Progressive Calendar 09.10.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 22:51:35 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.10.10

1. Pow Wow           9.10 5:05 pm

2. Peace walk        9.11 9am Cambridge MN
3. Coldwater brush   9.11 9am
4. 9/11 film         9.11 10am
5. Women/water/food  9.11 9.11 10am
6. Gaza flotilla/law 9.11 10am
7. Anarchist books   9.11 12noon
8. Vs war on terror  9.11 1pm
9. CUAPB             9.11 1:30pm
10. Northtown vigil  9.11 2pm
11. Pray for peace   9.11 6:30pm
12. RNC8/Diana Block 9.11 7pm
13. ObamaNONcare     9.11 9pm

14. Mexican IndepDay 9.12 12noon
15. Stillwater vigil 9.12 1pm
16. PollyMann/play   9.12 6:30pm

17. Ralph Nader - Endorses the Ken Pentel for Governor 2010 Campaign
18. Christopher Ketcham - Afghan/US govt kill team/No good men left here
19. David Rosen - The end of the American Century?
20. ed          - A happy ending

--------1 of 20--------

From: Sue Ann <seasnun [at]>
Subject: Pow Wow 9.10 5:05 pm

Mendota Mdewakanton Welcome Home Wacipi
The 11th Annual Welcome Home Wacipi Pow Wow
September 10, 11, 12, 2010
St. Peter's Church Grounds in Mendota, Minnesota
(by Mendota Bridge on Hwy 13, from Minneapolis, just across the bridge)

Emcee:  Mitch Walking Elk Arena Director:  Windy Downwind Host Drum :

Co Host Drum: Eugene Red Day / Anpetu Duta Scotty Brown Eyes / Oyate Teca
Men's Head Dancer:  Lenny Butcher Women's Head Dancer:  Mary So Happy
Spiritual Advisor:  Scotty Brown Eyes

Public Welcome
First 10 Drums Paid
Friday, Sept 10
5:05 pm Lighting the Sacred Fire
(followed by a potluck dinner)

Saturday, Sept 11
11:00 am.............Dancer Registration
1:00 pm...............Grand Entry
3:30 pm...............Honoring Ceremony
5:00 pm...............Dancer Registration
7:00 pm...............Grand Entry
8:00 pm...............Registered Dancers Payout

Sunday, Sept 12
11:00 am Dancer Registration
1:00 pm Grand Entry
5:00 pm Closing Ceremony & Unity Feast (with $5 button)
5:30 pm Registered Dancers Payout

$5 Entry Button Donation
For more information call 651-452-4141
Please note: This is a Traditional Pow-Wow not a competition.
Sponsored by the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community.

--------2 of 20--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 9.11 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street

--------3 of 20--------

From: Sue Ann <seasnun [at]>
From: <Kristin_Lessard [at]>
Subject: Coldwater brush 9.11 9am

fyi. sign up! if you can for whatever time you can. work for an hour,
two, three, or more.

I would like to start off by saying thank you to everyone who participated
in the brush haul on July 31st. It is truly amazing what we were able to
accomplish, and we really appreciate all of the hard work you put in that
day. Due to the success of the event, we have decided to postpone the
pickup date for the brush, and add another volunteer event to our
calendar. Our hope is to complete the job we started, and get all of the
brush stacked to be removed from the site.

I have attached a document with more details on the event and how to sign
up (also included below). If you are interested in another exciting day
of hauling brush and helping to restore the Coldwater site, please sign
up for the final brush haul of the season!

Kristin Lessard
Park Ranger
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
111 E Kellogg Blvd, Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 290-3030 x235
kristin_lessard [at]

National Park Service
Volunteer Opportunity
Saturday, September 11
NPS Invasive Brush Haul
Coldwater, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 9-4 with a break between 12-1
Volunteers Needed: 50

Description: This brand new addition to the Mississippi National River and
Recreation area was once a stunning oak savanna and tall grass prairie,
where oak trees reached out across fields of flowing grasses and
wildflowers and native wildlife flourished. Over the years, this land has
gone through many changes, and today you will find the landscape to be
quite different. As the former site for the Bureau of Mines, abandoned
buildings and roads dot the landscape, but the 27 acres are also overrun
by invasive plants that are actively out-competing native species within
this habitat. Our ultimate goal is to restore natural beauty and function
to the area by converting it to open space/park land. Included in current
plans are invasive plant removal, reintroduction of native plant species,
and removal of roads and buildings. The historic spring house and
reservoir will not be removed, as they hold cultural and historical
importance. The invasive buckthorn, Siberian elm, and black locusts have
been cut down in the woodland, but we need help from volunteers to drag
and stack it, and lop small leftover trees. Be part of the first year of
restoration in our new Coldwater Unit!

