|Progressive Calendar 06.08.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2010 10:46:21 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.08.10 1. Save Parks' home 6.08 4:30pm 2. Free Erlinder demo 6.08 5pm 3. Thailand/Burma 6.08 6:30pm 4. RNC8 free meal 6.08 6:30pm 5. UN evening 6.08 6:30pm 6. Oil spill vigil 6.08 7pm 7. Urban garden 6.08 7pm 8. Alliant vigil 6.09 7am 9. Child welfare 6.09 9am 10. Internet control 6.09 11am 11. Nurses/vigil 6.09 5:45pm 12. WILPFplan/potluck 6.09 6pm 13. Oxfam mtg/film 6.09 7pm 14. CGS reservations 6.10 15. Chris Hedges - The Christian fascists are growing stronger 16. Gary Leupp - "Any better comments?" The ambush of Helen Thomas 17. Dave Lindorff - IDF execute Mavi Marmara victims? Shot in the back 18. Joel S Hirschhorn - Cowardly progressives 19. ed - Pledge 2012 No vote for Obama/06.08.10 --------1 of 19-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Save Parks' home 6.08 4:30pm Rally: Save the Parks' Home! Tuesday, June 8, 4:30 p.m. Leslie Parks' House, 3749 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis. Don't let IndyMac/One West throw the Parks family out of their home! IndyMac/One West is not coming forward with a deal that the Parks family can afford. On Tuesday another pressure campaign will be launched to keep the Parks' home for the Parks family. Leslie says, "We did it once, we can do it again. Lets make history!" Join others and take a stand against foreclosures and evictions. Organized by: the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout (MCPB) and Poor People's Economic Human Campaign (PPEHC). WAMM is a member of MCPB. FFI: Call 612-296-5649 or 651-497-4644. --------2 of 19-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net> Subject: Free Erlinder demo 6.08 5pm DEMONSTRATION TO DEMAND THE RELEASE OF PETER ERLINDER Tuesday, June 8 5:00 p.m. Federal Building 300 S 4th Street Minneapolis Peter Erlinder is a William Mitchell law professor and international human rights attorney. He traveled to Rwanda to join the legal team defending opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. He was arrested on May 28, 2010 by Rwandan police on false charges. He is being held in a Rwandan prison and has been hospitalized twice after interrogation sessions. He is in grave danger. In the run up to the national election, the administration of Rwandan president Paul Kagame has engaged in increasing repressive tactics including shutting down independent media and jailing opposition candidates and their supporters under a vague charge of "genocide ideology" the same charge Professor Erlinder is now accused of. The "Genocide Ideology Law" is vaguely worded, requires no link to any genocidal act, and can be used to criminalize a wide range of legitimate forms of expression. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and even the U.S. State Department have denounced it as a tool of political repression. The Kagame administration has used it widely to target political opponents. The Obama administration has done little to address Professor Erlinder's situation. The state department and US embassy have referred to this incident as "a local matter." This is because the US backs the Kagame regime. Professor Erlinder has a long history of providing legal assistance, often pro bono, in cases involving the death penalty, civil rights, claims of government and police misconduct, and criminal defense of political activists. He is a long-time supporter of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. He was president of the National Lawyers Guild from 1993-1997 and is a current board member of the NLG Foundation. He has been a defense attorney at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 2003. We MUST stand with courageous lawyers! Vigorous legal defense is NOT a crime! FREE PETER ERLINDER NOW! Sponsored by Communities United Against Police Brutality. For more information, contact 612-874-STOP or www.cuapb.org. --------3 of 19-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Thailand/Burma 6.08 6:30pm Tuesday, June 8, we will have as our guest Bernice Johnson who has traveled to Thailand and Burma many times to work with the Shan. The Shan are refugees without a camp. It should be really an interesting evening. The book chosen for The Little Book of the Odd Month Club is Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It is the story of Paul Farmer and his absolutely amazing work in founding Partners in Health begun in Haiti several years ago. The book will be discussed the last Tuesday of July. Just reading part of it will qualify for "The Little Book...."but you will like it so much you probably will finish it. At least read beyond the chapter on his travels to Cuba. 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. --------4 of 19-------- From: info [at] rnc8.org Subject: RNC8 free meal 6.08 6:30pm Free Community Meal hosted by the RNC 8 Defense Committee on June 8th! Tuesday, June 8, 2010 6:30pm - 8:00pm Walker Community Church (in the basement) 3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN The RNC 8 will likely be back in court to finish the probable cause hearing next Wednesday (June 9th). To help the experience be a little bit easier, the Defense Committee is cooking them dinner. And you're invited too! This dinner will be in solidarity with the people murdered by Israel when soldiers attacked the Freedom Flotilla that was attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. --------5 of 19-------- From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu> Subject: UN evening 6.08 6:30pm Global Citizenship in the 21st Century An Evening with Gillian Sorensen, UN Foundation Ms. Sorensen is a national advocate on matters related to the United Nations and the United States-United Nations relationship. Tuesday, June 8, 2010 The Minneapolis Club 729 2nd Avenue South VIP Reception 5:00-6PM Join us for an intimate conversation with Ms. Sorensen and support World Savvy's work with youth and educators in the Twin Cities. Forum and Discussion 6:30-7:30PM Ms. Sorensen will speak about the importance of global citizenship and the role of the United Nations in the 21st century. Q&A to follow. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets Forum & Reception: $50 includes hors d'oeuvres & wine Forum Only: $10 Adults, $5 Students Free for World Affairs Challenge Students & Teachers Please visit www.worldsavvy.org/minneapolis for more information. --------6 of 19-------- From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at] visi.com> Subject: Oil spill vigil 6.08 7pm EMERGENCY OIL SPILL VIGIL! TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 7:00 PM 1103 WEIR DRIVE WOODBURY, MN SPONSORED BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION --------7 of 19-------- From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Urban garden 6.08 7pm Urban Homesteading Workshop Series - Spring/Summer Gardening III: Tending and Harvesting by Marianna Padilla Tuesday, June 8, 7:00-9:00pm Find out about watering, mulching, weeding, composting, and harvesting your garden. This is the third of five gardening workshops. Cost: $20 per session or $75 for all 5 gardening workshops --------8 of 19-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Alliant vigil 6.09 7am Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems, 7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie. We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies? directions and lots of info: alliantACTION.org --------9 of 19-------- From: Human Rights Center <humanrts [at] umn.edu> Subject: Child welfare 6.09 9am Human Rights Center 06/09/2010 - New Directions for Child Welfare in the Coming Decade: Messages from Policy and Practice. Time: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm. Cost: Free and open to the public. Location: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert Humphrey Center West Bank Campus, University of Minnesota 301 19th Avenue S. Minneapolis MN 55455 June 9, 2010 - New Directions for Child Welfare in the Coming Decade: Messages from Policy and Practice. Presenters: Creating an Agenda for the New Decade: A Theory for Policy and Practice -Fred Wulczyn, Ph.D., Research Fellow Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago Mobilizing Resources for Practice: What is Required for a Prevention Focus -Dee Wilson, Director, Child Welfare Services The Casey Family Programs Commentary Ingredients for Assuring the Well-being of Every Child in the Child Welfare System -Esther Wattenberg, Professor, School of Social Work, CASCW and CURA University of Minnesota For more information and to register please visit: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/SSW/cascw/events/upcoming.asp This forum is being offered under the auspices of the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development, and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota. --------10 of 19-------- From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: Internet control 6.09 11am TRUTH TO TELL KFAI WEDNESDAY, June 9 - 11AM: CRITICAL CONNECTIONS: Who Should Control Our Airwaves and Internet? KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at KFAI.org The struggle continues between the forces of control and consolidation - the cable companies and telecoms - and those of consumers and common folk the rest of us who watch our television shows, seek out information necessary to keep our democracy intact and work online reading, researching, communicating. The control forces never stop trying to both deregulate the cable, telephone and broadcasts industries altogether and/or find ways to benefit one tier of customer at the expense of another all while keeping us clamoring for higher connection speeds and more equitable forms of billing for their services. Comcast Cable, already conspicuously dominant in the cable business, wants to merge with NBC or parts of that network. Newspapers have been plumping to own broadcasting facilities in the same markets/ cities, currently forbidden to maintain some modicum of competition. According to the Federal Communications Commission, "...80 percent of broadband users in the United States do not know the speed of their broadband connection." As FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski recently pointed out, "Speed matters..." Other countries, for example, enjoy cable internet connections speeds upwards of three and four times those available to us in the United States. Why? Could it be these companies await the day when theyll be allowed to charge three and four times the fees charged to all users in those countries and stratify the nations technologies once again? And how can we rely on those same corporations to provide the coverages of issues that truly mean something to our way of life instead of feeding us the pabulum most mainstream outlets send out over the airwaves and down the cable lines? We keep telling ourselves that we, the public, own the airwaves and limit the degree to which such corporate media purveyors can deplete the competition and control the marketplace. But recent history thumbs its nose at the law, with Congress and the FCC disassembling the Federal Communications Act of 1934, bit by bit over the last 75 years. TTTs ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN try to make sense of the current climate under Barak Obamas FCC and strengthened Democratic Congressional majorities to see if what was started under the Bush II administration can be reversed in favor of consumers. Thats you and us. Can't get us on the radio at 90.3FM Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul? STREAM us online at KFAI.org (Click on this link) On-air guests: STEVEN RENDEROS Media Justice Organizer, Main Street Project, Minneapolis MARGARET KAPLAN Attorney and Operations Director, Minnesota Center for Neighborhood Organizing MATT WOOD Attorney and Associate Director, Media Access Project, Washington, DC MIKE WASSENAAR Executive Director, St. Paul Neighborhood Network [Totally worthless rich bastards sit around scheming on ever new ways to steal the public blind and charge charge charge them for stuff they stole. They do it with chutzpah - sheer brazen effrontery and team tap dancing; we're supposed to kneel at their feet, kiss their shoes, and hand over the latest prize they can screw us on. When we should just give them the finger and tell them to go eff themselves. -ed] --------11 of 19-------- From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at] riseup.net> From: "Geri Katz" <Geri.Katz [at] mnnurses.org> Subject: Nurses/vigil 6.09 5:45pm VIGIL FOR PATIENT SAFETY, JUNE 9 Please join people of faith, fellow workers, and community supporters as we stand united with Twin Cities nurses on the eve of their one-day strike to put patient care before profits. When: Wednesday, June 9, 5:45 pm Where: St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, 701 N Lexington Pkwy, St. Paul 55104 Sign up here: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=events#!