Progressive Calendar 03.19.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 13:54:59 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   03.19.10

1. Vs corrupt judges  3.19 3pm
2. Palestine vigil    3.19 4:15pm
3. Vigil/Guijarro     3.19 3:50pm

4. Peace walk         3.20 9am Cambridge MN
5. Sustainable yards  3.20 10am
6. Vs Iraq war        3.20 1pm
7. CUAPB              3.20 1:30pm
8. Northtown vigil    3.20 2pm
9. MissRiver birding  3.20 2pm
10. Romero remembered 3.20 5pm
11. Workers organize  3.20 7pm
12. Gaza march/MN     3.20 9pm

13. Billy Wharton - Kucinich's healthcare sell-out
14. Gary Brumback - America's circus: an expensive show
15. Gary Brumback - The monster in our midst
16. John Walsh    - Two cheers for Netanyahu: exposure of Obama complete
17. Marc Weisbrot - Intl campaign around Venezuela's elections has begun
18. Anthony Lawson - A little known fact about the 9/11 planes
19. ed            - A self-denying entity  (haiku)

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From: Louise Bouta <wellmindmn [at] q.com>
Subject: Vs corrupt judges 3.19 3pm

STOP CORRUPT JUDGES RALLY
St. Paul, MinnesotaState Capitol Steps
3:00PM - 6:30PM
Friday, March 19, 2010

It has been an entire year since Rep. Dan Severson called an ad hoc
hearing to hear evidence of corruption in the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
Citizens, including attorneys testified and brought evidence. Impeachment
papers against judges were presented and asked to be brought as Bills of
Impeachment by legislators.
Rep. Severson introduced HF 1632 to correct the problems.

The only Representatives to sign unto HF 1632 are Bruce Anderson, Tom
Emmer, Steve Drazkowski and Marty Seifert. There is NO companion bill
introduced in the Senate.

Currently, the Minnesota Legislature is violating the state constitution.
There are statutes that state, "Court Rules Eliminate Statutes" and "Court
Opinions Eliminate Statutes".
The judges have written a Court Rule, that says the judges do not need to
obey the court rules.

We have NO LEGISLATED LAW in the state of Minnesota, we only have the
WHIMS of the judges.
The judges ALSO wrote a rule that says it is okay for them to take
"gifts". We call that taking bribes.
AFTER YEARS of telling the legislator that we hired THEM to write out
laws, and not the judges...that's what our constitution says...we still
are being ignored.

WHY?
Why do the people we elect refuse to obey the constitution?
We have a government that WE created.
The government MUST obey the constitution.

Our constitution does NOT give unbridled power to the judges...but our
legislature DID give this power to the judges.

THE EVIDENCE given to the Legislators include:
Judges changing transcripts.
Secret meetings between judges and prosecutors.
Judges taking bribes.
Judges committing felonies.
Judges hiding evidence of their crimes from the Grand Jury.

WHEN WILL THIS STOP?
HOW WILL THIS STOP?
Only when the PEOPLE join together and DEMAND ACTION.
The Legislature MUST repeal the statutes that give unbridled power to the
judges.
The Legislature MUST do their DUTY under Article Six Section Nine of the
Minnesota constitution and DISCIPLINE the judges.

YOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT.
SHOW UP.
Be at the Rally.
-Nancy Lazaryan


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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Palestine vigil 3.19 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.


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From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Vigil/Victor Guijarro 3.19 3:50pm

Vigil for Victor Guijarro - Mar. 19
www.victorylibertad.com

Important Procession and Vigil for the liberation of Victor Guijarro and
his mother, who are imprisoned in an Ohio jail because of unjust
immigration laws. This event is also in solidarity with a March for
America happening this weekend in Washington D.C. If you can't go to
Washington DC: Come join with us, on this March of Faith for our liberty.

FRIDAY, MARCH 19th, 2010 (3:50pm)
Westside of Saint Paul (Cesar Chavez & George Street)
Meeting place: La Placita, next to El Burrito on Concord Ave in St. Paul
We will leave in a procession at 4:00 toward the office of Senator Al
Franken to ask that he support our demands.

Nuestras Demandas:
1. Use the power you have to release Victor Guijarro and re-unite his family.
2. The immigration system is oppressive - we want a new immigration
system based on the values of dignity, family and rights.
3. Stop the pratice of racial profiling, and put an end to cooperation
between local law enforcement and immigration agents.

www.victorylibertad.com
La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles
Llevando el Evangelio a la Arena Publica


--------4 of x--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Peace walk 3.20 9am Cambridge MN

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


--------5 of x--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com>
Subject: Sustainable yards 3.20 10am

Sustainable Yards Workshops.  The Longfellow Community Council is hosting
a series of workshops on sustainable practices for your yards and gardens.
Workshops will be on Saturday, March 20th from 10am - 3pm at Sanford
Middle School.