Individuals of all ages, families, community, scout and corporate groups
are welcome to participate in National Park Service restoration events.
Pre-registration is required, so sign up today!

To register for this event, contact the Kristin Lessard, NPS Park Ranger,
at Kristin_lessard [at] or 651-290-3030 ext. 235. When registering,
please include your name, mailing address, event title, email address, and
shift preference: 9-noon, 1-4, or both.

--------4 of 20--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: 9/11 film 9.11 10am

Film Showing:  9/11: Blueprint for Truth
Saturday, September 11, 10:00 a.m. to Noon Uptown Theater, 1320 Lagoon

(corner of Hennepin and Lagoon), Minneapolis. Discussion to follow at
Walker Library, 2880 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. Architects and
Engineers for 9/11 Truth founder and AIA member Richard Gage provides a
multimedia presentation with myth shattering scientific evidence
surrounding the explosive demolition of all three World Trade Center
buildings. Come see why 1,247 registered architects and engineers have
signed a petition requesting a new investigation into the events of
September 11, 2001. What do they know that has not been reported by the
media? Sponsored by: Minnesota 911 Truth. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Visit

--------5 of 20--------

From: Doris Marquit <marqu001 [at]>
Subject: Women/water/food 9.11 9.11 10am

Women, Water and Food-Part 1
First of a 3-part WILPF "Coffee With Discussion" series
WomenBottlesThe Water Crisis: Challenges Facing Minnesota's Water Resources
With Barbara Luikkonen, Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, 10am-noon Van Cleve Community Ctr., 901 15th Ave.
SE, Mpls

sponsor: Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, MN Metro Branch
( <> )

Cosponsor: OLLI: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (

--------6 of 20--------

From: William Bailey <wbailey [at]>
Subject: Gaza flotilla/law 9.11 10am

International and Maritime Law
Regarding Gaza Flotilla

Phil Benson was a participant in the May 2010 Freedom Flotilla March in
Cairo, Egypt.  He will address the various provisions of international and
maritime law that were implicated in the raid by Israeli commandos in
international waters and the remedies that exist under these laws when
violations are found to have occurred.

He is a member of the Alaska and California Bar and represents federal
whistle-blowers throughout the United States against government
contractors who cheat the government.  He is a member of the
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA, a member
of Friends of Sabeel North America and an officer of Senate District 34
DFL Central Committee.

SATURDAY    September 11, 2010
9:30 a.m.    Refreshments
10:00 a.m.    Presentation and Discussion
7001 York Avenue South    Edina, MN   55435
For info call  651-696-1642         email  <mailto:mepn [at]>
mepn [at]

--------7 of 20--------

From: Joe Hill <maydaybookstore [at]>
Subject: Anarchist books 9.11 12noon

Powderhorn Park 3400 15th Ave So Mpls MN
Noon to 6 on Sat, Sept 11
3 to 8 Sun, Sept 12

For Further Info and Tom 651-645-0295

 On Sat Sisters Camelot will give away free produce .On both days there
will be lit and book tables including Mayday Books, Don Olson KFAI-FM
Mpls, Tony Hunnicutt publisher of "Show Me the Money" zine, RNC 8,
Veterans For Peace, Hard Times Cafe for your dining pleasure, IWW
Industrial Workers of the World, and about a dozen other groups from
Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Oakland, Winona, Portland and elsewhere.

Prison abolitionist, Diana Block will talk at 2 PM on Sat. in the Park
bldg.and also at 3 pm Sunday at True Colors Books (formerly Amazon) at 4755
Chicago Ave Mpls ph 612-821-9630.