/event.php?eid=101513193231457&ref=mf PICKET LINE SIGNUPS Please join nurses on the picket lines to stand up for patient safety. We'll be walking for 24 hours, from 7am June 10 thru 7am on June 11, at 14 different hospitals. We welcome community supporters, fellow workers, and elected officials to join us for this historic action. Please sign up here: http://mnnurses.org/programs/labor-relations/2010-metro-bargaining/june-10-strike-information/june-10-strike-sign --------12 of 19-------- From: Doris Marquit <marqu001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: WILPF plan/potluck 6.09 6pm Women's Int'l League for Peace & Freedom, MN Metro Open Discussion Meeting & Potluck Weds., June 9, 6 pm Van Cleve Community Center, 901 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis All WILPF members (active or inactive) & friends invited. Bring ideas, plus food or free-will contribution. Ffi: www.wilpfmn.org <http://www.wilpfmn.org/> ; 651-645-6992. --------13 of 19-------- From: Oxfam Action Corps - MN <minnesota [at] oxfamactioncorps.org> Subject: Oxfam mtg/film 6.09 7pm Join Oxfam Action Corps MN volunteers as we plan our summer climate change campaign activities, including lobby visits, parades, concerts, the state fair, and more. This month's meeting will also feature a short screening of Oxfam's new film, "Hardest Hit: Survival strategies from the frontlines of climate change." Everyone is welcomed to attend, even if you're just curious about our work: Wednesday, June 9, 7pm Common Roots Café Common Room 2558 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis --------14 of 19-------- Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 18:42:07 -0500 From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Dinner reservations 6.10 If you have not yet made your reservation for CGS's annual dinner meeting, please note that you must make your reservation by June 10 CGS MN ANNUAL MEETING INVITATION Thursday evening, June 17, 2010, 6:00 - 9;00 p.m. Social Hall, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis ABUNDANT FREE PARKING IN CHURCH PARKING LOT SCHEDULE: 6:00 Social Hour; 6:30 Served Dinner (vegetarian option available); 7:15 Program; 9:00 Adjournment. COST: $30 per person; $15 for students and those with limited income. Reservations should be made by June 10. QUESTIONS? Call Mary Rose Goetz at 612-374-5321. Keynote Speaker: Secretary of State MARK RITCHIE THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN GLOBAL GOVERNANCE Born, raised and schooled in Iowa, Ritchie has lived in Minneapolis for the past 24 years. From 1986 to 2006 he served as President of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a non-profit organization working with businesses, farm organizations and other civic groups to promote long-term sustainability. A major concern of IATP has been the effect of trade rules on farm families and rural communities. In 1994 Ritchie was a co-founder of the Global Environment and Trade Study, based at Yale University, which investigated international linkages and synergies between environment and trade . In that same year he organized a conference at Bretton Woods commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic meetings at which the key institutions regulating global finance and trade were designed. In 2006 Ritchie was elected as Minnesota's 21st Secretary of State. In that capacity, he oversaw the recount in the 2008 US Senate Election, a task he handled with such skill and fairness that it led to his being named by The Nation magazine the 2008 "Most Valuable State Official in the United States." An inspirational speaker, Ritchie's presentations combine great depths of both knowledge and passion. MEETING RESERVATION FORM RESERVATION: Please reserve __________ places for (indicates names of those who will attend): __________________________________________________My check for $____________ is enclosed. Please send checks, payable to "CGSMN," to Mary Rose Goetz, 1712 Humboldt Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN55403. --------15 of 19-------- The Christian Fascists Are Growing Stronger by Chris Hedges Monday, June 7, 2010 TruthDig.com Common Dreams Tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, have begun to dismantle the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment. They are creating a theocratic state based on "biblical law," and shutting out all those they define as the enemy. This movement, veering closer and closer to traditional fascism, seeks to force a recalcitrant world to submit before an imperial America. It champions the eradication of social deviants, beginning with homosexuals, and moving on to immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims and those they dismiss as "nominal Christians" - meaning Christians who do not embrace their perverted and heretical interpretation of the Bible. Those who defy the mass movement are condemned as posing a threat to the health and hygiene of the country and the family. All will be purged. The followers of deviant faiths, from Judaism to Islam, must be converted or repressed. The deviant media, the deviant public schools, the deviant entertainment industry, the deviant secular humanist government and judiciary and the deviant churches will be reformed or closed. There will be a relentless promotion of Christian "values," already under way on Christian radio and television and in Christian schools, as information and facts are replaced with overt forms of indoctrination. The march toward this terrifying dystopia has begun. It is taking place on the streets of Arizona, on cable news channels, at tea party rallies, in the Texas public schools, among militia members and within a Republican Party that is being hijacked by this lunatic fringe. Elizabeth Dilling, who wrote "The Red Network" and was a Nazi sympathizer, is touted as required reading by trash-talk television hosts like Glenn Beck. Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, is ignored in Christian schools and soon will be ignored in Texas public school textbooks. The Christian right hails the "significant contributions" of the Confederacy. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, has been rehabilitated, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is defined as part of the worldwide battle against Islamic terror. Legislation like the new Jim Crow laws of Arizona is being considered by 17 other states. The rise of this Christian fascism, a rise we ignore at our peril, is being fueled by an ineffectual and bankrupt liberal class that has proved to be unable to roll back surging unemployment, protect us from speculators on Wall Street, or save our dispossessed working class from foreclosures, bankruptcies and misery. The liberal class has proved useless in combating the largest environmental disaster in our history, ending costly and futile imperial wars or stopping the corporate plundering of the nation. And the gutlessness of the liberal class has left it, and the values it represents, reviled and hated. [Amen -ed] The Democrats have refused to repeal the gross violations of international and domestic law codified by the Bush administration. This means that Christian fascists who achieve power will have the "legal" tools to spy on, arrest, deny habeas corpus to, and torture or assassinate American citizens - as does the Obama administration. Those who remain in a reality-based world often dismiss these malcontents as buffoons and simpletons. They do not take seriously those, like Beck, who pander to the primitive yearnings for vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. Critics