|Progressive Calendar 06.02.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2010 16:28:26 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.02.10 1. Merriam meeting 6.02 6pm 2. Where's my planet? 6.02 7pm 3. Eagan peace vigil 6.03 4:30pm 4. Northtown vigil 6.03 5pm 5. Peace/reconcile 6.03 7:30pm 6. ENP/Laura 6.03 9pm 7. Patrick Cockburn - Israel: mad-dog of the planet 8. PC Roberts - High seas barbarism/America's complicity in evil 9. Shamus Cooke - Dismantling public education/ Democrats vs teachers 10. Jim Hightower - Government impotence and corporate rule --------1 of 10-------- From: "Krista Menzel (Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace)" <web [at] MPPeace.org> Subject: Merriam meeting 6.02 6pm 2010 Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace Meetings First Wednesday of each month 6:00-7:45 p.m. (Note time change due to reduced library hours) Merriam Park Library - Basement Meeting Room A or B 1831 Marshall Avenue (at Fairview Avenue), St. Paul, MN Wednesday, June 2, 2010 --------2 of 10-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Where's my planet? 6.02 7pm The 2010 Southside Family School Play: "Dude, Where's My Planet?" Wednesday, June 2, Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. Walker Church, 16th Avenue and 31st Street, Minneapolis. "Dude, Where's My Planet?" is a social-justice musical comedy performed by Southside Family School. The play begins with a raid - families broken up, children captured! Somebody uses the word "Alien." Can you believe it? We're in the middle of an Empire! Endorsed by: WAMM. --------3 of 10-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 6.03 4:30pm PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------4 of 10-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 6.03 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------5 of 10-------- From: Allan Hancock <alforgreens [at] gmail.com> Subject: Peace/reconcile 6.03 7:30pm Peace and Reconciliation A talk given by Ryder Stevens, CS Thurs. Jun. 3, 7:30 PM. University Club of St. Paul, 420 Summit Ave. St. Paul (free valet parking) Sponsored by: First Church of Christ, Scientist, St. Paul --------6 of 10-------- From: jwilson [at] enp-news.org Subject: ENP/Laura 6.03 9pm Comrades and Friends of the Edgertonite National Party: The next meeting will be held Thursday, 3 June 2010 from 9 to 10:30 PM at the Urban Bean coffee shop, 3255 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN. This is on Metro Transit bus route 4. Things that should be discussed are: 1) holding a mini-convention when Comrade Adam visits Minnesota this July to simplify the Constitution and make it more appropriate to the size of the ENP, and 2) considering structural changes to take effect after the National Chairman buys a computer, no later than August. One proposed change is to host a monthly or weekly 15-minute programme on Blog Talk Radio. Please be there. [The ghost of Laura Ingalls Wilder may be in attendance] John Charles Wilson National Chairman [Or maybe not. You know, Laura is the face in the misty light Footsteps that you hear down the hall The laugh that floats on a summer night That you can never quite recall And you see Laura on a train that is passing through Those eyes how familiar they seem She gave your very first kiss to you That was Laura But she's only a dream] --------7 of 10-------- Mad-Dog of the Planet Notch Up Another Disaster for Israel's Well-Oiled Propaganda Machine By PATRICK COCKBURN June 2, 2010 Dissident Voice An old Israeli saying describing various less-than-esteemed military leaders says: "He was so stupid that even the other generals noticed." The same derisive remark could be applied almost without exception to the present generation of Israeli politicians. Such healthy skepticism among Israelis about the abilities of their military and political leaders has unfortunately ebbed in recent decades. As a result, Israelis are left perplexed as to why their wars, military interventions and armed actions have so often ended in failure since the 1973 war, despite the superiority of their armed forces. The latest example of this is the assault on the Gaza aid convoy by naval commandos, a confrontation initiated by Israel which thereby ensured that the convoy's organizers achieved their objectives to a degree beyond their wildest dreams. By using assault troops in a police action against civilians with predictably bloody results Israel managed to focus international attention on its blockade of Gaza, which the world had hitherto largely ignored. The Israeli action infuriated Turkey, once its strongest ally in the region, and strengthened the claim of Hamas to Palestinian leadership. The capacity of Israel to shoot itself in the foot needs explanation. From the beginning the operation was idiotic, since Israel was always likely to look bad after any confrontation between