--------8 of 20--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Vs war on terror 9.11 1pm

Protest: End the War on Terror! Bring the Troops Home Now! Money
for Human Needs Not for War!
Saturday, September 11, 1:00 p.m. Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues,

Demand an end to the U.S. war on terror throughout the world! Say NO to
the U.S. occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq! Say NO MORE aid to Israel
and Colombia because they use U.S. tax dollars to fund massacres! Say NO
to the use of "terrorism" as an excuse to justify killing, torture, and an
erosion of our civil liberties!

In 2001, three thousand people lost their lives in the attacks on
September 11th. And though we have not forgotten this tragedy, we cannot
allow it to hold us captive. The U.S. government has used these deaths to
justify a war agenda that has created September 11ths around the globe
every day in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Colombia.

Let's come together to demand that U.S. tax dollars be spent helping
people stay in their homes, keeping people out of poverty, and educating
our children, instead of spreading terror abroad. If you would like to be
a peace marshal, please arrive at 12:30 p.m. Initiated by: the Anti-War
Committee. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Visit .

--------9 of 20--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 9.11 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

--------10 of 20--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 9.11 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------11 of 20--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Pray for peace 9.11 6:30pm

September 11: Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates 11th Day
Prayer for Peace: After this Commemoration of 9/11 How Can we Become More
Loving? Reflection by: Michele Hermansen, author of Unexpected Journeys.
6:30 PM at Presentation of Our Lady Chapel, 1890 Randolph Ave., St. Paul.

--------12 of 20--------

From: luce <luce [at]>
Subject: RNC 8/Diana Block 9.11 7pm

Join the RNC 8 Defense Committee and the Women's Prison Book Project for
an event with DIANA BLOCK, social justice/feminist activist, prison
abolitionist, and author of "Arm the Spirit - A Woman's Journey
Underground and Back."

Saturday, September 11th, 7:00 pm
Friends meeting house, 1725 Grand Ave in St. Paul (please keep in
mind that the Friends meeting House is a scent-free environment)

Diana will speak about the intersections between political prisoner
support and other areas of resistance to the prison-industrial complex,
with a focus on women and transgender prisoners. Her talk will be followed
by a Q&A. A $5-20 donation is suggested, and all funds raised will be
split betweenthe RNC 8 Defense Committee and the Women's Prison Book

Diana Block has been a social justice/feminist activist for forty years.
She was a founder of San Francisco Women Against Rape and of the
anti-imperialist group Prairie Fire Organizing Committee in the seventies.
She spent thirteen years underground in connection with her solidarity
activities with the Puerto Rican independence and Black liberation
movements, *including two years living in Minneapolis.* After returning to
public life in 1995, she was a founding member of the California Coalition
for Women Prisoners, the Jericho Movement and the San Francisco 8 Defense
Committee and continues to be active in prison abolitionist work focused
on women and transgender prisoners. In 2009 she published her memoir, Arm
the Spirit - A Woman's Journey Underground and Back. She lives in San
Francisco with her partner, Claude Marks, and has two children.

Info on the RNC 8: WWW.RNC8.ORG Info on the Women's Prison Book Project:

--------13 of 20--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Obamacare critique 9.11 9pm

"A Critique of ObamaCare"

Few people have an understanding of the massive 2000 page national health
care bill, commonly referred to as "Obamacare", signed into law earlier
this year.  Longtime health care reform activist, economist and
practitioner Joel Albers outlines some of the features of the complex law
being phased in over the next several years.  While implying that the law
is not economically sustainable, Albers suggests some hope in the coop
aspect of the new law. (Sept.'10)

MTN 17 viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on Minneapolis Television Network (MTN)
Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!
Households with basic cable may watch.

