Progressive Calendar 10.12.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:00:59 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R  10.12.10

1. Alliant vigil     10.13 7am
2. Great blogging    10.13 6:30pm
3. Ramsey cty atty   10.13 7pm

4. Eagan peace vigil 10.14 4:30pm
5. Northtown vigil   10.14 5pm
6. Do we need cops?  10.14 6:30pm
7. Labor party       10.14 7pm
8. White/war costs   10.14 7pm

9. Palestine vigil   10.15 4:15pm
10. Vs monoculture   10.15 6pm
11. Nicaragua        10.15 6pm?

12. Walden Bello - Lessons of the Obama debacle
13. ed           - Poster

--------1 of 13--------

From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 10.13 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:

--------2 of 13--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Great blogging 10.13 6:30pm

The Difference Between Blogging and Great Blogging
Wednesday, October 13, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Twin Cities Daily Planet Offices,
2600 East Franklin, #2, Minneapolis (enter from rear).

So you're blogging, or you want to start blogging...but you want to do it
well, and hopefully attract some readers. The key to good blogging is to
write well. Jay Gabler, associate editor of the Twin Cities Daily Planet
and author of the Front Row Seat blog, offers a class on writing,
etiquette, and promotional tips for bloggers. What information should you
offer? How much of "yourself" should you put in your blog? How long should
blog entries be? How do you connect with other bloggers and share your
blog with people who might be interested? Free will donations accepted.
Sponsored by: the Twin Cities Daily Planet and the Twin Cities Media
Alliance. Endorsed by: the WAMM Media Committee. FFI and to Register:
Email jeremy [at] or call 612-436-9186.

--------3 of 13--------

From: Karen Cole <krcole18 [at]>
Subject: Ramsey cty atty 10.13 7pm

Wednesday, October 13
7:00  8:00 pm
Hamline University School of Law Moot Court Room
Ramsey County Attorney candidates John Choi and David Schultz will
participate in a forum sponsored by the RCBA and Hamline University School
of Law. The forum will be moderated by RCBA President Paul Godfrey.
This event is free and open to the public.

--------4 of 13--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 10.14 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.

--------5 of 13--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.14 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]

--------6 of 13--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: Do we need cops? 10.14 6:30pm

Panel Discussion on the Role of Police in Society Thursday, October 14 at
6:30 p.m. Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis

In light of the recent Metro Gang Task Force debacle, the recent death
after tasing of David Smith, several high profile incidents and lawsuits,
and the second firing of MPD cop Jason Andersen, CUAPB will hold a panel
discussion that takes us back to the root question: what role, if any,
does policing have in our society.  In the lead up to October 22 National
Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, panelists representing a wide
range of political views will present on this highly relevant topic.
There will be plenty of time for questions and comments from the public.
Please join us for what will be a fascinating discussion.

--------7 of 13--------

From: CMPL <info [at]>
Subject: Labor party 10.14 7pm
EVENT TODAY: STL Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor Launch Meeting

Next Minneapolis Meeting of the Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor
October 14th, 2010
May Day Books
Thursday, October 14th, 2010 at 7:00 pm.

This is a local CMPL committee meeting, so if you are interested in
helping us build this campaign, please join us!  Stay tuned for more

For more information or to get involved, please contact us at
info [at] or call 612-568-2675 and leave a message.

CMPL Website:
Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor PO Box 18173 Minneapolis, MN 55418

From: Susan Leskela <sleskela [at]>
To: Mpls Greens <Mpls-5thDistrictGreenParty [at]>,
     gpsp-list [at]

There is another gathering of the Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor on
Thursday night. I understand they want to talk about local elections. They
realized a lot of Greens were there last time and would be good if Greens
were there for the discussion about local elections and speak up for our

Greens Win Big Union Endorsements!

Green candidates for Congress and other public offices have drawn
important endorsements from unions and labor organizations, as well as
union leaders and rank and file members throughout the US.

"Unions and working people are waking up to the fact that they have a
party willing to fight for them - the Green Party," said Howie Hawkins,
Green candidate for Governor of New York and a member of Teamsters Local

"While Democratic politicians take labor votes for granted, Greens are
pushing for the creation of millions of Green jobs, public works programs,
and the right to organize in the nation's workplaces", said Mr. Hawkins.
"While Democrats cave in to wealthy corporate lobbies and campaign
contributors, Greens are promoting Medicare For All and opposing plans to
cut Social Security. When Democrats and Republicans sent Wall Street
billions in bailouts, Greens demanded help for working people."Other
candidates who have earned major union endorsements recently include:

Tom Clements, South Carolina Green candidate for the US Senate, has been
endorsed by the Greater Columbia Central Labor Council of the South
Carolina AFL-CIO, comprised of 17 local unions and affiliate

Ben Manski, candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly in District 77, won the
endorsement of the Madison Teachers Inc. in the progressive college town
of Madison. Mr. Manski is emerging as a strong contender for a seat
traditionally held by a progressive Democrat.

