Progressive Calendar 06.27.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2010 12:25:54 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   06.27.10

1. Torture forum 6.27 3pm
2. Single payer  6.27 3pm

3. Ted Rall         - In dire straits, Americans whimper instead
4. Rurrell Mokhiber - Revoking BP's charter
5. John Hilary      - May Toronto's G20 be the last
6. David Korten     - BigPic: 5 ways to know if you're making a difference
7. Mark Weisbrot    - Will the US ever get Latin America?

--------1 of 7--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Torture forum 6.27 3pm

Educational Forum on Torture
Sunday, June 27, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900
Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Attend an educational forum around the question, "Do the Geneva
Conventions on cruelty still apply?" and others. Participants include:
Marjorie Cohn, immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild;
Captain James Yee, former U.S. Army Muslim Chaplain at the prison at
Guantanamo, Cuba; Ellen Kennedy, PhD, Interim Director of the Center for
Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota; and Jack
Nelson- Pallmeyer, Assistant Professor of Peace and Justice Studies at the
University of St. Thomas. Sponsored by: the WAMM Tackling Torture at the
Top (T3) Committee. FFI: Email tacklingtorture [at] gmail.com.


--------2 of 7--------

From: "Of the People" <info [at] jamesmayer.org>
Subject: Single payer 6.27 3pm

It's time to bring to a conclusion 3 YEARS+ of the Program Of The People,
with so many great examples of People in Action.  I, James, look forward
to being joined in today's FINAL BROADCAST by as many as possible of our
guests - THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU - & as many as possible of OUR WONDERFUL
LISTENERS - THANK YOU!- who have shared our attitude and goals during
these last 3 years. Today's broadcast, of course, will include a final
check-in with key figures in the People's Single Payer movement.

Please join us and experience a real "Mayer goodbye" on our farewell broadcast:
Of the People
with James Mayer
Today, Sunday, June 27th, 2010 from 3:05 to 4:00 PM
AM950 KTNF or www.am950ktnf.com
CALL-IN LINE: 952-946-6205

We will once again, of course, continue and conclude our check-in with key
Single Payer activists and authorities to help us include a final look at
the past, present and future of Single Payer Health Care from state to
state today, Sunday, 6/27/10.

We will hear from: Kip Sullivan, the author of The Health Care Mess: How
we got into it and how we will get out of it, and Dr. Elizabeth Frost, a
leader in the Single Payer movement and in Physicians for a National
Health Program.  We are hoping to hear from lots of others,including you,
our listeners, in this, our farewell broadcast.

By the way, if you want to support our efforts with this kind of program,
you can and should make your voice heard by contacting the station manager
of AM950ktnf. The station phone number is 952-946-8885.

We also are looking for ideas as to other ways of getting our message out
as far and wide as possible.

We will miss you all very much!

And now, as for next steps, I, James, will be directing my attention,
energy and resources to other channels, always with the same attitude and
goals. I'd love to hear from you about anything.  I warmly welcome you to
reach me anytime about anything at info [at] jamesmayer.org
[mailto:info [at] jamesmayer.org] or 651-238-3740


--------3 of 7--------

In Dire Straits, Americans Whimper Instead
[Profiles in Whimper]
by Ted Rall
Friday, June 25, 2010
CommonDreams.org

PORTLAND, OREGON - In 1967 animal researchers conducted an interesting
experiment. Two sets of dogs were strapped into harnesses and subjected to
a series of shocks. The dogs were placed in the same room.

The first set of dogs was allowed to perform a task - pushing a panel with
their snouts - in order to avoid the shocks. As soon as one dog mastered
the shock-avoidance technique, his comrades followed suit.

The second group, on the other hand, was placed out of reach from the
panel. They couldn't stop the pain. But they watched the actions of the
first set.

Then both groups of dogs were subjected to a second experiment. If they
jumped over a barrier, the dogs quickly learned, the shocks would stop.
The dogs belonging to the first set all did it.

But the second-set dogs were too psychologically scarred to help
themselves. "When shocked, many of them ran around in great distress but
then lay on the floor and whimpered," wrote Russell A. Powell, Diane G.
Symbaluk and P. Lynne Honey in Introduction to Learning and Behavior.
"They made no effort to escape the shock. Even stranger, the few dogs that
did by chance jump over the barrier, successfully escaping the shock,
seemed unable to learn from this experience and failed to repeat it on the
next trial. In summary, the prior exposure to inescapable shock seemed to
impair the dogs' ability to learn to escape shock when escape became
possible."

