Progressive Calendar 01.19.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2010 15:00:43 -0800 (PST)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   01.19.10

1. Cynthia McKinney 1.19 5pm
2. MLK/change/South 1.19 5:30pm
3. FairVote         1.19 5:30pm
4. Design/future    1.19 6:30pm
5. Food/evolution   1.19 7pm
6. Palestine        1.19 7pm
7. Green barbarians 1.19 7:30pm

8. Alliant vigil    1.20 7am
9. Michael Parenti  1.20 11am
10. Scenic MN       1.20 5:30pm
11. MLK/race TC     1.20 6:30pm
12. Colombia/US     1.20 7pm
13. Palm oil 101    1.20 7pm

14. Ralph Nader   - Up for sale/ privatizing everything
15. Bjorn Kumm    - Haiti's Robespierre/ tragedy/ Toussaint L'Ouverture
16. Dave Lindorff - The blackout on Cuban aid to Haiti
17. Bill Quigley  - Breaking Haiti/ why the US owes Haiti billions
18. Joe Mowrey    - Gaza in plain language
19. New Broom     - Forum on Mpls Police Chief Dolan: should he be reappointed?
20. ed            - Instant gratification

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Cynthia McKinney 1.19 5pm

Dear 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, 1/19 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 1/20, 10am
"Cynthia McKinney, Part 2"

The 6 term US Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party Pres. candidate speaks
about power in Washington DC, her experiences in trying to break the siege
of Gaza... Includes Q & A as well as some music of Anne Feeney and David

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From: dgr [at]
Subject: MLK/change/South 1.19 5:30pm

Free screening on Tuesday, Jan. 19 of "You Got to Move: Stories of
Change in the South" in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

This award-winning documentary will be shown Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 5:30
to 8 p.m. at North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N., Minneapolis. A
discussion will follow.

Directed by Lucy Massie Phenix, this powerful film recalls the courage of
those who organized against racist voter requirements in the South, the
first hospital workers who formed unions in the region and the rural
Appalachian women who challenged environmental destruction in their
communities. The documentary tells the history of the Highlander Folk
School and follows people active in some of the most significant social
movements of the 20th century.

The screening is presented by the University of Minnesota Labor Education
Service as part of its Labor in the Community programs. It is co-sponsored
by the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, Working Partnerships, SEIU
Healthcare Minnesota, Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, Saint Paul
Area Council of Churches, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota
and the Dakotas, Jewish Community Action, Environmental Justice Advocates
of Minnesota and AFRAM-SEIU Minnesota. For more information, call the LES
office, 612-624-5020.

--------3 of 20--------

From: FairVote MN <info [at]>
Subject: FairVote 1.19 5:30pm



Join Special Guests:
Melvin Carter - Russ Stark - Elizabeth Glidden - Pat O'Connor - Jay
Benanav - Jane Prince
AND HOSTS:_ Ken Bearman - Amy Brendmoen - Ellen Brown - Tyrone Bujold -
John Cairns - Roann Cramer - Buzz Cummins - Dave Durenberger - Scott
Dibble - Dan Duddingston - Gail Dorfman - Karla Ekdahl - Don Fraser -
Robin Garwood - Frank Hornstein - Michael Guest - Mike Goldner - Roger
Heegaard - John Hottinger - Dag Knudsen - Shaun Laden - Ron Lattin -
Jeanne Massey - Tom Moss - Kathleen Murphy - Kelly O'Brien - Jane Prince -
Win Rockwell - Carol Rudie - Sandy Sandell - Wy Spano - Tony Solgard -
Troy Trooien - Jack Uldrich - Bob Wahman - BethMarie Ward - Mike Vallante
- Dave Wheeler

TIME: 5:30 - 7:30, PROGRAM AT 6:10

It is a beautiful condominium [3], generously provided by Wellington
Management, located along the river border between Minneapolis and Saint
Paul (one block east of the river and a half block south of the Lake St.
bridge off Marshall). Parking in lot on corner of Marshall and Otis or on
the street. Go to the 2nd floor.

If you can't attend, please contribute to help 2010 be as successful as

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Design/future 1.19 6:30pm

Pax Conversational Salon: "Designing for a Changing Future"

Tuesday, January 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 West
Seventh, St. Paul.  Presentation and discussion on "Designing for a
Changing Future: the Relationship between Energy and Work." Only by
changing the way we live our lives - employment, entertainment,
relationships, etc. can we make any difference in what is coming in the
future. How is this done? Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call 651-227-3228.

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From: George Francis Kane <nup [at]>
Subject: Food/evolution 1.19 7pm

Tuesday, January 19, 7:00pm  Cafe Scientifique:  Human Evolution and the
Cooking of Food<>
Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 W Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55408
Tickets $5-$12.  Call 612-825-8949 for reservations.

Anthropologist and popular science bloggger Greg Laden explores the role of
food and cooking in shaping our species and its evolutionary success.

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine 1.19 7pm

"The Wall at Bethlehem: Can It Become a Bridge?"
Tuesday, January 19, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. St. Bridget Church, 3811 Emerson
Avenue North, Minneapolis.