Lynne Williams, running for the Maine State Senate, was endorsed by the
25,000-member Maine Education Association, an affiliate of the National
Education Association.

Jeremy Karpen, running for Illinois State Representative in the 39th
District was endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union.

Mark Swaney, Green Party nominee for Arkansas State Representative in the
90th district, was endorsed by the Arkansas AFL-CIO. His sole rival in the
race is a Republican.

--------8 of 13--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: White/war costs 10.14 7pm

Tom White: "The Financial and Human Costs of War: A Spiritual Perspective"
Thursday, October 14, 7:00 p.m. The Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701
36th Avenue North, New Hope.

White is a graduate of St. John's University (economics), recently retired
from a corporate career, is a management consultant, and a member of
Veterans for Peace, Minnesota Peace Project, Minnesota Alliance of
Peacemakers, and the Interfaith Peacemakers of Edina. He also served as an
International Election Observer in El Salvador and has created and
distributed thousands of cards which provide facts about our national
budget and military spending. White will share why his spirituality is a
key component of his peace and justice involvement and explore the growing
disparity between U.S. military spending and money spent on
infrastructure, schools, health care, and other domestic needs.  He will
focus on the trade-offs being made in the Third and Fifth Congressional
Districts to cover the costs of war and how the war economy is impacting
our families. Free and open to all. Sponsored by: by the Northwest
Neighbors for Peace. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call 763-546-5368.

--------9 of 13--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 10.15 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

--------10 of 13--------

From: "Jaime (Brian) Hokanson" <bjhokanson [at]>
Subject: Vs NAFTA monoculture 10.15 6pm

Dismantling Monoculture
Tales of Ants & Economies in the Americas
Blegen Hall Room 130
U of M West Bank--269 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis
Friday, October 15, 6pm

presented by MARS (Minneapolis Autonomous Radical Space)
help us create a new radical resource center for the TC!

Since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the
resulting Zapatista uprising in 1994, the Western Hemisphere has been a
battle ground between worldviews. As our world is being transformed by
globalization, what the future holds will be determined by the struggles
of traditional land-based communities throughout the Global South against
neo-colonial models of capitalist development. We are living in the moment
when we decide if the rich and powerful hold the keys to our lives and
planet or if we, the people of the grassroots, hold our own right to

Featuring the Beehive's first two works in our trilogy about globalization
graphic campaigns- the DISMANTLING MONOCULTURE picture-lecture weaves
together images and stories from the past 10 years of our work. With two
giant illustrated portable murals, a six foot tall fabric storybook, and
an engaging narrative, the Bees take audiences on an interactive VISUAL
tour of the connections between COLONIZATION, MILITARIZATION, and RESOURCE
EXTRACTION disguised as "industrial development."

The result is a compelling and inspirational tale of struggle and
resistance in this era immense change. DISMANTLING MONOCULTURE grows and
evolves with each telling, as we all carry these histories within our own
lived experience. The Bees hope to share and seek stories about how these
themes manifest in our daily lives and what people do to resist and

The 2011 version will also include previews and updates from MESOAMERICA
RESISTE <>, the final epic
chapter in the trilogy, our most ambitious and elaborate illustration to
date...7 YEARS in the making and nearly hatched!

For more information about the Hive's work on globalization in the
Americas, visit FTAA <>
<> in the
Graphics Campaign section of

--------11 of 13--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at]>
Subject: Nicaragua 10.15 6pm?

Fundraiser: Project MN/Leon 10/15/10

Friday, October 15th will be a perfect Friday night for the family. Enjoy
a typical Central American meal, music by Nicaraguan singer and guitarist
Carlos Lumbi, and a brief update on current events in Nicaragua while the
kids are busy at the craft table!

The Project Minnesota-Leon Fiesta Fundraiser will raise proceeds to
support educational and health projects in the state of Leon, Nicaragua.

$25 per person / $45 per couple / $15 student and low income.

Event will be held at:
First Unitarian-Universalist Church, 34th and Dupont S., Minneapolis.

Please RSVP today to Rachel Ackland at 612-825-7436 or email her at
ackla001 [at]

--------12 of 13--------

Lessons of the Obama Debacle
by Walden Bello
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Foreign Policy in Focus

The problem with us progressives as this time of crisis is not that we
lack an alternative paradigm to pit against the discredited neoliberal
paradigm. No, the elements of the alternative based on the values of
democracy, justice, equality, and environmental sustainability are there
and have been there for sometime, the product of collective intellectual
and activist work over the last few decades.

