Progressive Calendar 02.22.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 21:04:05 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   02.22.10

1. Peace walk       2.22 6pm RiverFalls WI
2. Community Ag     2.22 6:30pm

3. Black hist/KFAI  2.23 6am
4. MN health bill   2.23 2:45pm
5. WAMM immigration 2.23 6:30pm
6. Davidov/Masters  2.23 6:30pm
7. Plant power      2.23 7pm
8. Health systems   2.23 7pm

9. Welfare Rights  - Urgent action vs foreclosures - call Sens before Wed
10. Kathleen Burge - Tracking a new kind of civil disobedience
11. Jeffrey Sachs  - Climate skeptics: recycled supporters of tobacco etc
12. Moyers/Winship - What are we bid for American justice?

--------1 of 12--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 2.22 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


--------2 of 12--------

From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] usfamily.net>
Subject: Community Ag 2.22 6:30pm

Steps Toward an Alternative Economy through
Community Owned Agriculture (COA)
Monday, February 22, 6:30 - 8 pm
Merriam Park Library
1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul

This workshop continues a discussion about the COA concept, building on
questions and comments from previous attendees.  What is actually under
consideration is the beginning of a road to a 21st-century, high-tech
subsistence economy, an economy that can replace jobs oriented to "the
market" with work meaningful to a community. Agriculture (food security)
is the foundation. (Each workshop stands alone; no previous attendance
needed)

Presenters: Wilhelm and Leslie Reindl
Sponsored by Wilderness Connections, St. Paul
FFI alteravista [at] usfamily.net, 651-633-4410

Wilhelm grew up on and ran a small dairy farm in southern Germany in the
1960s; Leslie was a board member of the Minnesota Food Association in the
1990s and has been active in agricultural issues ever since.  They live in
St. Paul but also own and garden on an ex- dairy farm in Wisconsin.


--------3 of 12--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Black hist/KFAI 2.23 6am

BLACK HISTORY MONTH on KFAI Radio/kfai.org
Live-streaming and archived for 2 weeks after broadcast
on:http://www.kfai.org
90.3fm Minneapolis/106.7fm St.Paul

Check back on the KFAI homepage for more additions: http://www.kfai.org

Tune into KFAI all day on Tuesday February 23rd and Thur..Feb. 25 for
programming devoted to celebrating Black History Month. You will hear
music and discussion from 6am to 6pm produced by KFAI and members of the
community.

TUES. FEB. 23:

*6am-9am*: Dee Henry Williams, Host of A Great Blend of Watercolors
<http://agreatblendofwatercolors>, presents /The Politics, Art, and
Music of Chicago/.

*9am-11am*: Akhmiri Sekhr-Ra presents /Music that Mattered:/ Music
from Black Culture that makes you shout, or even brings a tear eye.
"Take a two hour musical journey that will lead you back to the
promise land of your soul."

*11am-Noon*: Conversations with Al McFarlane
<http://conversationswithalmcfarlane> discussed Black History Month

*Noon-1pm*: /The Communiversity/ explores culture, politics and the
kinship between academia and the community in relation to Black
History Month

*1pm-3pm*: Janis Lane-Ewart, host of Collective Eye
<http://collectiveeye> presents /Celebrating the Magic of Jazz/

*3pm-6pm*: Lady J devotes Rollin' and Tumblin
<http://rollinandtumblin> goes to the intersection of music and magic
with a look into the history of the blues.

---
THUR. FEB. 25, 3pm to 6pm on BLUESLADY'S TIME MACHINE guest host Lydia
Howell(of Catalyst:politics & culture" Fri.11am)

Poetry, politics & plenty of music! From slavery to the Great Migration,
1930s Harlem Renaissance to 1960s Black Arts Movement, civil rights to
Black Panthers. Martin, Malcolm and Mumia. Blues, soul, jazz and spoken
word. From Bessie Smith to Nina Simone, early blues to contemporary
fusion, classic soul to Minneapolis' own eg baily's new cd AMERICAN
AFRIKAN and much more.


