|Progressive Calendar 03.23.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 10:26:22 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.23.10 1. Vs Pawlenty's cuts 3.23 12noon 2. Education/refugee 3.23 4pm 3. Israeli apartheid 3.23 5pm 4. Aeon/apt homes 3.23 5:15pm 5. Indymedia/data 3.23 5:30pm 6. Salon naval gazing 3.23 5:30pm 7. CRA/Bicking forum 3.23 7pm 8. WAMM immigration 3.23 7pm 9. Frontline/economy 3.23 9pm 10. Alliant vigil 3.24 7am 11. Raingarden 3.24 12noon 12. CRA board hearing 3.24 1:30pm 13. Amnesty Intl 3.24 6pm 14. ed - Bicking for CRA sign-on (updated) 15. Rich Broderick - Class war: Corporate media and false consciousness 16. Shamus Cooke - The Democrats' health care bill: defeat in victory 17. John V Walsh - Insurance execs live high, more Americans die --------1 of 17-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Vs Pawlenty's cuts 3.23 12noon Press Conference and Speak-Out: "Don't Cut from the Poor, Disabled or Working People of Minnesota" Tuesday, March 23, Noon Minnesota State Capitol, First Floor, Outside Governor Pawlenty's Office), 75 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul. Please join others in taking a strong step for social justice. Governor Pawlenty's proposed budget cuts are the most hurtful, illogical, inhumane and criminal to date. If these cuts are passed in the 2010 Legislative Session, this will bring more harm and devastation to many families that are already struggling. As we continue face severe economic crisis, there is a need more than ever for the very programs that Pawlenty is proposing to cut. The more people come and speak out against these cuts, the harder it will be for the other politicians to blindly follow Pawlenty. Let Pawlenty know it is time stop balancing the budget on the backs of poor and working Minnesotans! Sponsored by: the Welfare Rights Committee (WRC). Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call 612-822-8020. --------2 of 17-------- From: UMN Human Rights Center <humanrts [at] umn.edu> Subject: Education/refugee 3.23 4pm March 23, 2010 - Education in Lugufu Refugee Camp: Speaking the Language of Peace. 4:00 pm-6:00 pm. Cost: Free and open to the public. Room 260, Social Sciences Bldg., University of Minnesota, 267 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, 55455 Food Will be Served! The Human Rights Program invites you to the colloquia of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Group on Human Rights and Transitional Justice Presentation by Maiyia Yang, PhD Candidate, Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) Second Presentation, TBA For more information: PejuSolarin@ sola0020 [at] umn.edu Funding for these series comes from The Graduate School --------3 of 17-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: Israeli apartheid 3.23 5pm Israeli Apartheid Week @ the U of M : Dr. Reecia Orzeck on "The roots of Israel's colonial and apartheid questions" Tuesday March 23rd, 5pm, Blegen 415 --------4 of 17-------- From: Amy Pfarr Walker <apfarrwalker [at] aeonmn.org> Subject: Aeon/apt homes 3.23 5:15pm See the difference you make through Aeon's mission to create quality affordable apartments homes. Join us: Annual Meeting & Celebration - March 23 This isn't one of those stuffy annual meetings...this is a true celebration of our work & residents! Share a meal with your neighbors as you meet Aeon's residents, staff, board and supporters. Enjoy a resident art show and spoken word performer Desdamona. Join us from 5:15 - 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 at the Zuhrah Shrine Center. View more event details. [http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102969036340&s=2507&e=001Qn0BJFC0nr7nleNnuOBHQbWS13Ft93Mm5e08rwfNg321Duw4Ub6I1R_TuXkFNjApFKpFax-Cbe3ifhL1N-Ej3fcxS6ZQsbZTCZ_HciaI6xyCKg37HjIz0-Zmji2ERnzjmB-HKXD5P2NO-3A1NWbIeNfeeUG0YyZiDV2vB9V5xBmDzxspcOIM5x7D-9_gZFlszYvCHPj8xV_ hoa8mIjjB3yxek03aB6juLBaikAHDXKxWQle4A9asOXQ61A4FEVrSEhfPeAeN3ePrceSnrai5pV7rOLnzBIZvU5oCjrww8IrQ8R1IFlMyog==] --------5 of 17-------- From: Dan Feidt <dan.feidt [at] GMAIL.COM> Subject: Indymedia/data 3.23 5:30pm Hi, just a friendly reminder of 3.23 government data workshop with TC Indymedia @ the U of M West Bank's Blegen Hall Room 140, 5:30-7:30PM. Please tell your friends, no registration or RSVP needed! We have lined up a really nice set of speakers, plus quick videos from noted ex-government whistleblowers Coleen Rowley on federal info processes (how to see if you have an FBI file) & Michael Ruppert on researching. Also North St. Paul Attorney Nathan Hansen will talk about Minnesota data practices, plus citizen privacy advocate Rich Neumeister & former top state information administrator Don Gemberling as well. If needed please give me a call 651-338-7661, also we'll try to have the videos posted later too. It would be great if someone brings a few snacks or drinks :) We also may videotape the presentations if that's OK with attendees & presenters. More info: http://tc.indymedia.org/2010/mar/getting-goods-workshop-digging-twin-cities-indymedia-foia-mn-data-practices-act http://excotc.org/content/getting-the-goods-workshop-digging-in-with-twin-cities-indymedia-foia-mn-data-practices-act MAP: http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/BlegH/ Getting the Goods Workshop: Digging in with Twin Cities Indymedia, FOIA & MN Data Practices Act Want to learn how to get information out of the federal, state and local governments? Join a workshop facilitated by Twin Cities Indymedia, with special experts in the field explaining how government record works, and how to get the info out. Tuesday March 23rd With presentations from citizen information activist Rich Neumeister & data practices expert Don Gemberling. Tuesday March 23 5:30-7:30pm U of M West Bank, Blegen Hall 140 map: http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/BlegH/ --------6 of 17-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Salon naval gazing 3.23 5:30pm HI, since there are 5 Tuesdays this month, we will take one of those to just have an evaluation of how the salons are going and what to do. Next Tuesday is that Tuesday. March 23. If you have ideas to share, please come. The following Tuesday will be the discussion of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho for The Little Book of the Odd Month Club. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------7 of 17-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: CRA/Bicking forum 3.23 7pm Sponsored by the New Broom Coalition and CUAPB (Communities United Against Police Brutality) COMMUNITY FORUM ABOUT THE CIVILIAN POLICE REVIEW AUTHORITY (CRA) What is the future of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) in view of its recent and long-standing problems? Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 7:00pm Walker Community Methodist Church 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls What is the future of the CRA? Will it be an effective agency to reduce police abuses? Or will it be window dressing to deflect community anger? Will it become so obviously powerless that it is either discarded or redesigned once again? The CRA board is currently in turmoil. Some important progress has been made by the board, particularly in its evaluation of Police Chief Dolan's performance relative to the CRA. Recently, internal divisions have led to the Board Chair's unilateral cancellation of the last board meeting, with no reason given. The board chair has also called for the resignation of one of the most active members, Dave Bicking. How can the CRA board move forward? How can the CRA be more effective? How can we help Dave Bicking, who is up for reappointment by City Council and the Mayor? These questions will be addressed by past and present members of the CRA and other long term activists against police brutality. All are welcome to come and share ideas, areas of disagreement, or any relevant information or experience. Speakers: Michelle Gross, Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) Dave Bicking, member of the CRA* Pam Franklin, member of the CRA* Michael Friedman, Executive Director of Legal Rights Center, and past Board Chair of the CRA Papa John Kolstad, sometime candidate, musician, small businessman, and political activist *for identification only, not speaking on behalf of the CRA board This forum comes just before the appointment of new members to the CRA and the possible reappointment of Dave Bicking. We hope to engage the community at this important time for the CRA and to provide information for action. New Broom Coalition: www.newbroomcoalition.net, or call Dave or Jan at 612-276-1213 CUAPB: www.cuapb.org, or call their hotline at 612-874-STOP --------8 of 17-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: WAMM immigration 3.23 7pm Committee Meeting: WAMM Immigration Committee Tuesday, March 23, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Sabathani Community Center, Third Floor, Conference Center, Room E, 310 East 38th Street, Minneapolis. Interested in the welfare of immigrants and/or humane immigration reform? Come be a part of a new committee at WAMM. Learn more about the truths of immigration and join in a nationwide effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform. FFI: Call 612-827-5364. --------9 of 17-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Frontline/economy 3.23 9pm PBS | This week on FRONTLINE COMING TUESDAY: Close to Home Airs Mar. 23rd, 9PM ET (check local listings) So here's a rather unlikely place to try to understand the reach and depth of the economic crisis -- New York's tony Upper East Side. It is the setting for this week's encore program Tuesday night. In Close To Home, producer Ofra Bikel offers an unusually personal and candid report on the recession's impact as seen through the stories of fellow clients at the hair salon she's frequented for two decades. As she explains it, she arrived at the idea for this film after