Progressive Calendar 10.06.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 11:18:10 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   10.06.10

1. Schor/plenitude   10.06 4pm

2. BP oil/LA coast   10.07 11:30am
3. Anti torture      10.07 11:30am/4pm
4. Defend public ed  10.07 12noon/2pm
5. Eagan peace vigil 10.07 4:30pm
6. Northtown vigil   10.07 5pm
7. Defend public ed  10.07 5pm/6pm
8. Solidarity v FBI  10.07 7pm

9. Palestine vigil   10.08 4:15pm
10. Climate justice  10.08 5pm
11. FNVW/peace       10.08 5:30pm
12. Pentel/Almanac   10.08 7:30pm

13. Michael Tarm  - Raided MN anti-war activists to refuse to testify
14. Lydia Howell  - Is progressive dissent public enemy #1?
15. Cindy Sheehan - Dissent in the age of Obama
16. John Halle    - Rahm runs in Chicago/ Heads up for the Greens
17. Chris Hedges  - March to Nowhere: the October 2 protest
18. Jack A Smith  - What classless society?
19. ed            - Bumpersticker

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Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 12:40:10 +0000 (UTC)
From: lydiahowell [at]
Subject: Schor/plenitude 10.06 4pm

Oct.6th: Free talk by "public sociologist" on Peoples' Economy POST!
Practicing Plenitude: Finding wealth in an era of scarcity - Juliet Schor
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
100 Rapson Hall - (the architecture building, 89 Church Street SE, at
Pillsbury Drive.)
Cost: Free and open to the public

The twin crises of economy and ecology demand a transformative set of
solutions. In this lecture, Schor will lay out her vision for an
ecologically-light economy based on small-scale production, re-skilling,
new patterns of time use, local economic interdependence and an extension
of the open-source model beyond software into hardware.

Juliet Schor is a professor of Sociology at Boston College.†Her research
over the last ten years has focussed on issues pertaining to trends in
work and leisure, consumerism, the relationship between work and family,
women's issues and economic justice. Schor's latest book is Plenitude: The
New Economics of True Wealth (2010). She is also author of Born to Buy:
The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture, The Overworked
American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure and The Overspent American:
Upscaling, Downshifting and the New Consumer. She has co-edited The Golden
Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience, The Consumer
Society Reader, and Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the 21st Century .

In Plenitude, Schor discusses the economic and sociological factors behind
ecological decline and how by developing new sources of wealth, green
technologies, and different lifestyles, individuals and the country as a
whole can be better off and more economically secure for years to come.

Schor is a board member and co-founder of the Center for a New American
Dream, an organization devoted to transforming North American lifestyles
to make them more ecologically and socially sustainable. She also teaches
periodically at Schumacher College, an International Center for Ecological
Studies based in south-west England.

Pam Hill Kroyer Membership & Volunteer Director KFAI Fresh Air Inc. 90.3
FM/106.7 FM Streaming, Podcasting, iPhone app-ing. Radio
Without Boundaries 612.341.3144 x 22

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From: Consortium on Law & Values and JDP Program <jointdgr [at]>
Subject: BP oil/LA coast 10.07 11:30am

2010-11 Lecture Series on Law, Health & the Life Sciences
"From Climate Change to the Gulf Oil Spill:
Law and Science in Times of Crisis"

"Blue Bayou: The BP Deepwater Horizon Blowout and the Social and
Environmental Erosion of the Louisiana Coast"
by Daniel Farber, JD
(University of California, Berkeley School of Law)

Thursday, October 7, 2010
11:30am - 1:00pm
Cowles Auditorium
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

In his lecture Prof. Farber will discuss how the Louisiana Coast was under
grave threat from erosion, rising seas, and pollution even before the
explosion on the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon platform. Whole
communities have vanished under the rising water, and the livelihoods and
communities of people who depend on fishing for income has been
threatened. The oil spill is a critical blow to these struggling
communities and to threatened coastal ecosystems. This lecture will argue
that environmental law needs to take a more holistic view, integrating
consideration of multiple environmental threats and linking communities
with ecosystems.

Prof. Daniel Farber, JD, is the Sho Sato Professor of Law and Chair of the
Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. He
is also the Faculty Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the
Environment. Professor Farber serves on the editorial board of Foundation
Press, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of
the American Law Institute. He is the editor of Issues in Legal
Scholarship. Professor Farber is a graduate of the University of Illinois,
where he earned his BA, MA, and JD degrees. He graduated, summa cum laude,
from the College of Law and was the class valedictorian. He also served as
Editor-in-Chief of the University of Illinois Law Review.

Prof. Eric Sheppard, PhD, MA, Regents Professor, Department of Geography,
University of Minnesota; and
Prof. Alexandra B. Klass, JD, Law School, University of Minnesota.

Intended Audience: students, faculty, attorneys, researchers,
policymakers, and community members.

This event is free and open to the public.
This lecture is intended for students, faculty, attorneys, researchers,
scientists, policymakers, and community members.

Continuing Education--CLE
Application for 1.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for
attorneys has been submitted.

Registration is required for those requesting continuing education credit.
Registration is available online at, by
phone at 612-625-0055, or by email at jointdgr [at] Please provide
your name, email address and indicate if continuing education credits are

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Anti torture 10.07 11:30am/4pm

Anti-Torture Protest
Thursday, October 7, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. University of St. Thomas
School of Law,11th Street and LaSalle, Minneapolis. [Note MPLS campus]

Join others to protest the appearance of law professors John Yoo and
Robert Delahunty at a University of St. Thomas Law School symposium. Boalt
Law School's Yoo and St. Thomas Law School's Delahunty co-wrote several
legal memos during the Bush administration. Chief among them was one that
said the Geneva Conventions did not apply to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
"This memo opened the door to the illegal and immoral torture that was to
follow," said T3 spokesperson Sonja Johnson. "More than 100 deaths
resulted," said Johnson. "Yoo and Delahunty may well be guilty of war
crimes in that the so-called 'legal memos' were really attempts to
rationalize an already agreed upon Bush administration policy to torture
detainees." Sponsored by: the WAMM T3 Committee. FFI: Call 612-827-5364.

Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 06:35:13 -0500
From: Roger Cuthbertson <rojo [at]>

Halloween is coming early to Mpls/St Paul with the public appearance of
scary torture alchemists, John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, at St. Thomas
University School of Law (or is it School of Torture?) this coming
Thursday, Oct 7.

Delahunty and Yoo, while working in the Office of Special Counsel for the
Justice Department in the Bush administration, wrote key documents that
paved the way for the routine torture of prisoners which has alarmed and
shamed many of us. One of the key documents was the infamous memo, written
by Delahunty and Yoo that claimed that the Geneva Conventions did not
apply to the new kind of war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Thursday's symposium, on the subject of Presidential Power, runs from 10
AM to 5 PM. It is free and open to the public.

There will be two Halloween torture protest parties outside St. Thomas Law
School, one at 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM and another at 4:00 PM.

We hope that many grotesque torture victims, ghosts of people who have
been tortured to death, and even some torture monsters will show up, along
with ordinary people who want to say no to the people and to the
institutions which have tried to legitimize torture.

 -Roger Cuthbertson 952-474-2476

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From: EXCO <excotc [at]>
Subject: Defend public ed 10.07 12noon/2pm

October 7th - EXCO's Disorientation Guide to the U of M's History

This event will take place October 7th, Coffman Memorial Union Room 324,+mpls&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl#
on the U of M's East Bank campus, 2 to 4pm

Speakers will discuss the following:

 * 1969 occupation of Morrill Hall that lead to the creation of Black Studies
 * 2005 sit-in at Morrill Hall to protest the closing of the General College
 * The 2007 AFSCME university clerical workers strike
 * Jimmy Johns Union and being a working student

Other highlights include free food, discussion of potential activism at the
U, and much more!

III. October 7th - National Day of Actions in Defense of Public Education!

Read the following Indymedia article below to find out about all the cool
events going on in the Twin Cities for the Oct. 7 National Day of Actions

Here is a link to the article -

This Thursday, advocates of public education in Minnesota are putting on
events including a free concert in Loring Park, rallies, marches,
teach-ins at the U of M and MCTC, and a student strike and dance party at
MSU Mankato.†These are part of the October 7th National Day of Actions in
Defense of Public Education This day was
called as a continuation of the struggles in California -- including
rallies, strikes, and occupations on campuses -- that spread nationwide on
March 4th of this year.

A group coordinating the October 7th activities in Minnesota, Education
Action Coalition MN, gives some explanation for their
motivations on their website: "public education is facing a dire
crisis. Budget cuts and privatization schemes together represent an
unprecedented assault on public education. Here in Minnesota, the
achievement gap between white K-12 students and minority students is among
the worst in the nation. At the University of Minnesota, over-paid
administrators are forcing the burden of budget cuts -- $47 million proposed
by Governor Pawlenty this year -- onto the backs of students and workers.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system leadership received
bonuses when they laid off faculty and increased class sizes."


Actions on October 7th in or near the Twin Cities include:

- noon to 1:30pm†- Rally and March at the University of Minnesota, (East
Bank campus, at the Northrop Plaza) - speakers on many issues facing U of
M students, workers, and faculty, with the demands: "no tuition and fee
hikes, no layoffs to instructional and support staff, shared power in
governance."†Organized by the Chop from the Top Coalition.

- 2:00-4:00pm - a Disorientation Guide to the U of M's History, (in Coffman Union,
room 324) - speakers on the 1969 occupation of Morrill Hall that led to
the creation of the Black Studies department, struggles for equal access
including the fight to save General College, the AFSCME union's struggles
for a more democratic and equitable U, and more - with free food, followed
by discussion about how to create a better U of M.

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From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 10.07 4:30pm

PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of
Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and
candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south
of the river speaking out against war.

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From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.07 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Defend public ed 10.07 5pm/6pm

National Day of Action: "Defend Public Education"

Thursday, October 7, 5:00 p.m. (Rally and March) Minneapolis Community and
Technical College (MCTC) Plaza, 1501 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis.

6:00 10 9:00 p.m. (Concert) Loring Park, Lyndale and Hennepin Avenues,

No budget cuts! Decrease tuition! Cancel student debt! Stop layoffs and
program cuts! Democratize MCTC: elected representatives of students,
faculty, campus workers, and the wider community should comprise all
decision making bodies! Confront institutional racism and defend
affirmative action and ethnic studies! Sponsored by: MCTC Education Action
Coalition. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Visit

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From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: Solidarity v FBI 10.07 7pm

Everyone one who has been outraged by the FBI raids and actions in our city
and around the country should attend the community meeting set for
this Thursday,
October 7th @ 7 PM @ WALKER CHURCH (3104 16th Ave S) .

This meeting is called for people wanting to help and support not only the
people who were raided but to also plan and help with upcoming actions and
events.  Send a strong message that these acts of harassment and
repression by the FBI will not be tolerated and will be resisted!  Any
questions please call 612-822-8020.