--------4 of 12--------

From: Amy Lange <amyl [at] muhcc.org>
 Subject: MN health bill 2.23 2:45pm

The Minnesota Health Plan will have a hearing in the House Health and
Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee

Tuesday February 23rd  at 2:45
State Office Building Room 200
Chair: Rep. Paul Thissen

PLEASE ATTEND AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE MINNESOTA HEALTH PLAN!!!!
WE MUST FILL THE ROOM!!
Please spread the word!!

-- Amy Lange RN, MS Executive Director Minnesota Universal Health Care
Coalition amyL [at] muhcc.org C: 612-281-4308 www.muhcc.org
<http://www.muhcc.org>


--------5 of 12--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: WAMM immigration 2.23 6:30pm

Introductory Meeting: WAMM Immigration Committee

Tuesday, February 23, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Sabathani Community Center,
Third Floor, Conference Center, Room F, 310 East 38th Street,
Minneapolis. Interested in the welfare of immigrants and/or humane
immigration reform? Come be a part of a new committee at WAMM. Learn
more about the truths of immigration and join in a nationwide effort
to pass comprehensive immigration reform. FFI: Call 612-827-5364.


--------6 of 12--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Davidov/Masters 2.23 6:30pm

Pax Conversational Salon: Marv Davidov and Carol Masters Reading:
You Can't Do That

Tuesday, February 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 West
Seventh, St. Paul.  Activist Marv Davidov and his biographer Carol Masters
discuss his biography, You Can't Do That: Marv Davidov, Non-Violent
Revolutionary. "In this full-length biography, we follow the career of
Marv Davidov from his years in the Army (he received an honorable
discharge 'for the good of the army'), living among the Beats on the U of
M campus, participating in the Freedom Rides that helped bring racial
integration to the American South, and on to the rallies, conferences and
demonstrations in Minnesota, serving to raise public awareness of
locally-manufactured bombs and weapons designed to kill and maim. 'I write
good letters from prison,' says Davidov, who has been arrested 50 times
for acts of civil disobedience'" - book description. Biographer Carol
Masters is a long time anti-war activist and writer and serves on the
Board of WAMM. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call 651-227-3228.


--------7 of 12--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Plant power 2.23 7pm

FEB.23:Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet - 7:00pm, Tuesday,
February 23, at Grumpy's Downtown (1111 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis).

In February, the Big Bang Book Club will be talking sunshine. "Eating the
Sun" is the story of photosynthesis - a celebration of how the smallest
things, enzymes and pigments, influence the largest things, the oceans,
the rainforests, and the fossil fuel economy. Oliver Morton offers a
fascinating, lively, profound look at nature's greatest miracle and sounds
a much-needed call to arms - illuminating a potential crisis of climatic
chaos and explaining how we can change our situation, for better or for
worse.

The Big Bang Book Club is a monthly book club for non-scientists that
relishes in folding arts and science into a heady brew. It is sponsored by

Magers & Quinn Booksellers the Center for Science, Technology, and Public
Policy, which works to engage the public on science or technology issues
to deliver the knowledge and experience of Humphrey Institute experts
Secrets of the City - the daily digest of Twin Cities culture Grumpy's
Downtown

For more information about this event, please contact: David Enyeart
Magers & Quinn Booksellers 612/822-4611 davide [at] magersandquinn.com
<mailto:davide [at] magersandquinn.com>


--------8 of 12--------

From: "John Schwarz" <john [at] unitedhealthsystem.org>
Subject: Health systems 2.23 7pm

Health systems course
Debating the Health Care System: Ethics, Access, and Politics
University of MN Continuing Education Department Compleat Scholar Program
View online and to register: http://www.cce.umn.edu/courses/CS-0289.html

Investigate the current debate about the health care system and discuss
what would make it better. Examine the ideals of a perfect system and
learn about the history of health care, both in the United States and
elsewhere. This course will provide you with a greater understanding of
the history of health care, the current debate, and how to be an informed
citizen in regards to health policy issues.

7:00 PM -9:00 PM Tuesdays, Feb 23 to March 23 5 sessions
Univ. of MN St. Paul Campus
This is a non-credit course.

