|Progressive Calendar 11.11.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 03:17:22 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.11.09 more events for 11.11 1. Tackling torture 11.11 10am 2. Jaradat/Palestine 11.11 12noon 3. Winona LaDuke 11.11 5:30pm 4. Green News - Greens urge defeat of Dems fake reform health bill 5. Dave Lindorff - In US, selfishness & lack of solidarity know no bounds 6. Doug Page - What will it take to break our trance? 7. Fidel Castro - The annexation of Colombia to the United States 8. Rich Broderick- Tie a yellow ribbon: the endless war comes home again 9. ed - Secede --------1 of 9-------- From: Rowley Clan <rowleyclan [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Tackling torture 11.11 10am T3 Tackling Torture at the Top Anyone who's interested in joining our T3 Committee is welcome! We usually meet at St. Martin's Table [Riverside Av Mpls SE of Cedar Av] on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. We will be focusing next on the strange case of torture-enabler Robert Delahunty who now teaches at University of St. Thomas Law School but while serving in Bush's Office of Legal Counsel co-authored the January 2002 memo with John Yoo that directed CIA, military and other government operatives to ignore the Geneva Conventions vis a vis people Bush declared to be terrorists or enemy combatants in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The article below is just out at TC Indymedia and is particularly good because it has so many links to all of the earlier correspondence with Condi's hosts at the Synagogue, our letter to the FBI and US Attorney notifying them of Condi's crimes as well as a number of the great videos and photos so please disseminate it to others on your e-mail lists, through blogs, facebook, etc. I should also mention that the Star Tribune had a <http://www.startribune.com/politics/69535212.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP 4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ> good article too (although it unfortunately garnered a lot of nasty, name-calling comments). We shall overcome! Coleen R. Condi <http://tc.indymedia.org/2009/nov/condi-chat-beth-el-brings-secret-permit-fi rst-amendment-area-dissing-goldstone-anti-torture> chat at Beth El brings secret permit, First Amendment Area, dissing Goldstone & anti-torture demonstration THANKS to everyone who came out to St. Louis Park on Sunday night to demonstrate against torture and other war crimes! And to show we still know right from wrong and can do something to show we are not all complicit in our government's illegal war atrocities. A special thanks to all of our "Tackling Torture at the Top" committee; the brave Women Against Military Madness, Vets for Peace, National Lawyers Guild-MN Chapter and Anti-War Committee for their support; to Ann Galloway for making and reciting the sadly true statements from innocents imprisoned at Guantanamo; to Peter Lang (guitarist-musician) and Tim Hansen (for leading the questions and the songs); our safety conscious candle lighters and "Hard Questions for Condi" distributors; all those who suited up in the "End Gitmo" orange jumpsuits; the designer of the compelling anti-torture flyer; and all the fantastic videographers and independent media journalists. And finally a big thank-you to the St. Louis Park Police who give us hope that it's possible for police to act reasonably and professionally without caging anyone when it comes to exercise of First Amendment rights during these challenging times of war. --------2 of 9-------- Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 16:56:04 -0800 (PST) From: sarah martin <scsrn [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Jaradat/Palestine 11.11 12noon Fw: additional addameer event; wed. noon nov 11 A Report on the Conditions of Palestinian Political Prisoners, featuring human rights activist Ala Jaradat from Addameer Wednesday, November 11th 12:00pm-2:00pm Annette K. Levin Moot Court Room [Hamline University] Open to the Public --------3 of 9-------- From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at] riseup.net> From: Gena Berglund <genab [at] visi.com> Subject: Winona LaDuke 11.11 5:30pm Public Square: Winona LaDuke <http://www.wmitchell.edu/news/articles/default.asp?articleId=12016> Wednesday, Nov. 11, 5:30-6:30 pm, Auditorium In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, Winona LaDuke, a citizen of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg (White Earth Band), will give a talk titled "Beyond Conquest: Indigenous Thinking on Sustainability." As the executive director for Honor the Earth and founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, LaDuke tackles issues of sustainable development, renewable energy, and food systems. Her focus includes efforts to protect indigenous foods, such as wild rice, from patenting and genetic engineering. The Harvard-educated activist is the recipient of numerous honors and awards and is also the author of several books. LaDuke's appearance is sponsored by William Mitchell College of Law's Native American Law Student Association, with assistance from the College's Office of Multicultural Affairs. Free and open