Progressive Calendar 07.13.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 14:38:24 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   07.13.10

1. Erlinder/Africa 7.13 5pm
2. No DNC in Mpls  7.13 5:30pm
3. Pentel for Gov  7.13 6pm Staples MN
4. Food prep       7.13 7pm

5. Alliant vigil   7.14 7am
6. Lisa Ledwidge   7.14 8am
7. Courtwatch      7.14 8:15am/4:30pm

8. Chris Hedges - Obama's health care bill is enough to make you sick

--------1 of 8--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Erlinder/Africa 7.13 5pm

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

 Tues, 7/13 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 7/14, 10am
"The Politics of Central Africa: Peter Erlinder"

Talk presented by William Mitchell College of Law professor Peter Erlinder
and his Kenyan defense attorney, Gershom Otachi just after Erlinder's
returning to Minnesota from a Rwandan jail.

Erlinder outlines the context of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and modern US
involvement in Africa.  Otachi discusses Erlinder's pending charges with
the Rwandan government.  Filmed at Mayday Bookstore (6/28/2010).
[another Our World In Depth episode to record]

--------2 of 8--------

From: luce <luce [at]>
Subject: No DNC in Mpls 7.13 5:30pm

The City of Minneapolis is one of four finalists bidding for the 2012
Democratic National Convention. You're invited to a meeting to work on
losing Minneapolis the bid! We only have a few weeks to affect the bidding
proces, so please come, and please invite anyone you think would be

What: Meeting to lose Mpls the 2012 DNC bid
When: Tuesday, 7/13, 5:30-6:30pm
Where: Powderhorn Park, north of the rec center, 15th ave s and 35th st, Mpls

They say they're "Resourceful, Ready and Reliable," but we are too!

--------3 of 8--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Pentel for Gov 7.13 6pm Staples MN

Ken Pentel for Governor, with the Ecology Democracy Party, invites you to
join him on July 13th at the campgrounds of the Dower Lake Recreation Area
(see link for map below) at 6:00 p.m.  The campgrounds are located two
miles north of Highway 210 near Staples .

Ken has been touring the northern part of MN on bicycle and will be
joining others from the campaign team on the 15th to canoe down the
Mississippi River while on the campaign trail.

The Ecology Democracy Party is a newly formed party in the state of MN
which will focus on restoring a harmonious and sustainable relationship with
our  environment through a structural change in the fundamentals of our MN
government.  The party and campaign is focusing on three mandates:

1.  Establish an ecology-based economy for Minnesota
2.  Implement proportional representation for the MN State House
3.  Remove big money and corporate influence in our government


Feel free to contact Ken directly if you plan on meeting up with him.
Ken will have balloons at his campsite to mark the spot for the "Meet the
Candidate" forum. Ken can be reached at 612-387-0601 if you are unable to
attend and would like to connect with him at another time.

Danene Provencher Co-campaign manager Ken Pentel for Governor 2010 Ecology
Democracy Party

--------4 of 8--------

From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at]>
Subject: Food prep 7.13 7pm

Announcing Do It Green! Minnesota's Spring/Summer Urban Homesteading
Workshop Series!

Gardening IV:  Food Preparation and Preservation, Part I by Marianna
Tuesday, July 13, 7:00-9:00pm
Discover the secrets of preparing garden-fresh dishes and preserving
your harvest for later. This is the fourth of five gardening
Cost:  $20 per session or $75 for all 5 gardening workshops
Click here to learn more about the workshops and to register

For questions please contact Ami or Eva at info [at] or 

--------5 of 8--------

From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 7.14 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:

--------6 of 8--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Lisa Ledwidge 7.14 8am

Conversation with Lisa Ledwidge
Wednesday, July 14, 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. St. Martin's Table, 2001
Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis.

Lisa will be moving with her family to Maine this summer, after working in
Minnesota for ten years as Outreach Director for the Institute for Energy
and Environmental Research (IEER). What challenges have been overcome and
which remain in her work on nuclear energy and environmental issues here
in Minnesota? How will the work be carried on? Sponsored by: People of
Faith Peacemakers. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call Eleanor, 763-784-5177 or
email elj [at]

--------7 of 8--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Courtwatch 7.14 8:15am/4:30pm

Courtwatch Opportunity
Sentencing Hearing for Isaac Peters and Michael Lawson
Wednesday, July 14 at 8:15 a.m.
Hennepin County Government Center