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 10.08 4:15pm

The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the
intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo
starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs

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From: Eleonore Wesserle <ewesserle [at]>
Subject: Climate justice 10.08 5pm

Climate justice:
What it means for our future response to climate change
Friday, October 8
5:00-6:30 p.m.
2104 Stevens Avenue South, Minneapolis

RSVP online<>

As national and international policy debates on climate change flounder,
how can a new wave of proposals integrate a climate justice frame? Join a
cross section of academics, policy experts and grassroots activists-each a
member of the National Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate
Change-to discuss what policies and practices are being promoted. Domestic
communities of color, who have been battling the fossil fuel industry for
generations, are responding to and challenging established carbon trading
programs, the siting of conventional and new "clean" coal plants in their
communities, and the resurgence of nuclear energy as a response to climate
change. Join us for an engaging discussion on how you can be part of the
effort to create a sustainable and just future for all communities.

Please RSVP
or call Erin Mckee Van Slooten at (612)870-3402.

 * Shalini Gupta IATP's Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED),
 * Bill Gallegos Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), California
 * Dr. Nicky Sheats Center for Urban Environment (CUE), Thomas Edison
State College, New Jersey
 * Kimberly Wasserman Nieto Little Village Environmental Justice
Organization (LVEJO), Illinois
 * Dr. Cecilia Martinez IATP's CEED and the University of Delaware, Center
for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP), Delaware

If you're interested in coming to this event via bus or bike, please know
that we are conveniently located within a few blocks of several Metro
buses (Routes 2, 11, 17 and 18) and less than a mile from the Midtown
Greenway bike trail (exit at Nicollet Avenue). A bike rack is available on
the south side of the building.

IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice
to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. IATP has
offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., and Geneva,

Support IATP with a

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From: Friends for a Non-Violent World <info [at]>
Subject: FNVW/peace 10.08 5:30pm

Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, from 5:30pm - 8:30pm
1791 Dayton Ave, St Paul,MN (home of Gail Daneker and Ian Keith)
This year's event is devoted to our second Ways of Peace Conference, Ways
of Peace II: Non-Violence in the Islamic Traditions and our peace
education and advocacy work.

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From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Pentel/Almanac 10.08 7:30pm

Ken Pentel for Governor

Friday, October 8th
Ken Pentel on TPT Almanac, Channel 2
Debate of Minor Party Candidates

Saturday, October 9th
KP4G Fundraiser
MayDay Bookstore
301 Cedar Ave. Mpls 55454
6:30p - 9p

The Ken Pentel for Governor campaign strongly opposes the tactics used by
the Democratic Party controlled FBI system who raided the homes of those
speaking out against the war and other atrocities that the US Government
has perpetuated. We are appalled that we live in a society where citizens
who are practicing their First Amendment rights have been harassed and
intimidated and that the current administration feels justified in
targeting peace activists to suppress dissent and diplomacy.

As mandated in the Ken Pentel for Governor campaign, we feel the political
system is corrupt and broken, as their blatant actions have continually
revealed. Until we open up the political system to a multi-party one,
suppress the corporate money and influence in our government and provide a
paradigm shift in the way we look at our economy, we can expect these
unconscionable tactics to continue. We stand in support for the
individuals and families that were unfairly targeted and for the pain and
suffering they will encounter as they fight for justice.

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Anti-War Activists Whose Homes Were Raided To Refuse Orders To Testify
By Michael Tarm
Associated Press via common dreams
October 5, 2010

CHICAGO - Anti-war activists whose homes or offices were raided as part of
an FBI terrorism funding investigation will refuse to testify before a
grand jury as ordered, in a show of defiance that could land them in jail.

Attorneys for the 14 activists called to testify have coordinated their
responses since the Sept. 24 raids and have agreed their clients won't
testify, Melinda Power, an attorney for a Chicago couple whose home was
searched, said Tuesday. Agents searched seven homes and one office in
Minneapolis and Chicago.

"They feel grand juries are now, and have historically been, a tool of
harassment against activists", Power said.

Some of the anti-war activists won't testify because they don't want to be
complicit in what they see as an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and
assembly, said Jess Sundin, whose Minnesota home was raided.

"We feel like the reason we're being called and we're being looked into is
because of our very legitimate and constitutionally protected work in the
anti-war movement," she said.

About 50 peace activists protested Tuesday outside of the Dirksen Federal
Building in Chicago, where the grand jury was to convene.

"We will not be silent," Stephanie Weiner told protesters. She and her
husband, Joe Iosbaker, were the two activists whose home was raided in

Some subpoenas ordered activists to appear before Oct. 5. Sundin, who was
subpoenaed to appear on Oct. 12, said activists sent separate letters to
prosecutors indicating they do not intend to testify.

Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago,
declined to comment about the case.

Some legal observers say the activists could go to jail.

"There's no chance prosecutors will just let it slide if they keep
refusing," said Gal Pissetzky, a Chicago attorney with no link to the

As a next step, the government could reissue subpoenas - possibly this
time with an offer of immunity. If the activists decline to appear then, a
judge could hold them in contempt.

A key issue is whether any of the activists are targets of prosecutors or
whether prosecutors merely consider them witnesses against another primary

Just after the raids, FBI spokesman Steve Warfield said the bureau was
seeking evidence related to "activities concerning the material support of

But Sundin said no one has told activists who is or isn't the focus of the
investigation. She said that puts them all in jeopardy of
self-incrimination, she said.

"It's just you, and the prosecutor and the jury (at the grand jury
proceedings)," Sundin said. "So it is a very precarious situation for
anyone to put themselves in."

Meredith Aby, a Minnesotan who was subpoenaed to testify Tuesday but did
not make the trip to Chicago, also said the grand-jury process was unfair.

"I think they are an incredibly repressive and undemocratic tactic," she

Someone who is a target can refuse to testify under their Fifth Amendment
right against self-incrimination without risking a contempt charge,
Pissetzky said. If they are granted immunity, however, a grand jury
witness is required to answer questions, he said.

