Progressive Calendar 11.05.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 01:03:50 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.05.10

1. Vote FFUNCH!!   11.05 11:30am
2. Palestine vigil 11.05 4:15pm
3. Hawkinson       11.05 4:30pm
4. Cuban 5 exhibit 11.05 6pm
5. Cointelpro 101  11.05 6:30pm
6. RCTA 27th Bday  11.05 7pm

7. PC Roberts      - Growing anger/ the impotence of elections
8. Dave Lindorff   - Later never came/ take that you smug bastards!
9. Joel Hirschhorn - Despair follows delusion
10. John Walsh     - The collapse of the Dems continues
11. Doug Page      - Private banking, capitalism the core of our collapse
12. ed             - Free freeze  (haiku)

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From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Vote FFUNCH!! 11.05 11:30am

Ffunch 11.05 11:30am

Meet the FFUNCH BUNCH!
11:30am-1pm
First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for progressives.
Informal political talk and hanging out.

Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul.
Meet on the far south side.

Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous
apple pie; is close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines


--------2 of 12--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Palestine vigil 11.05 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
available.


--------3 of 12--------

From: WAMM <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Hawkinson 11.05 4:30pm

2010 Hawkinson Peace and Justice Awards: Carol and Ken Masters
Friday, November 5, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Peacemakers Fair) 7:30 p.m.
(Program) Centennial Methodist Church, 1524 West County Road C2,
Roseville.

WAMM members Carol and Ken Masters of Minneapolis are recipients of the
2010 Honorary Award of The Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and
Justice. Members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Carol and
Ken Masters have been peace activists for many years, with a focus on the
arms trade and its connections to worldwide violence and poverty. They
have taken part in numerous nonviolent protests, marches and vigils as
part of the Honeywell Project and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM).
As members of the Community of St. Martin, they have participated in
vigils at the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA for many years. An
author of two books on peace-related topics, Carol is currently co-chair
of the board of directors of WAMM.

Also receiving 2010 Honorary Awards are Reverend Dr. James Siefkes and
Mary Lou Nelson of Minneapolis and Reverend Verlyn Smith of St. Paul.
Selected annually by the Foundation, the honorary awards and Hawkinson
scholarships are aimed at furthering the commitment to peace and justice
of the late Reverend Vincent L. Hawkinson, who served as pastor of Grace
University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for 30 years. The presentation
is open to the public. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: 612-331-8125.


--------4 of 12--------

From: Anya Achtenberg <aachtenberg [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Cuban 5 exhibit 11.05 6pm

The opening reception for the exhibition of the prison paintings of
Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban 5, will be held on Friday, November 5,
from 6 to 9 pm at Homewood Studios in Minneapolis. George Roberts, owner
of the studio will introduce writer and poet Louis Alemayehu, and dancer
and community organizer Hannah Garcia, who will read selections of
Antonio's poetry in Spanish and English. Hand-set broadsides, suitable for
framing, of Antonio's poems will be available for sale. Complimentary wine
and hors d'oeuvres will be available.

The exhibition, entitled, From my Altitude, will continue through November
30. The schedule is set out below. The exhibit was most recently shown in
New York City and at the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit.

Friday, November 5, 6p to 9p
Opening reception

Tuesday, November 9, 7p
The paintings, their content, technique and meaning

Friday, November 19, 7p
A conversation on the politics of freedom in Cuba and the United States

The gallery is open Tuesday, 5p to 9p; Wednesday and Friday, 1p to 6p;
Saturday, 1p to 4p. Viewing is also available by appointment; contact
612-721-8440 or MNCuba [at] gmail.com. The exhibition will run November 4 - 30.
Homewood Studios, 2400 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis, 612-587-0230

A brief history of the Cuban Five

September 12, 1998 - the beginning of the unjust imprison­ment of the the
"Cuban Five." On that date, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Lab­a­ńino, Antonio
Guer­rero, Fernando González, and René González were arrested by the FBI
and framed up on federal charges in Miami, Florida. They were charged with
conspiracy to commit espionage against the United States, and were tried
in the highly-charged anti-Cuba atmosphere of Miami. They were convicted
in 2001.

The Cuban Five never committed espionage nor did they conspire to do so.
Their actions were not directed against the U.S. or its government.
Instead, their mission was to fight terrorism. The Cuban Five infiltrated
Cuban-exile terrorist organizations in Miami, which have carried out
attacks on Cuba for decades, in order to stop their plots.

Since 1959, Miami has been a base of these operations against Cuba and its
revolution. The attacks have devastated many lives. 3,478 Cubans have been
killed by bombings, assassinations and biological warfare. Most of the
attacks have been waged from Miami.

Washington ignores Cuba's numerous appeals to stop the terrorists. This
is why the Cuban Five came to Miami: to prevent terrorist crime.

