Progressive Calendar 05.18.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 11:10:35 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   05.18.10

1. War-Betty-war   5.18 4pm
2. Gaza +1 year    5.18 5pm
3. Pentel kick-off 5.18 5:30pm
4. GLBT homes      5.18 6pm
5. UNESCO          5.18 6:30pm
6. Poetry          5.18 6:30pm
7. Labor/food      5.18 7pm

8. Alliant vigil   5.19 7am
9. Pawlenty v DFL  5.19 11am
10. Parks planning 5.19 6:30pm
11. Be the media   5.19 6:30pm
12. Food/work/film 5.19 7pm

13. Gilad Atzmon   - Planet Chomsky vs Dershowitz's orbit
14. Norman Solomon - Kagan in context: shafting progressive values
15. Rady Ananda    - Obama's latest Monsanto pick, Elena Kagan
16. Charles Derber - Capitalism: big surprises in recent polls

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: War-Betty-war 5.18 4pm      [wars by ed]

Demonstration: "No Funding for Escalation of the War in Afghanistan"
Tuesday, May 18, 4:00 p.m. Office of Rep[war]sentative [war]Betty[war]
Mc[war]Collum, Blair Arcade Building, 165 Western Avenue North (corner of
Selby and Western), St. Paul.

Congress will soon vote on a $33 billion supplemental funding bill for the
U.S. war in Afghanistan. The funds will be used to escalate the war,
including an attack this summer on the Afghan city of Kandahar. Fourth
District Congressional Rep[war]sentative Betty McCollum has made clear she
intends to support this additional $33 billion for war. The war in
Afghanistan will not make the world safe; the escalation can only lead to
more horrendous loss of life.

Sponsored by: the Anti-War Committee, Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace,
Twin Cities Peace Campaign, and WAMM. FFI: Call 612-522-1861 or
612-827-5364.

[a haiku for BM:
 Blood drips from the lips
 of Dem Repwarsentative
 "Bets" McWarColumn.

 Kill kill kill says the
 Pentagon. Aye aye aye says
 Betty aye and die.]

[Just another legislative killer for the Pentagon]


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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Gaza +1 year 5.18 5pm

Worthy St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm,
midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow!  Households
with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 5/18 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 5/19, 10am
Jennifer Loewenstein: Gaza, One Year Later"

U of Wisconsin faculty member Jennifer Loewenstein speaks about her vast
intimate knowledge and recent experiences in the Gaza strip.


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From: PRO826 [at] aol.com
Subject: Pentel kick-off 5.18 5:30pm

For those who may want to help Ken Pentel for Governor and Roderick Olson
for MN House get on the ballot, Danene Provencher

Petitioning kick-off this  Tuesday the 18th:
Metro area
Time: 5:30pm

Old Location: Shish Restaurant, 1668 Grand Ave (S Macalester Street near
Snelling Ave) Saint Paul, MN 55105

New Location: In the Metro Area the location we were meeting tomorrow at
5:30pm has changed from Shish to The Chatterbox Pub, Located at 800
Cleveland Ave N. At the intersection of Cleveland and Ford Parkway. Call
me or contact Roderic for directions.

We will need to find locations where people congregate, Such as: Co-ops,
political events, fairs and festivals, busy intersections, concerts, and
any other events/gatherings that would work.

For those in Greater MN call with any questions or ideas.

Some reasons to petition and sign: 1. So the Earth has representation on
the ballot line 2. Third Party option. 3. Accountability.

If you know other people that would be willing to petition have them
contact me to get a packet. Thanks, Ken

Address to return petitions:
For Roderic Olson 64B petitions, 880 Cleveland N, St Paul, MN  55116
For Ken Pentel for Governor: P.O. Box 3872, Mpls, MN 55403.
We need to have petitions in-hand by the morning of June 1st.

Please recruit petitioners. It's great way to build our political  muscle

Ken Pentel, Network Director
Ecology Democracy Network
P.O. Box 3872
Minneapolis, MN 55403
_www.ecologydemocracynetwork.org_ (http://www.ecologydemocracynetwork.org/)
_kenpentel [at] yahoo.com_
(http://us.mc562.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=kenpentel [at] yahoo.com)
(612)  387-0601
and educate the public.