Course Overview
There is almost universal agreement that the United States' health care
system is flawed. Recent debates about health care reform have shown the
intensity of citizen opinion on this topic. In this class you will analyze
the current system and discuss what a "good" health care system would
ultimately look like. You will start out by discussing the ideals of a
perfect system and then compare that to what is currently in the health
care system in this country and in other western nations, including a
brief overview of the history of health insurance dating to the medieval
era. Next, explore what is happening in the health care debate today and
what issues are standing in the way of achieving the "ideal" health care
system in this country. Examine factors such as the economy, ideologies,
political parties, fear, and myth, and the role they play in potential
health care reform. This course will leave you with a greater
understanding of the history of health care, the current debate, and how
to be an informed citizen about health policy issues.

Instructor: John Schwarz is a member of Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace
and is a single-payer/universal care advocate.

I have an MA in Government from Cornell University. Throughout my 3 years
of graduate work health systems were my main research focus. MY general
fields were political theory and political economy, and I passed the PhD
qualifying exam in the former.  I'm director of United Health System, a
nonprofit progressive health policy think tank. I've testified before the
legislature on health care systems 14 times in the past few years and was
appointed to the Minnesota legislature's single payer working group in
2007. I was the main author of the group's final report.

http://www.cce.umn.edu/courses/CS-0289.html


--------9 of 12--------

From: Welfare Rights Committee <welfarerightsmn [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Urgent Action--Call Senators before Wed to Stop Foreclosures and
    Evictions!

Hello everyone.

Please join us this Wednesday in the Senate Committee hearing. Before
Wednesday, please make a call:

Our foreclosure moratorium bill will be getting its first Senate vote on
Wednesday!†Please call the DFL Senators on the committee (see list below).
We especially need the undeclared DFL Senators to hear from their
constituents!†(Doll--Burnsville;†Erickson-Ropes--Winona;
Lynch--Rochester;†Praettner-Solon--Duluth).†Please spread the word!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
12:30 p.m.
Room 15 Capitol

S.F. 2242†Dibble†Tenants mortgage foreclosure proceedings stay allowance;
foreclosure moratorium and tenants rights.

S.F. 2640†Marty†Expungement of eviction records provisions modifications.

S.F. 2595†Dibble†Landlord and tenant expungement in eviction cases
procedures modifications.

S.F. XXXX†Kelash†Tenants Bill of Rights.

-
call these DFL Senators and urge them to "Vote yes on SF 2242, the bill
that puts a moratorium on foreclosures and that also preserves rental
property."  (talking points below and attached)

John Doll 40 DFL 651- 296-5975
Sharon Erickson Ropes 31 DFL 651- 296-5649
Tony Lourey 8 DFL 651- 296-0293
Ann Lynch 30 DFL 651- 296-4848
Yvonne Prettner Solon 7 DFL 651- 296-4188
Patricia Torres Ray 62 DFL 651- 296-4274

FYI, there are three committee members who are authors of our bill. If you
wan to call them and thank them for signing on, cool:

Linda Berglin 61 DFL 651- 296-4261
Linda Higgins 58 DFL 651- 296-9246
John Marty 54 DFL 651- 296-5645

Minnesota Legislators:
STOP Foreclosures and Evictions!
VOTE for the PEOPLE of Minnesota,
NOT for the BANKS!

VOTE YES on HF2604/SF2242
Foreclosure Moratorium, Neighborhood Stabilization
& Tenant Protection Bill.

vote for the bill to put a Moratorium on Foreclosures and stop
foreclosure-related evictions is a vote to keep Minnesotans in their
homes.

vote against HF2604/SF2242 is a vote to support the rich greedy banks,
many who received billions and are doing nothing to support Minnesotans in
this time of economic crisis.

What this bill does:†For Homeowners: The bill puts a two-year
moratorium on foreclosures. The intention is for the bill to affect only
owner-occupied properties. Homeowners are required to pay either their
current payment or 41% of their income during the moratorium.

