Progressive Calendar 11.17.09
From: David Shove (
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]>
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

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

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

Sponsored by the Alliance for Sustainability and the Minnesota Institute
for Sustainable Agriculture For further information, contact the Alliance
at 612-333-1099 or

--------2 of 17--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
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]
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

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]>
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 ( )
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]>
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:

--------6 of 17--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Mental illness 11.18 11am

MENTAL ILLNESS: Not So Far from Home As We May Think
KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at 

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.

 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

[Most Americans suffer from corporate-induced mental stillness. -ed]

--------7 of 17--------

From: Institute on the Environment <danie419 [at]>
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

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

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:

--------8 of 17--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
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]
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]>
Subject: Health series 11.18 7pm

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 <>St. Catherine University and
<>Physicians for a National Health Program,

Produced by <>Queenan Productions

--------11 of 17--------

From: jwilson [at]
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]
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] Web site:

--------13 of 17--------

After Elections
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

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

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

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

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

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]>
From: Green News DC <dcsgpnews2 [at]>
Subject: Greens blast anti-choice Stupak Amendment in Dem health
bill, foresee voter anger & defections

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 16, 2009

Contacts: Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell
202-904-7614, mclarty [at] Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator,
916-995-3805, starlene [at]

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: / on health
care reform:

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

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 (

The Green Party supports full reproductive rights, including uncompromised
access to abortion services for women
( /

"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 ( 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."

Green Party of the United States
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
 Green candidate database and campaign information:
 Green Party News Center
 Green Party Speakers Bureau
 Green Party ballot access page
 Green Party Livestream Channel

"Face it: The Democratic Party is not for women"
By Kate Harding,, November 10, 2009

"Health Reform: Implications for Women's Access to Coverage and Care"
Kaiser Family Foundation, October 2009

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of
the United States
Fall 2009 issue now online

--------15 of 17--------

Solidarity, Individualism and Public Goods
Obama's Flawed Case Against Single Payer
November 16, 2009

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]

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]

--------16 of 17--------

The New State Solution
by Chris Hedges
Monday, November 16, 2009
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.

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for 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]
   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

  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.