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From: hosthome [at] avenuesforyouth.org
Subject: GLBT homes 5.18 6pm

On any given night in Minnesota, there are approximately 200 GLBT youth
who are homeless. (based on Wilder Research 2006)

One of the ways that the Twin Cities' community is addressing this problem
is through the GLBT Host Home Program of Avenues for Homeless Youth, which
offers a transformative and community-based approach to providing homeless
gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth with safe homes.  As
volunteers of the program, adults open their homes and their hearts to
young people who need and are looking for a healthy and nurturing
connection.  If you are interested in hearing more about this community
building program, please come to one of the following informational
meetings:

Tuesday, May 18, 6-8pm
@ Common Roots Cafe
2558 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55405
www.commonrootscafe.com

OR

Thursday, May 20, 6-8pm
@ Family & Children's Service
4123 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
www.everyfamilymatters.org

Come learn about the history of the GLBT Host Home Program and about the
application and screening process for potential volunteers. You will also
have an opportunity to hear from hosts who shared their homes with youth.
See you there!

Questions?  Call Raquel (Rocki) Sim√Ķes at Avenues for Homeless Youth:
612-522-1690, ext. 110.


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From: United Nations Association of Minnesota <info [at] unamn.org>
Subject: UNESCO 5.18 6:30pm

UNESCO - World Heritage Sites
Cafe Maude's Armatage Room
5416 Penn Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55419
May 18, 2010 at 06:30 PM

We are pleased to present a program about UNESCO World Heritage sites. The
World Heritage Convention came into force in 1973, countries agree to
protect and preserve natural and culutral sites of exceptional ecological,
scientific or cultural importance.

This will be a fun, informative evening, one that hopes to inspire travel
and greater understanding about UNESCO, the UN and the World. Stuart
Ackman, Board Member of the United Nations Association of MN, will be
presenting the porgram.

Cafe Maude will provide fabulous hors d'ouvres and there will be a cash
bar. The cost is $20 or $10 for students and YPIC members.
Please register.
If you would like further information, please call Stuart Ackman at 612-280-2325
or e-mail info [at] unamn.org [mailto:info [at] unamn.org]
United Nations Association of Minnesota info [at] unamn.org 612 8797512


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From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Poetry 5.18 6:30pm

It's poetry time again.  This Tuesday, bring any poetry you want to read
or just come and listen.  I bought 2 poetry books at the St Kate's sale
recently, one, the poetry of WAllace Stevens and the other the Poetry of
the Firat World War, so will read some from both books.

And, next week is The Little Book of the Odd Month Club and, again, the
book we are reading is The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  (if you have a
"little" book to recommend, please let me know.)

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.


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From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Labor/food 5.18 7pm

Please share widely! This is a wonderful annual FREE events about LABOR!
This year there's a lot of events about the WORKERS WHO GROW AND PREPARE
OUR FOOD--many of them IMMIGRANTS FROM MEXICO. Lydia Howell

Everyday Voices: Readings about Food & Work
Tuesday, May 18, 7 pm
Merriam Park Branch Library, 1831 Marshall Ave.*

Hear the voices of packinghouse workers, The Junglewaitresses, farmers
and others in this program that features readings from /The Jungle,
Nickel and Dimed, Packinghouse Daughter/, and more.

Discuss how many workers' jobs are connected to the food industry and what
has changed -- or has not changed -- in the past century. The readings
will be complemented by a performance of the Twin Cities Labor Chorus.


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From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org>
Subject: Alliant vigil 5.19 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


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

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Pawlenty v DFL 5.19 11am

TRUTH TO TELL KFAI WEDNESDAY, May 19 - 11AM: THE SESSION ENDS:
PAWLENTY WINS - OR DOES HE?
KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at KFAI.org

Governor Tim Pawlenty went before the microphones Monday morning after
all-night negotiations with exhausted legislative leaders struggling to
meet the required adjournment at Midnight, May 17, and he spent most of
his news conference crowing about his victories and the claiming that he
(the almighty "we") had forever altered the culture of this, "the most
liberal state in the union," one that had spent decades of too much
government, too much spending and too much taxing.  The questions remain:
why can't a veto-proof DFL Senate majority and a top-heavy DFL House
majority, 201 legislators cannot prevail in enacting a balanced budget
resolution in a time of huge deficits - where fair taxation accompanies
severe cuts to programs for the neediest MInnesotans. Why do many
advocates believe that it could have been far worse when the governor
vetoed dozens of critical bills to assist real people?

