|Progressive Calendar 07.20.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 15:17:23 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.20.10 1. Rwanda v Erlinder 7.20 5pm 2. Philippines 7.20 6:30pm 3. RNC 8/free dinner 7.20 6:30pm 4. Alliant vigil 7.21 7am 5. Pentel 4 Governor 7.21 7pm 6. Ethnic studies 7.21 7pm 7. Strib - MN protestors vs Dem natl convention in Mpls 2012 8. Carl Romanelli - vs PA Dems re Nader & third parties 9. Glenn Greenwald - The real US government 10. Chris Hedges - Calling all future-eaters 11. Cindy Sheehan - Requiem for the antiwar movement --------1 of 11-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Rwanda v Erlinder 7.20 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, 7/20 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 7/21, 10am "Genocide Denial? The State of Rwanda v. Peter Erlinder" Recently released from detention in Rwanda, William Mitchell College of Law Professor Peter Erlinder shares details of his recent and ongoing ordeal. Erlinder and his two heroic Kenyan attorneys who won Peter's release describe the context of the detention and the global effort to save his life and gain his freedom. (interview filmed 6/29/2010) --------2 of 11-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Philippines 7.20 6:30pm This Tuesday, July 20, Eugenie de Rosier, who comes to the salon, will present a little program about her recent travels and work in the Philippines while in the Peace Corps. I know it will be very interesting. 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. --------3 of 11-------- From: info [at] rnc8.org Subject: RNC 8/free dinner 7.20 6:30pm July 20th: Dinner = Good. Jail = Bad. Join us for a free meal prepared by the RNC 8 and friends, Tuesday, July 20th. This is a great opportunity to stop on by to enjoy tasty free food and continue to show your support over the summer as we prepare for a trial in the fall. As always, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options will be available. Tuesday, July 20th 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. 3104 16th Ave S. (Walker Church basement) --------4 of 11-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Alliant vigil 7.21 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 --------5 of 11-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Pentel 4 Governor 7.21 7pm Ken Pentel for Governor 2010 Campaign Volunteer Recruitment Meeting July 21, 2010 7:00 p.m. Java J's Coffee Shop 700 N. Washington Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55401 Directions: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Minneapolis&state=MN&address=700+Washington+Av e+N&zipcode=55401-1100&country=US&latitude=44.987412&longitude=-93.27658&geocode =ADDRESS Hello potential volunteers for the Ken Pentel for Governor campaign, Ken Pentel has worked diligently across the state over the past 2 years bicycling over 6,000 miles to build the Ecology Democracy Network. On May 8th, 2010, a group of core supporters of the network met at a park in Golden Valley to form a new political party in Minnesota, the Ecology Democracy Party. After formalities of forming the party were finalized the meeting transitioned into a party convention where Ken Pentel was endorsed as the gubernatorial candidate for the party. Ken officially registered as a candidate with the State of MN on July 1st. For the past month, the campaign has been building its infrastructure with committees forming and point people stepping up as committee coordinators. We have been meeting weekly and now is the time to engage with others who may want to volunteer for the campaign. Some of the goals for the campaign are to have a presence at the MN State Fair this year. This is a 12 day event that will require volunteers to help out with a four hour shift at the Ken Pentel for Governor booth between August 26th and Labor Day. Volunteers are also needed for research for the Advance Team as Ken campaigns across the state, data entry, mailings, campaign literature drops, phone banking, website, fundraisers, house parties, etc. We would also appreciate donations (goods and services) for the silent auctions at our upcoming fundraisers in August. As mentioned in previous communications, the Ecology Democracy Party and Ken Pentel promote the following mandates: 1. Establishing an ecology-based economy for Minnesota 2. Implementing proportional representation for the MN State House 3. Removing big money and corporate interference in Government The campaign will be focused on the structural problems in our political arena and on formulating a connection between the ongoing issues we address each election cycle and how the mandates will move policies to more ecologically, economically and democratically sustainable practices. Ken will be returning from the northern loop of the campaign trail at the end of July and is available for speaking engagements at house parties or other venues. We will tentatively have one or two fundraisers in August, prior to the State Fair, and then Ken will travel the southern loop after Labor Day. If you are concerned about the Earth, our democracy and the economy, this campaign could be a good fit for you. Please join us for the campaign volunteer meeting on the 21st of July or call me if you can't make the meeting, but would like to help out. Together we can make a difference. Since this campaign does not take corporate or PAC donations, your donation would help for ongoing campaign expenses. If you are able to help, send donation to: Ken Pentel for Governor P.O. Box 3872 Minneapolis, MN 55403 Danene Provencher Co-campaign Manager Ken Pentel for Governor 2010 952-472-7863 --------6 of 11-------- From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Ethnic studies 7.21 7pm Meeting: How Will MN Participate in Ethnic Studies Week this October - July 21 Dear Resource Center Friends, On July 21 at 7 pm at the South City Cafe, 3405 Chicago Ave S. in Minneapolis there will be a meeting to discuss how Minnesota will participate in Ethnic Studies Week October 1-7. Ethnic Studies week October 1-7 is a national response by involved