Progressive Calendar 03.11.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 06:29:25 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   03.11.10
                     oppose Dolan reappointment

1. Eagan peace vigil   3.11 4:30pm
2. Northtown vigil     3.11 5pm
3. Palm oil/flyer      3.11 5:30pm
4. Pray for justice    3.11 6:30pm
5. Jeanette Rankin/f   3.11 6:45pm
6. Arab film festival  3.11 7pm
7. Cuban film festival 3.11 7:30pm
8. TC area future      3.11 7:30pm
9. Immigrant USA/play  3.11 8pm

10. THE Dolan vote     3.12 9:30am
11. Sust communities   3.12 12noon
12. Palestine vigil    3.12 4:15pm
13. Women/water/jazz   3.12 6pm
14. Marx on value      3.12 7pm

15. Dave Bicking    - Last chance to oppose Dolan reappointment
16. Jeremy Hammond  - Wash Post on "lunatic" 9/11 "conspiracy theorists"
17. Michael S Smith - Lost liberties in the Age of Obama

--------1 of 17--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 3.11 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.


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

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 3.11 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.


--------3 of 17--------

From: Madeline Gardner <maddyjean [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Palm oil/flyer 3.11 5:30pm

National Palm Oil Week of Action - Grocery Store Flyering in St.
Paul<http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=351846786629&index=1>

Please join us this Thursday, March 11th at Rainbow Foods in St. Paul to
pass out informational postcards about how General Mills' products like
Cheerios are contributing to rainforest destruction. We will meet outside
the front doors of the Rainbow at 5:30 and flyer people leaving and
entering the store.

This simple flyering activity is part of a national week of action
targeting General Mills. Around the country there will be hundreds of
related actions letting many thousands of customers know about GM's role
in rainforest destruction and letting GM know we mean business.

Thursday, March 11, 2010
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Rainbow Foods - Midway 1566 University Avenue West, St. Paul


--------4 of 17--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Pray for justice 3.11 6:30pm

March 11:  Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates 11th Day
Prayer for Peace "Restorative Justice: Circles of Hope" with Reflection by
Jodell Ista. 6:30 PM at the Presentation of Our Lady Chapel, 1890 Randolph
Ave., St. Paul.


--------5 of 17--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Jeanette Rankin/f 3.11 6:45pm

Film Screening: "A Single Woman"
Thursday March 11, 6:45 p.m. The Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701 36th
Avenue North (corner of Boone), New Hope. In honor of International
Women's Day, join others at a film screening of "A Single Woman," on the
life of Jeannette Rankin.

Ms. Rankin (1880-1973) was the first woman elected to the United States
Congress as well as a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and
the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She was a life
long pacifist and the only person in Congress to vote against both World
War I and World War II. Following the film, Clair Dulgan will lead a
discussion of this multi-faceted historical figure and add additional
biographical data. All are welcome at this free program. Sponsored by:
Northwest Neighbors for Peace (NWN4P). Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call Eileen
Moran, 763-545-2296.


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

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Arab film festival 3.11 7pm

Twin cities ARAB FILM FESTIVAL! MAR 11-14 in Minneapolis, MN

Mar 11-14: Sixth Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
March 11-14, 2010, Heights Theatre, Columbia Heights, MN
http://www.mizna.org/arabfilmfest10
(512)788-6920
(partial schedule below/MORE DETAILS at website above)

As always, Mizna's Twin Cities Arab Film Festival guarantees some
excellent Minnesota premiers as well as a number of US premiers and at one
world premier: twenty eight films from the Arab World and far beyond.

For the first time, Mizna's Twin Cities Arab Film Festival includes an
Arab (Persian) Gulf film segment and a children's shorts segment.

OPENING NIGHT: THUR.MAR. 11, 7PM: GARBAGE DREAMS (Egypt) Documentary abot
the Zabaleen, Coptic Christian peasents who ahve been cairo's garbage
collectors for almost 100 years. A compelling drama of three Zabaleen
young men who face class oppression and globalization with resillience and
resourcefulness.


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

From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Cuban film festival 3.11 7:30pm

Cuban Movie Festival 2010
7:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 4-April 8
St. Anthony Main Theatre
www.stanthonymaintheatre.com/
115 Main Street, SE, Minneapolis
Free parking in ramp at 2nd Street SE and 2nd Avenue SE
Admission: $6; 4 for $20

Festival Reception Prior to March 11 Film
Thursday, March 11, 4:00 pm -7 pm
Music and hors d'oeuvres
Picosa restaurant, next to the theater
Sponsored by Dialog One translation services
www.dialog-one.com

March 11 - El Benny by Jorge Luis Sánchez

Music and dancing were like drugs in Cuba in the 1950s, and Benny Moré was
the most intoxicating entertainer of that time, according to Jorge Luis
Sánchez' colorfully entertaining new biopic El Benny. Screened in
competition at the Locarno International Film Festival following its world
premiere in Havana on July 22, the film depicts Moré as a man of the
people whose swinging, mambo-infected jazz made him a household name in
Latin America. With a soundtrack featuring top-line Cuban performers, the
film is cut from the same cloth as hit musical biographies Ray and Walk
the Line, and, given the chance, it should make a substantial claim on
that audience. Wear your dancing shoes! 120 minutes.

