|Progressive Calendar 01.23.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2010 05:00:51 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.23.10 1. Peace walk 1.23 9am Cambridge MN 2. KFAI scheudule 1.23 10am 3. Palestine 1.23 10:30am 4. CUAPB 1.23 1:30pm 5. Northtown vigil 1.23 2pm 6. MN open progs 1.23 2pm 7. Zerby/book 1.23 4pm 8. Besieged Gaza 1.23 6pm 9. Erlinder/Africa 1.23 9pm 10. Palestine 1.24 9:15am 11. Stillwtr vigil 1.24 1pm 12. MPIRG/health 1.24 3pm 13. Ethiopia/novel 1.24 5pm 14. Peace walk 1.24 6pm RiverFalls WI 15. Harvey Wasserman - The Weimar Democrats 16. Marshall Auerbach - It's about the economy/Obama still doesn't get it 17. Carl Finamore - What's missing from critiques of Obama: class 18. Gary Corseri - Form a second (ie non-corporate) party 19. PC Roberts - Security fools/ the rule of law has been lost 20. ed - God's email grace (haiku) 21. ed - Bumpersticker --------1 of 21-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 1.23 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------2 of 21-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: KFAI scheudule 1.23 10am I really RTEALLY hope people in the community will find time to come to one of these forums, ask questions and raise their voices in terms of what they want the direction for KFAI Community Radio to be. The stqation is at a critical crossroads ad YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED. People of color, progressives, and youth (people UNDER 40!) are especially needed!Share widely. This is a followup reminder about informational Q&A meetings taking place this week regarding upcoming schedule changes. All programmers and volunteers who have not attended previous meetings are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings, which will take place this Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be at KFAI in Studio 5. If you have attended any of the previous Q&A meetings regarding program changes, including the one in November at the Heart of the Beast Theater, you can probably skip these January events. There will be no information offered here that was not previously made available to attendees of previous confabs. However, if you have NOT attended any of these informational meetings, you are STRONGLY advised to do so. No definite proposal yet exists, but changes in KFAI's program schedule are coming -- and soon -- and it's important you know the reasons why. There will be plenty of time allotted to answer questions from attendees. These meetings will be your last public opportunity to get background information on this process -- and to ask questions BEFORE the February Program Committee meeting. (The Program Director will present some PRELIMINARY proposals at that meeting, which like all PC meetings will be open to the public. Time and place for this will be announced on the KFAI Forum.) On behalf of staff and the rest of the Program Committee, I strongly encourage you to make the time to attend one of these meetings in Studio 5. Again, that's Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Ron Thums Member, Program Committee P.S. Those who cannot make either meeting can view detailed minutes (and related material) from the November informational Q&A at Heart of the Beast Theater. You will find this info in downloadable PDF form at: www.kfai.org/programming --------3 of 21-------- From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Palestine 1.23 10:30am Saturday, Jan. 23, 10:30am, at Westminster Presbyterian, Meisel Room, 1200 Marquette Av., Mpls: "Why Peace Has Failed Israel and Palestine - Is Mission Possible?" Presentation by Prof. Don Wagner, director of North Park University Center for Middle East Studies. A Presbyterian scholar, Wagner is author of "Anxious for Armageddon: a Call to Partnership for Middle Eastern and Western Christians." Event is free and open to public; light refreshments will be served. Parking available at Orchestra Hall ramp, Marquette and 11th St. More info: Cynthia Arnold, 814-280-3154. Wagner will address the same issue... --------4 of 21-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: CUAPB 1.23 1:30pm Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South http://www.CUAPB.org Communities United Against Police Brutality 3100 16th Avenue S Minneapolis, MN 55407 Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867) --------5 of 21-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 1.23 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------6 of 21-------- From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> Subject: MN open progs 1.23 2pm PROGRESSIVES If you are tired of the betrayals on *The Wars *Foreign Policy *Healthcare *Banker Bailouts *Corporate Takeover of Our Democracy *Loss of Our Civil and Human Rights *Accountability Then do something about it and come join us. Minnesota Open Progressives All Nations Indian Church 1515 23rd St (Corner of Bloominton Ave and 23rd St) Minneapolis Saturday January 23rd 2-6 pm Please feel free to pass on to any and all interested groups and individuals Contact information Michael (612)327-6902 Pam (651)428-3914 Dori (612)414-9528 [Actually, I relish being constantly betrayed by major parties, media, Washington, etc - it makes me feel like a real American. -ed] --------7 of 21-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: Zerby/book 1.23 4pm AUTHOR TALK AND BOOK SIGNING WITH LOCAL AUTHOR: Paul Zerby Saturday, January 23, @ 4-6 pm at Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Ave. South on the West Bank in Minneapolis Local