|Progressive Calendar 04.25.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2010 14:01:05 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 04.25.10 1. Marv Davidov 4.25 6pm 2. Budget/callNow 4.25 3. Vs racist law 4.26 5pm 4. Peace walk 4.26 6pm RiverFalls WI 5. Amnesty Intl 4.26 7pm 6. 3CTC env forum 4.26 7pm 7. Labor history 4.26 7pm 8. Jonathan Bucki - Energy transition 5.22/23 9. Matt Taibbi - Will Goldman Sachs prove greed is god? --------1 of 9-------- From: J. Michael Orange <orange_michael [at] msn.com> Subject: Marv Davidov 4.25 6pm You are probably aware that local poet and author, Carol Masters, and lifelong peace activist, Marv Davidov, recently published You Can't Do That: Marv Davidov, Nonviolent Revolutionary (Nodin Press, 2009). To help celebrate the publication of the book and to honor Marv's fifty years of dedication to the peace and justice movements, the Twin Cities Chapter 27 of Veterans for Peace (VFP) is sponsoring a Tribute to Marv for our fellow VFP member. A Tribute to Marv Marv will read from the new book (created with Carol Masters): You Can't Do That: Marv Davidov, Nonviolent Revolutionary. April 25, 2010, 6 pm on Mayday Bookstore, 301 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis Veterans for Peace, Twin Cities Chapter 27 Questions: Barry Riesch: 651-641-1087, bwrvfp [at] earthlink.net, or Michael Orange: orange_michael [at] msn.com Free and open to the public. Feel free to bring snacks to share. --------2 of 9-------- Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2010 16:05:08 -0700 (PDT) From: Welfare Rights Committee <welfarerightsmn [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Budget/call today 4.25 FINALLY, Rep. Tom Huntley (D-Duluth) will be presenting his proposed Health and Human Services budget on Monday, April 26. Over the past several weeks, we have been telling politicians at the capitol to not accept Gov. Pawlenty's cuts and to not balance the budget on the backs of poor, elderly or disabled people. After Rep. Huntley presents his budget, the rest of the committee will discuss and vote on changes. We have to make sure they do the right thing! Â Call these representatives today, over the weekend and on Monday and leave them the message: Tell them: "The people of MN are being battered by the economic crisis. 2010 is NOT the year to cut from programs that serve poor, disabled and working people. To balance the budget, the only humane and sensible solution is to "TAX the RICH." Also, speak out against these cuts: No! to stealing MFIP from poor families with disabilities, but counting disabled people's SSI against the rest of the families welfare grant. No! to stealing TANF dollars to pay down the deficit No! to ending General Assistance - a program that already only gives a cruel $203 per month to seriously disabled people. Dist fname lname Ac+3 ph4 P home_city 03A Tom Anzelc 651-296- 4936 DFL Balsam Township 56A Julie Bunn 651-296- 4244 DFL Lake Elmo 26B Patti Fritz 651-296- 8237 DFL Faribault 61B Jeff Hayden 651-296- 7152 DFL Minneapolis 14B Larry Hosch 651-296- 4373 DFL St. Joseph 07A Thomas Huntley 651-296- 2228 DFL Duluth 30A Tina Liebling 651-296- 0573 DFL Rochester 64A Erin Murphy 651-296- 8799 DFL St. Paul 11B Mary Ellen Otremba 651-296- 3201 DFL Long Prairie 45A Sandra Peterson 651-296- 4176 DFL New Hope 42A Maria Ruud 651-296- 3964 DFL Minnetonka 54B Bev Scalze 651-296- 7153 DFL Little Canada 55B Nora Slawik 651-296- 7807 DFL Maplewood 65A Cy Thao 651-296- 5158 DFL St. Paul 63A Paul Thissen 651-296- 5375 DFL Minneapolis Â Also, be ready for alerts to join us as we stand as a presence and testify on Tuesday, April 27 at 9:00 am - Room 200 State Office Building at Capitol Complex (100 Rev. MLK Blvd). Press release to come but please call. --------3 of 9-------- From: Nick Espinosa <espinosa.nick [at] gmail.com> Subject: Vs racist law 4.26 5pm PROTEST AGAINST RACIST ARIZONA LAW SB1070! A coalition of community organizations is holding an emergency vigil and protest after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the most extreme anti-immigrant legislation in the country (SB-1070) on Friday. This disgusting bill legalizes racial profiling, and mandates local law enforcement to check proof of citizenship of anyone they encounter. 10 other states are currently considering similar legislation We will gather to protest a fundraising event for local religious right outfit the Minnesota Family Council attended by national level republican politicians Mike Huckabee and Governor Tim Pawlenty, who have a long track record of anti immigrant sentiment, to send a strong message to the politicians of Minnesota, and the United States. Monday April 26th 5:00PM* The Hilton Hotel 1001 Marquette Ave. S * Join us to say: NO to SB1070 and racist laws! Boycott Arizona until SB1070 is repealed! END racist anti-immigrant policies that unfairly target immigrant workers and families, including 287G! Just immigration reform that includes legalization and equal rights for all immigrants NOW! "The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around... But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars." -Martin Luther King* --------4 of 9-------- From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net> Subject: Peace walk 4.26 6pm RiverFalls WI River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from "Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact: d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls, Wisconsin 54022 --------5 of 9-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 4.26 7pm Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, April 26th, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the party room of the 1020 Building, 1020 E 17th Street, Minneapolis. For more information contact Ardes Johnson at 612/378-1166 or johns779 [at] tc.umn.edu. --------6 of 9-------- From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at] visi.com> Subject: 3CTC env forum 4.26 7pm THE NEXT 3CTC ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM A FREE SCREENING OF: PERMACULTURE IN PRACTICE Ecologically Sound Living-By Design Directed by Malcolm Baldwin MONDAY, APRIL 26, 7:00 PM MAYDAY BOOKS 301 CEDAR AVENUE SOUTH WEST BANK, MINNEAPOLIS It's spring and the start of the gardening season. Looking for an alternative to that sterile monocultural lawn you have? Permaculture or permanent agriculture is the design of an ecologically sound way to produce food that mimics Nature. Combined with organic farming techniques, it is an excellent way to integrate human food production with Nature by planting perennials, especially deep-rooted ones that hold the soil well and can also function as habitat for urban & rural wildlife. For instance, after 25 years of plant breeding, Wes Jackson of the Land Institute in Kansas has succeeded in developing a perennial wheat that resembles the tall grasses of the prairie, that, before it is mowed for harvest, can provide habitat for prairie wildlife. Permaculture is a form of polyculture (versus monocoluture) that mimics the relationships found within natural plant and animal communities and provides humans with a stable food-production system that is more harmonious with the natural environment. This is accomplished through layering or stacking of vegetation just as it grows in a forest with a canopy of tall fruit & nut trees, lower trees such as dwarf fruit varieties, shrubs and herbaceous plants. There can also be a vertical layer with climbers & vines. Planted at the soil surface, there would be ground-cover crops, then a rhisosphere with root crops and a mycosphere that contains essential fungi for breaking down nutrients for the plants to assimilate. The system would also include microbes and invertebrates in the soil, which, after all, is the living part of Earth's crust, as well as insects and pollinators. A UK production, the film examines the application of permacultural principles in four different settings: 1) A Hampshire back garden, 2) A project near a housing estate where unemployment is high among the residents, 3) A community coop in Devon and 4) A small farm in the Forest of Dean. The film showing is sponsored by the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities. It is free & open to the public. The Clean-Energy Vigil to Cool Down the Planet takes place on the plaza outside the bookstore at 5:00 PM followed by the 3CTC Business Meeting at 6:00 PM. All are welcome. For more information: EMAIL: christinefrank [at] visi.com or PHONE: 612-879-8937. --------7 of 9-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Labor history 4.26 7pm Monday, April 26, 7 pm From Field to Table: Workers in the Food System Making Change Riverview Branch Library, 1 E. George St. StP Join the University of Minnesota's Department of Chicano Studies and Centro Campesino for an interactive session examining the current agricultural system from a global, national and local lens. Learn more about farmworker efforts and local structures that lead to a more just food system. -- From: Peter Rachleff <rachleff [at] macalester.edu> Subject: St. Paul Annual Labor History Public Program TELLING "UNTOLD STORIES": FROM FIELD TO TABLE: WORKERS IN THE FOOD SYSTEM By the fall of 1933 American workers had experienced four years of unrelenting hard times. Wages had been cut and work weeks reduced, while unemployment remained high. Banks were foreclosing on mortgages, and large cities were declaring bankruptcy and defaulting on municipal bonds. Despite the election of a new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who promised action, not much had changed for the better. Workers protested from their own neighborhoods, where they resisted sheriffs' eviction notices, to the streets of the nation's capital, where they demanded Congress pay WWI veterans the bonuses they had been promised. They were looking for a strategy that might work. New ideas were found in unexpected places, as the experience of workers in the Austin, Minnesota, Hormel plant suggested. Inside the plant, the foreman of the casings department, Frank Ellis, told workers of his experiences with the Industrial Workers of the World, a militant labor organization which most thought had been crushed by a coalition of employers and the government during and after World War I. Ellis suggested that the IWW's "wall-to-wall" structures, their use of direct action on the job, and their practice of solidarity could create an effective union. He began holding lunch-time discussions, recruiting veteran workers from the important kill and cut departments. In October, a spark came from Mower and Freeborn County farmers who had joined the Farm Holiday Movement. In a kind of strike, they withheld their products from the market until