Progressive Calendar 11.15.09
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2009 00:53:14 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.15.09

1. Stillwater vigil   11.15 1pm
2. Peace/sust         11.15 1pm
3. LGBT equality now  11.15 2pm
4. Amnesty Intl       11.15 3pm
5. Peace walk         11.15 6pm RiverFalls WI

6. Global labor       11.16 9:30am
7. Sami/Iraq          11.16 12noon
8. Vegan cooking      11.16 6pm
9. Local interdep     11.16 6:30pm
10. Katrina/film      11.16 6:30pm

11. Peace pies/rsvp   11.21
12. Single-payer/rsvp 11.21 9am

13. Naomi Klein   - Copenhagen: Seattle grows up
14. David M Green - Twenty years from now, you will lie to your children
15. ed            - FumiGate  (haiku)

--------1 of 15--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 11.15 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to
<http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560


--------2 of 15--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Peace/sust 11.15 1pm

Peace and Sustainability: "Can't Have One Without The Other"
Sunday, November 15, 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. Hennepin Avenue United Methodist
Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis.

Join others at the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers (MAP) Annual
Celebration. Former Congressman and former Minnesota Secretary of State
Arlen Erdahl and ELCA Bishop Emeritus Lowell Erdahl, his brother, will
provide the essential political and spiritual frameworks. A panel with
Steve Suppan, Policy Analyst of the Institute for Agricultural and Trade
Policy; former U.S. Senate candidate Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Justice and
Peace professor in the School of Theology at the University of St. Thomas;
and Karen Clark, longtime Minnesota State Representative and Executive
Director of the Women's Environmental Institute, will follow.

Participatory action clusters for attendees - focusing on food systems,
energy, and other environmental topics - will conclude the afternoon.
Local peace, justice, and environmental organizations will host education
and action tables throughout the afternoon.

Carpool, bike, or bus (bus routes 2, 4, and 6). $5.00 at the door; no one
turned away. Sponsored by: MAP. Co-Sponsored by: the Alliance for
Sustainability, Minnesta Alliance of Peace Makers, Lutheran Coalition for
Public Policy in Minnesota and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church,
ECAPC - Twin Cities. WAMM is a member of MAP. FFI and to Pre- Register:
Visit www.mapm.org or www.afors.org.


--------3 of 15--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com>
Subject: LGBT equality now 11.15 2pm

CONCERT & MARCH for LGBT EQUALITY NOW
Sunday, November 15, 2pm-6pm
MARCH:  Meet up at 2 PM, 350 S. 5th St. (Downtown Minneapolis) (In front
of Hennepin County Gov't Center, next to the Light Rail)  Bring
signs/banners/noisemakers!

CONCERT:  3 PM - 6 PM Bedlam Theater, Fireplace Lounge, 1501 S. 6th St.
(West Bank, Minneapolis)  Featuring:  GUANTE, Top Twin Cities slam poets,
The Tribe, Sleeper and the Sleepless, Eyewitness reports from the National
Equality March, Tables by community organizations and more!

November 15 marks the one-year anniversary of the historic demonstrations
of hundreds of thousands of supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender rights last year following the passage of Proposition 8, which
banned same-sex marriage in California. Hundreds of thousands of
supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights took to the
streets in over 200 cities across the U.S. in one of the largest and most
visible days of protest for LGBT rights in U.S. history, helping spur a
new generation into activism.

Endorsed by: Impact-Twin Cities, MN Spoken Word Association (MNSWA),
Socialist Alternative, Youth Against War and Racism (list in formation)
To endorse, get more info, or find out how to get involved, contact:  Dan
DiMaggio / dan.dimaggio [at] gmail.com / 617-599-3026


--------4 of 15--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 11.15 3pm

GROUP 37 NOVEMBER MEETING REMINDER: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15 - 3 TO 5 P.M.
Join us for our regular meeting on Sunday, November 15th, from 3:00 to
5:00 p.m.