After their arrest, the Five were subjected to massive prejudicial news
coverage in Miami; they were held in solitary confinement for 17 months,
and the judge denied their requests to move the trial out of Miami.
Convicted in 2001, they were sentenced from 15 years to double life.
Although their convictions were overturned in federal appeals in 2005, the
Bush administration appealed, and the verdicts were upheld. Appeals
continue in the case and a worldwide campaign for their freedom is being
conducted by hundreds of union, community and legal organizations and
Latin American and European parliament members.

October 13, 2010 - Amnesty International seeks review of case.

In the latest breakthrough, Amnesty International has asked for a federal
review of the fairness and impartiality of the trial in light of the
"pervasive hostility to the Cuban government" in Miami.

-- For more information about the Minnesota Cuba Committee and meeting
times: www.minnesotacubacommittee.org


--------5 of 12-------

From: Mary Ellen Kaluza <mekaluza [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Cointelpro 101 11.05 6:30pm

COINTELPRO 101
A Video Documentary
Discussion with former political prisoners Ricardo Jimenez & Claude Marks
Friday, Nov. 5th
Dinner at 6:30pm, Content at 7:00pm
Waite House, 2529 13th Ave. S., Minneapolis
$5-15 sliding scale, kids $2, childcare provided
Sponsored by the RNC8 Defense Committee
Proceeds benefit soon-to-be political prisoner Scott DeMuth's defense fund

COINTELPRO may not be a well-understood acronym but its meaning and
continuing impact are absolutely central to understanding the government's
wars and repression against progressive movements. COINTELPRO represents
the state's strategy to prevent movements and communities from overturning
white supremacy and creating racial justice. COINTELPRO is both a formal
program of the FBI and a term frequently used to describe a conspiracy
among government agencies - local, state, and federal - to destroy
movements for self-determination and liberation for Black, Brown, Asian,
and Indigenous struggles, as well as mount an institutionalized attack
against allies of these movements and other progressive organizations.

http://rnc8.org/events/
www.freedomarchives.org


--------6 of 12---------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: RCTA 27th Bday 11.05 7pm

On Sale Now - Resource Center's 27th Anniversary Celebration 11/5/10

Buy Tickets
(http://www.sagepayments.net/eftcart/products.asp?Dept_ID=11180_id=585844113358)

Last year our 150 guests were disappointed to call it a night so early, so
this year Rumba Eterna will keep us going 'til midnight! Join Mark
Ritchie, Resource Center board, staff, teachers, volunteers, and friends
for a great night!

Friday, November 5 from 7pm - Midnight
At Plaza Verde on E. Lake St.

With Special Guest Mark Ritchie
Music by Rumba Eterna (http://www.myspace.com/rumbaeterna)
Free salsa lesson by Social Dance Studio (http://www.socialdancestudio.com/)
Art auction to benefit Haiti development via Institute for Justice &
Democracy in Haiti (http://ijdh.org/)
Food, drinks, music, dancing, silent auction, and more!


--------7 of 12--------

Growing Anger
The Impotence of Elections
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
November 4, 2010
CounterPunch

In his historical novel, The Leopard, Giuseppe di Lampedusa writes that
things have to change in order to remain the same.  That is what happened
in the US congressional elections on November 2.

Jobs offshoring, which began on a large scale with the collapse of the
Soviet Union, has merged the Democrats and Republicans into one party with
two names. The Soviet collapse changed attitudes in socialist India and
communist China and opened those countries, with their large excess
supplies of labor, to Western capital.

Pushed by Wall Street and Wal-Mart, American manufacturers moved
production for US markets offshore to boost profits and shareholder
earnings by utilizing cheap labor. The decline of the US manufacturing
work force reduced the political power of unions and the ability of unions
to finance the Democratic Party. The end result was to make the Democrats
dependent on the same sources of financing as Republicans.

Prior to this development, the two parties, despite their similarities,
represented different interests and served as a check on one another. The
Democrats represented labor and focused on providing a social safety net.
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance,
housing subsidies, education, and civil rights were Democratic issues.
Democrats were committed to a full employment policy and would accept some
inflation to secure more employment.

The Republicans represented business. The Republicans focused on
curtailing big government in all its manifestations from social welfare
spending to regulation. The Republicans' economic policy consisted of
opposing federal budget deficits.

These differences resulted in political competition.

Today both parties are dependent for campaign finance on Wall Street, the
military/security complex, AIPAC, the oil industry, agri-business,
pharmaceuticals, and the insurance industry. Campaigns no longer consist
of debates over issues. They are mud-slinging contests.

Angry voters take their anger out on incumbents, and that is what we saw
in the election. Tea Party candidates defeated Republican incumbents in
primaries, and Republicans defeated Democrats in the congressional
elections.