Workshop topics will include Rain Gardens, Landscaping with Native Plant
Species, Composting, Fruit Trees and Shrubs, Vegetable Gardening and
Organic Lawn Care.  At the event, you can also learn what's behind the
City's stormwater fees and the "Do's and Don'ts" of boulevard planting.
Longfellow residents are eligible to save energy, water and time with an
array of door prizes - such as rain barrels, compost bins, native plants,
fruit trees, green cleaning products, low-flow shower heads and MORE!
The event is FREE, but please go to www.longfellow.org to RSVP.


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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Vs Iraq war 3.20 1pm

Rally and March: "Bring the Troops Home Now!"
Saturday, March 20, 1:00 p.m. Gather at Third and Cedar Avenue on the West
Bank in Minneapolis. March to a closing rally at Bedlam Theatre, 1501
South Sixth Street, Minneapolis.

Come and join with other Minnesotans as we exercise our rights of free
speech, celebrate the spring, and lead the nation as we speak out against
the continued occupation of Iraq. "Funds for education, housing, health
care and human needs, not wars and occupations." Join a local
demonstration on the national day of protest to mark the seventh
anniversary of the war on Iraq. "Out of Afghanistan and Iraq. No
escalation - hands off Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia. Aid for Haiti,
not occupation!" Come join other WAMM members, marching behind the WAMM
banner in your WAMM gear (visors, t-shirts, arm bands, buttons) as we show
the world that WAMM is not, and never has been, afraid to say that these
wars are wrong!

Unable to walk behind a banner anymore? Join us at the closing rally at
2:15 p.m. Bedlam Theater, 1501 South 6th Street, Minneapolis. Show the
student protestors what the greatest generation looks like. Sponsored by:
Iraq Peace Action Coalition (IPAC). WAMM is a member of IPAC. FFI: Call
612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364.

Note: There will be a peacekeeper/volunteer meeting, Saturday, March
20, 12:15 p.m. at Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis.
People are needed to help on Saturday with peacekeeping, helping with
the march, distributing and collecting signs, helping with the
collection, and more. There will be a brief orientation at the 12:15
meeting. The rally starts at 1:00 p.m. right outside Mayday Books.


--------7 of x--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
Subject: CUAPB 3.20 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue
South http://www.CUAPB.org

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


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From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 3.20 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday
2-3pm


--------9 of x--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Miss River birding 3.20 2pm

The Mighty Mississippi - Lectures, Discussions & More

On Saturday, March 20, 2 p.m., visit the Central Library meeting room to
take a virtual birding adventure with Birdchick Sharon Stiteler.
Stiteler, who writes the popular Birdchick blog, will focus on bird life
along the Mississippi.


--------10 of x--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Romero remembered 3.20 5pm

Romero Remembered
March 20, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. St. Paul's Lutheran Church, at 28th Street and
15th Avenue, Minneapolis.

Please join others for a celebration of the life of Archbishop Oscar
Romero of El Salvador. March 24, 2010 is the 30th anniversary of the
murder of Romero as he spoke at Mass in San Salvador, calling for the
Salvadoran military to stop killing civilians. The celebration will start
with a service, including music by the author of the Missa Campesino.
Dinner and a program will follow, including a live link-up with Father
Miguel Ventura in Communidad Segundo Montes, El Salvador. Sponsored by:
Minnesota Salvadorans United, the St. Paul-Ciudad Romero Sister City
project and St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Endorsed by: WAMM.


--------11 of x--------

From: jtmiller jtmiller <jtmiller [at] minn.net>
Subject: Workers organize 3.20 7pm

Saturday March 20, 7:00 pm
Working Democracy Discussion Forum
"A New Workers Movement: How can workers overcome their vocational,
religious and cultural differences, and organize to change society?"
at MayDay Bookstore

Friday March 26, 7:00 pm
Working Democracy Book Club
Concluding "Value, Price & Profit," by Karl Marx
at MayDay Bookstore

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


--------12 of x--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Gaza march/MN 3.20 9pm

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

Sat, 3/20, 9pm and Tues, 3/23, 8am
"Gaza Freedom March: Minnesota Contingent"

As 2009 ended, 1400 people from more than 40 countries and across multiple
identity lines gathered in Cairo, Egypt, with the intent to march in Gaza,
Palestine.  The activists and journalists went to help bring an end to the
Siege of Gaza and draw attention to the occupation of Palestine.  Among
participants were 7 people from Minnesota.  4 Minnesotans speak about
their experiences from their journey.  Interview by Karen Redleaf.