author, Zerby, will read from his book, The Grass is a novel, about Tom Kelly, a young man from Fargo, who is expelled from the University of Minnesota for protesting its treatment of its only black faculty member at the height of McCarthyism, is dumped by his girlfriend, and joins the Army during the Korean War. In his journey, he encounters the racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and repression of America in the 1950s and experiences love and war. The Grass was selected as a finalist for the Bellwether Prize for fiction established by Barbara Kingsolver in support of literature for social change. Books will be available for purchase and signing. For info, call 612-333-4719. --------8 of 21-------- From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Besieged Gaza 1.23 6pm Saturday, Jan. 23, 6pm, at Eagles Nest (New Brighton Community Center), 400 10th St. NW, New Brighton: "Besieged Gaza" with speakers Dr. Hatem Bazian, Osama Abu Irshaid, and (just back from Gaza) Thaer Ahmed. Join Al-Aqsa Institute and American Muslims for Palestine to commemorate one year of the war on Gaza. Free event. Refreshments served. No space for children under 12. Directions: From I-694 take Long Lake Rd. south which becomes 10th St. going east, continue through 2 stoplights, then left into driveway. More info: <http://aqsamn.org/>, email info [at] aqsamn.org or call 612.986.9982. --------9 of 21-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Erlinder/Africa 1.23 9pm Dear Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow! Households with basic cable may watch. Saturday, 1/23, 9pm and Tues, 1/26, 8am "International Tribunals, History Told by the Victors and the Geo-politics of Africa (w/Peter Erlinder), Part 1" William Mitchell College of Law professor Peter Erlinder is the lead counsel in the Military 1 Trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In a talk in Minneapolis, Erlinder outlines the history of international tribunals, projects the course of the International Criminal Court, analyzes the workings of the UN and discusses the context of both the 90 days that became known as the Rwandan Genocide AND the geopolitics of Central Africa. Set your dvrs to record this talk. --------10 of 21-------- From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Palestine 1.24 9:15am Sunday, Jan. 24, 9:15am, at Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, 55th & Penn Av. S., Mpls: "Getting to Holy Land Peace: Varied Views Among America's Jews." Spectrum of political perspectives in US Jewish community on Israel/Palestine conflict will be explored by Barbara Nordstrom-Loeb, Jewish activist and co-chair of J Street Minnesota --------11 of 21-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 1.24 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------12 of 21-------- From: Of the People <info [at] jamesmayer.org> Subject: MPIRG/health 1.24 3pm MPIRG!! The Next Generation Adds Its Force For Minnesota To Lead States On The Way To Single Payer Health Care For All. Join Minnesota Public Interest Research Group's Organizing Director Jamison Tessneer and Board Chair Ryan Kennedy with Host James Mayer on: Of the People This Sunday, January 24, 2010 from 3 to 4 PM AM950 KTNF or www.am950ktnf.com [http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102959636950&s=163&e=001Lc2A5jwi_btrRWznA4aOXXhap5tdJU5TSqXdObYYRJQUh-QwYQPxdkcMDsv0hVW1axKTqtcd6b890rI9pbzWUFTba7BNaQMSJEMZLSJjLGTfSK3CceViIA==] Call us anytime starting at 3:06 (after the "news" break) on our call-in line: 952-946-6205 For almost 4 decades now, MPIRG, the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, has brought university students and community together to research and compile verifiable history and information, using it to take collective action for the common good, with impressive victories in environmental protection, consumer advocacy, fair housing, just to mention a few. And now they are on the move in Health Care with powerful motivation as the inheritors of whatever we do as a civilization. This is your opportunity to join us and find out what they are doing and how we can help on Of the People this Sunday, January 24, 2010 on AM950KTNF. Or if you're out of the broadcast area you can stream us live athttp://www.am950ktnf.com/listen [http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102959636950&s=163&e=001Lc2A5jwi_bsbgHvXNSnGqQbPUB9zuYxfX8YNCxShw6Pss_NHY4QTJzRxDh5CrfcR7uNUETyf8_fzWtmno3NgT59Z8lXQVYcUpuTXBwPqSer9CBrDkyEOPl1V9qo7V2ve] Our guests will be happy to respond to your call on our call-in line: 952-946-6205 anytime, starting at 3:06 after the "news" break. Here are a few words sent to Of the People from MPIRG'S Organizing Director and Public Policy Advocate Tessneer: "In Minnesota, it's time that we take matters into our own hands. Minnesota has always been a leader on many issues including health care and it's imperative that we continue this legacy. Minnesotans need to call on their state legislators through letters, phone calls, and meetings demanding that these decision makers support the Minnesota Health Plan". In recent preliminary conversations with one of our guests as well as MPIRG'S Executive Director they made it clear that going from house to house and 1 to 1 conversations are indispensable parts of this movement, or in the words of James, mobilization and the call to action! --------13 of 21-------- From: Mary Hamel <hamsnapp [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Ethiopia/novel 1.24 5pm January 24th: "Beneath the Lion's Gaze" Author Reading, at