Israel's wall built around Bethlehem divides not only Israelis from
Palestinians, but also Palestinians from each other. Turning that wall
into a bridge for reconciling divided peoples will be the focus of this
program. Included will be a presentation plus prayer and action steps
toward reconciliation. Participants will join in a "live and walled"
Christmas creche at this event, which is free and open to the public.
Endorsed by: the WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI: Call 612-529-7779.

--------7 of 20--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Green barbarians 1.19 7:30pm

Ellen Sandbeck reads from Green Barbarians: Live Bravely on Your Home
Planet - 7:30pm, Tuesday, January 19, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers (3038
Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis; 612/822-4611). This event is co-sponsored by
Twin Cities Green (2405 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis; 612/374-4581).

These days, we worry about everything: pandemic flu, global warming,
contaminated toys, the purity of our foods and other products. The
abundance of contradictory information out there can make you crazy. In
/Green Barbarians /(available December 29, 2009), Ellen Sandbeck delivers
necessary knowledge and sounds a clarion call to arms, urging us to step
forward and make informed decisions in order to live happier, safer, and
more environmentally responsible lives. The author has said, "I decided
that it would be really fun to research ancient and modern ways to do
things in order to avoid buying in to the propaganda of Big
Business/pharmo/industrial/agrochemical complex. It was really fun, but it
was also infuriating, scary and exhausting."

Hatched during a simple family picnic, Ellen Sandbeck's /Green Barbarians
/urges a return to a more primitive, uncivilized, enjoyable way of life.
With extensive research to support her convincing arguments, Ellen shows
how many modern conveniences - even some that profess to be "green" or
"organic" - are actually harmful to our health and our planet. Did you
know, for example, that the hormones in many natural products like makeup,
shampoo and even soybeans, can lead to impotence and sterility in men and
could even cause autism in young children? That Antibiotic soap is making
us sicker? And that home air fresheners cause asthma?

Ellen's common sense, no-holds-barred approach will appeal to anyone who
feels confused or inundated by the contradictory information about organic
and green products now dominating our marketplace. /Green Barbarians/
shows that by mustering a bit of courage, arming ourselves with
information, and rejecting the notion that antibacterial hand wipes,
organic food, color-preserving laundry detergent and countless other
modern day conveniences are always best, we can live happier, safer, more
ecologically and economically responsible lives.

Ellen Sandbeck is an organic landscaper, worm wrangler, writer, and
graphic artist who lives with (and experiments on) her husband and an
assortment of younger creatures - which includes two mostly grown
children, a couple of dogs, a small flock of laying hens, and many
thousands of composting worms - in Duluth, Minnesota. She is the author of
/Green Housekeeping, Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles/ and /Eat More Dirt./
You can learn more about her and her work at <a

This event is co-sponsored by Twin Cities Green (2405 Hennepin Ave S,
Minneapolis; 612/374-4581). At TC Green, you'll find a diverse collection
items - recycled, reclaimed, natural, organic, sustainable - for your home
and life, all deeply researched to provide you with the best guilt-free
green products at the most affordable prices. Visit the store at 2405
Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis, or shop online at

--------8 of 20--------

From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 1.20 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:

--------9 of 20--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Tom Dooley fellowcommoditydooley [at]> WROTE
Subject: Michael Parenti 1.20 11am


Parenti will be the Martin Luther King Guest Lecturer at:
Century College White Bear Lake MN 55110

His talk is titled REAL DEMOCRACY and CLASS POWER.

Century College/West Campus Theatre 1/2 mile north of 694 on Hwy 120
(Century Ave.)

Parenti bio:
FFI: Tom Dooley 651 645 0295
Century College phone 651 779 3200

--------10 of 20--------

From: amhine2 [at]
Subject: Scenic MN 1.20 5:30pm

Please join Scenic Minnesota and friends for a Celebration and
Fun(d)raising event on

Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 5:30- 8:00 PM

at Kellogg Square in the 3rd floor Boulevard Room, located on the corner
of Kellogg Boulevard & Robert Street in downtown St. Paul.  Enter building
from Robert Street.

Scenic Minnesota will present its new legislative strategy.  Special
Guests will include State Representative Frank Hornstein, who will
announce new proposed legislation to mitigate digital billboards.  Abby
Dart, Executive Director of Scenic Michigan will discuss the moratorium on
new digital billboards which is currently being considered in the Michigan
Legislature. Representatives from Scenic Saint Paul will report on
initiatives that have resulted in nearly 100 billboards coming down in St.
Paul in the past decade, such as this one:

Additional Special Guests, to be announced, will also be attending.
Music will be provided by Media Addicts, a jazz quartet.  Light
refreshments will be served.

Please join us.  It promises to be very eventful.  Feel free to pass this
invitation along to your friends. Everyone is welcome.

