Century College 3300 Century Avenue N. White Bear Lake,MN,55110 In joint cooperation, Century College and the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society have developed, a new one-day introductory course for homeowners and people interested in learning the basics of how to design a solar photovoltaic (PV) system for residential applications. The essentials of creating electricity from sunlight are covered. You will learn to evaluate the solar site resource, when solar PV is the right solution, the economics and incentives for solar PV, and system design principles. System components, system sizing, PV panels, inverters, grid connected vs. non-grid connected systems and electrical connections, will be all explored. *You will receive .72 CEUs for attending.* For more info: http://www.mnrenewables.org/node/345 --------7 of 20-------- From: Historic Saint Paul <ccarey [at] historicsaintpaul.org> Subject: StP parks/history 10.10 10am Parks for the People We all love the parks of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but how much do you know about their origins and development? Watch TPT's new history documentary this week! Then visit one of Saint Paul's developing parks at the foot of the bluffs, in the heart of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) - a National Park in our own front yard! Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary Open House Saturday, October 10, 2009 10AM - 1PM Enter at the corner of Commercial Street and East Fourth Street, Saint Paul Minnesota Learn about the fascinating history - and exciting future - of this beautiful Saint Paul park. Interpreters will be stationed across the sanctuary to share information on the land's geology, American Indian history, rail and brewing history, bird life and future plans for an interpretive center. For more information and directions visit www.phalencreek.org or call 651.290.0002. --------8 of 20-------- From: Doris Marquit <marqu001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Rwanda/Erlinder 10.10 10am WILPF "Coffee With" Discussion Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 am-noon "UN War Crimes Tribunals" Prof. Peter Erlinder, Lead Defense Counsel Van Cleve Community Center 901 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis Presented by Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, MN Metro Branch Ffi: <http://www.wilpfmn.org/> www.wilpfmn.org or 612-922-7993 Doris G. Marquit Membership, WILPF-MN Metro Steering Committee 3512 W. 22nd St. Minneapolis, MN 55416-3635 612-922-7993 marqu001 [at] umn.edu -- From: Joan Malerich <joanmdm [at] iphouse.com> This is one extremely important event. Peter Erlinder, lead defense council for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and who is a professor at William Mitchell Law School in St. Paul, has worked almost beyond human capacity to learn and to tell the truth and reality of what happened in Rwanda. It is NOT what the mainstream media and most of the "progressive" media have claimed. Under current president Paul Kagame, the terrorist who is really responsible for the violence in Rwanda, the truth and reality has been white-washed. More important, Kagame is behind the raids in the Congo - raids by the imperialists wanting to profit off the natural resource wealth of the Congo and raids that have decimated, killed, maimed, destroyed the Congolesse. Kagame is just one more US puppet. (see quote below) Peter's latest article (September 3) is very important and you can access it at the following: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15037 The Rwanda War Crimes Coverup: UN Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has confirmed the coverup by Prof. Peter Erlinder Related to the Congo, Peter writes in the article: "The tragic consequence of the failure to prosecute Kagame at the ICTR, from 1994 to date, is that Kagame has been free to invade the Congo in 1996 and 1998, and to occupy part of the eastern Congo many-times larger than Rwanda, to this day. No less than four UN Security Counsel-commissioned Panel of Experts Report(s) on the Illegal Exploitation of the DR Congo (2001, 2002, 2003 and December 2008) have detailed the massive rape of the Congo's resources that has brought vast riches to Kagame and his inner circle. Peter Erlinder presents the Truth, and knowing the truth is the only venue to peace. --------9 of 20-------- From: Andrew Hine <amhine2 [at] gmail.com> Subject: Mounds Park walk 10.10 10am/1pm Sneak peek: A Bird's Eye View of History, Mounds Park Walk and Talk, Saturday, October 10, 10 am-noon or 1-3 pm. Join National Park Service historian Dr. John Anfinson and towboat pilot Hokan Miller for a walk and talk along the bluffs overlooking the river and downtown St. Paul. The area surrounding Mounds Park is as rich in history as it is beautiful. From this vantage point, much of the river's history can be visualized - powerful geologic forces, Native American burial mounds, tales of early explorers, the historic harbor and today's busy working river. from http://www.fmr.org/news/current/upcoming_events-2009-08 --------10 of 20-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: Palestine freedom walk 10.10 1pm Palestinian Freedom Walk Saturday, October 10 1-4pm MN State Capitol, St. Paul Across the United States, AAPER is organizing its First Annual Palestine Freedom Walks for October 10, 2009 The Palestine Freedom Walks will be silent marches, similar to those that took place during the Civil Rights Movement, on behalf of an equitable U.S. policy toward Palestine that advances freedom for the Palestinian people. The Palestine Freedom Walks have two major goals: First, to