the prices went up. Activist farmers refused to deliver their hogs to the Hormel plant, and they put up a picket line. Ellis and the labor activists from inside the plant came out and joined them! In a matter of days, the company increased the prices they were paying for hogs. Only weeks later, when plant management announced that all workers were required to contribute to a "charity" fund (which some of their families had been using, due to hour and wage cuts), the workers decided to strike, too. In the November 1933 strike, workers chose not to abandon the plant and take up picket positions, but to stay in the plant and occupy it. Ellis invited Jay Hormel into the plant for negotiations, and he later reported that every time he rejected a union proposal, he could feel the temperature in the plant rise. Worried about the million dollars' worth of pork, beef, and mutton hanging in the plant's coolers, Hormel yielded to the union's demands and signed a contract. News of the "sitdown" strike and the union victory it had made possible spread not just to the Twin Cities, but across the United States. So, too, did reports of that initial, critical, solidarity between farmers and workers. Over the rest of the 1930s, eight million workers joined unions in the U.S. Many used sitdown strikes to pressure their employers. And many depended on the support of farmers for strike kitchens and food baskets for strikers' families. These actions and relationships prompted Congress to pass new laws, such as the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, changed the nature of labor-management relationships across American industry, and transformed the everyday lives of American workers and their families. And, yet, most of us know nothing of this history. [Standard ruling-class manufactured amnesia. They want us to think we can never win because none of us can remember or know of any time we ever have won. They are clever and mean and all-too-often successful. Learn history and revive revolt! (You won't learn about it from the (anti-labor) mainstream press, so here's a good set of events to attend.) -ed] Twelve years ago, the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library assembled a committee of scholars, teachers, librarians, journalists, and trade unionists, to plan a month's worth of public programs which would tell "the untold stories" of local labor history. Events - lectures, films, book readings, plays, walking and bus tours, musical performances, poetry - were held in neighborhood branch libraries, college campuses, the Minnesota Historical Society, and union halls. All were free and open to the public. No more than those Freeborn and Mower County farmers or those Hormel strikers in the fall 1933 did the planners of this program imagine that their idea would catch on. But it did. Year after year, the committee found new topics and new presenters. Year after year, hundreds of people came, listened, learned, spoke up about their own experiences, and contributed to the unearthing of the past. In 2003, the American Library Association recognized the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library with their John Sessions Memorial Award for having "brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States." This year the experiences of workers in the food industry - the fields, the processing plants, restaurants and kitchens - are the focus of "Untold Stories." The series will begin on Monday, April 26, at the Riverview Branch Library on St. Paul's West Side, with a panel drawn from the University of Minnesota's Chicano Studies department and activists from Centro Campesino, a Latino immigrant farmworkers' and food processors' organization, based in Owatonna and Austin. Over the following month, there will be ten additional free events: discussions about representations of food industry workers in fiction, film, and television; a panel on the history of farmer and consumer cooperatives in Minnesota; two book presentations - Jim Norris on his North for the Harvest: Mexican Workers, Growers, and the Sugar Beet Industry and Deborah Barndt on her Tangled Roots: Women, Work, and Globalization on the Tomato Trail; a panel of strike veterans offering a twenty-five year perspective on the Hormel strike of the mid-1980s; and a tour of South St. Paul packinghouse history. For many loyal attendees, the high point is the celebration (this year, on May 12) of the History Day projects created by local junior high and high school students who have explored the theme "Innovation and History: Impact and Change," though a labor history topic. Since this celebration will take place in the St. Paul Labor Center, 411 Main Street, downtown St. Paul, an added attraction to be enjoyed will be the St. Paul Labor History Mural, a creative depiction of labor's local "untold stories" by two local artists, Keith Christiansen and Tacumba Aiken, on canvass seven feet by eighty feet. Please visit the website http://www.thefriends.org/untold.htm for more details. The longer I study history the more I appreciate that the past and present engage in fascinating dances with each other. The better we understand this choreography, I would contend, the more effectively we can shape our futures. I have no doubt that the very first step is to dig up, ferret out, and appreciate the "untold stories." We are lucky here, in the