Despite being told by the Supreme Court that his unallotting last year was
beyond the pale of his authority as governor, Tim Pawlenty generally
prevailed in enacting the very cuts he tried to make illegally last year.
Why? [Because the Dems are wimps and corptoadies. -ed]

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with lobbyists/
advocates from several constituencies most affected by the budget cuts
and what can be done to restore some semblance of resource supplies to
meet the very real demands of a society so much in need of them.

Can't get us on the radio? Click on the KFAI Live link at the right to
stream TruthToTell. Or visit here later for the podcast.

On-air guests:
 NAN MADDEN - Minnesota Budget Project Director, Minnesota Council of
Nonprofits
 BRIAN RUSCHE - Executive Director, Joint Religious Legislative
Coalition
 DEBORAH SCHLICK - Executive Director, Affirmative Options Coalition
 JEFF VAN WYCHEN - Research Fellow, State & Local Government Policy/
Budgets, Minnesota 2020
And YOU! Call us at 612-341-0980


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From: J. May <jmay [at] idlelion.net>
Subject: Parks planning 5.19 6:30pm

Notification of upcoming Parks and Recreation System Plan Community Open
Houses - All residents are encouraged to attend to help shape the way
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation will look in the future/*.

Dear Saint Paul Resident,
As you know very well, we are in challenging economic times. This has no
doubt affected your household budget, changed how you think about home
improvements or vacations, and possibly even made you adjust your
long-term plans.

I am also sure you understand that city government must do the same
re-assessment of its practices and facilities. I write to you today to ask
for your help.

Saint Paul's Parks and Recreation system must change. It is becoming
increasingly difficult to pay for the facilities we have, and many of
these facilities do not meet the needs of current park users. The system
can either change in an incremental, piecemeal way, or the Parks and
Recreation Department can plan the whole system for the future. The
Department has chosen to plan, in order to better meet the needs of the
whole city for decades to come.

I would like to invite you to join me, city staff, and your neighbors in
the creation of this system-wide plan. Please consider attending any of
the five planned community meetings listed below. At the meeting, you will
be asked to participate in a series of individual and group activities.
These will help the city understand community perspectives on existing
facilities, improvement priorities, the geographic location of facilities,
and how you recreate.

All the meetings will be held from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM with a short
presentation at 7:15 PM. The dates and locations for the open houses are:

    * May 19th - Oxford Community Center/Jimmy Lee Recreation Center,
      270 Lexington Parkway North
    * May 24th - Wellstone Community Center/El Rio Vista Recreation
      Center, 179 Robie Street East
    * May 26th - Phalen Recreation Center, 1000 East Wheelock Parkway
    * June 3rd - North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 St. Albans Street North
    * June 9th - Hillcrest Recreation Center, 1978 Ford Parkway

The content and activities will be the same at each of the meetings so you
can attend the one that best meets your schedule and location. If you
can't make any of the open houses, please give us your thoughts on-line
<http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?nid=3845>

City staff and a hired consultant will use your input to shape a plan for
the future. A draft Park and Recreation System Plan will be available for
review on the web and in additional meetings to be held in October and
November.

I would like to thank you in advance for your attendance at one of our
open houses. We're working to plan the park and recreation system of the
future - and we want to make sure it's a system that works for you. Your
input is critical.

Mike Hahm, CPRP Director, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation


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From: Ann Alquist <aalquist [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Be the media 5.19 6:30pm

Items of interest going ignored in your community? Want to share your
community events? The Twin Cities Daily Planet has a roster of classes
designed to help you develop the skills to be a part of the media
landscape. A few samples:

Turn it On! Radio Narrative Storytelling (not a production class, this
involves a lot of listening and sharing ideas) (May 19)

Social Media Best Practices (June 7)

What's Your Story? Citizen Journalism 101

Classes are free and held at Rondo Community Library on University and
Dale, always starting at 6:30pm. More details at tcdailyplanet.net/classes

Ann Alquist Community Engagement Coordinator Twin Cities Daily Planet Ann
Alquist KFAI Radio, Minneapolis Info about Ann Alquist:
http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/annalquist


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From: Barb Kucera <kucer004 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Food/work/film 5.19 7pm

Reel Life: Depictions of Food Industry Workers in Films and Television
Wednesday, May 19, 7 p.m.
Highland Park Branch Library, 1974 Ford Parkway

Whether it was Lucille Ball scrambling to keep pace with the candy factory
assembly line or African-American workers struggling to assert their
rights in an early 20th century packinghouse, food industry workers have
provided much food for thought in films and television. View excerpts from
^”Food, Inc.,^‘ ^”Eyes on the Fries,^‘ and other sources and join in a
discussion about mass media portrayals of worker and food issues.