Policies, however, will not change qualitatively. Quantitatively,
Republicans will be more inclined to more rapidly dismantle more of the
social safety net than Democrats and more inclined to finish off the
remnants of civil liberties.  But the powerful private oligarchs will
continue to write the legislation that Congress passes and the President
signs. New members of Congress will quickly discover that achieving
re-election requires bending to the oligarchs' will.

This might sound harsh and pessimistic.  But look at the factual record.
In his campaign for the presidency, George W. Bush criticized President
Clinton's foreign adventures and vowed to curtail America's role as the
policeman of the world. Once in office, Bush pursued the neoconservatives'
policy of US world hegemony via military means, occupation of countries,
setting up puppet governments, and financial intervention in other
countries' elections.

Obama promised change. He vowed to close Guantanamo prison and to bring
the troops home. Instead, he restarted the war in Afghanistan and started
new wars in Pakistan and Yemen, while continuing Bush's policy of
threatening Iran and encircling Russia with military bases.

Americans out of work, out of income, out of homes and prospects, and out
of hope for their children's careers are angry. But the political system
offers them no way of bringing about change. They can change the elected
servants of the oligarchs, but they cannot change the policies or the
oligarchs.

The American situation is dire. As a result of the high speed Internet,
the loss of manufacturing jobs was followed by the loss of professional
service jobs, such as software engineering, that were career ladders for
American university graduates. The middle class has no prospects. Already,
the American labor force and income distribution mimics that of a third
world country, with income and wealth concentrated in a few hands at the
top and most of the rest of the population employed in domestic services
jobs. In recent years net new job creation has been concentrated in lowly
paid occupations, such as waitresses and bartenders, ambulatory health
care services, and retail clerks. The population and new entrants into the
work force continue to grow more rapidly than job opportunities.

Turning this around would require more realization than exists among
policymakers and a deeper crisis.  Possibly it could be done by using
taxation to encourage US corporations to manufacture domestically the
goods and services that they sell in US markets. However, the global
corporations and Wall Street would oppose this change.

The tax revenue loss from job losses, bank bailouts, stimulus programs,
and the wars have caused a three-to-four-fold jump in the US budget
deficit. The deficit is now too large to be financed by the trade
surpluses of China, Japan, and OPEC. Consequently, the Federal Reserve is
making massive purchases of Treasury and other debt. The continuation of
these purchases threatens the dollar's value and its role as reserve
currency. If the dollar is perceived as losing that role, flight from
dollars will devastate the remnants of Americans' retirement incomes and
the ability of the US government to finance itself.

Yet, the destructive policies continue. There is no re-regulation of the
financial industry, because the financial industry will not allow it. The
unaffordable wars continue, because they serve the profits of the
military/security complex and promote military officers into higher ranks
with more retirement pay. Elements within the government want to send US
troops into Pakistan and into Yemen. War with Iran is still on the table.
And China is being demonized as the cause of US economic difficulties.

Whistleblowers and critics are being suppressed. Military personnel who
leak evidence of military crimes are arrested. Congressmen call for their
execution. Wikileaks' founder is in hiding, and neoconservatives write
articles calling for his elimination by CIA assassination teams. Media
outlets that report the leaks apparently have been threatened by Pentagon
chief Robert Gates.  According to Antiwar.com, on July 29 Gates "insisted
that he would not rule out targeting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange or
any of the myriad media outlets which reported on the leaks".

The control of the oligarchs extends to the media. The Clinton
administration permitted a small number of mega-corporations to
concentrate the US media in a few hands.  Corporate advertising
executives, not journalists, control the new American media, and the value
of the mega-companies depends on government broadcast licenses. The
media's interest is now united with that of the government and the
oligarchs.

On top of all the other factors that have made American elections
meaningless, voters cannot even get correct information from the media
about the problems that they and the country face.

As the economic situation is likely to continue deteriorating, the anger
will grow. But the oligarchs will direct the anger away from themselves
and toward the vulnerable elements of the domestic population and
"foreign enemies".

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an
Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE
ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can
be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com


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Later Never Came
Take That You Smug Bastards!
By DAVE LINDORFF
November 4, 2010
CounterPunch

Maple Glen, Penn.

The Democrats were blown out of the water on Nov. 2.

But it's not because of the Tea Party, or because of a resurgent
Republican majority.

The Democrats deserved to lose because they have long since abandoned
whatever principles they had, and more important, they've pissed on their
most important supporters - the left, real liberals, African Americans,
women, unionized workers, and workers in general. So I say hooray, all
those groups have struck back!

Barack Obama set this disaster for the party and his presidency in motion
before he was even sworn in as president, by choosing Wall Street hacks as
his economic advisers in the midst of the worst economic crisis in 75
years, and by choosing as his key political adviser Rahm Emanuel, who
famously called progressive critics "fucking retarded," and who, when
warned that the GM bailout plan would hurt the United Autoworkers members
who worked there, also famously said "Fuck the UAW!" [I have a suggestion
for Rahm Emanuel. -ed]

Emanuel never, at least in public, ever said "Screw the Schwarzes!," but
he and Obama might as well have, for all the help they've offered to a
population that is suffering with twice the unemployment rate of whites,
and that is being imprisoned at a rate that is virtually re-enslaving the
nation's young male African-American population.

