|Progressive Calendar 02.11.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 02:01:26 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 02.11.10 1. Free to marry 2.11 8:30am 2. MN health plan 2.11 3pm 3. V Pakistan war 2.11 4pm 4. Eagan peace vigil 2.11 4:30pm 5. Northtown vigil 2.11 5pm 6. Pray for peace 2.11 6:30pm 7. Iran/Beeman 2.11 7pm 8. Cops/rights 2.11 7pm 9. Torture 2.11 7pm 10. Palestine vigil 2.12 4:15pm 11. Marx/value/price 2.12 7pm 12. Shamus Cooke - The Democrats are coming after Social Security 13. PC Roberts - The U.S. is now a police state 14. Nader/Weissman - The case against corporate speech 15. ed - Bunpersticker --------1 of 15-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Free to marry 2.11 8:30am February 11: Join OutFront Minnesota for a Freedom to Marry Day Rally at the State Capitol. Hundreds of Minnesotans will come together to show their support for equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians as Minnesota clergy and faith leaders demonstrate how their faith traditions support equality and justice. 8:30 AM at the Capitol Rotunda. --------2 of 15-------- From: Rhoda Gilman <rhodagilman [at] earthlink.net> From: Amy Lange <amyl [at] muhcc.org> Organization: MN Universal Health Care Coalition Subject: MN health plan 2.11 3pm Just got notice that The MN Health Plan will be heard in the Judiciary Committee this Thursday Feb 11th at 3:00 p.m. in the Capitol Room 15. * We have the votes. The hearing will focused on a few provisions relating to subrogation and privacy. The committee chair doesn't feel it is necessary to "pack the room" but I want a full house. Sorry for the short notice, I just learned this moments ago. If you can spread the word and help turn folks out, please let me know. Amy Lange RN, MS Executive Director Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition amyL [at] muhcc.org C: 612-281-4308 www.muhcc.org --------3 of 15-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: V Pakistan war 2.11 4pm *Unpermitted* March Against the Expansion of US Military Violence into Pakistan. Thursday, February 11th @ 4pm @ the Central Library in downtown Minneapolis Unpermitted March to disrupt business as usual against the expansion of US military violence into Pakistan and Yemen. Stop business, stop the wars. to get a text alert, text: 40404 to "follow_DASWO" Organized by Direct Action to Stop War and Occupation. FFI: www.daswo.wordpress.com,daswo.tc [at] gmail.com --------4 of 15-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 2.11 4:30pm PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------5 of 15-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 2.11 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------6 of 15-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Pray for peace 2.11 6:30pm February 11: Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates 11th Day Prayer for Peace. 6:30 PM at Presentation of Our Lady Chapel, 1890 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. More information: 651-690-7079. --------7 of 15-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Iran/Beeman 2.11 7pm William Beeman: "Iran: What Lies Ahead" Thursday, February 11, 7:00 p.m. Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701 36th Avenue North (corner of Boone and 36th), New Hope. William O. Beeman, Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at the University of Minnesota, will speak on "Iran: What Lies Ahead." Professor Beeman has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, the Department of Defense, the United Nations, and the European Union, and has testified before the U.S. Congress. His books include: Language, Status and Power in Iran; Culture, Performance and Communication in Iran; The "Great Satan" vs, the "Mad Mullahs": How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other; and Iranian Performance Forms: Keys to Iranian Culture. Discussion follows. This program is free and open to the public. Sponsored by: Northwest Neighbors for Peace. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call Eileen Moran, 763-545-2296. --------8 of 15-------- From: "Krista Menzel (Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace)" <web [at] MPPeace.org> Subject: Cops/rights 2.11 7pm February 11; Balancing Public Safety and Civil Liberties [I don't like this title -ed. A chance perhaps to grill some cops.] The Justice and Peace Studies Program and the Sociology and Criminal Justice Dept. at St. Thomas present a discussion among exceptional Law Enforcement leaders from the St. Paul Police on: Balancing Public Safety and Civil Liberties Thursday, February 11, 2010 7-9p.m. O'Shaughnessy Education Center (OEC) Main Auditorium University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Featured Speakers are: Matthew Bostrom, Asst. Chief, St. Paul Police Department [RNC villain -ed] Colleen Luna, Senior Commander, SPPD West District (which includes the main campus of St. Thomas) and candidate to be the next Chief of the St. Paul Police Dept. Free and open to the public. For