months of research around the country: "And one day, walking across Park and Madison, I reflected on how far away the economic troubles seemed to be from these streets; even to New Yorkers, the Upper East Side seems special--a world apart, of privilege and security. Then I arrived at my hair salon." Bikel's longtime hairdresser Deborah invited her to stay and listen, as one person after another sat in Deborah's chair. Bikel quickly got an earful: Lay-offs, businesses going bust, the threat of home foreclosure, stresses in families. Bikel realized she didn't need to travel the country to see the fall-out from the economic mess -- she just needed to listen to what people were saying right uptown. Entertainment Tonight hailed this film as "another moving, chilling, and essential documentary" by Bikel; another critic said it is "just as eye-opening as [FRONTLINE's] reports from Washington." We hope you'll watch Tuesday. Otherwise, you can watch it right now online, where you'll also find an interview with Ofra Bikel and an opportunity to join the discussion. --------10 of 17-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Alliant vigil 3.24 7am Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems, 7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie. We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies? directions and lots of info: alliantACTION.org --------11 of 17-------- From: Institute on the Environment <danie419 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Raingarden 3.24 12noon FRONTIERS IN THE ENVIRONMENT The Institute on the Environment's spring 2010 Frontiers lecture series is now underway. Join us each Wednesday for a presentation and Q&A session, followed by a casual get-together in the IonE Commons. The lectures also air live on the Web. 3/24 - The Raingarden Renaissance (film screening) Speaker: Mark Pedelty, Associate Professor, Journalism and Mass Communication Note: Because this presentation entails a full film screening, it will not be broadcast live due to viewing quality and copyright issues. A Neighborhood of Raingardens is a three-part film about local nonprofit Metro Blooms' effort to clean up Powderhorn Lake. Metro Blooms is working with residents to install 150 rain gardens throughout Powderhorn, using a similar-sized neighborhood as a control to evaluate the effect of the gardens on stormwater quality and quantity. The film presents compelling images, sound and information related to the material, animal and human components of this pioneering project. A team of University of Minnesota faculty, students and staff is working on the film, and would like community feedback on Part 1, a 20-minute segment that explains rain garden ecology and looks at the planning and volunteer recruitment, along with the challenges related to the monitoring plan. Lectures take place Wednesdays, noon to 1 p.m, in IonE Seminar Room 380, VoTech Bldg., St. Paul campus. All lectures are free, no registration required, and also air live on the Web. --------12 of 17-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: CRA board hearing 3.24 1:30pm Communities United Against Police Brutality EMAIL NEWS March 21, 2010 THIS WEEK: THE FUTURE OF THE CRA IS AT STAKE SIGN THE PETITION IN SUPPORT OF KEEPING DAVE BICKING ON THE CRA BOARD: <http://www.petitiononline.com/CUAPB004/petition.html>http://www.petitiononline.com/CUAPB004/petition.html SIGN THE PETITION DEMANDING DON BELLFIELD RESIGN FROM THE CRA BOARD: http://www.petitiononline.com/CUAPB003/petition.html PUBLIC HEARING ON CRA BOARD MEMBER APPOINTMENTS Wednesday, March 24 1:30pm Minneapolis City Hall, Room 317 The Public Safety & Health Committee of the City Council will hold a public hearing to reappoint CRA board members and fill the open slots on the board. Applicants will have a chance to speak and answer questions. The public will also have a chance to speak. Normally, these sort of public hearings for appointments to city boards and commissions are very low-key with just the applicants showing up. However, this is a great opportunity to have an impact on who sits on this very important board. Already the dirty tricks have started, with Dave Bicking being listed as just another candidate for a slot on the board, rather than a reappointment. Take these actions: 1) Sign the petition in support of keeping Dave Bicking on the board: <http://www.petitiononline.com/CUAPB004/petition.html>http://www.petitiononline.com/CUAPB004/petition.html 2) Contact the members of the Public Safety & Health Committee: Cam Gordon, Ward 2 <mailto:cam.gordon%40ci.minneapolis.mn.us>cam.gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Diane Hofstede, Ward 3 <mailto:diane.hofstede%40ci.minneapolis.mn.us>diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Barb Johnson, Ward 4 <mailto:barbara.johnson%40ci.minneapolis.mn.us>barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Don Samuels, Ward 5 <mailto:don.samuels%40ci.minneapolis.mn.us>don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Meg