of the movement continue to employ the tools of reason, research and fact to challenge the absurdities propagated by creationists who think they will float naked into the heavens when Jesus returns to Earth. The magical thinking, the flagrant distortion in interpreting the Bible, the contradictions that abound within the movement's belief system and the laughable pseudoscience, however, are impervious to reason. We cannot convince those in the movement to wake up. It is we who are asleep. Those who embrace this movement see life as an epic battle against forces of evil and Satanism. The world is black and white. They need to feel, even if they are not, that they are victims surrounded by dark and sinister groups bent on their destruction. They need to believe they know the will of God and can fulfill it, especially through violence. They need to sanctify their rage, a rage that lies at the core of the ideology. They seek total cultural and political domination. They are using the space within the open society to destroy it. These movements work within the confining rules of the secular state because they have no choice. The intolerance they promote is muted in the public assurances of their slickest operators. Given enough power, and they are working hard to get it, any such cooperation will vanish. The demand for total control and for a Christian nation and the refusal to permit any dissent are on display within their inner sanctums. These pastors have established within their churches tiny, despotic fiefdoms, and they seek to replicate these little tyrannies on a larger scale. Many of the tens of millions within the Christian right live on the edge of poverty. The Bible, interpreted for them by pastors whose connection with God means they cannot be questioned, is their handbook for daily life. The rigidity and simplicity of their belief are potent weapons in the fight against their own demons and the struggle to keep their lives on track. The reality-based world, one where Satan, miracles, destiny, angels and magic did not exist, battered them like driftwood. It took their jobs and destroyed their future. It rotted their communities. It flooded their lives with alcohol, drugs, physical violence, deprivation and despair. And then they discovered that God has a plan for them. God will save them. God intervenes in their lives to promote and protect them. The emotional distance they have traveled from the real world to the world of Christian fantasy is immense. And the rational, secular forces, those that speak in the language of fact and evidence, are hated and ultimately feared, for they seek to pull believers back into "the culture of death" that nearly destroyed them. There are wild contradictions within this belief system. Personal independence is celebrated alongside an abject subservience to leaders who claim to speak for God. The movement says it defends the sanctity of life and advocates the death penalty, militarism, war and righteous genocide. It speaks of love and promotes fear of damnation and hate. There is a terrifying cognitive dissonance in every word they utter. The movement is, for many, an emotional life raft. It is all that holds them together. But the ideology, while it regiments and orders lives, is merciless. Those who deviate from the ideology, including "backsliders" who leave these church organizations, are branded as heretics and subjected to little inquisitions, which are the natural outgrowth of messianic movements. If the Christian right seizes the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, these little inquisitions will become big inquisitions. The cult of masculinity pervades the movement. Feminism and homosexuality, believers are told, have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian right, is a muscular man of action, casting out demons, battling the Antichrist, attacking hypocrites and castigating the corrupt. This cult of masculinity, with its glorification of violence, is deeply appealing to those who feel disempowered and humiliated. It vents the rage that drove many people into the arms of the movement. It encourages them to lash back at those who, they are told, seek to destroy them. The paranoia about the outside world is stoked through bizarre conspiracy theories, many championed in books such as Pat Robertson's "The New World Order," a xenophobic rant that includes attacks on liberals and democratic institutions. The obsession with violence pervades the popular novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. In their apocalyptic novel, "Glorious Appearing," based on LaHaye's interpretation of biblical prophecies about the Second Coming, Christ returns and eviscerates the flesh of millions of nonbelievers with the sound of his voice. There are long descriptions of horror and blood, of how "the very words of the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin". Eyes disintegrate. Tongues melt. Flesh dissolves. The Left Behind series, of which this novel is a part, contains the best-selling adult novels in the country. Violence must be used to cleanse the world. These Christian fascists are called to a perpetual state of war. "Any teaching of peace prior to [Christ's] return is heresy". says televangelist James Robinson. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, instability in Israel and even the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seen as glorious signposts. The war in Iraq is predicted, believers insist, in the ninth chapter of the Book of Revelations, where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of men". The march is inevitable and irreversible and requires everyone to be ready to fight, kill and perhaps die. Global war, even nuclear war, is not to be feared, but welcomed as the harbinger of the Second Coming. And leading the avenging armies is an angry, violent Messiah who dooms hundreds of millions of apostates to a horrible and gruesome death. The Christian right, while embracing a form of primitivism, seeks the imprint of law and science to legitimate its absurd mythologies. Its members seek this imprint because, despite their protestations to the contrary, they are a distinctly modern, totalitarian movement. They seek to co-opt the pillars of the Enlightenment in order to abolish the Enlightenment. Creationism, or "intelligent design," like eugenics for the Nazis or "Soviet" science for Stalin, must be introduced into the mainstream as a valid scientific discipline - hence the rewriting of textbooks. The Christian right defends itself in the legal and scientific jargon of modernity. Facts and opinions, once they are used "scientifically" to support the irrational, become interchangeable. Reality is no longer based on the gathering of facts and evidence. It is based on ideology. Facts are altered. Lies become true. Hannah Arendt called it "nihilistic relativism," although