The key problem is the failure of progressives to translate their vision
and values into a program that is convincing and connects with the people
trapped in the terrible existential conditions created by the global
financial crisis. This fluid process is preeminently political. It
requires translating a strategic perspective into a tactical program that
takes advantage of the opportunities, ambiguities, and contradictions of
the present moment to construct a critical mass for progressive change
from diverse class and social forces.

We must look at the political experience of the global progressive
movement in order to understand why our side has been derailed and how we
can fight back to political relevance. The experience of the Obama
presidency is rich in this regard. In the U.S. political context, Obama
is a social democrat, and the broad left supported his candidacy. Although
he was no anti-capitalist, still we expected that he would initiate a
program of recovery and reform similar in ambition to Roosevelt's New
Deal. The electoral base that brought him to power, which cut across
class, color, gender, and generational lines - was full of potential.
Obama's ability to bring this base together on a message of change
achieved what was then thought impossible - the election of an
Afro-American as president of the United States - and showed how smart
political leadership can shape social and political structures.

Two years after his spectacular electoral victory, President Obama and the
Democrats face a rout in the U.S. polls in early November. Indeed, Obama
and his party are like a rabbit on the railroad track that is hypnotized
by the light of an oncoming train. Whereas Obama seemed to do all the
right things in his quest for the presidency, he seemed to make all the
wrong moves as chief executive.

His prioritizing of health care reform, a massively complex task, has been
identified as a key blunder. This decision certainly contributed to the
debacle. But other important factors related mainly to his handling of the
economic crisis, a primary concern of the electorate, were perhaps more

                 Six Reasons behind the Debacle

Obama's first mistake was to take responsibility for the economic
crisis. In his quixotic quest for a bipartisan solution, he made George W.
Bush's problem his own. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan never made
this mistake. They took no responsibility for the economic problems of the
1970s, heaping the blame entirely on their liberal predecessors and
eschewing any bipartisan alliance with those they considered their
ideological enemies. Roosevelt, too, slammed - and slammed hard - his
ideological foes, those he termed "economic royalists."

Insofar as Obama and his lieutenants identified villains, this was Wall

Yet saying the financial elite brought on the crisis, while bailing out
key Wall Street financial institutions such as Citigroup and AIG on the
grounds that they were "too big to fail," involved Obama in a terrible
contradiction. The least that he could have done was to remove the
existing boards and top managers of these organizations as a condition for
government funds. Instead, unlike the case of General Motors, the top dogs
stayed on board and continued to collect sky-high bonuses to boot.

The strong sense of disconnect between word and deed was exacerbated
rather than alleviated by the Democrats' financial reform. The
measure did not have the minimum conditions for a reform with real teeth:
the banning of derivatives, a Glass-Steagall provision preventing
commercial banks from doubling as investment banks; the imposition of a
financial transactions tax or Tobin tax; and a strong lid on executive
pay, bonuses, and stock options.

Third, Obama had a tremendous opportunity to educate and mobilize people
against the neoliberal or market fundamentalist approach that deregulated
the financial sector and caused the crisis. Although Obama did allude to
unregulated financial markets as the key problem during the campaign, he
refrained from demonizing neoliberalism after he took office, thus
presenting an ideological vacuum that the resurgent neoliberals did not
hesitate to fill. No doubt he failed to launch a full-scale ideological
offensive because his key lieutenants for economic policy, National
Economic Council head Larry Summers and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner,
had not broken with neoliberal thinking.

Fourth, the stimulus package of $787 billion was simply too small to bring
down or hold the line on unemployment. Here, Obama cannot say he lacked
good advice. Paul Krugman, the Nobel laureate, and a whole host of
Keynesian economists were telling him this from the very start. For
comparison, the Chinese stimulus package of $580 billion was much bigger
relative to the size of the economy than the Obama package. For the White
House now to say that the employment situation would now be worse had it
not been for the stimulus is, to say the least, politically naive. People
operate not with wishful counterfactual scenarios but with the facts on
the ground, and the facts have been rising unemployment with no relief in

Politics in a time of crisis is not for the fainthearted. The
middle-of-the road approach represented by the size of the stimulus was
the wrong response to a crisis that called for a political gamble: the
deployment of the massive fiscal firepower of the government against the
predictable howls of anger from the right.