in education, to the ban of ethnic studies in Arizona that specifically targeted Mexican American and African American curricula in the Tucson public schools, and new Texas State Board of Ed social studies standards that, among other things, diminish civil rights education. In localities across the country schools and community groups are meeting in July to plan their activities. Please bring your friends and your ideas. Pass this email on to anyone who might be interested. Respond to this email if you have agenda items. RSVP so we have an idea of how many are coming. Ice tea, regular and herbal will be available free of charge and South City Cafe food and drink will be available for purchase during the meeting. CONTACT winkl002 [at] umn.edu --------7 of 11-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: article about the demo on Sunday at Target Field http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/7/19/minnesota-protesters-say-no-war-no-hostin g-democratic-national-convention MINNESOTA PROTESTERS SAY NO TO WAR, NO TO HOSTING DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION By Staff | July 19, 2010 Minnesota protesters say no to war, no to hosting Democratic National Convention On July 18, 2010, protesters say no to war, no to hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Minneapolis (Fight Back! News/Staff) Minneapolis, MN - Twenty protesters picketed outside the Twins game on July 18 to protest the proposal for Minneapolis hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC). The DNC site selection committee was rumored to be inside and thousands of Minnesotans saw signs like "We say NO WAR Party" as they went into the stadium. Minneapolis is one of four cities in running to host the convention. The protest was organized by No DNC, a local coalition. Two years ago St. Paul, Minnesota hosted the Republican National Convention. There were large anti-war protests every day of the convention. The police conduct during the convention was outrageous and the city is still in litigation for mass arrests and police brutality. The Twin Cities activist community will organize massive portests if Minneapolis hosts the DNC. Dave Bicking explained to the crowd, "There are special reasons why we oppose this convention, because of the very policies that will be celebrated as they celebrate they reselect Obama for president. These are policies of war, of bank failures, I don't need to go on - They [the Minneapolis city council]will be actively helping the security needed to repress freedom of speech in this city while hosting some of the worst war criminals in this country - people who are responsible for making the plans that are killing people around this world. We need to let the site selection committee know that there will be resistance, that there is resistance which is forming already and there will be continued resistance if they want to come and bring all their war policies to Minneapolis." Bicking is an anti-war and environmental activist and father to Monica Bicking, one of the RNC 8. She is still facing felony charges for "conspiracy" from 2008. Bicking is concerned there will be more police repression and trumped up charges if Minneapolis hosts the DNC. Meredith Aby, an activist with the Anti-War Committee who helped organize protest on days one and four of the RNC in 2008 explained what will happen if Minneapolis hosts the convention, "The Afghanistan war is the Democrat's war. They chose to escalate it. They chose to put the lives of millions of Afghans and tens of thousands of Americans at risk. They chose to stand by as video after video was released of massacre after massacre of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have blood on their hands and they can't expect to come to our town, an anti-war town like Minneapolis, and get to party for four days without us telling them that this is criminal and immoral." -- Meredith Aby antiwarcommittee.org colombiasolidarity.org --------8 of 11-------- [Want an example of how mean to the bone Dem hacks can be (and usually are) to Greens and other third parties? Here's a good one. -ed] From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: GP Romanelli Fights PA Dems related to bonus gate convictions Christina Tobin, Founder & President Phone: 312-320-4101 Email: christina [at] freeandequal.org Web: www.freeandequal.org Carl Romanelli Fights Pennsylvania Democrats with a Federal Lawsuit Related to "Bonus-gate" Convictions. HARRISBURG, Pa. - "Bonus-gate" in Pennsylvania has resulted in numerous convictions of public officials for theft, conflict of interest and conspiracy with more trials yet to come. "Bonus-gate" convictions include efforts to challenge the nominating petitions of candidates Ralph Nader in 2004 and Carl Romanelli in 2006 using state employees and state resources. "The two most outstanding examples of misappropriation of taxpayer resources in petition challenges were found in the challenges of Ralph Nader, for President in 2004, and Carl Romanelli, for US Senate in 2006," announced Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania attorney general, July 10, 2008, in his presentment which led to the arrest of two recent state representatives and ten legislative staffers. Ralph Nader filed 51,273 petition signatures to be on the 2004 Pennsylvania ballot for president as an independent but was denied a ballot spot as a result of the petition challenge. Pennsylvania courts ruled, after the 2004 election, that Nader must pay $81,802 on fees to cover the administrative costs of the petition challenge. That was the first time in US history that a candidate has been assessed fees for losing a petition challenge trying to run for office. No other state has such a policy and Pennsylvania had never done this prior to 2004. Carl Romanelli filed 95,544 petition signatures, well over the 67,070 valid petition signature requirement, to be the 2006 Green Party of Pennsylvania candidate for US Senate. Those signatures were challenged in court and Romanelli was denied a place on the ballot. In January 2007 a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge ruled that Carl Romanelli must pay the state $80,408 in fees because he lost the petition challenge. Nader and Romanelli have not paid the fees assessed by the courts and are asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider the penalties in light of criminal convictions connected to their petition challengers. "Getting a bill from the state for more than $80,000 because you tried to run for political office is a crime against democracy," said Christina Tobin, founder and CEO of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation. "I can't believe this is able to happen in the United States of America. What makes this situation even worse is that Democratic Party operatives worked on these petition challenges while they were being paid by the state and using state resources. The Democratic operatives involved in this should be paying those costs, not Ralph Nader and Carl Romanelli." Romanelli filed a lawsuit, July 12, against the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and their House Democratic Caucus. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court, additionally names Rep. William DeWeese, former Rep. Michael Veon and a number of former and current House Democratic staff employees found to have worked on the petition challenge that removed Carl Romanelli from the 2006 ballot for US Senate. Romanelli alleges in the lawsuit that state employees were paid to do political work while using state resources and equipment in that effort to challenge his petitions. Romanelli backs up his allegations by pointing to the recent convictions of several defendants in this lawsuit including former House Democratic Minority Whip, Rep. Michael Veon who received a 6 to 14 year sentence on June 18, 2010 and Brett Cott, a former policy analyst for Rep. Veon and Rep. DeWeese, who was sentenced from 21 months to 60 months in May 2010. Michael Manzo and Jeff Foreman were given deals to testify against Cott and have not been sentenced. Rep. William DeWeese faces trial in the coming months. "I hope Carl Romanelli gets the justice he deserves from our courts," Tobin said. "If this stands it will have a chilling effect on democracy. This will scare candidates away for fear of not making the ballot and being penalized with large fees because they tried. We've invited Carl to help educate the public about this new threat to our democratic election process on our Free and Equal BlogTalkRadio show Tuesday, July 20." Free and Equal is broadcasting a live radio show from 10 p.m. to midnight ET each Tuesday night that can can be listened to live at the Free and Equal website or at BlogTalkRadio and is immediately archived for later listening. Contact Carl Romanelli Email: cjromanelli [at] gmail.com Christina Tobin, founder and CEO of Free and Equal Elections Foundation Phone: 312-320-4101 Email: christina [at] freeandequal.org --------9 of 11-------- The Real US Government by Glenn Greenwald Monday, July 19, 2010 Salon.com Common Dreams The Washington Post's Dana Priest demonstrates once again why she's easily one of the best investigative journalists in the nation - if not the best - with the publication of Part I of her series, co-written with William Arkin, detailing the sprawling, unaccountable, inexorably growing secret U.S. Government: what the article calls "Top Secret America." To the extent the series receives much substantive attention (and I doubt it will), the focus will likely be on the bureaucratic problems it documents: the massive redundancies, overlap, waste, and inefficiencies which plague this "hidden world, growing beyond control" - as though everything would better if Top Secret America just functioned a bit more effectively. But the far more significant fact so compellingly illustrated by this first installment is the one I described last week when writing about the Obama administration's escalating war on whistle blowers: Most of what the U.S. Government does of any significance - literally - occurs behind a vast wall of secrecy, completely unknown to the citizenry. . . . Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption. That's why whistle blowers are among the most hated heretics. They're one of the very few classes of people able to shed a small amount of light on what actually takes place. Virtually every fact Priest and Arkin disclose underscores this point. Here is their first sentence: "The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work." This all "amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight." We chirp endlessly about the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and Republicans, but this is the Real U.S. Government: functioning in total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization. Anyone who thinks that's hyperbole should just read some of what Priest and Arkin chronicle. Consider this: "Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications." To call that an out-of-control, privacy-destroying Surveillance State is to understate the case. Equally understated is the observation that we have become a militarized nation living under an omnipotent, self-perpetuating, bankrupting National Security State. Here's but one flavoring anecdote: Command centers, internal television networks, video walls, armored SUVs and personal security guards have also become the bling of national security. "You can't find a four-star general without a security detail," said one three-star general now posted in Washington after years abroad. "Fear has caused everyone to have stuff. Then comes, 'If he has one, then I have to have one.' It's become a status symbol." What's most noteworthy about all of this is that the objective endlessly invoked for why we must acquiesce to all of this - National Security - is not only unfulfilled by "Top Secret America," but actively subverted by it. During the FISA debate of 2008 - when Democrats and Republicans joined together to legalize the Bush/Cheney warrantless eavesdropping program and vastly expand the NSA's authority to spy on the communications of Americans without judicial oversight - it was