a better phrase might be collective insanity. The Christian right has, for this reason, its own creationist "scientists" who use the language of science to promote anti-science. It has fought successfully to have creationist books sold in national park bookstores at the Grand Canyon and taught in public schools in states such as Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Creationism shapes the worldview of hundreds of thousands of students in Christian schools and colleges. This pseudoscience claims to have proved that all animal species, or at least their progenitors, fit on Noah's ark. It challenges research in AIDS and pregnancy prevention. It corrupts and discredits the disciplines of biology, astronomy, geology, paleontology and physics. Once creationists can argue on the same platform as geologists, asserting that the Grand Canyon was not created 6 billion years ago but 6,000 years ago by the great flood that lifted up Noah's ark, we have lost. The acceptance of mythology as a legitimate alternative to reality is a body blow to the rational, secular state. The destruction of rational and empirically based belief systems is fundamental to the creation of all totalitarian ideologies. Certitude, for those who could not cope with the uncertainty of life, is one of the most powerful appeals of the movement. Dispassionate intellectual inquiry, with its constant readjustments and demand for evidence, threatens certitude. For this reason incertitude must be abolished. "What convinces masses are not facts," Arendt wrote in "Origins of Totalitarianism," - "and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system which they are presumably part. Repetition, somewhat overrated in importance because of the common belief in the masses' inferior capacity to grasp and remember, is important because it convinces them of consistency in time". Augustine defined the grace of love as Volo ut sis - I want you to be. There is, he wrote, an affirmation of the mystery of the other in relationships based on love, an affirmation of unexplained and unfathomable differences. Relationships based on love recognize that others have a right to be. These relationships accept the sacredness of difference. This acceptance means that no one individual or belief system captures or espouses an absolute truth. All struggle, in their own way, some outside of religious systems and some within them, to interpret mystery and transcendence. The sacredness of the other is anathema for the Christian right, which cannot acknowledge the legitimacy of other ways of being and believing. If other belief systems, including atheism, have moral validity, the infallibility of the movement's doctrine, which constitutes its chief appeal, is shattered. There can be no alternative ways to think or to be. All alternatives must be crushed. Ideological, theological and political debates are useless with the Christian right. It does not respond to a dialogue. It is impervious to rational thought and discussion. The naive attempts to placate a movement bent on our destruction, to prove to it that we too have "values," only strengthens its legitimacy and weakness our own. If we do not have a right to be, if our very existence is not legitimate in the eyes of God, there can be no dialogue. At this point it is a fight for survival. Those gathered into the arms of this Christian fascist movement are desperately struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. We failed them; we owe them more: This is their response. The financial dislocations, the struggles with domestic and sexual abuse, the battle against addictions, the poverty and the despair that many in the movement endure are tragic, painful and real. They have a right to their rage and alienation. But they are also being used and manipulated by forces that seek to dismantle what is left of our democracy and abolish the pluralism that was once the hallmark of our society. The spark that could set this conflagration ablaze could be lying in the hands of a small Islamic terrorist cell. It could be in the hands of greedy Wall Street speculators who gamble with taxpayer money in the elaborate global system of casino capitalism. The next catastrophic attack, or the next economic meltdown, could be our Reichstag fire. It could be the excuse used by these totalitarian forces, this Christian fascism, to extinguish what remains of our open society. Let us not stand meekly at the open gates of the city waiting passively for the barbarians. They are coming. They are slouching toward Bethlehem. Let us shake off our complacency and cynicism. Let us openly defy the liberal establishment, which will not save us, to demand and fight for economic reparations for our working class. Let us reincorporate these dispossessed into our economy. Let us give them a reality-based hope for the future. Time is running out. If we do not act, American fascists, clutching Christian crosses, waving American flags and orchestrating mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance, will use this rage to snuff us out. Copyright 2010 Truthdig, L.L.C. Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. --------16 of 19-------- "Any Better Comments?" The Ambush of Helen Thomas By GARY LEUPP June 8, 2010 CounterPunch Outrage! White House journalist Helen Thomas, covering a Jewish American Heritage Month celebration at the White House May 27, is accosted on the sidewalk by someone who asks: "Any comments about Israel? We're asking everybody today - any comments about Israel?" Smiling in grandmotherly fashion - the way an 89 year-old woman might do when suddenly approached by an 17 year old boy who seems sincerely interested in her thoughts - she replies: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine". "Oooh". responds the questioner. "Any better comments?" (A voice in the background: "Helen is fun!") "Hah hah hah," laughs Helen. "Remember these people are occupied, and it's their land, not German, and not Poland". "So where should they go? What should they do?" "They could go home. Poland. Germany". "Where's home? You're saying Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?" "And America and everywhere else". A week later this video of the impromptu interview appears on "RabbiLIVE.com," website of Rabbi David Nesenoff. (Who by the way is this "live rabbi"? Who is this rabbi character who's terminated the career of a Washington press icon? How many journalists are even asking?) The clip begins and ends with strident musical accompaniment, and concludes with the caption: "Six million Jews were killed in Germany and Poland. Does Helen know that Jews have lived in Israel way before the Holocaust. How can Helen report unbiased?" According to one report the questioner was Adam Nesenoff, David's son. The latter supposedly "sat on the Thomas scoop" for a week while his "webmaster son" Adam took final