This program is part of the "Untold Stories" series sponsored by The
Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and co-sponsored by the
University of Minnesota Labor Education Service and many other
organizations. Free and open to the public.


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Planet Chomsky Vs. Dershowitz's Orbit
by Gilad Atzmon
May 18th, 2010
Dissident Voice

The Israeli Interior Ministry on Sunday denied entry to Jewish American
linguist Prof Noam Chomsky turning him back from the Allenby Bridge
border crossing in the Jordan Valley. Seemingly, the moral ash cloud that
is pouring out of the morbid Jewish ghetto known as Israel is not going to
clear. It is there to stay.

On the face of it, Chomsky's border incident shouldn't take us by
surprise. Israel is the Jewish state and as such it operates as a
synagogue of great magnitude. The synagogue is an exclusive entity, it
only allows in those who fit. The synagogue is neither democratic nor
liberal, it is actually subject to tribal judgments that have very little
to do with ethics or universalism.

In the Jewish State, Prof Noam Chomsky is apparently a persona non grata,
however, Alan Dershowitz, a shallow intellect is seemingly the hero of Tel
Aviv University.

A week ago, during a University symposium, Dershowitz said that Israel's
biggest problem is Israel-bashing "Jews" like Norman Finkelstein and Gilad
Atzmon. He said some people live on what he calls "Planet Chomsky".
Dershowitz didn't do his homework. Clearly I myself share very little with
Chomsky. As if this is not enough, I am not a Jew for more than a while.

However, it doesn't take a genius to detect a continuum between Israel and
Dershowitz. A week ago Chomsky was a "planet". Yesterday, at a Jordan
valley border crossing, he was denied entry to the "Jews only universe".
The astronomy of the Jewish cosmos is pretty simple. You do not need a
Galileo figure. The Jewish planet seeks total submissive tribal
conformity.

Interestingly enough, Chomsky is not exactly the harsh anti Zionist figure
that Dershowitz wants us to believe. Along the years, Chomsky was flirting
heavily with Zionism. He was often visiting Israeli universities. I myself
attended his Tel Aviv University lectures in the 1980's. Chomsky was
spreading some bizarre ungrounded ideas defying early Zionist commitment
to the Jewish state. As American activist Jeff Blankfort pointed out
recently, Chomsky has been dismissing the power of the pro-Israel lobby.
He opposed the BDS movement and made some efforts to "dissuade people from
using the term, apartheid, to describe Israel's control over Palestinian
society". Chomsky also opposes the Palestinian right of return and a
one-state solution. Chomsky is in fact, a liberal Zionist as well as a
kibbutz enthusiast. He may as well be the prototype of the righteous Jew
and Zionist fig leaf. And in spite of that Israel denied the entry of the
82 year old American academic Israel now admits that it made a mistake. In
fact Israel couldn't inflict more harm on itself. As it happens, Chomsky's
border incident yesterday may as well be the biggest contribution the
American academic has ever made to the anti-Zionist struggle.

As the truth of Israeli barbarism is unfolding, more and more Westerners
admit that time is ripe for the nations to spit out Israel, for the Jewish
state doesn't have room amongst nations. But the nations shouldn't stop
there. Time is also overdue to spit the Dershowitzes and other Zionist
comic figures from our public, academic, social and intellectual life.
De-Zionification is of the essence in the search for peace and humanity.

Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He
lives in London and is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed
and the recently released My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the
most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. He can be reached at:
atz [at] onetel.net.uk.


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Kagan in Context: Shafting Progressive Values
by Norman Solomon
May 18th, 2010
Dissident Voice

If President Obama has his way, Elena Kagan will replace John Paul Stevens
- and the Supreme Court will move rightward. The nomination is very
disturbing, especially because its part of a pattern.

The White House is in the grip of conventional centrist wisdom. Grim
results stretch from Afghanistan to the Gulf of Mexico to communities
across the USA.

"It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause
spills," President Obama said in support of offshore oil drilling, less
than three weeks before the April 20 blowout in the Gulf. "They are
technologically very advanced".

