Progressive Calendar 11.04.09
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 06:52:39 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.04.09

1. Women/military        11.04 11am
2. John Marty events     11.04 6:30pm StCloud MN
3. Torturing democracy/f 11.04 7pm
4. Rethink Afghanistan/f 11.04 7pm
5. Barghouti/Palestine   11.04 7pm
6. WI new nukes?         11.04 7pm Ashland WI

7. Dittman/Markus - Runoffs in Ward 4&5, charter amendment crashes & burns
8. Laura Carlsen  - Reinstatement of Zelaya/The little coup that couldn't

--------1 of 8--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Women/military 11.04 11am

KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at 

WOMEN IN THE MILITARY:Trauma Inside and Out

More American women have fought and died in Iraq than in any war since
World War Two, yet as soldiers they are still painfully alone. In Iraq,
only one in ten troops is a woman, and she often serves in a unit with few
other women or none at all. This isolation, along with the military's
deep-seated hostility toward women, causes problems that many female
soldiers find as hard to cope with as war itself:  degradation, sexual
persecution by their comrades, and loneliness, instead of the camaraderie
that every soldier depends on for comfort and survival. As one female
soldier said, "I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in
the same uniform as mine."

These words from the leaf of a stunning book, The Lonely Soldier, by Helen
Benedict, and describing the still-burning issues that shame our military
and civilian attitudes toward women serving in the military - both
highlighted in a coming Veterans Day Conference in Bloomington and a play
by Chante Wolf portraying the traumas women soldiers and veterans suffer
in and after combat and military service. PTSD - combat and otherwise -
are often no different from those of the military men we hear about all
the time, themselves often forced to suck it up rather than seek
assistance for their nightmares and the violence memories trigger with
little warning in the middle of the night. Add the dimensions of sexual
predation and humiliation by combat comrades and the recipe is disaster.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with Helen Benedict, a
psychological counselor and women veterans in search of deeper and
wider understanding of the plight of women in the military.
 CHANTE WOLF - US Air Force Veteran, Persian Gulf War; Veterans for Peace
activist, playwright and photographer
 HELEN BENEDICT - Author, The Lonely Soldier (nonfiction); The Edge of
Eden (fiction) - both about military women/families
 AND YOU! CALL 612-341-0980 and Talk to Us!

[I urge women not to join the military. Men either. No one join. It kills
tens of thousands around the world every year, all for the benefit of a
few rich sociopaths. The military should be so small it could not be in
Iraq et al. Starve it into submission. An unnecessary evil. -ed]

--------2 of 8--------

From: "Daniel Fanning, Campaign Manager " <daniel [at]>
Subject: John Marty events 11.04 6:30pm StCloud MN

John Marty for Governor 2010
Come support Sen. Marty at these upcoming events:
         (more info at:
 St. Cloud Gubernatorial Forum, 11/4, 6:30 p.m
 Le Sueur County DFL Gubernatorial Candidate Forum, 11/5, 6:00 p.m
 Gubernatorial Candidates Forum at Gustavus Adolphus College, 11/9, 7:00 p.m
 MGRC DFL Gubernatorial Candidate Roundtable in St. Paul, 11/10, 4:00 p.m
 DFL Veterans Caucus Candidates Forum, 11/14, 2:00 p.m
 DFL Senior Caucus Autumn Gala in Minneapolis, 11/15, 1:30 p.m

 Volunteer at the Marty for Governor Campaign Office-
 2395 University Ave, 3rd Floor, St. Paul, MN (651) 646-4468

If interested please SAVE the above schedule.

--------3 of 8--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Torturing democracy/f 11.04 7pm

Film Screening: "Torturing Democracy"
Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Oak Street Cinema, 309 Oak Street
Southeast, Minneapolis.

Join others at a screening of the documentary "Torturing Democracy" about
the events that lead to the U.S. government's decision to use torture to
combat terrorism. Bill Moyers has said of "Torturing Democracy," "This one
will go into the record books for historians and teachers and others who
look back to ask, 'What did we do?'"