The decrease in learning ability caused by unavoidable punishment leads to
a condition called "learned helplessness."

Which brings us to the midterm elections.

Battered and bruised, with no apparent way out, the American electorate
has plunged into a political state of learned helplessness. They've voted
Democratic to punish rapacious Republicans. They've voted Republican to
get rid of do-nothing Democrats. They've tried staying home on Election
Day. Nothing they do helps their condition. They're flailing.

The great mass of Americans works longer hours for less pay. Until,
inevitably, they get "laid off." Is there a working- or middle-class
American who hasn't lost his job or been close to someone who got fired
during the last few years? Even in 2009, when global capitalism entered
its final crisis and millions of Americans were losing their homes to the
same banks their taxes were paying to bail out, the world's richest people
- those with disposable wealth over $30 million - saw their assets soar by
21.5 percent.

Go ahead, little leftie: smash the windows at Starbucks in Seattle. It
won't stop transnational corporations from raping the planet and
exploiting you. Enjoy your Tea Party, little rightie. It sure is cute,
listening to you talk about the wee Constitution. "Your" government and
the companies that own "your" leaders have your number. And they're
listening to your phone calls.

The public is now in full-fledged flailing mode. Just two years ago, you
will recall, Obama and the Democrats swept into power on a platform of
hope and change: hope that things might improve, by changing away from the
Bushian Republicanism of the previous eight years.

Now, depending who you listen to, people have either turned against the
hope and the change, or against the failure of ObamaCo to deliver it. "The
voters, I think, are just looking for change, and that means bad news for
incumbents and in particular for the Democrats," says Peter Hart, a
Democratic pollster.

Change from change we can't believe in. Again.

According to the latest NBC News/Washington Post poll, this is the same
electorate that "shows grave and growing concerns about the Gulf oil
spill, with overwhelming majorities of adults favoring stronger regulation
of the oil industry and believing that the spill will affect the nation's
economy and environment." Because you know the Republicans are all about
more regulation of Big Oil. And care so much about the environment.

Does your head hurt yet?

There is some good news: Three major polls find that most Americans don't
believe Obama has a plan to fix the economy. Yes, this is good news; it
proves that the public isn't totally crazy.

Like the poor Set B dogs in that 1967 experiment, Americans are running
around aimlessly, veering between two parties that differ only in their
degree of harm. Republicans are evil; Democrats enable it.

Next: lying on the ground and whimpering.

The way out is obvious. If a two-party corpocracy beholden to gangster
capitalism is ruining your life, get rid of it.

Don't whimper. Bite.

[Bite the bastards at the top. Sharpen your teeth. Draw blood. -ed]

Copyright 2010 Ted Rall, Distributed by Universal Uclick/Ted Rall
Ted Rall is the author of The Anti-American Manifesto, to be published in
September by Seven Stories Press. His website is tedrall.com.


--------4 of 7--------

An Interview with Green Change's Gary Ruskin
Revoking BP's Charter
By RUSSELL MOKHIBER
CounterPunch
June 25 - 27, 2010

Some would criminally prosecute BP America and its executives for the oil
spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Others would debar BP from federal contracts.

But a group called Green Change is calling for the corporate death
penalty.

It is calling on the state of Delaware to revoke BP's corporate charter.

"BP deserves the corporate death penalty," Green Change co-founder Gary
Ruskin told Corporate Crime Reporter last week. "BP America Inc. does not
have a God given right to perpetually violate our laws with near
impunity".

"Look at BP's record. The Gulf of Mexico catastrophe. Three environmental
crimes, one deferred prosecution agreement, and a very long string of big
fines and other wrongdoing".

"There comes a point when enough is enough. Our nation should not have to
tolerate any more abuse from this company. No more deaths, no more
catastrophes, no more giant pollution disasters".

"The corporate death penalty will remove BP America Inc. from the field of
action. It will stop their carelessness and lawlessness - for sure".

"If our laws mean anything at all, we've got to draw a line in the sand
and say that if you violate our laws again and again, you will lose your
charter".

"Deterrence is very important. We've got to revoke BP's charter to deter
other companies from acting with such carelessness".

"If we don't, then we basically invite other companies to cut corners
everywhere, and disregard the law, because the consequences won't be worth
worrying about".

"We can expect that the threat of charter revocation will make companies
act with greater respect for environmental, health and safety laws".

"Severe wrongdoing deserves severe punishment. When a company does
something as awful as the carelessness that lead to the Macondo oil rig
blowout and disaster, they deserve the corporate death penalty".