Those progressives and liberals and minorities and workers that Emanuel
and Obama, and most of the Democrats in Congress have dissed and pissed on
have now returned the favor.

When you have a state like mine, Pennsylvania, where Democrats have a one
million advantage in voter registration, to lose both the governor's race
and the Senate race to Republicans, takes some serious screwing up. And
that's what happened. Both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature went
from Democratic to Republican, the outgoing and popular Democratic
Governor Ed Rendell, whose two terms were over, was replaced by the
Republican attorney general, Tom Corbett, and the Senate seat held by
Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter, who was defeated in a primary by
Rep. Joe Sestak, went narrowly to a right-wing Republican, former Rep. Pat
Toomey.

Looking at the Democratic Party debacle in Pennsylvania gives a worm's eye
view of what the national party did to itself. Pennsylvania is often said
to be a deep south state with two or three liberal northern
enclaves - Philadelphia in the southeast, the Pittsburg region in the far
west, and the old industrial area of Scranton-Wilkes Barre in the
northeast. Democrats typically win in statewide races by piling up huge
majorities in those three regions - especially Philadelphia and the
surrounding suburbs.

Those regions voted overwhelmingly for Onorato and Sestak, as usual, but
not in the numbers necessary to overcome the enthusiastic turnout of
conservative voters in the middle of the state. Looking at the vote in
Philadelphia, which is roughly 50 per cent African American in
demographics, even though the total voter turnout of 41 per cent was on
the high side for an off-year election, the party split - 82 per cent
Democrat and 18 per cent Republican - was not as lopsided as it was in
2008, when it was 90 per cent Democratic. That difference alone would have
given Sestak, who lost his race by just 2 per cent, a victory. Worse yet,
the black voter turnout was lower than expected. Again, had blacks turned
out in better than historical numbers, as whites did in Philadelphia,
Sestak, and probably Onorato, would have both won their state-wide races.
The same argument can be made for several congressional races in the
Philadelphia suburbs, where turnout was low, and Democrats, including
several incumbents, lost.

African-Americans didn't vote because they have been largely ignored by
President Obama and Congressional Democrats over the past two years of
economic disaster. Homes have continued to be foreclosed at a rapacious
pace, no jobs programs have been created for people at the bottom (what
good do funds for highway and bridge construction do for minorities or
women or minority women, when most construction workers are continue to be
white males?), the health care "reform" bill, if anything, has weakened
Medicaid programs, which is how most poor people get what health care they
can get, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are sucking up funds that
could have been used to reduce class sizes in urban schools (In
Philadelphia schools, kids sit on the floor in overcrowded classrooms with
insufficient desks and still use battered textbooks that date from the
1970s, or if they're lucky, the '80s or '90s).

Union households couldn't be roused to go out and do the door-to-door
campaigning legwork or the evening phone-bank calling after having done so
two years ago on the promise of passage of an Employee Free Choice Act to
make union organizing fair, only to have the Obama administration and the
Democratic Congressional leadership walk away from the issue, saying
they'd save it for "later".

"Later" never came, of course.

Every progressive, every liberal, every union member, every
African-American dissed by Obama and his potty-mouth advisers, or ignored
by his Wall-Street enamored economic team, or his medical industry
obsessed health bill advisers, was not just a vote lost. It was a
persuasive vote-getter lost.

That's why the Democratic Party was crushed on Tuesday.

It was a fully deserved trouncing.

I went to my polling station in the church one block from my house to cast
a vote, and found my self in conversation with an ardent local Democrat
who was handing out local Democratic sample ballots, and an equally ardent
Tea Party guy advocating for a right-wing candidate running for the local
congressional seat. I found myself agreeing much more with the Tea
Partier.

The Tea Partier said that the government had "lost touch" with ordinary
people. I couldn't agree more. He said that the health bill was a costly
and overly bureaucratic disaster. Again, I couldn't agree more. The
Democratic activist countered that Obama and the Democrats in Congress
weren't getting credit for any of the good things they had done in the
past two years. I just don't see it. Judges? Obama named two very
mediocre, middle-of-the-road jurists who may even side against liberal
positions, like the death penalty, or presidential executive power. The
wars? We still have 50,000 troops and an enormous army of mercenaries in
Iraq, and a deepening quagmire in Afghanistan that is looking more like
Vietnam every day. That's change? And education? Show me the money. All
we're hearing is charter schools, and the studies show them to be costly
failures that simply suck the life out of the rest of the schools in a
district. Jobs? Right. Regulating the banks? There's a laugh! They are
bigger, more concentrated, and more powerful than ever, and engaged in the
same crooked behavior that caused the economic crisis.