constantly claimed that the Government must have greater domestic surveillance powers in order to Keep Us Safe. Thus, anyone who opposed the new spying law was accused of excessively valuing privacy and civil liberties at the expense of what, we are always told, matters most: Staying Safe. But as I wrote many times back then - often by interviewing and otherwise citing House Intelligence Committee member Rush Holt, who has been making this point repeatedly - the more secret surveillance powers we vest in the Government, the more we allow the unchecked Surveillance State to grow, the more unsafe we become. That's because the public-private axis that is the Surveillance State already collects so much information about us, our activities and our communications - so indiscriminately and on such a vast scale - that it cannot possibly detect any actual national security threats. NSA whistle blower Adrienne Kinne, when exposing NSA eavesdropping abuses, warned of what ABC News described as "the waste of time spent listening to innocent Americans, instead of looking for the terrorist needle in the haystack." As Kinne put it: By casting the net so wide and continuing to collect on Americans and aid organizations, it's almost like they're making the haystack bigger and it's harder to find that piece of information that might actually be useful to somebody. You're actually hurting our ability to effectively protect our national security. The Government did not fail to detect the 9/11 attacks because it was unable to collect information relating to the plot. It did collect exactly that, but because it surveilled so much information, it was incapable of recognizing what it possessed ("connecting the dots"). Despite that, we have since then continuously expanded the Government's surveillance powers. Virtually every time the political class reveals some Scary New Event, it demands and obtains greater spying authorities (and, of course, more and more money). And each time that happens, its ability to detect actually relevant threats diminishes. As Priest and Arkin write: The NSA sorts a fraction of those [1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of daily collected communications] into 70 separate databases. The same problem bedevils every other intelligence agency, none of which have enough analysts and translators for all this work. The article details how ample information regarding alleged Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hassan and attempted Christmas Day bomber Umar Abdulmutallab was collected but simply went unrecognized. As a result, our vaunted Surveillance State failed to stop the former attack and it was only an alert airplane passenger who thwarted the latter. So it isn't that we keep sacrificing our privacy to an always-growing National Security State in exchange for greater security. The opposite is true: we keep sacrificing our privacy to the always-growing National Security State in exchange for less security. * * * * * This world is so vast, secretive and well-funded that it's very difficult to imagine how it could ever be brought under control. That's particularly true given its inextricable intertwining with the private sector: the billions upon billions of dollars funneled from the Government to its private-sector "partners," which is the subject of the not-yet-published second installment of the Priest/Arkin article. As I wrote when examining the revolving public/private shuttling of former DNI and Booz Allen executive Michael McConnell: In every way that matters, the separation between government and corporations is nonexistent, especially (though not only) when it comes to the National Security and Surveillance State. Indeed, so extreme is this overlap that even McConnell, when he was nominated to be Bush's DNI, told The New York Times that his ten years of working "outside the government," for Booz Allen, would not impede his ability to run the nation's intelligence functions. That's because his Booz Allen work was indistinguishable from working for the Government, and therefore - as he put it - being at Booz Allen "has allowed me to stay focused on national security and intelligence communities as a strategist and as a consultant. Therefore, in many respects, I never left." As the NSA scandal revealed, private telecom giants and other corporations now occupy the central role in carrying out the government's domestic surveillance and intelligence activities - almost always in the dark, beyond the reach of oversight or the law. Long before the Priest/Arkin article, Tim Shorrock has been documenting this sprawling, secretive, merged public/private world that combines unchecked surveillance and national security powers with enormous corporate profits. So long as the word Terrorism continues to be able to strike fear in the hearts of enough citizens and media stars - as Communism did before it - the political class, no matter who is elected, will be petrified to oppose any of this, even if they wanted to, and why would they want to? They wouldn't and they don't. And it thus grows and becomes more powerful, all justified by endless appeals to The Terrorists. That's why it is difficult to imagine - short of some severe citizen unrest - how any of this will be brought under control. One of the few scenarios one can envision for such unrest involves growing wealth disparities and increasingly conspicuous elite corruption. In The New York Times today, investment banker and former Clinton Treasury official Roger Altman announced that the alleged "tension between President Obama and the business community" can be solved only if the political class is willing to "fix Social Security" - i.e., to slash Americans' retirement security. Sooner or later (probably sooner), one way or another (probably this way), that's going to happen. It's inevitable. As George Carlin put it several years ago, in an amazingly succinct summary of so many things: And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it. That's really the only relevant question: how much longer will Americans sit by passively and watch as a tiny elite become