|Progressive Calendar 11.17.09||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 04:55:23 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.17.09 1. Aussie sust ag 11.17 4:30pm 2. Grand jury/scare 11.17 5pm 3. Grand curry/free 11.17 6pm 4. Pablo Casals 11.17 6:30pm 5. Alliant vigil 11.18 7am 6. Mental illness 11.18 11am 7. Does scale exist? 11.18 12noon 8. Vigil/Afghan war 11.18 4:30pm 9. Beyond politics 11.18 6pm 10. Health series 11.18 7pm 11. ENP strategy 11.18 7:30pm 12. Climate change 11.18-21 13. TYzaguirre - After elections 14. Green News - Greens blast Dem anti-choice Stupak Amendment/health 15. Alan Nasser - Obama's flawed case against single payer 16. Chris Hedges - The new state solution 17. ed - Fox News (haiku) --------1 of 17-------- From: Alliance for Sustainability <iasa [at] mtn.org> Subject: Aussie sust ag 4:30pm Deep Sustainability and Sustainable Agriculture: The View from Down Under Professor Stuart B. Hill Foundation Chair of Social Ecology University of Western Sydney 4:30 - 6 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Borlaug Hall 365, U of M Campus, St. Paul http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/BorH/index.html Professor Hill is a co-founder and former Board Chair of the Alliance for Sustainability. He was considered the dean of sustainable agriculture for nearly two decades when he was the founder and head of Ecological Agriculture Projects at McGill University. He has a background in chemical engineering, ecology, soil biology, entomology, agriculture, psychotherapy, education, policy development and international development. Dr. Hill has published more than 350 papers and reports. His latest books are Ecological Pioneers: A Social History of Australian Ecological Thought and Action (with Dr Martin Mulligan; Cambridge UP, 2001) and Learning for Sustainable Living: Psychology of Ecological Transformation (with Dr Werner Sattmann-Frese; Lulu, 2008). To see his papers and presentations go to www.stuartbhill.com Sponsored by the Alliance for Sustainability and the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture For further information, contact the Alliance at 612-333-1099 or www.afors.org --------2 of 17-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Grand jury/scare 11.17 5pm St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow! All households with basic cable may watch. Tues, 11/17, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 11/18, 10am Grand Juries and the Green Scare Last month, 20 year old local activist Carrie Feldman was subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Davenport, Iowa. The Grand Jury is reported to be investigating animal rights actions that took place in 2004. At the time, Carrie was 15 years old. Understanding how grand juries operate, Feldman is refusing to testify before the grand jury. She is scheduled to reappear in Davenport again this month and maintains that she will continue to refuse to cooperate. As a result, Feldman could face jail time for contempt of court. We speak with Carrie as well as RNC 8 defendant Luce Guillen-Givens, who faces felony charges for organizing against the 2008 RNC in St. Paul. --------3 of 17-------- From: info [at] rnc8.org Subject: Grand curry/free 11.17 6pm The RNC 8 Defense Committee has a busy holiday season planned! Here's a listing of several upcoming events in the Twin Cities, including our monthly FREE MEAL Tuesday night in Minneapolis. FREE "Grand Curry" Dinner November 17 - Bet You Can't Resist! The secret is out! The next FREE Dinner prepared by the RNC 8 and friends is Tuesday, November 17. This month: Bet you can't resist our "Grand Curry!" In honor of local activists Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth who, on this day, are resisting a grand jury fishing expedition in Davenport, Iowa, the RNC 8 will be serving an irresistible "Grand Curry." You might just indict it on eight counts of delicious! It's on Tuesday, November 17th from 6-7:30pm at Walker Church: 3104 16th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Come see friends, get some RNC 8 goodies, and enjoy tasty food. And get an update from Iowa on Carrie and Scott. As always, vegan and vegetarian options will be available. The best part: we'll grant you immunity from having to pay a thing. Tell your friends they've been "subpeanut" to appear at Walker Church on Tuesday night! [Will there be Safron Succotash? -ed] --------4 of 17-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Pablo Casals 11.17 6:30pm The salon this Tuesday, Nov. 17, will be a salon on Pablo Casals, the great 20th Century cellist and peace and justice advocate of that era, also. After reading his autobiography, Joys and Sorrows, i wanted to honor this man, thus, the concert for peace next weekend about which you have been receiving flyers. I am hoping that James Jacobs, the cellist who is here from NY for the concert can also be at the salon. (w/out his cello, i'm afraid). But, he, also, is a big aficionado of Casals, and began his love of music by listening to recordings of Pablo. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------5 of 17-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Alliant vigil 11.18 7am Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems, 7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie. We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies? directions and lots of info: alliantACTION.org --------6 of 17-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: Mental illness 11.18 11am WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 - 11:00AM MENTAL ILLNESS: Not So Far from Home As We May Think KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at <http://www.KFAI.org Victims of mental illness have never had an easy time of it. Its difficult enough coping with the demons that haunt their minds and distort their dreams and world view. Delusions and demons of illnesses such as clinical and bi-polar depression, schizophrenia, post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead them to engage in self- destructive behavior addiction, suicide and violence toward the ones they love most. In worst cases, they take it to the streets where, when confronted by law enforcement, they have died at the hands of police officers ill-trained to deal with mentally ill men and women, war-torn veterans and mothers, abuse victims and chemically unbalanced brains. Cops have killed too many of these victims. Society fears them, sometimes for cause, more often unnecessarily. In the past, we simply warehoused them with little in the way of adequate treatment counseling and proper medication; with the closing of state institutions, we now leave many of them to wander the streets, homeless, jobless and refuse to fund the relief treatment