to the public. --------4 of 9-------- From: Green News DC <dcsgpnews2 [at] gmail.com> Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 13:32:24 -0500 Subject: Greens: defeat Dems "reform" health bill/ go for single payer GP RELEASE Greens urge defeat of Dems' 'faux reform' health bill in the Senate, seek a rally of efforts for Single-Payer GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES http://www.gp.org For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 Greens urge defeat of the Democrats' "insurance industry life-support" bill in the US Senate and call for a rally of efforts to enact Single-Payer/Medicare For All - The US House bill passed on Saturday favors the insurance industry over Americans who need medical care; no heath care reform bill should be enacted that doesn't allow states to enact Single-Payer, say Greens, who slam House Democrats for killing a vote on Single-Payer last week - Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on health care reform: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-health-care.php WASHINGTON, DC -- In the wake of a US House vote passing a Democratic health care bill (HR 3962), Green Party leaders and health care activists are calling for a defeat of the bill, calling it little more than a program to subsidize the insurance industry. Greens are urging supporters of real universal health care to intensify efforts to win Capitol Hill support for Single-Payer/Medicare For All national health care. "Democrats from President Obama on down know that Single-Payer is the best solution. They've said so. But instead of eliminating the waste and inefficiency of for-profit health insurance, the Democrats' 'insurance industry life-support' plan would increase insurance company profits by forcing every American to purchase their inferior products. Many Democrats who previously supported Single-Payer have turned their backs, abandoning real universal health care out of loyalty to the President and their party," said Midge Potts, Missouri Green candidate for the US Senate (MySpace.com/Midge_Potts_US_Senate). The Green Party supports Single-Payer, which would guarantee quality health care for every American, allow patients to choose their health care providers, cut paperwork for physicians and hospitals, and reduce health care costs by a third by eliminating the for-profit insurance industry 'middle man' (http://www.gp.org/campaigns/health/single-payer). Greens advocate a Single-Payer system run by a not-for-profit trust of health care providers, health care advocates, and taxpayers, rather than by the federal government. The Democratic bill accomplishes none of these goals. "Democrats want phony health care reform, Republicans want zero reform. Greens seek real reform by making health care a right instead of a privilege, just as we've made Social Security, education, and the protections we enjoy from fire and police departments a right for everyone," added Ms. Potts, one of nine peaceful protesters arrested on November 5 at the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Joseph Lieberman until the senator agreed to stop taking campaign contributions from the insurance industry (video clip: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=59896394&bl ogId=517420995). Greens strongly criticized congressional Democrats like Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who withdrew his Single-Payer bill last week to support HR 3962. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had promised a vote after August on Single-Payer legislation, which sponsors of the latter have decided to withdraw. When Rep. Pelosi, after vocal protests from Single-Payer supporters (including a sit-in at her Capitol Hill office) finally agreed to the vote but allowed only 20 minutes for debate, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) issued a public statement opposing the vote on the grounds that Single-Payer had not received an adequate hearing. "Reps. Conyers and Kucinich argued that a quick vote and perfunctory defeat of Single-Payer would damage hopes for Single-Payer (http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/06-8). Tabling this vote made passage of the Democratic House bill possible, with yea votes from those who previously favored Single-Payer -- making progressive Democrats as responsible as Blue Dogs and Republicans for killing real health care reform. The point of a vote on Single-Payer, regardless of its chances of passage right now, was to focus attention on Single-Payer and build momentum and public support," said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green Party of the United States. Like Midge Potts, several Green Party candidates and activists have participated in protests and civil disobedience to draw attention to the demand for Single-Payer. Howie Hawkins, who placed second on November 3 in Syracuse, New York city council race, was arrested on November 4 in downtown Syracuse during a non-violent demonstration outside the office of National Government Services, a Medicare claims processing operation owned by Wellpoint Inc., a major health insurer (video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PH76jQKzaA). Mobilization