Progressive Calendar 04.25.10
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?

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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!  

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  

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


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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