Ossian Or Executive Director Scenic Minnesota 651 659 0101

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From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: MLK/race TC 1.20 6:30pm

Wednesday, January 20th - 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
T Building, Gourmet Dining Room (T1000)

Don Shelby,WCCO anchor, will moderate an oral history of African American
race relations in the Twin Cities. Panel members include: individuals who
helped to organize a delegation for the March on Washington in 1963 and
the first African American teacher in Minnesota as well as other
influential African Americans in Minneapolis and St. Paul during this

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Colombia/US 1.20 7pm

Colombia: An Expanding Front of the War on Terror
Wednesday, January 20, 7:00 p.m. May Day Books, 301 Cedar Avenue,

Join others for a panel discussion of the military bases, political
prisoners, and other acts of U.S. intervention. Speakers include: Girardo
Cajamarca, Colombian trade unionist and asylee; Mick Kelly, spokesperson
for the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera; Jennie Eisert, member
of the Anti-War Committee.

Since President Clinton, the U.S. has played a leading role in Colombia's
civil war by giving military aid and support to the right wing government.
Amnesty International and other human rights groups have repeatedly
condemned the U.S. military aid because U.S. tax dollars are spent by the
Colombian government on repressive death squads which threaten, kidnap,
and kill human rights activists, trade unionists and campesinos who stand
up to the U.S. pro-free trade agenda. This winter the Obama administration
expanded the U.S. military operations in Colombia by authorizing seven
additional military bases and is continuing funding its right wing
military. Come learn what you can do in solidarity with the Colombian
people. Organized by: the Anti-War Committee. Endorsed by: WAMM.
 [Gosh not our dearly beloved full of hope Obama! O there must be some
mistake - else we'd have to admit we were wrong and have to do something
about it and golly that might rock a few rich people's yachts and THAT is
UnAmerican!!! Oh oh oh tell us there is some mistake!!! -ed]

--------13 of 20--------

From: Carrie Anne Johnson <greenwarriorbunny [at]>
Subject: Palm oil 101 1.20 7pm

Organizer Workshop: "Palm Oil 101"
Just the Facts on Palm Oil, Cargill, and Indonesia⦠And Next Steps
Wednesday Jan. 20, 2010
Walker Church: Little Basement Room
3104 16th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Want a more in-depth introduction to palm oil's role in deforestation in
Indonesia? Ready to plug in your skills and connections to the campaign to
Clean Up Cargill? Here's your chance!

RAN's own Indonesia expert David Gilbert will be in town and is going to
provide an overview of the issues of palm oil more in depth. Videos,
photos, and case studies will be reviewed so you can feel prepared to
speak in depth on these issues! 1 hour.

We will also¬†briefly review†the Rainforest Action Network's efforts and
the next 6 months of the campaign in the Twin Cities (Carrie Anne Johnson
& Madeline Gardener) 10 min.

Palm-oil free refreshments served. We will be sharing the basement with
FoodNotBombs in the basement and our workshop will be in the smaller room
in the basement.

David Gilbert is a research associate at Rainforest Action Network. He has
lived and worked extensively in the rainforests of the Amazon and
Indonesia, with a special focus on conservation, indigenous rights, and
natural resource extraction. With RAN, he works closely with impacted
communities to investigate the negative impacts of palm oil expansion and
logging in Indonesia's last great tropical forests.

Carrie Anne RAN Twin Cities Volunteer Organizer 612.281.4399 cell
greenwarriorbunny [at]

--------14 of 20--------

Up for Sale
Privatizing Everything
January 18, 2010

Whenever Frank Anderson speaks the way he did at a recent public forum in
Washington, D.C. about "essential state functions performed by
businesses," people better listen. Mr. Anderson is the president of the
Middle East Policy Council, but previously he was the chief of the Near
East and South Asia Division of the CIA. A discussion - relayed over
C-Span - featuring Mr. Anderson, was among established scholars and policy
wonks focused on national security in that tumultuous area of the world.
Mr. Anderson was asked about Blackwater, the controversial corporation
whose profits come from Pentagon and State Department contracts to provide
security to U.S. government personnel in west and central Asia and to
perform such secret operations that it could have an identity crisis with
the CIA.

Blackwater has gotten in trouble for shooting up Iraqi civilians in
unprovoked situations. The corporation's operatives are involved in
sensitive missions, such as the recent double-agent suicide explosion in
Afghanistan. Again and again, the line between corporate and governmental
functions is not only blurred, it has ceased to exist.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL.) called Blackwater a "repeat offender
endangering our mission repeatedly, endangering the lives of our military
and costing the lives of innocent civilians." She asked why Blackwater is
employed anywhere by the U.S. government.

Outsourcing national security activities, right down to interviewing job
applicants for intelligence agencies, is troubling many retired and active
members of the national defense and security agencies. Yet corporate
contracting, launched big time by Ronald Reagan, seems unstoppable. There
are more contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan than there are U.S. soldiers.
Over two hundred thousand of them and counting.

The rationale for these contracts is (1) greater efficiency, (2) greater
talent and (3) more flexible personnel in and out whenever they are

First, throw out the tax dollar savings argument. Mr. Anderson estimates
that the costs are two to three times more when corporations do the work.
Other estimates are higher, even when non-deliveries, contaminated food
and drinking water, embezzlements and fraud that keep Pentagon auditors
awake at night, are not included.

Government acquisition specialists accuse politicians of creating layers
and layers of contractors with their massive, convoluted contracts
dissipating accountabilities. It is a Kafkaesque nightmare of corporate
statism. Of course, all this has led to a government brain and skill drain
over to the corporate sector which pays so much more than government. A
vicious cycle of incapacity and hollowing out sets in and allows the
governmental departments to rationalize more outsourcing.