raise awareness about the situation in Palestine among Americans who will take part in, sponsor and observe the walks, including your family members, friends, neighbors and community members. And second, to raise funds for a powerful AAPER online advertising campaign calling for freedom for the Palestinian people. Like the Freedom Walks during the Civil Rights Movement as well as AIDS Walks and Breast Cancer Walks before them, the Palestine Freedom Walks can have a major impact across the United States. For more info: 651 245 0680, mohkhuli [at] hotmail.com --------11 of 20-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 10.10 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------12 of 20-------- From: James Barrett <jmichaelbarrett [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Bicking/food/film 10.10 6pm Dave Bicking for City Council Movie and Dessert for Dave Bicking "The Yes Men'' movie satire will play at Mayday Bookstore at 301 Cedar Ave. So. in Minnneapolis on Saturday, Oct. 10. With poker-faced impersonation as their weapon and World Trade Organization officials as their target, the story follows Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno pulling off one prank after another to raise political consciousness. When their stunts succeed, the flim flam men in the film raise their satirical ante and push the art of public spectacle to hilarious new heights. Before the screening, hostess Lydia Howell will serve her renowned snacks and dessert, starting at 6 p.m. The program is to support the candidacy of Dave Bicking who is running for the City Council Ward 9 seat for South Minneapolis. A small businessman and political activist, Bicking lives in the Corcoran neighborhood where he operates an auto repair shop. He serves on the board of the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority and is endorsed by the Green Party. Paul Busch (651) 646-4656 pobusch [at] msn.com --------13 of 20-------- Democrats Ponder Health-Care Suicide Robert Parry OpEdNews If Democrats enact something like the health-care bill emerging from the Senate Finance Committee, they may call it a legislative victory and it may keep the campaign donations flowing from the insurance industry, but the Democrats would surely infuriate millions of American voters. Indeed, it seems like some Democrats, such as Sens. Max Baucus and Kent Conrad, have lost themselves so much in the inside-Washington reeds of legislating a convoluted compromise acceptable to the insurers, that they are inviting an angry backlash from average Americans. [Like me! -ed] The danger for Democrats is that this industry-friendly legislation would impose new burdens on citizens, including government fines for failing to sign up for a health-insurance plan, without guarantees that the coverage won't be almost as crappy and expensive as it is now. The bill rejects a public option that would put competitive pressure on private insurers. Plus, key elements of the bill, like the so-called shopping "exchanges," aren't to take effect until 2013, meaning that Americans will have watched this messy process unfold for months and then be told that the current system, which has cruelly pushed millions of sick people into bankruptcy, will get four more years to bankrupt more Americans. By contrast, Medicare, the single-payer health system for senior citizens, was signed into law on July 30, 1965, and took effect on July 1, 1966, less than a year later. The Senate Finance Committee bill also is so complicated that few citizens can possibly understand it or how it might affect them. Instead of straightening out the health-insurance maze, the bill makes it trickier to navigate. While dumping the relatively straightforward public option, which President Barack Obama favors and which is in the four other committee-approved health-care bills in Congress, the Finance Committee bill offers "non-profit, member-run" co-ops for individuals and "small group markets". The co-op notion is a populist-sounding alternative favored by the insurance industry because a co-op's organizational difficulties and relatively small size would make it easy to compete against, much as small food co-ops can be overwhelmed by the pricing advantages that favor large grocery store chains. The other glaring problem for co-ops is that most Americans, especially small-business people, are extremely busy already. They don't want to take part in running an insurance company; they simply want to get health insurance at a reasonable price. Nor do most Americans want to puzzle their way through Baucus's hodge-podge of private insurers, government subsidies, emergency waivers, penalties for non-compliance, etc., etc. If Americans lose a job or fall on hard times, they don't want to go hat in hand to some government bureaucrat and have to lay out their financial problems to get some special favor. What Americans Want What Americans want is affordable health coverage provided in as simple a package as possible. That was the finding of a New York Times/CBS News poll which discovered widespread confusion about the health proposals taking shape in Congress, but more than 2-1 support for a public option to compete with private insurers -- 65 percent for a public option, 26 percent against and 9 percent no opinion. [NYT, Sept. 25, 2009] After all, one of the attractions of the public option is its relative simplicity and cost-effectiveness. It could piggyback on the existing Medicare bureaucracy and thus get started quickly and cheaply. According to congressional budget analysts, it is the only plan that offers significant cost savings. Cost savings would not only help reduce the federal deficit