--------13 of x--------

Kucinich's Healthcare Sell-out
by Billy Wharton
March 18th, 2010
Dissident Voice

The Obama administration cracked a tough nut today in their relentless
drive to sponsor a corporate restructuring of the American healthcare
system. Dennis Kucinich, who had been one of the few voices of opposition
to the faulty healthcare "reform," announced today that he intends to vote
"Yes" on the healthcare bill currently under consideration in the US House
of Representatives. The announcement came after a high-pressure visit from
President Barack Obama to the Cleveland district Kucinich represents.

For many in the movement for single-payer healthcare, the move is the
final in a series of betrayals by Democratic Party politicians. First
among these was Representative John Conyers from Michigan, the sponsor of
House Resolution 676, a bill that would create a publicly funded National
Health Program by eliminating private health insurers. Conyers caved-in
quickly, voting yes on the proposal and providing little resistance
outside of an interesting quip about having to read a 2,000-page bill in
two days. Kucinich appeared as a dissident of a different type.

Kucinich railed against the House bill, claiming that it ".would put the
government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care".
This critique was backed up by a "No" vote in November 2009. In House
deliberations, however, Kucinich had already moved off his single-payer
position, first searching for a "robust" public option and then attempting
to create a clause that would allow states to pursue single-payer
programs. Today Kucinich went a step further, cowering to the will of a
White House bankrolled by big pharma and the private health insurance
lobby.

Kucinich called it "a detour" and claimed that all of his previous
criticisms of the bill still stood. The healthcare bill had become, he
proposed, a contest between the presidency and its far-right critics. More
correctly, Kucinich caved to pressure from pro-Obama groups, such as
Moveon.org [never give them any money -ed] who recently collected more
than $1 million to pressure House
Democrats who had voted no on the original bill. The extent of the
pressure campaign was brought home when Obama appeared in Kucinich's
voting district this week and summoned him to a meeting on Airforce One.
There, the terms of Kucinich's sell-out were determined.

The one powerful voice that has been remarkably absent from the whole
spectacular public discussion of healthcare reform is that of the private
health insurance lobby. Why so quiet? Because they wrote significant
portions of the bill currently under consideration in the House. Because
they have purchased the support of Democratic and Republican
representatives by spending an average of $609,000 a day on lobbying
during the first six months of 2009. And, because Obama's healthcare
proposal will open up new opportunities to harvest taxpayer money by
providing clunker healthcare plans to the uninsured. Kucinich knows this
yet he will still  provide his name to this damaging scheme.

Most of all, Kucinich's betrayal points to the burning need for political
activity, both electoral and social movement based, independent of the
Democrats and Republicans. [Amen! -ed] The political system is already so
saturated with corporate money that Democrats and Republicans are
structurally incapable of acting in the interests of working people in
America. Now is the time for a green and red rebellion at the ballot box
and on the streets. Only then can we can be done with the wavering
Kucinichs of the world and get down to the task of creating a society that
values human needs over corporate profits. We need a single-payer
healthcare system now and only an uncompromising movement made up of
everyday people will get us there.

[Never trust Kucinich for anything ever again. -ed]

Billy Wharton is the editor of The Socialist magazine and the Socialist
WebZine. He can be reached at: billyspnyc [at] yahoo.com.


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America's Circus: An Expensive Show
by Gary Brumback
March 17th, 2010
Dissicent Voice

How many clowns
can get out of that car?
All the lifers and peddlers.
All the oval office puppets.
All the touts.
All the burrowers.
All the hurdle makers.
The car has revolving doors!
What's the car pulling?
A bench with robed clowns on it.
Is the beast driving the car?
No, the corporate ringmaster is.

What's going on here? P.T. Barnum would know. Mark Twain would know. Will
Rogers would know. Late night comedians would surely know. It's the
biggest circus in America. And Americans are being taken for a ride! Let's
go inside the huge tent and take a peek.

Lifers and Peddlers

We have the best Congress money can buy.
 - Will Rogers

Politicians are more likely to retire from or die in office than to be
ousted from it by the voters. Politics was never meant to be a
professional calling and career in America. Her founders loathed the very
idea of political parties. Politicians were considered citizens first and
foremost and they voluntarily left office instead of running for
reelection. What changed the status quo were the advent of the spoils
system and the peddling of big business for votes. So what we have today
is a huge spoils system for the lifers and peddlers. Do you know that it
costs taxpayers over $12 million annually for members of Congress to run
their fiefdoms (including large staffs, some with family members on the
payroll)? Voluntarily quitting has become a rarity. Who would quit such a
cradle-to-grave job other than those caught up in scandals that won't go
away, who are just worn out, or who somehow don't have or don"t please
their corporate sponsors?