We will share other actions on human rights cases around the world and get
updates on the work of our sub-groups. All are welcome, and refreshments
will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the Center (the Center is a house set back on a large lawn).

A map and directions are available on-line:
http://www.twincitiesamnesty.org/meetings.html


--------5 of 15--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 11.15 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022


--------6 of 15--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Global labor 11.16 9:30am

November 16: Minneapolis Branch American Association of University Women
Meeting held at the First Christian Church. 9:30 AM: Global Labor Issues.
10:45 AM: Women in Islam. 11:45 AM: Announcements. Noon: Luncheon. 1:15
PM: Happy Birthday Minnesota: Our AAUW Historic Legacy - Our Tapestries.


------ --7 of 15--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Sami/Iraq 11.16 12noon

A Talk by Sami Rasouli
Monday, November 16, Noon Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 East 31st
Street, Minneapolis.

Join others at a talk by Iraqi peacemaker Sami Rasouli. Formerly a
restaurant owner in the Twin Cities area, in 2004 Mr. Rasouli returned to
Iraq to help rebuild his country. During this time, he founded and
supported the development of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams (MPT), groups
dedicated to the principles of nonviolence. He recently brought a
delegation of thirteen Iraqis from the city of Najaf to the city of
Minneapolis as a part of the Sister City Project. He will speak about the
situation on the ground in Iraq today; the U.S. pull-out from the cities;
the return of oil companies; political divisions; the upcoming elections
in January, 2010; and the prospects for U.S. withdrawal and a substantive
change in U.S policy toward Iraq.

He will also speak about the MPT in Iraq and the building of peaceful
relationships between the people of Iraq and the people of the United
States through the Iraqi Art Project, the Sister City Project, Water for
Peace, and Letters for Peace.

Requested donation for lunch: $5.00. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI and RSVP: Call
612-729-8358 or email vmann [at] htlcmpls.org.


--------8 of 15--------

From: Benjamin Kutschied <ben [at] exploreveg.org>
Subject: Vegan cooking/class 11.16 6pm

Not sure what to prepare for your vegan Thanksgiving feast?

Compassionate Action for Animals' guest chef, Cali Mastny, has a few tips
to help you keep your feast animal friendly. Join her and other aspiring
cooks at Van Cleve Community Center on Monday, November 16th at 6:00 p.m.
for a free lesson on vegan holiday cooking.

Cooking and knowing what to eat are often barriers for people looking to
explore animal-friendly diets. With our comprehensive cooking classes,
attendees get a chance to try a variety of foods, get information on
nutrition, and have all their questions on veg eating answered--all for
free.

Stay tuned for more information on our December and January cooking
classes by regularly checking our upcoming events
calendar<http://www.exploreveg.org/events>or e-mailing us
<info [at] exploreveg.org>!

   - RSVP for this Event!
   <http://www.meetup.com/caa-tc/calendar/11735211/> - Map of Event
Location<http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=901+15th+Ave+Se+minneapolis,+mn&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=47.167389,78.925781&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=901+15th+Ave+SE,+Minneapolis,+Hennepin,+Minnesota+55414&z=16>

Benjamin Kutschied Director of Volunteer Programs Compassionate Action for
Animals 300 Washington Ave SE, Rm. 126 Minneapolis, MN 55455
www.ExploreVeg.org Office: (612) 626-5785 Cell: (952) 239-4605
ben [at] exploreveg.org


--------9 of 15--------

From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] usfamily.net>
Subject: Local interdep 11.16 6:30pm

Free Workshop
Designing for a Changing Future:
ECONOMIC STABILITY THROUGH
LOCAL INTERDEPENDENCE

Monday, November 16, 6:30 - 8:30
Room 216 Campus Center (corner Snelling and Grand)
Macalester College, St. Paul

Facilitator - Wilhelm Reindl

People everywhere are worried about the future and seeking responses to
the economic changes they are experiencing or seeing around them. One
response is the new "local" movement, especially toward food and energy
production. But truly going local means stepping away from the broken
growth economy, and finding a different way.