Twin Cities, to have the aid of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library in discovering and exploring these stories. Peter Rachleff Professor of History Macalester College rachleff [at] macalester.edu April 5, 2010 --------8 of 9-------- From: Jonathan Bucki <jonathan [at] dendros.com> Subject: Energy transition 5.22/23 Training for Energy Transition - May 22-23 St. Paul, MN The Transition movement is a new approach being taken by many grassroots sustainability efforts worldwide. It involves individuals working together to help their communities to become more resilient in the face of climate, energy and economic challenges, through approaches such as local food production, generating local power, using local currencies to keep money in their local area, and other similar activities. To learn more about Transition efforts visit www.transitionus.org. The May 22 - 23 course is a participatory, learning-based and fun, with participants invited to share their own experiences and learning from other members of the group. It is designed to give a detailed introduction to the most important skills necessary to successfully set up, develop, and run a Transition project in your locality, and is designed for people who are already in a group working to achieve this, or are thinking of creating such a group. The full curriculum for the T4T can be found at http://www.transitionus.org/initiatives/T4T-curriculum At the end of the course participants will: - Have a clear understanding of the context for Transition Initiatives, the current global situation and the transformational possibilities that arise from climate change, peak oil and the economic crisis - Know what the Transition model is - including an in-depth look at the 12 steps, from inspiration, setting up the initiating group, all the way to having active and effective working groups. - Have experienced a joint visioning process. - Understand how to organize effective meetings such as public talks, open space days, and small theme working groups. - Understand the purpose and principles of an Energy Descent Action Plan. - Have the outline of an effective and inspiring talk on the Transition movement. - Have formed useful contacts with other Transition Initiatives and individuals interested in the Transition model. - Have a plan of action for themselves and their locality. Location: Minnesota Waldorf School, St. Paul, MN Date: May 22-23, 8:30 am-5:00 pm (Saturday/Sunday) Limit: 40 participants Costs: $220 before April 30, 2010, $255 after April 30, 2010 A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Inquiries are welcome. For more information contact Good Work, Inc. at (612) 293-8195 or by email: Training [at] goodworkinc.org --------9 of 9-------- Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed is God? by Matt Taibbi Saturday, April 24, 2010 Guardian/UK The investment bank's cult of self-interest is on trial against the whole idea of civilization - the collective decision by all of us not to screw each other over even if we can So Goldman Sachs, the world's greatest and smuggest investment bank, has been sued for fraud by the American Securities and Exchange Commission. Legally, the case hangs on a technicality. Morally, however, the Goldman Sachs case may turn into a final referendum on the greed-is-good ethos that conquered America sometime in the 80s - and in the years since has aped other horrifying American trends such as boybands and reality shows in spreading across the western world like a venereal disease. When Britain and other countries were engulfed in the flood of defaults and derivative losses that emerged from the collapse of the American housing bubble two years ago, few people understood that the crash had its roots in the lunatic greed-centered objectivist religion, fostered back in the 50s and 60s by ponderous emigre novelist Ayn Rand. While, outside of America, Russian-born Rand is probably best known for being the unfunniest person western civilization has seen since maybe Goebbels or Jack the Ripper (63 out of 100 colobus monkeys recently forced to read Atlas Shrugged in a laboratory setting died of boredom-induced aneurysms), in America Rand is upheld as an intellectual giant of limitless wisdom. Here in the States, her ideas are roundly worshiped even by people who've never read her books or even heard of her. The rightwing "Tea Party" movement is just one example of an entire demographic that has been inspired to mass protest by Rand without even knowing it. Last summer I wrote a brutally negative article about Goldman Sachs for Rolling Stone magazine (I called the bank a "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity") that unexpectedly sparked a heated national debate. On one side of the debate were people like me, who believed that Goldman is little better than a criminal enterprise that earns its billions by bilking the market, the government, and even its own clients in a bewildering variety of complex financial scams. On the other side of the debate were the people who argued Goldman wasn't guilty of anything except being "too smart" and really, really good at making money. This side of the argument was based almost entirely on the Randian belief system, under which the leaders of Goldman Sachs appear not as the cheap swindlers they look like to me, but idealized heroes, the saviors of