Progressive Calendar 04.16.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 08:31:54 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.16.10

1. Anarchism/9-11  4.16 11am
2. Palestine vigil 4.16 4:15pm
3. Sweatshops      4.16 4:30pm
4. 4sisters 4peace 4.16 7pm

5. John Murphy - The Democrats' mea culpas

--------1 of 5--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Anarchism/9-11 4.16 11am

Friday APRIL 16 & 23, 11am: PETER GELDERLOOS, on anarchism  and DAVID
RAY GRIFFIN--9/11 Truth on KFAI Radio

Anarchist-author activist PETER GLEDERLOOS has written a number of books:
How Nonviolence Protects the State", and his newest book "Anarchy Works".
Gelderloos brings uncovers censored history of social justice struggles -
past and present - to ask critical questions about how nonviolence as
tactic has too often becomea way to narrow strategy, protest and dissent
itself. His thought-provoking ideas should be widely considered and
discussed in progressive circles.

DAVID RAY GRIFFIN is a professo of philosophy and theology who was
compleled to re-examine "the official story" of the September 11th
attacks. He's written 30 books on different topics, but, his book
investigating 9/11 include: "The New Pearl Harbor", "Debunking 9/11
Debunking" and his newest book "The Collapse of Building 7"

Two excerpts wiht both authors will be broadcast on APRIL 16 and 23 oN
CATALYST:poltics & culture hosted by Lydia Howell. EVENTS INFO BELOW
ONLINE:live-streaming and archived for 2 weeks atre broadcast on the
CATALYST page at:

--------2 of 5--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 4.16 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

--------3 of 5--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at]>
Subject: Sweatshops 4.16 4:30pm

Sweatshop Workers Speak Out Tour - Apr. 16

Friday, April 16
4:30-6pm  Public Meeting and Testimony in Weyerhauser Chapel

8:30-Midnight  Testimony and Benefit Party at the IWW Office Space -
The Historic Grain Belt Brewery Bottling Building, 79 13th Ave. NE in

Macalester is the first stop on a nationwide tour! There will be two
speakers: One from Pakistan, working in a factory that makes soccer balls,
and one from Bangladesh, working in a factory that makes garments.

On February 25th, 2010, in Bangladesh, 99 years after the Triangle
Shirtwaist Fire, twenty-one workers died in a factory fire at the Garib &
Garib Sweater Company. Thirteen of the dead were women. Fifty more were
rushed to hospital with serious injuries. As workers globally are pushed
farther and farther beyond even the formal 'freedoms' of wage slavery,
mass murder and industrial 'accidents' are increasingly acceptable to the
global elite; one newspaper account tersely remarked merely that "Clothing
factories in Bangladesh are prone to fires as a result of poor safety

These poor safety standards include locking women inside the sweatshops.

Groups in the Twin Cities and other locations are banding together for
these events not merely to learn about lives and conditions of workers
abroad, but to express real, concrete solidarity with their struggles.
There are actions we can take in the United States to help our brothers
and sisters in other countries, and these will be on full display at these
events. The focus of the tour, organized nationally by the International
Labor Rights Forum and Sweat Free Communities, is on municipal and
institutional procurement.

The MAIN organizers of the Macalester events are the IWW (Industrial
Workers of the World) and Macalester Religious Studies. Sponsors include:
Macalester Departments (Asian Languages and Cultures, Anthropology, Center
for Religious and Spiritual Life, Geography, History, Human Rights and
Humanitarianism, International Studies, Philosophy, and Women's, Gender,
and Sexuality Studies), The Resource Center of the Americas, and UAW 879
(Ford Plant). Additional support (promotion, etc.) provided by MPIRG, and
the Asian Student Alliance.

From: Erik Davis <erik.w.davis [at]>


Sweatshop workers from unions in Bangladesh and Pakistan will begin their
national speaking tour at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, on Friday,
April 16, at 4:30 PM.
Weyerhauser Chapel on Macalester College Campus: 1600 Grand Avenue, St.
Paul, MN 55105

Kalpona Akter from the Bangladeshi Center for Worker Solidarity, and Zehra
Bano of the Home Based Women's Workers' Federation of Pakistan, will offer
direct testimony about the condition in sweatshop factories.  Many of
these factories have more than 50% of their products purchased by local
governments and universities in the United States.