for Health Care For All (http://mobilizeforhealthcare.org), which is organizing the protests, was founded by Kevin Zeese, Maryland Green candidate for the US Senate in 2006. "No heath care reform bill should be enacted that doesn't allow individual states to enact Single-Payer," added Matt Reichel, Green candidate for Congress in Illinois's 5th District (http://www.mattreichel.us), referring to the Kucinich amendment. "Rep. Pelosi stripped the provision for state-based Single-Payer from the House bill and Democrats weakened the public option to satisfy the insurance lobby. These betrayals justify a 'voters revolt' against Democrats in 2010, if they offer a health care bill that wastes taxpayers' money and favors the insurance industry over Americans who need medical care." (Article by Mr. Reichel on health care reform: http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/11/shut-down-this-murderous-racket-change-we- need-and-crave/) The Green Party listed reasons to reject the Senate version of HR 3962: - The 'public option' in the bill would enroll only 2% of the population by 2019. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the public option "would cost more than private plans" since it would enroll primarily the poorest and sickest members of society. Insurance companies will probably end up administering the public option plan. (Single-Payer ends the provision of health coverage by insurance companies, which raise health costs by nearly a third to cover overhead, administrative costs, CEO salaries, and profits for shareholders.) "Democrats and their allies like Health Care for America NOW (HCAN) are trying to pull the wool over our eyes, pretending that this is a fight for a robust public option and universal health care. Democrats killed the public option a month ago in everything but name. They turned the public option into fig leaf for the corporate option their plan embraces. The real winners will be the insurance companies, since the Democrats are using the insurance mandate to gift-wrap 50 million new customers for them," said Mr. Hawkins. - Access to health insurance will still primarily be tied to employment. An employee who loses his or her job will still lose coverage. Employers, not employees, will choose their workers' insurance company and their health care provider. (Single-Payer relieves businesses of the burden of providing health insurance benefits and allows Americans to choose their physician or hospital.) - The House bill further increases health care spending. The US already spends nearly double ($7,200 per capita) what other industrial countries spend for their citizens. To reduce the increase in costs to the federal government, the Democrats' plan would push more and more of the financial burden for health care onto state governments and consumers, while reducing subsidies to consumers. (Past studies by the GAO and CBO confirm that Single-Payer would save hundreds of billions of dollars annually in total health care spending.) - The House bill denies health care for all immigrants, a restriction that would ultimately cost the US more in money and lives, since denial of treatment to anyone encourages the spread of disease among everyone, regardless of health coverage. (Single-Payer's financial savings would fully offset the cost of health care for immigrants and improve the quality of health care for all.) - Tens of millions of Americans will either not be required to purchase insurance or will choose to pay a penalty rather than do so. Those who buy subsidized plans, mostly the working poor, will find that many services are not covered and that they will lack the funds to pay the deductibles and co-pays needed for medical treatment, since the plans are designed to only cover 70% of costs. (Single-Payer will offer comprehensive health care for everyone.) - Even though most Americans who presently lack health insurance are the working poor (75%) and those working for small employers, small employers are exempted from the requirement to provide health insurance. (Single-Payer covers everyone regardless of employment, ability to pay, age, or prior medical condition.) - The AMA endorsed the Democratic bill, but only 17% of physicians (out of 800,000 in the US) are AMA members. 59% of physicians and a majority of the public support Single-Payer/Medicare For All. (Sources: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/march/most_doctors_support.php / http://www.healthcare-now.org/another-poll-shows-majority-support-for-single -payer / http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html) "The destructive role of insurance companies is the biggest problem with the American health care system," said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "It's why we spend so much money and yet suffer a health care delivery system consistently ranked the worst among industrial countries, even though we have some of the best doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medical technology. We can save hundreds of billions of dollars annually by eliminating private for-profit insurance and using these funds to give every American access to quality health care. Instead, Democrats