Magers & Quinn 5:00 PM, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S. "Maaza Mengiste reads from her novel Beneath the Lion's Gaze. This memorable heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother's prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country. His father, Hailu, a prominent doctor, has been ordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state-sanctioned torture to die. And Dawit, Hailu's youngest son, has joined an underground resistance movement--a choice that will lead to more upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia." Mary Hamel Executive Director Metro Independent Business Alliance www.metroiba.org 651-387-0738 --------14 of 21-------- From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net> Subject: Peace walk 1.24 6pm RiverFalls WI River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from "Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact: d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls, Wisconsin 54022 --------15 of 21-------- Dead Center The Weimar Democrats By HARVEY WASSERMAN January 21, 2010 CounterPunch Massachusetts again reminds us why the Democrats are such losers. They are terminal schizophrenics, driven mad by the corporate dominance of American politics. They cannot govern and make significant change at the same time because the system is geared to make this impossible. Somehow, this core problem must be fixed, or we are lost as a nation, and probably as a species. The currently prescribed role of the Dems is to be the "Party of the People." But they can't attain or retain office without cash flow from the very corporations that are the people's worst enemy. They are thus politically bi-polar. They can never offer meaningful cures for any of America's real problems because they must always return to the trough of the corporations that cause the bulk of them. Because the modern global corporation has human rights (as defined by the 14th Amendment) but no human responsibilities, it is history's most powerful institution. It is above the law, shielded from debt, not accountable for damage to the public, to the people who work for them, or to the planet. The Democratic Party is itself a corporation. Its principle business is to retain political office and to DEFER public attacks on the corporations that provide much of its cash flow. The Democratic shtick is to market the PROMISE of change while making sure it doesn't happen. [Indeed. -ed] Barack Obama took this to a high art while selling himself for the presidential nomination. Once he secured it, he abandoned any commitment to real change and moved to the corporate right. His defining step was escalating the war in Afghanistan. More than half the federal budget goes to the military. All GOP/Tea Bagger talk of cutting deficits is nonsense. The right always wants more cash flow to their favorite corporations, the ones tied to war. Thus when General-DuJour Stanley McChrystal used the corporate media to read the riot act about not impeding martial money, Obama snapped to attention and re-invaded Vietnam. Not even a carefully - desperately! - planted Nobel Prize could deter his headlong leap into the Afghan abyss. Not since Franklin Roosevelt has the public handed a greater mandate - DEMAND - for systemic change than for Barack Obama. Eight years of George W. Bush was the ultimate invitation. But Obama has rejected the opportunities as fast as they've come. The litany from the Great Banker Bailout to the No Single Payer Non-Debate is too painful to repeat. With such servility comes astonishing incompetence. Anyone from Massachusetts (I am a Boston-born native of Red Sox Nation) knows that the Fenway-averse Martha Coakley lost Ted Kennedy's seat the moment she mis-identified Bosox pitcher Curt Schilling as a "Yankees Fan". Either Karl Rove created her for laughs or some ranking Democrat had big money on her losing that seat. Now the punditocracy will ceaselessly shry about Obama's need to "move to the middle". Of course, not a single American who opposed Obama in 2008 will be persuaded to vote for him in 2012 because he has moved to the right. "Dead Center" defines this administration. Like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson before him, Barack Obama has been astonishingly effective in one thing - alienating those who most avidly supported him. His number one enemy has been the base that put him in the White House. Some liberals point confidently to disarray among the Republicans as a saving grace. This desperate delusion requires we forget Germany's Weimar regime, which made the same fatal mistake in the lead-up to World War II. Never underestimate the "outsiders" in a nation where millions are desperate. There are no easy answers for this. In a corporate age, even the questions are hard to discern amidst the corporate fog of war and failure, So far, only dogged, unrelenting issue-by-issue campaigning has been proven effective. Having taking office on the sales pitch of "Hope," the Democrats can be counted on only for timidity and incompetence. The grassroots can do better. As always, that's where our true hope resides. Harvey Wasserman is the author of SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He can be reached at: Windhw [at] aol.com --------16 of 21-------- It's About the Economy Obama Still Doesn't Get It By MARSHALL AUERBACK January 21, 2010 CounterPunch The post-mortems following the Massachusetts Senate by-election are coming in fast and furiously, but by far the most instructive remarks come from