General audience discussion with Gloria (La Niña) Rivera, a professional
Cuban singer and musician, and Rene Thompson, Cuban dancer and musician,
both well recognized in the Americas for their talent and knowledge of the
history of Cuban music. Pracna on Main, next to the theater.


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

From: Paul Busch
Subject: TC area future 3.11 7:30pm

Thursday, March 11, 7:30pm - Magers And Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55408

Myron Orfield will lead a panel discussion about his new book Region:
Planning the Future of the Twin Cities
Panelists will include Meg Tuthill (Minneapolis City Council), Dave Van
Hattum (Transit for Livable Communities), and Jesse Mortenson (Metro
Independent Business Alliance).

The Twin Cities region contains 11 counties, 300 cities and townships, and
1,700 unique combinations of tax rates and public services. Historically,
this fragmentation has made it extremely difficult to address the social,
economic, and environmental problems that affect all parts of the region,
yet the Minneapolis and St. Paul area has generally been held in high
esteem as a model of regional cooperation. How do policy planners make it
work--and is it working well enough?

Magers & Quinn Booksellers is pleased to host a discussion about regional
planning issues. Myron Orfield is the Executive Director of the Institute
on Race & Poverty, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings
Institution in Washington, D.C., and an affiliate faculty member at the
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He has also served in both
the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. His latest book Region:
Planning the Future of the Twin Cities (University of Minnesota Press,
March 2010) looks at how we can create thriving integrated neighborhoods
and job growth throughout the region. (Learn more about the book and read
the introduction here.)

Region details the rapid demographic, commuting, and land use changes
facing the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Orfield and Luce examine both
the successes and shortcomings of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council's
regional planning and policy. They thoroughly investigate the economic and
political trends impacting Twin Cities residents' quality of
life--including sprawl, population growth, economic and racial injustice,
a lack of affordable housing, traffic congestion. Extensive maps, graphs,
and charts accompany the authors' argument for careful, coordinated
regional development in the Twin Cities and explanations about how such an
approach should be a model for other regions around the United States.

This event will not only be book reading, it will also be a community
forum, at which citizens and stakeholders alike can share views and
discuss our common future. Myron Orfield will be joined by

 * Meg Tuthill. Meg Tuthill is the new Council Member for Ward 10.
 * Dave VanHattum, Transit for Livable Communities: Transit for
    Livable Communities is a nonprofit organization working to
    reform Minnesota's transportation system. Through advocacy,
    organizing, and research, they promote a balanced
    transportation system that encourages transit, walking,
    bicycling, and thoughtful development.
 * Jesse Mortenson, Metro IBA. MetroIBA is a non-profit
    organization working to support and preserve locally owned,
    independent businesses in the Twin Cities region.  MetroIBA's
    mission is to help the Twin Cities maintain its unique
    community character, provide continuing opportunities for
    entrepreneurs, build economic strength, and create an
    environment where locally owned, independent businesses grow
    and flourish.

All are welcome at what is sure to be a fascinating and useful
evening of conversation and education. This event is free and open
to the public.

Paul Busch, Earth Citizen 651-646-4656


--------9 of 17--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Immigrant USA/play 3.11 8pm

NE 2nd Avenue - a dynamic look at what it is to be an immigrant in
the USA - Mar. 11-13
Pangea World Theater, Teatro del Pueblo, and Intermedia Arts present:
NE 2nd Avenue
Written and performed by Teo Castellanos
-a dynamic look at what it is to be an immigrant in the USA-

March 11-13, 2010
8:00pm
at Intermedia Arts

Video trailer, more info, at:
http://pangeaworldtheater.org/performances/ne-2nd-avenue/
Tickets ($15/12) at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/98402
Series C in the Political Theater Festival www.TeatroDelPueblo.org
(Series A & B at Gremlin in St. Paul Feb 25-March 7)

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami, Teo Castellanos is an actor,
writer and director who works in theater, film and television.  He is
author of War, Revolution, and the Projects a one man trilogy, which he
has toured on the east coast, as well as his one-man show NE 2nd Avenue
based on Miami characters. NE 2nd Avenue won the prestigious Fringe First
Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. You can also catch him
on the silver screen opposite John Leguizamo in Empire. He is Artistic
Director of Teo Castellanos D-Projects, a contemporary Dance/Theater
company whose original work fuses world cultures, religion and music,
examining social issues through performance.  Teo Castellanos D-Projects
has toured South America, China and is currently touring in the U.S. with
their latest work Scratch & Burn. He is currently Executive Producer of
Miami Project Hip Hop (MPH), an annual event that honors Hip Hop roots and
aesthetics.