Tuthill, Ward 10 <mailto:meg.tuthill%40ci.minneapolis.mn.us>meg.tuthill [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Betsy Hodges, Ward 13 <mailto:betsy.hodges%40ci.minneapolis.mn.us>betsy.hodges [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.u 3) Show up at the public hearing and speak out. NEXT CRA BOARD MEETING Wednesday, April 7 6:30 p.m. Minneapolis City Hall, Room 333 Please plan to attend the next CRA board meeting and let your voice be heard. Between Chair Bellfield's lawbreaking under the ordinance and his efforts to have Dave Bicking ousted from the board, things are really heating up with the CRA. This next meeting promises to be plenty spicy. There may even be a few surprises. You won't want to miss it! --------13 of 17-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 3.24 6pm AIUSA Group 640 (Saint Paul) meets Wednesday, March 24th, at 6:00 p.m. Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul. --------14 of 17-------- From: ed Bicking for CRA sign-on (updated) Here is THE Bicking support statement: [statement approved by Dave Bicking] [See signatures at end and add yours!] Greetings Do you want to sign on personally? If so, email me at shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu and say "sign me on", write/spell your name as you would like it to appear, and if adding an affiliation, write out how you want that to appear (Affiliations for identification purposes only). Thanks! -David Shove -begin statement- IN SUPPORT OF THE REAPPOINTMENT OF DAVE BICKING TO THE CRA We, the undersigned, support the reappointment of Dave Bicking to the board of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA). For nearly two years, Dave Bicking has been an active and effective member of the CRA. He has strengthened the important work of civilian oversight of the Minneapolis police. We see his reappointment as an indication of whether the Mayor and City Council are committed to the importance and independence of the CRA. In addition to the central work of hearing cases, Bicking has taken the initiative in other important roles for the CRA, and has worked with other board members to gain support for these ideas and projects. Bicking led the work to bring to light the Police Departmentīs overturning of the Taser policy that was developed by the CRA and passed by the City Council. He did much of the work of bringing together CRA data and board membersī observations to produce the CRA report on the performance of the Police Chief. Dave Bicking has brought to the board a long history of activism, hard work, and skills. He has remained outspoken in his support for police accountability and civilian review, and in his critique of current police policies and leadership. That has not precluded fair and impartial adjudication of the complaints against individual officers, nor has he been criticized for bias by any who have witnessed his work on hearing panels. It would be unprecedented to not reappoint a dedicated CRA board member who wishes to continue on the board. Four year terms for CRA board members help insure the independence of the CRA. Bicking is up for reappointment after less than two years only because he was originally appointed to fill an unexpired term. Effective civilian review has always been opposed by powerful interests. The attempt to remove Dave Bicking from the CRA is part of an effort to eliminate the CRA or make it too weak to matter. We support strong provisions for police accountability and we support those who stand up for victims of police misconduct. We appeal to the Mayor and the City Council to reappoint Dave Bicking to another term on the CRA. Signed by: Organizations: CUAPB (Communities United Against Police Brutality) New Broom Coalition Individuals: (affiliations for identification purposes only) Mustafa Adam Theodore A A Bagg Shane Bastien Margaret Beegle Emily Murphy Bicking Lisa Bolton Gayle Bonneville, Mpls voter Louise Bouta, Well Mind Association of Minnesota Kris Broberg Joey Brochin Paul Busch, Metro Watchdog Alan Carlson, St Paul Gary Carlson, 4CD Green Party Michael Cavlan RN, Progressive Independents Kevin Chavis Tom Cleland Duncan Connel Rebeccca & Scott Cramer Chris David, DFL activist Ayan Deriam, 5CD Green Party Mary Devitt Dan Dittman Ted Dooley, attorney Tom Dooley, Working Democracy member Eskit Pam Franklin Michael Friedman, Former Chair, Mpls CRA Ann Galloway Amber Garlan, Secretary 4th CD Green Party David Garland Linden Gawboy Rhoda Gilman Richard Gravrok Michelle Gross, President, CUAPB Farheen Hakeem, National Co-chair of the Green Party of the United States Robert Halfhill Andy Hamerlinck Paul Hansen George Hamm, Green Party Melissa Hill Brian Hokanson Allan Hancock, Chair, 3rd Congressional District Green Party Local Ron Holch Lydia Howell Ashley James Neal Juliar Richard Kendall Frank S Kennett John Kolstad, president Mill City Music, candidate for Mpls mayor Andrew Larson Bruce Leier