are offering a bill that would tighten the stranglehold of the insurance companies. This is not the change Americans were promised last November." MORE INFORMATION Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN - Green candidate database and campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml - Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml - Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections Green Party Livestream Channel http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus "The Green Party responds to Obama's speech: Mr. President, make health care a right for all Americans" Green Party press release, September 14, 2009 http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=249 Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States Fall 2009 issue now online http://gp.org/greenpages-blog Contacts: Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty [at] greens.org Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene [at] gp.org --------5 of 9-------- In America, Selfishness and Lack of Solidarity Know No Bounds Blaming the Workers By DAVE LINDORFF November 10, 2009 CounterPunch As the strike by transit workers in Philadelphia entered its fifth day, it is clear why unions have such a tough time in the United States, where fewer than one in eight workers is covered by a union contract. Although the average pay of transit workers is just $50,000 a year (that represents take-home pay of less than $35000 take-home after taxes or about $3000 a month to live on for a typical family of four), the suburbanites who feel put out because they have to brave huge traffic jams to get to and from work in the city are grousing that the transit workers are greedy for holding out for a slightly-less-than 4% per year pay increase over the three years of their contract. I just got into a debate at the local YMCA gym with an older guy who probably makes over $100,000 a year and whose children are already grown, who was incensed that the "greedy bus and subway drivers" were asking for a raise at this time "with the economy in such a mess." But I also noticed, as I drove my son into school this week in the traffic crush, that these same suburbanites are, for the most part, continuing to drive to work one to a car. What a lack of creativity! My wife, who frequently travels to Rome to do research, has on several occasions landed in that city during one of its frequent transit strikes. She reports that the people of this ancient city take these job actions in stride, getting out their bicycles, taking leisurely walks to school, or simply going on holiday for the duration. People don't get mad at the workers. In Italy, it's understood that when one group of workers fights for better pay or working conditions, everyone benefits in the end. This fellow I was arguing with about the Philly transit strike, said, "It's not like this is the 1920s or '30s, when unions were really needed because people were being exploited." "Oh really?" I said. "You don't think the workers at Wal-Mart or in your local supermarket are being exploited?" The truth is that working conditions for American workers have been getting progressively worse in recent years, while pay has actually been falling in real dollars, because union representation has been falling for several decades from a high of over 35% back in the early 1950s. Those unions, like the transit workers union in Philadelphia, which are still fighting the good fight, are really all that stands between ordinary American workers and a truly nightmarish return to a Dickensian era. Does anyone believe that the type of manager that we have seen pillaging the economy on Wall Street, or stealing jobs and already earned pay from workers at Republic Window & Door in Chicago, is an exception to the rule? Hell no. American managers are congenitally ruthless exploiters of human beings constrained only by unions or their fear of unions, and by the protective legislation, such as minimum wage laws, occupational safety and health laws, etc., which Congress has grudgingly passed because of the pressure from unions and their workers. We should all be cheering the workers of the Transport Workers Union Local 234 in Philadelphia for their grit and determination in standing up to the management of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Their fight is our fight. They like us are struggling to pay rent or mortgage bills, to buy food for their families, and to pay their medical bills. Workers all around the Philadelphia area should be organizing car-pools, getting their bikes out of the garage, and collectively telling their own bosses to cut them some slack if they're late to work or have to stay home for the day because of the strike. We should also all be writing letters condemning the bias of the local media in Philadelphia, which have as a group focused entirely on the hardship to commuters caused by the strike, and not at all on the issues confronted by the transit workers themselves. Furthermore, it is not the fault of the SEPTA workers in Philadelphia that bus and subway fares are too high. Nor is it their responsibility to accept low wages to subsidize lower fares. It is the responsibility of the state of Pennsylvania to keep those fares affordable. Mass transit cannot and should not be self-financing. It is a social good. It helps protect the environment by reducing air pollution from cars, reduces wear and tear on roadways, and helps reduce the nation's dependence upon oil imports. Instead of complaining about the union for calling a strike, we should all be cheering them on. America needs more labor militancy, not less. Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is .The Case for Impeachment. (St. Martin.s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff [at] mindspring.com --------6 of 9-------- What Will It Take to Break Our Trance? by Doug Page November 10th, 2009 Dissident Voice We are rapidly returning to the uncivilized Law of the Jungle. We will soon live in a world where brute force rules. It is not only the disabled, widows, children and orphans who are vulnerable to the cruelties of this jungle. We all are. We have been brainwashed with incessant slogans like "Get the government off your back," and "Keep more of your own money - oppose all tax increases". Our dominant, false ideology tells us that every function of government must be privatized, so that governmental functions can be performed with business-like efficiency. (We are not told that the real reason for privatizing is to give capitalists yet another opportunity for making short term profit.) The very concept that we humans might work and cooperate together to protect ourselves from Jungle dangers and to meet our common needs is shunned as "socialism," as if that were something evil. The capitalists have brainwashed themselves, and they have brainwashed us. They along with the rest of us hope and assume that the common good will somehow automatically take care of itself, if they think about the common good at all. Each capitalist must be concerned only with his own private profit and cannot be concerned with the common good lest some competitor captures his profit making opportunity. We are a nation of millions of brainwashed individualists, living, working, and acting under false perceptions of reality as if we were all "Manchurian Candidates". We have forgotten that government is the only effective institution that we have to protect us from the brute force of the Law of the Jungle. If we do not very quickly awaken from our trance, and act together in a cooperative human community, millions of us will perish. Ironically, most wealthy capitalists will themselves be destroyed in this looming Jungle. Capitalists need government almost as badly as we do, but they will not admit it. As Adam Smith taught long ago, capitalism and capitalists can survive only with a rule of law controlling private property rights and business promises, a government to enforce those laws, and a certain level of morality. He cannot be concerned with the common good lest some competitor captures his profit. Capitalist ideology thus prohibits capitalists from protecting their own common good. As we see from the daily news, no capitalist will speak out in support of regulation of Wall Street. Capitalists say that they will discipline themselves, but they have not, can not and do not. We ordinary citizens and voters cling to an illusory idealistic assumption that we retain the right to govern ourselves, and that if we only work hard enough in the political process, we can change things through the ballot box. We cling to this false deadly assumption despite the vast accumulation of evidence that our political process is totally dominated and controlled by approximately 5000 very wealthy individuals acting through their ownership of their corporations and their mainstream advertising agencies, TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Thus in these desperate times, our government has given Trillions of our tax dollars to the big banks of the wealthy without any conditions, while our government has given little or nothing to create jobs for us. This money controlled government can afford to give Trillions to the wealthy, but this government cannot afford to provide VA hospitals and medical care for everybody. We citizens and voters are kept quiet and non-rebellious because of our own brainwashed state, fueled by our addiction to consumer goods, electronic gadgets, computers and TV. Part of the trance and delusion is maintained by liberals. My definition of a "liberal" is one who vaguely wants a civilizing government and to make things right, but only if it does not deprive him of his standard of living. Thus a liberal will protest wealth inequality, the corruption of our elected leaders by money, imperialism, wars abroad, torture, rendition, and civilian collateral damage, but a liberal will not rebel, stop work, strike, picket, vigil or boycott. [A perfect definition. Liberals will be the death of us. -ed] A liberal knows at some level that his material well being depends ultimately on these very evils that he protests against, specifically including torture. A liberal, like a conservative capitalist, cannot face the fact that he himself is in a dangerous suicidal trance. So he does not challenge the trance either. Even under the best of