lite troops and civilian protesters. Even more ludicrous is the Israeli explanation that their lite and heavily armed soldiers were at risk of their lives because they had to use thick gloves to protect their hands when sliding down cables from a helicopter and therefore could not use their weapons. The nature of the fiasco should cause little surprise because such botched Israeli military actions have been the norm for years. The 1982 invasion of Lebanon was discredited by the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Christian militias loosed on them by Israeli army commanders. Syria, not Israel, became the predominant power in Lebanon. In south Lebanon, the Israeli army fought a long and unsuccessful guerrilla war against Hizbollah. The bombardments of Lebanon in 1996 and 2006 left Hizbollah stronger, and a similar attack on Gaza in 2008 failed to weaken Hamas. The problem is that nobody believes Israeli propaganda as much as Israelis. Pro-Palestinian activists often lament the fluency and mendacity of Israeli spokesmen on the airwaves and the pervasive influence of Israel's supporters abroad. But, in reality, these PR campaigns are Israel's greatest weakness, because they distort Israelis' sense of reality. Defeats and failures are portrayed as victories and successes. The slaughter of civilians is justified as a military necessity or somehow the fault of the other side. Opponents are demonized as bloodthirsty terrorists. Comforted by such benign accounts of their activities, Israeli leaders are consumed by arrogance because they come to believe they have never made a mistake. Denial that errors have occurred makes it extremely difficult to sack generals or ministers, however gross their incompetence or record of failure. [Can Yahweh's own generals err? -ed] Many Israelis privately take their own propaganda with a pinch of salt, though the number is diminishing. But abroad, the most third-rate Israeli politicians strut before fawning audiences as heroic defenders of the state. Not surprisingly they return home with a dangerously inflated idea of their own abilities and in a perilously self-important mood. The Israeli propaganda machine, official and private, has been running full throttle in the last few days justifying the assault on the aid convoy to Gaza. Probably spokesmen feel they are performing well given the weakness of their case. In fact, they do nothing but harm to Israel. The greater their success in denying gross and culpable mistakes, the more likely it is that the perpetrators will hold their jobs - and the more likely it is that the mistakes will be endlessly repeated. [Yahweh never learns. Yahweh is so stupid that even the other gods have noticed. -ed] Patrick Cockburn is the author of "Muqtada: Muqtada Al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq." --------8 of 10-------- Barbarism on the High Seas America's Complicity in Evil By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS June 1, 2010 CounterPunch As I write at 5pm on Monday, May 31, all day has passed since the early morning reports of the Israeli commando attack on the unarmed ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, and there has been no response from President Obama except to say that he needed to learn "all the facts about this morning's tragic events" and that Israeli prime minister Netanyahu had canceled his plans to meet with him at the White House. Thus has Obama made America complicit once again in Israel's barbaric war crimes. Just as the US Congress voted to deep-six Judge Goldstone's report on Israel's war crimes committed in Israel's January 2009 invasion of Gaza, Obama has deep-sixed Israel's latest act of barbarism by pretending that he doesn't know what has happened. No one in the world will believe that Israel attacked ships in international waters carrying Israeli citizens, a Nobel Laureate, elected politicians, and noted humanitarians bringing medicines and building materials to Palestinians in Gaza, who have been living in the rubble of their homes without repairs or medicines since January 2009, without first clearing the crime with its American protector. Without America's protection, Israel, a totally artificial state, could not exist. No one in the world will believe that America's spy apparatus did not detect the movement of the Israeli attack force toward the aid ships in international waters in an act of piracy, killing 20, wounding 50, and kidnapping the rest. Obama's pretense at ignorance confirms his complicity. Once again the US government has permitted the Israeli state to murder good people known for their moral conscience. The Israeli state has declared that anyone with a moral conscience is an enemy of Israel, and every American president except Eisenhower and Carter has agreed. Obama's 12-hour silence in the face of extreme barbarity is his signal to the controlled corporate media