NE 2nd Avenue is a compilation of characters that make Miami their home.
A jitney (small Caribbean bus) becomes a metaphor for a journey that takes
the audience through the bumpy streets of the city. The work conveys, with
poignancy and humor, the profoundly rich and textured mix of Miami, in
which distinct Cuban, Haitian, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Jewish, LGBT and
African American influences emerge yet, interestingly enough, frequently
in ways that reveal evidence of, often denied, cross-pollination. NE 2nd
Avenue brings voice to Miami's marginalized urban populations, exploring
underlying issues of racism and social injustice, acknowledging the
differences among us and ultimately discovering the common threads that
bind us together.


--------10 of 17--------

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: THE Dolan vote 3.12 9:30am

Friday, March 12, 9:30am Full Mpls council meeting will vote on Dolan
reappointment.  A simple majority (7 votes) is needed.  The Council
approves almost everything that comes to it from Committee, but a high
profile item like this can be different.  Before the meeting, contact all
Council members, especially your own.

If Dolan is NOT approved, the Mayor and the Executive Committee commence a
search.  Dolan continues to serve until another Chief is appointed.

--
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: Last chance to oppose Dolan reappointment

Dear friends,

Now is a critical time to make your voice heard for better policing in
Minneapolis.  This Friday - tomorrow - the City Council will vote whether
to reappoint Police Chief Tim Dolan to another 3-year term.  Based on his
record, he should NOT serve another term.  The City Council needs to hear
from you NOW, before they meet at 9:30am on Friday, March 12.

There has been some good news.  Many people showed up for the public
hearing held by the Public Safety Committee last Wednesday, March 3.
Though that Committee voted to pass on the reappointment of Dolan to the
full Council, there was dissent.  Two members out of the six abstained
from voting, and one member, Cam Gordon, Green Party Council member from
Ward 2, voted against Dolan.  Cam has provided a thorough and excellent
explanation of his opposition, which can be found on his blog, at:
http://secondward.blogspot.com/2010/03/performance-reveiw-on-safe-city.html

Cam has received a lot of praise both for his vote, and for his
willingness to communicate with the public about his reasons.  I hope
other Council members take note.  Also, the Green Party has issued a
statement opposing Dolan's reappointment.

One of the reasons to oppose Dolan is his contempt for the Civilian Police
Review Authority (CRA) and his persistent failure to discipline officers.
The CRA issued a report on his performance relative to CRA
responsibilities.  Though the CRA does not take a position on the
reappointment, their report was highly critical, with documentation of
inadequate acccountability.  That report is available online at:
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cra/docs/CRA-Board_Chief-Dolan_review_2009.pdf

Council member Betsy Hodges (Ward 13) questioned Chief Dolan about the
findings of the CRA report during the Public Safety Committee meeting.
She abstained during the vote, saying that she wanted to evaluate his
answers, which I found to be evasive.  Her constituents, especially,
should thank her for that questioning, and urge her to follow through by
voting no tomorrow.

It is easy to contact your Council member, or write to all Council
members.  A persuasive email with your reasoning is great, but it is most
important just to convey your position.  It would be very helpful if
Council members received lots of emails with just the subject line:
Oppose Dolan's Reappointment!  You can also call.  Chances are you won't
reach your Council member in person, but it is most important that they
just know you called and you care.  Leave a phone message, or tell their
staffer that you oppose the reappointment.

Here's how to make contact:

Kevin Reich, Ward 1   kevin.reich [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Cam Gordon, Ward 2   cam.gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Diane Hofstede, Ward 3   diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Barb Johnson, Ward 4   barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Don Samuels, Ward 5   don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Robert Lilligren, Ward 6   robert.lilligren [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Lisa Goodman, Ward 7   lisa.goodman [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Elizabeth Glidden, Ward 8   elizabeth.glidden [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Gary Schiff, Ward 9   gary.schiff [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Meg Tuthill, Ward 10   meg.tuthill [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
John Quincy, Ward 11   john.quincy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Sandra Colvin Roy, Ward 12   sandra.colvin.roy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Betsy Hodges, Ward 13   betsy.hodges [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Phone number for all is 612-673-22xx   where xx is the Ward number,
examples:  Keven Reich 612-673-2201,   Betsy Hodges 612-673-2213

OR, Minneapolis residents can call 311 and ask who their Council member
is, or have 311 connect you directly to their office.

Please do this!!  It is a matter of justice for the people who have been abused.

Whatever the vote on Friday, we must continue our work to improve the
police department, to bring greater accountabiltiy to reduce the level of
misconduct, and to support the survivors of police abuse.  But it is most
urgent now, when the police chief is being evaluated for reappointment,
and while public attention is focused on the issue.