"This is a simple matter of justice and of the dignity of our society, and
really, of all of us".

Ruskin sent letters last week to the leaders of the Delaware legislature
and to Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden - the son of Vice President
Joseph Biden.

"Serial corporate criminals are willing to kill people and wildlife,
poison the water and land, and then pay the relevant fines, because it is
more profitable to do so than to respect life, wildlife, health, the
environment and the law," Ruskin wrote. "It is for this reason that
ordinary legal and regulatory action and fines cannot correct their
behavior - drastic and permanent punitive actions are the only appropriate
measures. In this case, the proper penalty is to revoke the corporate
charter of BP America Inc".

Attorney General Biden.s office and the leaders of the Delaware
legislature did not return calls seeking comment.

The Delaware General Assembly can revoke BP America's charter outright.

The Delaware Attorney General is empowered to ask the Delaware Court of
Chancery to revoke BP America's charter, Ruskin said.

Ruskin said that as far as he knew, no for-profit corporate charter has
been revoked by Delaware.

But it has happened elsewhere.

"In the 1990's, some Florida stock brokerage companies involved in
pump-and-dump schemes had their charters revoked or dissolved for failure
to file annual reports," Ruskin said.

"In 2001, the Texas Secretary of State revoked the charter of Lionheart
Newspapers for nonpayment of franchise taxes".

"But I am not familiar with any cases involving large corporations, or
multinational corporations, in modern times," Ruskin said.

Since, there has been no adjudication of wrongdoing yet, and Ruskin is
already calling for the death penalty for BP, isn't Ruskin a little
concerned that he's getting ahead of the game?

"There hasn't been adjudication, but BP has admitted they are responsible
for the oil spill. Tony Hayward said that BP is 'absolutely responsible'
for the spill," Ruskin said.

"We know already from one month of news stories about the recklessness of
the company and how they cut corners and their misconduct. There is
extensive evidence of this. Look at the Wall Street Journal's
investigation of the oil rig blowout on May 27th. And read the letter from
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to Tony Hayward.
It's devastating. It lays out lots of evidence that 'BP repeatedly chose
risky procedures in order to reduce costs and save time and made minimal
efforts to contain the added risk..'"

"Also, a quarter owner of the rig - Andarko - said that the blast resulted
from BP's reckless operation. How much more evidence do we need? There is
ample evidence that this company has an awful corporate culture - from its
record of accidents, from its lawlessness, and from its own internal
reviews that told it to be much more careful about obeying environmental
and safety laws".

Why is there such strong support in America for the death penalty for
individuals - but we rarely hear about the death penalty for corporations?

"There are lots of reasons," Ruskin says.

"There is a tremendous amount of media attention devoted to street crime,
but very little to corporate crime. Why? Most media outlets carry
advertising, and I'll bet that giant corporations will be less likely to
advertise in newspapers and magazines that advocate for the corporate
death penalty".

'And so many of our news outlets are part of big media conglomerates that
don't want to promote any discussion of the corporate death penalty".

"Second, because we have a corrupt campaign finance system at the federal
level and in most of our states".

"Since so many of our elected officials get so much of their campaign
contributions from corporate officials, they are not willing to bite the
hand that keeps them in office".

"Third, because corporate crime is more complicated than street crime".

"Fourth, because companies spend a huge amount of money in advertising to
make us all think that they are great corporate citizens".

"Fifth, because the Justice Department doesn't adequately publicize
statistics about corporate crime and trends in corporate crime".

"When you add it all up, our elected officials act like the most
permissive kindergarten teacher in the world, when it comes to punishing
corporate crime and violence".

Don't we lose leverage over BP if we revoke its corporate charter?

"I think you gain leverage," Ruskin says. "If BP America is put in
receivership, the company will find it harder to advocate for its own
interests, because they won't really exist anymore. Its assets would be
sold off to pay the creditors, like people in the Gulf states".

Most Americans would think that if they start a business, it belongs to
them, not to the government. But you believe a corporation is a creature
of the state and serves the state?

"Yes. Corporations are artificial entities created by states. States grant
them powers and privileges, as a part of their corporate charter. These
powers and privileges are revocable. States do not, or should not, charter
companies so that they can break our laws. When a corporation abuses its
charter, for example, by repeatedly violating the law, its charter should
be revoked, to put an end to its lawlessness".

Russell Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter.

[For a complete transcript of the Interview with Gary Ruskin, see 24
Corporate Crime Reporter 26(13), June 28, 2010, print edition only.]