Free and open to the public. Sponsored by: Amnesty International St. Paul.
Endorsed by: the WAMM Tackling Torture at the Top (T3) Committee. FFI:

--------4 of 8--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Rethink Afghanistan/f 11.04 7pm

Film Screening: "Rethink Afghanistan"
Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 p.m. Warehouse Lounge (behind Right Brain
Brewery in the Warehouse District), 221 Garland Street, Minneapolis.

"Rethink Afghanistan" is a new hour-long documentary by Robert Greenwald
(maker of "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," "Iraq for Sale," and
"Outfoxed") that examines the reality behind the war in Afghanistan. The
six parts of the documentary examine the impact of military escalation in
Afghanistan, the staggering costs of the war, the horrifying civilian
casualties from U.S. and NATO airstrikes, the war's impact on Afghan
women, and the ultimate futility of U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan, "the
graveyard of empires." Sponsored by: MidEast JustPeace. Endorsed by: the
WAMM Middle East Committee.

--------5 of 8--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Barghouti/Palestine 11.04 7pm

A Talk by Omar Barghouti: "Debating Academic Boycott: a Quest for
Justice in Palestine"
Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 p.m. University of Minnesota, Hubert H.
Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium, 301 19th Avenue
South, Minneapolis.

Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian researcher, commentator and
human rights activist and a leader of the Palestinian campaign of boycott,
divestment and sanctions to force Israel to uphold international law and
universal human rights. Omar Barghouti will be introduced by Bruce Braun.
Sponsored by: Teachers Against Occupation (TAO) and the Institute of
Global Studies, University of Minnesota. Endorsed by: the WAMM Middle East

--------6 of 8--------

From: nukewatch <nukewatch1 [at]>
Subject: WI new nukes? 11.04 7pm Ashland WI

Can Wisc. Afford New Nuclear Reactors?

Former Member,  U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Former Chair, New York State Public Service Commission
Former Chair, Main Public Utilities Commission

Free & open to the public/
Wed. Nov. 4, 2009
7 -to- 9 p.m.
Room 305-6-7

Wisc. Indianhead Technical College/
2100 Beaser Ave., Ashland, Wisc.

Peter Bradford's presentation will focus on the unfavorable economics of
new nuclear reactor construction and on the myths that prop up stories
about a nuclear renaissance. He will show that nuclear power is more
expensive than other means of combating climate change, especially energy
efficiency.  He'll explain how new reactors can only be built if they are
heavily subsidized by taxpayers and customers. He'll demonstrate also that
expanding nuclear power on a scale necessary to contribute to solving
climate change is likely to overwhelm the world's inadequate safeguards
against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Sponsored by/
Wisconsin Physicians for Social Responsibility
Citizens Utility Board, Wisc. Network for Peace & Justice,
North American Water Office, Nukewatch,
Lake Superior Greens, Northern Futures Foundation

Nukewatch 740A Round Lake Road Luck, WI 54853 (715) 472-4185

--------7 of 8--------

From: Dan Dittmann <dan [at]>
Subject: Run offs in Ward 4 and 5,
Charter amendment crashes and burns

The opposition candidates of Wards 4 and 5 have forced run offs in these
two wards. Unfortunately, all other incumbents were able to obtain more
than 50 percent of the vote necessary for reelection. It is note worthy
that Robert Lilligren in Ward 6 only obtained 52 percent of the vote ...
approximately 58 votes more than what was needed to win. (How many
elections can this guy afford to win at such razor thin margins?)

On the bright side, the [BET] charter amendment crashed and burned.