The good news is that the voters have told Obama, the Democrats, and their
oh-so-smart political advisers, "Fuck you!"

One would hope that we won't be hearing any more dissing of progressives
from the White House or Congressional Democrats after this election, but
then again, the Democratic Party long ago lost any pretense of being the
party of the common person, so who knows?

Never mind that of the 80 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,
only 3 lost their seats, while the conservative/neoliberal Blue Dog
Caucus, with 54 members, lost 26, or almost half of its ranks. Democratic
leaders, including the president, may nonetheless come away from this
election deciding once again that the answer is to become more like the
Republicans. (Already the Democratic Leadership Council, that loathsome
cesspool of conservative and Neoliberal Democrats like Bill Clinton, Al
Gore and Joe Lieberman, is claiming that the reason Democrats got trounced
is that they "lost the middle"!)

And we have all seen how well that works.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new
independent, collectively-owned, journalist-run online alternative
newspaper. His work, and that of John Grant, Linn Washington and Charles
Young, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net


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Despair Follows Delusion
by Joel S. Hirschhorn
November 4th, 2010
Dissident Voice

Despite all the hype and rhetoric, only one impact of the mid-term
elections is assured. Notwithstanding power shifts from Democrats to
Republicans in Congress there will not be any deep, sorely needed true
reforms of our corrupt, dysfunctional and inefficient government. The
culture of corruption in Washington, DC will remain. Hundreds of millions
of dollars from corporate and other special interests will assure that.

Voters who think otherwise are either delusional or stupid. It will not
matter whether you voted for Republicans because you wanted to defeat
Democrats (or vice-versa), or whether you voted for Tea Party candidates,
or whether you voted against incumbents, or whether you voted for what you
believe are lesser-evil candidates. Americans lost however they voted, but
it may take time for most to comprehend that. That is a terribly painful
reality, which is why many who chose to vote will resist facing the ugly
truth.

When it comes to politics in America, delusion and stupidity are rampant,
like a terrible epidemic that has killed brain cells. Several billion
dollars were spent selling candidates this year. Who profited? The many
media outlets that received the advertising bonanza and companies that
supplied mailings, posters and automatic phone calls. At least all that
spending was kept domestic.

Yes, you are thinking that this is the most cynical view possible.
Cynicism beats delusion. I recommend it.

This is what American history tells us. Americans have been brainwashed
and tricked into thinking that elections are crucial for maintaining
American democracy. That is exactly what the two-party plutocracy needs to
maintain their self-serving political system and that is also what the
rich and powerful Upper Class wants to preserve their status. But voting
in a corrupt political system no longer sustains democracy. It only
sustains the corrupt political system that makes a mockery of American
democracy. Think about it.

In the months following this election, when unemployment and economic pain
for all but the rich remain awful, anyone who pays attention and is able
to face the truth will see that there is little chance of genuine
government reforms. Nor will any of the nation's severe fiscal and
spending problems be smartly attacked. The Republicans will blame the
Democrats, the Democrats will blame the Republicans, the Tea Party winners
will blame the system, the radio and cable pundits will blabber endlessly,
and Jon Stewart and other comics will have an abundance of material to
take jabs at. The two-party plutocracy will triumph.

Every member of Congress will, as before, spend most of their time and
energy doing what is necessary to win the next election. The army of
lobbyists will be busier than ever legally bribing politicians to sustain
the successful political strategy of the rich and business sector to make
the rich and super-rich still richer at the expense of the middle class.
Anyone who thinks that winner Republicans will work to overturn economic
inequality is stupid or delusional. A disproportionate and ludicrous
fraction of the nation's income and wealth will go to a tiny fraction of
rich and super-rich Americans. Nothing that President Obama or the
Democrats have done or championed was aimed squarely at reversing economic
inequality and the death of the middle class, which by itself justified
defeating them.

President Obama, of course, will continue his self-serving rhetoric with
the sole goal of winning reelection in 2012. The presidency just made him
destructively delusional. Of course, he will speak about working with
Republicans. Wait and see.

Here is what non-delusional Americans can hope for: Maybe a decent third
party presidential candidate will emerge. Maybe the Tea Party movement
will wake up to the reality that electing Republicans is a terrible
strategy for reforming the government and restoring the health of the
nation and shift their interest to forming a third party. I doubt very
much whether any of the Tea Party winners in Congress will stand up and
aggressively work for and demand true reforms. The new Republican Speaker
of the House is a classic establishment Republican. Maybe the greatly
expanded calls for an Article V convention (mostly by Republicans and
conservatives) as the constitutional path to reforms through
constitutional amendments will gather more energy (especially from Tea
Party people) and finally succeed.