The tour focuses on SweatFree Procurement Policies and their enforcement.
It is followed at 8:30 by a benefit concert at the IWW Office space in the
Historic Grain Belt Brewery Bottling Building, 79 13th Ave NE., Mpls, MN
55413. erik.w.davis [at]

Contact: Erik Davis, Industrial Workers of the World & Macalester College,
erik.w.davis [at]
Trina Tocco, International Labor Rights Forum, 269-873-1000
Interviews Available on Request

Amid economic crisis, Local Municipalities and Educational Institutions
may be using tax dollars to support sweatshops, say international garment
workers on visit to Twin Cities Workers from Bangladesh and Pakistan join
The Twin Cities IWW, local workers, unions, and many sponsors from
Macalester College departments, student organizations, and local activist
groups and unions, calling on the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as
well as all local educational institutions - especially the University of
Minnesota - to end taxpayer support for sweatshops

What are these sweatshops like? In Bangladesh on February 25th, 2010, 99
years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City, twenty-one
workers died in a factory fire. Thirteen of the dead were women. Fifty
more were rushed to hospital with serious injuries. As workers globally
are pushed farther and farther beyond even the 'freedoms' of
institutionalized wage slavery, mass murder and industrial 'accidents' are
increasingly acceptable to the global elite; one newspaper account tersely
remarked that "Clothing factories in Bangladesh are prone to fires as a
result of poor safety standards." These "poor safety standards" include
locking workers inside the sweatshops.

A former garment worker and soccer ball stitcher, who now work to promote
the rights of sweatshop workers making apparel and other products for U.S.
city and state governments, will speak at a public event at Weyerhauser
Chapel on Macalester College's Campus in St. Paul, MN. They will inform
American taxpayers about the dangerous and abusive conditions under which
some government contracted products are made, a practice which has also
led to the outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

The Twin Cities events are part of a two-week National tour through the
Midwest and Mid Atlantic, as human rights and labor organizations demand
that local governments and institutions to sign on to Sweat Free
Procurement policies and the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium working with
the Designated Suppliers Program, and work to actively enforce standards.

The Twin Cities events are hosted by the Industrial Workers of the World
and Macalester College Religious Studies

The Industrial Workers of the World is a labor union, organized in Chicago
in 1905, which aims to organize all workers, regardless of trade, nation,
religion, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, or any other distinction.
We organize locally and internationally, and refounded our local branch in
2005, moving into our current local offices in 2009. International Labor
Rights Forum is an organization dedicated to advocating for the just and
humane treatment of workers in international trade. Founded in 1986, by
leaders in human rights, labor, academic and faith-based communities, ILRF
was created as an agency responsible for monitoring the enforcement of
international labor standards and to develop other means of protecting
workers' rights around the world. SweatFree
Communities, an ILRF campaign, coordinates a national network of
grassroots campaigns that promote humane working conditions in apparel and
other labor-intensive global industries by working with both public and
religious institutions to adopt sweatshop-free purchasing policies. Using
institutional purchasing as a lever for worker justice, the sweatfree
movement empowers ordinary people to create a just global economy through
local action.

Learn more at

The Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium, comprised of states, cities,
counties, local government agencies, and school districts, as well as
human rights advocates and labor rights experts, pools resources of public
entities to investigate working conditions in factories that make uniforms
and other products for public employees. Learn more at

--------4 of 5--------

From: Annie <Annie [at]>
Subject: 4 sisters 4 peace 4.16 7pm

7 PM

Southside Family Charter School and St. Joan of Arc Church invite you to
join us in viewing "Four Sisters for Peace," a half hour documentary about
peace and justice as seen through the eyes and actions of four sisters who
are also Catholic nuns. (Rita, Brigid, Kate and Jane McDonald).

The documentary was created by a class of sixth to eighth grade students
at Southside Family Charter School (now located at St. Joan's).  The
students worked with their teacher Susie Oppenheim and artist-in-residence
Mike Hazard.

All four of the McDonald Sisters will be present, as will Mike Hazard and
two of the students who worked on the project.

Cookies and conversation following the film.

Please RSVP if you need child care during the film, for ages 1 through 9,
at 612-767-7467.