to remain on the sidelines until Israeli propaganda sets the story. The Israeli story, preposterous as always, is that the humanitarians on one of the ships took two pistols from Israeli commandos, highly trained troops armed with automatic weapons, and fired on the attack force. The Israeli government claims that the commandos' response (70 casualties at last reporting) was justified self-defense. Israel was innocent. Israel did not do anything except drop commandos aboard from helicopters in order to intercept an arms shipment to Gazans being brought in by ships manned by terrorists. Many Christian evangelicals, brainwashed by their pastors that it is God's will for Americans to protect Israel, will believe the Israeli story, especially when it is unlikely they will ever hear any other. Conservative Americans, especially on Memorial Day when they are celebrating feats of American arms, will admire Israel for its toughness. Here in north Georgia where I am at the moment, I have heard several say, admiringly, "Them, Israelis, they don't put up with nuthin". Conservative Americans want the US to be like Israel. They do not understand why the US doesn't stop pissing around after nine years and just go ahead and defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. They don't understand why the US didn't defeat whoever was opposing American forces in Iraq. Conservatives are incensed that America had to "win" the war by buying off the Iraqis and putting them on the US payroll. Israel murders people and then blames its victims. This appeals to American conservatives, who want the US to do the same. It is likely that Americans will accept Israeli propagandist Mark Regev's story that Israelis were met by deadly fire when they tried to intercept an arms shipment to Palestinian terrorists from IHH, a radical Turkish Islamist organization hiding under the cover of humanitarian aid. Americans will never hear from the US media that Turkey's prime minister Erdogan declared that the aid ships were carefully inspected before departure from Turkey and that there were no terrorists or arms aboard: "I want to say to the world, to the heads of state and the governments, that these boats that left from Turkey and other countries were checked in a strict way under the framework of the rules of international navigation and were only loaded with humanitarian aid." Turkey is a US ally, a member of NATO. Turkey's cooperation is important to American's plan for world hegemony. Erdogan must wonder about the morality of Israel's American protector. According to a report in antiwar.com, the Turkish government declared that "future aid ships will be dispatched with a military escort so as to prevent future Israeli attacks". Will the CIA assassinate Erdogan or pay the Turkish military to overthrow him? Murat Mercan, head of Turkey's foreign relations committee, said that Israel's claim that there were terrorists aboard the aid ships was Israel's way of covering up its crime. Mercan declared: "Any allegation that the members of this ship is attached to al-Qaeda is a big lie because there are Israeli civilians, Israeli authorities, Israeli parliamentarians on board the ship." The criminal Israeli state does not deny its act of piracy. Israeli military spokeswoman, Avital Leibovich, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves". Americans, and their Western European puppet states and the puppet state in Canada, will be persuaded by the servile media to buy the story fabricated by Israeli propaganda that the humanitarian aid ships were manned by terrorists bringing weapons to the Palestinians in Gaza, and that the terrorists posing as humanitarians attacked the force of Israeli commandos with two pistols, clubs, and knives. Many Americans will swallow this story without a hiccup. Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------9 of 10-------- Dismantling Public Education The Widening Rift Between Teachers and Democrats By SHAMUS COOKE June 2, 2010 CounterPunch The corporate media are honest on rare occasions. Take for example a recent article in The New York Times Magazine, titled The Teachers' Union's Last Stand (05-23-10). The title itself admits that the nation's teachers are being targeted for attack by the Obama Administration, through his "Race to the Top" education reform. And although the article has an inherently corporate bias, it contains many revelations that have been otherwise ignored in the mainstream media. The article outlines the two contending forces behind the national education "debate": the corporate "reformers" and the "anti-change" teacher unions. Who are the reformers? The New York Times answers: ".high-powered foundations, like the [Bill] Gates Foundation. and wealthy entrepreneurs, who have poured seed money into charter schools". Other reformers include: ".. a new crop of Democratic politicians across the country - including President Obama - who seem willing to challenge the teachers' unions". Top on the list of objectives for the reformers - Democrats and corporate groups - is the creation of charter schools, which stand in total opposition to public education. The New York Times article speaks at length about the biggest obstacle to the charter school "movement" - the teachers' unions. Examples are given on a state-by-state level where teachers' unions have stalled or defeated attempts of the corporate-backed "reformers" to shift public funding towards private charter schools. But the article also mentions instances where teachers' unions have made shameful concessions to the reformers, such as in Washington, D.C., Tennessee, and Rhode Island. The main concession is the job security of teachers. How is the job security of teachers and the creation of charter schools related? Because teachers' unions are the biggest obstacle to the creation of private charter schools, unions must be undermined. Unions are powerful because union members cannot be fired for engaging in political activity. Union workers are thus able to help organize their workforce and communities to pursue political objectives - such as saving public education - without fear of being fired. Destroying teacher seniority is thus the primary goal of the corporate education reformers. This is the hidden motive behind all the media attention towards "firing bad teachers". The reformers want the ability to fire any teacher at any time, consequently undermining teachers' unions. Thus, teachers are supposed to be rewarded - by keeping their jobs or with raises - based on their students' abilities to achieve high test scores, regardless of the number of children in the classroom, or the poverty level of the students, or whether or not enough classroom materials exist to do the job. Sadly, the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Randy Weingarten, has agreed to abandon teacher job security in recent bargaining negotiations. The New York Times reports: "[The Washington, D.C.] contract ..now makes it possible.. to fire any teacher with tenure..if the teacher is evaluated as "ineffective" for one year or "minimally effective" for two years. The criteria used to define "ineffective" or "minimally effective" are, according to another clause, "a nonnegotiable item" determined solely by [school administrators]". Language like this will be used to destroy teachers' unions. School administrators will determine that union activist teachers are "ineffective", those teachers that criticize work conditions will be labeled "minimally effective," etc. If Weingarten thinks that making this kind of concession will quiet the demands of the "reformers," she will need to think again. Giving sharks tidbits merely sends them into a feeding frenzy. Indeed, the frenzied demands of the corporate groups to privatize public education are more than Weingarten can keep up with. The other, larger national teacher union, the National Education Association, has yet to make the large concessions Weingarten's AFT has. The Democrats demanding these concessions are creating conflicts between the unions to an unheard of degree. If a complete break happens between the unions and Democrats - as it should [Amen -ed] - the repercussions would be enormous. The New York Times explains: "If unions are the Democratic Party's base, then teachers' unions are the base of the base. The two national teachers' unions - the American Federation of Teachers and the larger National Education Association - together have more than 4.6 million members. That is roughly a quarter of all the union members in the country. Teachers are the best field troops in local elections". In the last 30 years, the teachers' unions have contributed nearly $57.4 million to federal campaigns - and they have typically contributed many times more to state and local candidates. About 95 percent of it has gone to Democrats. Teachers' unions cannot continue to support a political party that aims to destroy them. Even Weingarten was forced to admit "deliberately or not, President Obama, whom I supported, has shifted the focus from resources and innovation and collaboration to blaming it all on dedicated teachers". [God damn Obama. -ed] The Democratic Party is dismantling public education on a state and municipal level, picking each target at different times to hide the enormity of the attack, while confusing teachers, parents, students, and community members about the overall agenda. [And to hell with the Democratic Party. Leave it now. -ed]. Only an organized and aggressive response can stop the privatization of public education. Both national teachers unions - along with regional teacher's unions - must adopt common positions on the total defense of fully funded public education, while also demanding that teachers' job security be protected. A campaign