circumstances, we have limited time and interest in governing ourselves. Our civic impulse is in very short supply. We see this in the low voter turnout and in the superficial slogans that lead many voters make up their minds. We see it also in political parties, local governments, charities, clubs and unions where aggressive individuals rise to power, and the ordinary person does not bother to attend meetings or to vote. The blunt truth is that we are now ruthlessly governed by these few wealthy individuals who have accumulated their vast fortunes. One might almost say that we are "ungoverned," but of course we are taxed to benefit these rulers, and to pay for their losses on their risky financial investments. The government is operated and controlled by and for these few wealthy individuals. For all practical purposes, it is if we are ruled by a selfish greedy king who rules us and taxes us for his own pleasure and his own benefit. This "king" has his royalist earls, dukes, nobles and toadies in the form of Presidents, Senators, elected officials, journalists, college professors and economists who fawn around him. These toadies tell the "king" what he wants to hear (however insane and stupid) hoping for his favor and crumbs from his table. President Obama himself is such a toady to the "king". Obama's economic advisors, former Harvard President Larry Summers and University of California Professor Christina Romer are perfect examples of such fawning advisors to the "king". They study and report only what the "king" wants to hear. The truth is that our capitalism and our self governing democracy are beyond repair or reform. Both are terminal, and dysfunctional. Our material well being is rapidly falling, and it will fall much further. Our trance prevents us from dealing with the death throes of capitalism, with the few wealthy individuals who control democracy with their wealth, with diminishing reserves of oil and gas, and with deadly global warming. This is not to say that we will find it easy to make changes even if we become aware of our trance. We will have to attend meetings and vote. We will have to accept a lower standard of living because of the depletion of oil and live like Cubans. Other civilizations in the past have fallen into dark ages because those in power did not recognize the falsity of their political-economic-cultural ideas, and did not take corrective action in time. Millions of us are destined to starve and those who do survive will be serfs allowed to grow a little food on the estates of the very rich. This is inevitable, unless we awaken and face the truth very soon. Doug Page is a retired lawyer for unions, a former Democratic politician, and a life long observer of government, unions and business. He can be reached at: dougpage2 [at] earthlink.net. Read other articles by Doug, or visit Doug's website. --------7 of 9-------- The Annexation Of Colombia To The United States Fidel Castro November 09, 2009 ZNet Anyone with some information can immediately see that the sweetened 'Complementation Agreement for Defense and Security Cooperation and Technical Assistance between the Governments of Colombia and the United States' signed on October 30, and made public in the evening of November 2, amounts to the annexation of Colombia to the United States. The agreement puts theoreticians and politicians in a predicament. It wouldn't be honest to keep silence now and speak later on sovereignty, democracy, human rights, freedom of opinion and other delights, when a country is being devoured by the empire as easy as lizards catch flies. This is the Colombian people; a self-sacrificing, industrious and combative people. I looked up in the hefty document for a digestible justification and I found none whatsoever. Of 48 pages with 21 lines each, five are used to philosophize on the background of the shameful absorption that turns Colombia into an overseas territory. They are all based on the agreements signed with the United States after the murder of the distinguished progressive leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan on April 9, 1948, and the establishment, on April 30, 1948, of the Organization of American States debated by the foreign ministers of the hemisphere meeting in Bogota, with the US as the boss, during the dramatic days when the Colombian oligarchy cut short the life of that leader thus paving the way to the onset of the armed struggle in that country. The Agreement on Military Assistance between the Republic of Colombia and the United States of April 1952; the one related to Army, Naval and Air Missions from the US Forces, signed on October 7, 1974; the 1988 UN Convention against the Illegal Trafficking of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; the 2000 UN Convention against Organized Transnational Delinquency; the 2001 Security Council Resolution 1373 and the Inter-American Democratic Charter; the Democratic Security and Defense Policy resolution and others referred to in the abovementioned document, none of them can justify turning a 713,592.5 square miles country located in the heart of South America into a US military base. Colombia's territory is 1.6 times that of Texas, the second