Sat, 9/11, 9pm and Tues, 9/14, 8am
"A Critique of ObamaCare"

--------14 of 20--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at]>
Subject: Mexican IndepDay 9.12 12noon

Festival: Mexican Independence Day 9/12/10
Sunday, September 12th. (
From Noon to 7pm at Fourth Avenue South and East Lake Street in
Minneapolis, with ~ 35,000 participants

--------15 of 20--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 9.12 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------16 of 20--------

From: Sue Ann <seasnun [at]>
Subject: PollyMann/play 9.12 6:30pm

An invitation from Polly Mann to a staged reading of her original drama,
"Victoria Reincarnated"

featuring Sara Olson as Victoria Woodhull
BethAnne Nelson as Victoria's sister, Tennesee
Susu Jeffrey as Victoria's mother, Roxanna
directed by Ed Felien

at the Minneapolis Theatre Garage
711 W. Franklin Ave. (corner Lyndale & Franklin)

6:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010
Donation: cash or check (payable to "Polly Mann")
in the amount that appeals to you
to offset legal expenses incurred by
Three Appealing Women
Sarah Martin
Sue Ann Martinson

Lucia Wilkes Smith
Questions? 612-871-2229 or luciaws [at]

Victoria Woodhull (1838-1929) was audacious. She ran for the office of
U.S. President five times before women in the had the right to vote. She
believed women were included in the terms "people" and "citizens"
referenced in the 14th and 15th Amendments!

The Three Appealing Women currently have a criminal conviction pending
before the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Sarah, Sue Ann & Lucia attempted to
enlist in the U.S. Army with other women of a certain age, the Grandmas'
Peace Brigade, on April 24, 2009, because "What Would Grandma Do? Go to
and Send the Kids Back!" The three were tried and convicted of Trespass in
Hennepin County District Court in September 2009. During the trial they
were not allowed to present testimony regarding motive or intent, and the
presiding judge gave the jury unusually narrow instructions related to the
Trespass law. Each of the three women was fined $400 and sentenced to 8
days (stayed) in jail and 2 days of work on a Sentence-To-Serve county
work crew. Should the conviction be overturned, precedent would be set
that could affect defendant rights into the future.

With special thanks to the Appealing Pro Bono Legal Advisors, Bob Kolstad
and John Kvinge.

If you cannot attend the event, your donation (check payable to "Polly
Mann" for Victoria) may be mailed to Polly Mann, 1425 W. 28th St.,
Minneapolis, MN 55408, to help defray costs incurred by the Three
Appealing Women for the trial transcript, court filing fees, attorney's
office charges, & various related costs.

--------17 of 20--------

Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 01:35:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ken Pentel <kenpentel [at]>
Subject: Ralph Nader Endorses the Ken Pentel for Governor 2010 Campaign

Wednesday, September 09, 2010
Ken Pentel for Governor
P.O. Box 3872
Minneapolis, MN 55403
communications [at]

Ralph Nader Endorses the Ken Pentel for Governor 2010 Campaign

Consumer advocate and three-time candidate for President Ralph Nader, has
endorsed the Ken Pentel and Erin Wallace campaign for Governor of

Ralph states:

"In a 2000 Business Week poll, over 70% of the people said corporations
have too much control over their lives. This was before the corporate
outrages, corporate militarism and Wall Street Collapse, recession and
bailout of the past decade.

Ken Pentel gets this feeling by a large majority of Americans in an
experienced and knowledgeable way. He is a long time Minnesotan, fighter
for fairness, justice and wise and healthy use of natural resources ^^
air, water, soil, energy.

Ken Pentel's present run for Governor is for you and your children. Watch
him, listen to him, question him, invite him and see if you agree with me
that on November 2 you have a real choice for a change.

As he bicycles across the entire state of Minnesota, chances are good that
you'll have an opportunity to do these things in person."

Ken Pentel has been inspired by Ralph Nader for long time,

"My first memories of Ralph were in the early 1970's on TV. Then I saw him
live at the No Nukes Concert in 1980, and at a rally in Illinois in 1986.
When he announced he would be on the ballot for President in1996 it
compelled me to get involved in electoral politics and inspired my runs
for Governor. Ralph is tenacious at reconstructing and holding people in
power accountable. He is also a writer, teacher, motivator, and one of the
great American and global citizen for a decency, justice and healthy
societies on Earth. I am humbled and honored to have his endorsement."