Welcome to the good old USA where citizens, unlike those in Europe, do not
riot in the streets demanding justice but keep believing in the nonsense
that voting for either Republicans or Democrats will work for them and the
nation.

Despair follows delusion. Despite the endless media hype, the political
revolution of 2010 is like a badly made firecracker - a dud. President
Obama, Republicans and Democrats will have learned nothing profound, not
enough to dedicate themselves to real reforms. Along with economic pain,
widespread anger will persist as nothing tangible results to make the
lives of ordinary Americans a lot better. Will Americans demand smarter
strategies than voting in regular elections with choices between Democrats
and Republicans? What do you think?

Joel S. Hirschhorn has a new book, Delusional Democracy: Fixing the
Republic Without Overthrowing the Government, which supports
constitutional conventions and other peaceful ways to restore American
democracy.


--------10 of 12--------

The Collapse of the Dems Continues
Progressives Learned Nothing in the Elections of 2010
by John Walsh
November 4th, 2010
Dissident Voice

There are four things to recognize about the Democrats. well-deserved
drubbing on Tuesday.   First, the real news of the election was writ in
the primaries weeks before.  The voting there showed that the defeat of
2010 is part of a continuing and unremitting Democratic Party descent over
decades.  As I wrote two weeks before the election:

Since 1970, the turnout in Democratic primaries has been dropping
inexorably as the Democrats piled betrayal upon betrayal. And this year,
according to data compiled by American University, the "average percentage
of eligible citizens who voted in Democratic primaries was the lowest
ever... Democratic turnout was 8.3 percent of the eligible electorate,
lower than the 8.7 percent of the electorate who voted during this period
in 2006 and continuing [an] almost linear descent in Democratic primary
turnout since 20.7 percent voted in the party's primaries in 1966". Why?
It is a simple reflection of reality. In his 2008 campaign, Ralph Nader
patiently and exhaustively documented how the Democrats have become more
and more like the Republicans with each passing year, and so it is not
strange that the response of the electorate to both parties has ranged
from disinterest to disdain.

And so the plunge continues.  Every year fewer and fewer people
participate in the Dem primaries.

Second, Obama has quickly gone from Messiah to Pariah as far as the
left-leaning segment of his base - or former base - is concerned.  They
elected him to deliver peace and he gave them more wars than Bush.  They
cried out for economic relief and he ignored them while giving munificent
succur to the banksters.  They elected him to cut military spending and
they got a glut of military spending.  They supported him in 2008 to end
the assault on liberties at home and abroad, but the secret renditions and
domestic spying and harassment of peace activists continue apace.  They
longed for single payer, and they got the stranglehold of the insurers on
their health codified into law.  And more - much more.  Perfidy does not
carry the weight of what was done to them by their Messiah.

Third, the leaders of the progressive forces continued to pimp for the
Dems right through the election.  Unlike some on the Right who joined the
Tea Party and ripped into the Republican establishment as best they could,
the "leaders" of the liberal "Left" meekly followed Obama.  These
submissive sheep hardly let out a bleat of complaint as Obama betrayed
them again and again while the rank and file Dems at least ran the other
way.  But neither had the ovaries of the conservatives who assailed the
Republican bosses and attempted to organize an alternative.

Fourth, these same pathetic leaders of the liberal "Leftists," best
exemplified by the "Progressive" Democrats of American ("P"DA), continue
their usual empty rhetoric today, the day after the election.  They see
nothing wrong with what they have been doing. Do not expect them to take
action when Obama bombs Iran or expands the war on Pakistan.   They will
only talk but they will not punish him.   As an example, Norman Solomon
makes vague cries for "grassroots" organizing by which he certainly means
supporting his organization "P"DA which is so pathetically loyal to Obama
and Party over principle.  The slogan of many in the Tea Party, "Principle
over Party," is one that Solomon and company might cogitate upon.  One of
the candidates that Solomon offered up for our consideration in the weeks
before the election was not even a single-payer advocate!  And the
Congressional "P"DA affiliates, like the forked tongue Rep. James McGovern
routinely vote for war funding - as routinely, in fact, as "P"DA supports
them, as it did this time around!

In the same vein there is the call of a prominent pwog journal today to
"stand and fight".  For Dems, of course.  The very cover of this same
journal endorsed John Kerry in his prowar campaign for Pres in 2004;
promised impeachment hearings from its poster boy for that, John Conyers,
in 2006; backed the prowar, Wall St. funded Obama in 2008; and called for
the election of Dems who voted for war funding in 2010.  What does this
journal want us to fight for?  When will it stand and fight for principle
rather than for Dems?  The answer I fear is never.  This rag is too far
gone now.