exams. "So we waited," Rabbi Nesenoff told Yahoo News. "And of course, during the waiting of it, the flotilla happened". Nesenoff doesn't explain how the Israeli assault on the Gaza aid flotilla connects to Helen or the timing of the video release. But clearly it (and perhaps Thomas's comments about it?) influenced the timing of the video. And once it was online, the White House - which was not outraged at all by the murder of 9 aid workers by the "Israeli Defense Forces" last week - immediately condemned the journalist. Nesenoff contacted her employer, Hearst Newspapers, telling them they had "to get rid of her". They did. Outrage! About what? A journalist is suddenly approached on the sidewalk by two high school students who say they're asking everybody today if they have comments about Israel. (Might I ask: Why did this happen in the first place? Was this for a school project? Are there other filmed interviews young Adam would like to share, to prove that he and his friend were really fact "asking everybody" and not just Helen?) "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine". This was obviously a totally spontaneous statement, and could mean simply, "Tell them to withdraw from the occupied territories, as demanded by the entire world". The interviewer responds with apparent humor, asking for more comments. So the veteran journalist says, "Remember these people are occupied, and it's their land". It is of course absolutely true that Zionists occupy Palestinian land. This fact, not the comment, is outrageous. Most people on the planet understand this. "Where should they go?" asks the youth rhetorically, perhaps psyched for his gotcha moment. In this elliptical conversation, the "they" could have been interpreted by Helen, who has just mentioned "occupied" land, as referring to settlers on the West Bank or on the Golan Heights. The topic under discussion is Palestine, which in U.S. journalistic useage is more likely to refer to a future Palestinian state than to the state of Israel in its 1967 borders. But the video is skewed to make it seem as though Thomas said all Jews in Israel and the occupied territories should leave, and go back to places where mass murder occurred. To those who care about fairness, I suggest that's unfair. That's not what Helen Thomas said. She said Israel should leave Palestine. When prompted to say where those referenced should go, she referred to countries with historically large Jewish populations. Lots of Israelis are in fact leaving Israel for those countries. (About 14,000 Israeli Jews left annually between 1990 and 2005. According to a 2007 poll, half of Israeli youth between ages 14 and 18 express the desire to live outside of Israel, which they see as having a bleak future. A huge percentage of Israelis has or plans to inquire about obtaining foreign nationality; many Europeans offer this generously to descendents of citizens who can prove their ancestry. The Berlin synagogue has 12,000 members and is flourishing. There are now maybe 55,000 Jews in Poland, many emigrating from Israel following Poland's admission to the EU.) It's not clear exactly what Thomas was saying in this spontaneous, fragmentary sidewalk conversation with kids who said that they were, for some reason, asking "everyone to comment about Israel". Rabbi Nesenoff says there are more excerpts to come, but it's likely that the above piece is the most "controversial". But let's just suppose that Thomas is saying that the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 was itself a bad thing, a catastrophe for the indigenous Palestinian people. (These by the way almost surely include descendents of the ancient Judaeans. There was never a total dispersion - diaspora - of Jews from Roman Judaea. Following the rebellions against Roman rule in the province between 66 and 135, a large but undetermined number of Jews were driven from Judaea as punishment. But the Romans did not, and probably couldn't have, thoroughly "dispersed" the Jews. Many remained, some becoming Christians and later, Muslims. It is altogether likely that the DNA of many Palestinians is closer to that of the first century Judaeans than to that of Jews with centuries of European ancestry. And by the first century there were already huge numbers of Jews outside Judaea, many voluntarily, constituting trading communities from Britain to India. St. Paul visited many synagogues in Anatolia and Greece and dreamed of preaching the Christian gospel to the Jews of Spain.) Let's say Thomas is saying that the Zionists should have stayed in Europe (where anti-Semitism has greatly diminished in the last half-century, typically flourishing now mainly as a result of Israeli policy towards Palestinians) rather than pursuing their agenda in Palestine under Turkish rule or the British mandate. Maybe she's saying that it was wrong for the Zionists to terrorize Palestinians into fleeing their villages in the diaspora of 1948. Maybe she's saying that it's wrong for Israel to accept any Jew (as defined by the rabbinical establishment) as a citizen while denying hundreds of thousands of Arabs the right to return to their homeland. If so, many agree with her. I do, certainly. But there are some who demand that we all accept a certain understanding of Israel. Everyone must, to avoid charges of anti-Semitism, agree on these points: 1. The establishment of the state of Israel was absolutely necessary, to prevent the annihilation of the Jewish people in a future holocaust. (This is of course an unproveable assertion. The global Jewish population today is about what it was in the 1910s - about 16 million - and if it is declining it's mostly because of birth control and intermarriage. The prospect for future Auschwitzes seems minimal.) 2. The Jewish state must be within the boundaries of the ancient state of Israel, as it existed during the (legendary) reign of King David, as described in the Bible. It is the right of Jews to reconstitute that state, from which they were wrongly driven. It has always been theirs, no matter where they roamed. It is their "birthright" to live in Israel. (Tens of millions of Christian Zionists embrace this notion, noting that God, in the Bible, made the Jews his Chosen People and gave them that land. Enough said!) 3. The establishment of the modern state of Israel was the result of a just and humane struggle. The displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs was their own fault, or a consequence of propaganda from Arab regimes urging them to flee. (Israeli historians like the estimable Ilan Pappe have effectively disproven this.) 4. The occupation of the lands invaded in 1967 is necessary as a security measure against Arab anti-Semitism, irrational anti-Jewish hate. (You can maybe advocate withdrawal from the territories, and even promote a two-state solution, without being called anti-Semitic. But if you