"No way that we should have allowed businessmen to perform essential state
functions," said Mr. Anderson, especially, he added, in the areas of
"intelligence and the application of violence."

At the same forum, Bruce Riefel, senior fellow in foreign policy at the
Brookings Institution and former CIA officer and specialist in Middle East
Affairs, agreed with Mr. Anderson, bemoaning more and more layers of
reviews and contracts.

Messrs Anderson and Riedel are not loners. Their views often reflect a
larger circle of governmental professionals who have seen the wholesale
stampede of contracting out government from DOD, CIA, AID, and NASA. The
Congress is sort of looking into this mindlessness that is swelling
deficits and escaping standards of public service and ethics. The
prospects for change? Mr. Anderson said "fixing this would require
revolutionary changes." That objective can only come from the proverbial
people - aroused and determined. If that does not happen, what Franklin
Delano Roosevelt called fascism in 1938 - that is corporate control of
government - will tighten its very costly grip.

The corporate government mentality is not restricted to Washington, D.C.
State governments are also outsourcing with similar though lesser waste,
fraud and escape from accountabilities.

Just last week, Virginia's incoming governor, Robert F. McDonnell,
announced that he will let his Cabinet secretaries have dual allegiances
by serving on commercial corporate boards of directors. Virginia is one of
the states that permits this in-built conflict of interest between duty to
the citizens and loyalty to specific corporate profit.

So his new Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Robert Sledd, will continue to
sit on three corporate boards. In his day job, Sledd is responsible for 13
agencies that regulate business policy, according to the Washington Post.
On the side, he sits on the board of a tobacco company and a medical
supplies business.

Down in Arizona, a new slide toward the pits is about to occur. Beset with
a large state deficit, the state officials and their Governor refuse to
end corporate welfare and corporate tax abatements and subsidies. Instead,
get this, they have put "for sale" signs on Arizona's state buildings
hoping to realize $735 million and then start paying the buyers rent!!
(Breaking News--they've got a sale!)

Also up for sale, among other structures, go the legislative buildings,
the Department of Public Safety, the prisons and the state Coliseum.
Organizational psychiatrists and efficiency economists, please help us

Wouldn't it have been better for the state legislators to just sell the
back of their jackets to corporate advertisers? Then at least, there would
be truth in advertising!

For a regular stream of news about privatization visit:

Ralph Nader is the author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, a novel.

--------15 of 20--------

Haiti's Robespierre
The Tragedy of Toussaint L'Ouverture
January 19, 2010

While the mass graves are being filled up in Haiti and international
opinion devotes some fleeting moments of attention to this unhappy nation,
all we hear about is misery, poverty, corruption, chaos. This of course
was to be expected. Haiti is seen as simply another "failed state" one can
only feel sorry for and which will need international intervention. Few
people remember - if they ever knew - that Haiti has a glorious past. It
was the people of Haiti who two hundred years ago made the first serious
attempt to turn the lofty principles of the French into palpable reality.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Haiti, in those days Saint
Domingue, was France's richest colony. Haiti's sugar-plantations and
Haiti's African slaves provided the economic backbone also of
revolutionary France. After the fall of the Bastille, both Haiti's white
slave-owners and emancipated Haitian mulattoes sent representatives to the
revolutionary convention in Paris. Haiti's slave and plantation owners
were relieved that the French monarchy and French commercial controls had
collapsed which opened up an interesting new market in neighboring United
States. Haiti's mulattoes were enthralled by French revolutionary
principles. A Haitian mulatto leader, Lacombe, insisted that freedom,
brotherhood and equality were principles which ought to be observed also
in Haiti. He was immediately hanged by irate French slave owners.

Haiti's popular majority, hundreds of thousands of African slaves, sent no
representatives to revolutionary Paris. Instead they organized themselves,
using the cover of voodoo sessions, which were tolerated by French
plantation owners who thought their slaves were merely gathering to dance
and worship their African gods. But, says the foremost historian of the
Haitian revolution, Trinidadian author C.L.R. James, Haiti's slaves were
already a modern proletariat, collectivized by their work on the big
plantations. And they too heard the rumors from France and the signals of
the revolution.

The first Haitian slave rebellion took place in the month of August 1791.
Twelve thousand slaves in the northern parts of Saint Domingue rose up,
ransacked the plantations and hanged their oppressors from the nearest
palm trees. And this is where Toussaint LOuverture, Haiti's revolutionary
leader, enters world history. He was a literate, black supervisor on a
plantation where his French master seems to have been fairly tolerant and
was protected by Toussaint against rebellious slaves. For a while
Toussaint was seen as a benign Uncle Tom, but he had read his Julius
Caesar and realized that the slaves needed military organization. He
raised a black army and had the satisfaction of defeating two European
invasions, first the troops sent out by revolutionary France to quell the
slave rebellion, after that one hundred thousand British soldiers,
dispatched by prime minister William Pitt the younger. The invaders were
thoroughly beaten by Haiti's African defenders and by yellow fever.