Equally tiring is to hear these pwogs complain that their Dems were
defeated by big money.  Look at Jerry Brown as a counter example.  Money
ain't everything.  And in 2008 Barry and Joe had more money than John and
Sarah.  If there is a party or movement in whom the masses of people can
trust, then they will surely put in the work and contribute the funds to
guarantee victory.  But the Dems are not that party.  They long ago ceased
to be anything even close it.  They are not even a lesser evil - even when
the standards for that are painfully low.  It is good that Obama and the
Dems were punished in the elections.  They deserve worse.  Now it is time
to move on to something decent.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar [at] gmail.com.


-------11 of 12--------

Two Powerful Human Institutions at the Core of Our Collapse
Have We Evolved Enough To Change Them?
by Doug Page
Dissident Voice
July 11th, 2009

The recent cancellation of fireworks displays by insolvent American cities
is an indicator of the total collapse of our political and economic
institutions and the loss of the American Dream. We no longer remember nor
do we celebrate what it is that made the US the hope of mankind. It is
apparent that we have lost our effective voting power and that our local
and national political institutions are in immobilized gridlock in so far
as benefit to us is concerned.

Our founding fathers were inspired in giving us the Declaration of
Independence and our Constitution. Brilliant as they were, they could not
have known and did not provide for control of emerging and rapidly growing
economic dynamics of private banking and of capitalism. These two human
institutions can be thought of as gigantic private tornado funnels that
extract our wealth created by our work, for the benefit of the super rich.
These two institutions are also parasitic in that in impoverishing their
human hosts, they are also destroying themselves. These beneficiaries of
the wealth and power generated by these two uncontrolled political-
economic forces have now captured control of our governments, our military
and intelligence forces, our media, our mainstream religions, our academic
institutions, and what we study, what think and what we dream.

Besides these two institutions, we civilized humans are confronted, with
the coinciding problems of over-population, Global Warming and the end of
the age of oil. We humans in the United States and the Western World must
make very profound changes in our values, life styles, and institutions,
if we are to maintain sustainable civilized life. Our challenge is: Have
we humans have evolved enough to make these profound changes? Can we do
this when we face the relentless opposition of the main stream media and
we have no comparable way of communicating the truth among the millions of
us?

THE FIRST WEALTH EXTRACTING "FUNNEL TORNADO:" CREATION OF MONEY AND CREDIT
BY PRIVATE BANKS

Even during the times of our Founding Fathers, there was public
controversy about whether money should be issued solely by the government,
solely by private banks, or by a mixture of the two. Prior to our
Revolution, the State of Pennsylvania had been especially successful in
creating public money. This was well known to the Founding Fathers who had
just won the Revolutionary War financed by publicly created money issued
by the various Colonies. At that time, the private European banks had
found it to be immensely profitable for private banks to be in control of
the money supply. It is said that branches of the banks of the Rothschild
family financed both sides of the Napoleon's Wars. Alexander Hamilton
vigorously proposed private money creation. Benjamin Franklin and others
wanted our new government to be the sole creator of money, public money.
The resulting language of our Constitution was a compromise. The US
Congress was given the power to create money, but it did not necessarily
have to be the sole source of money-creation, and the Constitution left
the private banks free to create money. The private banks seized the
opportunity. Today, for practical purposes, all money is created by
private banks.

The actual workings of private banking and money creation are well
documented,1 but are totally unknown by voters and even many elected
officials. The facts and the dynamics of private banking are startling:

.The Federal Reserve System is not a public institution. It is privately
owned by the private banks. The Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950
section, 31 USC 714(b), dictated that congressional audits of the Federal
Reserve may not include "deliberations, decisions and actions on monetary
policy matters".2

.Our money is created by private banks out of nothing. NOTHING!!!

.All money is debt!!! All money is created by private banks making loans
to the government and to individuals and corporations. The private banks
simply write a check for the requested loan, with no actual cash deposits
to back up the loan. Banks do not ordinarily make loans from actual
savings on deposit.

.Each loan becomes an account receivable by the bank which is then used as
a "reserve" to issue even more loans.

.In the past, a ratio of 10 to 1 was common so that a bank with a loan,
and thus an account receivable "reserve," of say, $10,000, could issue 9
more loans for total loans of $100,000. This is called "fractional
reserve" banking. All this money is created out of nothing by the private
banks. In recent years, the 10 to 1 traditional reserve requirement has
been largely ignored, and loans were issued at will sometimes with very
little "reserves".

.All money being debt, and that money plus interest being owed to the
private banks, the resulting annual private profit for them is huge. Total
private and public debt is now said to be over $50 Trillion, ($50 Thousand
Billion), all owed to private banks. Taking into account the 18-21%
interest charged on credit cards, and the much lower interest on
Government Bonds, the average rate of interest must be well over 3% per
year. But even 3% x $50 Trillion results in annual profit to private banks
and their owners of $1.5 Trillion per year. The private banks are owned by
the wealthiest 1% of Americans and foreigners. This is one of the
principal causes of the immense and ever increasing disparity of wealth
between the rich and the non-rich.