--------18 of 20--------

The Kill Team in Afghanistan and the Kill Team at Home
No Good Men Left Here
September 10 - 12, 2010

We already know enough from the Wikileaks Afghan archives to conclude that
the news of the so-called "Kill Team" in Afghanistan - twelve US Army
soldiers wantonly murdering and mutilating Afghan civilians - is no news
at all.  It is the norm of empire.  It is the monstrous quotidian.
Certainly there are many more instances like it that will never come to

The soldier who first revealed the predations of the Kill Team, in a post
to his parents on Facebook, writes of Afghanistan that "There are no good
men left here.  It eats away at my conscience every day".  Would that it
ate at his fellow Americans.   The Team's work, after all, is ours, paid
for by us, abetted by our silence and our receivables, sanctioned by our
standing up nowhere to be seen in opposition to a government that renders
barbarism as statesmanship.  The work, to be sure, consisted of that for
which the Team was well-trained, their minds at ease for the labor, the
empire having asked of them only to oil their muscles and derange their
hearts enough to put into action the deranged policy programmed by the
higher-ups behind the laptops and in the lounge chairs.  That all war
creates victims of soldiers, victimized by their own governments, is
forgotten, yet it should be the axiom of the age.

If the Kill Team is guilty of what we're told, then how judge them?  The
twelve soldiers now charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy, and
"possessing human body parts" were said to have slaughtered innocent men,
exploding their bodies with grenades or gunning them down, then laying
into the dead flesh with knives.  They collected as keepsakes the
fingerbones, leg bones, teeth; one soldier carried off an Afghan skull as
thanks for the memories.

They are guilty only of bringing the policy to its logical conclusion.
The policy is lunatic. It has no purpose beyond its own justification,
which is that it must succeed because it is our policy.  It cannot succeed
because it entails the subjugation of a fractious tribal people who have
shown to history again and again that they will not be subjugated.   The
lunacy of the policy has its predictable effect on the troops who are
meant to enforce it.  Leaping on corpses to take scalps seems the natural
course, the meaningful act in a meaningless affair, the occupation of
Afghanistan finally making a twisted sense, freed of the hypocrisies of
the political class.   We are there with guns to kill other human beings,
the corpses as totems of victory - the people subjugated at last! - an
accomplishment where there is no victory to be had.

Godspeed, and more please.  Or so we are to interpret the message from
Congress, whose members, our very own representative kill team, year after
year vote the appropriations for the continuing of the lunacy.  The real
kill team, of course, is in the White House, under the leadership of a
Democratic president who, it's clear by now, is covertly serving out
George W. Bush's third term in office.  The kill team is an executive and
its minions asserting the right of assassination of any person deemed fit,
the Joint Chiefs of Staff drawing up "hit lists" that include American
citizens, the Obama Administration expressly authorizing the CIA to bring
down the death sentence on its select targets in the manner of a
thunderbolt from the skies - no arrest, no charges, no trial, no defense,
no prosecution, no process.

The same day the story of our centurions collecting fingerbones in
Afghanistan hit the pages of the press, we might have looked to find the
Ninth Circuit court, in its own way, educating the faithful soldiers in
what is right and what is wrong.  The circuit had ruled that the Obama
Administration shall be free to continue the torture of human beings under
cover of law.  The case, Binyam Mohamed vs. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc. - the
defendant, a subsidiary of Boeing, contracts to provide the critical
flight planning and logistical support for the CIA's "extraordinary
renditions" - was brought by the ACLU on behalf of five victims of
torture.  The victims, innocents all, attested that under the watch of the
CIA and their other "extraordinary" handlers, they were beaten, their
bones broken, their penises cut open, a "hot stinging liquid" poured into
the open wounds, bottles pushed into their anuses, their arms shackled as
they were hung from ceilings.   At least one of them was placed for a
month in a room with open sewage.

Barack Obama, following the lead of his predecessor, saw nothing wrong
here, no need for truth or reconciliation or, god forbid, an apology,
instead intervening in the case to prevent whatever "state secrets" the
full hearing of the matter might reveal.   And the Ninth Circuit dutifully
decided in favor of the secrets to be kept.  The court's work is also,
needless to say, part of the kill team.  "There are no good men left
here". [The scum rises to the top. -ed]

Christopher Ketcham, a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY, is writing a book
about secession movements. Contact him at cketcham99 [at]

--------19 of 20--------

Suffering the New Normal
The End of the American Century?
September 10 - 12, 2010

The American Century emerged out of the ashes of the Japanese bombing of
Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and reached its nadir in the wake of the
al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001. Looking back, the attacks of 9/11
seems to signal an end to a "century" of America's ever-increasing
domestic renewal and ever-expanding global hegemony. As we approach the
ninth anniversary of 9/11, the unasked question that haunts the national
political debate is whether the so-called "American Century" is over?