[Execute BP. End its days on earth. Good riddance to bad rubbish. -ed]

[All's well that ends oil. -ed]


--------5 of 7--------

May Toronto's G20 Be the Last
by John Hilary
Sunday, June 27, 2010
The Guardian/UK

To a foreigner, the Canadian police are a confusing bunch. With Toronto
locked down for the G20 summit, several of them have been cycling around
the deserted streets on mountain bikes presenting what we would see as the
very picture of community policing. Yet side by side with this benign
image is an intimidating, militarised presence that many Canadians feel
has been deliberately cultivated in order to undermine their right to
protest against the G20 and its damaging impacts.

The security operation on the streets of Toronto has provided Canadians
with the greatest single talking point of the G20 gathering this weekend.
Many locals are furious at the $1bn price tag for policing a summit which
they never wanted to host in the first place. As John Clarke of the
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty pointed out, that same money could have
paid for five years of the provincial food supplement programme that has
just been scrapped in the latest round of austerity cuts.

The high level of militarisation that has been witnessed over the past
couple of days has also been a major talking point, as Canadians are not
accustomed to seeing such weaponry being so openly paraded at civil
demonstrations. One small protest against poverty and homelessness in
Toronto itself was quickly surrounded by vast numbers of police in full
riot gear, including mounted police. More chilling still was the visible
presence of heavily armed officers touting tear gas rifles and other
firearms; police have also confirmed firing plastic bullets and pepper
spray capsules at demonstrators on Saturday night.

Many Canadians have become suspicious of police tactics since the Quebec
police force admitted that it had disguised three of its own officers as
rock-wielding anarchists in an attempt to provoke violence at a peaceful
protest in the town of Montebello two years ago. Somewhat farcically, the
three were exposed as agents provocateurs when they were found to be
wearing official issue police boots identical to those of the uniformed
officers "arresting" them.

There are concerns that similar skulduggery may have played a part in
Toronto this weekend, where the burning of three police cars quickly
became the defining image of Saturday's otherwise peaceful demonstration.
Questions are being asked as to why the police chose to drive the vehicles
into the middle of a group of protesters and then abandon them, and why
there was no attempt to put out the flames until the nation's media had
been given time to record the scenes for broadcast around the world.

The fact that so much attention has been directed towards the policing is
largely due to the lack of anything newsworthy coming out of the summit
itself. Even David Cameron, attending for the first time as British prime
minister, published his own desperate plea in the Canadian press this week
for summits to be turned into something more than the hot air and photo
opportunities they have been in the past. (How this relates to his stated
intention to take time out to watch the second half of the England v
Germany game with Angela Merkel was not made clear.)

As an invitation-only club whose membership was literally drawn up on the
back of an envelope, the G20 never laid any claim to legitimacy. Now it is
also in danger of losing any credibility as a forum for global economic
governance. Its failure to address any of the structural problems that
caused the financial and economic crises of the past three years has
certainly not gone unnoticed in Toronto, let alone its complete refusal to
deal with the challenge of climate change.

Unbelievably, the G20 is scheduled to hold its next summit in just a few
months. If the Canadian experience has taught us anything, it is that such
meetings are simply not worth the candle. There are more than enough
forums already available for national leaders to discuss the key issues of
our time, and almost every one of them has a greater claim to openness and
inclusivity than the G20. Now is the time to end the charade of these
summits once and for all.

 Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
John Hilary is executive director of War on Want


--------6 of 7--------

The Big Picture: 5 Ways to Know if You're Making a Difference
by David Korten
Saturday, June 26, 2010
YES! Magazine

David Korten's newly revised and greatly expanded 2nd edition of Agenda
for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, outlines an agenda
to create a new kind of economy: locally-based, community oriented, and
devoted to creating a better life for all.

In this special pre-publication excerpt Korten explains how to tell if
your actions are helping to build the new economy that "must be lived into
being from the bottom up."
--

For the many millions of us working to create a better world, it is easy
to feel discouraged by the seeming insignificance of even major successes
relative to the scale of the problems we face as a nation and a species.
Consumed by the details and challenges of our daily engagements, we may
easily lose sight of the big picture of the powerful social dynamic to
which our work is contributing.

Step back from time to time; take a breath, look out beyond the immediate
horizon to bring that big picture back into perspective. Reflect in awe
and wonder at the power of the larger social dynamic to which your work
contributes.