more bloated, more powerful, greedier, more corrupt and more unaccountable - as the little economic security, privacy and freedom most citizens possess vanish further still? How long can this be sustained, where more and more money is poured into Endless War, a military that almost spends more than the rest of the world combined, where close to 50% of all U.S. tax revenue goes to military and intelligence spending, where the rich-poor gap grows seemingly without end, and the very people who virtually destroyed the world economy wallow in greater rewards than ever, all while the public infrastructure (both figuratively and literally) crumbles and the ruling class is openly collaborating on a bipartisan, public-private basis even to cut Social Security benefits? The answer, unfortunately, is probably this: a lot longer. And one primary reason is that our media-shaped political discourse is so alternatively distracted and distorted that even shining light on all of this matters little. The New York Times' Peter Baker had a good article this weekend on how totally inconsequential squabbles dominate the news more or less continuously: last week's riveting drama was the bickering between the White House and Nancy Pelosi over Robert Gibbs' warning that Democratic control of the House was endangered. Baker quotes Democratic strategist Chris Lehane as follows: "Politics in D.C. have become Seinfeldesque. Fights about nothing." If you read and write about politics full-time and are thus forced to subject yourself to the political media - as I am - what's most striking aren't the outrages and corruptions, but the overwhelming, suffocating, numbing stream of stupidity and triviality that floods the brain. One has to battle the temptation to just turn away and ignore it all. Every day, day after day, is consumed by some totally irrelevant though distracting melodrama: what Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page, some "outrageous" snippet of a comment made by John Boehner or Harry Reid, some "crazy," attention-attracting statement from some fringe idiot-figure or TV blowhard that is exploited for superficial partisan gain or distraction value (hey, look over there: I think Michelle Bachmann just said something outrageous!!!!). I can't recall an incident that better captures our political culture than this, from a Politico report on one of last week's fascinating Royal Court dramas - the insult-trading between Palin and Mitt Romney: Asked about the comments by POLITICO, a longtime Palin aide unloaded on Romney's staff. . . . "For Washington consultants to sit around and personally disparage the governor anonymously to reporters is unfortunate and counterproductive and frankly immature," said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. A Palin aide, hiding behind Politico-granted anonymity, complaining that petty comments were made anonymously by a Romney aide: a perfect expression of what our politics are. The Drudge and Politico sewers still rule our world - "fights over nothing" - and happily distract us from Top Secret America, what it does and what it takes. And whatever these petty distractions fail to achieve, active media distortion takes care of the rest. This superb article by Mark Prendergast, the Ombudsman for Stars & Stripes, details the billions of dollars secretly (and probably illegally) spent by the Pentagon - much of it on private contractors - to subject not only foreign nationals but also American citizens to pure propaganda campaigns. The Pentagon propaganda program exposed by David Barstow is but a representative sliver of the weapons used by the National Security State and its private partners to control media behavior and shape public opinion. Billions upon billions of dollars are spent for this propagandistic purpose at exactly the time that real journalistic outlets are failing. Television journalists think they're covering war zones when they submit to Pentagon embedding and then broadcast what they're allowed to see, while repeating government lies about war without challenge. And when all else fails, we're told to look over there at all those Bad, Evil things done by those Other Countries (hey, look at Pakistan, whose citizens are pumped full of myths and disinformation while their wealthy manipulate the law so as to not pay their fair share of taxes!! - and Iran detains people without charges and China tortures!! - can you believe them?). Meanwhile, the Real U.S. Government - the network of secret public and private organizations which comprise the National Security and Surveillance State - expands and surveills and pilfers and destroys without much attention and with virtually no real oversight or accountability. It sucks up the vast bulk of national resources and re-directs the rest to those who own and control it. To their immense credit, Dana Priest and William Arkin will spend the week disclosing the details of what they learned over the past two years investigating all of this, but the core concepts have long been glaringly evident. But Sarah Palin's Twitter malapropism from yesterday will almost certainly receive far more attention than anything exposed by the Priest/Arkin investigation. So we'll continue to fixate on the trappings and theater of government while The Real Government churns blissfully in the dark - bombing and detaining and abducting and spying and even assassinating - without much bother from anyone. 