Nonpartisan     YES     13609   35.13
Nonpartisan     NO      25130   64.87

Ward 4
Name                            Vote Total      Percent
MARCUS HARCUS                   442             13.41
"BARB" JOHNSON                  1545            46.89
TROY PARKER                     919             27.89
GRANT CERMAK                    384             11.65
WRITE-IN**                      5               0.15

Ward 5
Name                            Vote Total      Percent
LENNIE CHISM                    60              2.78
DON SAMUELS                     1015            46.99
NATALIE JOHNSON LEE             649             30.05
KENYA MCKNIGHT                  336             15.56
ROGER SMITHRUD                  92              4.26
WRITE-IN**                      8               0.37

From: Fred Markus <Fredric.markus [at]>

Hard lessons about money and politics. Wait for the financial statements
to see how much money it took to keep the incumbents in place. There will
be small joy for these worthies for the next four years.

--------8 of 8--------

The Reinstatement of Zelaya
The Little Coup That Couldn't
November 3, 2009

On Oct. 29, Honduras' de facto regime finally agreed to allow Congress to
vote on whether to "return executive power to its state prior to June
28" - a convoluted way of saying "reinstate President Manuel Zelaya."
Conceding to international and national pressure, the Honduran coup
appears to be facing its final days.

June 28 was the date when the Armed Forces kidnapped the elected
president, Manuel Zelaya, and forcibly exiled him to Costa Rica. If the
agreement brokered this week holds, Honduran society will have turned the
ugly precedent of a modern-day military coup d'etat into an example of the
strength of nonviolent grassroots resistance.

The coup regime has held power for over four months. When the entire
international community condemned the coup, many observers thought it
would cave. It didn't. When those nations went on to apply sanctions, many
believed it would crumple. It didn't. When over half the Honduran
population called for its demise, many were sure it would back down. It
didn't. Instead, a handful of the nation's wealthiest businessmen and
politicians backed by the armed forces held democracy at gunpoint for 123

During that time the little coup chugged on, emitting puffs of bravado
when challenged and running over people on its track. Some twenty-one
members of the resistance movement were murdered by security forces or
hitmen. National and international human rights organizations were
overwhelmed by the macabre task of documenting cases of human rights
violations. The closure of independent media, rapes, beatings, arbitrary
detentions, torture and persecution made many Hondurans feel like they
were living in a flashback to the military dictatorships of the '80s. In
many ways, they were.

                     A Breakthrough of Sorts

President Zelaya expressed "satisfaction" at the agreement. Zelaya's
negotiating team had agreed long before on the terms of the revised San
Jose Accords, and negotiations were hung up on the coup's refusal to allow
reinstatement of the president.

The terms include reinstatement of Zelaya, creation of a government of
national reconciliation, suspension of a possible vote on holding a
Constitutional Assembly until after Jan. 27, when Zelaya's term ends, no
amnesty for political crimes on either side, establishment of a
Verification Commission to follow-up the agreement and a Truth Commission
to investigate events leading up to and after the coup and revoking

The leader of the de facto regime, Roberto Micheletti, issued a statement
Thursday night saying, "I am pleased to announce that a few minutes ago I
authorized my negotiating team to sign an agreement that marks the
beginning of the end of the political situation in the country."

Micheletti voiced no humility in defeat. He applauded his own largesse,
saying that "accepting this proposal represents a significant concession
on the part of this government." He added, "But we understand that our
people demand that we turn the page of history in these difficult moments.
For that reason, I have decided to support this new proposal to achieve a
final accord as soon as possible."

Micheletti reversed months of intransigence on the issue of Zelaya's
return to power. He ended up signing essentially the same accord he has
rejected since talks began in San Jose, Costa Rica in early July.

Who knows what magic words were uttered to change the opinion of one of
the most stubborn dictators in recent history. But whatever they were,
they probably came out of Tom Shannon's mouth.

For months, both sides have noted that the U.S. government is the only
entity with the power to break the impasse, due to Honduran military and
economic dependency on the United States. In a press conference held in
Tegucigalpa shortly before the agreement, Assistant Secretary of State
Shannon explicitly confirmed that the sticking point was "political will"
(the coup's unwillingness to accept Zelaya's reinstatement) and that the
U.S. government was there to induce that political will.