For Renters: The bill lets renters stay in their homes, paying a fair
market rent (ie, their current rent) to the forecloser.

Some common-sense reasons to pass this bill in 2010:

Save our homes.

Many banks are stonewalling as people try to make adjustments to their
mortgages. The programs we hear about that are supposed to help people
help only a small fraction; these programs need major reform at the
federal level. We need something to make these banks come to the table and
truly negotiate in good faith. Until the feds (or the state) can make
those changes, we need a moratorium so people and banks have time to get
together to work out a deal that benefits everyone. Note that this bill
is not a "free ride." Homeowners have to pay up to 41% of their income to
the banks as both parties work to come together for a new arrangement.

Protect innocent renters.

Renters need the option of keeping their existing tenancy in effect.
Despite current laws, many renters don't even know their landlords are
getting foreclosed on; they have been paying rent, assuming it was going
to the mortgage. There are also cases where "landlords" take the security
deposit and disappear! Let renters stay in their homes, paying a fair
market rent to the forecloser. This bill still allows renters to be
evicted only "for cause," like not paying the rent or damaging the
property.

Save our neighborhoods.

When houses (or apartments) go empty, everyone suffers. Housing values go
down and there are health and safety issues. Empty houses turn into
trashed houses. Lower property values mean less money for local
governments. Stable neighborhoods are safer, healthier neighborhoods. Keep
people housed, keep properties maintained, and even keep some money going
to the lender.

Don't make the state budget deficit worse: Because of the current
economic crisis, home stability is more important than ever. Homeless
families cost cities, counties and the state money. This is not just about
homeowners losing their homes -- there is a trend of the unemployed taking
refuge in the homes of friends and family, for the short or long-term. The
bottom line is empty houses mean more money needed for city services,
health care, social services - there are countless costs (both financial
and social) that arise from foreclosure.  Committee on Health, Housing
and Family Security

Chair: Sen. John Marty
S.F. 2708   Lynch   Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD,
ADHD) mental health professionals diagnosing authority expansion.

--
We have seen some politicians†in the house pull tatics to try to stop this
bill. Your calls are important to lend strength to the politicans that
want to help people stay in there homes.

We all need shelter. Homeless shelters and the streets AREN'T a real home.
Thank you all for your continued support.¬

Welfare Rights Committee PO Box 7266, Mpls MN 55407 pho: 612-822-8020 main
email: welfarerightsmn [at] yahoo.com alt email: welfarerights [at] qwest.net


--------10 of 12--------

Tracking a New Kind of Civil Disobedience
by Kathleen Burge
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Boston Globe
Common Dreams

NEWTON, Mass. - As Newton resident Lisa Dodson, a Boston College sociology
professor in the thick of a research project, was interviewing a grocery
story manager in the Midwest about the difficulties of the low-income
workers he supervised, he asked her a curious question: "Don't you want to
know what this does to me too?''

"What is the worst wrong here?". asks BC professor Lisa Dodson: managers
aiding workers or an unjust economy. (Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff) She did.
And so the manager talked about the sense of unfairness he felt as a
supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who
couldn't feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he
told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system
that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs.

The interview changed the way Dodson talked with other supervisors and
managers of low-income workers, and she began to find that many of them
felt the same discomfort as the grocery store manager. And many went a
step further, finding ways to undermine the system and slip their workers
extra money, food, or time needed to care for sick children. She was
surprised how widespread these acts were. In her new book, "The Moral
Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy,'' she
called such behavior "economic disobedience.''

As Dodson's questions grew more pointed, she began to hear fascinating
stories. Andrew, a manager in a large Midwest food business, said he put
extra money in the paychecks of those earning a "poverty wage,'' punched
out their time cards at the usual quitting time when they had to leave
early for a doctor's appointment, and gave them food.

Andrew had decided that by supervising workers who were treated unfairly -
paid too little and subjected to inflexible schedules that prevented them
from taking care of their families - he was playing a direct role in the
unfair system, and so he was morally obligated to act.

Dodson concluded that Andrew and many like him were following the American
tradition of civil disobedience - this time, against the economy - and
creating a "moral underground.''