This class will evaluate the essential needs of a community and construct
a framework within which these needs might be addressed in a different
way, through local cooperative work and businesses, creative thinking, and
financial or other investment. It will look at specific ideas for
businesses that provide essential needs, and how individuals might
participate in them. Discussion will be encouraged.

Sign up at www.excotc.org or at the door.

Mr. Reindl was educated in physics at the University of Munich. He has
been a researcher at the University of Minnesota and with the federal
Bureau of Mines; an energy consultant to government, industry, and
community organizations; and an independent energy entrepreneur and
inventor.


--------10 of 15--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Katrina/film 11.16 6:30pm

FREE Third Monday Movies and Discussion: "Trouble the Water"
Monday, November 16, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Parish Center, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.

A 24-year old rap artist and her husband document the stories of the
victims of hurricane Katrina. New York Times critic says it is "one of
the best American documentaries in recent history."

Winner 2008 Sundance Film. Discussion follows. Sponsored by: the WAMM
Third Monday Movies Committee. FFI: Call 612-871-2229.


--------11 of 15--------

From: [AntiWarMN]
Subject: Peace pies  for 11.21

Support the Anti-War Committee - order your pies
today!*<http://antiwarcommittee.org/?q=node/373>

Love the taste of home-made apple and pumpkin pies, but don't love the
effort? Let the talented bakers of the Anti-War Committee provide for you!
Eat the pies right away, or store frozen for a cold winter day.

$20 for the first pie, and $15 for each additional pie. Pick them up
Saturday, November 21st-- just in time for Thanksgiving supper. Thank you
for your support and bon appetit!

Order your pie today. Questions? Contact us at:
pies [at] antiwarcommittee.org* <pies [at] antiwarcommittee.org>* or call
612.379.3899*


--------12 of 15--------

From: Joel Albers <joel [at] uhcan-mn.org>
Subject: Single-payer retreat  11.21 9am

Single-Payer Network-Building Retreat

We are all inspired by the current groundswell of single-payer health care
mobilizing amid intense national debate . In the last few weeks alone,
over 150 activists, including a number of physicians and nurses, have been
arrested doing sit-ins at companies like UnitedHealth (Medica), WellPoint,
Aetna, Cigna and Humana, and at offices of key legislators, according to
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).

This time of heightened public awareness affords activists the opportunity
to both mobilize AND Base-BUILD the single-payer movement. Four recent
meetings, "Unity Building" and " Health Care Reform based on the American
Nurses Association's Vision for HC Reform" (Feb. 2007, Feb 2008, and July
and Oct 2009)  mostly convened at the MN Nurses Association have attempted
just that . To further build the capacity of this movement, we are
inviting a diversity of groups to attend a single-payer network- building
retreat to brainstorm specifically on what can be accomplished in common,
while maintaining individual group autonomy to form a loose, decentralized
network of groups. We believe that unless the traditional single-payer
progressive base in Minnesota can be reconstituted, it will be very
difficult to achieve our goals.

In order to create space to make this possible,UHCAN-MN has reserved
Hospitality Place , a handicap accessible house on a lake near the woods
in Circle Pines (20 minutes north of the Twin Cities)  that accommodates
such meetings (see attachment for facilities, directions).  The meeting
has been set for Saturday November 21 from 9:00AM to 6:00PM with sign-in
/coffee/rolls at 8:30 AM (apologize for the late notice).In addition to
the meeting portion, we would like to offer workshops on such topics as
non-violent direct action, legislative strategies, participatory
democratic decision-making through spokecouncils, and some time for
relaxation,meditation, hiking etc. Folks are invited to stay from 6PM to
11PM for music , conversation , fun, food. We are particularly interested
in encouraging brainstorming, and good group processes. A lunch will be
provided. Please feel free to redistribute this proposal widely to labor
union, practitioner group, citizen action, faith, peace,student, senior,
dis-ability,medical condition assoc., mental health,Immigrant, women's,
GLBT, people of color, and social service groups,non-profit,
cooperatives,independent business, arts.