In a now famous editorial in "Life" magazine of February 17, 1941, Henry
Luce, founder of Time Inc., called upon America to abandon its deep-seated
fear of international entanglements and support Britain through lend-lease
during the early days of World War II. The son of Christian missionaries
spreading the gospel in China, Luce was infused by an abiding belief in
the "white man's burden". The American Century sought to fulfill this
promise internationally as well as domestically.

Luce saw the defeat of fascism as essential not only for the preservation
of American Christian democracy, but also for the future of Euro-American
notions of freedom. While not anticipating Pearl Harbor, Luce's vision of
a muscular America offered a worldview that sustained a long and bloody
world war and an even longer Cold War recovery that pitted Christian
capitalists against atheistic state-socialists.

Luce offered a grand concept of a new America:

. our vision of America as a world power includes a passionate devotion to
great American ideals . a love of freedom, a feeling for the equality of
opportunity, a tradition of self-reliance and independence and also of
cooperation . we are the inheritors of great traditions of Western
civilization . above all Justice, the love of Truth, the ideal of charity.
. It now becomes our time to be the powerhouse from which the ideals
spread throughout the world and do their mysterious work of lifting the
life of mankind from the level of the beasts to what the Psalmist call a
little lower than the angels. [American Century, pp. 38-39]

This vision links the rise of America's international hegemony to the
engine of domestic economic prosperity that would both fuel the nation's
global military reach and assure popular allegiance.

The current "great recession" is not the Great Depression, but may signal
a far deeper social crisis than occurred during the 1930s. The formation
of the American Century created the economic opportunity for the U.S. to
absorb more and more Americans into the "middle class," integrate the
labor movement (until it was systematically destroyed) and accommodate the
aspirations of racial minorities and women. The American Century made
America America.

The price required to sustain this expanded middle class was increased
corporate consolidation, a permanent military-industrial complex and
ever-greater wealth inequality. For most Americans, this was a price they
didn't know they were paying (deception is the corporate media's principal
function) and, if they did know, they felt it was a price worth paying.

Now, as we come to the ninth anniversary of 9/11, a growing unspoken
awareness is spreading throughout the country. It silently asked whether
the post-WWII "miracle" has sputtered out and, most disturbing, will
likely never recur again. The Tea Party phenomenon is a symptom of the
growing perception that the era of middle-class economic opportunity has
come to an end; it voices a desperate sense that the white-skin privilege
that helped sustain the middle-class for more than a half-century is no
longer a guarantor of opportunity.

As the popular sense of opportunity shrivels, a call for a "new normal"
has begun to spread through conservative talking-heads on Wall Street,
academia and the media. They are calling upon Americans to tighten their
belts: accept wage cuts, a declining standard of living and higher levels
of unemployment. Sadly, the Obama administration has offered only feeble
efforts to band-aid over the symptoms of crisis and has failed to address
the structural issues that bespeak the end of the American Century.

* * *

Luce's ideological concept of the American Century sustained the nation
for the last 70 years. The U.S. was stymied by the long drawn-out
Depression and only due to the enormous amount of public debt-financed
spending following the Pearl Harbor attack was the nation able to regain
its economic footing. This set the stage for the post-war consumer
revolution that became the American Century. As Paul Krugman recently
pointed out:

>From an economic point of view World War II was, above all, a burst of
deficit-financed government spending, on a scale that would never have
been approved otherwise. Over the course of the war the federal government
borrowed an amount equal to roughly twice the value of G.D.P. in 1940 -
the equivalent of roughly $30 trillion today. [NY Times, September 6,

For Krugman and other liberal economists, only a pump-priming effort
comparable to the federal financing of WWII will be sufficient to not
simply pull the U.S. out of its current recession but provide the impetus
needed to renew a 21st century middle-class revolution. As he and others
are well aware, such a federal stimulus program is unlikely.