Lynn Levine Diana Longrie, Attorney at Law Niklas Ludwig Doug Mann, Mpls School Board candidate Wizard M Marks Karen McDowell Bill McGaughey Jan McGee Tracy Mohm Carol Mellom Peter Molenaar Justine Murphy Anne Ness Tim Nolan, Editor of Global Peace Janet Nye Jeff Nygaard Eric Oines, Mpls Thistle Parker-Hartog Kathleen Ruona Sarah Santiago Shar in Mpls David Shove, Progressive Calendar Scott Stenwick Jessica Sundin Tom Taylor Whitney Taylor Michael L Tupper Chuck Turchick Dorian J Ullman Cameron Ulmer Charley Underwood David Weisberg Mike Whalen and you!... --------15 of 17-------- The Fog of (Class) War: Corporate media and the creation of false consciousness By Rich Broderick March 22, 2010 My 22-year-old daughter is learning some harsh realities about America's dystunctional politico-economic system. In December, Emma graduated from the University of Minnesota with a double-major in psychology and child psychology. Even though she completed her B.A. in just three and a-half years, she finished up with honors and a GPA just shy of 4.0. Just before graduation, a faculty member who'd taught one of Emma's classes offered her a position as a part-time research assistant earning $15 an hour for 20 hours a week - more than enough for someone who shares a house with several other young people to cover expenses and even put something away for grad school. Emma was walking on air, looking forward to a bright future. But then a funny thing happened. When she showed up to sign the papers for her new job, the HR folks informed her that her prof had been mistaken: the only position the U was prepared to offer was for up to 14 hours a week at $10 an hour. Emma gulped and accepted the revised offer. Since then her 20 hours a week, $15 an hour job has turned into on-call temp work, with Emma sometimes working two or three hours a week. She is now scrambling around to find a real job but so far, no luck, other than some babysitting gigs. This spring, when her lease runs out, she is probably going to move in back with us. And, oh yes, she's now been dropped from my health insurance coverage because she is no longer a full-time student. Emma is far more fortunate than many people her age - and older. She has a home she can return to, and parents willing and able to help out. But in microcosm, her predicament offers a real-life comment on the so-called American Dream. And what is the truth about that dream? Simply this: late stage consumer capitalism - what I like to think of as Stage 4 capitalism, a malignancy that has escaped its initial site and now ravages the entire body politic - is good at doing only one thing. It is not, as my daughter is learning, any good at providing jobs that promote social mobility. As millions of others know, neither is it any good at providing health care for everyone, healthy food, a rational transit system, affordable housing or a life imbued with meaning and purpose. No. The only thing that Stage 4 capitalism is any good at is manufacturing false consciousness, that endlessly elaborating, ever-expanding fog of distraction and self-destructive values in which happiness is equated with purchasing power and realizing the goal of living inside a pain-free, disengaged bubble. A bubble in which the answer to every one of life's questions is the same: "more." A bubble in which, like the elderly couple I saw recently leaving a grocery store carrying two 12-packs of Sprite and two economy-sized packages of Depends adult diapers, even our ability to connect cause with effect or to be able to perceive what is in our own best interest has been fatally compromised. As Herbert Marcuse wrote in An Essay on Liberation, "The market has always been one of exploitation and thereby of domination, insuring the class structure of society. However the productive process of advanced capitalism has altered the form of domination...Not the automobile is repressive, not the television set is repressive, not the household gadgets are repressive, but...produced in accordance with the requirements of profitable exchange [they] have become part and parcel of the people's own existence, their own 'actualization.' Thus [people] have to buy part and parcel of their own existence on the market; this existence is the realization of capital. The naked class interest builds the unsafe and obsolescent automobiles and through them promotes destructive energy; the class interest employs the mass media for the advertising of violence and stupidity...Self-determination, the autonomy of the individual, asserts itself in the right to race his automobile, to handle his power tools, to buy a gun, to communicate to mass audiences his opinion, no matter how ignorant, how aggressive, it may be. Organized capitalism has sublimated and turned to socially productive use frustration and primary aggressiveness on an unprecedented scale - unprecedented not in terms of the quantity of violence but rather in terms of its capacity to produce long-range