the President himself. He clearly doesn.t get it. A majority of Obama voters who switched to Brown said that "Democratic policies were doing more to help Wall Street than Main Street." A full 95 percent said the economy was important or very important when it came to deciding their vote. Surprise, surprise, policies do matter. But what was the President's reaction? ABC News reported, "President Obama said today that he feels he lost a direct connection to the American people in his first year in office because he focused too heavily on policy-making." "If there's one thing that I regret this year is that we were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values," Obama told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview at the White House. The arrogance and presumption of the statement is remarkable. Mr. President, the American people have core values, and they don't encompass political cronyism and tolerance of fraud and corruption. And they go beyond mere reminders that "change takes time". Having persuaded himself that his powers of oratory can solve any problem (even minus the teleprompter?), the President patronizingly suggests that his "change" policies were not the problem, but that he failed in the presentation of them. It's more likely that people were profoundly upset that with the "stuff" that the President and Congress were getting done, and his failure adequately to address the immediate crises that he faced in his first year in office. When Obama continued the Bush/Paulson moves on the bank bailouts, that was the beginning of the end of his "change" Presidency. Health care was simply the confirmation as large proportion of his base was prepared to cut him slack waiting to see what he would do with the issue. In the end, we got a terrible bill, and no amount of salesmanship or nice speeches will change the substance. It does not even deliver on the promise that got most people prepared to hold their collective noses and vote for it, that of eliminating the practice of rescinding policies on the basis of "pre-existing condition". Read the bill. As Yves Smith has highlighted, it allows an out for fraud. Guess what? Not telling your insurer of a preexisting condition, EVEN ONE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT, is fraud! Unbeknownst to most, fraud is the means under current law that insurers deny coverage. The bill preserves the status quo here. A nursing organization with 150,000 members opposed the bill for this very reason. We have major problems in this country: rising unemployment, a stagnating economy, overly expensive health care and a large group of uninsured, which adds to the costs of the latter. How is further enriching insurers and Big Pharma (which the bill does) going to solve the cost problem? Similarly, how has throwing ample financial subsidies at Wall Street, helped the average citizen on Main Street? The President expended so much political capital and goodwill placating the likes of Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Now that they've got their government checks, they can do whatever they like and continue to poison the polity. The health insurance and pharmaceutical industries have followed the playbook, and used the political process the same way. I am sure there are some people angered by too much government spending (aka, "socialism") and others who are genuinely peeved that Obama is not spending enough. But more than that, there remains a profound sense of anger, mixed with helplessness amongst most people. The only means by which these people can manifest this anger (without resorting to riots and burning buildings) is via the ballot box. They will likely continue to take it out on people perceived to be the "ins", the main feeders at the trough, versus the "outs", who have got nothing, but the promise of a lot more economic misery. Massachusetts was the first significant political manifestation of this trend, and if his immediate comments are anything to go by, I doubt Obama will interpret the election result correctly, since his faux populism and reliance on "speaking directly to the American people" merely shows how contrived his Administration has become. President Obama is providing increasingly disturbing parallels with one of Robert Redford's memorable characters, Bill McKay, from "The Candidate". If you recall how that movie ended, McKay escapes the victory party and pulls Lucas into a room while throngs of journalists clamor outside. McKay then asks his political spin doctor, Marvin Lucas, who engineered the victory: "Marvin ... What do we do now?" The media throng arrives to drag them out at that moment and McKay never receives an answer. Today's electorate is waiting for an answer from the President which encapsulates something beyond a mere "change" slogan. Judging from the policies, they've been getting, they aren't happy with the answers. Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator. He is a brainstruster for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Intitute. He can be reached at MAuer1959 [at] aol.com --------17 of 21-------- What's Missing From the Critiques of Obama Class Clowns By CARL FINAMORE January 21, 2010 CounterPunch It has been only a few days since the upset victory in Massachusetts of Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown and already some of America's most prominent liberal commentators have opined on its significance. Most have been blistering criticisms of President Obama for abandoning his popular broad social vision and replacing it with ineffective, patchwork legislation resulting from insider maneuvering. This is most apparent in the health care debacle but appeasing conservatives also explains delaying labor reform, postponing goals of gay equality and shamefully interfering in a woman's personal right to decide when to start a family. Then, there is the catastrophic diversion of billions of dollars to Wall St. instead of funding actual government-run infrastructure projects employing millions, a failure that can only be explained by Obama's persistent refusal to challenge corporate control of anything - employment, health care or banking. Yes, there is plenty to fuel the outrage among left-leaning supporters of Obama. Progressives for Obama even dropped their namesake from their title, renaming themselves Progressive America Rising. For these liberal and radical wordsmiths, that qualifies as much a stinging rebuke as it gets. Another recent example of an extremely disenchanted Obama supporter is Ariana Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post. Normally a keen analyst of beltway politics, she is so distraught in her January 18 article that she calls upon us to "build a movement" in the streets to gain the reform so lacking in Washington. Good for her! After only one short year, Obama is hearing, if not feeling, the wrath of his spurned ardent defenders. Cogent criticisms indeed, but something is missing from them all. They are all consciously avoiding that one forbidden word in American political lexicon, just as entertainers avoided George Carlin's notorious seven-banned words "you can never say on television". I would like to suggest it as the missing eighth word. Ironically, my suggested eighth word is actually included, as a homonym, in the title of Carlin's 1972 classic album entitled the "Class Clown". Since then, many of the banned words from the album have successfully made it to both the "small screen" and the "mainstream" save for the one I inferred - "Class". No one in history is more associated with this word than Karl Marx who was neither the first to coin the phrase nor the first to define it. But Marx did something which no one before had yet done and that was to precisely assert that analyzing different class interests between the rich and the poor explains political outcomes better than anything else. In modern terms, it means understanding that Obama has not betrayed his passionate supporters so much as he has faithfully represented rather well the class he supports, the same wealthy group of capitalists his party represents. Perhaps he may even believe the illusion, as many do, that there are shared basic interests between the rich and the poor. This is where I, however, choose Marx's analysis. Others may deceive themselves into believing that there is equal opportunity in this country as if both rich and poor have the same chances to be homeless and jobless. But, on the contrary, understanding class as the basic origin of social and economic conflicting interests is indispensable to understanding events. Our observations become less personal and more objective. One's appreciation of what is possible is not based on the false promises of a messianic individual but on a more precise analysis that recognizes the specific goals each class considers in their own best interests. A class analysis means not focusing on shallow differences between vacillating Democrats and hard-nose Republicans. Instead, it means understanding that owners of the biggest stash of capital in world history are surely clever enough to establish and control a two-party monopoly that effectively funnels shifting public opinion into safe channels. This more objective view also means giving advice to Obama individually, as so many liberals do, is understood to be a fruitless exercise. Instead, proposals should be aimed outward, to the people, and combined with a strategy to mobilize the overwhelming majority around their own clear social and economic interests. [Amen. -ed] As Huffington concedes, Presidents enacted most of this country's major reforms as a result of movements being organized independently of the two-party Congressional caucuses. She cites the example of Martin Luther King and writes that he "showed that no real change can be accomplished without a movement demanding it". The powerful social movements in American history of trade unions, civil rights, women's rights and gay rights were people organizing around their real class interests even if not openly acknowledged as such. Certainly the record of reforms vindicates the correctness of Huffington's own personal awakening from her experience in the last twelve months: "the realization that our system is too broken to be fixed by politicians, however well intentioned -- that change is going to have to come from outside Washington". In one compelling current example on the international scene, different class interests explains why the US-backed Haitian oligarchy could shamelessly shift $1 million a week to Wall St. bankers for debt interest while working-class and indigent families endured 60% unemployment. This analysis opens the door to figuring out solutions benefiting Haitians more so than the disingenuous and humiliating pity coming out of Washington. But if all this is true, both domestically and internationally, why don't more people realize it? Well, Marx experienced the same denial in his time and explained that "the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: i.e. the class, which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force." Of