On numerous policy fronts, such conformity to a centrist baseline has
smothered hopes for moving this country in a progressive direction. Now,
the president has taken a step that jeopardizes civil liberties and other
basic constitutional principles.

"During the course of her Senate confirmation hearings as Solicitor
General, Kagan explicitly endorsed the Bush administration's bogus
category of 'enemy combatant,' whose implementation has been a war crime
in its own right," University of Illinois law professor Francis Boyle
noted last month. "Now, in her current job as U.S. Solicitor General,
Kagan is quarterbacking the continuation of the Bush administration's
illegal and unconstitutional positions in U.S. federal court litigation
around the country, including in the U.S. Supreme Court".

Boyle added: "Kagan has said 'I love the Federalist Society'. This is a
right-wing group; almost all of the Bush administration lawyers
responsible for its war and torture memos are members of the Federalist
Society".

The departing Justice Stevens was a defender of civil liberties. Unless
the Senate refuses to approve Kagan for the Supreme Court, the nation's
top court is very likely to become more hostile to civil liberties and
less inclined to put limits on presidential power.

Here is yet another clear indication that progressives must mobilize to
challenge the White House on matters of principle. Otherwise, history will
judge us harshly - and it should.

For more than 15 months, evidence has mounted that President Obama
routinely combines progressive rhetoric with contrary actions. As one bad
decision after another has emanated from the Oval Office, some
progressives have favored denial - even though, if the name "Bush" or
"McCain" had been attached to the same presidential policies, the same
progressives would have been screaming bloody murder.

But enabling bad policies, with silent acquiescence or anemic dissent,
encourages more of them. At this point, progressive groups and individuals
who pretend that Obama's policies merely need a few tweaks, or just suffer
from a few anomalous deficiencies, are whistling past a political
graveyard. [Obama and his policies and party suck. ed]

At the same time, with less than six months to go before Election Day,
there are very real prospects of a big Republican victory that could shift
majority control of Congress. Progressives have a huge stake in averting a
GOP takeover on Capitol Hill.

The corporate-military centrism of the Obama administration has
demoralized and demobilized the Democratic Party's largely progressive
base - the same base that swept Nancy Pelosi into the House Speaker's
office and then Barack Obama into the White House. National polls now show
Democrats to be much less enthusiastic about voting in November than their
Republican counterparts. [And with good reason. -ed]

The conventional political wisdom (about as accurate as the claim that
"oil rigs today generally don't cause spills") is that when a Democratic
president moves rightward, his party gains strength against Republicans.
But Democrats reaped the whirlwind of that pseudo-logic in 1994 - after
President Clinton shafted much of the Democratic base by pushing through
the corporate NAFTA trade pact against the wishes of labor, environmental
and human-rights constituencies. That's how Newt Gingrich and other
right-wing zealots got to run Congress starting in January 1995.

For progressives, giving the Obama administration one benefit of the doubt
after another has not prevented matters from getting worse.

At the moment, U.S. troop levels are nearing 100,000 in Afghanistan.

Massive quantities of oil are belching into the Gulf of Mexico.

The White House has signaled de facto acceptance of a high unemployment
rate for several more years, while offering weak GOP-lite countermeasures
like tax breaks for businesses.

Nuclear power subsidies are getting powerful support from both ends of
Pennsylvania Avenue, while meaningful action against global warming is
nowhere in sight.

The Justice Department continues to backtrack on civil liberties.

And now, if the president's nomination of Elena Kagan is successful, the
result will move the Supreme Court to the right.

Progressives should fight the Kagan nomination.

Norman Solomon is national co-chair of the Healthcare Not Warfare
campaign, launched by Progressive Democrats of America. His books include
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

[Obama & Kagan: 2 pigs in pokes. Oink! Snort! Snuffle! -ed]


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Obama's Latest Monsanto Pick, Elena Kagan
Mark of the Beast
by Rady Ananda
May 17th, 2010
Dissident Voice

First, we spit out our coffee over President Obama's appointments of
former Monsanto goon Michael Taylor as Food Safety [sic] Czar and "biotech
governor of the year" Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. Then we
choked on our grits when he made Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddiqui, the US
Ag Trade Representative. Now, the real food movement has completely lost
its appetite with Obama's nomination of Monsanto defender, Elena Kagan, to
the US Supreme Court.