and acceptance - they so desperately need and deserve. The shooting to death of Barbara Schneider by Minneapolis police officers several years ago, spawned an organized community response to cease such callous overreaction and a foundation in her name. One response has been the creation of crisis intervention team training. This week, TTTs ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with three of the Barbara Schneider Foundations principals about where the movement is taking us. GUESTS: MARK ANDERSON - Executive Director, Barbara Schneider Foundation and the Mental Health Crisis Response Institute CHARLES JENSEN - Mental health advocate with Barbara Schneider Foundation; 12 years homeless; arrested 89 times, including seven felony arrests PATTI KRESSLEY - police officer(13 years); MA, counseling psychology; Instructor, Argosy University AND YOU! CALL 612-341-0980 and Talk to Us! CAN'T GET US OVER THE AIR? STREAM TTT LIVE and LATER [Most Americans suffer from corporate-induced mental stillness. -ed] --------7 of 17-------- From: Institute on the Environment <danie419 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Does scale exist? 11.18 12noon Upcoming Frontiers in the Environment lectures The University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment is breathing new life into the old lecture series. Frontiers in the Environment explores the frontiers of knowledge in climate change, renewable energy, land use, food security and many other environmental hot topics. Join us from noon to 1 p.m. this Wednesday, Nov. 18, for "Does Scale Exist?" Scale concepts are woven throughout environmental research, but does scale exist? The meaning and use of scale is contested across the social, natural and information sciences. Some schools of thought believe that scale is manifested by the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. Others argue that scale is merely a construct of the mind. Steven Manson, an associate professor of geography and an Institute on the Environment resident fellow, outlines the various perspectives on scale. Tensions among these perspectives suggest some general principles for using scale effectively in environmental research. Future Frontiers lectures include: 12.2 - "What Happens When 4,000+ Classrooms in 30 Countries Explore the Arctic Together?: Environmental Stewardship" Aaron Doering, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction 12.9 - "Sustainable Cities: Urban Design for Human Health and the Environment" Julian Marshall, Assistant Professor, Environmental Engineering All lectures take place Wednesdays, noon to 1 p.m, in IonE Seminar Room 380, VoTech Bldg., St. Paul campus. The lectures are free and open to the public; no registration required, and also air live on the Web. See the Frontiers speaker line-up, along with a campus map and the link to the online broadcast. More info: http://environment.umn.edu/news_events/events/frontiers.html --------8 of 17-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Vigil v Afghan war 11.18 4:30pm Special Peace Bridge Vigil: No Escalation in Afghanistan Wednesday, November 18, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge spanning the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul. No to Escalation - Out of Afghanistan - Bring the Troops Home NOW! The U.S. government has been preparing a major escalation in the war against Afghanistan. Although news reports indicate that the Obama Administration is reconsidering plans to send tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to escalate the war, let's send a message that leaves no doubt as to what Minnesotans want. The war in Afghanistan has never been the "good war;" it has never been about fighting terrorism, but has always been an effort to increase U.S. military and political domination in the region. More troops will not bring peace and justice or development, but only more destruction. We should not wait for an escalation to be announced before we speak out! Vigils, protests and other anti-war events are being planned in cities across the U.S. to speak out against an escalation of the U.S. war against Afghanistan. Sponsored by: Twin Cities Peace Campaign - Focus on Iraq (TCPC) and WAMM. FFI: Call 612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364. --------9 of 17-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Beyond politics 11.18 6pm Wednesday, November 18 6pm - 8pm Monthly Kallpulli Happy Hour Speech "The World Beyond Politics" followed by Q & A given by Ryan Verden Spoken work artist, hiphop, graduate of Hamline University in education, working class Irish background Hamline University Bush Student Center Lobby 1551 Hewitt, St. Paul FFI contact Ray Tricomo, 651-714-0288 --------10 of 17-------- From: "Krista Menzel (Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace)" <web [at] mppeace.org> Subject: Health series 11.18 7pm HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH A Series on Equality In Access to Health Care The United States is the richest nation in the world; we spend twice as much as other developed countries on health care and yet our system is in crisis. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane". This inaugural presentation in the series features Dr. Oliver Fein the national president of Physicians for a National Health Program and local physician Dr. Elizabeth Frost. Both will speak about their experience working with patients and as advocates of health care reform. Physicians for a National Health Program-Minnesota and St. Catherine University are introducing a seven-part series on health care, investigating different forms of inequality and access. Health care is a right, not a privilege; it is an issue of justice when necessary care is unavailable or denied. All events are free and open to the public. International Perspectives and Solutions: Nov. 18, 2009 Economics of Health Care and Solutions: December 9, 2009 Monthly forums will be held at 7pm on Wednesday evenings at Jeanne d'Arc Auditorium, Whitby Hall, Saint Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105 Presented by <http://www.stkate.edu/>St. Catherine University and <http://www.pnhpminnesota.org/>Physicians for a National Health Program, Minnesota. Produced by <http://www.queenanproductions.com/>Queenan Productions www.pnhpminnesota.org <http://hazardoustoyourhealthstkates.blogspot.com/>hazardoustoyourhealthstkates.blogspot.com --------11 of 17-------- From: jwilson [at] enp-news.org Subject: ENP strategy 11.18 7:30pm The next meeting of the Edgertonite National Party will be held 7:30 to 9:00 PM, Wednesday, 18 November 2009, at Caribou Coffee, 3835 Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, MN. The primary topic of discussion will be building the Party for the next election. -John