In France, especially the Jacobins showed a great deal of sympathy for
revolutionary Haiti, and in 1793 slavery was banned. However, after
assuming power, the First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte, decided to
reintroduce slavery and, as he put it, "rip the epaulettes off the
shoulders of the Negroes". Napoleon sent new invasion forces. Haiti did
survive as an independent nation but was under perpetual pressure from
France, England, the United States and Spain.  Toussaint LOuverture died
in a French dungeon.

Haiti, it could truly be said, drew the ultimate consequences of the
French revolution. In the United States and in France freedom was born for
white people. In Haiti freedom was born for everybody.

But why did everything later go wrong? C.L.R. James in his marvellous The
Black Jacobins, published in 1938, suggests that Toussaint LOuverture in
fact remained too much of a loyal French citizen. He wanted the formerly
enslaved Haitians to become exemplary Frenchmen. He wanted to show the
world that black men could build a civilized state. French should be
spoken as correctly in Port au Prince as in Paris. And he intervened
brutally against his own followers, who began wondering if they would have
to go on slaving for French plantation owners, white and mulattoes, who
had been invited back to Haiti by Toussaint L`Ouverture.

C.L.R. James sadly concludes that Toussaint LOuverture, Haiti's
revolutionary leader, was in fact a Black Jacobin, a Caribbean
Robespierre, radical but authoritarian, not inclined to listen to his
people. Instead of mobilizing the population of Haiti to claim their
rights, Toussaint first of all wished to be accepted by the contemporary
international establishment and be seen as a reliable upholder of the
colonial economy. After Toussaint, the leaders of Haiti turned out to be
less respectful - concerning the ruthless Dessalines C.L.R. James
famously comments: "His ties to French civilization were of the
slenderest". But they successfully fought Napoleon's forces and in 1804
declared independence. However, in order to be accepted by what has
sometimes been called the civilized world, independent Haiti had to pay
damages to France and to the white slave-owners who had already made
gigantic profits from France's richest colony. In order to pay, Haiti had
to borrow enormous sums from French banks. Haiti remained in the hock for
more than a hundred years, with sad consequences for the Haitian economy.
The final payment to France was made in 1947.

We now hear Barack Obama talk about the common history that joins Haiti
with the United States. Am I the only one who sees a certain resemblance
between Toussaint LOuverture, struggling for respectability, and the
current US president who is so overly respectful in his relations with
Wall Street and other rulers of the world? I suggest Obama, in addition to
Eduardo Galeano's The open veins of Latin America, handed to him by Hugo
Chavez a few months ago, should also read C.L.R. James' The Black Jacobins
to remind him how lofty ideals were once translated into reality.

Bjorn Kumm is a journalist living in  Malm, Sweden. He can be reached at
kumm [at]

--------16 of 20--------

The First Responders
The Blackout on Cuban Aid to Haiti
January 19, 2010

In the critical first days after the quake struck Haiti, only two US
corporate media news organizations reported on Cuba's quick response to
the crisis. One was Fox News, which claimed, wrongly, that the Cubans were
absent from the list of neighboring Caribbean countries providing aid. The
other was the Christian Science Monitor (a respected news organization
that recently shut down its print edition), which reported correctly that
Cuba had dispatched 30 doctors to the stricken nation.

The Christian Science Monitor, in a second article, quoted Laurence Korb,
former assistant secretary of defense and now based at the Center for
American Progress, as saying that the US, which is leading the relief
efforts in Haiti, should "consider tapping the expertise of neighboring
Cuba," which he noted, "has some of the best doctors in the world--we
should see about flying them in".

As for the rest of the US corporate media, they simply ignored Cuba.

In fact, left unmentioned was the reality that Cuba already had nearly 400
doctors, EMTs and other medical personnel posted to Haiti to help with the
day-to-day health needs of this poorest nation in the Americas, and that
those professionals were the first to respond to the disaster, setting up
a hospital right next to the main hospital in Port-au-Prince which
collapsed in the earthquake, as well as a second tent-hospital elsewhere
in the stricken city.

Far from "doing nothing" about the disaster as the right-wing
propagandists at Fox-TV were claiming, Cuba has been one of the most
effective and critical responders to the crisis, because it had set up a
medical infrastructure before the quake, which was able to mobilize
quickly and start treating the victims right away.

The American emergency response, predictably, has focussed primarily, at
least in terms of personnel and money, on sending the hugely costly and
inefficient US military--a fleet of aircraft and an aircraft carrier--a
factor that should be considered when examining that $100 million figure
the Obama administration claims is being allocated to emergency aid to
Haiti. Considering that the cost of operating an aircraft carrier,
including crew, is roughly $2 million a day, just sending a carrier to
Port-au-Prince for two weeks accounts for a quarter of the announced
American aid effort, and while many of the military personnel sent there
will certainly be doing actual aid work, delivering supplies and guarding
supplies, many, given America's long history of brutal military/colonial
control of Haiti, will inevitably be spending their time ensuring
continued survival and control of the parasitic pro-US political elite in
Haiti. [Thanks, Obama. -ed]

Otherwise, the US has basically ignored the ongoing day-to-day human
crisis in Haiti, while Cuba has been doing the yeoman work of providing
basic health care.