Activists who have spoken with reporters have denied giving money to
terrorist groups.

The homes of two other longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists, Mick Kelly
and Meredith Aby, were also among those searched last month.

The warrant for Kelly's home sought evidence on travel he did as part of
his work for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and information on
any travel to Colombia, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria or

Two groups use the name Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one based in
Chicago and one in New York. They split several years ago, and the New
York group said it was not targeted.

Kelly's subpoena also commanded him to bring records he might have
relating to the Middle East and Colombia, along with records of any
payment provided to Hatem Abudayyeh.

The subpoena did not further identify Abudayyeh, but FightBack! has
interviewed and carried articles by a Hatem Abudayyeh who's the executive
director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network.

Abudayyeh did not answer his office phone Tuesday and a recorded message
said the voicemail was full. A message left on his cell voicemail was not
returned. Several activists said their cell phones had been confiscated by
the FBI.

Associated Press Writer Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this

© 2010 Associated Press

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Is Progressive Dissent Public Enemy #1?
By Lydia Howell
Free Speech Zone TC DAILY PLANET
October 05, 2010

Is free speech worth the constitutional paper it's written on?

After the September 26 FBI raids on peace activists' homes in Minneapolis,
Chicago and North Carolina, it appears to depend on who's speaking and
what they're saying.

The pretext for the raids was investigating "material aide to terrorists",
resulting in grand jury subpoenas and confiscation of computers, books,
music CD's and from one home, a Martin Luther King poster. The targeted
Minneapolis activists have openly protested US military policy since the
1980s. The FBI certainly knows they have nothing to do with terrorism.
These activists simply have the audacity to challenge bi-partisan US
invasions, occupations and support for dictatorships and human rights
abusers. Dissent on the left has long been seen as 'criminal behavior'.
Where once "the communist threat' was the argument for such repression,
now, "terrorism" is.

When it comes to war, US government sees three roles for the American
people: 1. Pay hundreds of billions for the largest military on Earth 2.
Kill and possibly die or be maimed for US military and corporate dominance
of other countries 3. Cheerlead war. The US government - bought and paid
for by weapons-makers and mercenaries ('contractors') - does not think
that We The People have the right to even question, much less challenge
and resist permanent war, where is bankrupting our country and civilian
deaths ignites violent reaction.

Just days before the raids, the Department of Justice Inspector General
released a report about FBI abuses of peace groups under the Bush
Administration - abuses that President Obama continues. Republicans and
Democrats rubberstamp domestic spying on peace organizations, Quakers,
solidarity groups visiting countries that the US bombs or subsidizes death
squads in.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-to-4 in Holder v. Humanitarian Law
Center that peace groups who talked about non-violent, democratic
practices and international human rights law - that is, alternatives to
terrorism - with organizations on the State Department's "Terrorist Watch
List" may be charged with 'material aid to terrorists'. If ending
terrorism is actually the goal, then, why make working to end violence a
crime? In his dissent, SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer warned that political
speech - the most protected speech under the First Amendment - was being

President Bill Clinton's 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty
Act made "material aid" a crime, expanded under George W. Bush's PATRIOT
Act and broadening to Orwellian vagueness under the President Obama.
Campaign promises to close Guantanamo, yet the Obama Administration is
defending Bush-era torture and imprisonment without charges, trial or
conviction in court. Obama claims further powers: to assassinate anyone
labeled a "terrorist' overseas - including American citizens.

Billions of dollars have simply disappeared in Iraq and Afghanistan .
Contractors like KBR/Halliburton reap billions for work not done and
services not provided. The US government bribes Taliban, warlords and
"insurgents" with over $2B.

Dissidents educate the American public about these policies as much as
they protest them.

As the FBI raided American dissidents' homes, Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton announced economic sanctions against Iran for human rights abuses,
including "suppression of dissent". What hypocrisy!

Since WWI, the FBI has targeted peace activists, most infamously labor
leader Eugene Debs was sentenced to ten years in prison for an anti-war
speech. The FBI's COINTEL program subjected the civil rights movement to
domestic spying while the Klux Klux Klan burned churches and homes, beat
and murdered with near-total impunity. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X
and other leaders of color had thick FBI files. The Black Panther Party,
American Indian Movement and Puerto Rican Independence movement were
subjected to FBI assaults, murders and frame-ups. Congress' 1978 Church
Committee investigated these abuses and ended them until 9/11 loosened all

Almost always it is progressive/Leftist non-violent groups and activists
that the FBI spies on, harasses and tries to jail.

Anti-choice groups post hit lists of doctors with their addresses, commit
arson on and mail anthrax-like powder to clinics - without being
investigated. White supremacists and militias threaten and commit violence
against people of color, Muslims and progressives. Violent rhetoric
infuses many right-wing groups - with no grand jury subpoenas. Support
racism, corporate rule and war - that is, rightwing ideology - even with a
call for violence, is protected speech.

The Supreme Court will hear the case of homophobic preacher, Fred Phelps,
who protests military funerals. Likely Phelps will win, as "unpopular
speech" - especially if it's bigotry - gets protection. This is the same
court that made talking about international human rights law a crime.

Bigots are held up as 'victims' who's First Amendment rights are
threatened, yet, hatred has no problem being heard. No one is harassed for
suggesting that the US nuke other countries who have not attacked us.
Instead, the government targets those who uphold values of equal justice
under the law, human rights, democracy and peace.

Nine years after the September 11 attacks, the US government has done more
damage to fundamental American freedoms than Al-Qaeda ever did. With
progressive dissent, censored from corporate media, increasingly treated
like a crime, it's time to ask: what is being protected?