but they would mean that more Americans would get the health care they need without going broke. In other words, it would save lives, reduce housing foreclosures, and protect families now being ripped apart by brutal financial pressures. Yet, despite this common sense - and broad voter support for the public option - the Senate Finance Committee rejected the idea. Chairman Baucus conceded that the concept was appealing, but he joined other conservative Democrats in voting no, claiming a public option couldn't clear the 60-vote hurdle to stop a Republican filibuster. So, instead of trying to rally the votes - or using the "reconciliation process" that allows a simple majority to enact legislation having budget implications - Baucus kept on cobbling together a nearly incomprehensible construct of tax credits, income formulas, fees and other mumbo-jumbo. This modified Baucus bill is in line to win final committee approval this week. According to Washington's "conventional wisdom," it will then become the vehicle for action by the full Senate, where Democratic leaders have been ambivalent about a public option. Some observers feel the best chance for the public option to survive may be with a trigger mechanism that would permit it in some parts of the country sometime in the future if private industry doesn't offer enough competition. The trigger idea has been floated by Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, the only Republican on the Finance Committee who has indicated even a faint desire to vote for comprehensive health-care reform. However, the trigger would push even this limited public option to some point after 2013, when the insurance "exchanges" are finally scheduled to open. Yet, if a trigger proposal is needed to win over some votes and beat a filibuster, another approach could be a "reverse trigger," one that would put the public option in place immediately but set up a trigger that would stop the public option from signing up new clients if private insurers cut rates by 25 percent and scored a 90 percent approval rating from customers. Even then, the "reverse-trigger" public option would stay in place, serving the Americans who had already signed up and ready to resume taking clients if private insurers slide back into their old ways of excessive executive compensation, bloated bureaucracies and huge profits. By moving up the timetable of reform to "as soon as possible" and putting immediate pressure on the insurance industry for real savings - in other words, letting voters see real benefits in 2010, not making them wait until 2013 - the Democrats could show they're on the side of the people and rack up electoral gains in 2010 and 2012. However, if the Democrats insist on trading the common good for the favors of special interests, all the industry campaign donations in the world may not be enough to save them. [And then they should not be saved but destroyed. Ended. Busted. Buried. Dance on the grave. Pound a stake thru its heart. -ed] Cross-posted from consortiumnews.com http://www.consortiumnews.com Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at more...) --------14 of 20-------- Here We Go Again - Democrats Turning off Their Voting Base by Kevin Zeese October 7th, 2009 Dissident Voice Monday, October 5, 2009 may have been the beginning of the end of a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. Peace advocates demonstrated at the White House resulting in 61 arrests. The peace movement has grown tired of Obama's failure to end the Iraq war, his escalation of the Afghanistan war, his expansion of the war into Pakistan and his growing military budget. They have turned their criticism onto him and the Democratic Congress but the Democrats are not listening. Does President Obama remember how the Democrats regained the majority in the House and Senate? Does he remember how he bested Hillary Clinton in the primaries? Here's a reminder. Republicans dominated politics for the first eight years of the 21st Century. When President Bush attacked Iraq and pulled the U.S. into a war quagmire resulting in mass deaths of civilians and soldiers as well as bleeding of the U.S. treasury, the peace movement reacted. They highlighted the failures of the war, the lies that got America in to Iraq and the death, destruction and economic catastrophe the war was bringing. Peace activists demonstrated in Congress, sat-in the offices of elected officials and protested whenever Bush administration officials testified in Congress. The public began to hear the full story - the weapons of mass destruction were a lie, there was no link between Saddam and Osama, the casualties of war were increasing, the cost of war was escalating, the largest mercenary force in history was violating laws. Opinion rapidly turned against the war. The result, in 2006, the voters threw out the Republicans and gave the Democrats solid control of both Houses of Congress. In 2008, the front runner, then-Senator Hillary Clinton, was running a campaign for the presidency that seemed unstoppable. The media and politicians treated her election as an inevitable fait accompli. But, Clinton had voted for the Iraq invasion and this did not sit well with the American public, especially with anti-war Democrats - the base of the Democratic Party. The media anointed then-Senator Barack Obama as the "peace" candidate because of a speech he gave opposing the war before being elected to the U.S. senate. Aware of the mood of the voters he began his speeches with the promise: "I will end the war in Iraq". Anti-war Democrats were enough to carry him through the primary and into the presidency. In both cases, voters opposed to war were