It's not that the Cubans were hard to find in Port-au-Prince. Democracy
Now! had a report, as did the Washington-based magazine Cuba News. It's
just that telling Americans about the good works of a poor and unashamedly
Communist nation is not a story that the American corporate media want to
tell. [The rich people don't want it told. So it isn't. -ed]

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest
book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin.s Press, 2006 and now
available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff [at]

--------17 of 20--------

Breaking Haiti
Why the U.S. Owes Haiti Billions
January 18, 2010

Why does the US owe Haiti Billions?  Colin Powell, former US Secretary of
State, stated his foreign policy view as the "Pottery Barn rule".  That is
- "if you break it, you own it".

The US has worked to break Haiti for over 200 years.  We owe Haiti.  Not
charity.  We owe Haiti as a matter of justice.  Reparations.  And not the
$100 million promised by President Obama either - that is Powerball money.
The US owes Haiti Billions - with a big B.

The US has worked for centuries to break Haiti.  The US has used Haiti
like a plantation.  The US helped bleed the country economically since it
freed itself, repeatedly invaded the country militarily, supported
dictators who abused the people, used the country as a dumping ground for
our own economic advantage, ruined their roads and agriculture, and
toppled popularly elected officials.  The US has even used Haiti like the
old plantation owner and slipped over there repeatedly for sexual

Here is the briefest history of some of the major US efforts to break

In 1804, when Haiti achieved its freedom from France in the world's first
successful slave revolution, the United States refused to recognize the
country.  The US continued to refuse recognition to Haiti for 60 more
years.  Why?  Because the US continued to enslave millions of its own
citizens and feared recognizing Haiti would encourage slave revolution in
the US.

After the 1804 revolution, Haiti was the subject of a crippling economic
embargo by France and the US.  US sanctions lasted until 1863.  France
ultimately used its military power to force Haiti to pay reparations for
the slaves who were freed.  The reparations were 150 million francs.
(France sold the entire Louisiana territory to the US for 80 million

Haiti was forced to borrow money from banks in France and the US to pay
reparations to France.   A major loan from the US to pay off the French
was finally paid off in 1947.  The current value of the money Haiti was
forced to pay to French and US banks?  Over $20 Billion - with a big B.

The US occupied and ruled Haiti by force from 1915 to 1934.  President
Woodrow Wilson sent troops to invade in 1915.  Revolts by Haitians were
put down by US military - killing over 2000 in one skirmish alone.  For
the next nineteen years, the US controlled customs in Haiti, collected
taxes, and ran many governmental institutions.   How many billions were
siphoned off by the US during these 19 years?

>From 1957 to 1986 Haiti was forced to live under US backed dictators "Papa
Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvlaier.  The US supported these dictators
economically and militarily because they did what the US wanted and were
politically "anti-communist" - now translatable as against human rights
for their people.  Duvalier stole millions from Haiti and ran up hundreds
of millions in debt that Haiti still owes.  Ten thousand Haitians lost
their lives.  Estimates say that Haiti owes $1.3 billion in external debt
and that 40% of that debt was run up by the US-backed Duvaliers.

Thirty years ago Haiti imported no rice.  Today Haiti imports nearly all
its rice.  Though Haiti was the sugar growing capital of the Caribbean, it
now imports sugar as well.  Why?  The US and the US dominated world
financial institutions - the International Monetary Fund and the World
Bank - forced Haiti to open its markets to the world.  Then the US dumped
millions of tons of US subsidized rice and sugar into Haiti - undercutting
their farmers and ruining Haitian agriculture.  By ruining Haitian
agriculture, the US has forced Haiti into becoming the third largest world
market for US rice.  Good for US farmers, bad for Haiti.

In 2002, the US stopped hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to Haiti
which were to be used for, among other public projects like education,
roads.  These are the same roads which relief teams are having so much
trouble navigating now!

In 2004, the US again destroyed democracy in Haiti when they supported the
coup against Haiti's elected President Aristide.

Haiti is even used for sexual recreation just like the old time
plantations.  Check the news carefully and you will find numerous stories
of abuse of minors by missionaries, soldiers and charity workers.  Plus
there are the frequent sexual vacations taken to Haiti by people from the
US and elsewhere.  What is owed for that?  What value would you put on it
if it was your sisters and brothers?

US based corporations have for years been teaming up with Haitian elite to
run sweatshops teeming with tens of thousands of Haitians who earn less
than $2 a day.

The Haitian people have resisted the economic and military power of the US
and others ever since their independence.  Like all of us, Haitians made
their own mistakes as well.  But US power has forced Haitians to pay great
prices - deaths, debt and abuse.

It is time for the people of the US to join with Haitians and reverse the
course of US-Haitian relations.

This brief history shows why the US owes Haiti Billions - with a big B.
This is not charity.  This is justice.  This is reparations.  The current
crisis is an opportunity for people in the US to own up to our country's
history of dominating Haiti and to make a truly just response.