largest state of the Union taken away from Mexico and later used as a base to conquer with great violence more than half of that country. On the other hand, over 59 years have passed since Colombian soldiers were sent to distant Asia, in October 1950, to fight alongside the Yankee troops against Chinese and Korean combatants. Now, the empire intends to send them to fight against their brothers in Venezuela, Ecuador and other Bolivarian and ALBA countries, to crush the Venezuelan Revolution as they tried to do with the Cuban Revolution in April 1961. For more than one and a half year before the invasion of Cuba, the Yankee administration fostered, armed and used counterrevolutionary bandits in the Escambray the same way it is now using the Colombian paramilitary forces against Venezuela. At the time of the Giron [Bay of Pigs] attack, the Yankee B-26 aircrafts piloted by mercenaries operated from Nicaragua. Their fighter planes were brought to the theater of operations in an aircraft carrier and the invaders of Cuban descent who landed in our territory were escorted by US warships and by the American marines. This time their war equipment and troops will be in Colombia posing a threat not only to Venezuela but to every country in Central and South America. It is really cynical to claim that the infamous agreement is necessary to fight drug-trafficking and international terrorism. Cuba has shown that there is no need of foreign troops to prevent the cultivation and trafficking of drugs and to preserve domestic order, even though the United States - the mightiest power on Earth - has promoted, financed and armed the terrorists who for decades have attacked the Cuban Revolution. The preservation of domestic peace is a basic prerogative of every government and the presence of Yankee troops in any Latin American country to do it on their behalf constitutes a blatant foreign interference in their internal affairs that will inevitably elicit the peoples' rejection. A simple reading of the document shows that not only the Colombian airbases will be in the Yankees' hands but also the civilian airports and ultimately any facility that may be useful to their armed forces. The radio space is also available to that country with a different culture and other interests that have nothing in common with those of the Colombian people. The US Armed Forces will have exceptional prerogatives. The occupants can commit any crime anywhere in Colombia against Colombian families, property and laws and still be unaccountable to the country's authorities. Actually, they have taken diseases and scandalous behavior to many places like the Palmerola military base in Honduras. In Cuba, when they came to visit the neo-colony, they sat astride the neck of Jose Marti's statue, in the capital's Central Park. The limit set with regards to the total number of soldiers can be modified as requested by the United States, and with no restriction whatsoever. The aircraft carriers and warships visiting the naval bases given to them can take as large a crew as they choose, and this can be thousands in only one of their large aircraft carriers. The Agreement, which will remain in force for successive 10-year periods, can't be modified until the end of every period, with a one-year prior notice. What will the United States do if an administration as that of Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush sr. or Bush jr., and others like them, is asked to leave Colombia? The Yankees have ousted scores of governments in our hemisphere. How long would a government last in Colombia if it announced such intentions? Now, the politicians in Latin America are faced with a sensitive issue: the fundamental duty of explaining their viewpoints on the annexation document. I am aware that what is happening in Honduras at this decisive moment draws the attention of the media and the foreign ministers of this hemisphere, but the Latin American governments cannot overlook the extremely serious and transcendental events taking place in Colombia. I have no doubts about the reaction of the peoples; they will be sensitive to the dagger being shoved deep inside them, especially in Colombia: They will oppose! They will never cave in to such ignominy! Today, the world is facing serious and pressing problems. The entire humanity is threatened by climate change. European leaders are almost begging on their knees for some kind of agreement in Copenhagen that will prevent the catastrophe. They practically concede that the Summit will fail to meet the objective of reaching an agreement that can drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and promise to continue struggling to attain it before 2012; however, there is a true risk that an agreement cannot be reached until it is too late. The Third World countries are rightly claiming from the richest and most developed nations hundreds of billion dollars a year to pay for the climate battle. Does it make sense for the United States government to invest time and money in building military bases in Colombia to impose on our peoples their hateful tyranny? Along that path, if a disaster is already threatening the world, a greater and faster disaster is