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

From: Alliance for Sustainability <iasa [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Sust communities conf 3.12 12noon

Twin Cities Sustainable Communities Conference
March 12 & 13, 2010: Linking Citizens and Cities for Sustainable Communities

Two free separate sustainability events are being held in Minneapolis on
March 12 and 13, 2010 (at Central Lutheran Church, 333 12th Street South)
as sponsored by the Alliance for Sustainability, Cities of St. Paul and
Minneapolis, Hennepin County, League of Minnesota Cities, and others.

Local Government Sustainability Workshop, Friday, March 12, noon - 5:00 pm
- for local government staff, elected officials, and citizen leaders

The goals of this half-day event include highlighting effective
sustainability best practices included in the new MN GreenStep Cities
program, helping cities simplify their sustainability efforts by using
sustianability indicators, and linking local governments with grants and
innovative funding tools for thier sustainability projects.

Breakout sessions will include a wide range of topics, relating to energy,
food, forestry, planning, waste collection, transporatation and more.

Neighborhood Sustainability Conference, Saturday, March 13, 8:30 am - 4:30
pm - for volunteers from neighborhoods, congregations, and schools

The goals of this full-day event include supporting volunteers to green
their neighborhood, congregation, school or business, and supporting
citizens to partner with their city to enact sustainable local policies.

Breakout sessions include energy, gardening, transition initiatives, safer
streets, community design, skill building, and much more.
For details, conference agenda, and to register, see www.afors.org
Questions? Call the Alliance for Sustainability at 612/333-1099.


--------12 of 17--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Palestine vigil 3.12 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.


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

From: Carol B <carol1145 [at] live.com>
Subject: Women/water/jazz 3.12 6pm

Laura Caviani Performing Original Jazz - Women & Water Rights Exhibition

Original Jazz Performance by Composer & Pianist Laura Caviani &
Perpich Dance Ensemble inspired by works in Exhibition - Women & Water
Rights: Rivers of Regeneration
Friday, March 12, 6:00 p.m.
Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Regis Center for Art, U of MN-Twin Cities, 405
21st Ave South, Minneapolis
Free and open to the public

In conjunction with exhibition. Women investigating water rights through
art, Women & Water Rights: Rivers of Regeneration art exhibition and
related programs continues through March 25 at the Katherine E. Nash
Gallery. A record-breaking 800 guests attended the opening reception of
this beautiful, informative, and provocative exhibition. See program
website www.womenandwater.net for complete information for continuing
programming, including Speakers Series, March 23, 24, 25, featuring Sandy
Spieler, Gemma Bulos, and Vandana Shiva.


--------14 of 17--------

From: jtmiller jtmiller <jtmiller [at] minn.net>
Subject: Marx on value 3.12 7pm

Friday March 12, 7:00 pm
Working Democracy Book Club
Continuing "Value, Price & Profit," by Karl Marx
at MayDay Bookstore - Cedar Av West Bank

http://www.meetup.org/working-democracy-meetup-group


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

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: Last chance to oppose Dolan reappointment

Dear friends,

Now is a critical time to make your voice heard for better policing in
Minneapolis.  This Friday - tomorrow - the City Council will vote whether
to reappoint Police Chief Tim Dolan to another 3-year term.  Based on his
record, he should NOT serve another term.  The City Council needs to hear
from you NOW, before they meet at 9:30am on Friday, March 12.

There has been some good news.  Many people showed up for the public
hearing held by the Public Safety Committee last Wednesday, March 3.
Though that Committee voted to pass on the reappointment of Dolan to the
full Council, there was dissent.  Two members out of the six abstained
from voting, and one member, Cam Gordon, Green Party Council member from
Ward 2, voted against Dolan.  Cam has provided a thorough and excellent
explanation of his opposition, which can be found on his blog, at:
http://secondward.blogspot.com/2010/03/performance-reveiw-on-safe-city.html

Cam has received a lot of praise both for his vote, and for his
willingness to communicate with the public about his reasons.  I hope
other Council members take note.  Also, the Green Party has issued a
statement opposing Dolan's reappointment.

One of the reasons to oppose Dolan is his contempt for the Civilian Police
Review Authority (CRA) and his persistent failure to discipline officers.
The CRA issued a report on his performance relative to CRA
responsibilities.  Though the CRA does not take a position on the
reappointment, their report was highly critical, with documentation of
inadequate acccountability.  That report is available online at:
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cra/docs/CRA-Board_Chief-Dolan_review_2009.pdf

Council member Betsy Hodges (Ward 13) questioned Chief Dolan about the
findings of the CRA report during the Public Safety Committee meeting.
She abstained during the vote, saying that she wanted to evaluate his
answers, which I found to be evasive.  Her constituents, especially,
should thank her for that questioning, and urge her to follow through by
voting no tomorrow.