But her book, which came out late last year, has provoked debate about the
morality of such acts.

After Dodson talked about her book on a radio program, American Public
Media's "Marketplace,'' some listeners posted comments on the show's
website arguing that supervisors like Andrew are cheating their employers.

Referring to the show's host, a listener from Leesburg, Va., wrote, "I was
surprised that throughout the entire interview, neither Tess Vigeland nor
Ms. Dodson touched on what would seem to me a rather crucial point - that
these 'Ordinary Americans' are stealing from the companies who employ
them.

"The examples Ms. Dodson gave . . . are acts of theft from the companies,
yet they are described as if somehow moral and virtuous. It's one thing
for me to see someone in need and open my wallet; its quite another to
address that need by giving something I've stolen from my neighbor.''

Although Dodson makes clear where she stands - the subtitle of her book
includes the phrase "unfair economy'' - she said she believes the debate
is important.

"I think that this is a really important conversation that we should have
in this country,'' Dodson said. "What is the worst wrong here? Is it to
break a rule or to pass some food over, or is it that we have tens of
millions of children and people in families that are working as hard as
they can and they can't take care of their families?''

Not all supervisors felt troubled by the plight of those who worked under
them. Dodson interviewed supervisors who said they had no obligation
beyond the bottom line of their company; some complained bitterly about
the work ethic of those who filled low-wage jobs.

Dodson has had an unusual career trajectory for an academic. She was a
union activist and an obstetrical nurse in Dorchester before she began
teaching, first at Harvard and now at Boston College. In her first book,
"Don't Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor
America,'' Dodson studied how women and their families coped in the face
of welfare reform as their safety net vanished.

This time, though, she was drawn largely to the stories of those Americans
who worked with the working poor, suggesting that the difficulties of that
group also affect the lives of those who intersect with them.

"I feel as though there's this tendency is this society to kind of think
about low-income people as those people over there,'' she said, "as though
it's an experience that's sort of marginal and distant from those of us
who are not poor.''

In her new book, some of the most wrenching stories are about women who
cannot afford child care and leave their children unattended at home,
asking older children to watch the younger ones. They feared social
service agencies would investigate them for neglect, but they felt they
had no choice if they were going to keep their jobs.

"It was very common for parents to tell me that their kids spent a lot of
time all by themselves at home,'' Dodson said. "That puts the parent into
just an untenable position: You're a bad worker or you're a bad parent.''

 2010 The Globe Media Corp.


--------11 of 12--------

Climate Skeptics Are Recycled Critics of Controls on Tobacco and Acid Rain
by Jeffrey Sachs
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The Observer/UK
Common Dreams

We must not be distracted from science's urgent message: we are fuelling
dangerous changes in Earth's climate

In the weeks before and after the Copenhagen climate change conference
last December, the science of climate change came under harsh attack by
critics who contend that climate scientists have deliberately suppressed
evidence - and that the science itself is severely flawed. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global group of
experts charged with assessing the state of climate science, has been
accused of bias.

The global public is disconcerted by these attacks. If experts cannot
agree that there is a climate crisis, why should governments spend
billions of dollars to address it?

The fact is that the critics - who are few in number but aggressive in
their attacks - are deploying tactics that they have honed for more than
25 years. During their long campaign, they have greatly exaggerated
scientific disagreements in order to stop action on climate change, with
special interests like Exxon Mobil footing the bill.

Many books have recently documented the games played by the climate-change
deniers. Merchants of Doubt, a new book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway
set for release in mid-2010, will be an authoritative account of their
misbehavior. The authors show that the same group of mischief-makers,
given a platform by the free-market ideologues of The Wall Street
Journal's editorial page, has consistently tried to confuse the public and
discredit the scientists whose insights are helping to save the world from
unintended environmental harm.

Today's campaigners against action on climate change are in many cases
backed by the same lobbies, individuals, and organizations that sided with
the tobacco industry to discredit the science linking smoking and lung
cancer. Later, they fought the scientific evidence that sulfur oxides from
coal-fired power plants were causing "acid rain." Then, when it was
discovered that certain chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were
causing the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere, the same groups launched
a nasty campaign to discredit that science, too.