Oval Office Puppets

Two-term limits keep U.S. presidents from being life-long residents of the
White House. But that's plenty enough time and more to damage America and
her democracy. Whether in office one or two terms, they are corporate
puppets and might as well be on its payroll, except it's cheaper for
corporations to have presidents stay on the tax payer's roll. The
Corporate strings are taut and short.

The puppets wage war urged on by the defense (war?) industry. They dole
out corporate welfare. They deregulate public constraints on corporate
power. They promote the exploitative, undemocratic form of capitalism on
behalf of corporations, and especially the big firms on Wall Street. They
make judicial appointments that please corporations. They open the
revolving door and let it keep spinning with corpocrats coming and going.
They use the bully pulpit on behalf of corporate interests. They issue
"signing statements" to end run new corporate-hostile laws and regulations
(not that there are many to end run). They set in motion the policies that
paved the way to Economic Katrina, the Second Greatest Depression, etc.,
etc.

Kept Courts

Justices and judges can be "bought," as in "justice for sale,"
particularly in those state courts where judges are elected. They can be
kept beholden to elected officials who appoint them. Presidents savor the
chance to fill one or more vacant seats. They can be kept "hostage" by
their allegiance to an elite profession with its biases and culture. It's
an idealistic myth to think that justices and judges "put on the robe of
impartiality". Their robes are just rolls of cloth! Additionally, besides
their own predilections, their deliberations are bombarded by arguments
and counterarguments from well-paid corporate lawyers. Just how kept is
the U.S. Supreme Corporate Court? Its infamous January 21, 1010 ruling
says it all; five corporate justices ruled that corporations are persons
with Constitutional rights.

The Touts

I've been tout fishing
On the banks of the political sewer.
And with just one cast
Look at what I caught.
Thousands of touts!

Big Pharma is the biggest tout in the stream of money flowing up to
Capital Hills, the Nation's and all its states too no doubt. If you can
find me an industry that doesn't have a pool of touts I'll show you the
proverbial ocean-front property in Arizona. But let's not overlook the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It spends plenty of money touting. You can't
mistake it for any U.S. Chamber of Democracy.

The Revolving Doors

Now you see them here. Now you see them there. Who are they and where are
they coming and going? They don't stay put like the careerists do. They
are the self-serving shufflers shuffling back and forth through the
perfectly named "revolving door". There are actually three kinds of them.
One is for corporate officials and lobbyists who go through to
appointments in key government posts to ensure corporate interests aren't
denied by the American people. There's the government-to-industry door
through which public officials, having gotten experience and valuable
contacts from the inside by keeping public interests at bay, go to
industry and parlay their experience and contacts into furthering
corporate interests in exchanges, usually private, with the government.
And finally, there's the government-to-lobbyist door through which former
legislators, their staffs, and executive-branch officials pass on the way
to lucrative positions in lobbying firms to lobby their former colleagues.

The Burrowers

Now you see them, now you don't. When oval office puppets are about to
leave office they burrow their sycophant appointees into the federal
bureaucracy as civil servants who never lose their jobs.

Hurdle Makers

Voting hurdles are a favorite ploy of conservatives and powerful corporate
self interests who fear a populace vote. These hurdles deter the voter,
deny voting, or derail honest voting. Voter disillusionment is the only
self-imposed hurdle but it is reinforced by the hurdle makers making
eligible voters feel it's futile to vote.

The Beast

The cons are fond of saying "starve the beast". They are referring, of
course, to big government. They want to cut public budgets, public
services, and the number of public servants to the bone. I have been
inside and outside the beast; suffocating inside, a hierarchical maze to
navigate inside or outside. So I understand their gripe although it is too
extreme. It is about as extreme as my gripe with the typical big
corporation being too bloated and bureaucratically inefficient (recently I
had to endure a robot corporate router and a succession of three live
persons before I got to one who had the best chance of helping me). If the
typical corporation didn't get corporate welfare and other government
power gifts it would probably fail.


Let's Shut Down the Show!

The show has been going on for decades. We can't shut it down unless we
all shut it down. What will that take? The answer is another story, but
I'll tell you here that it will take organizing, priming, and unleashing
democracy pow!er (deliberately spelled that way) to "knock out" the
corpocracy, the marriage made in Hell between "our" government and large
corporations.

*****
The first 50 people who email the author and promise to tell him what they
think of it will get a free, advance copy of The Corpocracy: Knocking It
Out With Democracy Pow!er.
Gary Brumback is a retired organizational psychologist, book reviewer, and
book author. He can be reached at: democracypower [at] bellsouth.net.