2010 Salon.com Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy", examines the Bush legacy. --------10 of 11-------- Calling All Future-Eaters by Chris Hedges Monday, July 19, 2010 TruthDig.com Common Dreams The human species during its brief time on Earth has exhibited a remarkable capacity to kill itself off. The Cro-Magnons dispatched the gentler Neanderthals. The conquistadors, with the help of smallpox, decimated the native populations in the Americas. Modern industrial warfare in the 20th century took at least 100 million lives, most of them civilians. And now we sit passive and dumb as corporations and the leaders of industrialized nations ensure that climate change will accelerate to levels that could mean the extinction of our species. Homo sapiens, as the biologist Tim Flannery points out, are the "future-eaters." In the past when civilizations went belly up through greed, mismanagement and the exhaustion of natural resources, human beings migrated somewhere else to pillage anew. But this time the game is over. There is nowhere else to go. The industrialized nations spent the last century seizing half the planet and dominating most of the other half. We giddily exhausted our natural capital, especially fossil fuel, to engage in an orgy of consumption and waste that poisoned the Earth and attacked the ecosystem on which human life depends. It was quite a party if you were a member of the industrialized elite. But it was pretty stupid. Collapse this time around will be global. We will disintegrate together. And there is no way out. The 10,000-year experiment of settled life is about to come to a crashing halt. And humankind, which thought it was given dominion over the Earth and all living things, will be taught a painful lesson in the necessity of balance, restraint and humility. There is no human monument or city ruin that is more than 5,000 years old. Civilization, Ronald Wright notes in "A Short History of Progress," "occupies a mere 0.2 percent of the two and a half million years since our first ancestor sharpened a stone." Bye-bye, Paris. Bye-bye, New York. Bye-bye, Tokyo. Welcome to the new experience of human existence, in which rooting around for grubs on islands in northern latitudes is the prerequisite for survival. We view ourselves as rational creatures. But is it rational to wait like sheep in a pen as oil and natural gas companies, coal companies, chemical industries, plastics manufacturers, the automotive industry, arms manufacturers and the leaders of the industrial world, as they did in Copenhagen, take us to mass extinction? It is too late to prevent profound climate change. But why add fuel to the fire? Why allow our ruling elite, driven by the lust for profits, to accelerate the death spiral? Why continue to obey the laws and dictates of our executioners? The news is grim. The accelerating disintegration of Arctic Sea ice means that summer ice will probably disappear within the next decade. The open water will absorb more solar radiation, significantly increasing the rate of global warming. The Siberian permafrost will disappear, sending up plumes of methane gas from underground. The Greenland ice sheet and the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers will melt. Jay Zwally, a NASA climate scientist, declared in December 2007: "The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming. Now, as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines." But reality is rarely an impediment to human folly. The world's greenhouse gases have continued to grow since Zwally's statement. Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO22) from burning fossil fuels since 2000 have increased by 3 per cent a year. At that rate annual emissions will double every 25 years. James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world's foremost climate experts, has warned that if we keep warming the planet it will be "a recipe for global disaster." The safe level of CO22 in the atmosphere, Hansen estimates, is no more than 350 parts per million (ppm). The current level of CO22 is 385 ppm and climbing. This already guarantees terrible consequences even if we act immediately to cut carbon emissions. The natural carbon cycle for 3 million years has ensured that the atmosphere contained less than 300 ppm of CO22, which sustained the wide variety of life on the planet. The idea now championed by our corporate elite, at least those in contact with the reality of global warming, is that we will intentionally overshoot 350 ppm and then return to a safer climate through rapid and dramatic emission cuts. This, of course, is a theory designed to absolve the elite from doing anything now. But as Clive Hamilton in his book "Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change" writes, even "if carbon dioxide concentrations reach 550 ppm, after which emissions fell to zero, the global temperatures would continue to rise for at least another century." Copenhagen was perhaps the last chance to save ourselves. Barack Obama and the other leaders of the industrialized nations blew it. Radical climate change is certain. It is only a question now of how bad it will become. The engines of climate change will, climate scientists have warned, soon create a domino effect that could thrust the Earth into a chaotic state for thousands of years before it regains equilibrium. "Whether human beings would still be a force on the planet, or even survive, is a moot point," Hamilton writes. "One thing is certain: there will be far fewer of us." We have fallen prey to the illusion that we can modify and control our environment, that human ingenuity ensures the inevitability of human progress and that our secular god of science will save us. The "intoxicating belief that we can conquer all has come up against a greater force, the Earth itself," Hamilton writes. "The prospect of runaway climate change challenges our technological hubris, our Enlightenment faith in reason and the whole modernist project. The Earth may soon demonstrate that, ultimately, it cannot be tamed and that the human urge to master nature has only roused a slumbering beast." We face a terrible political truth. Those who hold power will not act with the urgency required to protect human life and the ecosystem. Decisions about the fate of the planet and human civilization are in the hands of moral and intellectual trolls such as BP's Tony Hayward. These political and corporate masters are driven by a craven desire to accumulate wealth at the expense of human life. They do this in the Gulf of Mexico. They do this in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, where the export-oriented industry is booming. China's transformation into totalitarian capitalism, done so world markets can be flooded with cheap consumer goods, is