Please RSVP to joel [at] uhcan-mn.org to attend if your organization:
1.  endorses single-payer
2.  is committed to substantially organizing/mobilizing for single-payer.

In solidarity,
UHCAN-MN retreat working group
 Dorothy Allen, Joel Albers, Joe Brothers, Dori Ullman, Mike Cavlan,
 Beth Shapiro, Brad Porath,

Universal  Health Care Action Network-Mn is a grassroots health care
reform resource/research center and action network, empowering
communities to create fundamental health care system change.


--------13 of 15--------

Copenhagen: Seattle Grows Up
by Naomi Klein
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Nation
Common Dreams

The other day I received a pre-publication copy of The Battle of the Story
of the Battle of Seattle, by David Solnit and Rebecca Solnit. It's set to
come out ten years after a historic coalition of activists shut down the
World Trade Organization summit in Seattle, the spark that ignited a
global anticorporate movement.

The book is a fascinating account of what really happened in Seattle, but
when I spoke to David Solnit, the direct-action guru who helped engineer
the shutdown, I found him less interested in reminiscing about 1999 than
in talking about the upcoming United Nations climate change summit in
Copenhagen and the "climate justice" actions he is helping to organize
across the United States on November 30. "This is definitely a
Seattle-type moment," Solnit told me. "People are ready to throw down."

There is certainly a Seattle quality to the Copenhagen mobilization: the
huge range of groups that will be there; the diverse tactics that will be
on display; and the developing-country governments ready to bring activist
demands into the summit. But Copenhagen is not merely a Seattle do-over.
It feels, instead, as though the progressive tectonic plates are shifting,
creating a movement that builds on the strengths of an earlier era but
also learns from its mistakes.

The big criticism of the movement the media insisted on calling
"antiglobalization" was always that it had a laundry list of grievances
and few concrete alternatives. The movement converging on Copenhagen, in
contrast, is about a single issue - climate change - but it weaves a
coherent narrative about its cause, and its cures, that incorporates
virtually every issue on the planet. In this narrative, our climate is
changing not simply because of particular polluting practices but because
of the underlying logic of capitalism, which values short-term profit and
perpetual growth above all else. Our governments would have us believe
that the same logic can now be harnessed to solve the climate crisis - by
creating a tradable commodity called "carbon" and by transforming forests
and farmland into "sinks" that will supposedly offset our runaway
emissions.

Climate-justice activists in Copenhagen will argue that, far from solving
the climate crisis, carbon-trading represents an unprecedented
privatization of the atmosphere, and that offsets and sinks threaten to
become a resource grab of colonial proportions. Not only will these
"market-based solutions" fail to solve the climate crisis, but this
failure will dramatically deepen poverty and inequality, because the
poorest and most vulnerable people are the primary victims of climate
change - as well as the primary guinea pigs for these emissions-trading
schemes.

But activists in Copenhagen won't simply say no to all this. They will
aggressively advance solutions that simultaneously reduce emissions and
narrow inequality. Unlike at previous summits, where alternatives seemed
like an afterthought, in Copenhagen the alternatives will take center
stage. For instance, the direct-action coalition Climate Justice Action
has called on activists to storm the conference center on December 16.
Many will do this as part of the "bike bloc," riding together on an as yet
unrevealed "irresistible new machine of resistance" made up of hundreds of
old bicycles. The goal of the action is not to shut down the summit,
Seattle-style, but to open it up, transforming it into "a space to talk
about our agenda, an agenda from below, an agenda of climate justice, of
real solutions against their false ones.... This day will be ours."

Some of the solutions on offer from the activist camp are the same ones
the global justice movement has been championing for years: local,
sustainable agriculture; smaller, decentralized power projects; respect
for indigenous land rights; leaving fossil fuels in the ground; loosening
protections on green technology; and paying for these transformations by
taxing financial transactions and canceling foreign debts. Some solutions
are new, like the mounting demand that rich countries pay "climate debt"
reparations to the poor. These are tall orders, but we have all just seen
the kind of resources our governments can marshal when it comes to saving
the elites. As one pre-Copenhagen slogan puts it: "If the climate were a
bank, it would have been saved" - not abandoned to the brutality of the
market.