It is easy to contact your Council member, or write to all Council
members.  A persuasive email with your reasoning is great, but it is most
important just to convey your position.  It would be very helpful if
Council members received lots of emails with just the subject line:
Oppose Dolan's Reappointment!  You can also call.  Chances are you won't
reach your Council member in person, but it is most important that they
just know you called and you care.  Leave a phone message, or tell their
staffer that you oppose the reappointment.

Here's how to make contact:

Kevin Reich, Ward 1   kevin.reich [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Cam Gordon, Ward 2   cam.gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Diane Hofstede, Ward 3   diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Barb Johnson, Ward 4   barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Don Samuels, Ward 5   don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Robert Lilligren, Ward 6   robert.lilligren [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Lisa Goodman, Ward 7   lisa.goodman [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Elizabeth Glidden, Ward 8   elizabeth.glidden [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Gary Schiff, Ward 9   gary.schiff [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Meg Tuthill, Ward 10   meg.tuthill [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
John Quincy, Ward 11   john.quincy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Sandra Colvin Roy, Ward 12   sandra.colvin.roy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Betsy Hodges, Ward 13   betsy.hodges [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us

Phone number for all is 612-673-22xx   where xx is the Ward number,
examples:  Keven Reich 612-673-2201,   Betsy Hodges 612-673-2213

OR, Minneapolis residents can call 311 and ask who their Council member
is, or have 311 connect you directly to their office.

Please do this!!  It is a matter of justice for the people who have been abused.

Whatever the vote on Friday, we must continue our work to improve the
police department, to bring greater accountabiltiy to reduce the level of
misconduct, and to support the survivors of police abuse.  But it is most
urgent now, when the police chief is being evaluated for reappointment,
and while public attention is focused on the issue.


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

The Washington Post on "Lunatic" 9/11 "Conspiracy Theorists"
by Jeremy R. Hammond
March 9th, 2010
Dissident Voice

An editorial in the Washington Post yesterday slammed Japanese member of
parliament Yukihisa Fujita because he "seems to think that America's
rendering of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, is a gigantic hoax". His
"ideas" about the terrorist attacks "are too bizarre, half-baked and
intellectually bogus to merit serious discussion".

Fujita, the editorial added, is a member of "the lunatic fringe" who "have
spawned a thriving subculture of conspiracy theorists at home and abroad",
and "his views, rooted as they are in profound distrust of the United
States, seem to reflect a strain of anti-American thought". The piece
closes by suggesting that the "fact-averse" Fujita should be removed from
office.

Among Fujita's "bizarre" views are "that shadowy forces with advance
knowledge of the plot played the stock market to profit from it", "the
fantastic idea that eight of the 19 hijackers are alive and well", and
"that controlled demolition rather than fire or debris may be a more
likely explanation for at least the collapse of the building at 7 World
Trade Center".

Yet while serving out a hit piece against the global "9/11 Truth"
movement, it is in fact the editors of the Washington Post who are
demonstrably "fact-averse".

It happens to be an uncontroversial fact that in the days just prior to
the attacks, there was a dramatic increase in trade on put options, and
what made this unusual spike even more mysterious was that it was observed
only in relation to companies directly affected by the attacks, including
United Airlines, American Airlines, and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.
(which occupied 22 floors of 2 World Trade Center).

That this occurred was, in fact, mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report,
which reported that the federal investigations into the suspicious trading
concluded that it was all "innocuous". Many of the trades on the airline
companies, for instance, were traced to a "single U.S.-based institutional
investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda".

In other words, the report acknowledges that the suspicious trades did, in
fact, occur, but dismisses this as evidence of foreknowledge because the
investigation didn't lead to the proper predetermined culprits. This is
illustrative of the kind of standard the 9/11 Commission employed
throughout its so-called "investigation".

The "fantastic" idea that the identity of the hijackers named by the FBI
is in question is an interesting case. At the time, the Washington Post
had also subscribed to this "half-baked" notion. On September 20, 2001,
under the headline "Some Hijackers' Identities Uncertain", the Post
reported, "FBI officials said yesterday that some of the 19 terrorists who
carried out last week's assault on New York and Washington may have stolen
the identities of other people, and their real names may remain unknown".

Among the evidence for this, the Post cited "Saudi government officials"
as having determined "that at least two of the terrorists used the names
of living, law-abiding Saudi citizens". The man in the picture of one of
the alleged hijackers, the Post reported, was Salem Al-Hazmi, who was
actually alive and well, according to Gaafar Allagany, the chief of the
Saudi Embassy's information office in Washington. The real Al-Hazmi's
"passport was stolen by a pickpocket on a trip to Cairo three years"
before. Another of the alleged hijackers was Abdulaziz Al-Omari, who,
Allagany said, was also alive and "an electrical engineer in Saudi
Arabia".

"The uncertainty", the Post continued, "highlights how difficult it may be
to ever identify some of the hijackers who participated in the deadliest
act of violence on American soil. Most of the hijackers' bodies were
obliterated in the fiery crashes".

