Progressive Calendar 03.13.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 06:18:59 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   03.13.10

1. Peace walk        3.13 9am Cambridge MN
2. Reconciliation    3.13 10am
3. Mexican Rev 2010? 3.13 10am
4. Mississippi river 3.13 10am/2pm
5. Oromo people      3.13 1pm
6. Gaza + 1 year     3.13 1pm
7. CUAPB             3.13 1:30pm
8. Northtown vigil   3.13 2pm
9. KFAI meeting      3.13 2:30pm
10. Stevens Square   3.13 7pm
11. Toxic environs   3.13 9pm

12. Dave Bicking       - First report on Dolan vote
13. David Shove        - New Broom regrades Mpls CC after Dolan vote
14. Michelle Gross     - Victory - HF2609 is dead!
15. Alexander Cockburn - Relax, the empire's in safe hands

--------1 of 15--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 3.13 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street

--------2 of 15--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Reconciliation 3.13 10am

March 13:  Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, MN Metro
Coffee with Marjory Jobson, MD, Human Rights activist in South Africa on
Reconciliation Strategy for International Conflicts. 10 AM - Noon at Van
Cleve Community Center, 901 15th Avenue SE., Minneapolis.

--------3 of 15--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at]>
Subject: Mexican Rev 2010? 3.13 10am

Coffee Hour: 1810-1910-2010-- Will the Mexican Revolution Come Again?
Saturday, March 13th
At the Resource Center of the Americas
Presented in Spanish with brief English summaries.
Cycles of Revolution in Mexico.

Speaker: John Ross has been reporting on Latin America social conflict for
50 years. In 1993, he broke the story of the impending Zapatista
rebellion. Ross, a Mexico City resident for the past 25 years, has just
published his 10th book "El Monstruo - Dread & Redemption in Mexico City."

--------4 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
from  Alayne Hopkins <alayne [at]>
Subject: Mississippi river 3.13 10am/2pm

The Mighty Mississippi - Lectures, Discussions & More
Two events occur on Saturday, March 13.

- At 10 a.m. in Central Library's meeting room, geologist Karen Campbell
talks about the social and geologic history of the Mississippi River in
the Twin Cities area, centering on St. Anthony Falls.
Central Library, 90 West Fourth Street, Saint Paul

- At the James J. Hill Reference Library, at 2 p.m., surrounded by Clyde
Butcher's photographs of national wildlife landscapes, National Parks
Service ranger Dan Dressler discusses the Parks Service program nationwide
and the Mississippi River National Park and Recreation Area.
James J. Hill Reference Library, 80West Fourth Street, Saint Paul

These events free and open to the public.
For more information, call 651-222-3242 or friends [at]

--------5 of 15--------

From: UMN Human Rights Center <humanrts [at]>
Subject: Oromo people 3.13 1pm

March 13, 2010 - 4th Annual International Conference on Human Rights:
What's Next For The Oromo People? Input From Oromo Political and Civic
1:00 PM-7:00 PM.  Cost: $ 10 Fee.
University of Minnesota Willey Hall, West Bank 225 19th Ave. S,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Registration: 1:00 p.m.
Event Begins: 1:30 p.m.

Fido Ebba, Ph.D.: Oromo Liberation Front, Member of the National Council
Hassan Hussein: Oromo Liberation Front, Member of Executive Council
Abrahim Abaye: Oromo Liberation Front National Council Member
Abduljelil Abdalla: Council of Oromo People Liberation Front, Executive
Bekele Jirata: Oromo Federal Democratic Movement, General Secretary
Merera Gudina, Ph.D.: Oromo People Congress & Medrek, Chairman
Gemechis Buba, Ph.D.: Oromo Evangelical Churches, Worldwide Union, President
Asafa Jalatta, Ph.D.: University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Associate Professor
 of Sociology, Global and African Studies
Ezekiel Gebissa, Ph.D.: Kettering University, Assistant Professor of Social