--------5 of 5--------

The Democrats' Mea Culpas
by John Murphy
April 15th, 2010
Dissident Voice

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an
adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the
next year? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we
acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs
and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have
bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of
those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
  - Patrick Henry: delivered to the Virginia Convention in 1775

The number of articles written by contrite Obama supporters that have
appeared over the last year is almost uncountable. Forgiveness, however,
requires not only that penitents renounce their sins but that they make a
sincere resolve not to sin in the same way again. Democrats will never
make such a resolve. Regardless of the number of whining articles by
"progressive" Democrats, Rahm Emanuel - Obama's political twin - who
called liberal activists "retarded," knows very well that Democrats,
especially the self-styled "progressives" will never vote for anyone other
than a Democrat. Regardless of Obama's atrocities, the Democrats will line
up behind him in 2012. [Pigheaded partisan plunder promoters &
participants. Evil enabling hope-spewing ho's. Passive regressives. -ed]

There can be no absolution for the Obaminable Democrats; they can be no
more forgiven for supporting Obama than they can be forgiven for
supporting John Kerry or William Clinton. Clinton, you will recall, was
the president who killed a million innocent Iraqi men, women and children
with bombs and sanctions while domestically destroying the women's
movement with "welfare reform" and American jobs with "free trade

These are the people who followed the inane philosophy of ABB ("Anyone is
Better than Bush")!  Imagine believing that Kerry would be better than
Bush even though he promised that he would out-Bush Bush by sending 40,000
more troops to Iraq and declaring that, if he had been in charge, he would
have burned Falluja to the ground. A few days later Bush granted his wish
killing mostly women and children! Even the ever hawkish William Safire
(d. 2009), columnist for the New York Times, was positively gloating after
the September, 2004 Kerry-Bush presidential debate: "As the Democratic
Whoopee Brigade hailed Senator John Kerry's edge in debating technique,
nobody noticed his foreign policy sea change. On both military tactics and
grand strategy, the newest neoconservative announced doctrines more
hawkish than President George W. Bush".

Meantime, during this ABB farce, Michael Moore and Bill Maher assumed the
typical Democrat position: kneeling and begging.  No, they were not
begging for the scraps from the corporate table, the traditional Democrat
plea.  This time they even more grievously disgraced themselves by begging
the antiwar candidate, Ralph Nader, not to interfere with John Kerry's
plans to slaughter, more efficiently and effectively, the people in Iraq
while continuing to outsource American jobs with so-called "free trade"
agreements. These are the very same kind of bottom feeder who would have
begged the Liberty Party to stop its opposition to slavery and let the
lesser of two pro-slavery parties make things a little better for the
slaves. These latter-day court jesters demonstrated that they lack even
the dim flicker of sentience needed to qualify them as imbeciles. The
Democrats are beyond redemption; they are to be condemned not forgiven.
Their priority was to elect Kerry, not oppose the war.

The Democrats did not get a chance to whine about a Kerry presidency as
they do about the Obama presidency. They did not even get a chance to
continue maligning Ralph Nader for Kerry's defeat. Now, since Barack
Obama, the mocha messiah of the Democrats, has assumed the imperial mantle
of George Bush, that dreadful sound can be heard once again rising up from
the Democrats. Oh, the mind numbing din of whining Democrats!

Whether they thought Obama would end the wars instead of escalating them
or stop the torture instead of outsourcing it to Jordan and Saudi Arabia
or prosecute the torturers instead of giving them a pass or encourage the
Congress to pass single-payer healthcare instead of cutting backroom deals
with big Pharma and providing corporate welfare for the insurance
companies or bail out homeowners instead of bankers, Democrats from Dave
Lindorff to David Swanson can be heard wailing about the betrayal of
Barack Obama who now gives every indication that he is more monstrous than
George Bush.

To be sure, Bush was a war criminal who invaded Iraq to fulfill the
mission of the Project for New American Century (PNAC) which was to secure
a US-Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. That strategy was identical to
the Democratic Party's think tank the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI).
Bush also invaded Afghanistan to secure a land area for a liquid natural
gas pipeline. Obama plans to continue the occupation of Iraq, has
escalated the war on Afghanistan (reinforcing the lies of the Bush
administration) and rained down three times as many unmanned drones on
Pakistan in one year than Bush did in his last three. Obama has also
opened military hostilities against Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines.
Obama recently proclaimed that he has the right to murder American
citizens on the mere suspicion that they might be terrorists. This leaves
us all vulnerable to murder at Obama's whim. Those of us on the "watch
list" must now say an extra prayer each night that our spouses and
children are not slaughtered when Obama's drone hits home. No wonder the
Teabaggers are afraid of government and Obama in particular!