Over the last seven decades, the American economy flourished, flattened
and now sputters. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Real
GDP (in 2005/$) has steadily increased since 1940 with only a few years of
stalled growth. Such periods occurred in 1950, 1958, 1982, 1991 and in
2008 (the last year covered) either as a part of or shortly following a

The Economic Policy Institute's recent report, "State of Working America,"
details America's post-war ephemeral growth. It soberly details how, in
the face of significant productivity gains, median household income
remained stagnant. Most disturbing, it shows that wealth has increasingly
gone to the top 5 percent (and especially the top 1%) of Americans; as of
2004, the top 20 percent controlled 85 percent of the nation.s wealth.

Ordinary Americans are suffering. EPI warns, "Today's economic crisis
finds America's working families in an ever harder place... [R]ecent
developments are compounding a broader economic failure that has been not
months or years, but decades in the making".

* * *

The most disturbing graph in the EPI report is one that shows that in
2006, the top 1 percent controlled 23 percent of all income. What makes
this so disturbing in that the super-rich have regained the position they
held just prior to the 1929 stock market crash when they controlled 24
percent of all income. In the light of the current great recession, one
can anticipate that the share controlled by the top 1 percent will have
only increased. America has come full circle to a point when the American
Century was not even a notion in Luce's dreams. Have the forces of
reaction set the stage for another Depression, a "new normal"?

For many, the great turning point in the erosion of the American Century
came with the Reagan revolution. In the wake of the 1982 recession, which
featured the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression, Reagan
championed a recovery characterized by de-industrialization, union busting
and trickle-down economics. While some 12 million new jobs were added
during Reagan.s presidency, the bulk of them were in the service sectors
of FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate), health care and retail as
well as the construction sectors. High-paying, unionized manufacturing
jobs were a thing of the past.

More telling, achieving the American Century was predicated on a
progressive or equitable income tax system. Between 1963 and 2003, the top
bracket saw their tax rate decline to 35 percent from 91 percent. Reagan
championed a further reduction in the income tax rate for the rich and
super-rich; in 1988 and 1989 the rate for the rich fell to 28 percent.

Today, the U.S. economy is in free fall. Republicans and conservatives are
calling upon Americans to tighten their belts and accept wage cuts, higher
levels of unemployment and a declining standard of living. They have
labeled this the "new normal". It is a "normal" we should resist.

Calls for such an insidious "new normal" come at a time when America's
rich and super-rich, like pigs at the trough, simply can't get enough. It
is a time when all Americans but the wealthy are worse off then a decade
ago. As all-too-many know all-too-well, the wages of 90 percent of
American families have been essentially flat since the 1970s.

Yet, as wages shrink, the military budget increase. The increase is a
testament to the power of lobbyist over public policy, a blindman's effort
to impose an incoherent foreign policy on the world. Its purpose is to
protect the extraction industries and facilitate fictitious
nation-building efforts. Nevertheless, de-industrialization and
out-sourcing continued without even a blush of shame on the part of
corporate opportunists.

Sadly, America is returning to the worst of Gilded Age obscenities.
Glamour and greed define not only the over-indulgences of the wealthy but
also the mass-market fictions hyped by the corporate media. Politics is a
pay-to-play sport in which all involved are happily on the take; deals are
cut to benefit those with the most at the expense of those with the least.
Sign on or lose the next gladiator's tournament.

America is stumbling to a day of reckoning when the vengeance of the
masses of poor, working class and middle class people, who have been
royally screwed, will wreck havoc on the rich and their political and
media stooges. In the mean time, we are left to suffer with a smile to the
mantra of Obama and Democratic apologists.

[Worse yet, how many readers who agree with everything said above, will
wind up voting for Obama and the Dems in 2012? And screaming at those who
don't? Lily-livered collaboration. When, if ever, will guilt for this evil
act strike?  Perhaps, with enough booze and BS and induced stupidity,
never... -ed]

David Rosen is the author of "Sex Scandals America: Politics & the Ritual
of Public Shaming" (Key, 2009); he can be reached at drosen [at]

---------20 of 20---------

 The duck said to the turkey, "It's about time we ended this experiment in
 futility called capitalism."

 The turkey said to the duck, "Damn right."

 And that, was that.


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