more information on this program or on the JPST program, call 651-962-5907 or 651-962-5332. For more information on the Criminal Justice major at UST call Tanya Gladney at 651-962-5638. --------9 of 15-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Torture 2.11 7pm "Healing the Wounds, Reimagining the World" Thursday, February 11, 7:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. On Tuesday, January 25, 2010, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) released allegations of death by torture of three detainees at Guantanamo in 2006. According to Scott Horton's online article (http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/01/hbc-90006368) these men were likely tortured to death by suffocation when rags were stuffed into their mouths so they were unable to breathe. The official report at the time stated that the men had committed suicide. NRCAT requests that these allegations be investigated. The paper article by Horton will be published in the March 2010 issue of Harper's Magazine. Join others for an evening with Professor William Cavanaugh, peace activist Coleen Rowley and Douglas Johnson, executive director of the Center for Victims of Torture. Endorsed by: the St. Joan of Arc/WAMM Peacemakers. FFI: Call Barbara Cracraft, 612-722-4444 or St. Joan of Arc Church, 612-823-8205. --------10 of 15-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Palestine vigil 2.12 4:15pm The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs available. --------11 of 15-------- From: jtmiller jtmiller <jtmiller [at] minn.net> Subject: Marx/value/price 2.12 7pm Working Democracy Meetup Group Book Club "Value, Price & Profit," by Karl Marx How capital exploits labor Friday Feb. 12 & 26, 7:00 pm MayDay Bookstore Discussion Forum Obama & Afghanistan: Vote Peace, Get War Is lasting peace possible under capitalism? Saturday Feb. 20, 7:00 pm MayDay Bookstore --------12 of 15-------- Obama's "Change" Drops Its Mask The Democrats are Coming After Social Security By SHAMUS COOKE CounterPunch February 9, 2010 It's official: the Democrats are coming after Social Security and Medicare. All the backroom scheming and political conspiring is finally out in the open. In an unusually long, 1,800 word editorial, entitled The Truth about the Deficit, published February 7, The New York Times - cheerleader for neoliberalism - gives its solution to the country's debt problems. The main idea is summed up thus: "To truly tame deficits will require serious health care reform [Obama's plan slashes Medicare], the sooner the better. Other aspects of the long-term fiscal problem - raising taxes and retooling [reducing] Social Security - must take place in earnest as the economy recovers". Later the article is clearer: "And then there is Social Security. What is needed is a combination of benefit cuts and tax increases that preserve the program's essential nature". Of course those surviving on Social Security already live in poverty and cannot afford "benefit cuts". Also, to make a dent in the deficit, benefit cuts to social security will have to be quite substantial, to the point where the program's "essential nature" will be destroyed. The New York Times acknowledges that such a course of action will be completely undemocratic and unpopular, but that politicians "must gather the political will to do what must be done". How can politicians destroy these cherished social programs in the face of such popular resistance? By trickery, of course. And this is exactly what Obama has proposed with his "bi-partisan deficit-reduction commission". This idea puts Democrats and Republicans together to create a plan to destroy social programs. This way both parties share the blame, so that no one is to blame. The New York Times reveals Obama's hidden motives: "The deficit commission that Mr. Obama intends to establish could be helpful in breaking this logjam [resistance to cutting social security], by calling for necessary changes that politicians would be loath to broach without political cover". Labor unions and community groups also understand Obama's treacherous motives. Dozens of them - including the AFL-CIO and Change to Win - signed a statement condemning the goals behind Obama's "deficit commission". The statement included some politically savvy points, including the following: "..the proposed budget commission - which will be viewed as a way to actually cut Medicare benefits, while insulating lawmakers from political fallout - could confuse people and undermine the reform effort. And an American public that only recently rejected privatization of Social Security will undoubtedly be suspicious of a process that shuts them out of all decisions regarding the future of a retirement system that's served them well in the current financial crisis". The statement concludes: "We urge you to act decisively to prevent the creation of such an extraordinary and undemocratic budget commission". However, it is not enough for only the leaders of unions and community groups to pressure the Democrats over this