critical to determining the outcome. But now, the Obama administration is ignoring those voters. The day after the protests at the White House it was reported in Talking Points Memo that the administration said: "White House officials say Obama is not focusing on antiwar protesters - neither the more than 60 who were arrested yesterday at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue nor the handful outside the White House gates today - or on a MoveOn email petition circulating asking him for a clear military exit strategy". The peace movement is noting that the president is ignoring their calls to end the war. Even worse for the president, this time we are starting as the majority. Polls show that more than 70% of Democrats oppose the Afghanistan war and sending more troops to the region as do a majority of Americans. Obama is forgetting how he and the Democrats came to power. Who does Obama think provides much of the person-power for their elections? Or, the small grass roots donations? What do Obama and the Democrats think will happen if the peace movement stays home in 2010? And, to make matters worse, he is repeating the mistake made in the health care debate. The president has been unable to excite grass roots support for reform because he and Congressional leaders took the most popular option, a single payer national health program, off the table. They would not consider the approach most Americans preferred. Instead, the Democrats have pushed a scheme that will enrich the health insurance industry - corporations that Americans hate and see as corrupt - by forcing Americans to buy their overpriced insurance. So, what is his administration doing when it comes to Afghanistan? Making the same mistake. They are considering all options except the one Americans want. They have taken off the option list getting out of Afghanistan. Secretary Gates said this week "We are not leaving Afghanistan. This discussion is about next steps forward". And, the president's press secretary Robert Gibbs said: "I don't think we have the option to leave. That's quite clear". At a time when the Republicans are energizing their base by challenging President Obama, the Democrats are turning off their base whether on health care, bailing out Wall Street or now on the Afghanistan war. Do the Democrats really have the hubris to think they can turn their base off and stay in office? If they do, they are likely to learn a very painful lesson in 2010 and 2012. [Amd I will do everying I can to make them pay. -ed] Kevin Zeese is the executive director of the Campaign for Fresh Air & Clean Politics whose projects include VotersForPeace.US, ProsperityAgenda.US, GlobalClimateSecurity.org and TrueVote.US. He is also a member of the board of Velvet Revolution. Read other articles by Kevin, or visit Kevin's website. --------15 of 20-------- Opinion Amplified Outside Looking In By MISSY BEATTIE October 6, 2009 CounterPunch Early on, Barack Obama issued the challenge to the American public to make him do it. If we believe in something, anything, we must convince him of our righteousness. On Monday, about 500 of us gathered at the White House during Obama's Rose Garden meeting with doctors who are supportive of his health care plan. Through the hedges, we could see movement and I'm certain he and his invitees could hear us as we bullhorned, "Healthcare not warfare". We protestors from many organizations, including World Can't Wait, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Peace Action, and Witness Against Torture, arrived before the garden party began and as we walked the sidewalk and stated our demands to "make him do it," police officers told us we could not remain on the sidewalk. "Move to the street," we were directed. When I stayed where I was, an officer said, "You'll have to leave the sidewalk". I asked him if my nephew died in Iraq for this - a loss of my freedom to stand on a public sidewalk. He was pleasant but adamant and said, "Get on the sidewalk". I had already turned to move towards the street but reeled around and said, "You just told me I could remain on the sidewalk". He smiled and said, "So, you caught that". I did indeed. I smiled back and he said, "I wish you could stay on the sidewalk". With this acknowledgement, I moved a few feet to the street. My friends Debra Sweet and Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait have worked tirelessly to end war, to halt the humanitarian disaster we have wreaked on those we invade and occupy. "Stop the torture, stop the war," they repeated. Elaine, with a black hood over her head and wearing an orange jumpsuit and chains represented a detainee in America's war of terror. Debra gave an impassioned speech. Cindy Sheehan arrived to make clear her statement that it doesn't matter who is president if the same immoral acts of war and devastation continue. If George Bush is a war criminal, so is Barack Obama. She also read the International People's Declaration of Peace. Code Pinkers Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright were there, having just returned that morning from Afghanistan where they met with Afghan women who related the suffering that is a result of war. Two other notable political activists I recognized are the indefatigable Kevin Zeese and David Swanson. Meanwhile, Gen Stanley McChrystal says 40,000 additional troops are required for success in Afghanistan. And another $130 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq is pushing through a Congress that does not listen to the will of the people. Obama, weighing his options, is strategizing and equivocating. Eight US troops were killed last weekend. Eight more families