Later still, the group defended the tobacco giants against charges that
second-hand smoke causes cancer and other diseases. And then, starting
mainly in the 1980s, this same group took on the battle against climate
change.

What is amazing is that, although these attacks on science have been wrong
for 30 years, they still sow doubts about established facts. The truth is
that there is big money backing the climate-change deniers, whether it is
companies that don't want to pay the extra costs of regulation, or
free-market ideologues opposed to any government controls.

The latest round of attacks involves two episodes. The first was the
hacking of a climate-change research center in England. The emails that
were stolen suggested a lack of forthrightness in the presentation of some
climate data. Whatever the details of this specific case, the studies in
question represent a tiny fraction of the overwhelming scientific evidence
that points to the reality and urgency of man-made climate change.

The second issue was a blatant error concerning glaciers that appeared in
a major IPCC report. Here it should be understood that the IPCC issues
thousands of pages of text. There are, no doubt, errors in those pages.
But errors in the midst of a vast and complex report by the IPCC point to
the inevitability of human shortcomings, not to any fundamental flaws in
climate science.

When the emails and the IPCC error were brought to light, editorial
writers at The Wall Street Journal launched a vicious campaign describing
climate science as a hoax and a conspiracy. They claimed that scientists
were fabricating evidence in order to obtain government research grants -
a ludicrous accusation, I thought at the time, given that the scientists
under attack have devoted their lives to finding the truth, and have
certainly not become rich relative to their peers in finance and business.

But then I recalled that this line of attack - charging a scientific
conspiracy to drum up "business" for science - was almost identical to
that used by The Wall Street Journal and others in the past, when they
fought controls on tobacco, acid rain, ozone depletion, second-hand smoke,
and other dangerous pollutants. In other words, their arguments were
systematic and contrived, not at all original to the circumstances.

We are witnessing a predictable process by ideologues and right-wing think
tanks and publications to discredit the scientific process. Their
arguments have been repeatedly disproved for 30 years - time after time -
but their aggressive methods of public propaganda succeed in causing delay
and confusion.

Climate change science is a wondrous intellectual activity. Great
scientific minds have learned over the course of many decades to "read"
the Earth's history, in order to understand how the climate system works.
They have deployed brilliant physics, biology, and instrumentation (such
as satellites reading detailed features of the Earth's systems) in order
to advance our understanding.

And the message is clear: large-scale use of oil, coal, and gas is
threatening the biology and chemistry of the planet. We are fueling
dangerous changes in Earth's climate and ocean chemistry, giving rise to
extreme storms, droughts, and other hazards that will damage the food
supply and the quality of life of the planet.

The IPCC and the climate scientists are telling us a crucial message. We
need urgently to transform our energy, transport, food, industrial, and
construction systems to reduce the dangerous human impact on the climate.
It is our responsibility to listen, to understand the message, and then to
act.

 2010 Guardian/UK
Jeffrey Sachs is professor of economics and director of the Earth
Institute at Columbia University. He is also a special adviser to United
Nations secretary-general on the millennium development goals.


--------12 of 12--------

What Are We Bid for American Justice?
by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
Saturday, February 20, 2010
CommonDreams.org

That famous definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of
everything and the value of nothing has come to define this present moment
of American politics.

No wonder people have lost faith in politicians, parties and in our
leadership. The power of money drives cynicism deep into the heart of
every level of government. Everything - and everyone - comes with a
price tag attached: from a seat at the table in the White House to a seat
in Congress to the fate of health care reform, our environment and efforts
to restrain Wall Street's greed and prevent another financial catastrophe.

Our government is not broken; it's been bought out from under us, and on
the right and the left and smack across the vast middle more and more
Americans doubt representative democracy can survive the corruption of
money.

Last month, the Supreme Court carried cynicism to new heights with its
decision in the "Citizens United" case. Spun from a legal dispute over the
airing on a pay-per-view channel of a right-wing documentary attacking
Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential primaries, the decision could
have been made very narrowly. Instead, the conservative majority of five
judges issued a sweeping opinion that greatly expands corporate power over
our politics.