Special thanks to Oliqaa Foundation for sponsoring the entire event Thanks
to our event sponsors for their wonderful support! -Equal Exchange -Oromia
Student Union -University of Minnesota Human Rights Center -The Oromia
Radio Program -Oromo Individuals in Minnesota -The Advocates
for Human Rights

For more information, check out our website:
or Contact Executive Director Robsan Itana @ 612.275.0970

--------6 of 15--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Gaza + 1 year 3.13 1pm

Guest Speaker:  Jennifer Loewenstein
Saturday, March 13, 1:00 p.m.
Matthews Community Center, 2318 29th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Jennifer Loewenstein is a Faculty Associate in Middle East Studies at the
University of Wisconsin - Madison. She is also a freelance journalist and
long-time human rights activist. Jennifer has lived, worked and traveled
throughout the Middle East and recently testified as an "expert witness"
on Gaza at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. She last visited
Gaza in September 2009 for two weeks with the first Rachel Corrie
Foundation delegation.

Between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, the Israeli military
carried out an attack on the Gaza Strip named Operation Cast Lead. The
magnitude of the harm to the population was unprecedented: 1,385
Palestinians were killed, including 318 children. More than 5,300
Palestinians were wounded. According to UN figures, Israel destroyed more
than 3,500 residential dwellings and 20,000 people were left homeless.

More than a year after Israel launched its Operation Cast Lead, little of
the extensive damage it caused to homes, civilian infrastructure, public
services, farms, and businesses has been repaired. As thousands of
families try to come to terms with loss or injury of their loved ones,
they are being prevented from rebuilding their shattered society.  This is
not an accident; it is a matter of policy. The Israeli government's
blockade, imposed in 2007, not only forbids most Gazans from leaving or
exporting anything to the outside world, but also severely restricts the
import of basic humanitarian goods.
Free and open to the public.

Tragically, the international community largely ignores the cries for
help, while the citizens of Gaza are treated more like animals than human
beings... Never before in history has a large community been savaged by
bombs and missiles and then deprived of the means to repair itself. The
responsibility for this terrible human rights crime lies in Jerusalem,
Cairo, Washington, and throughout the international community. -Jimmy
Carter, former US President, June, 2009

Sponsored by: The WAMM Middle East. FFI: Call 612-827-5364.

--------7 of 15--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 3.13 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

--------8 of 15--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 3.13 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------9 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
From: "Anthony, Brooke" <banthony [at]>
Subject: KFAI meeting 3.13 2:30pm

Volunteer and Concerned Listener Member Meeting - Saturday 3/13/2010
Sabathani Com Ctr, 38th St & 3rd Ave So, 2:30-6:00, 3rd Floor,
McKnight Conf Rm.
Moderator - Pat Nelson

The agenda is essentially to create a welcoming atmosphere for volunteers
and listener members to share ideas and then at 3:15 break out to finish
two projects.
- review a couple of volunteer-generated grid proposals
- work on a letter drafted in February that will go to the Board about
process transparency and inclusion concerns that will enclose the grid

The intent of this meeting is to bridge gaps not to create more divisions.
Come share and help.

--------10 of 15--------

From: Abby Haddican <abbyhaddican [at]>
Subject: Stevens Square 3.13 7pm

On Saturday, March 13th from 7pm-10pm, Stevens Square Community
Organization (SSCO) will hold Art Squared, an art sale and fundraiser to
benefit the Cinema & Civics movies-in-the-park series, the two-day Red Hot
Art festival, and other public arts programming in the Stevens
Square-Loring Heights neighborhood of central Minneapolis. The event will
take place at Tillie's Bean coffee shop, 1931 Nicollet Ave. S.