are changed forever. As we contemplate the rising death toll while Barack Obama consults with those who say "more" and shake their heads in recognition that this war has been mismanaged, those of us in the peace movement will continue to stress that our country's foreign policy of imperialism is immoral and diminishes each of us as humans. We must demand an end to the barbarism of war that not only ravages our own military and our consciences but countless victims in the countries we destroy. Obama's challenge to us to make him do it should inspire us to do just that. Unfortunately, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had this to say about the protest: I think the president has long believed that whether your opinion is on one side of the issue or the other, that this is the...the greatness of our country is that you get to amplify that opinion. Well, we amplified. And at least 60 protestors were arrested. Seems if we are going to "make" Obama "do it," we must continue to amplify. And we must amplify louder than the corporations - that personhood receiving the ear and approval of our so-called leadership. 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 s-------- Leader Of Upcoming World Spiritual Revolution is Chavez / Not Obama Allen L Roland OpEdNews Brazil winning the 2016 Olympics and ousting Obama ( Chicago ) in the first round is a shot across the bow to America. There is a moral and spiritual revolution, of the people versus the global elite, occurring in South America and its leader is Venezuela's Hugo Chavez: Allen L Roland When President Obama and his wife, Michelle as well as Oprah Winfrey and their entourage swept into Copenhagen to try and dazzle the International Olympic Committee while representing Chicago ~ they were met with stony indifference and humiliatingly bounced in the first round. The committee then selectedRio de Janeiro, Brazil to host the 2116 Summer Olympics. This was not a subtle rebuke to President Obama, instead it was a shot across the bow of America that times are rapidly changing and that the people of the world are effectively uniting against the global elite and America be forewarned. Recently 10,000 activists marched in Pittsburgh with great courage to protest this world disorder, at the G-20 world economic meeting in late September ~ a disorder in which the top 2 percent own 47 percent of the world's wealth, while the bottom 60 percent live on less than two U.S. dollars per day in poverty, misery and despair. Two in ten American workers are out of a job, and soon it will be 3 out of 10. There are six people trying to get every available job. That means five of them are never going to get a job ~ and it's going to get worse. REAL Unemployment is now at 20% and will most likely goto 30%. Consumer bankruptcies soared 41 percent in September from a year before and climbed from August, as high unemployment and the housing market crash took their toll, the American Bankruptcy Institute said on Friday. Against this dire world economic backdrop ~ Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez addressed the UN General Assembly in New York on September 20th and eloquently spoke of a moral and spiritual revolution of the people in South America and "that those who attempt to close the door of this peaceful revolution are opening the door to a violent revolution." Chavez said that "this era is giving birth to a heart" and rightfully said that the global elites are increasingly afraid of the people. In that context, he spoke of the two Obamas ~ or one Obama that speaks out of both sides of his mouth. But compared to his predecessor, who spoke last year and who Mr Chavez rightfully called "the devil" in a previous UN General Assembly speech ~ Chavezs aid "It doesn't smell of sulphur anymore. It's gone. It smells of something else. It smells of hope and you have hope in your heart." Brazil's President Luiz Ignacio 'Lula' Da Silva echoed the same theme ~ "The issues at the core of our concerns - like climate change - have one strong common denominator - the need to build a new international order that is sustainable, multilateral and less asymmetric, free of hegemonies and ruled by democratic institutions... This new world is a political and moral imperative. We must be midwives to the future. This is the only way to make repairs for so much injustice and to prevent new tragedies." Michael Moore has brilliantly revealed how our Republic has become a plutocracy in his recent film Capitalism: A Love Story. But now Hugo Chavez gives us the solution ~ the people rising up to claim an economy at the service of humanity ~ not beholden to Wall Street and the global elite. When our leaders fail ~ we, the people, must lead and the future of our Republic now demands it. The people are already marching in South America and will soon be joined by their brothers and sisters in North America. Allen L Roland http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/2009/10/05.html http://www.allenroland.com Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website --------17 of 20-------- A Historian's Account of Democrats and Bush-Era War Crimes by Glenn Greenwald Thursday October 8 2009 Salon.com Dissident Voice The American Propsect's Adam Serwer notes that, yesterday, Sen. Joe Lieberman successfully inserted into the Homeland Security appropriations bill an amendment - supported by the Obama White House - to provide an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act's mandates by authorizing the Defense Secretary to suppress long-concealed photographs of detainee abuse. Two courts had ruled - unanimously - that the American people have the right to see these