Lydia Howell is a Minneapolis activist, journalist and producer-host of
CATALYST: politics 7 culture on KFAI Radio. Lydia Howell (email
lydia [at], a winner of the 2007 Premack Award for Public
Interest Journalism, is a Minneapolis independent journalist writing for
various newspapers.

[The FBI works for the ruling class. You can tell a lot about who the
ruling class love and hate by what the FBI does. The full power of
government is enlisted to make the rich richer, and silence pesky
opposition. This is not a democracy - it is a plutocracy with a mask, a
plutocracy which has not yet become a full-blown fascist police state,
because there are still large enough pockets of resistence. These they are
trying to eliminate so they can achieve THEIR American Dream (everything
for them, nothing for anyone else). -ed]

--------15 of 19--------

Dissent in the Age of Obama
by Cindy Sheehan
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Common Dreams

"The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of
tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of
tyranny a good conscience". - Albert Camus

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) raided the homes of
at least eight anti-war/social justice activists here in the US.

I happen to be a prominent anti-war activist myself, and have joked that I
am a "little hurt" that I was not raided and perhaps I should try harder.
Even though, we have the urge to try and be light-hearted in this time of
an increasing police state, with civil liberties on the retreat, it really
isn't funny considering that the activists could face some serious charges
stemming from these raids.

I have felt this harassment on a smaller scale myself and I know that
defending oneself against a police state that has unlimited resources,
time and cruelty, can be quite expensive, time consuming and annoying.

There is nothing noble about an agency that has reduced itself to being
jackbooted enforcers of a neo-fascist police state, no matter how much the
FBI has been romanticised in movies, television and books.

For example, in one instance, early in the morning of September 24, at the
home of Mick Kelly of Minneapolis, the door was battered in and flung
across the room when his partner audaciously asked to see the FBI's
warrant through the door's peephole. At Jessica Sundin's home, she walked
downstairs to find seven agents ransacking her home while her partner and
child looked on in shock.

These raids have terrifying implications for dissent here in the US.

First of all, these US citizens have been long-time and devoted anti-war
activists who organised an anti-war rally that was violently suppressed by
the US police state in Minneapolis-St. Paul, during the 2008 Republican
National Convention. Because the Minneapolis activists have integrity,
they had already announced that they would do the same if the Democrats
hold their convention there in 2012.

I have observed that it was one thing to be anti-Bush, but to be anti-war
in the age of Obama is not to be tolerated by many people. If you will
also notice, the only people who seem to know about the raids are those of
us already in the movement. There has been no huge outcry over this fresh
outrage, either by the so-called movement or the corporate media.

I submit that if George Bush were still president, or if this happened
under a McCain/Palin regime, there would be tens of thousands of people in
the streets to protest. This is one of the reasons an escalation in police
state oppression is so much more dangerous under Obama - even now, he gets
a free pass from the very same people who should be adamantly opposed to
such policies.

Secondly, I believe because the raids happened to basically "unsung" and
unknown, but very active workers in the movement, that the coordinated,
early morning home invasions were designed to intimidate and frighten
those of us who are still doing the work. The Obama regime would like
nothing better than for us to shut up or go underground and to quit
embarrassing it by pointing out its abject failures and highlighting its
obvious crimes.

Just look at how the Democrats are demonising activists who are trying to
point out the inconvenient truth that the country (under a near Democratic
tyranny) is sliding further into economic collapse, environmental decay
and perpetual war for enormous profit.

Barack and Joe, the commandantes of this police state, say that those who
have the temerity to be critical are "asleep" and just need to "buck up".
White House spokesperson, Robert Gibbs, recently stated that we on the
"professional left" need to be "drug tested" if we are not addicted to the
regimes' own drug: the Hopium of the Obama propaganda response team.

It seems like, even though some of those that have been nailed to the
cross of national security do activism around South America, most of the
activism is anti-war and pro-Palestinian rights. Being supportive of any
Arab or Muslim, no matter how benign or courageous is a very dangerous
activity here in post-9/11 America.

The Supreme Court just decided (Wilner v. National Security Agency) that
the National Security Agency (NSA) did not have to disclose if it was
using warrantless wiretapping to spy on attorneys representing the
extra-legal detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obtaining
warrants, with cause, and attorney-client privilege were important
principles of the US justice system, but even the neo-fascist Supreme
Court is undermining the law - talk about "activist" judges!

Not only have activists been targeted here in the States, but Obama has
ominously declared himself judge, jury and executioner of anyone that he
deems a national security "threat". These are the actions of a tyrant and
another assault against our rights and against the rule of law from a
person who promised "complete transparency" from his administration.

We have learned that Obama's first victim under his presidential execution
programme is Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim who is now in Yemen.
Without showing proof of al-Awlaki's so-called executionable offenses and
without a trial in a court of law, Obama has unloosed his hit squads on
Awlaki. Is there anyone out there reading this who does not believe, or
fear, that this programme could quickly descend into summary executions
within the borders of the US?

Al-Awlaki's father has filed a motion in federal court to stay the
execution of his son until he gets his constitutionally guaranteed rights
to due process, but Obama's justice department has refused to cooperate
stating that to do so would "undermine" that fabled, exploited and
ephemeral "national security".

When Obama behaves like Bush, only on steroids, he amply demonstrates why
other people hate our country so much. Persons in other countries are not
nearly as blind as Americans. They know that even though Obama went to
Cairo to blather about building understanding between the US and the
Muslim world, actions speak louder than words and Obama's actions drip
with carnage and pain.

Obviously, the suppression of dissent here in the US, while outrageous and
inexcusable, has not reached the level of the McCarthy witch hunts of the
1950's - yet.