--------15 of x--------

The Monster in Our Midst
by Gary Brumback
March 19th, 2010
Dissident Voice

In my previous article, I wrote about the very expensive American circus.
Today I want to tell you about the monster in our midst. Are you aware
that wherever you go, whatever you do the monster is there and probably is
doing you no good? No, I'm not paranoid. The monster is very real, very
large, very powerful, very abusive in using its power, and is why we have
that very expensive circus. What is this monster? It's the corpocracy, a
marriage made in Hell between "our" government and large corporations.
This monster is ruling and ruining America and Americans.

There are so many telltale signs that the monster exists that it would
take one billboard after another to post them. The monster's domination,
often harmful, is over every aspect of our lives. Here are some of the
signs to illustrate what I'm talking about.

A Few Telltale Signs of The Monster's Domination

(1)  Over Our Personal and Cultural Lives

. Dominates and manipulates the mass media;
. Commercializes and privatizes our education;
. Commercializes our religion;
. Ceaselessly promotes materialism and consumption;
. Uproots our homes for commercial development;
. Callously forecloses on our homes; and,
. Allows bridges to collapse; gushing poop from broken sewers; etc.

(2) Over Our Economic Lives

. Gouges us with outrageous interest fees;
. Creates haves and have-nots;
. Gives us substandard wages if we have a job;
. Downsizes us;
. Outsources our work;
. Emasculates our unions;
. Creates monopolies and Big Box stores;
. Causes the collapse of our small business firms;
. Creates the unsafe/unhealthy products we buy;
. Privatizes and degrades our public utilities;
. Starves and privatizes our social services;
. Devours and bankrupts honorable companies; and,
. Favors Wall Street over our Main Street every time;

(3)  Over Our "Self-Governing" Lives

. Buys politicians we don't want or deserve;
. Gets Supreme Court rulings against us;
. Hand picks judges who judge against us;
. Lobbies intensely for its own special interests, not ours;
. Always trumps our interests with corporate interests;
. Hi-jacks OUR Constitution;
. Controls laws and regulations and escapes accountability; and,
. Scams state and local governments for subsidies;

(4)  Over Our National Security

. Promotes and profits from endless wars;
. Privatizes the military; and,
. Weakens our true security by breeding dissent.

(5)  Over Our Environment

. Treats natural resources as commodities and waste dumps; and,
. Thumbs its nose at Mother/Father Nature.

All told, the signs should tell us that we, the people, have very little
say over matters that should be ours and ours alone to decide and to
control: matters of our health, education, and welfare, our own form of
government; our own elected officials; war or peace; environmental
protection or plundering; our own liberties, our own life equations. Say
what?  Our own life equations?  Yes.

You + Your Situations = Whether/How Much Health, Happiness, and Prosperity
You Have or Don't Have

That may just be the most fundamental and important non-mathematical
equation you will ever read. Answer this question: If you had your
druthers whom or what would you want to have more control or influence
over your equation throughout your life? Would it be you or would it be
situations in your life like the monster? It's a rhetorical question,
obviously, but I think it gets the point across. You would prefer to be
empowered enough so that you can shape your own destiny by enhancing
yourself and mastering or at least coping with your situations
sufficiently and in doing so enable you to be sufficiently healthy, happy,
and prosperous - the three essential elements of one's quality of life.
How many Americans do you think enjoy that luxury to the maximum?  Only
those in the corpocracy?

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is more than "just" a
declaration of the sanctity and importance of our life equations. It's an
affirmation of humanity in a civilized society. It's also why the American
Revolution was fought.

We do not live in a democracy. We live in a corpocracy. Why don't we put
an end to it? It's much easier said than done. First, the monster is huge,
wealthy, and powerful. Second, believe it or not, most American's don't
really see the monster for one or more reasons. Third, the people who do
see it are too few and too disorganized. In the next article in this
series I will explain why the monster's telltale signs aren't really
telling most Americans that the monster is in their midst.

Gary Brumback is a retired organizational psychologist, book reviewer, and
book author. He can be reached at: democracypower [at] bellsouth.net.


--------16 of x--------

Two Cheers for Netanyahu
Exposure of Obama Complete
by John Walsh
March 19th, 2010
Dissident Voice

Joe Biden got torpedoed in Israel last week, no question about it. Not as
bad as the lethal attack on the USS Liberty, but pretty nasty nonetheless.
Biden, however, soldiered on, conferring with his boss for some 90 minutes
and leaving the food cold at the Netanyahu homestead.