The Washington Post was not the only mainstream media outlet to report on
the uncertainty over the hijacker's identities. It was widely reported
elsewhere, both in the U.S. and international media.

The U.K.'s Guardian, for instance, reported on September 21 under the
headline "False identities mislead FBI" that "The FBI acknowledged
yesterday that some of the terrorists involved in the attacks last week
were using false identities", with regard to Al-Hazmi and Al-Omari.

FBI acknowledgment of this was also reported by the BBC the same day under
the headline "FBI probes hijackers' identities". The BBC also reported on
September 22 under the headline "Hijack 'suspect' alive in Morocco" that
Waleed Al-Shehri, another alleged hijacker, the "same Mr Al-Shahri" whose
photo the FBI had released as being among the terrorists, "has turned up
in Morocco, proving clearly that he was not a member of the suicide
attack".

On September 23, under the headline "Hijack 'suspects' alive and well",
the BBC reported that yet "Another of the men named by the FBI as a
hijacker ... has turned up alive and well" and that "The identities of
four of the 19 suspects ... are now in doubt". FBI Director Robert Mueller
also "acknowledged ... that the identity of several of the suicide
hijackers is in doubt".

The London Telegraph similarly ran a story on September 23 entitled
"Revealed: the men with stolen identities".

The Washington Post itself ran a follow-up article on September 25
entitled "Some Light Shed On Saudi Suspects", reporting that "U.S.
investigators believe they have positively identified 15 of the 19
hijackers", but that the identify of the other four was still in question.

On September 27, even while releasing the official list of hijackers along
with their photos, the FBI confirmed that uncertainty remained over some
of the identities. Mueller acknowledged that the FBI was still
"determining whether when these individuals came to the United States
these were their real names, or they changed their names for use with
false identification in the United States; that false identification being
used up to and on the day of September 11th, and that false identification
used to purchase the tickets, and thereby being the name on the manifests
of the planes that went down".

Yet, despite these facts, neither the Washington Post nor any other
mainstream media outlet has ever offered any follow-up reports explaining
whether, and how, this uncertainty was finally resolved. The FBI has never
clarified this matter to the public. The 9/11 Commission didn't so much as
even address the question, even to attempt to clear up the matter.

And so it remains an uncontroversial fact, as far as the public is
concerned, that the identify of at least several of the hijackers remains
in question. Why the government has refused to clarify this issue, and why
the media now report anyone who doesn't have a short memory about 9/11 as
being part of a "lunatic fringe" are also open questions that warrant some
kind of explanation.

Finally, there is the matter of the collapse of the World Trade Center
buildings. Many people might be surprised to learn that not only two
towers fell on September 11. In fact, a third skyscraper also collapsed
that day neatly into its own footprint. It is also an uncontroversial fact
that proper investigative procedures for such disasters, particularly in
cases where a crime has been committed, were contemptuously ignored in the
case of the WTC.

For starters, the evidence from the crime scene in the form of the remains
of the three buildings was removed and immediately destroyed. Destruction
of evidence is, itself, a crime, and yet that is what happened. Other
standard procedures were also ignored, such as testing for any kinds of
accelerants that may have been responsible for the building failures.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released
what is supposed to be the conclusive report on the building collapses.
Yet, the explanation it provides, too, is inadequate, to say the least.
The computer models NIST offers for the collapse of WTC 7, for instance,
look just like one would expect them to, for the kind of collapse NIST
says occurred there. You first see one load-bearing column fail, leading
to the progressive failure of other columns until the entire structure has
eventually crumbled.

The problem is that these models look absolutely nothing like the actual
collapse, documented on video. A simple look at any available footage of
the collapse is enough to demonstrate that all major load-bearing columns
of the building failed nearly simultaneously. You see the penthouse of the
building sinking into the core just seconds before the entire structure,
all perimeter columns, fail at precisely the same instant, causing the
building to collapse straight down  at free-fall acceleration into what
should have been the path of greatest resistance according to NIST's own
assessment.

The similarities to videos of building "implosions" under controlled
demolition are astonishing. Yet NIST dismisses the possibility that
charges could have been used largely on the basis that, if this had been
+the case, there would have been eyewitness reports of the explosions. The
problem with this is that there were, in fact, a great many eyewitness
reports of explosions, both prior to and during the collapse.

NIST also completely ignored the actual leading alternative hypothesis,
which was that a substance called thermite (or its U.S. Department of
Defense-patented variation, thermate) may have been used to cut the
building's columns, rather than, or in conjunction with, traditional
explosive demolitions. Evidence for this hypothesis comes not only in form
of empirical observation about the actual nature of the collapse from
video footage (including the presence of molten steel), but also in traces
of what appears to be thermite in the dust from the collapses.

Independent scientific inquiries into the collapse have led to the
discovery of "distinctive red/gray chips in all of the samples" that, when
studied, all showed "marked similarities" and were "found to be an
unreacted thermitic material". These findings were included in a report
entitled, "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11
World Trade Center Catastrophe" that was published last year in The Open
Chemical Physics Journal.