that involves rank and file teachers, students, parents, other public workers, the labor movement as a whole and the larger community can be united around the slogan: fully fund public education by taxing the rich and corporations! [!!! -ed] Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at shamuscook [at] yahoo.com --------10 of 10-------- Government Impotence and Corporate Rule by Jim Hightower Wednesday, June 2, 2010 Creators Syndicate Common Dreams Many news reports about the Gulf oil catastrophe refer to it as a "spill." Wrong. A spill is a minor "oops" - one accidentally spills milks, for example, and from childhood, we're taught the old aphorism: "Don't cry over spilt milk." What's in the Gulf isn't milk and it wasn't spilt. The explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon well was the inevitable result of deliberate decisions made by avaricious corporate executives, laissez faire politicians and obsequious regulators. [ie craven asskissers -ed] As the ruinous gulf oil blowout spreads onto land, over wildlife, across the ocean floor and into people's lives, it raises a fundamental question for all of us Americans: Who the hell's in charge here? What we're witnessing is not merely a human and environmental horror, but also an appalling deterioration in our nation's governance. Just as we saw in Wall Street's devastating economic disaster and in Massey Energy's murderous explosion inside its Upper Big Branch coal mine, the nastiness in the gulf is baring an ugly truth that We the People must finally face: We are living under de facto corporate rule that has rendered our government impotent. Thirty years of laissez-faire, ideological nonsense (pushed upon us with a vengeance in the past decade) has transformed government into a subsidiary of corporate power. Wall Street, Massey, BP and its partners - all were allowed to become their own "regulators" and officially encouraged to put their short-term profit interests over the public interest. [God wants them to have longer yachts, He laughs when they wreck His Planet - "Good show!" He roars, "Do it again!" So they do. -ed] Let's not forget that on April 2, barely two weeks before Deepwater Horizon blew and 11 people perished on the spot, the public's No. 1 official, Barack Obama, trumpeted his support for more deepwater oil drilling, blithely regurgitating Big Oil's big lie: "Oil rigs today generally don't cause spills." He and his advisors had not bothered to check the truth of that . they simply took the industry's word. That's not governing, it's aiding and abetting profiteers, and it's a pathetic performance. But that was only the start of Washington's oily confession that it has surrendered control to corporate arrogance and avarice. With an unprecedented volume of crude gushing from the well and the magnitude of the disaster multiplying geometrically by the day, who was in charge of coping with that? Not the White House, not the interior secretary, not the EPA. As we saw when Wall Street's greed exploded our economy, the polluting scoundrels were left in charge! While BP's dapper CEO issued patently ridiculous statements (such as, "Everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest."), our government blindly went along with BP's false assertion that only some 5,000 barrels a day were pouring from the well, when independent experts were shouting at the White House that the correct volume was up to 19 times that much. Finally, almost a month after the blowout, Obama ordered a moratorium on drilling new offshore wells and on granting environmental waivers to the oil giants. Bravo, Mr. President! But ... his moratorium was simply ignored. Days after his order, oil companies were handed at least seven more drilling permits and five waivers. Last week, with 63 percent of the public disapproving of his meek deference to BP, the president of the United States of America was reduced to convening a press conference to insist that he was "engaged" and, behind the scenes, was "monitoring" BP's efforts. Wow, monitoring! Excuse me, but who's the president here? Obama should personally take charge - cancel all of his social and political events, convene an emergency response team of the best scientific minds in the world, announce a clear plan of clean-up actions, install all relevant Cabinet officials in a Gulf Coast command center to direct the actions, make daily reports on progress to the public, fire a mess of failed regulators and go to Congress with sweeping legislation to replace America's oil dependency with a crash program of conservation and renewable energy sources. Oh, he should also wring a few corporate necks. Instead of monitoring these criminals, prosecute them - and put the public back in charge of our government. 2010 Creators.com National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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