course, to be fair, most of the intelligentsia who think about class and the ideas of Karl Marx simply reject them after thoughtful consideration. But perhaps there are also not too few who consider their time in the national media would be lessened and perhaps their pocketbooks lightened. For others, the dominant culture is irresistible. In any case, I am not destined to be appearing in the mainstream anytime soon, so I have nothing to lose by sticking to my guns and believing what has worked very well for me figuring out the world since I was out of high school - there is them that got it and then there is the rest of us! And those who are the best organized to achieve their goals usually have the best odds at winning. Someday, when the majority of working people get politically organized as a class as consciously aware of their distinct interests as the capitalists are of theirs, there will be lots of hope renewed and many more social reforms achieved. And as unlikely as it may seem today, once real change begins in this country, I don't anticipate anyone taking Karl Marx's name off the letterhead. Carl Finamore grew up working class in Chicago and first heard a socialist Presidential candidate on the radio when he was 14 years old. Later, he was greatly influenced by veterans of the big labor battles of the 1930s, those who read widely, thought broadly and lived modestly. He retired as President, Air Transport Employees, Local Lodge 1781, IAMAW, AFL-CIO. He remains a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council. Carl Finamore is former President (ret), Air Transport Employees, Local Lodge 1781, IAMAW. He attended the AFL-CIO convention with press credentials from his union. He can be reached in San Francisco at local1781 [at] yahoo.com --------18 of 21-------- Massachusetts Calling Harnessing Independents' Anger and Disillusionment to Form a Second (i.e., Non-corporate) Party by Gary Corseri January 21st, 2010 Dissident Voice I just called the Jack Rice radio show on Air America. Rice's show is new to the D.C. area, so I got through the phone vetting process fairly easily. I waited a minute or two and then Rice took my call on air. I was pretty clear about what I wanted to say. Rice had actually set things up the day before when he said that their likely defeat in the Massachusetts race for the Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy's death would - hopefully! - cause Congressional Democrats to "grow a pair," withdraw the health care reform bill as is, and then re-submit the much stronger bill that the majority of Americans were hoping for when they voted for Obama a year ago. "Grow a pair"? Dems in the millionaires' club of the US Senate are going to "grow a pair"? (And, in deference to the ladies, doesn't he really mean, "get some spine"? I don't think there's any doubt about which part of the human anatomy he's talking.) Rice was speculating aloud that the reason Martha Coakley was ebbing in the polls and Scott Brown was surging was her failure to connect! He trotted out the old saw: Democrats run lousy campaigns, but they govern well; Republicans run great campaigns, but they govern poorly. Apparently, Obama's campaign of '07-'08 got flushed down Rice's memory hole. According to Rice, who characterizes himself as "a Liberal, not a Democrat" at least once a day, voters connect to candidates who can draw the "big picture". Candidates lose voters when they try to talk about policies and details. I interpret: Our eyes glaze over unless the ad, the pitch, is coming at us in digestible five-minute spurts. Obama spelling out the details on how he was going to get us out of Iraq (and NOT get us deeper into Afghanistan), or exactly how his health care reform bill was going to pass unscathed by a hostile, obstructionist minority in the Senate - rich with the promise of campaign funding underwritten by insurance and pharmaceutical companies - that Obama could have easily lost the 09 election. But, Obama spouting "change" and "hope" - the Obama of soaring rhetoric and comfortable cliches, well-groomed and corporate looking: that Obama was sure to win. Martha Coakley was surely not in the mode. She couldn't "connect" to the people. My father used to call that kind of talk "bullsh*t for the birds" (minus the asterisk!) I tried to call-in during the day that Rice was spouting these inanities, the day before the Mass election (pardon the pun, but let's hold Mass now, you good Kennedy Libs!) I wanted to say that the likelihood of Dems growing "backbone" (my word), suddenly transforming into a party for the people, withdrawing the slipshod health care reform bill and standing firm behind a health care bill with teeth and nails and claws was about as likely as a Wall Street tycoon donating a couple of hundred million of his ill-gotten rip-off money to help desperate strangers in Haiti - or anywhere else! But I called too late yesterday and the vetter told me to call earlier next time. So, today I called early into the show. I just managed to get my main point out. I said something like this: the Massachusetts vote was not about the Dems being defeated because they needed to change their game plan and simplify the message ("simplify" as Scott Brown had done!) No, the Mass vote was/is another expression of anger against our system as is - against the status quo. In '07 and '08, Obama was able to tap into that anger with his hyper-cliches. Now the Repubs are doing the same. Same boiling and over-boiling anger - different target. Then I hit Rice with my