threatening the empire and it would all be the consequence of the same exploiting and plundering system of the planet. Fidel Castro Ruz November 6, 2009 10:30 a.m. --------8 of 9-------- Tie a Yellow Ribbon: The endless war comes home again By Rich Broderick The Twin Cities Daily Planet November 9, 2009. In the mid-1960s, when American cities erupted in rioting that left dozens dead and billions of dollars of devastation, many people rightly perceived the events as a sign that the unprecedented violence of the War in Vietnam was "coming home to roost." What better way to perceive the killings this week at Fort Hood? A massacre carried out by an American service member at a domestic military base may still - and I emphasize, still - be a rarity; the same certainly isn't the case in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as the My Lai massacre was not an isolated incident during Vietnam, just one that happened to come to light despite an attempted cover up by Army officials, among them Colin Powell, so the 1995 Haditha massacre in which a squad of Marines killed 24 Iraqis, merely stands out because we know about it, once again despite an attempted cover-up. Of course, as at My Lai, the killings at Haditha differed from the killings at Fort Hood where the victims were themselves Army personnel - men and women trained to be sent into harm's way - not unarmed non- combatants: men, women, children, and infants who had the misfortune of finding themselves in the harm's way created by an out-of-control U.S. military machine. Another difference? If Major Malik Nidal Hasan, the presumed killer at Fort Hood, survives, he will undoubtedly pay the ultimate penalty for his crime, even if there is incontrovertible evidence that he is crazier than a loon on Angel Dust. On the other hand, only one American soldier was ever convicted of a crime at My Lai - where hundreds died - and he was pardoned by Richard Nixon. And to date, not a single U.S. Marine implicated in the sickening slaughter at Haditha has been convicted of anything. Implicit in the ideology of American exceptionalism - which is embraced by a broad spectrum of our citizens, including Barack Obama - is a claim of absolute impunity. If our motives are pure, our objectives good, our country "the last best hope for mankind," then surely we escape the kind of accountability that other peoples face when they commit crimes against humanity. So ingrained is this assumption that it now even extends to our chief international partner-in-crime. Surely it is no coincidence that, just one day before the Fort Hood killings, the U.S. Congress voted by a lopsided margin for a resolution condemning the Goldstone Report, the meticulously documented, scrupulously fair U.N.-sponsored examination of war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out both by Israel and Hamas during last year's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. If the report had merely pointed a finger at Hamas, you can rest assured that no such obloquy would have been heaped upon the report or its authors. But Israel? One would like to believe that the Fort Hood massacre might cause a moment of reflection about the current phase of the Endless War that we have been engaged in virtually without break since 1941. But don't hold your breath. Similar hopes inspired by 9/11 were quickly dashed as even the blowback murder of nearly 3,000 Americans was not enough to keep us from doubling down on the madness and rallying behind George W. Bush and the neocons. Nonetheless, it's important to remember: American exceptionalism - and the claim of impunity that goes with it - is merely a conceit, not reality. By the Defense Department's own, undoubtedly conservative, estimate, some 300,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars now suffer from PTSD - a higher rate than from Vietnam, whose veterans even now continue to be overrepresented in our homeless shelters, psych wards, and prison populations. How many more Fort Hoods do we have to suffer, how many more My Lais and Hadithas do we have to inflict on others, before we finally reckon honestly with the moral balance that prevails in the universe? Before we finally face the truth? We cannot make war on the world without making war on ourselves, since we are, after all, part of the world. No exceptions. --------9 of 9-------- ed Secede The PC for 11.10.09 had several articles on the sick health bill. A reader responded > It is quite scandalous what Congress and Obama are doing. I replied: "We should secede from them, emotionally & conceptually, then legally and constitutionally." She agreed. Congress and the president are now nothing but growing sources of grief. Things bad for us but good for the top rich 5000 [cf Doug Page piece, above] that run the congress and the president. So leave them. Place your heart and mind outside them - in friends, family, community, art, social action, organizing, educating... The 5000 won't like that, because it will diminish their power and increase our joy of life. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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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