It must not be overlooked that Obama also plans to use Colombian
insurgents to commit "false positive" border incidents blaming Venezuela
as a pretext for a retaliatory attack, supported, of course, by Washington
as a way to target and perhaps remove Hugo Chavez. He continues
destabilization tactics for regime change in Iran and may, preemptively
without cause, attack that nation's nuclear facilities. He supports the
worst of Israeli war crimes and oppression against Palestinians and keeps
alive the long dead "terrorist organization" called Al Qaeda in order to
suppress civil liberties at home, maintain the pretense of a flourishing
economy through defense spending and ultimately secure corporate money for
his re-election.

Democrat Talking Heads

To be fair, not all the Democrats are whining. Listening to "liberal" talk
radio the Democratic Party talking heads can be heard spinning every one
of Obama's atrocities into an inspired strategy of golden fabric.
According to the Democratic Party's counterparts of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn
Beck and Sean Hannity, Obama is a "master chess player" and all of his
monstrous brutalities merely appear to be brutal.  When the mist clears
however, according to "big Ed" Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press and the
other skull splitting defenders of Barack Obama AKA "Barry the Bomber", we
will see that a brighter day has dawned; that the atrocities committed
against all the nations Obama is devastating and the American working
people he is crushing are simply pawn sacrifices made by the master
gamesman and in the end we will all be thankful to "Barry the Beneficent".

In case anyone is wondering about the "change" promised by Obama, fear
not. Democrat talking head Rachel Maddow explained to us earlier this week
that Obama's nuclear summit was the promised change! As it turned out,
"change did not mean that everybody suddenly had a job or that the banking
crisis was suddenly fixed or that our wars magically ended.  But change,
in part, has meant a return to diplomacy". Of course, Israel, the
greatest threat to world peace next to the United States, refused to
participate and Iran was not even invited. Like all of the Democratic
Party talking heads Maddow fails to mention the ever present threat from
the Obama administration's "diplomacy" when dealing with other nations:
"all options remain on the table". This is not a very diplomatic way to
tell the world "you will do it our way or you will face the possibility of
a US invasion or at the very least a carpeting of cluster bombs, white
phosphorus and unmanned drone missiles". This bogus nuclear summit is
simply more advertising hype and does not represent any significant change
from the second Bush administration.

The Incompetent Machiavellian

Machiavelli refused to be deflected by utopian dreams or romantic hopes
and by questions of right and wrong or good and bad. He rejected the
entire concept of moral philosophy. He is often considered to be the
father of modern political realism, or what has been called "realpolitik".
It is one of the most seductive ideas of our time. The constant cry of the
Democratic Party is: "be realistic" "you're living in the real world"
"it's good to have idealistic visions of a better world, but you're living
in the real world, so be practical". Every time Ralph Nader tried to get
Democrats to stand on their hind legs, party leaders quickly reminded them
that they must be "practical" that they must be "realistic". Like
Machiavelli, the Democratic Party is not concerned with right and wrong or
good and evil. It has rejected all moral philosophy by accepting the
Machiavellian concept that "the ends justify the means".

How many times have the ideas and positions of Ralph Nader been demeaned
as foolish idealism impractical in a world where one must "win elections"?

Realism is seductive because once it has been accepted as a reasonable
notion that actions should be based on "practical" reality people are too
often led to accept, without questioning, someone else's vision of what
reality is. It is a crucial fact of independent thinking, typical of Ralph
Nader, to be skeptical of someone else's description of reality. Democrats
never question the "reality" presented to them by the Democratic Party.
For this reason the Democrats present an even more dangerous and violent
threat than the tea party movement which it has engendered and which it
continues to empower by its own lack of moral clarity.

The Democratic Party's talking heads from the most articulate and erudite
to the more brutish philistine serve the same purpose as the Republican
Party talking heads. Their job is to secure the election of Democrats not
to present an objective evaluation of their performance and recommend the
appropriate action. Far from playing the role of chess master, Obama is an
incompetent Machiavellian. Virtually nothing Obama and his representatives
in the liberal media (the talk show hosts previously mentioned) have told
us about this health care reform bill is true. The entire thrust of the
legislation was to prevent campaign contributions from big Pharma and
healthcare insurance companies from flowing into Republican coffers. By
euphemistically calling this piece of corporate welfare "health care
reform" Obama has sacrificed the needs of the American public in order to
achieve his re-election and that of the Democratic Congress. For Obama,
the ends justified the means. No moral philosopher in Eastern or Western
civilization condones such a philosophy. Only Niccolo Machiavelli advanced
such a thesis.