Charles Wilson, National Chairman, Edgertonite National Party --------12 of 17-------- From: DeniseCBreton [at] aol.com Subject: Climate change 11.18-21 The Second Native Peoples' Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop will be held Nov. 18-21 at the Mystic Lake Casino on the homeland of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community. Please plan to attend! Living Justice Press Denise C. Breton, Executive Director 2093 Juliet Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105 Tel. (651) 695-1008 Fax. (651) 695-8564 E-mail: LJPress [at] aol.com Web site: www.livingjusticepress.org --------13 of 17-------- After Elections TYzaguirre Tuesday, 10 November 2009 00:30 Mpls Mirror Tuesday, Minneapolis voters chose to re-elect the same old politicians to represent us for yet another 4 years. I don't think any of them, including Mayor Rybak, should feel proud. Voter turnout was embarrassingly low, leading media to conclude that residents are content rather than soured to the whole process of local candidate vetting. With the new ranked choice voting in place, residents of Wards 4 and 5 still don't have the answer as to who will be representing them come January. I used to get excited about voting. I believed that my vote mattered. Perhaps I'm just jaded, but I can't say that I still believe it to be true anymore. That sentiment is what I've been hearing as to why voters failed to show up in larger numbers. It seems that they were convinced that the system is unfairly stacked in favor of incumbents and that the same old windbags would be re-elected. Sadly, they didn't know what their options were. They've become disengaged from the process, and I have my suspicions as to why that is. Let's see, could it be that the incumbents supporting media kept telling voters that none of the contenders were viable? This was stated over and over again, every time Rybak refused to debate. The only exception was on Minnesota PRIVATE Radio, the day before the election. What the hell! Has public radio become complicit too? Minus questionnaires that were sent to candidates, no one wrote about them. Did you read any feature articles or profiles of candidates? Did the reporters and their editors know all the candidates personally to make such a judgment call? On Bob Carney's first RT & Me video, Rybak didn't even recognize Bob as someone who was running against him! How odd! How arrogant! The media selectively chose to ignore the dubious claims of past accomplishments and the empty campaign promises of incumbents as easily as they ignored what contenders could bring to the table. Even self-proclaimed citizen journalist and bloggers have fallen into ass kisser mode. If they're not getting paid yet, it won't be long since it seems that's the only way to earn your bread in this city. The end result is boring and no different than the next guy's, but I guess their families are getting fed for now. A poison blogger on the Northside didn't hesitate to assassinate the characters of everyone running against his favorite, council member Don Samuels. Ironically, he doesn't even live in his ward. The Uptake's contribution to the local elections was limited to covering Rybak's victory party, and MINNPOST, which claims to offer high quality journalism, is no different then the Strib except they're lazier. When was the last time anyone saw David Brauer out covering a story? Instead of being the man on the street, he's more like the man behind his computer. He must have exceptional eyesight. Frankly, anyone can sit behind a computer, take other people's work and add three lines of commentary. At least the Strib sent out questionnaires. In spite of what the media didn't tell you, there were several good contenders this year: Dave Bicking, Michael Katch, Jeanine Estime, Al Flowers, "Papa" John Kolstad, Mike Tupper, Natalie Johnson Lee, Kim Vlaisavljevich, and so on. The one thing they lacked besides media attentions was money to support them. What they offered was smoking shoe leather from their hard work. Something several of the winners know nothing about. With the exception of the often boisterous Al Flowers, most of the candidates running against incumbents have been involved with local government and politics, working diligently to right the wrongs, without pay, outside of the spotlight too often devoted to self-promoting politicos. Anyone wishing to follow the trail of every dime of our tax dollars would be well advised to consult Michael Katch who challenged Lisa Goodman. He likely knows more about where the money goes than those that are elected to spend it because he actually reads all the documents. Dave Bicking has been involved, and sits with the Civilian Police Review Authority, dealing with issues of police accountability. He's an advocate for peace, justice and civil liberties. He fought against channeling taxpayer dollars into privately owned stadiums and to defeat the Midtown Burner, which certainly didn't make him popular with the "friends of Lisa." Fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal "Papa" John, owner of Mill City Music since 1980, is a board member of Metro Independent Business Alliance, and also served as a board member of the Lake Street Council, Minneapolis Micro Loan Committee, Longfellow Community Council, Longfellow Business Association, Seward Civic and Commerce Association, Lake Street Task Force and he understands the struggles of living, working, and abiding by City leader's decisions. Last spring he was asked by members of the Green Party to run for Mayor. Later he was approached by independent voters, the Minneapolis Republican Party, and the Minneapolis Independence Party. Many Democrats supported him too. In a one party town though, it's an uphill battle when the media seems to be in bed with the "king makers." I know these people, but the media deemed them "not worthy" for your consideration. Who was anyone to say that there were not strong contenders? The people that were running could have actually represented a good majority of us as they were not bought and paid for. Minneapolis is obviously stuck in a rut. We've allowed all of our power to be placed in the hands of one group of individuals. Anyone who doubts me need only get involved at the local level. Just see how much you are able to get accomplished. You'll find out quickly that the door is slammed in your face. The power that was granted neighborhood groups was snatched from us by a greedy mayor and council when they set their sights on NRP. I'm the first to admit that it was not a perfect system, but ceeding all control to 14 thugs was clearly not the answer. I know people who were very involved, but when they didn't fall into place with the commander and chief, they were frozen out and