Though this report was widely circulated on the internet and among
alternative media sources, the Washington Post never bothered to report
these findings published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Whatever theories about the events of September 11, 2001 one may subscribe
to, what everyone surely can agree upon is that the facts should matter.
The editors of the Washington Post might perhaps begin by acknowledging
just a few of the more non-controversial facts, including the fact that
suspicious trading did occur prior to 9/11, the fact that the identities
of at least some of the hijackers has been cast in doubt and that this has
never been clarified to the public, and the fact that the collapses of the
three WTC buildings has never been adequately investigated.

Surely, that proper credible investigations into the events of 9/11 should
occur  - indeed, should have occurred long ago - should also be
non-controversial, no matter which conspiracy theory one believes, whether
it belongs to "the lunatic fringe" or to the U.S. government.

Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website
providing news, analysis, and opinion from outside the standard framework
provided by government officials and the corporate media. He was among the
recipients of the 2010 Project Censored Awards for outstanding
investigative journalism and is the author of The Rejection of Palestinian
Self-Determination. You can contact him at:
jeremy [at] foreignpolicyjournal.com.


--------17 of 17--------

Lost Liberties in the Age of Obama
- Michael Steven Smith
Against the Current/Solidarity
ATC 145, March-April 2010

WHEN WORLD WAR II broke out on September l, l939 the poet W.H. Auden sat
in a bar on 42nd Street and penned a poem using that fateful date for its
title. He reflected that the past ten years had been "a low dishonest
decade". And so has our last ten.

Politicians explained the attack of 9/ll as "they hate us for our
freedoms". Then came the United States' criminal attack on Iraq, justified
because Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction". The decade came
to an unmerciful end with new president Barack Obama falsely promising
"change you can believe in".

Little has changed with respect to the democratic rights of Americans, the
exertion of Executive power, or the gargantuan high tech growth of the
government's spying apparatus. How has Obama, with fellow Democratic Party
Chicago politician Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff, essentially
channeled Cheney and Bush? Let us count the ways.

The Center for Constitutional Rights released an assessment on where we
stand with respect to restoring the Constitution on the 100th day of the
new Democratic administration. The CCR report stated that "The Obama
presidency has failed to live up to its promises in many areas of critical
importance, including human rights, torture, rendition, secrecy and
surveillance".

Although the Gonzalez-Yoo torture memos of the Bush-Cheney regime were
released by the new administration, no prosecutions of those who committed
the crimes were initiated, as the CCR wrote, "in order to ensure justice
for the victims and to make certain it never happens again". In addition,
torture loopholes were kept in the Army Field Manual. The report went on
to denounce the "dangerous silence" of the administration on the issue of
abolishing preventive detention, whose "structures remain available in the
U.S."

Presidential war powers continued unchecked, as recently demonstrated by
Obama's escalation of the undeclared war in Afghanistan. The abuse of the
state secrets privilege was continued. Most recently the administration's
attorneys raised it, to the dismay of an incredulous Federal judge in San
Francisco. They succeeded in getting a lawsuit thrown out where the
plaintiff's testicles were sliced with a razor blade. He was suing a
CIA-front airline that had flown him to the torture site.

Warrantless wiretapping has not been stopped and the Patriot Act's sunset
provisions were renewed, allowing that egregious piece of legislation a
new lease on life. The CCR's assessment was negative. Now, a year after
the administration came to power, a new assessment would be even more so.
(The report, "100 DAYS: Assessment to Restore the Constitution," is
available from the CCR, 666 Broadway, New York, NY l00l2. The website is
www.ccrjustice.org.)

                       Wiping Out Our Rights

Many people mistakenly assumed that there would be significant change
under the new Obama administration. But I believe that after 9/ll we need
to recognize we are not just talking about a pendulum returning to its
center; there has been a qualitative change in what were once our
democratic rights.

However severely limited our Constitutional rights have been by class,
race, privilege, and the political monopoly of two capitalist parties,
nonetheless prior to 9/ll we had some checks and balances on Executive
power. We had some protections under our Bill of Rights, especially the
1st, 4th, 5th and 6th amendments (speech, assembly, privacy, due process,
prohibitions on cruel and inhuman treatment, and the right to a lawyer).

These rights have been and remain severely compromised. Daniel Ellsberg
called the wreckage of civil liberties after 9/ll a "coup". Clark
Kissinger more precisely called it "a rolling coup". The best explanation
of what happened has been articulated by Jean Claude Pay, who describes
the introduction of military law into domestic law by the Bush
administration with near total support of the Democrats. In a Monthly
Review article of November, 2007 Pay wrote:

"The government's view is that the attacks of September 11 were an act of
war and not just a crime. This view is based on the congressional
resolution of September 18, 2001, the Authorization for the Use of
Military Force, which grants special powers to the executive branch. It
stipulates 'that the President is authorized to use all necessary and
appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons he
determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks
that occurred on September 11, 2001.