In my career in international development, I saw, time and again, that the
most successful projects were not the largest or the most carefully,
centrally planned; they were the ones that arose from the bottom up.
Likewise, successful social movements are emergent, evolving, radically
self-organizing, and involve the dedicated efforts of many people, each
finding the role that best uses his or her gifts and passions. Their scope
and their success may not, at first, be readily apparent. Social movements
grow and evolve around framing ideas and mutually supportive relationships
instead of through top-down direction. New ideas gain traction, or not,
depending on what works for those involved in the movement. Some alliances
are fleeting; others endure.

The organism, not the machine, provides the appropriate metaphor. The
relevant knowledge resides not in the heads of outside experts but in the
people who populate the system. The challenge is to help them recognize,
organize, and use that knowledge in ever more effective ways.

This is the model I think of when I think about what it will take to build
the New Economy - one based on fulfilling the basic needs of people and
planet - that we need. It's also the way that that economy is already
being built: step by step, in creative and surprising ways, by people
looking for alternatives to a system that isn't working for them.

To bring down the institutions of Empire, we must begin to build the
rules, relationships, and institutions of a New Economy. These must be
lived into being from the bottom up.

So how do you know whether your work is contributing to a big-picture
outcome? If you can answer yes to any one of the following five questions,
then be assured that it is.

1.Does it help discredit a false cultural story fabricated to legitimize
relationships of domination and exploitation and to replace it with a true
story describing unrealized possibilities for growing the real wealth of
healthy communities?

2.Is it connecting others of the movement's millions of leaders who didn't
previously know one another, helping them find common cause and build
relationships of mutual trust that allow them to speak honestly from their
hearts and to know that they can call on one another for support when
needed?

3.Is it creating and expanding liberated social spaces in which people
experience the freedom and support to experiment with living the creative,
cooperative, self-organizing relationships of the new story they seek to
bring into the larger culture?

4.Is it providing a public demonstration of the possibilities of a
real-wealth economy?

5.Is it mobilizing support for a rule change that will shift the balance
of power from the people and institutions of the Wall Street
phantom-wealth economy to the people and institutions of living-wealth
Main Street economies?

These are useful guidelines for setting both individual and group
priorities. Bear in mind that in a systems-change undertaking of this
magnitude, there is no magic bullet and no one is going to make it happen
on their own, so don't be discouraged if the world looks much the same
today despite your special and heroic effort yesterday. It took five
thousand years to create the mess we are in today. It will take more than
a few days to set it right.

David Korten adapted this article from the newly revised and expanded 2nd
edition of Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth,
available for advance purchase from the YES! Magazine web store.

David is co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, co-chair of the New
Economy Working Group, president of the People-Centered Development Forum,
and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living
Economies (BALLE). His books include Agenda for a New Economy: From
Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth
Community, and the international best seller When Corporations Rule the
World.

Interested? Agenda for a New Economy, 2nd edition Be the first to read
David Korten's  revised & expanded Declaration of Independence from Wall
Street.  :: 3 WAYS TO GET THE BOOK  from the YES! Store: 22% discount

A New Deal for Local Economies by Stacy Mitchell More local, durable
economies are already taking root across the country and around the world.
How can we help them along?

Lighting the Way to a New Economy by David Korten How do local efforts to
create community friendly economies add up to global economic
transformation? David Korten's keynote address to the Business Alliance
for Local Living Economies (BALLE).

All Rights Reserved


--------7 of 7--------

Will the US Ever Get Latin America?
by Mark Weisbrot
Saturday, June 26, 2010
The Guardian/UK

For Washington's foreign policy elite, changes in Latin America are viewed
through the narrow lens of a cold war mentality

In the film Guantanamera, the last by renowned Cuban director Toms
Gutierrez Alea, the Yoruba creation myth is presented as a metaphor for
the difficulties of bringing about change. In this myth, humans were at
first immortal, but the result was that the old suffocated the young, and
so death had to be created.

Here in Washington, it is often only death and retirement that allows for
the possibility of change - and yet the institutions remain immortal and
often immutable. Nowhere is this more true than in the foreign policy
establishment here.

In the last few weeks I have visited five countries and participated in
numerous events surrounding a recently released documentary - like
Guantanamera, South of the Border is also a road movie - which Oliver
Stone directed and I wrote with Tariq Ali. Returning to Washington, the
wide gulf that separates the US foreign policy elite from the vast
majority of its neighbours to the south hits you as a form of culture
shock.

For these people, the historic changes that have swept Latin America - and
especially South America - over the last decade are viewed through the
narrow lens of a cold war mentality that scores every change in terms of
how it affects US power in the region.