eventually left demoralized. Our neighborhood organizations have stealthily been taken over by the chosen ones. This will only worsen and more become evident since NRP has disappeared. The creepy cult followers that seem to worship at the feet of the incumbents only feed the isolation felt by residents. They ignore the ballooning tax burden created by apathetic politicians, while they make excuses for the situation they helped put in place. They ignore poverty that their larger than life candidates exploit for their political gain. Their pimping only intensifies the needs of the poor as the resources are gobbled up. The gang of 14 brag about job creation as though there were no problems, as the media like some bizarre echo parrots their bogus claims. How many people are getting jobs in Minneapolis? Who knows, God is in the details. How many more people will lose their homes? No one has the answer. We re-elected the same old faces that were in office when we got into this mess. These are the same people that think creating an endless number of non-profits is the solution to all of our problems. They don't have any answers for who will fund all this dead weight when the money dries up. Will Lord God Obama and his cronies come down from the mountain with magic beans that will grow money out of nothing? When we have spent all of the money that the Chinese will loan us, what then? Who will support all those wonderful non-profits? The rich? What will we do when we've spent all of their money too? Who will we turn to become whole again? Will we see the same wild-eyed clapping for this lot of miscreants? How many people among us have prospered financially from our votes? Perhaps people feel their reward because they feel as though they're part of the elite of movers and shakers. When V.P. Joe Biden came to the Twin Cities for a fundraiser at Joe Pohlad's last month, I saw a former state party chair arriving for the $7,500-a-plate dinner in Edina with the Democratic National Committee and its "grassroots" organizing arm, Organizing for America. Are you kidding me? Dinner at Joe's is "grassroots"? According to the Strib, "Biden, the Obama administration's point-man on the $787 billion economic stimulus package, is scheduled to headline the event next Thursday evening." That must be how you get stadiums built. This must be what they meant by shovel ready. Yah Joe, get me a shovel, it's getting mighty deep around here. Minneapolis has turned into a city I do not even recognize anymore. It sure isn't the city I grew up in. In our zeal to become something that we're not, we left something behind. In our rush to be someone, we forgot who we really were. For so long we listen to people make light of Minneapolis for being on the edge of the world and we forgot how good the view is from here. I've lived in New York and London. I've traveled from north to south and east to west, but I've always returned to the city I love... the city I call home. It wasn't for the stadiums that my tax dollars helped to build, it wasn't for the non-profits, and it sure wasn't for our wonderful politicians. I returned to Minneapolis because there were still enough people that were real. They weren't the world-class phonies I met in my travels; I know, I met plenty of them. I didn't come back for the Minnesota nice either. I can find passive aggressive anywhere. If the direction we're headed is the way of Chicago, keep in mind the number of politicians currently incarcerated in the lovely prisons they helped to build. Is that the direction we wish to go? Their political machine is the continual fodder of jokes for late night talk shows. They'll be talking about us all right. But is this what we want to be known for? Michael Katch garnered over 1000 votes against Lisa Goodman's less than 3000. Her war chest was second only to that of the Mayor. I am a Democrat, and proud of it. But as of late, it seems to me that the party that claims to fight for so many, seems to be working the hardest for those who need it the least. I read a quote recently that I think sums up what I believe this election lacked, "A society is judged by how it treats the least among it, not the best. I'm not worried about how presidents of banks and chairmen of the board and of country clubs are treated, or star quarterbacks, or other prima donnas. The job of the Constitution is to make sure that everyone is treated properly." I'd like to get Democracy back into the way our city is run. A system that represents all of us, even presidents of banks and chairmen of the board and of country clubs are treated, or star quarterbacks, or other prima donnas, just not at my expense. --------14 of 17-------- From: Rhoda Gilman <rhodagilman [at] earthlink.net> From: Green News DC <dcsgpnews2 [at] gmail.com> Subject: Greens blast anti-choice Stupak Amendment in Dem health bill, foresee voter anger & defections GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES http://www.gp.org For Immediate Release: Monday, November 16, 2009 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 Greens blast the anti-choice Stupak Amendment in the Democrats' health care bill, predict voter anger and defections from the Democratic Party over the amendment Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on women's rights: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-womens-rights.php / on health care reform: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-health-care.php WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders today called the Stupak Amendment in the recently passed US House bill on health care reform a disaster for women's reproductive rights and a betrayal of the Democrats' stated support for women's rights and well-being. Many Greens foresee growing anger among Democratic voters, especially women, and possible defections from the Democratic Party over the amendment. The Stupak Amendment to HR 3962 states that any health care plan purchased with any federal subsidy cannot cover abortion services, even with private funds, and prohibits the public plan from covering abortion care. The amendment will make it more difficult and expensive for anyone to purchase a plan with abortion coverage and discourages insurers and employers who provide health care benefits from affording such coverage. The Green Party has criticized the Democrats' health care proposal because it leaves the insurance and pharmaceutical industries in control of health care and fails to provide universal coverage: see "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," press release, November 10 (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=262). The Green Party supports full reproductive rights, including uncompromised access to abortion services for women (http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/socjustice.html#998980 / http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/socjustice.html#1012830). "Michigan Greens targeted Bart Stupak's District One seat in Congress with the candidacy of Jean Treacy, who challenged his opposition to women's rights, including the freedom to choose. The Stupak Amendment is the sharpest blow against poor women and their rights since the Hyde Amendment. It was proposed by a Democrat and passed by a Democratic Congress. We challenge feminists, feminist and progressive organizations, and all Americans who support rights and equality for women to stop supporting candidates who retreat from these principles, and to vote Green instead," said Candace Caveny, Green candidate for the US House in Michigan's 10th District (http://www.candacecaveny.org) in 2010. Greens called the Stupak Amendment a direct consequence of a public debate on health care reform that has been mostly limited to Republican 'no reform' versus Democratic 'faux reform.' "It's urgent that advocates of universal health care and women's rights push harder now for Single-Payer," said Morgen D'Arc, co-founder and spokesperson for the National Women's Caucus of the Green Party. "If the Senate version of HR 3962 gets passed with the loss of abortion coverage for women, Americans will soon realize that, along with this serious downgrade in coverage for women, the bill offers only minimal reform overall and creates new financial burdens for many while channeling more taxpayer money into insurance companies' already bloated profit margins. Poor women and women of color are the least likely to be helped by the House Democrats' plan and the most likely to suffer under the Stupak Amendment. Unless advocates for Single-Payer reject the Democratic Party bill and continue to fight for real universal health care, the resulting frustration and disappointment among millions of Americans will lead to more power for anti-women Republicans and Democrats." ³I reregistered Green many years ago because Democratic Party leaders made too many compromises on reproductive rights. Greens believe reproductive rights are non-negotiable.² said Marnie Glickman, member of the partyıs National Women's Caucus and a former national co-chair of the party. "Feminism is one of the Green Party's key values. Until Greens gain seats in Congress and state legislatures and we end two-party control, women's rights face compromise and repeal." 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 "Face it: The Democratic Party is not for women" By Kate Harding, Salon.com, November 10, 2009 http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/feature/2009/11/10/stupak_stupidity "Health Reform: Implications for Women's Access to Coverage and Care" Kaiser Family Foundation, October 2009 http://www.kff.org/womenshealth/upload/7987.pdf 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 --------15 of 17-------- Solidarity, Individualism and Public Goods Obama's Flawed Case Against Single Payer By ALAN NASSER November 16, 2009 CounterPunch The liberal imagination has broadened the scope of what it wants to dismiss as unrealistic, utopian and unpragmatic, i.e. as for all practical purposes impossible. These claims have typically been accompanied by the assurance that "This is not something that Americans would go for - it's not the American way". There are countless variations on this theme. Obama's case against a single payer health care system is a conspicuous case in point. What distinguishes Obama's position on this issue is not merely the weakness of his "arguments", but the straight-ahead factual falsehood of the some of the counterclaims he has put forward in order to turn the desirable into the impossible. The Alleged Impossibility of Universal Health Care In May and August, 2007 Obama stated his position on single payer: "If you're starting from scratch, then a single-payer system' - a government-managed system like Canada's, which disconnects health insurance from employment - 'would probably make sense. But we've got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off. So we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside." (May, 2007) " [W]hen we had a healthcare forum before I set up my healthcare plan here in Iowa there was a lot of resistance to a single-payer system. So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices....Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system. For now, I just want to make sure every American is covered...I don't want to wait for that perfect system.... (August, 2007, at an Iowa roundtable) Obama offers 5 reasons for not supporting single payer. First: ...we've got all these legacy systems in place... simply means that our system is not single payer, and we've had it for a long time. Obama has turned himself into a bent sort of Burkean conservative: we have been marinating in a tradition which so permeates our way of being in the world that to do away with it would upset social life as we know it. This tradition includes.. insurance-industry-based health care! More mundanely: we haven't got it, so we can't have it. Second: it would be hard to "manage the transition" from a deeply flawed system to a much better one. Harder than it was to effect the transition to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, desegregation, etc.? In each of these cases, what many people had "known for most of their lives" [was] "thrown by the wayside". It belongs to the nature of any move from one way of doing things to a very different one that the transition will take some doing. That fact alone settles nothing. What matters is how urgent is the need for change. The US's irrationally costly system which leaves millions uninsured, a fate suffered by the citizens of no other developed capitalist country, is surely intolerable. We have been given no reason to think that the cost of a transition to universal coverage is so great as to outweigh the massive benefits of this tried and tested arrangement. Obama's excuses amount to a cleverly disguised a-priori argument against any consequential transformation of the status quo. Third: the "difficulty" [i.e. costs] of "adjusting the culture to a different system", given that there is "a lot of resistance to a single-payer system" , outweigh the benefits of single-payer. But what matters is not what a few selected Iowans are alleged to have felt about universal coverage. The demonstrated preferences of the democratic majority can't be irrelevant. On this issue Obama clearly means to imply that "Americans" don't support single-payer. This is factually false. It's improbable that Obama is unaware of the results of many surveys on this issue, the most recent, to my knowledge, having been conducted between December 14-20, 2007. The results of this Associated Press-Yahoo poll are worth reproducing as they were reported: Subjects were asked which of the following 2 views comes closest to their own view: !. The United States should continue the current health insurance system in which most people get their health insurance from private insurers, but some people have no insurance. 