Never mind that in at least two separate polls an overwhelming majority of
Americans from both political parties say they want no part of the Court's
decision; they want even more limits on the power of money in elections.
But candidates and their campaign consultants are gearing up to exploit
the court's gift in the fall elections.

Just this week, that indispensable journalistic website Talking Points
Memo reported that K&L Gates, an influential Washington lobbying firm, is
alerting corporate clients on how to use trade associations like the
Chamber of Commerce as passthroughs to dump unlimited amounts of cash
directly into elections. They can advocate or oppose a candidate right up
to Election Day, while keeping a low profile to prevent "public scrutiny"
and bad press coverage. And media outlets already are licking their chops
at the prospect of all that extra money to be spent buying airtime - as
much as an additional $300 million. That's not even counting production
and post-production costs of campaign ads, which are considerable. A bad
situation just got worse.

If you want to know just how much worse, look to the decision's potential
impact on our court system, where integrity, independence and fair play
count the most when it comes to preserving faith in our system. It's as
susceptible to the lure of corporate wealth as the executive and
legislative branches are.

Ninety-eight percent of all the lawsuits in this country take place in the
state courts. In 39 states, judges have to run for election - that's more
than eighty percent of the state judges in America.

The Citizens United decision makes those judges who are elected even more
susceptible to the corrupting influence of cash, for many of their
decisions in civil cases directly affect corporate America, and a
significant amount of the money judges raise for their campaigns comes
from lobbyists and lawyers.

In the words of Charles W. Hall, a spokesman for the nonpartisan, judicial
watchdog group Justice at Stake, "Corporate bottom lines are not affected
by whether a bank robber gets 10 or 20 years in prison. The bottom lines
are affected however by whether a large scale lawsuit is upheld or
overturned."

During the 1990's, candidates for high court judgeships in states around
the country and the parties that supported them raised $85 million dollars
for their campaigns. Since the year 2000, the numbers have more than
doubled to over $200 million.

The nine justices currently serving on the Texas Supreme Court have raised
nearly $12 million in campaign contributions. The race for a seat on the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year was the most expensive judicial race
in the country, with more than four and a half million dollars spent by
the Democrats and Republicans. Now, with the Supreme Court's Citizens
United decision, corporate money's muscle just got a big hypodermic full
of steroids.

As Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his 90-page Citizens
United dissent, "At a time when concerns about the conduct of judicial
elections have reached a fever pitch... the Court today unleashes the
floodgates of corporate and union general treasury spending in these
races." States that elect their judges, he said, "after today, may no
longer have the ability to place modest limits on corporate electioneering
even if they believe such limits to be critical to maintaining the
integrity of their judicial systems."

No wonder that legal experts, including former Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor (the only living current or former Supreme Court
member to have been an elected state court judge), have called for states
with judicial elections to switch to a system of merit selection. Judges
would be appointed but possibly subject to "retention elections" in which
voters can simply vote thumbs up or down as to whether jurists are
qualified to remain on the bench.

Until such changes are made, the temptations of corporate cash mean that
in those states where judicial elections still prevail there hangs a
crooked sign on every courthouse reading, "Justice for Sale."

Bill Moyers is managing editor and Michael Winship is senior writer of the
weekly public affairs program Bill Moyers Journal, which airs Friday night
on PBS. Check local airtimes or comment at The Moyers Blog at
www.pbs.org/moyers.




From shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu Sun Feb 21 21:09:44 2010
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 21:08:30 -0600 (CST)
From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
To: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: What Are We Bid for American Justice?by Bill Moyers and Michael
    Winship (fwd)


Published on Saturday, February 20, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
What Are We Bid for American Justice?
by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

That famous definition of a cynic as someone who knows the price of
everything and the value of nothing has come to define this present moment
of American politics.