(For more on the history of exploitation of Haiti by the US see:  Paul
Farmer, THE USES OF HAITI; Peter Hallward, DAMNING THE FLOOD; and Randall

Bill Quigley is Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and
a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a Katrina survivor
and has been active in human rights in Haiti for years with the Institute
for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. He can be reached at:
duprestars [at]

--------18 of 20--------

Gaza in Plain Language
by Joe Mowrey
Dissident Voice
January 19th, 2010

In articles acknowledging the one year anniversary of the assault on Gaza,
blunt and unsparing language about what really happened is often avoided.
Despite sympathy for and support of the Palestinian people in their
struggle against dispossession and oppression, the description of what
took place in January 2009 is sometimes buffered by a misguided sense of
political correctness. Yes, it's terrible. Yes, it is unjust. But we don't
want to be inflammatory or risk offending the sensitivities of those who
through their own willful ignorance cling to the notion that Israel is a
victim state, fighting for its very survival. The argument is that we
should reach out to them and attempt to educate them and win them over.

I'll be more forthright in this commentary.

The sociopathic Zionist administration of Israel, as part of its
continuing brutal colonization of Palestine, set out to deliberately
devastate the already nearly-incapacitated infrastructure which supports
the existence of one and a half million human refugees. The people of
Gaza, second-, third-, and fourth-generation dispossessed Palestinians,
are living in forced exile from land their families inhabited and
cultivated for generations. Half of them are children under the age of
fifteen. Their culture and their economy has been systematically ravaged
by Israel for decades and since 2006 a criminal siege supported by the
United States, as well as much of the international community, has
deprived them of all but the most minimal resources for subsistence. This
oppressed and brutalized population was then bombed, bulldozed and
terrorized mercilessly for twenty-three days.

Below is a small sampling of facts concerning what the fourth largest
military in the world did to a captive and defenseless population. The
source materials used to substantiate these statistics are available on
request. If the reality presented here goes beyond the stretch of your
imagination, you can verify the data yourself. Though you'd better hurry.
Much of this information appears to be disappearing down Google's memory
hole, just as is the fate of the people of Gaza. A source referencing the
percentage of agricultural land destroyed in the onslaught which was used
for a shorter version of this article just a few weeks ago is no longer
archived in Google's cache. Surprise, surprise.

You will also find that exact figures vary somewhat depending on the
source. But whether it was 21,000 structures or 22,000 structures
destroyed, whether 280 schools were destroyed or badly damaged verses 230,
the overwhelming truth of the physical devastation which took place in
Gaza and the fact that this destruction was deliberate and premeditated is
irrefutable. Even the Goldstone Report, itself a document with severe
pro-Zionist overtones issued by a declared Zionist and a supporter of
Israel, states unequivocally, ".[the] deliberate actions of the Israeli
forces and the declared policies of the Government of Israel .
cumulatively indicate the intention to inflict collective punishment on
the people of the Gaza Strip in violation of international humanitarian

We've heard time and again that more than 1400 Palestinians were killed,
over 80% of them civilians, including 342 children. It has become a
familiar talking point in discussions of last year's assault, so much so
that it may have lost its impact on our consciousness. But what we often
aren't reminded of is the horrific level of carefully-planned destruction
of civilian infrastructure in Gaza orchestrated by Israel during Operation
Cast Lead.

Financed and armed by the United States, the Israeli military destroyed
fifteen percent of the structures in Gaza, approximately 22,000 buildings,
including 5300 housing units destroyed or subject to major damage. Another
52,000 homes received some form of structural damage. Over 200 factories
and 700 stores and businesses were destroyed or badly damaged. Of the
residences, factories and businesses completely destroyed, 1300 of the
homes and approximately 25% of the commercial property was deliberately
and painstakingly bulldozed or exploded by Israeli ground forces. Eight
hospitals and 26 primary health care clinics were damaged or destroyed.
More than 280 schools were damaged or destroyed.

Water and sewage treatment facilities as well as electricity
infrastructure were deliberately targeted leaving vast segments of the
population with little or no power or clean water for the duration of the
assault and for weeks and months to follow. Massive amounts of
agricultural lands were systematically bombed or bulldozed. Some estimates
suggest that as much as 80% of the arable land in Gaza has been ruined or
declared off-limits to the people of Gaza over the last decade. Two
million litres of wastewater at Gaza City's sewage treatment plant, bombed
during the assault, leaked into surrounding agricultural land making it

An Israeli television station boasted that Israeli war planes alone,
without accounting for tank, ground troop and warship ammunition, dropped
approximately one thousand tons of bombs on Gaza during Operation Cast
Lead. The effort involved months, if not years, of carefully-considered
target selection, giving lie to any claim that the devastation was
incidental. It requires a stunning level of denial and self-delusion to
pretend the destruction which was achieved in Gaza had anything to do with
Israel's "security" or the targeting of Hamas militants. This was savage
and barbaric collective punishment unleashed on a civilian population,
nothing more. Any suggestion to the contrary must be sharply and
immediately ridiculed as absurd.