Bibi's humiliation of Biden and Obama brought out the whole of the
punditry, some of it going so far as to criticize the Zionist state. Even
Tom Friedman waxed indignant, counseling that the hapless Veep should have
packed up and gone home. But, like Biden, Friedman is certain to get over
it just as surely as he recanted recently when he had the poor judgment to
utter a kind word about China. Uri Avnery captured the Biden fiasco best,
observing that a weakling with spit on his face calls it rain. And Pat
Buchanan observed that Biden remained in "full pander mode" even as Israel
kicked its American poodle. But by midweek the falsehoods had begun to
take hold and the punditry was starting to rewrite the story, with Maureen
Dowd spinning the incident as a smackdown of Bibi by Barack who had
finally "lost his temper". This insight rivaled her accompanying
characterization of Israeli colonies in East Jerusalem as "a domestic
zoning issue". And by Wednesday, op-eds in the Wall Street Journal and
elsewhere were blaming the whole incident on Barry for bringing up the
"settlement" issue in the first place. Finally toward week's end on
Thursday the Washington Post revealed that Barry and Bibi had reached a
secret understanding that the settlement construction could continue so
long as they remained out of public view. Sic semper Obama.

Netanyahu, however, deserves the undying gratitude of every real
progressive in the U.S. This past year has been like a dance of the seven
veils for Obama. They had been all teased away, save for one. The veil of
peace, the veil of civil liberties, the veil of environmentalism,
single-payer, nuclear disarmament (ripped away by a big new budget for
nukes), opposition to the banksters - stripped away one by one. The only
remaining vestment was opposition to Israel's colonies. And Bibi tore that
one off between breakfast and (delayed) dinner, leaving Obama standing as
naked as Ishtar or Salome. [Naked and morally revolting. -ed]

So thanks, Bibi, for finishing the job. Now that it's done we can expect
all those who aggressively championed candidate Obama to broadcast
effusive apologies for so doing. Let us never forget that Obama was not
just the candidate of the Democrats but the hands down choice of the most
"progressive" wing of the Party, its dream candidate. By revealing Obama
for what he is, the limitations of the Dems are laid bare. Obama is all we
can expect from them, and it is not much. [Equally naked and morally
revolting. -ed]

By now Obama's backers surely recognize that they should not have urged
him on us, just because he was so "cool" in schooling and appearance, or
because all their friends liked him. Surely by now they realize that they
were not voting for prom king but for the Emperor of the U.S.

With Obama's exposure completed by Bibi, we can expect an apology from the
leaders of PDA like Norman Solomon, from the message controllers at The
Nation, from other gate keepers in the "progressive" movement, from Tom
Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Phyllis Bennis and other leaders of UFPJ and the
official peace movement, even perhaps from MoveOn.org. Surely they will be
in print soon, promising no more pigs in a poke that turn out to be rats
when let out of the bag. At the least they will apologize profusely for
imposing Obama on us.

I can hardly wait to hear from them.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar [at] gmail.com.


--------17 of x--------

International Campaign Around Venezuela's Elections Has Begun
An Ugly and Dangerous Game
By MARC WEISBROT
CounterPunch
March 19 - 21, 2010

Venezuela has an election for its National Assembly in September, and the
campaign has begun in earnest. I am referring to the international
campaign. This is carried out largely through the international media;
although some will spill over into the Venezuelan media. It involves many
public officials, especially in the U.S. The goal will be to generate as
much bad press as possible about Venezuela, to discredit the government,
and to de-legitimize the September elections - in case the opposition
should choose to boycott, as they did in the last legislative elections,
or refuse to recognize the results if they lose.

There's no need for conspiracy, since the principal actors all know what
to do. Occasionally some will be off message due to lack of co-ordination.
A fascinating example of this occurred last week when Sen. John McCain
tried to get Gen. Doug Fraser of the U.S. Southern Command to back his
accusations that Venezuela supports terrorist activities. Testifying
before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 11, General Fraser
contradicted McCain:

"We have continued to watch very closely ... We have not seen any
connections specifically that I can verify that there has been a direct
government-to-terrorist connection".

Oops! Apparently Fraser didn't get the memo that the Obama team, not just
McCain, is in full campaign mode against Venezuela. The next day, he
issued a statement recanting his testimony:

"Assistant Secretary Valenzuela [the State Department.s top Latin America
official] and I spoke this morning on the topic of linkages between the
government of Venezuela and the FARC. There is zero daylight between our
two positions, and we are in complete agreement.

There is indeed clear and documented historical and ongoing evidence of
the linkages between the Government of Venezuela and the FARC . ... we are
in direct alignment with our partners at the State Department and the
Intelligence Community".

Well it's good to know that the United States still has civilian control
over the military, at least in the Western Hemisphere. On the other hand,
it would be even better if the truth counted for anything in these
Congressional hearings or in Washington foreign policy circles generally.
The general's awkward and seemingly forced reversal went unnoticed by the
media.