No wonder people have lost faith in politicians, parties and in our
leadership. The power of money drives cynicism deep into the heart of
every level of government. Everything - and everyone - comes with a
price tag attached: from a seat at the table in the White House to a seat
in Congress to the fate of health care reform, our environment and efforts
to restrain Wall Street's greed and prevent another financial catastrophe.

Our government is not broken; it's been bought out from under us, and on
the right and the left and smack across the vast middle more and more
Americans doubt representative democracy can survive the corruption of
money.

Last month, the Supreme Court carried cynicism to new heights with its
decision in the "Citizens United" case. Spun from a legal dispute over the
airing on a pay-per-view channel of a right-wing documentary attacking
Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential primaries, the decision could
have been made very narrowly. Instead, the conservative majority of five
judges issued a sweeping opinion that greatly expands corporate power over
our politics.

Never mind that in at least two separate polls an overwhelming majority of
Americans from both political parties say they want no part of the Court's
decision; they want even more limits on the power of money in elections.
But candidates and their campaign consultants are gearing up to exploit
the court's gift in the fall elections.

Just this week, that indispensable journalistic website Talking Points
Memo reported that K&L Gates, an influential Washington lobbying firm, is
alerting corporate clients on how to use trade associations like the
Chamber of Commerce as passthroughs to dump unlimited amounts of cash
directly into elections. They can advocate or oppose a candidate right up
to Election Day, while keeping a low profile to prevent "public scrutiny"
and bad press coverage. And media outlets already are licking their chops
at the prospect of all that extra money to be spent buying airtime - as
much as an additional $300 million. That's not even counting production
and post-production costs of campaign ads, which are considerable. A bad
situation just got worse.

If you want to know just how much worse, look to the decision's potential
impact on our court system, where integrity, independence and fair play
count the most when it comes to preserving faith in our system. It's as
susceptible to the lure of corporate wealth as the executive and
legislative branches are.

Ninety-eight percent of all the lawsuits in this country take place in the
state courts. In 39 states, judges have to run for election - that's more
than eighty percent of the state judges in America.

The Citizens United decision makes those judges who are elected even more
susceptible to the corrupting influence of cash, for many of their
decisions in civil cases directly affect corporate America, and a
significant amount of the money judges raise for their campaigns comes
from lobbyists and lawyers.

In the words of Charles W. Hall, a spokesman for the nonpartisan, judicial
watchdog group Justice at Stake, "Corporate bottom lines are not affected
by whether a bank robber gets 10 or 20 years in prison. The bottom lines
are affected however by whether a large scale lawsuit is upheld or
overturned."

During the 1990's, candidates for high court judgeships in states around
the country and the parties that supported them raised $85 million dollars
for their campaigns. Since the year 2000, the numbers have more than
doubled to over $200 million.

The nine justices currently serving on the Texas Supreme Court have raised
nearly $12 million in campaign contributions. The race for a seat on the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year was the most expensive judicial race
in the country, with more than four and a half million dollars spent by
the Democrats and Republicans. Now, with the Supreme Court's Citizens
United decision, corporate money's muscle just got a big hypodermic full
of steroids.

As Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his 90-page Citizens
United dissent, "At a time when concerns about the conduct of judicial
elections have reached a fever pitch... the Court today unleashes the
floodgates of corporate and union general treasury spending in these
races." States that elect their judges, he said, "after today, may no
longer have the ability to place modest limits on corporate electioneering
even if they believe such limits to be critical to maintaining the
integrity of their judicial systems."

No wonder that legal experts, including former Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor (the only living current or former Supreme Court
member to have been an elected state court judge), have called for states
with judicial elections to switch to a system of merit selection. Judges
would be appointed but possibly subject to "retention elections" in which
voters can simply vote thumbs up or down as to whether jurists are
qualified to remain on the bench.

Until such changes are made, the temptations of corporate cash mean that
in those states where judicial elections still prevail there hangs a
crooked sign on every courthouse reading, "Justice for Sale."

Bill Moyers is managing editor and Michael Winship is senior writer of the
weekly public affairs program Bill Moyers Journal, which airs Friday night
on PBS. Check local airtimes or comment at The Moyers Blog at
www.pbs.org/moyers.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - 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



  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.