The longer we Americans remain silent in the face of these injustices, the
more they will continue to occur and escalate.

Make your voice heard!

 2010 Al-Jazeera-English
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Specialist Casey A. Sheehan who was killed
in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Since then, she has been a tireless activist for
peace and human rights; has published five books, has her own Internet
radio show: Cindy Sheehan.s Soapbox, and has been nominated in the past
for the Noble Peace Prize. Cindy lives in Oakland, Ca and loves to spend
time with her three grandbabies in her spare time. You can learn more
about Cindy's activism and events at Peace of the Action.

--------16 of 19--------

Rahm Goes for the Gold in Chicago
Heads Up for the Greens
October 5, 2010

In a scene reminiscent of his days as a ballet major at Sarah Lawrence
College, last week found White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel
executing a classic grand jt, shifting the focus of his energies from
Washington to his home town of Chicago where he hopes to enter the Mayor's

Emanuel's access to the highest echelons of the Democratic Party corporate
establishment and to attendant hordes of cold cash for the asking makes it
a good bet that he will waltz through the Democratic Party primary
campaign one which will amount to a coronation ceremony rather than a

While this prospect might be alarming to some liberals, it shouldn't be.
For nothing would be more appropriate than for the foul-mouthed cynic
Emanuel to receive the nomination of the Party of Blogojevich, not to
mention numerous felons large and small who have for generations made the
Chicago Democratic Machine a virtual synonym for sleaze, corruption and

While in no way rejecting their core values, recent Chicago pols, most
notably those in the Obama circle, would appear to differ from their
troglodyte forbears: the tasteful cut of their suits, their Ivy League
discourse, their apparent command and adherence to bureaucratic and
procedural detail would seem to mark them as a distinct species.

But while Emanuel shares some of their superficially electable qualities,
he differs in an important respect: The necessarily backstage, covert
activities of bland technocrats allows them to function as blank slates
onto which gullible liberals and information starved low income
constituencies could project a hopeful facade. In contrast, many of these
groups now know exactly what Emanuel stands for and they don't like it, or
him, a bit.

These include environmentalists well aware of his role in pushing through
the "pragmatic" appointment of energy industry shill Ken Salazar and
Obama's catastrophic jettisoning of his campaign pledge to continue the
ban on off-shore drilling. Others will point to the role of the former
investment banker in Wall Street friendly policies and at the expense of
an economic stimulus package having the potential to reduce hemorrhaging
unemployment. Health care reform advocates whom Emanuel referred to as
"fucking retards" might have been wiling to forgive had he not made them
look like fools for signing onto an absurd "public option" which had, as
it turned out, already been removed from the table in a pre-compromise
engineered by Emanuel with his friend chief PHARMA lobbyist Billy Tauzin.

Arab Americans have not forgotten the vile racist slurs which emanated
from Emanuel's father on the first days of Emanuel's tenure in the White
House, nor have African Americans forgotten that Emanuel did nothing to
halt, indeed may have actively encouraged, the witch hunting of activist
organizations ACORN and Green Energy Czar Van Jones.

More than a few of these members of the Democratic base are looking for
payback. And the good news for them is that they have a way to obtain it.
For Illinois is home to one of the most thriving state Green Parties, one
which is currently fielding a substantial slate of candidates some of whom
are running fully credible and in some cases potentially winning

Among these is Rich Whitney, who in his previous race for Governor
achieved a double digit showing. Another LeAlan Jones, a Polk Award
winnning journalist from Chicago's South Side is expected to acquire
similar if not greater numbers of votes in his run for Senate. A third,
Jeremy Karpen, recently received the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune in
his race for State Legislature in a Chicago district.

The Greens should be fixing their eye on this race as their first big city
mayoralty following the heartbreaking near victory of Matt Gonzalez in San
Francisco a few years back.

And we should be helping them with the funds and on the ground resources
necessary to pull it off.

Emanuel's candidacy, and his eventual drubbing in the general election,
should be the Greens' - and all of our - win.

John Halle is Director of Studies in Music Theory and Practice at Bard
College. He can be reached at: halle [at]

--------17 of 19--------

March to Nowhere: the October 2 protest
By Chris Hedges
Oct 5, 2010

We can hold One Nation marches every week. It will not make any difference
until we revolt against the formal structures of power.

The liberal preoccupation with positive forms of propaganda ignores the
root of our problem. The tea party and hate mongers on Fox such as Glenn
Beck, however repugnant, are the manifestation of the crisis, not its
cause. The forces assaulting the remnants of American democracy will not
be cowed or discredited with rallies, such as the one in Washington on
Saturday. We will blunt these rising anti-democratic forces only when we
organize outside conventional systems of power. It means dismantling the
permanent war economy and the corporate state. It means an end to
foreclosures and bank repossessions. It means a functional health care
system for all Americans. It means taking care of our poor and unemployed.
And it means a system of government that is freed from corporate

Mass support for anti-democratic movements and public acceptance of open
violations of human rights are not caused, in the end, by the skillful
dissemination of misinformation or brainwashing. They are caused by the
breakdown of a society and the death of a liberal class that once made
reform and representative government possible. The timidity of our liberal
class was on public display during the march in Washington.  Speakers may
have called for jobs, but none would call on citizens to abandon the
rotting hull of the Democratic Party and our moribund political system or
put Wall Street speculators in prison. The speakers at the rally proposed
working within the current electoral system, although most Americans are
aware that it has been gamed by corporate interests. This is hardly a
call, especially given the failures of the Obama administration, that will
fire up the unemployed and underemployed.