2. The United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers. A majority of 65% supported 2, 34% supported 1 and 2% did not respond. Those polled were also asked "Do you consider yourself a supporter of a single-payer health care system, that is a national health plan financed by taxpayers in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan, or not?" 55% answered Yes, 44% No and 2% did not respond. Single-payer still has a majority here, but a smaller one, probably due to the pollsters' use of (what is to some) the red-flag term "single payer". [View the full poll results at http://news.yahoo.com/] Taxpayer funded, government-run health care insurance for all is a public, not a private, good, and it is the only political project that most Americans are on record as willing to pay higher taxes to achieve. There is in fact not "a lot of resistance" to a rational health care system. Obama knows this. But the interests of those who have heavily invested (literally) in him carry more weight than do the most pressing interests of the rest. [Obama sold us out and will continue to sell us out. -ed] The Ideology of Individual Choice and the Logic of Solidarity Fourth: Obama claims that a health care plan based on "a series of choices" is superior to one that leaves no choice but instead saddles everyone with the burden of full and affordable coverage. Pity those poor Europeans, deprived of their right to liberty by forced access to first-rate health care. In the City on the Hill, few things are more important than the right to choose: which health care system gives us the most choice? This way of thinking is saturated with the ideology of individualism and its private goods, and functions to obliterate solidarity, as opposed to self-interest, as a political and moral value. This is especially pernicious since, as we shall see, it is only concerted action motivated by solidarity that can bring about a health care system from which no one is excluded because they can't afford it. When Obama contradistinguishes choice from universal coverage he unwittingly underscores the irrelevance of individual, self-interested choice to political goals motivated by a commitment to solidarity. Preoccupation with the choice between one doctor and another, one plan or another, conceals a crucial assumption, namely that the fundamental issue underlying the health care debate is one about choice and liberty. An individualist ontology implies that our collective fate is a function of whether or not each individual member of society is savvy enough to make the free choices most likely to promote his or her self-interest. But are people who worry about access to health care really concerned with choice? What weighs upon them is that they can't afford health care. No individual can make on her own the choice to turn the US into a country that makes health care affordable, available to all. Such a choice is not a choice by an individual about her own well being. It is not even a choice about the aggregate sum of each and every individual's well being. It is a choice we make together about the kind of society we want to live in. To worry about health care because one cannot afford it is, on reflection, to lament the non-existence of a public good, universally accessible health care, one that can't be reduced to the sum of all individual goods. The survey discussed above indicates that most Americans implicitly know this. The majority endorse a universally applicable measure, taxation, as a means to institute a universally available, i.e. public, good, access to health care. A universal tax, as for education, roadways, health care, is not an individual cost; it is a social cost. Correspondingly, universally accessible health care is not an individual good, it is a public good. The majority would prefer to live in the kind of society that features that public good. It's a different kind of society from the one we're currently stuck with. [Ie lying, corrupt, destructive, mean, greedy, evil... -ed] That kind of society, and the public goods it prioritizes, can be achieved only if it is pursued as a goal by people acting in concert. That's where solidarity is on display: in collective action motivated by the desire to achieve a public good. The kinds of goals/goods in question typically involve bringing about a certain kind of society. For example: the kind of society that provides all with affordable health care, the kind of society that makes access to the means of life -e.g. a living wage- available to all, the kind of society that makes the meeting of human needs the principal motivator of economic production, the kind of society that assigns sufficient resources to the reduction of pollution and the preservation of nature,... Prattling on about individual choice creates a conceptual space within which considerations of solidarity and public goods cannot arise. Talking about solidarity in the language of individualism is like trying to score a field goal in baseball. Obama references affordability in spite of himself when he claims (falsely) that he wants to "make sure that every American is covered". The fundamental virtue of single payer is that it detaches insurance from employment and thereby from one's level of income, so that everyone can afford health care. The question of choice doesn't even arise if you can't afford to keep yourself healthy. And come to think of it, were health care universally available, the question of affordability would not arise. Talk of being able to "afford" access to health care would be as misplaced as talk of being able to afford access to elementary education. Solidarity As a Familiar Phenomenon The issue is worth dwelling on. In everyday life we are all familiar with the pursuit of irreducibly social goods. Think of a family with kids. A rare and highly desirable work opportunity, but far from home, arises for spouse #1. Spouse #2 has come upon a comparable golden opportunity, also far from home. The family wants to stay together. A decision based on the good of either individual spouse would break up the family. What to do? It's not uncommon in such a situation for the adults to look to determine what would be good for the family. And what's good for the family is not the sum of spouse #1's good plus spouse #2's good, plus the goods of each individual child. We cannot commensurate and then sum up these different and