In December 2009, in her capacity as Solicitor General, Kagan intervened
in the first case on which SCOTUS will rule involving genetically modified
crops, Monsanto v Geertson Seed. She defended Monsanto's fight to
contaminate the environment with its GM alfalfa, not the American people's
right to safe feed and a protected environment.

The lower court ruled that "contamination of organic and conventional
alfalfa crops with the genetically engineered gene has occurred and
defendants acknowledge as much. Such contamination is irreparable
environmental harm".

That other fields, not those of Geertson Seed, et al., had been
contaminated does not bother Kagan. "The district court failed to find
either that respondents had suffered or were likely to suffer irreparable
harm".

This flies in the face of reality. The biotech industry has admitted it
cannot prevent contamination of natural fields. When Bayer CropScience
contaminated nearly a third of the US rice supply with its GM version, its
defense lawyers told jurors that "Bayer's containment protocols were equal
to or exceeded industry standards when the test rice escaped into the
general supplies".

If the best containment protocols don't work, then contamination cannot be
prevented. That is clearly an indication that natural crop farmers are
"likely to suffer irreparable harm".

Geertson Seed explains some basic facts about alfalfa and GM
contamination:

Alfalfa is not just a prolific field crop, but feral alfalfa and weedy
alfalfa is commonly found beyond the fields by roadways, irrigation
canals, backyards and beyond..

Contamination of conventional alfalfa from genetically engineered alfalfa
is a major concern. The primary mode of contamination is from the movement
of pollen by bees from plant to plant. Alfalfa is pollinated by many
different bees and other insects that fly long distances. Sudden wind
gusts like those associated with summer thunder storms can carry
pollinators over greater distances. When a pollinator visits an alfalfa
plant that has the Roundup Ready (RR) gene inserted, it will pick up the
pollen that contains the RR gene and carry it to a distant conventional
alfalfa plant. If that pollen fertilizes the blossom of the conventional
plant, the resulting seed will contain the RR gene.

This contamination becomes especially important because contaminated
alfalfa will continue to sprout for years: "The seed produced by alfalfa
can have 50% or more dormant seed [which] can lay dormant in the soil for
many years".

Glyphosate is one of the most toxic herbicides in use today. Monsanto's
trade name for it is Roundup. Geertson Seed explains that:

Roundup Ready alfalfa will have a selective advantage over non GE alfalfa
and will become the dominant weed variety. In turn, the weedy Roundup
Ready alfalfa will be difficult to kill and will become a source of pollen
and seed that will contaminate other feral plants and conventional alfalfa
seed fields in the area. In a few years, it will be extremely difficult to
avoid contamination from GE alfalfa.

Worse, researchers at the University of Caen found that Monsanto's
particular formulations of glyphosate in Roundup "actually amplified
glyphosate's toxic effects," which include human cell death.

Kagan seems to believe that the biotech industry's inability to prevent
contamination is not an issue for farmers, the environment or we the
people. Her repugnance toward our human right to reject the deployment of
genetically engineered crops comports with corporate views.

She earns the M on her forehead, joining Justice Clarence Thomas, a former
Monsanto lawyer who corruptly refused to recuse himself from Monsanto v
Geertson Seed.

Rady Ananda began blogging in 2004. Her work has appeared in several
online and print publications, including three books on election fraud.
Most of her career was spent working for lawyers in research,
investigations and as a paralegal. She graduated from The Ohio State
University.s School of Agriculture with a B.S. in Natural Resources.


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Capitalism: Big Surprises in Recent Polls
by Charles Derber
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
CommmonDreams.org

According to the conventional wisdom, the US is a center-Right country.
But a new poll by Pew casts doubt on that idea. It shows widespread
skepticism about capitalism and hints that support for socialist
alternatives is emerging as a majoritarian force in America's new
generation.

Carried out in late April and published May 4, 2010,  the Pew poll,
arguably by the most respected polling company in the country, asked over
1500 randomly selected Americans to describe their reactions to terms such
as "capitalism," "socialism," "progressive," "libertarian" and "militia".
The most striking findings concern "capitalism" and "socialism". We cannot
be sure what people mean by these terms, so the results have to be
interpreted cautiously and in the context of more specific attitudes on
concrete issues, as discussed later.

Pew summarizes the results in its poll title: "Socialism not so negative;
capitalism not so positive". This turns out to be an understatement of the
drama in some of the underlying data.