contentment and satisfaction, to reproduce 'voluntary servitude.'" Can anyone say "Tea Party?" Marcuse wrote that in 1969; today the reach and power of the corporate media he cites as the primary tool employed by capitalism to merchandise false consciousness have grown exponentially and are now all but inescapable. One measure of the falseness of what is being peddled can be encapsulated by a single fact: despite our 24/7 news outlets, the rise of the Internet, and the availability of thousands of print publications, year after year international surveys show that Americans are the most poorly informed - or perhaps, most richly misinformed is a more accurate way of putting it - population of any advanced society on earth. And it's getting worse. We have not even begun to reckon with the implications of the fact that the corporate mass media is the first normative institution in the world governed solely by the profit motive. Yes, money is involved in every other normative institution - families, churches, schools, the military - but profit is not (or should not be, certainly) the sole purpose of those institutions, their raison d'etre. If we analyze the values and behaviors promoted by those other institutions, we see that they are fundamentally different from those promoted by the mass media. Even the military tries to inculcate ideas like personal responsibility, self-reliance, concern for others, foresight, and self-sacrifice in the interest of the common good. Schools, meanwhile, promote (or should promote) curiousity about the world-at-large and self-discipline. Religious institutions preach care for the needy and the strangers among us. By contrast, backed by the largest and most heavily financed propaganda campaign in history - some $200 billion in consumer advertising alone - a propaganda campaign, incidentally, that dwarfs anything Hitler or Stalin could have imagined in their wildest dreams, the mass media promotes values and behaviors consistent with the metastatic growth consumer capitalism requires for its parasitic survival: selfishness, impulsivity, greed, and dependency, while playing upon the full range of negative emotions - fear, anger, envy, pride, self-loathing - to drive the message home. At the moment, the power and ubiquity of the corporate media is overwhelming the counter-messages of other normative institutions. In turn, that means that any hope we might have of reforming or even reining in an economic system that, in its cancerous way, now threatens the very ecosystem we rely on for civilized life will require us to reform or replace the corporate mass media with a non-corporate independent media, including a non-corporate, independent press willing to take on the news media's historic role of ensuring the survival of democracy by creating an informed citizenry. Fortunately, there are now some organizations, like The Twin Cities Daily Planet, trying to fill this role, and a number of increasingly influential writers and thinkers laying out the case for media reform. Two of those individuals, Robert McChesney, founder of FreePress.net, and John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, will be in town this week to promote their new book, The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that will Begin the World Again. I urge everyone to take the opportunity to hear them speak. Their appearance is being sponsored by the Twin Cities Media Alliance, which operates the Daily Planet. It takes place this Thursday, March 25, at 8:00 p.m., at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis. The event is free but it's probably good to RSVP if you can, since seating is limited. You can do so by clicking on http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=329012902098 See you there. We have nothing to lose but our self-forged chains. Rich Broderick Rich Broderick (email richb [at] lakecast.com lives in St. Paul and teaches journalism at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Rich is a writer, poet, and social activist. --------16 of 17-------- The Democrats' Health Care Bill Defeat in Victory By SHAMUS COOKE March 23, 2010 CounterPunch What looks like a big victory for Obama and the Democrats may be their greatest undoing. It's true that the passage of Obama's health care bill represents a significant political victory for the Democrats. But sometimes a battle won could equal a lost war. It's telling that Obama had so much trouble in getting his own party to pass the bill on a simple majority basis: the bill was so blatantly watered down with the corporate hose that anyone with their name attached to it feared future electoral doom. This kept the Democrat's left wing - the so-called progressive wing - from initially giving their seal of approval. It must be remembered that some of the left Democrats initially claimed support for single payer health care. After being scolded by the Party leadership that this demand was "off the table," the lefts moved to the