contributing to a dramatic rise in carbon dioxide emissions, which in China are expected to more than double by 2030, from a little over 5 billion metric tons to just under 12 billion. This degradation of the planet by corporations is accompanied by a degradation of human beings. In the factories in Guangdong we see the face of our adversaries. The sociologist Ching Kwan Lee found "satanic mills" in China's industrial southeast that run "at such a nerve-racking pace that worker's physical limits and bodily strength are put to the test on a daily basis." Some employees put in workdays of 14 to 16 hours with no rest day during the month until payday. In these factories it is normal for an employee to work 400 hours or more a month, especially those in garment industry. Most workers, Lee found, endure unpaid wages, illegal deductions and substandard wage rates. They are often physically abused at work and do not receive compensation if they are injured on the job. Every year a dozen or more workers die from overwork in the city of Shenzhen alone. In Lee's words the working conditions "go beyond the Marxist notions of exploitation and alienation." A survey published in 2003 by the official China News Agency, cited in Lee's book "Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt," found that three in four migrant workers had trouble collecting their pay. Each year scores of workers threaten to commit suicide, Lee writes, by jumping off high-rises or setting themselves on fire over unpaid wages. "If getting paid for one's labor is a fundamental feature of capitalist employment relations, strictly speaking many Chinese workers are not yet laborers," Lee writes. The leaders of these corporations now determine our fate. They are not endowed with human decency or compassion. Yet their lobbyists make the laws. Their public relations firms craft the propaganda and trivia pumped out through systems of mass communication. Their money determines elections. Their greed turns workers into global serfs and our planet into a wasteland. As climate change advances we will face a choice between obeying the rules put in place by corporations or rebellion. Those who work human beings to death in overcrowded factories in China and turn the Gulf of Mexico into a dead zone are the enemy. They serve systems of death. They cannot be reformed or trusted. The climate crisis is a political crisis. We will either defy the corporate elite, which will mean civil disobedience, a rejection of traditional politics for a new radicalism and the systematic breaking of laws, or see ourselves consumed. Time is not on our side. The longer we wait, the more assured our destruction becomes. The future, if we remain passive, will be wrested from us by events. Our moral obligation is not to structures of power, but life. 2010 TruthDig.com 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. --------11 of 11-------- Requiem for the Antiwar Movement By Cindy Sheehan "When you vote for war, don't be surprised when you get it." Cindy Sheehan "I will send at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan." Presidential Candidate Barack Obama "This war (Iraq) prevents us from tackling every serious threat that we face, from a resurgent al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to a hostile Iranian regime intent on possessing nuclear weapons." Candidate Barack Obama "And if we have actionable intelligence about high-level al-Qaeda targets (in Pakistan), we must act if Pakistan will or cannot." Candidate Barack Obama July 19, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- This article and these observations are going to piss some people off - but oh well. You will be angry with me, even though I am not the one who is ordering more war, paying for more war, torturing people and imprisoning them without due process, destroying the economy and the environment, blah, blah, blah. I have developed an incredibly thick skin and if I rankle, it's because I think time is running out to halt the disastrous trajectory this planet (via the US Military Corporate Complex) is on. I promise that I am not writing this because I am holding protests and no one is coming - these thoughts have been percolating in me for months now. (Note: Remember that old saying: "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" Well, here in DC I am living the opposite: "What if they gave an antiwar protest and nobody came?") My grandbabies and other people's grandbabies WILL NOT live in a world where war for profit is so normal that state-sanctioned violence is rarely even questioned - and if it is, then the person questioning is the "looney tunes," the "mama moonbat," the "radical." That is one seriously messed-up world. You know it is and we are the only ones who have the key to unmessing it. Last week, the Democratically controlled House of Representatives voted to give Barack Obama 33 billion more dollars to prosecute two idiotic and ill-advised wars. Of course they did - it wasn't the first time since 2007 that a Democratic Congress voted to fund wars, and it won't be the last - do you all know why? BECAUSE THE DEMOCRATS DON'T WANT PEACE - THEY ARE JUST ONE-HALF OF THE "WAR PARTY." [Amen. -ed] Why else did the Democrats vote for more war, more death and more destruction? If you are a Democrat and voted for one of these scum - did you vote for them hoping that you would get more war? Did you vote for Obama hoping that he would dig this country into a deeper hole, and do you still believe that fucking things up even more is the way to solve problems? Do you all know what else? The wars that were begun in the Bush presidency and fully funded and increased during the Obama regime belong to everyone who voted for Obama, too. If you listened to what Obama said, and not just how he said it, then you would have heard him promise you that he was going to SEND MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN. You would have heard him say that nothing was "off the table" for dealing with Iran. During the campaign, many colleagues and friends of mine, assured me that Obama was just saying