In addition to the coherent narrative and the focus on alternatives, there
are plenty of other changes too: a more thoughtful approach to direct
action, one that recognizes the urgency to do more than just talk but is
determined not to play into the tired scripts of cops-versus-protesters.
"Our action is one of civil disobedience," say the organizers of the
December 16 action. "We will overcome any physical barriers that stand in
our way - but we will not respond with violence if the police [try] to
escalate the situation." (That said, there is no way the two-week summit
will not include a few running battles between cops and kids in black;
this is Europe, after all.)

A decade ago, in an op-ed in the New York Times published after Seattle
was shut down, I wrote that a new movement advocating a radically
different form of globalization "just had its coming-out party." What will
be the significance of Copenhagen? I put that question to John Jordan,
whose prediction of what eventually happened in Seattle I quoted in my
book No Logo. He replied: "If Seattle was the movement of movements'
coming-out party, then maybe Copenhagen will be a celebration of our
coming of age."

He cautions, however, that growing up doesn't mean playing it safe,
eschewing civil disobedience in favor of staid meetings. "I hope we have
grown up to become much more disobedient," Jordan said, "because life on
this world of ours may well be terminated because of too many acts of
obedience." [Amen. -ed]

An updated tenth-anniversary edition of Naomi Klein's No Logo: Taking Aim
at the Brand Bullies comes out in November.

 2009 The Nation Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated
columnist and the author of the international and New York Times
bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, now out in
paperback. Her earlier books include the international best-seller, No
Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies; and the collection Fences and
Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate
(2002). To read all her latest writing visit www.naomiklein.org


--------14 of 15--------

Twenty Years From Now, You Will Lie To Your Children
by David Michael Green
Saturday, November 14, 2009
CommonDreams.org

Take a look at a video of George W. Bush speaking to the nation five or
six years ago.

Like a pop single from 1962 (or 2002, for that matter), it didn't age very
well.

It's astonishing that this transparently frightened man was the leader of
the free world for eight years, and was given so much license to commit so
much destruction.

But, then, nothing seems to define our era quite so much as license.

We give ourselves license to incur fantastic levels of national debt, and
hand the bill to the next generation.

We give ourselves license to invade other countries on the most patently
bogus of pretexts, bringing disaster upon them and us.

Or at least some of us, that is, because we also give ourselves license to
allow a tiny fraction of the population to carry the entire national
security burden for all the rest of us.

We give ourselves license to spend half again as much as any other country
in the world on healthcare, only to be ranked 37th 'best' by the World
Health Organization, just so we don't have to do the simple work of
writing corporate predators out of the parasitic cash cow booty feeding
troughs in which they're entrenched.

Meanwhile, a bullet is heading toward the heart of the body politic in the
form of global warming, and we give ourselves license to pretend that the
threat isn't even clearly defined, lest we should have to relinquish our
precious Hummers.

The list goes on and on.  I regret to say that history will not judge us,
here and now, a serious people.  Nor should it.  I certainly don't either.

Indeed, even when we get serious, we don't.  Barack Obama was supposed to
be the antidote to the excesses and negligences of the Bush years.  In
fact, nearly a year of his term has now gone by and he has almost nothing
to show for it.  Which means that neither do we.  When Saturday Night Live
parodies you by having your character claim "jack" and "squat" as your
administration's two greatest achievements - well, that's never a good
sign.

Nor does Obama appear to have a lot of intent at accomplishing much,
either.  At least anything that requires the ruffling of a feather or two
- which of course includes just about anything that matters.  For any
given question put before this president, it seems that his position can
safely be estimated to fall square in the middle of the road, right there
alongside Jim Hightower's proverbial yellow stripes and dead armadillos.
In reality, though, that's actually an unfortunately generous estimate.
Obama's politics, if you actually look at them - rather than at most
people's false impression of them - turn out to be remarkably similar to
George Bush's on everything from the fiscal stimulus to big corporate
healthcare initiatives to escalating war policies to eroded civil
liberties to unequal treatment for gays.