Isaac and Michael were arrested on March 4th for protesting against
Ribnick Furs, using their natural voices and standing on the sidewalk -
conduct that is normally considered First Amendment-protected activity.
However, MPD cops Lance Faust and Monica Boelter and the Hennepin County
bench are apparently unaware of the First Amendment, as Isaac and Michael
were convicted.  They will be sentenced tomorrow but are working hard to
raise funds and resources to appeal the conviction.  Interestingly,
Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Siegal was in court throughout the trial -
something that rarely happens - so clearly there is some unnatural
interest on the part of the city in this case.  With the possibility of
hosting the DNC, could it be that the city is trying to set a new low for
tolerance of free speech?  Please come out and support these two activists
AND free speech in Minneapolis.  For more info on the case, go to

Fight Back for Free Speech
Demo at Ribnick Furs
Wednesday, July 14 at 4:30 p.m.
224 N First Street, Minneapolis
We will demonstrate outside of Ribnick Furs as a way of pushing back
against the assault on free speech represented by the arrest,
prosecution and conviction of Isaac Peters and Michael Lawson.  Free
speech is not a crime!

BREAKING: AETA 4 Case Dismissed

A U.S. District Court has thrown out the indictment of four animal rights
activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism
Act, because the government did not clearly explain what, exactly, the
protesters did.

When Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope and Adriana Stumpo
were arrested in 2009, prosecutors said little other than that the group
allegedly chalked slogans on the sidewalk, distributed fliers and attended
protests. Later, when they were officially indicted, the government was
still tight-lipped about how their non-violent, above-ground protests
amounted to "terrorism."

In response, the Center for Constitutional Rights and attorney Matthew
Strugar led an effort to have the indictments dismissed. In short, they
argued that the charges should be dropped because they seem to involve
only protected First Amendment speech, but that in order to make that
argument the defendants' speech must be clearly identified.

Here's an excerpt from Judge Ronald M. Whyte's ruling: In order for an
indictment to fulfill its constitutional purposes, it must allege facts
that sufficiently inform each defendant of what it is that he or she is
alleged to have done that constitutes a crime. This is particularly
important where the species of behavior in question spans a wide spectrum
from criminal conduct to constitutionally protected political protest.
While "true threats" enjoy no First Amendment protection, picketing and
political protest are at the very core of what is protected by the First
Amendment. Where the defendants' conduct falls on this spectrum in this
case will very likely ultimately be decided by a jury. Before this case
proceeds to a jury, however, the defendants are entitled to a more
specific indictment setting forth their conduct alleged to be criminal. As
background, a fierce campaign has been being waged in California against
animal research at the University of California system. There has been a
wide range of both legal and illegal tactics. Illegal tactics have
included the destruction of UC vans, and an incendiary device was left at
the home of a UC researcher.

The FBI and local law enforcement haven't been able to catch the people
responsible, though. They've only cracked down on the above-ground
activists, like the AETA 4, who protest and create fliers.

The previous version of the law was used to convict the SHAC 7 for running
a controversial website that posted news of both legal and illegal
actions. This case, the first use of the new Animal Enterprise Terrorism
Act, was clearly an attempt to use this sweeping legislation even more
broadly against First Amendment activity. This ruling sternly rebukes the
government's attempt to take activists to trial for "terrorism" without
even explaining what they have done.

To be clear, though, this case is not over. The government can still
re-indict the defendants with an amended bill of particulars that clearly
outlines their alleged actions.

This is a victory worth celebrating, and it should also be inspiration for
renewed organizing. Corporations and the politicians who represent them
have been pushing this "eco-terrorism" and "animal enterprise terrorism"
legislation for years, and they will not sit quietly as the flagship case
of their pet scare-mongering law is tossed aside. If prosecutors choose to
re-indict, it should be at their own peril; the animal rights and
environmental movements must be ready to respond even more loudly, more
forcefully, that activism is not terrorism.

[Democracy terrorizes the ruling class. Who do The People think they are?

--------8 of 8--------

Obama's Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick
by Chris Hedges
Monday, July 12, 2010

A close reading of the new health care legislation, which will
conveniently take effect in 2014 after the next presidential election, is
deeply depressing. The legislation not only mocks the lofty promises made
by President Barack Obama, exposing most as lies, but sadly reconfirms
that our nation is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse. The
simple truth, that single-payer nonprofit health care for all Americans
would dramatically reduce costs and save lives, that the for-profit health
care system is the problem and must be destroyed, is censored out of the
public debate by a media that relies on these corporations as major
advertisers and sponsors, as well as a morally bankrupt Democratic Party
that is as bought off by corporations as the Republicans. [Let's not
forget the courage/vision/wisdom-challenged Dem voters, fleeing for cover
so they can cast their "lesser-evil" vote in 2012 for Obama and the gang
of sleazy corporate Dems, thus condeming all the rest of us to a crappier
and crappier future - but they don't care, it makes them feel good to be
"practical", "mature", etc, and all the rest of the nice-sounding but
cowardly BS. -ed]