this hostile crap to "get elected" and once he was elected that he would "do the right thing." Well, first of all, why support such a pandering Jackwagon, and secondly, how has that ever worked? Three days after Obama swore to uphold and defend the Constitution, he drone-bombed a "target" in Pakistan killing 3 dozen civilians - and since that day he has elevated the art of drone bombings to new heights, while the so-called antiwar movement looks on in silent complacency and while Democratic operatives disguised as antiwar groups are hoping against hope that Obama comes out strong with a new antiwar marketing campaign to assure his "re-election." Even though not one progressive issue has been propagated during his term, these war supporters are looking forward to another four years of the dance of death. Right foot kill - left foot torture - spin around for environmental devastation - allemande left for health care fascism - and shimmy right for bankster bailouts. Wasn't eight years of this crap during the Bush stain enough for y'all? Many antiwar groups and people who claim they are for peace lose their minds during election season thinking that the razor-thin difference between the Democrat and Republican is enough to go ape-shit crazy in working for the Democrat. Just take the last two Democratic candidates, for example. Kerry and Obama both supported more war. An "antiwar" movement de-legitimizes itself when it works hard for a candidate who does not promise total and rapid withdrawal of troops from wherever they happen to be at the time AND does not promise to end war as an imperial tool of corporate conquest. The majority of the so-called antiwar movement, in fact, voted for a candidate that PROMISED to contract one war only to be able to profoundly EXPAND another. Obama all along said that he is not against all war, just "dumb wars." If there existed an antiwar movement that had integrity - it would have said that "all wars are dumb," and we withhold our support for just another dyed-in-the-wool warmonger. What do we do now that we have another two and a half years of a hawk who thinks it is just hunky-dory that his supporters are under the delusion that he is a dove - he was awarded the war-establishment's highest prize wasn't he? He is, after all, a Nobel Laureate. First of all, voting just doesn't cut it. Realistically, our choices are between War Party Candidate A and War Party Candidate B. A true peace candidate is marginalized, metaphorically spat upon, and reviled. This is not a nation that honors peace and non-violence. From the top down, we are a violent nation - so from the bottom up, we have to restructure society. Liberate yourself and remove your Obama bumper sticker that has a peace sign instead of the "O." If you are antiwar, you know in your heart that he is not a peace monger. Secondly, our resources and energy are stretched thin. We live in a credit based economy where good jobs are scarce. Many people, who have the same values, in this almost value-free society, constantly tell me that they would be with me if they could afford it. Since my son was killed, which was as violent of a paradigm shift as anyone should have to endure, I have whittled my life down to a bare minimum. I have no car. I have no pets. I have no plants. I have no credit cards. My income is based on my donations from my itinerant peace travels and book sales. I have moved eight times since Casey died and now I can move with one small u-haul. I have a cell phone and computer, a bed, clothes, a few dishes, a few valued books and peace paraphernalia and pictures of my children and grandbabies. As HD Thoreau said: "You don't own your possessions, they own you." This consumer orgiastic society makes us literal slaves to a system that is detrimental to our health. Freeing oneself from those chains frees one to be a full-time, or near full-time activist. "Simplify, simplify, simplify." Massive antiwar protest in this country is dead. We may as well acknowledge that and just bury the corpse, mourn, and then figure out a better way of doing things. In the Christian tradition, death was only a prelude to new and better life and farmers well tell you that a seed has to die before a health- nourishing plant can be born and then there's the ever ubiquitous example of the ugly, hairy, and yucky caterpillar being reborn as a magnificent and beautiful butterfly. Have I hammered you with enough clichés yet? The key to turning this caterpillar of a country into a beautiful butterfly is in Peace and recognizing that no matter if one is Bush, Obama, McCain or Palin - these people don't want Peace, but we do. I think we lose the raw humanity of war when we allow ourselves to wallow in War Party politics. When the Democratic Wing of the War Party took over the mis-management of the Empire, the anti-war movement was effectively neutralized even though the wars weren't. So after we are done mourning, we get together as one human family to organize something that will bring positive change. We are not enemies with each other - we may be "enemies of the state," but the state is our enemy. No more marching in circles, it makes us dizzy. No more signing petitions, it gives us writer's cramp. No more calling Congress-scum, the war machine is its master. The establishment wants us to think that this busy-work has a chance to be effective - but when is the last time any of these tactics worked on a Federal level? Your president or your congress rep couldn't care less want you think or want. Your vote doesn't even count - in case you haven't heard, they steal votes and falsely manipulate you, anyway. I am going to close with my organization's motivational quote. Peace of the ACTION takes our inspiration from a Mario Savio quote that he said on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley, 46 years ago: "There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part. You have to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who own it, to the people who run it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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.