And yet this milquestoastiest of presidents generates the most outrageous
volumes of the most egregious vitriol in our public discourse, as if he
were wrecking the country through disastrous wars based on lies,
unprecedented constitutional shredding, or massive fiscal hemorrhaging.
Oh, wait - that was the last guy.  Never mind.  Somehow those travesties
didn't precipitate much noise from the cave-dwelling set - unless you
count deafness-inducing cheers of approval, or enough slurpy mass
salivation to befuddle and alarm Dr. Pavlov.

One of the most astonishing things about the right in America is the
degree and frequency with which they turn out to be precisely the opposite
of what they claim to be.  It's quite Orwellian, actually, in a charming
sort of war-equals-peace kinda way.  They adore dressing up like they're
the big military tough guys, but they all had to go to Woodstock or
something during Vietnam.  They like to lecture us incessantly about the
virtues of their particular brand of sexual morality, and then it always
turns out that they're the ones who love to dress up in leather and
Vaseline and gang-bang packs of small furry rodents.  They can't wait to
pontificate on the virtues of itsy-bitsy, low taxing, low spending
government, but then whenever they get their hands on the damn thing they
drive up the national debt like Yahweh himself told them it was their
personal holy crusader's mission to party hearty at the public's expense
("I command you to choose a hockey mom from amongst your number, and cause
her to buildeth a bridge to nowhere!").

I could keep going forever, and it would actually be pretty entertaining,
if only the real world effects weren't so bloody destructive.  One of my
favorites, though, I have to say, is the riff on responsibility.  You
know, as in, they're the ones who have it.  Remember when the Bush crew
came to power, literally saying "The grown-ups are back in charge"?  I can
think of a lot of things I would call George W. Bush, but "grown-up" is
more or less last on my list, right there after "brave", "articulate",
"compassionate" and "thoughtful".  In any case, these guys always fancy
themselves the mature, reliable, responsible stewards of American
government.  That's more than a little scary, isn't it - to think that
these are the nation's best and the brightest?  To imagine that Bush and
Cheney and Rove represent the crowning achievement of six or ten millennia
of civilizational development, topping off millions of years of genetic
refinement?

Wuuuuhhhh.  That lurching twitch you just felt was a serious shudder going
down your spine, your body's involuntary reaction to perceptions of sheer
horror.  But, meanwhile, did I mention that the real story of
responsibility is slightly different than the regressive version?

Start with global warming.  I'm not a climatologist and I don't even play
one on Fox TV.  Which is why I rely on the people with the PhDs in the
field and their masses of data, elaborate models and giant supercomputers
to tell me what is happening on that question.  Like most people, I
wouldn't even have the foggiest sense of whether the Earth is spherical,
flat, or shaped like a bicycle-built-for-two, were it not for the
geographers and explorers who figured it out.  There's almost no way to
get there on your own from daily experience.  Hence, I take their word for
it, just like I take the word of astronomers that our little planet is
not, after all, at the center of the universe (which is good news indeed
for the universe).

Our happy regressive friends do the same thing, of course.  Except when
they don't.  They reject evolution in favor of a 6,000 year-old Earth.
Though I notice that they're quite content to queue up for radiation
therapy when they're sick with cancer, even while rejecting the veracity
of radio-carbon dating of ancient fossils.  Hmmm.  Go figure.  They mostly
have reconciled themselves nowadays to a heliocentric solar system, though
they did imprison Galileo for telling a but too much truth on that one.
Given the recent tenor of the religious right in America, I'm waiting for
even this bit to get tossed out with evolution, any day now.  You heard it
here first, ladies and gentlemen.  Mark my words.  The Earth will return
to the center of the universe, just like the good book says.