photographs under FOIA, a 40-year-old law championed by the Democrats in the LBJ era and long considered a crowning jewel in their legislative achievements. But this Lieberman amendment, which is now likely to pass, undermines all of that and - as EBay founder Pierre Omidyar put it today - its central purpose is to "legalize suppression" of evidence of American war crimes. What made those detainee photographs so important from the start is that they depict brutal abuse well outside of the Abu Ghraib facility and thus reveal to Americans - and the world - that America's torture was not, as they've been constantly told, limited to rogue sadists at Abu Ghraib and the waterboarding of three bad guys. Instead, our torture regime was systematic, pervasive, brutal, fatal, and - becuase it was the by-product of conscious policies set at the highest levels of government - common across America's "War on Terror" detention regime. These photographs would have documented those vital facts; combated the false denials from torture apologists; fueled the momentum for accountability; and revealed, in graphic and unavoidable terms, what was truly done by America's government. But a Democratic-led Congress, at the urging of a Democratic President, are now taking extraordinary steps - including an act of Congress which has no purpose other than to suppress evidence of America's war crimes - to ensure that this evidence never sees the light of day. If a historian were to write about the events of the first nine months of 2009 when it came to transparency issues as they relate to the war crimes of the Bush years, the following is would be written. Just remember this was all done with an overwhelming Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and a Democratic President elected on a promise to usher in "an unprecedented level of openness in Government" and "a new era of openness in our country." There's no blaming Republicans for any of this: In February, the Obama DOJ went to court to block victims of rendition and torture from having a day in court, adopting in full the Bush argument that whatever was done to the victims is a "state secret" and national security would be harmed if the case proceeded. The following week, the Obama DOJ invoked the same "secrecy" argument to insist that victims of illegal warrantless eavesdropping must be barred from a day in court, and when the Obama administration lost that argument, they engaged in a serious of extraordinary manuevers to avoid complying with the court's order that the case proceed, to the point where the GOP-appointed federal judge threatened the Government with sanctions for noncompliance. Two weeks later, "the Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, [tried] to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails." [Time to end the honeymoon for Obama. No more benefit of the doubt. No more thinking he can't mean all these evil anti-democratic policies. He does, and we have to stop him and his lackeys (especially the Dems) or pay a huge price. It seems we elect presidents to persecute us and destroy democracy and the coutry in the interest of evil ruling class interests. We do that very well. We could have nice lives, but we prefer to elect knaves who try to do us in. -ed] In April, the Obama DOJ, in order to demand dismissal of a lawsuit brought against Bush officials for illegal spying on Americans, not only invoked the Bush/Cheney "state secrets" theory, but also invented a brand new "sovereign immunity" claim to insist Bush officials are immune from consequences for illegal domestic spying. The same month - in the case brought by torture victims - an appeals court ruled against the Obama DOJ on its "secrecy" claims, yet the administration vowed to keep appealing to prevent any judicial review of the interrogation program. In responses to these abuses, a handful of Democratic legislators re-introduced Bush-era legislation to restrict the President from asserting "state secrets" claims to dismiss lawsuits, but it stalled in Congress all year. At the end of April and then again in August, the administration did respond to a FOIA lawsuit seeking the release of torture documents by releasing some of those documents, emphasizing that they had no choice in light of clear legal requirements. In May, after the British High Court ruled that a torture victim had the right to obtain evidence in the possession of British intelligence agencies documeting the CIA's abuse of him, the Obama administration threatened that it would cut off intelligence-sharing with Britain if the court revealed those facts, causing the court to conceal them. Also in May, Obama announced he had changed his mind and would fight - rather than comply with - two separate, unanimous court orders compelling the disclosure of Bush-era torture photos, and weeks later, vowed he would do anything (including issue an Executive Order or support a new FISA exemption) to prevent disclosure of those photos even if he lost again, this time in the Supreme Court. In June, the administration "objected to the release of certain Bush-era documents that detail the videotaped interrogations of CIA detainees at secret prisons, arguing to a federal judge that doing so would endanger national security." In August, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder announced that while some rogue torturers may be subject to prosecution, any Bush officials who relied on Bush DOJ torture memos will "be protected from legal jeopardy." And all year long, the Obama DOJ fought (unsuccessfully) to keep encaged at Guantanamo a man whom Bush officials had tortured while knowing he was innocent. That's the record