The 2,000-page piece of legislation, according to figures compiled by
Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP), will leave at least 23
million people without insurance, a figure that translates into an
estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths a year among people who cannot afford
care. It will permit prices to climb so that many of us will soon be
paying close to 10 percent of our annual income to buy commercial health
insurance, although this coverage will only pay for about 70 percent of
our medical expenses. Those who become seriously ill, lose their incomes
and cannot pay skyrocketing premiums will be denied coverage. And at least
$447 billion in taxpayer subsidies will now be handed to insurance firms.
We will be forced by law to buy their defective products. There is no
check in the new legislation to halt rising health care costs. The elderly
can be charged three times the rates provided to the young. Companies with
predominantly female work forces can be charged higher gender-based rates.
The dizzying array of technical loopholes in the bill-written in by armies
of insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists-means that these companies,
which profit off human sickness, suffering and death, can continue their
grim game of trading away human life for money. [Where are the pitchforks?

"They named this legislation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, and as the tradition of this nation goes, any words they put into the
name of a piece of legislation means the opposite," said single-payer
activist Dr. Margaret Flowers when I heard her and Helen Redmond dissect
the legislation in Chicago at the Socialism 2010 Conference last month.
"It neither protects patients nor leads to affordable care."

"This legislation moves us further in the direction of the commodification
of health care," Flowers went on. "It requires people to purchase health
insurance. It takes public dollars to subsidize the purchase of that
private insurance. It not only forces people to purchase this private
product, but uses public dollars and gives them directly to these
corporations. In return, there are no caps on premiums. Insurance
companies can continue to raise premiums. We estimate that because they
are required to cover people with pre-existing conditions, although we
will see if this happens, they will argue that they will have to raise

The legislation included a few tiny improvements that have been used as
bait to sell it to the public. The bill promises, for example, to expand
community health centers and increase access to primary-care doctors. It
allows children to stay on their parent's plan until they turn 26. It will
include those with pre-existing conditions in insurance plans, although
Flowers warns that many technicalities and loopholes make it easy for
insurance companies to drop patients. Most of the more than 30 million
people currently without insurance, and the 45,000 who die each year
because they lack medical care, essentially remain left out in the cold,
and things will not get better for the rest of us.

"We are still a nation full of health care hostages," Redmond said. "We
live in fear of losing our health care. Millions of people have lost their
health care. We fear bankruptcy. The inability to pay medical bills is the
No. 1 cause of bankruptcy. We fear not being able to afford medications.
Millions of people skip medications. They skip these medications to the
detriment of their health. We are not free. And we won't be free until
health care is a human right, until health care is not tied to a job,
because we still have an employment-based system, and until health care
has nothing to do with immigration status. We don't care if you are
documented or undocumented. It should not matter what your health care
status is, if you have a disease or you don't. It should not matter how
much money you have or don't, because many of our programs are based on
income eligibility rules. Until we abolish the private, for-profit health
insurance industry in this county we are not free. Until we take the
profit motive out of health care we cannot live in the way we want to
live. This legislation doesn't do any of that. It doesn't change those
basic facts of our health care system."

Redmond held up a syringe.

"I take a medication that costs $1,700 every single month," she said. "I
inject this medication. It costs $425 a week for 50 milligrams of
medication. I would do almost anything to get this medication because
without it I don't have much of a life. The pharmaceutical industry knows
this. They price these drugs accordingly to the level of desperation that
people feel. Billy Tauzin, the former CEO of [the trade organization of]
Big Pharma, negotiated a secret deal with President Obama to extend the
patents of biologics, this new revolutionary class of drugs, for 12 years.
And Obama also promised in this deal that he would not negotiate drug
prices for Medicare."

Obama's numerous betrayals - from his failure to implement serious
environmental reform at Copenhagen, to his expansion of the current wars,
to his refusal to create jobs for our desperate class of unemployed and
underemployed, to his gutting of public education, to his callous
disregard for the rights of workers and funneling of trillions in taxpayer
money to banks - is a shameful list. Passing universal, single-payer
nonprofit health care for all Americans might have delivered to Obama, who
may well be a one-term president, at least one worthwhile achievement.
Single-payer nonprofit health care has widespread popular support, with
nearly two-thirds of the public behind it. It is backed by 59 percent of
doctors. And it would have helped roll back, at least a bit, the corporate
assault on the citizenry.