society. In the Randian ethos, called objectivism, the only real morality is self-interest, and society is divided into groups who are efficiently self-interested (ie, the rich) and the "parasites" and "moochers" who wish to take their earnings through taxes, which are an unjust use of force in Randian politics. Rand believed government had virtually no natural role in society. She conceded that police were necessary, but was such a fervent believer in laissez-faire capitalism she refused to accept any need for economic regulation - which is a fancy way of saying we only need law enforcement for unsophisticated criminals. Rand's fingerprints are all over the recent Goldman story. The case in question involves a hedge fund financier, John Paulson, who went to Goldman with the idea of a synthetic derivative package pegged to risky American mortgages, for use in betting against the mortgage market. Paulson would short the package, called Abacus, and Goldman would then sell the deal to suckers who would be told it was a good bet for a long investment. The SEC's contention is that Goldman committed a crime - a "failure to disclose" - when they failed to tell the suckers about the role played by the vulture betting against them on the other side of the deal. Now, the instruments in question in this deal - collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps - fall into the category of derivatives, which are virtually unregulated in the US thanks in large part to the effort of gremlinish former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who as a young man was close to Rand and remained a staunch Randian his whole life. In the late 90s, Greenspan lobbied hard for the passage of a law that came to be called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, a monster of a bill that among other things deregulated the sort of interest-rate swaps Goldman used in its now-infamous dealings with Greece. Both the Paulson deal and the Greece deal were examples of Goldman making millions by bending over their own business partners. In the Paulson deal the suckers were European banks such as ABN-Amro and IKB, which were never told that the stuff Goldman was cheerfully selling to them was, in effect, designed to implode; in the Greece deal, Goldman hilariously used exotic swaps to help the country mask its financial problems, then turned right around and bet against the country by shorting Greece's debt. Now here's the really weird thing. Confronted with the evidence of public outrage over these deals, the leaders of Goldman will often appear to be genuinely confused, scratching their heads and staring quizzically into the camera like they don't know what you're upset about. It's not an act. There have been a lot of greedy financiers and banks in history, but what makes Goldman stand out is its truly bizarre cultist/religious belief in the rightness of what it does. The point was driven home in England last year, when Goldman's international adviser, sounding exactly like a character in Atlas Shrugged, told an audience at St Paul's Cathedral that "The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest". A few weeks later, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein told the Times that he was doing "God's work". Even if he stands to make a buck at it, even your average used-car salesman won't sell some working father a car with wobbly brakes, then buy life insurance policies on that customer and his kids. But this is done almost as a matter of routine in the financial services industry, where the attitude after the inevitable pileup would be that that family was dumb for getting into the car in the first place. Caveat emptor, dude! People have to understand this Randian mindset is now ingrained in the American character. You have to live here to see it. There's a hatred toward "moochers" and "parasites" - the Tea Party movement, which is mainly a bunch of pissed off suburban white people whining about minorities consuming social services, describes the battle as being between "water-carriers" and "water-drinkers". And regulation of any kind is deeply resisted, even after a disaster as sweeping as the 2008 crash. This debate is going to be crystallized in the Goldman case. Much of America is going to reflexively insist that Goldman's only crime was being smarter and better at making money than IKB and ABN-Amro, and that the intrusive, meddling government (in the American narrative, always the bad guy!) should get off Goldman's Armani-clad back. Another side is going to argue that Goldman winning this case would be a rebuke to the whole idea of civilization - which, after all, is really just a collective decision by all of us not to screw each other over even when we can. It's an important moment in the history of modern global capitalism: whether or not to move forward into a world of greed without limits. 2010 Guardian/UK As Rolling Stone.s chief political reporter, Matt Taibbi's predecessors include the likes of journalistic giants Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke. Taibbi's 2004 campaign journal Spanking the Donkey cemented his status as an incisive, irreverent, zero-bullshit reporter. His latest collection is Smells Like Dead Elephants: Dispatches from a Rotting Empire --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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