right and demanded a "strong public option". The public option grew weaker and weaker as the health care bill evolved. The left Democrats pinned all their hopes on it; they ignored the rest of the health care bill, which slashed Medicare and taxed the "Cadillac" health care plans of union workers, all in the hopes that a miniscule public option would give the lefts some political cover. It wasn't meant to be. The final health care vision is the brainchild of the monopoly corporations who dominate health care in America. Their power will remain untouched. Indeed, it will only grow. Dennis Kucinich, the most "radical" of the progressive Democrats, waited until the last round before he threw in the towel to the health care industry. His capitulation is especially symbolic, as many progressive activists around the country remained in the Democratic Party solely because he was there. [So now it's time to move out. -ed] His inglorious surrender signals what many progressives already knew: the Democrats are a corporate dominated party, where liberal ideas are tolerated so long as they have no actual effect on policy. [Let's hear no more about "reforming the Dems from within". Leave them; move on from MoveOn. -ed] With Kucinich and the other left Democrats now fully discredited, the Democratic Party has further undermined its credibility - what little remained. Those who hoped that the party could be reformed. that the corporate wing could somehow be out-muscled. will be duped no longer. Also, the bill's taxing of "Cadillac" health care plans will further alienate organized labor from the Democrats. What little faith the unions had in the Democrats will be badly shaken. [How can "big strong union guys" so often end up licking Dem boots, getting nothing, and licking boot over and over, year after year, never learning from experience, always cringing like puppies in a thunderstorm? -ed] More significantly, those millions of people who are soon to be mandated to buy shoddy, corporate insurance will vent their rage solely at the Democrats. A significant portion of the currently uninsured will remain without insurance, and be penalized at tax time for not buying into the corporate healthcare scam. These millions will be never vote Democrat again. The Democrats have a won a congressional battle against the Republicans, while sawing off the branches of support on which they are perched. The party that was once "the lesser of two evils" is now competing on equal footing with the Republicans. With both political parties dominated by the big banks and corporations, there is ever growing political vacuum to the left (the vacuum to the right is being filled by the tea partiers). There have been countless attempts to organize a mass third party. The numerous progressive political parties that currently exist do so on an insignificant scale. What remains missing is the support of labor unions, which represent millions of working members. Labor is the only social force that currently exists on the left capable of creating a mass-based party with the resources capable of competing with the two parties of big business. What the unions lack in funds they make up for with potentially millions of volunteers - door-knockers, phone bankers, fund raisers, community organizers, etc. If labor were to finally declare its independence from the Democrats, and announce the drive to create an independent labor led party representing the majority of working people in this country, the "fractured left" would find instant cohesion. If this labor based party were bas ed on a progressive platform - including Jobs, Peace and Medicare for All - not only would the country's millions of union members join and vote for it, but the tens of millions of working people disenfranchised by the Democrats would instantly jump on board. The political void to the left needs to be filled quickly. Tea Partiers and Ron Paul Republicans are benefiting from this political black hole: many people who are progressive at heart are being tricked by these right-wing populists. A bold showing from America's Labor Movement would stop this trend dead in its tracks and open the way for true majority rule. Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action. He can be reached at shamuscook [at] yahoo.com --------17 of 17-------- Insurance Execs to Live High, While More Americans Die Health Insurance Bonanza By JOHN V. WALSH March 23, 2010 CounterPunch Let there be no doubt about it. The health care "reform" bill voted into law Sunday in the House is a capitulation which will leave 30 million more Americans at the cruel mercies of the insurance companies - precisely what the single-payer movement had been battling against. In the end the defenders of the legislation and those who signed on to it putting loyalty to themselves and their careers in the Democrat Party above principle, like the narcissistic twerp [apt label -ed] Dennis Kucinich, were left with only one real argument. How