note matter-of-factly that the occupation is against international law, is cruelly implemented, and produces enormous suffering, expect charges of anti-Semitism.) If you don't agree that Israel is a moral exemplar and light to the world, "the only democracy in the Middle East" just attending reasonably to its security needs against a world that is (for no good reason) hostile to itself, you can be hounded, harrassed, intimidated, discredited, denied tenure, fired. Helen was fired. That's the real outrage here. "So we waited. And of course, during the waiting of it, the flotilla happened". Yes. A 19 year old Turkish-American boy (among nine others) was shot to death at close range in the head and back in international waters by Israeli hijackers who've subsequently claimed that that their victims wanted to "lynch" them. They effectively conveyed the message: "Don't mess with Israel". And then 89 year old Helen got ambushed (lynched?) by this innocent-looking kid on the street. The message? Shut up, you critics of Israel, you terrorists, you anti-Semites! I hope Helen Thomas keeps talking and writing. She's understood and exposed the brutal realities of recent history, and is much too young to shut up now. Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades. He can be reached at: gleupp [at] granite.tufts.edu --------17 of 19-------- Did the IDF Execute Mavi Marmara Victims? Shot in the Back By DAVE LINDORFF June 7, 2010 CounterPunch You want to know why we need independent journalism, and why those of you who are reading this article need to support the publication in which it is appearing and the article in which it originally appeared? Because if you rely for your news on the US corporate media, whether ad-supported or underwriter-supported, you won't learn that Furkan Dogan, the 19-year-old American citizen slain by Israeli commandos in the raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla May 31, was shot in the back and in the back of the head, as well as multiple times in the face. This is the conclusion of the autopsy conducted by the Turkish Council of Forensic Medicine, which also did autopsies on the eight other Turkish citizens killed in the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara ferry and five other smaller boats in the so-called Freedom Flotilla. Of the other eight dead, the medical examiners found that five had been shot in the back, or in the back of the head. This critically important information has not appeared in US news reports. Some American news organizations have left out the autopsy information entirely from their reports as of Saturday. CNN, in its report on Friday, did note that five of the nine were shot in the head, and at close range, but the all-important fact that most of the victims were shot from behind was left out. ABC had the same information on Thursday, again without mentioning the shots from behind. In its article on Friday, the NY Times had yet to even name Dogan, the American victim, much less mention the bullets that hit him or how he was shot. And yet, if you're trying to establish what happened on that ship, the direction of the firing, not just the number of bullets, or the distance from which they were fired, is crucial. I had some experience with this as a reporter in Los Angeles, back in the 1970s. There was a story that ran in all the local papers, including the LA Times, and my paper, the LA Daily News, about a 14-year-old kid killed by police while he was burglarizing an empty house in the San Fernando Valley. All the papers reported the police story that he had been shot and killed when police entered the house on a call of a burglary, and he "turned and appeared to be carrying a gun" (it turned out to be some camera equipment he was trying to cart off). On a hunch, I decided to look more into the story, and as my beat was county government, I went to visit the coroner's office. There I was shown, at my request, the drawings and report on the boy's autopsy. What I discovered was that all the police bullets entered the boy's back. He was shot while fleeing the police, not while turning to face them. If you're a real reporter, not a stenographer to power, you've got to ask. A reporter from the Guardian did ask. US reporters did not ask. Or if they did ask, they didn't put the answer in their reports. Or if they did put the answer in their reports, editors removed the answer. And so far, no reporter has come forward to protest this news blackout, even anonymously. In this current case of the Israeli commando assault on the Gaza aid flotilla, if victims were shot in the back or in the back of the head, then one is left really with only two possible conclusions: either the shooters, who were the Israeli commandos (according to Israel, no Israeli soldiers were themselves shot, plus all the recovered bullets were 9 mm, the type of shells in the Israeli weapons, making it clear who had the guns), fired at people who were fleeing from them, or alternatively they shot people from the front, and later executed them with shots to the back of the head, which is maybe even worse (certainly a war crime). There aren't many other possible explanations, and either way we're talking about criminal behavior on the high seas in what many are calling an act of piracy, or else an act of war against a NATO nation. I suppose if only one of the nine victims had exhibited a rear head wound, one might at least theorize a scenario in which he might have spun around upon being shot in the face, and the commando, firing rapidly, might have gotten off one unneeded extra round that caught the victim from the rear. But for that to happen five times requires a tremendous suspension of disbelief. So much for the Israeli government propaganda about its poor and unprepared commandos being surprised and set upon by vicious "terrorists" on the boat, armed with kitchen knives, sticks and metal rods, when they were anticipating nothing but peaceful resistance. (This absurd story line was contradicted by Israel's other story line, that it considered the organizer of the flotilla, the Turkish IHH charity, to be linked to Hamas and Hezbollah, and that it "knew" that Palestinian terrorists had insinuated themselves among the boat's activists - a claim which, if true, means the commandos would have been, and surely were, well-armed and prepared for a truly violent reception.) In any event, what the autopsies reveal is a massacre, with commandos deliberately murdering activists on the boats - either directly, or after initially wounding them. What they also reveal is the shameless pro-Israel bias of the US media, which has simply decided that facts uncomfortable to Israel and its US government backer are not news that's "fit to print". You can read about the autopsies in the U.K. Guardian newspaper, or in Switzerland (SwissInfo) or in Australia (the Melbourne Age), and you can even read it in a Reuters report (which is a news service that most American news organizations subscribe to, but which they actually show their readers only selectively), but you cannot read it or hear about it in the mainstream US media, where most Americans unfortunately still turn for their information. That is unacceptable. Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin.s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff [at] mindspring.com --------18 of 19-------- Cowardly Progressives by Joel S. Hirschhorn June 8th, 2010 Dissident Voice After listening to a number of speeches at a national conference of progressives I come to this conclusion: Progressives are more than eager to take credit for electing President Obama and even to complain about the many failures of him and his administration. They overwhelmingly feel that his campaign promises were far, far better than what he has delivered. They are disappointed. They are frustrated. They are sad. But ultimately they are also cowards. Why do I say this? Because they seem completely incapable of using straightforward language to criticize Obama. They resist saying he has lied to the public, betrayed progressives and sold out to corporate interests. Most importantly, they do not want to openly confess and proclaim that he has been a sham government reformer. At a time when progressives are working hard to get candidates for the US Senate to oppose Democrats they deem unacceptable in current primaries, they show no willingness to open the door wide to creating the circumstances to get someone they view as a better progressive to compete against Obama and keep him from winning a second term. In other words, they seem intellectually incapable of concluding that Obama no longer deserves their support based, for example, on the hard, painful facts that he has persisted in wasting the country's wealth and lives on two useless wars, he never cleaned up the regulatory system in the Department of Interior that allowed BP and other companies to escape effective regulation in the public interest, and he never fought for a public option in the health care reform legislation. While he was eager to bail out Wall Street he has shown no courage in saving Main Street. He has accomplished nothing effective to create private sector jobs and stands idly by as the middle class continues to slip down into the lower class. Progressives admit that Obama is a consensus builder while hesitating to go all the way and scream that bipartisanship chasing and consensus building have overwhelmed adherence to reformist and populist principles. They seem blind to the reality that the success of the tea party movement results from a failure by Obama to seek necessary government reforms that would show him to be a true change agent working to create better rather than bigger government. If progressives do not have the courage of their convictions how can they expect Obama to have the courage of his supposed convictions? The hard truth for progressives is that Obama has shown that he is just another politician playing the same old, corruption games and caving in to many special and corporate interests. Obama surrounded himself with a number of people who had no progressive credentials whatsoever, including his Chief of Staff, Treasure Secretary and top economic advisor. No surprise therefore that the Obama White House plays all the same old games that maintains corrupt and dysfunctional government. Just as so many Americans have woken up and are demanding criminal prosecution of BP and making them pay fully for all of the terrible environmental and economic impacts their greed has produced, progressives should be leading the nation in condemning Obama. Now is the time for progressives to admit that they are not getting the changes they were waiting for and never will get them from Obama. Progressives need to find the courage to openly say that one term is enough for Obama. Better to create the conditions for someone else to become the reformer so many Americans want in the White House. Otherwise progressives may wake up to Republicans scoring very big in the coming mid-term elections and also offering up someone to take over the White House. Unless progressive are willing to take some risk they risk losing even more than they already have lost. Don't stay with a loser. Seek a real winner. Someone people in the tea party movement might support. Joel S. Hirschhorn has a new book, Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government, which supports constitutional conventions and other peaceful ways to restore American democracy. --------19 of 19-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Pledge 2012 No vote for Obama/06.08.10 [Here, after a 4 month rest, is your chance to pledge no vote for Obama in 2012. Each month, week, day, gives more reasons for the pledge. -ds] Pledge 2012 No vote for Obama Some of Barack Obama's bad actions: 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan record high military budget bombing by unmanned drones in Pakistan continued Iraq war rejection of landmine treaty continued torture and coverup of past torture support for Honduras coup support for Israeli occupation of Palestine suppression of Goldstone Gaza war report bank bailout no prosecution or even investigation of Bush & Co reaffirmation of Patriot Act for insurance companies & vs single payer support for expanded nuclear power For these, and many other bad actions, We the undersigned publicly pledge not to vote for Barack Obama for US president in 2012. Robert Halfhill Amber Garlan Tom Cleland David Weisberg Dave Bicking Andy Hamerlinck Doug Mann Ted Dooley Melissa Hill Dori Ullman Ryan Carey Jan McGee Bill Oldfather Carol Mellom Michelle Gross Mike Whelan Robert Palmer Tom Dooley Tim Nolan Johnny Hazard Suzanne Linton Michael Cavlan Steven Boyer John Simcox Louise Bouta Vanessa Vogl Lisa Grant M J Schoen Clinton Dietrich Lydia Howell Farheen Hakeem Jan Nye Margaret Beegle Dave Berger Brandy Baker (MD) Myles Hoenig (MD) Danene Provencher Donald L Maxwell Neil Lageson Molly Reiter Mustafa Adam Bob Schmitz Mary Metchnek Dan Dittman David Shove [room for YOUR name] ==end of pledge To sign this pledge, send to shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu an email from your standard personal email address, with your name, and the words: No Obama 2012 vote. The above will be published regularly on the Progressive Calendar, Green Party lists, etc. Continuing chances for additional people to sign. If you need to research any topic raised here, go to eg: 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 MD = Maryland ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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 for governor 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
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.