"We need jobs," the Rev. Al Sharpton said at the march.  "We've bailed out
the banks. We bailed out the insurance companies. Now it's time to bail
out the American people."

But Sharpton and the other speakers, too close to the power elite in the
Democratic Party, did not call for rebellion. There was no war cry
against Wall Street and the purveyors of death in the defense and health
industry. There was no acknowledgement that unfettered capitalism and
globalization are killing our ecosystem and creating a worldwide system
of neo-feudalism. There was no acceptance that the corporate state must
be dismantled if we are to save ourselves. Any effective resistance must
begin with a condemnation of our political elite and liberal
institutions, including the press, the universities, labor, the arts,
religious institutions and the Democratic Party, for selling us out. But
the speakers on the mall in Washington would not go there. And I
suspect, for this reason, the Americans who are hurting most found
nothing they said of interest.

All totalitarian movements, even those that are openly criminal, succeed
because they have widespread mass support. They are the expression of a
yearning that sweeps through a nation that has been convulsed by
economic dislocation, a loss of hope and flagrant political corruption.
And in these times of lament and deprivation the absurdities, crimes and
excesses of reactionary forces do not matter. It wasn't hard to find out
what Slobodan Milosevic was doing in Bosnia. It wasn't hard in Nazi
Germany to hear about the widespread massacres of Jews in Poland. It is
not a secret to most Americans that Muslim detainees, held for years
without charges, are tortured in black sites around the world. The
murder of tens of thousands of civilians by our forces in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Pakistan is tacitly acknowledged by the public as the
price of war. The massive human suffering in the open-air prison that is
Gaza is not a mystery. We know what happens to the millions of
undocumented workers who live as stateless citizens among us and have
become a kind of modern day slave labor force.

The rising proto-fascist movement in America is caused by a hatred and
alienation so profound that the crimes of the state, along with the
buffoonish antics of those who defend and champion these crimes, do not
matter. We will not discredit the right-wing with facts, a demand for a
respect of law or rational discussion. Propaganda or counter messages of
tolerance are not the issue. The issue is societal collapse. This issue is
a corporate state that has carried out a coup d'etat. The issue is the
rupture of all mechanisms within the political process to protect citizens
from accelerating impoverishment, internal control and corporate abuse.
Those who refuse to acknowledge this bleak reality cannot offer solutions.

The right-wing propagandists have not created the problem. They have
tapped into the moral void that has left tens of millions of Americans
yearning for a profound and radical change. And if torture, war, racist
attacks on immigrants, gays and Muslims, along with increased repression
against internal dissidents, is the price for moral and economic renewal
many Americans are ready to sign on. If those who lead this rising
proto-fascist movement insist on a Christian nation, teach creationism
and believe in the physical existence of Satan, many Americans will sign
on for this too. Hatred, when mobilized, is a very effective political
force. And hatred, including the hatred for a liberal class that
abandoned the working class, is what we face.

The decimation of our working class through outsourcing and globalization
dynamited two of the most important props of the democratic system - class
consciousness and class conflict. This has left traditional political
parties, which once represented differing class interests, with nothing to
offer the public beyond fringe issues such as abortion or gay marriage.
Those in the liberal class who cling to the corpse of the Democratic Party
do so not because they believe in the policies of the party - it does not
differ in any significant way from the Republican Party - but because they
hope against hope that the party will somehow restore itself to its former
position as a defender of liberal values and the working class interests.
It is the politics of nostalgia.

Our political theater has orphaned citizens who once looked to political
parties to express and defend their interests. It has engendered apathy
toward traditional social and political structures and an inchoate rage.
This mixture of apathy and rage is a volatile cocktail. It finds its
expression outside normal systems of dissent and in leaders who, in
times of prosperity and stability, would be dismissed as lunatics.

No rally, no positive message, no effort to expose the idiocies of those
arrayed against us will work until we restore to the political process
mechanisms by which ordinary citizens can be heard. Hannah Arendt in "The
Origins of Totalitarianism" cites the collapse of traditional political
mechanisms, which now plagues us, as the opening needed for all
totalitarian movements:

"The fall of protecting class walls transformed the slumbering
majorities behind all parties into one great unorganized, structureless
mass of furious individuals who had nothing in common except their vague
apprehension that the hopes of party members were doomed, that,
consequently, the most respected, articulate and representative members
of the community were fools and that all the powers that be were not so
much evil as they were equally stupid and fraudulent."

The One Nation March in Washington, which lacked moral and political
courage, did nothing to educate or rally our most important
constituency - those out of work, those being foreclosed, those without
hope. It refused to confront the real, corporate structures of power. It
refused to disown Barack Obama and the Democrats. And in the end it only
confirmed what those who hate us think of liberals.

--------18 of 19--------

What Classless Society?
by Jack A. Smith
October 2nd, 2010
Dissident Voice

The so-called growing rich-poor gap in "classless" America is a euphemism
for the existence of an accelerated class struggle against American
workers and the poor by a relatively small minority that possesses or has
access to great wealth and power.

The Census Bureau reported September 24 that the income differential
between rich and poor Americans was greater in 2009 than any time since
such records were kept.

Another Census report two weeks earlier revealed that America's largest
year-to-year increase in poverty took place in 2009, although its estimate
of 43.6 million people living in poverty is considered a serious
undercount based on outmoded measurement criteria. Young workers and
children are fast falling to the bottom of the heap. The biggest poverty
jump last year was among 18 to 24 year old "less-skilled" adults, and 20%
of our children live in poverty.

The Associated Press reported September 28, "The top-earning 20% of
Americans - those making more than $100,000 each year - received 49.4% of
all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4% earned by those
below the poverty line, according to newly released Census figures. That
ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a
low of 7.69 in 1968."