which a historian, wedded as faithfully as possible to a narration of indisputable facts, would be compelled to write. And those are just disclosure and transparency issues. None of that has nothing to do with ongoing assertion of detention powers, habeas corpus denials, renditions, the Democrats' active efforts just this week to prevent abuses of the Patriot Act and FISA, etc. (for those with Twitter, just read Marcy Wheeler's infuriating account from the last two hours of how key Democrats in the Senate - led by Dianne Feinstein and Pat Leahy - just gutted virtually every effort to rein in Patriot Act and FISA abuses that were sponsored by Feingold, Durbin and even Arlen Specter: ZAZI!!!). And now this war on transparency is all culminating with a White House-backed effort - spearheaded by key ally Joe Lieberman - to sweep aside two federal court rulings and to write a new exemption for FOIA that has no purpose but to prevent the world from seeing new and critical evidence of systematic American war crimes. If the stated goal of Democrats had been to use their newfound control of Government to protect and suppress Bush-era war crimes, how could they have done any better? -- UPDATE: When I interviewed House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter back in June, she vowed to do everything possible to stop the Lieberman/Graham/Obama photo suppression amendment, arguing that FOIA was every bit "as sacred to Democrats as Social Security and Medicare." If only that were true. Back in June, Slaughter - with the help of an intense campaign from blogs and civil libertarians - did succeed in blocking its enactment, but as Mother Jones' Nick Baumann reports, the legislative mechanism used by Lieberman this week virtually assures its passage, even though Slaughter vows still to oppose it. Two other related notes: (1) a journalist emails me to remind that I should add to Obama's anti-transparency crusade the White House's efforts to water down the "journalist shield law" to the point where it would easily enable the Government to compel disclosure of the identity of whistle-blowers in the national security context (i.e., the kind who told Dana Priest about CIA black sites and Eric Lichtblau about illegal NSA eavesdropping) - a clear violation of Obama's campaign platform that was engineered by the White House in secret rather than out in the open; and (2) I wasn't able to watch the Patriot Act proceedings today, but - in addition to Wheeler's linked descriptions above - the normally rhetorically restrained Adam Serwer just wrote of the Senate Democrats' bill: "Senate passes PATRIOT Act Reauthorization. They should name it after J. Edgar Hoover." -- UPDATE II: Quite related to all of this: The Nation's Chris Hayes today examines how many liberal advocacy groups allow themselves to be controlled by the White House and subject themselves to collective message coordinating. As Hayes notes, Jane Hamsher refers to these controlled progressive groups as the "veal pen," which she expertly described here. There are many reasons why the reaction to things such as what I describe in today's post from progressive groups (as distinct from the very vocal civil liberties groups) has been so muted and acquiescent - e.g., a tribal refusal to criticize one's own, a gut belief that someone as good and just as Barack Obama couldn't possibly really be continuing Bush/Cheney policies and complicitly helping to suppress their war crimes, the anger that one provokes from one's own "allies" with such criticism, etc. - but the organized co-option process which Hayes and Hamsher document, accompanied by the fear of losing access and funding, is a very significant factor. -- UPDATE III: Russ Feingold just wrote a scathing condemnation of the behavior of his Senate Democratic colleagues and, especially, the Obama administration with regard to what they just did with the Patriot Act and FISA renewals, including this: I am also very troubled that administration officials have been taking positions behind closed doors that they are not taking publicly. . . [I]f the administration wanted to further water down the already limited reforms in the bill that was on the table, they should have said so openly. Instead, at our only public hearing we were told that the Justice Department did not have positions on the crucial issues about to be discussed. Then, over the past week, in classified settings, the Department has weighed in against even some of the limited reforms that Sen. Leahy originally proposed. The administration loves to posture in public as though they support various reforms - to lead their wild-eyed supporters to believe they do - only to work in secret to gut those same reforms. Feingold adds that "[a]t the beginning of the year, I had high hopes for the Patriot Act reauthorization process." Why? Just because of small facts like these: We had just elected a President with a strong civil liberties record in the Senate. His Attorney General had supported some reforms during consideration of the last reauthorization bill in 2005. And Democrats controlled the Senate by such a large margin that our advantage on the Judiciary Committee ended up at 12-7 after Sen. Specter switched parties. Despite all of that, Feingold ended up having to vote against the new Patriot Act bill that he spent all year leading because it was diluted to the point where very little was fixed and some things were actually made worse. When it comes to transparency and civil liberties, that's what the Democratic Congress and White House are. If the record I documented here isn't enough to see that, then take it from someone who sees them up close and personal every day. Copyright 2009 Salon Media Group, Inc. Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy", examines the Bush legacy. --------18 of 20-------- Democrats With Guts by Sahil Kapur Tuesday October 6 2009 The Guardian/UK Common Dreams Congressman Alan Grayson's fighting talk gave Republicans a taste of their own bitter medicine on healthcare reform Democratic congressman Alan Grayson beat the Republicans at their own game last week, when he ripped into them for dragging their feet on the American health care crisis. On the floor of the House of Representatives, he summarised the Republican health care plan as: "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly." It has caught Republicans like a deer in the headlights, understandably so because Republicans are not used to Democrats with guts. Far from surrendering to immediate Republican outrage and demands for apology, Grayson stood firmly by his stance, teasing his opponents that he'll apologise, but "to the dead and their families" for government's failure to improve the system. In fact, Grayson has since stepped up his rhetoric in a recent media blitz, calling Republicans "knuckle-dragging Neanderthals" and "a lie factory" whose only approach to policy is obstructionism. By failing to produce a counter-proposal in the following days, Republicans have effectively proven Grayson's point. This kind of pugnacious spirit is common among Republicans but very rare among Democrats, which is largely why Democrats so often get trampled in legislative battles where they have the upper-hand politically, intellectually, morally, historically and in opinion polls. Grayson's star power has surged since his remarks. While the GOP has designated him public enemy number one, Grayson has lit up the Democratic base. What's unique about Grayson is that he's passionate about championing liberal causes, and he forcefully calls out the lies of his Republican opponents and the vapidity of today's conservative movement. With the significant rightward shift of the Democratic party in the last few decades, progressives are hardly represented in American government any longer. Though there are a few notable exceptions, none have quite the determination Grayson showed this week. In the last 30 years, Republicans have yanked America further to the right than was once conceivable. Democrats have been complicit in this. Many Democrats sat idly by - if not supported - Republicans starting unnecessary and destructive wars, violating the Constitution and international law, redistributing wealth upward from the working poor to the rich, letting tens of millions lose their health care, and actively ignoring the threat of global climate change. Democrats have effectively allowed Republicans to morph the word "liberal" from an adjective into a smear. This continues today, despite the fact that conservatives have steered America to one of its darkest places yet. President Obama's self-consciously conciliatory approach plays right into this meme. The zeal with which Republicans continue to promote their agenda, despite its immense failures, provides a stark contrast to the tepid Democratic spirit. [Shirley Temple drinks for the Dems. -ed] This is why Grayson is not a typical Democrat, and why he's exactly what Democrats have needed for a long time. The party dominates the House, has a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and boasts a popular president - yet continues to get pushed around the bullied by the GOP, which is less popular than ever and has no serious proposals for solving today's problems. What gives? A lack of fortitude. Capping an era of great political cynicism and unprecedented domination of money in politics, progressives have lost their footing and have tumbled behind conservatives, facing an increasingly steeper mountain to climb as Democrats continue to capitulate to the perpetrators of these quandaries. In an age where campaign contributions from wealthy, narrow interest groups are so critical to political survival, the incentive for ordinary Democrats is to play the game, not change it. With the Democratic party slowly morphing into a watered-down Republican party, progressives have grown increasingly cynical of politics. Many feel little incentive to vote or participate in the political process. A Grayson-like fervor for liberal causes can help recapture this waning enthusiasm, perhaps eventually motivating Democrats to be real progressives again. The internet age provides as much potential for political self-harm as it does opportunity, but Grayson seems happy to take the heat in his stride. Democrats need representatives who genuinely believe in liberal values, who have the courage to fight for their beliefs, and who won't prioritise political expediency over doing their job the right way. "We need Democrats with guts," Grayson said of the whole matter. He's right. [Amen. -ed] Guardian News and Media Limited 2009 Sahil Kapur is a political writer and journalist. He writes regularly for the Huffington Post and has been featured on AlterNet, Campus Progress and Daily Kos. --------19 of 20-------- Like the lemmings they resemble, Dems scurry to jump from cliff to sea. Proto lems learnt it from proto proto Dems, the age-old missing link. Whee! they say as they fall so free, flapping their arms and their tongues, see me! Don't be condemning a lemming - it could your own Dem rep, haw and hemming! --------20 of 20-------- Jack was the last man on earth. The phone rang. It was a bill collector. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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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