could anyone turn his/her back on the 30 million who would "benefit" from being brought under the control of the private insurers? The most succinct answer was given by Ralph Nader in a joint interview with him and the traitor Kucinich, who caved when his vote and a few others might have halted this legislative atrocity, conducted by Amy Goodman. Thus, Nader: "First of all, that (the legislation) won't even begin until 2014, 180,000 dead Americans later (The number of unnecessary deaths over a three year period due to a lack of any insurance - jw). Second, there's no guarantee of that. The insurance companies can game this system. The 2,500 pages is full of opportunities and ambiguities for the insurance companies to game the system and to make it even worse. "And let's say there are more people covered, right? Well, they're being forced to buy junk insurance policies. There's no regulation of insurance prices. There's no regulation of the antitrust laws on this. Everything went down that Dennis was fighting for. There's no regulation that prevents the insurance companies from taking this papier-mache bill and lighting a fire to it and making a mockery of it. There's no shift of power. There's no facility to create a national consumer health organization, which we proposed and the Democrats ignored years ago, in order to give people a voice so they can have their own non-profit consumer lobby on Washington. . "This is really a disaster". This bill is a bonanza for the Insurance Industry, which has therefore been uncharacteristically quiet during this so-called debate on health care. Or as Obama, ever the lackey for vested interests especially the ever expanding finance sectors of the economy, put it, the bill extends "our system of private insurance" to more people. Put another way, some more people may be covered with lousy policies with lots of fine print, but even to do that the insurance companies must be guaranteed their take. And to do that, the taxpayers along with the purchasers of the "insurance" will be billed. There are three essential features of private, for-profit health insurance that make it despicable and inhumane. First, the insurers use their premiums "to enforce inequality in health care," as Dr. David Himmelstein likes to put it. That is the system is fundamentally non-egalitarian, so that one's health is not a right but depends ever more on one's wealth. Second, the insurers work to maximize their profits and so that the Insurance bosses can live like kings. Thus these parasites refer to minimizing the dreaded "loss ratio," as they call it, which is the fraction of the premiums given over to actual care. To them that is just a "loss"! And finally, the law basically caves in to what is a protection racket or a blackmailing racket by the insurers. That is, if you want health care you must pay off the insurers for doing nothing but denying you some care. That is "our system" of private insurance as Obama calls it. And it is increasingly characteristic of our economy where the ever growing giant parasite which is finance capital demands a take for essential needs - whether it be health care or pensions or education or housing or a decent life for our dependents should our life be suddenly terminated. Thus a nation like ours which such wealth leaves so many without essentials for a decent life. [Whenever Obama is on radio or TV, I run to turn him off as quickly as possible, just as I did with both Bushes and Clinton after NAFTA. As I run I am sometimes heard to say four-letter words or seen to make rude road gestures. You've seen one modern president, you've seen them all; no point wasting more time on them. -ed] And not only did Obama foist this on us, but those supposed "crusaders" for single payer succumbed in to pressure from their Party. And thus did Dennis Kucinich cave to another atrocity just as he did when he backed the prowar Kerry in 2004 and the prowar Obama in 2008. There can be no more powerful evidence that the Democratic Party is a worthless vehicle for change than the performance of Obama, the dream candidate of the progressives, and his Congress on the issue of health care. And when push comes to shove the Kuciniches, there to make the Party look like it has a sliver of decency, always cave in. After all what could be more important than the careers of these narcissists? To adapt a slogan from the 70s, Insurers and Congressmen live high while sick Americans die. John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar [at] gmail.com. The exchange between Nader and Kucinich can be found at: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/18/dennis_kucinich_and_ralph_nader_a Interestingly in this exchange, for Nader it is all about health care. For Kucinich it is all about Kucinich. [Indeed. Exactly. I heard him whining away on Democracy Now. Narcissistic twerp. -ed] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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