>From our point of view, the deal's on the table. This is not really a
question of drafting or of shaping a paragraph. It's really a question of
political will. And that's why it was so important, I think, for us to
come to Honduras at this moment to make clear to all Hondurans that we
believe the political will that is displayed and expressed by Honduras's
leaders should respect the democratic vocation of the Honduran people and
the democratic aspirations of the Honduran people, and the desire of
Honduras to return to a larger democratic community in the Americas... And
that's why we came, to underscore our interest in ensuring that the
political will is there to do a deal.

Shannon mentioned legitimizing the elections and future access to
development funding from international financial institutions as carrots
(or sticks) in the negotiations:

...An agreement within the national dialogue opens a large space for
members of the international community to assist Honduras in this election
process, to observe the elections, and to have a process that is peaceful
and which produces leadership that is widely recognized throughout the
hemisphere as legitimate. This will be important as a way of creating a
pathway for Honduras to reintegrate itself into the Inter-American
community, to not - and not just the OAS, but also the Inter-American
Development Bank and its other institutions, and to access development
funding through the international financial institutions.

It worked - at least in the formal stages, as the world now awaits
implementation. The State Department was in a celebratory mood following
the success of the high-level delegation consisting of Shannon, deputy
Craig Kelly and the White House NSC representative for the Western
Hemisphere, Dan Restrepo. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a
special press conference from Islamabad announcing the breakthrough in
negotiations in Honduras:

I want to congratulate the people of Honduras as well as President Zelaya
and Mr. Micheletti for reaching an historic agreement. I also congratulate
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias for the important role he has played in
fashioning the San Jose process and the OAS for its role in facilitating
the successful round of talks. I cannot think of another example of a
country in Latin America that having suffered a rupture of its democratic
and constitutional order overcame such a crisis through negotiation and

This is a big step forward for the Inter-American system and its
commitment to democracy as embodied in the Inter-American Democratic
Charter. I'm very proud that I was part of the process, that the United
States was instrumental in the process. But I'm mostly proud of the people
of Honduras who have worked very hard to have this matter resolved

After the dust clears, historians will map the course of the little coup
that couldn't.

But from this observer's view, negotiation and dialogue played a minor
role in the apparent resolution of this phase of the crisis. In the end,
the mobilization of Honduran society sent a clear message that "normal"
government would not be possible and even more widespread insurrection
loomed unless a return to democracy reopened institutional paths.
International pressures and sanctions played a far greater role in
cornering the coup than the technical terms of an accord that is vague,
difficult to implement and contentious.

The last-minute decision of the coup to sign also begs the question: if
this is what it took - a little strong-arming from the State Department's
A-team - why didn't they do it before twenty-one people were killed?

      The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

Leaving those questions to the historians, there is reason to celebrate
but the situation now poses tremendous challenges. If it weren't for the
extraordinary levels of commitment, participation and awareness generated
by the democratic crisis over the past months, the challenges Honduran
society now faces could well be deemed impossible.

The first is to implement the agreement. Although the decision to restore
Zelaya to power must receive a non-binding opinion from the Supreme Court
and then be approved in Congress, it appears to be a done deal. Zelaya's
team reportedly had the support of members from the UD Party, 20 members
of the Liberal Party and more recently the support of the conservative
National Party to revoke the decree that was issued to justify his removal
from office. That decree was originally accompanied by a forged letter of
resignation that was immediately denounced.

The second is to restore constitutional order, consolidating the
presidency, the new cabinet and state institutions.

This is a mammoth task. Zelaya knows he can't just step back into the
Presidential Palace and assume that society has returned to its pre-coup
state. Under the terms of the agreement, he must form a new cabinet with
the participation of coup supporters. Anger runs high and this will be a
controversial and delicate undertaking. He must review the damage done to
national coffers under the coup regime. He must reestablish a relationship
with the Armed Forces and the other branches of government. Many
institutions have undergone purges of personnel under the coup and must be
reestablished and work to regain legitimacy.

Third, is to organize elections for Nov. 29 or a later agreed-upon date.