This was arguably the first aerial bombing campaign ever conducted on a
defenseless civilian population held captive within a fenced enclosure and
not allowed to escape the assault. It is a measure of the cynical mindset
of the Israeli military that leaflets were sometimes dropped in
neighborhoods about to be bombed suggesting the residents flee. We are
about to destroy your home; you had better get out. Flee to where? Gazans
are not allowed to leave their open-air prison, not even when under
attack. This tactic on the part of Israel also gives lie to the claim that
homes and buildings were targeted because there were Hamas militants
"hiding" inside. Why then warn them to leave before destroying the

Given this litany of horror and the coldly premeditated nature of its
execution, we need to ask what kind of society condones this level of
savagery on the part of their government? What precedent is there for such
monstrous disregard for even the most basic tenets of human decency? We
need look no further than the behavior of our very own United States, of
course. In Iraq, the toll of our psychotic militarism is well over a
million human beings (not counting the years of punishing economic
sanctions) and a large part of the infrastructure of an entire nation of
more than 26 million people has been obliterated. Let's not even begin to
tally up the deaths resulting from U.S. imperialism around the globe in
the last sixty years alone. It would put the Zionists to shame - mere
pikers in the annals of human slaughter.

And what of Gaza today, one year later? Israel's continued illegal siege,
enabled by the U.S., Egypt (a U.S. client state) and the international
community has prevented any substantial amount of building materials from
entering Gaza. Essentially, no reconstruction has been possible. The
people of Gaza live amongst the rubble left to them by Israeli hatred and
aggression. They are attempting to rebuild their society using mud bricks
and materials salvaged from the wreckage.

The next time someone attempts to argue, "Israel has a right to defend
itself," or uses what I call the abusive spouse defense, "Look what you
made me do," tell them, "No". Tell them there is and can never be any
acceptable justification for the deliberate devastation of entire
societies, no matter what political, ideological or "security" issues,
real or imagined, may be at stake. It is unconscionable. It is wrong.
Plainly put, there is no sane argument in favor of such behavior. Those
who believe there is must be contradicted and opposed at every available

Joe Mowrey is an anti-war activist and an advocate for Palestinian rights
who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He can be reached at
jmowrey [at] or via this blog.

--------19 of 20--------

We encourage wide dissemination of this forum invitation

New Broom presents
A forum on
Mpls Police Chief Dolan: should he be reappointed?

Tuesday January 26 7pm Walker Church basement 3104 16th Av S Mpls

Mpls Police Chief Dolan was originally appointed in 2006. His 3 year term
is up this January 2010. If he is reappointed, he would be untouchable for
another three years, because the city would say it cannot afford to buy
out his contract. So now is the time to consider options. If Dolan is not
reappointed, he would be interim chief until a search for a new one is
completed. There is no need to act in haste, though Rybak, who favors
Dolan, might like to have us do so.

During Dolan's three years, the city of Mpls has had to pay out $15
million in citizen claims against misbehaving police. Most of whom were
never disciplined, some awarded medals. Dolan's standard reply when anyone
but the mayor tells or asks him something is "You can't tell me what to


MICHELLE GROSS: Founder and president of Communities United Against Police
Brutality.  She has been a police accountability activist for more than 20
years and was chair of the outcomes subcommittee of the CRA redesign
working group for the City of Minneapolis in 2001-2002.  She is active on
political prisoner issues, especially around the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
She is a member of the infrastructure committee for the National Lawyers
Guild, Twin Cities chapter and is a volunteer with the RNC 8 Defense

DARRYL ROBINSON: Vice-president of Communities United Against
Police Brutality.  He is a survivor of police brutality and was lead
plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit by CUAPB that forced the Minneapolis
Police Department to adopt a number of policy and practice changes.  More
recently, while engaged in copwatch at a homeless shelter in downtown
Minneapolis, Darryl was accosted and beaten by Minneapolis police in July
2008 in an attempt to seize his camera and instill fear in other video
documentarians prior to the RNC.  Despite serious injuries in that attack,
Darryl was involved extensively in copwatch and protest at the RNC and he
continues to document police misconduct at homeless shelters and other

DAVE BICKING: Member of the Mpls Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA),
which recently released an 18 page report on the performance of Chief Tim
Dolan in relation to his impact on Civilian Review.  The report rates
Dolan as "far more negative than positive", especially in the area of
imposing discipline on officers.

The NEW BROOM Coalition is a group of engaged citizens concerned with the
quality of local government.  Our goal is to clarify the meaning of
actions taken by elected officials as they affect us as citizens, analyze
the effects and ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening to us
in our name.  We will name names and call out the truth, sweeping away the
debris left by the usual smoke and mirrors.  We will also identify and
challenge those who have failed us in the performance of their public
trust, holding them accountable for their failures.
   -from the website at

contact: Dave Bicking 612-276-1213
dave [at]

--david shove
shove001 [at]

--------20 of 20--------

Instant Gratification

 Every once in a while some magazine or other will sponsor a contest where
you CHANGE just ONE letter in a target word, then use it in a sentence. So
here are some, based on the above.

 Diploma mills promise instant gradification.

 Picnic food invites instant gnatification.

 Sidewalk ice brings on instant pratification.

 Hammering your finger causes instant dratification.

 The aim of Greek Week is instant fratification.

 The goal of capitalism is instant grabification.

I have of course left the best ones for you to add...


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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                          vote third party
                           for president
                           for congress
                          now and forever

                           Socialism YES
                           Capitalism NO

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