issue, especially when Obama has made it clear that he prefers the advice of Wall Street CEO's. Unions and progressive groups must educate and mobilize their base to confront both the Democrats and Republicans over the protection of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. None of the major unions which signed the anti-commission statement have information about this plot on their websites; none are organizing their members to confront this plan - a plan that the entire political establishment is in agreement with. Nor are unions seriously proposing other ideas to fix the deficit, and the fixes are obvious. The military budget must be slashed. Obama plans to spend over $700 billion in 2011 for the military. Both Democrats and Republicans are fine with this. Most Americans are not. More importantly, taxes on the rich need to be increased. The nation's tax structure changed drastically under Reagan and the two Bushes, with taxes on the wealthiest Americans dropping from 70 percent to the present day 35 percent. Under Eisenhower the richest Americans paid 90 percent of their income towards taxes. The loss in revenue that resulted from these giant tax reductions is one of the major contributors to the current deficit. It must be reversed in order to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This is the solution that working-class Americans would prefer, rather than have their Medicare, Social Security, and public education destroyed. It is up to the union movement and community groups to unite and mobilize their members and all working people to demand this as a solution to the deficit and Great Recession. Without a massive mobilization with rank and file participation, the corporate elite will continue to have their way unchallenged, with more bank bailouts and more war. A coalition of progressive groups with clear demands to address the recession will have the backing of the majority of Americans, while being resisted adamantly by both Democrats and Republicans. Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at shamuscook [at] yahoo.com --------13 of 15-------- Anyone Could be Next The U.S. is Now a Police State By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS February 10, 2010 CounterPunch Americans have been losing the protection of law for years. In the 21st century the loss of legal protections accelerated with the Bush administration's "war on terror," which continues under the Obama administration and is essentially a war on the Constitution and U.S. civil liberties. The Bush regime was determined to vitiate habeas corpus in order to hold people indefinitely without bringing charges. The regime had acquired hundreds of prisoners by paying a bounty for "terrorists". Afghan warlords and thugs responded to the financial incentive by grabbing unprotected people and selling them to the Americans. The Bush regime needed to hold the prisoners without charges because it had no evidence against the people and did not want to admit that the U.S. government had stupidly paid warlords and thugs to kidnap innocent people. In addition, the Bush regime needed "terrorists" prisoners in order to prove that there was a terrorist threat. As there was no evidence against the "detainees" (most have been released without charges after years of detention and abuse), the U.S. government needed a way around U.S. and international laws against torture in order that the government could produce evidence via self-incrimination. The Bush regime found inhumane and totalitarian-minded lawyers and put them to work at the U.S. Department of Justice (sic) to invent arguments that the Bush regime did not need to obey the law. The Bush regime created a new classification for its detainees that it used to justify denying legal protection and due process to the detainees. As the detainees were not U.S. citizens and were demonized by the regime as "the 760 most dangerous men on earth," there was little public outcry over the regime's unconstitutional and inhumane actions. As our Founding Fathers and a long list of scholars warned, once civil liberties are breached, they are breached for all. Soon U.S. citizens were being held indefinitely in violation of their habeas corpus rights. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui an American citizen of Pakistani origin might have been the first. Dr. Siddiqui, a scientist educated at MIT and Brandeis University, was seized in Pakistan for no known reason, sent to Afghanistan, and was held secretly for five years in the U.S. military's notorious Bagram prison in Afghanistan. Her three young children were with her at the time she was abducted, one an eight-month old baby. She has no idea what has become of her two youngest children. Her oldest child, 7 years old, was also incarcerated in Bagram and subjected to similar abuse and horrors. Siddiqui has never been charged with any terrorism-related offense. A British journalist, hearing her piercing screams as she was being tortured, disclosed her presence. An embarrassed U.S. government responded