sometimes incompatible goods. The good of the family is irreducibly social, just like universally accessible health care. Families and households act in solidarity all the time. Obama's repeated insistence on the market as the primary agent in distributing resources precludes consideration of questions of solidarity from the outset. He is the instrument of domestic advisors benighted by preposterous economic theories hailing the efficiency and liberty-promoting virtues of the market. For these wags the pursuit of individual self-interest, plus competition, makes the world go round and secures for us all the freedom we (are allowed to) want. As we have seen above, the restriction of human-welfare-enhancing political choices to the realm of competition and self-interest deprives us of the freedom collectively to choose to live in the kind of society that provides copious public goods. That's a big freedom lost. The Political Psychology of Solidarity A sense of solidarity is far more prevalent in much of Europe than it is in the Land of the Free. In a New York Times article titled "For the French, Solidarity Still Counts" (by Youseff M. Ibrahim, Dec. 20, 1995), the author describes public reaction in France to a three-week strike by public workers supported by "hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who filled the streets of every major city in France". Workers were protesting then Prime Minister Juppe's proposal to slash medical, social welfare and benefit payments. According to the Times: "Polls showed an astonishing amount of sympathy on the part of those who did not participate in the strike and who suffered the paralysis of mass transit and essential services. Many people explained that they supported the strike because the Government's austerity programs are stripping layer after layer of subsidies that permitted French families of even the most modest means to sample the cultural and culinary treasures that only the rich can afford". One recipient of the social wage was a woman receiving the standard subsidy extended to pregnant women. The subsidy will continue, for each child, until the child reaches 18. Said the woman: "This is the foundation of our Republican system. Equality and fraternity are not mere slogans here. For me the engagement by the state is an expression of solidarity that gives us values. I think most French people want France's values to be decided by this spirit, not by cold, remote, economic summits that speak of deficits and competition. That was the message of the strikes". This past March one million demonstrated across France in protest of proposed cutbacks in the wake of the financial crisis. I am currently living in France for a stretch of time and have witnessed frequent strikes and other expressions of resistance to neoliberal austerity measures. A sad and stark contrast to the sitting-duck [or bent-over -ed] posture of so many US workers. The Times article provides an implicit explanation of why it is that in France and other European countries there is no general resentment of social benefits available, for example, to single mothers, while in the US more than a few working people oppose this kind of support. The Times reports that the subsidy offered to the woman quoted above "is extended to every mother in France regardless of economic or marital status". In France benefits to single mothers are not regarded as "special treatment" denied to the responsible and hard-working. There is neither social nor psychological soil in which to plant the seeds of resentment, since the single mother is the recipient of a public good available to all mothers. Fifth and finally: "I just want to make sure every American is covered...I don't want to wait for that perfect system..." If the president truly wanted to guarantee universal coverage he would not have taken single-payer off the table before discussions began. Whatever is finally settled upon, government will neither negotiate drug prices nor regulate premiums, so we know now that millions will remain uninsured. Obama has known that all along. Obama rigs the game by characterizing single-payer as "that perfect system". One of the major weapons in the party-liners' arsenal is to portray those who believe in greater possibilities as naive utopians blind to the truism that a "perfect world" is impossible in what William F. Buckley liked to call "this veil of tears". The logic is fine: since there are no finite limits to the greater possibilities of goodness, and perfection is conceived, as Anselm reminds us, as that greater than which none can be conceived, it follows that perfection is impossible down here. But whoever introduced mumbo-jumbo about perfection in the first place? Isn't the elimination of a great deal of unnecessary suffering enough? Last I recall, single-payer advocates claim merely (sic) that it is way better than what we are offered. That's pretty good. Obama's case against single-payer frames health-care priorities in the language of atomic individualism. Hence, the range of possible outcomes is determined for the worse before discussion begins. I am suggesting that a good part of our resistance and organizing should consist in reminders that an alternative way of thinking and acting is already on display in some of our common practices, and in already existing benefits won for other populations by aiming at public goods to be achieved by concerted action in solidarity. Hope that helps. Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He can be reached at nassera [at] evergreen.edu --------16 of 17-------- The New State Solution by Chris Hedges Monday, November 16, 2009 TruthDig.com Common Dreams The collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the result of Israel's 42-year refusal to implement a two-state solution, leaves the Palestinians no option but to unilaterally declare an independent state. Israel acted unilaterally when it announced independence in 1948. It is the Palestinians' turn. It worked in Kosovo. It worked in Georgia. And it will work in Palestine. [Speed the day. -ed] There are 192 member states in the United Nations and as many as 150 would recognize the state of Palestine, creating a diplomatic nightmare for Israel and its lonely ally the United States. Israel will face worldwide censure if it attempts to crush the independent state by force and very likely be subjected to the kind of divestment campaigns and boycotts that brought down the apartheid government of South Africa. The two-state solution, long held up as the way out of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, flickered and died with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. No Israeli leader since, including Ehud Barack, has shown any interest in its implementation. Israeli