Yes, "capitalism" is still viewed positively by a majority of Americans.
But it is just by a bare majority. Only 52% of all Americans react
positively. Thirty-seven percent say they have a negative reaction and the
rest aren't sure.

A year ago, a Rasmussen poll found similar reactions. Then, only 53% of
Americans described capitalism as "superior" to socialism.

Meanwhile, 29% in the Pew poll describe "socialism" as positive. This
positive percent soars much higher when you look at key sub-groups, as
discussed shortly. A 2010 Gallup poll found 37% of all Americans
preferring socialism as "superior" to capitalism.

Keep in mind these findings reflect an overview of the public mind when
Right wing views seem at a high point - with the Tea Party often cast as a
barometer of American public opinion. The polls in this era do not suggest
a socialist country, but not a capitalist-loving one either. This is not a
"Center-Right" America but a populace where almost 50% are deeply
ambivalent or clearly opposed to capitalism. Republicans and the Tea Party
would likely call that a Communist country.

The story gets more interesting when you look at two vital sub-groups. One
is young people, the "millennial generation" currently between 18 and 30.
In the Pew poll, just 43% of Americans under 30 describe "capitalism" as
positive. Even more striking, the same percentage, 43%, describes
"socialism" as positive. In other words, the new generation is equally
divided between capitalism and socialism.

The Pew, Gallup and Rasmussen polls come to the same conclusion. Young
people cannot be characterized as a capitalist generation. They are half
capitalist and half socialist. Since the socialist leaning keeps rising
among the young, it suggests - depending on how you interpret 'socialism'
- that we are moving toward an America that is either Center-Left or
actually majoritarian socialist.

Turn now to Republicans and Democrats. Sixty-two percent of Republicans in
the Pew poll view capitalism as positive, although 81 % view "free
markets" as positive, suggesting a sensible distinction in their mind
between capitalism and free markets. Even Republicans prefer small to big
business and are divided about big business, which many correctly see as a
monopolistic force of capitalism undermining free markets.

The more interesting story, though, is about Democrats. We hear endlessly
about Blue Dog Democrats. But the Pew poll shows a surprisingly
progressive Democratic base. Democrats are almost equally split in their
appraisal of capitalism and socialism. Forty-seven percent see capitalism
as positive but 53% do not. And 44% of Democrats define socialism as
positive, linking their negativity about capitalism to a positive
affirmation of socialism.

Moreover, many other subgroups react negatively to capitalism. Less than
50% of women, low-income groups and less-educated groups describe
capitalism as positive.

So much for the view that Obama does not have a strong progressive base to
mobilize. [He just has zero interest in it. -ed] In fact, "progressive,"
according to the Pew poll, is one of the most positive terms in the
American political lexicon, with a substantial majority of almost all
sub-groups defining it as positive.

You may conclude that this all add ups to little, since we can't be clear
about how people are defining "capitalism" and "socialism". But in my own
research, summarized in recent books such as The New Feminized Majority
and Morality Wars, attitudes registered in polls toward concrete issues
over the last thirty years support the interpretation of the Pew data, at
minimum, as evidence of a Center-Left country.

On nearly every major issue, from support minimum wage and unions,
preference for diplomacy over force, deep concern for the environment,
belief that big business is corrupting democracy, and support for many
major social programs including Social Security and Medicare, the
progressive position has been strong and relatively stable. If "socialism"
means support for these issues, the interpretation of the Pew poll is a
Center-Left country.

If socialism means a search for a genuine systemic alternative, then
America, particularly its youth, is emerging as a majoritarian social
democracy, or in a majoritarian search for a more cooperativist, green,
and more peaceful and socially just order.

Either interpretation is hopeful. It should give progressives assurance
that even in the "Age of the Tea Party," despite great dangers and growing
concentrated corporate power and wealth, there is a strong base for
progressive politics. We have to mobilize the majority population to
recognize its own possibilities and turn up the heat on the Obama
Administration and a demoralized Democratic Party. If we fail, the Right
will take up the slack and impose its monopoly capitalist will on a
reluctant populace.

Charles Derber, professor of sociology at Boston College and author of
Corporation Nation and Greed to Green. He is on the Majority Agenda
Project's coordinating committee (http://MajorityAgendaProject.org,
info [at] majorityagendaproject.org


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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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