Jorge Castaeda is a former foreign minister of Mexico who teaches at New
York University and has become a leading spokesperson in the media for the
Washington foreign policy establishment. In a recent article, he divides
the continent into "Americas-1", meaning "those that are either neutral in
the confrontation between the United States and Venezuelan President Hugo
Chvez (and Cuba), or openly opposed to the so-called "Bolivarian"
governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela"; and
"Americas-2" - "the radical left."

For Castaeda, as for US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, it is
particularly annoying that "as recently as 7 June, the Bolivarian
countries were able to block Honduras's re-instatement into the OAS,
despite the essentially free and fair elections that were held there last
November."

But it was not just the "Bolivarian countries" that can't accept elections
held under a dictatorship as "free and fair". Brazil, Argentina, and
governments representing most of the hemisphere are in the same camp. In
fact, when the Rio Group issued a statement in November of 2009 saying
that the immediate restitution of Mel Zelaya was a necessary condition for
elections to be recognised, even the Obama administration's rightwing
allies - Colombia, Peru, and Panama - felt obliged to sign on.

The Honduran coup, carried out by US allies and US-trained military
officers against the democratically elected President Mel Zelaya, was a
watershed event in relations between Washington and Latin America. It was
nearly one year ago, on 28 June, that the remaining hopes that the Obama
administration would treat its neighbours to the south differently than
the Bush team did, were destroyed. While the Clintons' close confidant and
adviser Lanny Davis counselled and lobbied for the coup regime, the Obama
administration did everything that it could to help the dictatorship
survive and legitimise itself.  [So don't even think of voting for the
bastard in 2012. No matter how bad the GOP skunk is. Begin the
resistence/revolt/new way NOW. -ed] This despite unanimous resolutions in
the OAS and the United Nations calling for the "immediate and
unconditional reinstatement" of President Zelaya, two words that the Obama
administration would never utter, as it ignored for more than five months
the murders, closing of independent media, and other massive human rights
violations that made the "free and fair" elections last November in
Honduras a sick joke. The European Union and Organisation of American
States did not even send observers.

But with Washington still struggling to legitimise the Honduran government
- despite the murder of dozens of political activists and nine journalists
since the "elected" government took power - it is typical to portray this
effort as a struggle against "enemy" governments rather than a fight with
most of the region. What these people cannot recognise, or perhaps even
understand, is that this is about independence and self-determination, as
well as democracy.

Michele Bachelet of Chile and Lula da Silva of Brazil were as upset as the
"Americas-2" governments when the Obama administration decided last August
to expand its presence at seven military bases in Colombia. And it was
Felipe Caldern, the rightwing president of Mexico, who hosted the February
conference in Cancun that decided to create a new organisation for the
Americas, which could eventually displace the OAS, without the United
States and Canada. The role of the US and Canada in blocking the OAS from
taking stronger measures against the dictatorship in Honduras undoubtedly
played a role in motivating this move.

Of course, Washington has the power to make its cold war vision of the
hemisphere at least half real, by singling out the more leftwing
governments for special treatment. In Bolivia, the election of Evo Morales
brought changes analogous to the end of apartheid in South Africa, with
the country's indigenous majority gaining a voice in their government for
the first time in 500 years. One would think the Obama administration
would have enough common brains to get on the right side of that one. But
no, they have carried over the trade sanctions that the Bush team had
imposed on Bolivia under the so-called Andean Trade Promotion and Drug
Eradication Act (ATPDEA), "de-certified" Bolivia as not co-operating in
the "War on Drugs," and still refuse to disclose exactly whom they are
funding in Bolivia - ie, which opposition groups - with money from the US
State Department.

I had the privilege of watching South of the Border in a soccer stadium
filled with more than 6,000 people in Cochabamba, Bolivia, a few weeks
ago. At one point in the film Evo Morales tells the story of Tupak Katari,
an indigenous leader who fought against the Spanish colonialists in the
18th century. Evo recalls Tupak Katari's last words, before he was drawn
and quartered by the Spanish: "I die as one, but I will come back as
millions."

Evo then looks into the camera and says: "Now we are millions."

Unlike in Washington, every person in that stadium knew exactly what he
meant.
[Washington knows. It just says, "So what? Screw 'em, and take all their
stuff." As evil as you can get. -ed]

 Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
Mark Weisbrot is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy
Research (CEPR), in Washington, DC.


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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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                          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--------
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 --8

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