governments have instead cynically used the promise of negotiations as a cover to steadily expand settlements, evict Palestinians from their homes, carry out egregious acts of violence and repression against Palestinians and steal huge swathes of the West Bank, including most of the aquifers. The death of the two-state solution is not news to those of us who have spent years in the Middle East. What is news is the public acknowledgement by the Palestinian leadership. Mahmoud Abbas, the compliant and discredited president of the Palestinian Authority, who has announced he will not run for another term, has uncharacteristically blasted Israel for deceiving the Palestinians. The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who says that the effort to negotiate a solution to the conflict with Israel is dead, has called on Palestinians to declare statehood. The disarray within the Palestinian Authority has led to the cancellation of the Palestinian elections in January, although the elections were already in jeopardy. The militant group Hamas, which took over Gaza in 2007 after thwarting a coup attempt led by Abbas' Fatah party, said it would not allow the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza to vote. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is counting on the Obama administration to thwart a declaration of Palestinian independence, will have difficulty finding a Palestinian stooge as complaint as Abbas. Abbas' time in office has been marked by repeated and humiliating concessions to Israel, including deferring, at Israel's request, the vote at the United Nations on the Goldstone report, which documented human rights abuses during Israel's offensive in Gaza last December and January. Israel has shown its appreciation by ignoring Abbas' protests for a halt on settlements and dismissing his calls for negotiations. It is hard to imagine any Palestinian leader, at least one with a shred of credibility, agreeing to take Abbas' place. The only alternative left to most Palestinians, unless an independent state is declared, will be endless war and an embrace of Islamic extremism. A declaration of independence, based on the 1967 demarcation lines between Israel and Palestinian territory, should cover East Jerusalem among other areas and the several hundred thousand Jewish settlers living in settlements in the West Bank. These Israeli settlers would instantly become citizens in the new country, replicating the experience of many Palestinians who suddenly found themselves counted as Israelis in 1948. "When he declares independence, Abbas should call upon the Jews living in the state of Palestine to preserve the peace and to do their part in building up the new country as full and equal citizens, enjoying fair representation in all of its institutions," Yossi Sarid, who supports the independence movement, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "David Ben-Gurion would not have been upset by such a pretty act of plagiarism from his Declaration of Independence." The Israelis have orchestrated acute misery and poverty in the Palestinian territories over the past two decades in an effort to subdue and ethnically cleanse the captive population. They have reduced Palestinians, many of whom now live on less than $2 a day, to a subsistence level. They have created squalid, lawless and impoverished ghettos in the West Bank and Gaza. Israeli soldiers, who ring these ghettos, have the ability to instantly shut off food, medicine and goods to perpetuate the misery. Israel, when the Palestinians grow restive, drops 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs and artillery shells - as they did a year ago in Gaza - on the concrete hovels that pack neighborhoods. The Israeli objective is to turn the Palestinian territories into a hell on earth. This policy has, however, swollen the ranks of radical Islamists in the occupied territories and throughout the Middle East. The refusal by the Obama administration and nearly every member of the U.S. Congress to defend the rule of law and basic human rights for the Palestinians exposes our hypocrisy. It also perpetuates the absurd pretence that it is Israel, not the Palestinians, whose security and dignity are being threatened. The F-16 jet fighters, the Apache attack helicopters, the 250-pound "smart" GBU-39 bombs used on Palestinian civilians are part of the annual $2.4 billion in military aid the United States gives to Israel. Palestinians are slaughtered with American-made weapons provided to Israel with taxpayer dollars. Israel, an international pariah, would be unable to carry out these atrocities without our financial and moral support. Mix this toxic brew with the illegal wars we wage in Iraq and Afghanistan and the United States becomes a satanic force in the eyes of many Muslims. Abbas, in a speech delivered a few days ago on the fifth anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death, announced that the Palestinians would not return to negotiations with Israel without a full halt to settlement building, "including the natural growth" - a term Israel uses to justify construction on the basis of natural population growth in settlements. "They are putting obstacles in its way," he said of promised negotiation. "They are trying to remove this concept. What do they want?" The anniversary of Arafat's death is a bitter reminder to many Palestinians that Israel can never be trusted. It is widely believed among Palestinians, as well as Israeli peace activists such as Uri Avnery, that Arafat was poisoned by the Israelis, something Israeli officials deny. Arafat became gravely ill in 2004 as Israeli forces besieged his Ramallah headquarters. He was eventually flown to France for treatment and died at Percy military hospital outside of Paris on Nov. 11, 2004. The French, abiding by an agreement with the Israelis, did not release Arafat's medical records. "Each expert we consulted explained that even a simple poison produced by an average scientist would be difficult to identify by the most experienced scientists," said Arafat's nephew Nasser al-Kidwa. "I can't tell for sure that he was murdered by the Israelis. I can't refute that hypothesis because doctors couldn't refute it." The suspicions around the death of Arafat replicate the feelings of most Palestinians around the death of the two-state solution. Each, in the eyes of Palestinians, was deliberately murdered. The Israelis have ensured that from now on the Palestinians will fall or rise on their own. 2009 TruthDig.com Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. --------17 of 17-------- Fox News maketh my brain to lie down in brown waste and it can't get up. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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