to the disclosure by sending Siddiqui to the U.S. for trial on the trumped-up charge that while a captive, she grabbed a U.S. soldier's rifle and fired two shots attempting to shoot him. The charge apparently originated as a U.S. soldier's excuse for shooting Dr. Siddiqui twice in the stomach resulting in her near death. On February 4, Dr. Siddiqui was convicted by a New York jury for attempted murder. The only evidence presented against her was the charge itself and an unsubstantiated claim that she had once taken a pistol-firing course at an American firing range. No evidence was presented of her fingerprints on the rifle that this frail and broken 100-pound woman had allegedly seized from an American soldier. No evidence was presented that a weapon was fired, no bullets, no shell casings, no bullet holes. Just an accusation. Wikipedia has this to say about the trial: "The trial took an unusual turn when an FBI official asserted that the fingerprints taken from the rifle, which was purportedly used by Aafia to shoot at the U.S. interrogators, did not match hers". An ignorant and bigoted American jury convicted her for being a Muslim. This is the kind of "justice" that always results when the state hypes fear and demonizes a group. The people who should have been on trial are the people who abducted her, disappeared her young children, shipped her across international borders, violated her civil liberties, tortured her apparently for the fun of it, raped her, and attempted to murder her with two gunshots to her stomach. Instead, the victim was put on trial and convicted. This is the unmistakable hallmark of a police state. And this victim is an American citizen. Anyone can be next. Indeed, on February 3 Dennis Blair, director of National Intelligence told the House Intelligence Committee that it was now "defined policy" that the U.S. government can murder its own citizens on the sole basis of someone in the government's judgment that an American is a threat. No arrest, no trial, no conviction, just execution on suspicion of being a threat. This shows how far the police state has advanced. A presidential appointee in the Obama administration tells an important committee of Congress that the executive branch has decided that it can murder American citizens abroad if it thinks they are a threat. I can hear readers saying the government might as well kill Americans abroad as it kills them at home - Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Black Panthers. Yes, the U.S. government has murdered its citizens, but Dennis Blair's "defined policy" is a bold new development. The government, of course, denies that it intended to kill the Branch Davidians, Randy Weaver's wife and child, or the Black Panthers. The government says that Waco was a terrible tragedy, an unintended result brought on by the Branch Davidians themselves. The government says that Ruby Ridge was Randy Weaver's fault for not appearing in court on a day that had been miscommunicated to him, The Black Panthers, the government says, were dangerous criminals who insisted on a shoot-out. In no previous death of a U.S. citizen by the hands of the U.S. government has the government claimed the right to kill Americans without arrest, trial, and conviction of a capital crime. In contrast, Dennis Blair has told the U.S. Congress that the executive branch has assumed the right to murder Americans who it deems a "threat". What defines "threat"? Who will make the decision? What it means is that the government will murder whomever it chooses. There is no more complete or compelling evidence of a police state than the government announcing that it will murder its own citizens if it views them as a "threat". Ironic, isn't it, that "the war on terror" to make us safe ends in a police state with the government declaring the right to murder American citizens who it regards as a threat. Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------14 of 15-------- The Case Against Corporate Speech by Ralph Nader and Robert Weissman Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Wall Street Journal Common Dreams Last month, by a vote of 5 to 4, the U.S. Supreme Court gave carte blanche to the world's largest corporations to spend unlimited sums of money to support or oppose candidates for elected office. Big Business domination of Washington and state capitals will now intensify. The case of Citizens United portends dire consequences for the nation's constitutional premise of "we the people," not we the corporations. Our constitution, at its origins and through all of its amendments, makes no mention of corporate entities, only human beings and their government. For 120 years, it was not Congress but the Supreme Court that expanded the definition of "persons" to include for-profit corporations for the purposes of applying constitutional protections. For 30 years, the court has granted First Amendment speech protections to corporations as "artificial persons." But not until last month has the court declared that the First Amendment gives corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. The court majority, self-styled believers in precedent and judicial restraint, overturned two major Supreme Court decisions and reversed decades of campaign-finance laws aimed at preventing corporations from having undue influence over local, state and national elections. Granted, existing campaign-finance rules have been inadequate. Regular news reports document how corporate spending debases elections and elected officials. But that doesn't mean things can't get worse. The court has challenged whatever social mores are left that view no-holds-barred corporate cash register politics as unseemly. The disparities between individual contributions and available corporate dollars mock any pretense of equal justice under the law. A total of $5.2 billion from all sources was spent in the 2008 federal election cycle (which includes 2007 and 2008), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. For the same two-year period, ExxonMobil's profits were $85 billion. The top-selling drug, Pfizer's Lipitor, grossed $27 billion in sales during that time. Such disparities invite corporations to spend whatever they believe necessary to further entrench the corporate state. The money they now spend will be used to reward friends and punish opponents. Corporations know that money makes a big difference when it comes to blocking protections for workers, consumers and the environment. Wall Street, health insurance and drug companies, fossil fuel and nuclear power companies, and defense corporations have been hard at work defeating common-sense reforms that would make them more accountable. Do we want more elected officials to believe that to challenge corporate agendas is to risk their career? There is every reason to expect that there will be much more direct corporate electoral funding in the wake of Citizens United. Funneled without limit through trade associations and shadowy front groups able to run vicious attack ads without identifying their corporate patrons, such lucre will deter good candidates from running for office because they won't want to have anything to do with such dirty politics. What can be done about this accelerating drift into the muck? In the absence of a future court overturning Citizens United, the fundamental response should be a constitutional amendment. We must exclude all commercial corporations and other artificial commercial entities from participating in political activities. Such constitutional rights should be reserved for real people, including, of course, company employees, to enhance a government of, by and for the people. Corporations are not humans. They do not vote. They should not be accorded a constitutional right to influence elections or public policies, especially given their enormous embedded privileges and immunities compared to real people. While the arduous amendment process is underway, the progressive response to Citizens United rests with several legislative and administrative initiatives. First, the Fair Elections Now Act in the House and Senate would provide candidates a base of funding to run viable campaigns without being indentured to corporate money. But these bills would not prevent corporations from overwhelming the public funding. Second, a strong shareholder-protection policy should limit corporate political spending. This would require executives to get support from an absolute majority of their shareholders before spending any money on politics. Third, as the nation's largest customer, the government could refuse, by statute or executive order, to contract with or provide subsidies, handouts and bailouts to any company that spends money directly in the electoral arena. This would help avoid corruption. No longer would Citigroup or General Motors, which were saved by taxpayers and are wards of Washington, be able to lobby as if they were stalwarts of sink-or-swim free enterprise. As Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the minority in Citizens United, demonstrated, the Framers did not intend for the First Amendment to confer protections on businesses beyond freedom of the press. The robust guarantees of the First Amendment are vital for real, live human beings, to ensure their expressive and democratic participative rights are protected. There can be no level playing field between the giant multinational corporations and individual citizens without such differential rights. It is worth recalling that representative democracy is rule by the people. Corporations, first chartered into existence over 200 years ago by the states, were meant to be our servants, not our masters. Especially in the aftermath of Citizens United, it is time to right this relationship. Copyright 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Mr. Nader is a consumer advocate. Mr. Weissman is president of Public Citizen. --------15 of 15-------- ------------ BIG COPPER LOVES YOU ------------ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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