Medical bills lead to 62 percent of personal bankruptcies, and nearly 80
percent of these people had insurance. The U.S. spends twice as much as
other industrialized nations on health care, $8,160 per capita. Private
insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume 31 percent of every health
care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would
save more than $400 billion per year - enough, PNHP estimates, to provide
comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

Candidate Obama promised to protect women's rights under Roe. v. Wade,
something this legislation does not do. He told voters he would create a
public option and then refused to consider it. The health care reform
bill, to quote a statement released by PNHP, has instead "saddled
Americans with an expensive package of onerous individual mandates, new
taxes on workers' health plans, countless sweetheart deals with the
insurers and Big Pharma, and a perpetuation of the fragmented,
dysfunctional, and unsustainable system that is taking such a heavy toll
on our health and economy today."

"Obama said he was going to have everybody at the table," Redmond said,
"but that was a lie. Our voice was not allowed to be there. There was a
blackout on our movement. We did not get media attention. We did actions
all over the country but we could not get coverage. We had the 'Mad as
Hell Doctors' go across the country in a caravan, and they had rallies and
meetings. If that had been a bunch of AMA Republican doctors, Cooper
Anderson would have been on the caravan reporting live. NPR would have
done a series. Instead, they did not get much coverage. And neither did
the sit-ins and arrests at insurance companies, although we have never
seen that level of activity. They turned us into a fringe movement,
although poll after poll shows that the majority of people want some kind
of single-payer system."

Our for-profit health system is driven by insurance companies whose goal
is to avoid covering the elderly and the sick. These groups, most in need
of medical care, diminish profits. Medicare, paid for by the government,
removes responsibility for many of the old. Medicaid, also paid for by the
government, removes the poor people, who have a greater tendency to have
chronic health problems. Hefty premiums, which those who are seriously ill
and lose their jobs often cannot pay, remove the very sick. If you are
healthy and employed, which means you are less likely to need expensive or
complex treatment, the insurance companies swoop down like birds of prey.
These corporations need to control our perceptions of health care.
Patients must be viewed as consumers. Doctors, identified as "health care
providers," must be seen as salespeople.

Insurance companies, which will soon be able to use billions in taxpayer
dollars to bolster their lobbying efforts and campaign contributions, know
that single-payer nonprofit insurance means their extinction. And they
will employ considerable resources to make sure single-payer nonprofit
coverage is denied to the public. They correctly see this as a battle for
their lives. And if human beings have to die so they can survive, they are
willing to make us pay this price.

The for-profit health care industry, along with the Democratic Party,
consciously set out to confuse the public debate. It created Health Care
for America NOW! in 2008 and provided it with tens of millions of dollars
to supposedly build a public campaign for a public option. But the
organization had no intention of permitting a public option. The
organization was, as Dr. Flowers said, "a very clever way to distract
members of the single-payer movement and co-opt some of them. They told
them that the public option would become single payer, that it was a back
door to single payer, although there was no evidence that was true."

Physicians for a National Health Plan attempted to fight back. It worked
with a number of organizations under a coalition called the Leadership
Conference for Guaranteed Health Care. The group, which included the
National Nurse's Union and Health Care Now, sought meetings with members
of Congress. Flowers and other advocates asked Congress members to include
them in committee debates about the health care bill. But when the first
debate on the health care reform took place in the Senate Finance
Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, a politician who gets over 80
percent of his campaign contributions from outside his home state of
Montana, they were locked out. Baucus invited 41 people to testify. None
backed single payer.

The Leadership Conference, which represents more than 20 million people,
again requested that one of their members testify. Baucus again refused.
When the second committee meeting took place, Flowers and seven other
activists stood one by one in the room and asked why the voices of the
patients and the health care providers were not being heard. The eight
were arrested and removed from the committee hearing.

Single-payer advocates were eventually heard on a few of the House and
Senate committees. But the hearings were a charade, part of Washington's
cynical political theater. It was the insurance and pharmaceutical
lobbyists who were in charge. They dominated the public debate. They wrote
the legislation. They determined who received lavish campaign
contributions and who did not. And they won.

"We are talking about life and death, about the difference between living
your life and dying," Redmond said. "And once again it came down to the
Democratic Party trumping the needs of the people."

["But, o gosh, who else ya gonna vote for? (whine) We don't have no choice
(whimper). Boo hoo.  I'm votin' for the Dems, I'm not wastin' my vote on
no third party even when they stand for what I think and the Dems for
nothin', by golly I'm votin' for 'em." -ed]

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for 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.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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