The "documented and historical and ongoing evidence" mentioned by Gen.
Fraser refers to material alleged to come from laptops and hard drives
allegedly found by the Colombian military in a cross-border raid into
Ecuador in 2008. Never mind that this is the same military that has been
found to have killed hundreds of innocent teenagers and dressed them up in
guerrilla clothing. These laptops and hard drives will continue to be
tapped for previously undisclosed "evidence," which will then be deployed
in the campaign against the Venezuelan government. We will be asked to
assume that the "captured documents" are authentic, and most of the media
will do so.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's attacks on Venezuela during her
trip to South America were one of the opening salvos of this campaign.
Most of what will follow is predictable. There will be hate-filled
editorials in the major newspapers, led by the neo-con editorial board of
the Washington Post (a.k.a. Fox on 15th Street). Chavez will be accused of
repressing the media, even though most of the Venezuelan media - as
measured by audience - is still controlled by the opposition. In fact, the
media in Venezuela is still far more in opposition to the government than
is our own media in the United States, or for that matter in most of the
world. But the international press will be trying to convey the image that
Venezuela is Burma or North Korea.

In Washington D.C., if I try to broadcast on an FM radio frequency without
a legal broadcast license, I will be shut down. When this happens in
Venezuela, it is reported as censorship. No one here will bother to look
at the legalities or the details, least of all the pundits and editorial
writers, or even many of the reporters.

The Venezuelan economy was in recession in 2009, but will likely begin to
grow again this year. The business press will ignore the economic growth
and hype the inflation, as they have done for the past six years, when the
country's record economic growth cut the country's poverty rate by half
and extreme poverty by 70 percent (which was also ignored). Resolutions
will be introduced into the U.S. Congress condemning Venezuela for
whatever.

The U.S. government will continue to pour millions of dollars into
Venezuela through USAID, and will refuse to disclose the recipients. This
is the non-covert part of their funding for the campaign inside Venezuela.

The only part of this story that is not predictable is what the ultimate
result of the international campaign will be. In Venezuela's last
legislative elections of 2005, the opposition boycotted the national
elections, with at least tacit support from the Bush Administration. In an
attempt to de-legitimize the government, they gave up winning probably at
least 30 percent of the legislature.

At the time, most of the media - and also the Organization of American
States - rejected the idea that the election was illegitimate simply
because the opposition boycotted.

But that was under the Bush Administration, which had lost some
credibility on Venezuela due to its support for the 2002 coup, and for
other reasons. It could be different under an Obama Administration.

That is why it is so ominous to see this Administration mounting an
unprovoked, transparently obvious campaign to de-legitimize the Venezuelan
government prior to a national election. This looks like a signal to the
opposition: "We will support you if you decide to return to an
insurrectionary strategy," either before or after the election.

The U.S. State Department is playing an ugly and dangerous game.

[I wish all the evils that Obama Inc wishes upon Venezuela be instead
visited upon the Obama government, ten times over. -ed]

Mark Weisbrot is an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic
and Policy Research. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security:
the Phony Crisis.


--------18 of x--------

A Little Known Fact About the 9/11 Planes
by Anthony Lawson
March 19th, 2010
Dissident Voice

It is not a theory but a fact - one that is well known within the 9/11
truth movement - that the 9/11 Commission failed to ensure that at least
one of the appropriate government agencies: the NTSB, the FBI or the FAA
was commissioned to positively identify the aircraft which were allegedly
involved in the murders of nearly 3,000 people, on September 11, 2001.

One does not need to be a Harvard Law School graduate to know that the
first and most important requirement in any murder investigation is to
determine the cause of death, which often leads to a requirement to
identify, and trace to its origins, a murder weapon, or, in the case of
9/11: weapons.  And there can be no doubt that each of the four planes
which were allegedly hijacked on the morning of  9/11 was posited as being
a murder weapon by the U.S. administration and the 9/11 Commission, yet
there is absolutely nothing which firmly connects the four
allegedly-hijacked planes to any of the 9/11 crash sites.

In fact, it is not fanciful to suggest that if a lawyer, even of a far
lower calibre than that of an Alan Dershowitz, were engaged to defend the
airport security companies that allegedly allowed 19 box-cutter-carrying
Arabs to get on to those planes, he would immediately call for the
dismissal of such an action on the grounds that the planes which allegedly
hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the one
which crashed near Shanksville had never been forensically identified as
the planes which, allegedly, had been hijacked that morning.

And such a motion could not possibly be denied, as I will explain.