clincher: We the People (you know, like in the Constitution) need to harness that energy and anger and create a second party - you know, as in non-Republicratic, non-corporate. Rice cut me off. (I imagine he did a slice-across-the-neck gesture in the studio.) I turned up my radio and heard him announce, "I completely disagree with you, Gary" (thanks, Jack!). He spouted the usual malarkey about how a third party - remember, I didn't say "third" party; I said "second, non-corporate, non-Republicratic" couldn't make it in America because we didn't have a parliamentary system, we have a winner-take-all system (might that not be a good reason, I wondered, to think about changing that system into something more - er - democratic?). Rice went on to explain, somewhat befuddlingly, that even if a "third party" managed to get "14%" (why, I wondered, "14"%? Why not a plurality at least?)even - if it garnered 14% of the popular vote, it would not get 14% of the Senate, and blah, blah, blah. So, forget all the hype about democracy and representational government. It seems we're stuck with the Tweedle Party - Dum and Dee, that is (or Dumb and Dumber). Rice is probably a decent enough sort. I'd probably drink a beer with him. (I'd probably drink a beer with George W. Bush, too - as the saying goes - but I'd like to throw the beer in his face - as in one of those good old movies! - The Caine Mutiny - for example. (I'd do it for all the sh*t he has made the world eatpay - homage here to poet e.e. cummings: "There is some sh*t I will not eat!" Omit the asterisks). Can these radio jockeys really believe half of what they say? They serve the system that butters their croissants. They are the corporate media, they are the Republicratic partytwo - sides of the same coin - the tarnished coin, the cheapened, sinking coin of this realm. Independents are now the majority in America - not Republicans, not Democrats. When we wake to our real power, we can change this world. Gary Corseri has had his work published at Dissident Voice and hundreds of other venues, performed at the Carter Presidential Library, had dramas on Atlanta-PBS and elsewhere. He has taught in prisons and universities. His books include Holy Grail, Holy Grail, A Fine Excess, and Manifestations (edited). He can be reached at: gary_corseri [at] comcast.net. --------19 of 21-------- The Rule of Law Has Been Lost Security Fools By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS CounterPunch January 21, 2010 The Rule of Law Has Been Lost Security Fools By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS What is the greatest human achievement? Many would answer in terms of some architectural or engineering feat: The Great Pyramids, skyscrapers, a bridge span, or sending men to the moon. Others might say the subduing of some deadly disease or Einstein.s theory of relativity. The greatest human achievement is the subordination of government to law. This was an English achievement that required eight centuries of struggle, beginning in the ninth century when King Alfred the Great codified the common law, moving forward with the Magna Carta in the thirteenth century and culminating with the Glorious Revolution in the late seventeenth century. The success of this long struggle made law a shield of the people. As an English colony, America inherited this unique achievement that made English speaking peoples the most free in the world. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, this achievement was lost in the United States and, perhaps, in England as well. As Lawrence Stratton and I show in our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions (2000), the protective features of law in the U.S. were eroded in the twentieth century by prosecutorial abuse and by setting aside law in order to better pursue criminals. By the time of our second edition (2008), law as a shield of the people no longer existed. Respect for the Constitution and rule of law had given way to executive branch claims that during time of war government is not constrained by law or Constitution. Government lawyers told President Bush that he did not have to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which prohibits the government from spying on citizens without a warrant, thus destroying the right to privacy. The U.S. Department of Justice ruled that the President did not have to obey U.S. law prohibiting torture or the Geneva Conventions. Habeas corpus protection, a Constitutional right, was stripped from U.S. citizens. Medieval dungeons, torture, and the windowless cells of Stalin.s Lubyanka Prison reappeared under American government auspices. The American people's elected representatives in Congress endorsed the executive branch's overthrow of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Law schools and bar associations were essentially silent in the face of this overthrow of mankind's greatest achievement. Some parts of the federal judiciary voted with the executive branch; other parts made a feeble resistance. Today in the name of "the war on terror," the executive branch does whatever it wants. There is no accountability. The First Amendment has been abridged and may soon be criminalized. Protests against, and criticisms of, the U.S. government's illegal invasions of Muslim countries and war crimes against civilian populations have been construed by executive branch officials as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". As American citizens have been imprisoned for giving aid to Muslim charities that the executive branch has