Work by dozens of Twin Cities artists will be exhibited and made available
for purchase. Art Squared will also feature:
 -Live music by Tortuga and Georgia Leigh
 -Art-on-Demand by Matt Wells
 -Live painting by Andrea Tedford and by members of the Rogue Citizen art
 -Art raffle
 -Food and beverages (available for purchase)

Advance tickets for the event are available for $5.00 at Tillie's Bean
(1931 Nicollet Ave. S.). They can also be purchased at the door for $8.00
on the night of the event.

--------11 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Toxic environs 3.13 9pm

Sweet Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!  Households with basic cable may

Sat, 3/13, 9pm and Tues, 3/16, 8am
"I'm Here to Help You: I'm with the Government"

When does the government actually help people?  Minnesota Pollution
Control Agency scientist Jim Pennino provides practical tips and insights
for safely navigating our increasingly toxic environment.  Karen and Eric

--------12 of 15--------

From: Dave Bicking <dave [at]>
Subject: [newbroom] First report on Dolan vote

Police Chief Dolan has just been reappointed.  The biggest surprise is
that there were five votes against:

Cam Gordon, Ward 2
Robert Lilligren, Ward 6
Elizabeth Glidden, Ward 8
Meg Tuthill, Ward 10
Betsy Hodges, Ward 13

All Council members spoke about the issue, except Lisa Goodman - though
she mentioned her support for Dolan during earlier comments about
reappointment of the Health Department head.  I'll write up some of the
comments later.

Major concerns of those who voted against were budgetary and discipline
and work with the Civilian Review Authority.  Many who spoke on either
side talked about the need to improve cooperation with the community and
the CRA.  We should follow up to insist that that happens.

Now is a good time to thank all those who voted against, particularly if
one of them is your own representative.  Though we didn't defeat Dolan,
such significant opposition means that Dolan is "on notice" on some of
these issues.  That has an effect, and I think we can say that those who
worked to oppose Dolan HAVE had an effect.  The vote for his original
appointment was 12 - 1.  And so far, every other department head
recommended for reappointment have been approved unanimously (even though
I think there are others who did not deserve it, and I hope some day New
Broom is large enough and strong enough to challenge others as well as the
Police Chief).

More later, Dave Bicking

--------13 of 15--------

From: David Shove
Subhect: New Broom regrades Mpls CC after Dolan vote

 (New Broom, as in "A new brooms sweeps clean", dedicated to better Mpls
 government since the RNC debacle Sept 2008.)


 New Broom graded the 13 members of the Mpls City Council as of June 2009

 grade  ward/incumbent
 F      1/Ostrow
 C-     2/Gordon
 D-     3/Hofstede
 F      4/Johnson
 F      5/Samuels       worst of all
 F      6/Lilligren
 F      7/Goodman
 C-     8/Glidden
 C-     9/Schiff
 D+     10/Remington
 D-     11/Benson
 D-     12/Colvin-Roy
 D+     13/Hodges

 Average: D-/D. Mean: D-.
 We deserve better. Lots better. B or better.
 The lower the grade, the bigger the broom should be.
 Ostrow-1, Remington-10 & Benson-11 won't run again.
 [Alas, all the incumbents who ran were re-elected]


 New Broom grades the 13 members of the Mpls City Council
 as of March 12 2010, just after Dolan reappointment vote

 grade  ward/incumbent
 -      1/Reich
 C      2/Gordon +
 F      3/Hofstede
 F-     4/Johnson
 F-     5/Samuels       worst of all
 D-     6/Lilligren +
 F-     7/Goodman
 C      8/Glidden +
 D+     9/Schiff
 +      10/Tuthill +
 -      11/Quincy
 F      12/Colvin-Roy
 C-     13/Hodges +

 1,10,11 are new members

CMs with +s after their names voted AGAINST Dolan and had their grades
raised 1/3 grade; please thank them for their votes. Those FOR had their
grades lowered 1/3 grade; please ask them to do better in the future. F-
is a new grade of infamy.

More minuses (8) than pluses (5) actually lowers the average grade of the
CC as a whole to a straight D-, and the mean to a lower D-. Five getting
better, eight getting worse. Let us reward/ unreward in accord with that.