Meanwhile, the same people who would happily burst through the doors of
the National Archives, yank the Constitution out of its case and run it
through a $19.99 shredder they just picked up on sale at Office Depot -
all in the name of fighting terrorism - are simultaneously working
frantically to make sure we don't do anything at all about the very real
threat of global warming.  Udickuitous Cheney once said that we have to
pull out all stops in case there was even a one-percent chance of a
terrorist attack that might kill thousands.  But a survey of the experts
on climate change suggests that there is a more than ninety-nine percent
probability that whole countries will be drowned and entire groups of
species eradicated in the coming decades.  And that's just the easy part.
Still, the regressive prescription for this looming nightmare is to
continue to do nothing at all, lest we anger the supreme goddess Commerce.

I've always been a little weird this way, but where I come from, that
ain't exactly the most responsible choice.  Neither was invading Iraq.
More than 4000 dead Americans later, and George Bush is still looking
under his desk for the missing WMD (heh-heh, wasn't that a hilarious
little comedy routine he did on that?).  As if that would have been a
valid excuse to invade a country that was neither attacking us nor
threatening us, anyhow.  As if dozens of countries don't have WMD.  As if
the Republican government of the United States didn't cover for Saddam at
home and at the UN at the time he was actually using chemical weapons on
his own people.

So perhaps a million Iraqis are dead now, American finances are in the
toilet, the country's global reputation is too skanky to qualify for
horizontal employment in a makeshift basement brothel in Tijuana, and our
national security - supposedly the purpose of the whole exercise - has
been radically diminished by the decimation of an army that even Colin
Powell described as "broken".  This is what you get from the "responsible"
ideology, ladies and gentlemen.

But wait!  There's more!  How about a crushing national debt.  Hey, why
not borrow money recklessly to pay for these fun wars based on lies?  And
how about those super-rich folks out there?  Don't they deserve additional
tax cuts?  I'm sure our children won't mind paying for the loans to
finance those giveaways, plus interest, in the future.  Why would those
crazy kids want to actually bring home the fruits of their labor in a
paycheck anyhow?  They won't mind working long hours to finance the
'responsibility' of unparalleled deficit spending by regressives, will
they?

Well, actually, that question is likely to be a moot issue now anyhow.
That's because the upshot from the 'responsible' economic policy provided
by our nice regressive friends increasingly means that the youngins won't
have any jobs at all.  That certainly solves the problem of spending a
lifetime paying taxes to finance their parents' spending sprees, doesn't
it?  Pretty clever, is it not?  No regulation, no economy;  no economy, no
jobs;  no jobs, no income;  no income, no taxes;  no taxes, no worries!
Damn!  I wonder if the good folks on the right had this all figured out
from the beginning!

Ho-ho, eh?  Not so funny, though, if you're on the butt end of the joke.
Which we all are, not least the younger generation.  There is an era of
bad feeling in America, long in the making, but hardly at its nadir.  The
United States has been on a southward glide path for three decades now, an
act of political physics as natural and inevitable as gravity itself, but
also deeply exacerbated by the predatory political movement pioneered by
Reagan and Thatcher, and continued by Bushes, Blairs, Clintons and Obamas
alike.

It was bad enough that we lived for as long as we did at a greedy and
unsustainable level, stealing from other peoples, from our environment,
from brown and female workers, and even from our own children.  But now
it's getting much, much worse.

In twenty years those children are all too likely to be living poor, on a
hostile planet, working long hours to pay down the sins of their fathers.

And they might well be enraged, too, as they should be.

A decade or two from now, if they confront their right-wing elders -
gazing in anger and astonishment at the bottomless capacity of their
parents' selfishness - you can safely bet that their questions will be met
with dissembling deception.

Twenty years from now, regressives will lie to their children.

We know this because those regressives are already lying today, covering
their execrable crimes the only way possible.

With deceit.

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra
University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to
his articles (mailto:dmg [at] regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time
constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be
found at his website, www.regressiveantidote.net.


--------15 of 15--------

 Were our city halls
 fumigated, we would need
 special elections.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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