Fifth, Obama and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke deployed
mainly Keynesian technocratic tools - deficit spending and monetary easing
- to deal with the consequences of the massive failure of market
fundamentalism. During a normal downturn these countercyclical tools may
suffice to reverse the downturn. But standard Keynesianism could address
such a serious collapse only in a very limited way. Besides, people were
looking not only for relief in the short term but for a new direction that
would enable them to master their fears and insecurities and give them
reason to hope.

In other words, Obama failed to locate his Keynesian technocratic
initiatives within a larger political and economic agenda that could have
fired up a fairly large section of American society. Such a larger agenda
could have had three pillars: the democratization of economic
decision-making, from the enterprise level to the heights of
macro-policymaking; an income and asset redistribution strategy that went
beyond increasing taxes on the top two percent of the population; and the
promotion of a more cooperative rather than competitive approach to
production, distribution, and the management of resources. This agenda of
social transformation, which was not too left, could have been
accommodated within a classical social democratic framework. People were
simply looking for an alternative to the Brave New Dog-Eat-Dog World that
neo-liberalism had bequeathed them. Instead, Obama offered a bloodless
technocratic approach to cure a political and ideological debacle.

Related to this absence of a program of transformation was the sixth
reason for the Obama debacle: his failure to mobilize the grassroots base
that brought him to power. This base was diverse in terms of class,
generation, and ethnicity. But it was united by palpable enthusiasm, which
was so evident in Washington, DC, and the rest of the country on
Inauguration Day in 2009. With his preference for a technocratic approach
and a bipartisan solution to the crisis, Obama allowed this base to wither
away instead of exploiting the explosive momentum it possessed in the
aftermath of the elections.

At the eleventh hour, Obama and the Democrats are talking about firing up
and resurrecting this base. But the dispirited and skeptical troops that
have long been disbanded and left by the wayside rightfully ask: around
                 The Right Makes the Right Moves

In contrast to Obama, the right wing understood the demands and dynamics
of politics at a time of crisis, as opposed to politics in normal times.
While Obama persisted in his quest for bipartisanship, the Republicans
adopted a posture of hard-line opposition to practically all of his

Unlike Obama and the Democrats, the right posed the conflict in stark
political and ideological terms: between left and right, between
"socialism" and "freedom," between the oppressive state and the liberating
market. The Republican opposition used all the catchwords and mantras they
could dredge up from bourgeois U.S. ideology.

Finally, in contrast to Obama's neglect of the Democratic base, the right
eschewed Republican interest-group politics. Fox News, Sarah Palin, and
the tea party movement stirred up the right-wing base to challenge the
Republican Party elite and drive a no-compromise, take-no-prisoners
politics. To understand what has happened to the Republican Party in the
last few weeks with the string of tea party successes in the primaries,
historian Arno Mayer's distinction among conservatives, reactionaries, and
counterrevolutionaries is useful. In Mayer's terms, the
counterrevolutionaries, with their populist, anti-insider, and
grassroots-driven politics are displacing the conservative elites that
have long held sway in the Republican Party.

With their anti-spending platform, the Republicans and tea partiers that
might capture the House and the Senate in November will probably bring
about a worse situation than today. As such, Obama and the Democrats might
repeat Bill Clinton's political trajectory when he scored a victory at the
polls in 1996 because the Republicans led by Newt Gingrich overreached
politically after their triumph in the midterm elections of 1994. But this
is a desperate illusion. The current counterrevolutionaries and their
backers are skilled in the politics of blame, and they will likely be
successful in painting the worsening situation as a result of Obama's
"socialist policies," not of drastic cuts in government spending.

                         Lessons for the Left

The problem lies not so much in our lack of a strategic alternative as in
our failure to translate our strategic vision or paradigm into a credible
and viable political program. Politics in a period of crisis is different
from politics in a period of normality, being more fluid and marked by the
volatility of class, political, and intellectual attachments. We should
remember that politics is the art of creating and sustaining a political
movement from diverse class and social forces through a flexible but
principled political program that can adapt to changing circumstances.

Finally, there is no such thing as an objectively determined situation.
The art of politics is using the contradictions, spaces, and ambiguities
of the current moment to shape structures and institutions and create a
critical mass for change. Class, economic, and political structures may
condition political outcomes; they do not determine them. Who will
ultimately emerge the victor from this period of prolonged capitalist
crisis will depend on smart and skilled political leadership.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons.  Foreign Policy In Focus
columnist Walden Bello is a member of the House of Representatives of the
Philippines and a senior analyst at the Bangkok-based research and
advocacy institute Focus on the Global South. He can be reached at
waldenbello [at]

--------13 of 13--------

                 Draft the rich

            Put 'em in the front lines


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