A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income
inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking
household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among
Western industrialized nations in the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development.

Following are some recent statistics and statements that show how wide is
the chasm between the upper class and the rest of American society, from
the poorest of the poor through the working class and middle class.

(Note in following paragraphs the difference between "income," meaning
what you earn each year, and "wealth," meaning income plus assets - assets
being everything you own, from your house, car and furnishings to all your
property, savings, stocks and bonds, yachts, jewelry, etc.

According to the Wall St. Journal, a 2008 study of wealth in the United
States found that the richest .01% (that's one-hundredth of one percent,
or 14,000 American families) possess 22.2% of the nation's wealth. The
bottom 90%, or over 133 million families, control just 4% of the nation's
wealth. The remaining top 9.99% made ends meet with what's left, 73.8%.

David DeGraw also has written that "a recent study done by Capgemini and
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management found that a mere 1% of Americans are
hoarding $13 trillion in investable wealth - and that doesn't even factor
in all the money they have hidden in offshore accounts".

A recent report by Ray B. Williams points out that "The U.S. Census Bureau
and the World Wealth Report 2010 both report increases for the top 5% of
households even during the current recession. Based on Internal Revenue
Service figures, the richest 1% have tripled their cut of America's income
pie in one generation. In 1980 the richest 1% of America took 1 of every
15 income dollars. Now they take 3 of every 15 income dollars. Income
inequality has been rising since the late 1970s, and now rests at a level
not seen since the Gilded Age (1870 to 1900), a period in U.S. history
defined by the contrast between the excesses of the super-rich and the
squalor of the poor".

According to Paul Buchheit of DePaul University "In 1965, the average
salary for a CEO of a major U.S. company was 25 times the salary of the
average worker. Today, the average CEO's pay is more than 250 times the
average worker's". The New York Times reported March 31, 2010, "Top hedge
fund managers rode the 2009 stock market rally to record gains, with the
highest-paid 25 earning a collective $25.3 billion, according to the
survey, beating the old 2007 high by a wide margin". The annual GDP of
nearly 90 UN member nations is lower than what these people took home last
year. The highest paid manager on the list was David Tepper of Appaloosa
Management, who made $4 billion last year".

Year 2009 may have been an economic disaster for a record number of
Americans, but the U.S. billionaire caste - and millionaires as well, of
course - had an excellent year. According to Forbes magazine, 2009 "was a
billionaire bonanza," with Bill Gates profiting by $13 billion (enlarging
his wealth to $53 billion), and Warren Buffett getting $10 billion richer
(increasing his fortune to $47 billion).

There are 1,011 billionaires in the world (40% are Americans) with an
average net worth of $3.6 billion - a relative trifle more than the
"wealth" possessed by the bottom half of the entire world population.

Throughout their lives, average Americans are taught by their school,
church and corporate mass media that theirs is a classless society, and
that the notion of classes, class struggle, or class war is just left wing

Differences in income are acknowledged - but it is claimed that since
upward mobility and attainment of the American Dream are available to
everyone if they work hard enough, there is only one class despite
gradations in wealth. It's called the middle class, presumably with
statistical subsections for the very rich and very poor. But the "dream"
and upward mobility have never been available to everyone, and over the
last three decades have been substantially reduced for many new
generations of working families.

How often do you hear the politicians of the two ruling parties or the
government they administer referring to the working class, lower middle
class, the lower class or the upper class and the ruling class?

In America, virtually everyone seems to be lumped into the middle class if
they are earning between $25,000 and $250,000 a year, which is a
preposterous parody of real class relations. Representatives of these two
income variants have little to nothing in common except the class to which
they appear to have been assigned.

The millions living in poverty are called "the poor" and are in the public
mind often blamed for their own plight (lazy, shiftless, ignorant). The
very rich are called the "top 1%," and the simply rich are termed the "top
10%," and are often admired and thanked because they create the jobs that
prevent the inhabitants of the middle class from falling into the ranks of
the poor.

For the past three or four decades the upper class and its agents have
been accelerating a campaign against the wages and living standards of the
working class/lower middle class and more recently the middle class as
well, pushing more and more people into the lower classes. One example of
this is that wages no longer correlate to productivity increases, as they
did in the first three decades after World War II; another is the erosion
of progressive taxation.

In addition, the influence of wealth on the White House and Congress has
seen to it that hardly any significant social service legislation has come
out of Washington for 40 years. President Obama promotes his health care
legislation as a major progressive achievement, but this apex of the
current administration's social contribution is to the right of Democrat
President Harry Truman's proposals in 1948 and Republican President
Richard Nixon's program of 1972. Truman and Nixon failed, and there has
been such political regress over these decades that Democratic Party
programs now emanate from the center/center-right.

The problem isn't just the disproportion of money in the hands of a small
minority while the standards of most American families are eroding, but it
is what's done with all that money. It elects Presidents, governors and
mayors in most of the major cities. It elects members of the House and
Senate and state legislatures. If you have millions to spend without
batting an eye, you have political clout in America, often decisive clout,
and it's principally deployed to further the interests of the "haves," as
opposed to the "have nots".

This is what is meant by class war, and it seems to be waged these days
only by the top 10% (the upper class) that controls 96% of the wealth
against the 90% (working class to middle class and lower class) which
controls 4%. The bottom 50% by the way accounts for a pathetic 1% of
America's wealth.

Isn't it time for the "bottom" 90% to stand up, fight back, and claim
their share?

Jack A. Smith is editor of the Activist Newsletter and a former editor of
the Guardian (US) radical newsweekly. He may be reached at:
jacdon [at]

--------19 of 19--------

It may be cheap and easy but I like it anyway...

                                   Screw Yoo


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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