"The interpretation that the executive makes of this resolution is the
expression of a state of war, not against other nations, but against
organizations or ordinary individuals that are not linked to a foreign
government. This interpretation redefines the concept of war. It gives it
an asymmetrical character, a 'fight to the death' between the world
superpower and persons designated as enemies. This new concept of war is
freed from positing the existence of any real threat against the United
States. It is the pure product of the subjectivity of the ruling power:
the state of war exists through its proclamation. In the name of 'good
against evil,' the U.S. state denies the political character of its action
and by blurring the distinction between enemy and criminal, it merges
external sovereignty with internal sovereignty".

Two months after 9/11 came the turning point: Bush's Military Order Number
One of November 18, 2001. This was the "coup".  Attorney Michael Ratner,
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote on his blog
(www.justleft.org) about its three key provisions:

"First, the President claimed the authority to capture, kidnap, or
otherwise arrest any non-citizen (it was later extended to citizens)
anywhere in the world including the United States whom the President
believed was involved in international terrorism and hold them forever
without any charges, proceedings, or trial. Amazing - a person could be
held forever just because the President wanted them so held; he took on
the power to disappear people. Second, the order did provide that if, and
if is the crucial word here, if the person was tried (there never needed
to be a trial) such trials were to be held by special ad hoc courts called
military commissions.

"These commissions had no resemblance to regular trial courts. The entire
proceeding could take place in secret with evidence from torture, and
those found guilty could be executed in secret. Third, to the extent those
imprisoned or tried could be determined and lawyers found, no court could
hear any case. This order embodies within it the violations of fundamental
rights we are facing today: indefinite detention without trial,
Guantanamo, secret sites, special trials and disappearances.

"While it does not mention torture, that appears to have come a bit later,
a secret detention system is part and parcel of a torture system. Let's
also repeat: this was a military order in a society and country that was
still or purported to be under civilian rule. This order more than any
other single document embodies our lost liberties".

                       Bush-Cheney to Obama

Of course the initial 2000 seizure of the Presidency by stopping the vote
count in Florida was a kind of "coup," but following 9/ll the Bush
administration defined its reign when it rolled out its anti-terrorism
plan:

. The doctrine of global supremacy and the advocacy of preemptive war,
outlawed by the United Nations charter.

. Refusal to recognize international law or the applicability of the
Geneva Accords.

. Roundup of immigrants after 9/ll, thousands of persons held without
charges.

. The Patriot Act, authorizing massive government spying, now renewed by
Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress.

. Domestic deployment of the military as law enforcement in violation of
the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

. Secret deportation hearings.

. Seizure of citizens as "enemy combatants".

. Massive secret wiretaps in violation of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA), later made legal by Obama and Congress.

. Issuance of secret administrative warrants for all kinds of records
under the Patriot Act.

. Suppression of Muslim charities.

. Secret "sneak and peek" searches under the Patriot Act.

. Classification of most government records. A reversal of the idea that
government should be transparent, but people's lives private.

. Legitimization of torture. (Obama said he made torture illegal . it
already was, even when Bush authorized it. Those who authorized and
carried it out must be indicted and tried. Obama doesn't want to touch
that possibility.)

. Special rendition (outsourcing torture, which Obama still upholds).

. Establishment of private military contractors like the mercenaries of
Blackwater.

. Assertion of Executive supremacy through "signing statements".

. Doctrine of "Unitary Executive," elevating the Executive Branch above
Congress and the Judiciary.

. The 2007 John Warner National Defense Act, which allows the President to
deploy the National Guard of one state into another state without the
permission of either governor.

. The contracting for $385 million with Kellog, Brown, and Root, a
subsidiary of Halliburton,  for the construction of a detention camp meant
not just for immigrants.

. The introduction of military commissions to try criminal cases.

. The assertion of the state secrets privilege to protect the government
from lawsuits by victims of torture and government abuse.

                           The Battles Ahead

With the criminal attacks of 9/ll, the imperial forces in America were
handed an opportunity on a silver platter. Fear could be used to put
across their long cherished program of rolling back both the "Watergate
Syndrome" and the "Vietnam Syndrome" as well. On 9/ll they got their "new
Pearl Harbor" for which the neocons in their document "Program for a New
American Century" could previously only wish.

You can't have imperialism abroad and freedom at home, as Gibbon wrote 200
years ago. The Rubicon has been crossed and the imperial troops are in
Rome.

We understand, as did Frederick Douglas, that "Power concedes nothing
without a demand. It never has and it never will". We must organize,
organize and organize. Our lost liberties will be regained not by the
switching of administrations, but only in the course of class battles that
may lie in the future.

We can move forward by first understanding and acknowledging the enormity
of what has been done.. to us.

ATC 145, March-April 2010

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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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