Usually, those who try to get away with "the ends justifying the means" at
least have some noble end in mind. The re-election of the Democrats is
anything but noble and the means was a purely cynical act on the part of
the Democratic Party. Even a Machiavellian, however, would be embarrassed
at the incompetent execution of Obama's loutish strategy. A good
Machiavellian would certainly have planned for the possible unintended
consequences of such a strategy and hence have prevented their occurrence.
A competent Machiavellian would have started his administration by
ensuring that the Senate changed the filibuster rule from 41 to 49 votes.
This rule only requires a simple majority vote in order to be changed. It
is a Senate rule, not a law. Moreover, the incompetent Obama
administration, while achieving its ends created such blowback from the
ridiculous right that the United States is now as close to collapsing into
a fascist regime as it has ever been in its history.

The attitudes of the people in the tea party movement are completely
justified. Not only has there not been any increase in the standard of
living over the last 30 years while productivity has increased by over
78%, real incomes of working Americans have actually declined. While
Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton are to blame for the adoption of
"neoliberal economics" the Obama administration with its continuing
support of the banking industry was the straw that broke the political
camel's back.

Obama, more than any Republican, is linked to the bankers. They supported
him over McCain. When Obama started to criticize the bankers, in true
Machiavellian fashion, he did an about-face proclaiming: "I, like most of
the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That is part
of the free market system". Of course, Obama is completely in error.
Americans actually do begrudge the $17 million bonus awarded to Jamie
Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase and the $9 million issued to Lloyd Blankfein,
CEO of Goldman Sachs. No one should be surprised that Goldman Sachs
contributed $1 million to Obama's presidential campaign.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans like to talk about class warfare
but that is precisely what the incompetent, Machiavellian, cynical Obama
administration has engendered. Unemployment is reaching near depression
levels while Obama's banking buddies bathe in bonuses beyond imagination
and people are not happy about it. The job growth statistics quoted by the
Democrat talking heads are mostly in non-tradable services area such as
janitors, retail sales persons, waiters and waitresses, orderlies and
attendants. These minimum wage paying jobs were created by corporations
which have outsourced good paying American jobs in engineering,
manufacturing and information technology.1 Such outsourcing continues
under the "free trade" supporting Obama administration. Ironically, the
highly trained workers in those well compensated fields are now used to
account for the "new jobs" being created by the Obama administration. Such
a clever way has the Obama administration devised for job creation;
turning well paid information technology specialists into low paid retail

The working class has been marginalized as the costs of our economic
collapse are socialized and profits are privatized. Frustration and
outright rage is the natural and expected response to the callous Obama
administration. Instead of getting answers from the left, however, they
receive political placebos along with the puerile pabulum fed to them by
Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

Chris Hedges warns us of "the Weimarization of the American working
class".2 Just as demagogues in post-World War I Germany were able to play
upon the despair of the working class, the same type of forces are now in
place in the United States. He suggests that even though the tea party
movement, itself, may be tiny, it is a well-funded and well-organized
group. Properly managed, Hedges suggests "this tiny group can count on the
sympathy and support of perhaps as many as 100 million evangelicals". It
would only take a crisis to catapult the leaders of this movement into

Naomi Klein in her work The Shock Doctrine3 spells out precisely how such
a crisis could produce a disastrous political, social and economic
revolution. Another terrorist attack would be all that is necessary. Such
an attack is not just probable but inevitable. The resulting fascist order
would face no resistance. At a time when violent resistance from the left
might be required, the left has been disorganized and distracted by the
Democratic Party.  As the left smokes Obama's wacky tobacci and sings "Kum
By Ya", the forces which would destroy civil society as we know it are
singing "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition".

There is good reason to be afraid. We must not, however, confuse fear with
cowardice. In the final analysis we either stand up for our convictions or
we stand for nothing. The continued voting for the lesser evil has not,
nor cannot, save this country; it can only hasten a total collapse. Those
who are too afraid to voice their conscience and make it felt politically,
by any means, are already slaves; they simply have not yet heard the
rattling of their chains.

1. Paul Craig Roberts, How the Economy Was Lost; (California: AK Press,
2010), 20-21. [.]

2. Chris Hedges, American Fascists (The Christian Right and the War on
America) (New York: Free Press, 2006): 266. [.]

3. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism; (New
York: Metropolitan Books; Henry Holt & Co. 2007): 309. [.]

John Murphy was the independent candidate for House of Representatives in
Pennsylvania's 16th district in 2006 and 2008 . He is a founding member of
the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition where he represents the
independent candidacy of Ralph Nader. He can be reached at:
johnamurphy [at]


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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