decreed, without proof in a court of law, to be under the control of "terrorists," any form of opposition to the government.s wars and criminal actions can also be construed as aiding terrorists and be cause for arrest and indefinite detention. One Obama appointee, Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, advocates that the U.S. government create a cadre of covert agents to infiltrate anti-war groups and groups opposed to U.S.government policies in order to provoke them into actions or statements for which they can be discredited and even arrested. Sunstein defines those who criticize the government's increasingly lawless behavior as "extremists," which, to the general public, sounds much like "terrorists". In essence, Sunstein wants to generalize the F.B.I.'s practice of infiltrating dissidents and organizing them around a "terrorist plot" in order to arrest them. That this proposal comes from a Harvard Law School professor demonstrates the collapse of respect for law among American law professors themselves, ranging from John Yoo at Berkeley, the advocate of torture, to Sunstein at Harvard, a totalitarian who advocates war on the First Amendment. The U.S. Department of State has taken up Sunstein's idea. Last month Eva Golinger reported in the Swiss newspaper, Zeit-Fragen, that the State Department plans to organize youth in "Twitter Revolutions" to destabilize countries and bring about regime change in order to achieve more American puppet states, such as the ones in Egypt, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic states, Britain, and Western and Eastern Europe. The First Amendment is being closed down. Its place is being taken by propaganda in behalf of whatever government does. As Stratton and I wrote in the second edition of our book documenting the destruction of law in the United States: "Never in its history have the American people faced such danger to their constitutional protections as they face today from those in the government who hold the reins of power and from elements of the legal profession and the federal judiciary that support 'energy in the executive". An assertive executive backed by an aggressive U.S. Department of Justice (sic) and unobstructed by a supine Congress and an intimidated corporate media has demonstrated an ability to ignore statutory law and public opinion. The precedents that have been set during the opening years of the twenty-first century bode ill for the future of American liberty". Similar assaults on the rule of law can be observed in England. However, the British have not completely given up on accountable government. The Chilcot Inquiry is looking into how Britain was deceived into participating in the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq. President Obama, of course, has blocked any inquiry into how the U.S. was deceived into attacking Iraq in violation of law. Much damning information has come out about Blair's deception of the British government and people. Sir David Manning, foreign policy advisor to Blair, told the Chilcot Inquiry that Blair had promised Bush support for the invasion almost a year in advance. Blair had told his country that it was a last minute call based on proof of Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction. Sir William Patey told the inquiry that President Bush began talking about invading Iraq six or seven months prior to September 11, 2001. A devastating official memo has come to light from Lord Goldsmith, Prime Minister Blair's top law official, advising Blair that an invasion of Iraq would be in breach of international law. Now a secret and personal letter to Prime Minister Blair from his Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, has surfaced. In the letter, the Foreign Secretary warned the Prime Minister that his case for military invasion of Iraq was of dubious legality and was likely as false as the argument that removing Saddam Hussein would bring Iraqis a better life. Blair himself must now testify. He has the reputation, whether deserved or not, as one of the slickest liars in the world. But some accountability seems to be heading his way. The Sunday Times (London) reported on January 17 that the latest poll indicates that 52 percent of the British people believe that Blair deliberately misled his country in order to take Britain to war for the Americans. About one quarter of the British people think Blair should be put on trial as a war criminal. Unlike the U.S., which takes care to keep the government unaccountable to law, Britain is a member of the International Criminal Court, so Blair does stand some risk of being held accountable for the war crimes of President George W. Bush.s regime and the U.S. Congress. In contrast, insouciant Americans are content for their government to behave illegally. A majority supports torture despite its illegality, and a McClatchy-Ipsos poll found that 51 percent of Americans agree that "it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism". As our Founding Fathers warned, fools who give up liberty for security will have neither. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. His new book, How the Economy was Lost, will be published next month by AK Press / CounterPunch. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------20 of 21-------- God sends his grace to undisclosed recipients. Rejected as spam. --------21 of 21-------- ------------------ Hungry? Eat hope ------------------ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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