If the original date is not changed, that leaves less than a month before
nationwide elections. Imagine a nation moving from the complete breakdown
of its democratic system and institutions, to campaigns, to elections in
less than thirty days. Anti-coup candidates had pulled out, other
campaigns had been met with protests, and now the problem of the logistics
of organizing elections raises serious issues, let alone legal, social and
political obstacles.

The timeline is critical to the process. Zelaya told AFP that the timeline
is under discussion and pointed out a concern that has been growing among
international organizations and the Honduran public: if reinstatement and
the return to democratic order do not happen immediately, the elections
scheduled for Nov. 29 will be in jeopardy. His return, he noted, "must be
well before the elections to be able to validate them."

In fact, despite the breakthrough, the legitimacy of the elections is
already in jeopardy. If the reinstatement process drags out, as the
negotiations did, Hondurans worry they could find themselves in the middle
of an electoral farce. Even if all goes smoothly, nothing will be easy or
"normal." The United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the
European Union had all announced they would not send elections observers
to coup-sponsored elections, as a refusal to recognize their legitimacy
but also citing the logistical difficulties of putting together effective
teams on such short notice. Now the OAS has stated it is attempting to put
together a an observation team but the European Union had previously said
it requires six weeks to put together such an elections mission and could
no longer consider it.

Honduran law provides for a three-month campaign period prior to the vote
so it would need to be modified to accommodate a Nov. 29 election. Even if
there were an immediate halt to serious human rights violations - many of
which are essential to free and fair elections, such as freedom of
expression, freedom of press and freedom of assembly - they leave wounds
and gaps. As the agreement was being hammered out, coup security forces
once again attacked a peaceful demonstrators.

Fourth, will be to continue moving toward a vote on holding a
Constitutional Assembly.

This demand is not going away, despite the agreement between Zelaya and
Micheletti not to raise the issue until after Jan. 27. This point of the
accords caused Juan Barahona, a leader of the National Front Against the
Coup, to resign from the Zelaya negotiating team because it has become
central to the movement not only to restore, but to expand, Honduran

A Constitutional Assembly is now more necessary than ever. It would serve
to repair the contradictions in the current constitution that coup-mongers
exploited to rupture the democratic order, and channel the legitimate
demands of organizations of peasants, indigenous peoples, urban poor,
women, youth and other groups pushed to the margins of a vastly unequal
economic and political system. Since the mobilization of popular sectors
in resistance to the coup, it is not possible to conceive of a free and
stable society without proceeding with a Constitutional Assembly.

Zelaya was quick to point out that obstacles remain. "This is a first step
to bringing about my reinstatement that will have to go through several
stages. I'm moderately optimistic," he told AFP news service from the
Brazilian Embassy, where he has been holed up since Sept. 21.

The reinstatement of President Zelaya will likely be voted on soon. Emails
from the Honduran Internet groups that have formed a virtual community to
debate and decry the military coup in their country, now demonstrate a
range of feelings, from jubilation to skepticism. Elections pose a huge
challenge to anti-coup forces since a wide range of opinions play out
within the diverse National Front Against the Coup.

Hondurans now move into the next phase of a long struggle to rebuild and
broaden democracy. The challenge includes holding free and fair elections
in the short term, but also includes critical issues of expanding
democratic rights and participation beyond the elections and the system of
representation. They must find ways to heal deep wounds and confront an
economic and political crisis that is far from over.

If the coup finally falls and Zelaya is restored to power, Honduran
society and the international community will score an historic victory. It
must be remembered though, that the victory is a defensive one - it marks
the successful rollback of anti-democratic forces in a small but
determined nation.

Those forces will not desist - in Honduras or in other places where
democracy is vulnerable and nefarious interests are strong. Until
democracy in the fullest sense - participatory and dedicated to
nonviolence - gains ground, the world could be stuck in long battles to
defend against attacks instead of moving forward toward societies where
this kind of offensive against the rule of law can no longer occur.

Laura Carlsen is director of the Americas Policy Program in Mexico City.
She can be reached at: (lcarlsen(a)


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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