--------14 of 15--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Victory - HF2609 is dead!

Communities United Against Police Brutality

We wrote you earlier this week to ask for your help to oppose HF2609, a
bill in our state legislature that would have eliminated access to
information about complaints against staff at secure treatment facilities
and state correctional facilities (prisons), effectively wiping out access
to the complaint histories of prison guards and bringing us one step
closer to losing access to complaints against police.  Apparently
legislators heard from plenty of folks and has decided to take this awful
bill off the table for this year.  Barring any little tricks (and we'll be
watching) this bill is dead.

Thanks for your quick action in this matter--your efforts really make
a difference.

--------15 of 15--------

Relax, the Empire's in Safe Hands
March 12-14, 2010

Are they really bumblers? The establishment's opinion columns quiver with
reproofs for maladroit handling of foreign policy by President Obama and
his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, those who cherished
foolish illusions that Obama's election might presage a shift to the left
in foreign policy fret about "worrisome signs" that this is not the case.

It's true that there have been some embarrassing moments. Vice President
Biden, on a supposed mission of peace to Israel, is given the traditional
welcome - a pledge by Israel to build more settlements, plus adamant
refusal to reverse the accelerating evictions of Palestinians from their
homes in East Jerusalem.

Hillary Clinton, touring Latin America, was not greeted with gobs of spit,
like vice president Nixon back in 1958, but she did get a couple of robust
diplomatic slaps from Brazil's foreign minister, Celso Armorim, rejecting
Mrs. Clinton's hostile references to Venezuela and call for tougher action
toward Iran. Amid detailed news reports of butchered activists in
Tegucigalpa, Latin Americans and even some Democratic members of the U.S.
Congress listened incredulously to Mrs. Clinton's brazen hosannas to the
supposedly violence-free election of Honduras' new, U.S.-sanctioned
President Lobo in a process to which both the Organization of American
States and the European Union refused to lend the sanction of official

Meanwhile, China signals its displeasure at the U.S. with stentorian
protests about Obama's friendliness toward the Dalai Lama. The PRC
continues its rumblings about shrinking its vast position in U.S. Treasury

The Turks recall their ambassador from Washington in the wake of a vote in
a U.S. congressional committee to recognize the massacre of the Armenians
in 1916 as "genocide". Russia signals its grave displeasure at Mrs.
Clinton's rejection, in a speech at the Ecole Militaire in Paris, of
President Medvedev's proposal to negotiate a new security pact for Europe.
"We object to any spheres of influence claimed in Europe in which one
country seeks to control another's future," she said. Shortly before this
categorical statement, Poland announced that the U.S. would deploy Patriot
missiles on its territory, less than 50 miles from the Russian enclave of
Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.

Is this partial list a reflection of incompetence, or a registration that,
with a minor hiccup or two, U.S. foreign policy under Obama is moving
purposefully forward in its basic enterprise: to restore U.S. credibility
in the world theater as the planet's premier power after eight years of
poor management?

Consider the situation that this Democratic president inherited. In
January 2009, the world was reeling amid violent economic contraction.
Obituaries for the American Century were a dime a dozen. The U.S. dollar's
future as the world's reserve currency was written off with shouts of
derision. Imperial adventuring, as in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was
routinely denounced as fit only for Kipling buffs. The progressives who
voted Obama in were flushed with triumph and expectation.

Not much more than a year later, Obama has smoothed off the rough edges of
Bush-era foreign policy, while preserving and, indeed, widening its goals,
those in place through the entire postwar era since 1945.