The planes in question were alleged to have been: American Airlines flight
11 (Tail Number: N334AA), North Tower;  United Airlines flight 175
(N612UA), South Tower;  American Airlines flight 77 (N644AA), the
Pentagon, and United Airlines flight 93 (N591UA), which supposedly crashed
near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  But the truth is that they could well
have been different planes that had arrived on the scenes from quite
different locations, because the crash debris recovered from those four
crash sites has never been forensically linked to the planes that
allegedly took off from Logan International, Boston; Dulles International,
Washington and Newark International, New Jersey, and which were,
allegedly, hijacked shortly thereafter.  Therefore, they cannot possibly
be linked, without a reasonable doubt, to breaches of security at those
airports.

So it would be a remarkable irony, and quite possibly a unique
circumstance in the annals of American jurisprudence, if the assumptions
used as reasons for launching wars against two sovereign nations, as well
as the more generalised "War on Terror" would not stand up as evidence in
either a criminal prosecution or a civil damages suit in an American court
of law.

Air-crash investigations in the United States are normally carried out by
the NTSB's air accident investigation division, and there are several
documentary television series featuring this government agency's
painstaking approach when investigating the causes of air crashes. During
many such investigations, serial numbers from recovered parts are cross
checked with the airline-in-question's purchase and maintenance records,
to try and identify the reason for an accident, when it is suspected that
mechanical failure may have been the cause.

However, the NTSB has confirmed that - apparently for the first time from
its inception, in 1967, since when it has investigated more than 124,000
other aviation accidents - it took no part in investigating any of the air
crashes which occurred on September 11, 2001.  So the world has been asked
to take it on faith and hearsay that the four planes involved were normal
scheduled flights which were hijacked by Arab terrorists, some of whom,
are, allegedly, still alive.

Even more disturbing is the fact that documentation exists, and is
available on the Internet, which indicates that the FBI, backed up by a
separate letter from the Justice Department, has refused to release any
information under the Freedom of Information Act about any debris
recovered from the crash sites, including the serial number of the "Black
Box" Cockpit Flight Data Recorder allegedly found near the alleged crash
site of United Airlines Flight 93.  It may be recalled that a transcript
taken from this recorder formed the basis for several TV dramas and one
Academy-Award winning feature film.

By no means finally, but just as disturbing, the core of a jet engine,
which can be seen in several 9/11 videos falling out of the northern face
of the WTC's South Tower, and which hit a building on its way down, and
was photographed and videoed - in the presence of FBI personnel and at
least one FBI vehicle - where it came to rest at the junction of Church
and Murray streets, was later photographed, prior to its [alleged] burial
in a land fill on Staten Island.  So much for what murder investigators
are usually so concerned about:  The chain of custody and preservation of
important evidence, pending its identification.

The events of 9/11 had consequences far beyond the destruction of life and
property in the United States; they were the reasons for the launching of
three wars.  Yet it is obvious that a leader writer of an influential
newspaper, the Washington Post, could not spare the time to look into such
a serious matter - one that people with far fewer resources than he or she
has access to have managed to do - before launching a scathing attack on a
member of the Japanese parliament and the world-wide 9/11 truth movement,
in general.

Just because the 9/11 Commission did not do its job properly is no excuse
for newspaper writers not to do theirs.  Unless, of course, newspapers
such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post
and the Los Angeles Times are playing a conscious role in a conspiracy to
prevent the truth about these events from surfacing.  In which case their
editors and owners would almost certainly be guilty of misprision of
felony.

I would like to stress that the identity of the planes is not the only
reason why the 9/11 Commission's findings should be regarded as invalid,
and its members found guilty, at the very least, of gross oversights in
the collection of the evidence which was used in the writing of its Final
Report.  Even a cursory look at the visual evidence of the collapsing
World Trade Center's Twin Towers and WTC 7 should have instilled grave
doubts about the findings of some of the experts from the National
Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST.

But, for my money, the real smoking guns were, and still are, the four
aircraft that were used as weapons on that terrible day, and for them not
to have been identified breaks every rule in any book which seeks to teach
the art of solving crimes.

Anthony Lawson is a retired, international-prize-winning TV commercials
director, cameraman and editor, and a professional voiceover artist living
in Thailand. His entire catalog of YouTube videos can be viewed online.
Read other articles by Anthony.


--------19 of x--------

 The ruling class says
 that there is no ruling class.
 So it must be so.


 Who better than the ruling class to settle the age-old question whether
 there is a ruling class? And who are we to question them? Mere employees,
 proletariat, workees, water-blooded dirt-grubbers... So when a
 way-better-than-us aristocrat says neither he nor his class exists,
 we'd damn well better believe him (as he deftly picks our pockets).


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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