Latin America? Enough of talk about a new era, led by Chavez of Venezuela,
Morales of Bolivia, and other progressive leaders. So far as Uncle Sam is
concerned, this is still his backyard. On the campaign trail in 2008, it
was Republican John McCain who was reviled as the lobbyist for Colombia's
death squad patron, President Uribe. Today, it's Obama who presides over
an adamantly pro-Uribe policy, supervising a widening of U.S. military
basing facilities in Colombia. As an early signal of continuity, Honduras'
impertinent president Zelaya, guilty of populist thoughts, was briskly
evicted with U.S approval and behind-the-scenes stage-management.

If ever there was a nation for whose enduring misery the U.S.A. bears
irrefutable responsibility (along with France), it is Haiti. As noted by
Noam Chomsky on this site last week, the hovels which fell down in the
earthquake were those of people rendered destitute by U.S. policies since
Jefferson, and most notably by the man to whom Obama is most often
compared, another Nobel peace-prize-winning U.S. president, Woodrow
Wilson. The houses that did not fall down in such numbers were those of
the affluent elites, most recently protected by Bill Clinton who was
second only to Wilson in the horrors he sponsored in Haiti. Yet under
Obama, the U.S.A. is hailed as a merciful and generous provider for the
stricken nation, even though it has been Cuba and Venezuela who have been
the stalwarts, with doctors (in the case of Cuba) and total debt
forgiveness (in the case of Venezuela). The U.S.A. refused such debt

Israel? Not one substantive twitch has discommoded the benign support of
Israel by its patron, even though Obama stepped into power amid Israel's
methodical war crimes - later enumerated by Judge Goldstone for the U.N. -
in Gaza. Consistent U.S. policy has been  to advocate a couple of
mini-Bantustans for the Palestinians and, under Obama, the U.S. has
endured no substantive opposition to this plan from its major allies.

With Iran, there is absolute continuity with the Bush years, sans  the
noisy braggadocio of Cheney: assiduous and generally successful diplomatic
efforts to secure international agreement for deepening sanctions;
disinformation campaigns about Iran's adherence to international treaties,
very much in the Bush style of 2002. In the interests of overall U.S.
strategy in the region, Israel is held on a leash.

No need to labor the obvious about Afghanistan: an enlarged U.S.
expeditionary force engineered with one laughable pledge - earnestly
brandished by the progressives - that the troops will be home in time for
the elections of 2012. The U.S. and, indeed, world anti-war movements live
only in memory. Earlier this week, Congressional Democrats in the House
could barely muster 60 votes against the Afghan war.

Russia? Vice President Biden excited the foreign policy commentariat with
talk of a "reset" in posture toward Russia. Outside rhetoric, here's no
such reset - merely continuation of U.S. policy since the post-Soviet
collapse. Last October, Biden emphasized that the U.S. "will not tolerate"
any "spheres of influence," nor Russia's "veto power" on the eastward
expansion of NATO. The U.S.A. is involved in retraining the Georgian army.

China may thunder about the Dalai Lama and Taiwan - but, on the larger
stage, the Middle Kingdom's world heft is much exaggerated. The astute
China-watcher Peter Lee hits the mark when he wrote recently in Asia Times
that "the U.S. is cannily framing and choosing fights that unite the U.S.,
the EU, and significant resource producers, and isolate China and force it
to defend unpopular positions alone. By my reading, China is pretty much a
one-trick pony in international affairs. It offers economic partnership
and cash. What it doesn't have is what the U.S. has: military reach - heft
in the global financial markets (Beijing's immense overexposure to U.S.
government securities is, I think, becoming less of an advantage and more
of a liability), or a large slate of loyal and effective allies in
international organization".

The United States, as Lee points out, is also making "good progress in
pursuing the most destabilizing initiative of the next 20 years:
encouragement of India's rise from Afghanistan through to Myanmar as a
rival and distraction to China".

All of this is scarcely a catalogue of bumbledom. Obama is just what the
Empire needed. Plagued though it may be by deep structural problems, he
has improved its malign potential for harm - the first duty of all U.S.
presidents of whatever imagined political stripe.

Alexander Cockburn can be reached at alexandercockburn [at]


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
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