.We thus have a gigantic, fraudulent, secret, private banking system that
is killing our civilized democracy and impoverishing us.

Money is power, power with which the tiny numbers of people constituting
the super rich finance candidates for public office, finance their
re-elections, finance their opponents if they fail to do the donor's
bidding, power finance lobbyists, think tanks, academic studies, and
universities. George Washington's Blog on July 2 gave us the result:

"Leading economist Dean Baker wrote today 'Banks Own the US Government'".

The number two ranking Democrat in the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL),
said: "Frankly, banks own the place".

Collin Peterson, Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, said: "The banks
run the place... I will tell you what the problem is - they give three
times more money than the next biggest group. It's huge the amount of
money they put into politics".

This anti democratic private power and wealth could be curtailed if we
caused the United States Congress to exercise its power to cause the
United States to be the sole creator of our money. We then would not need
to tax ourselves to pay off public and private loans. This public money
could simply be issued to rebuild our infrastructure, provide universal
medical care, and to provide free education through college. Public money
could be loaned at controlled interest rates for private businesses.3

THE OTHER WEALTH EXTRACTING "FUNNEL TORNADO:" CAPITALISM

The dynamics of capitalism, based solely on private greed, are more
familiar than the workings of private banking, but still largely
suppressed by the main stream media.

The core dynamic is this:

A person with money hires a person without money at the lowest possible
wage, to produce as much profit as possible, for the man who already has
money.

In 1789, this core dynamic seemed harmless. Persons without money could
always go "out West," or become self-employed. Our Founding Fathers did
not and could not have anticipated how this private wealth creating
institution standing parallel with a government "of, by and for the
people" would capture control of the government.

However, this core dynamic repeated by thousands of employers hiring
millions of employees, over the past 230 years has caused what we have
today: The employers and those who finance the employers have gotten very
rich and powerful. We employees have had a stagnant standard of living
since 1970. An immensely powerful private business system now controls the
government with its wealth in the same way that the private banks do. We
now experience the resulting disparity of poverty and wealth. We
experience our own voting impotence. Even though 70% or more of us voters
want Single Payer Health Coverage, so great is the power of privately
owned insurance companies and HMOs, that this coverage is not even on the
legislative table for consideration. The super rich will allow no
government solution to any of our problems unless it provides a profit
making opportunity for them. Hence the relentless pressure to "privatize"
every human enterprise from health care to freeways to municipal water
works, and to cut the taxes of the rich.

So, our only hope is to seek sources of information and inspiration
outside of these dominant mainstream institutions, from our own experience
and observation, from our prophets and sages over the ages, and from our
own sense of right and wrong. The current economic crisis provides a
fertile opportunity, if only we had the wisdom courage to press our
advantage. The Banks are bankrupt. We can use no more loans or "credit".
We are maxed out on debt. Capitalism is in its terminal phase. Capitalism
has extracted all that it possibly can from us. We are working harder and
longer and for stagnant wages. Capitalism has extracted so much from us,
that we can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that our labor
provides. In extracting wealth from us, these two institutions, private
banking and capitalism, are reducing us to feudal poverty and are killing
themselves.

As activist John Stoltenberg says:

"American capitalism is confronted with the greatest economic/financial
crisis in its over 230 year history. Meanwhile, the capitalist class, its
corporate management and its political elite, i.e. the capitalist
oligarchy which has the real economic and political power, do not have any
real solutions for the economic/financial problems confronting American
capitalism. Therefore, the capitalist oligarchy has created our de facto
fascist state whose sole function is to preserve the economic and
political power of the capitalist oligarchy in the face of its failure to
solve the problems associated with their very mature, dysfunctional and
failing capitalist economic system.

Concurrently, people outside of the ruling capitalist oligarchy, people
without much real economic or political power, people who do the grunt
work to keep American capitalism functioning, who do the dirty work of
fighting its wars, the expendable people who are unemployed, live on food
stamps, have no health insurance, try to make capitalism work no matter
how dysfunctional it is, no matter how badly it is failing as an economic
system. It is these people who still believe the American republic with
its democratic political process, our civil rights, the rule of law, and
the separation of church and state still exists, and try to make our
political system function as it was intended to function.

Since we have no public "bull-horn" comparable to the mainstream media
with which to communicate among ourselves and to organize, we still can do
the following:

.We can recognize our own denial that all of this is happening, our false
belief that 'everything will turn out all right,' and our wish to die if
we cannot keep our material goods. Guided by cutting edge people like
Carolyn Baker, Ph.D., a Jungian psychologist, educator, and author of
Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's
Collapse, we can adjust to our current reality and create the sustainable
survival of our human civilized community. We can be comforted and
enlightened by the book, The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, Founder
of the Transition Movement.

.We can openly and honestly accept our impotence at the ballot box, and
that we no longer have effective voting power. We can be aware of the
immense private forces that control President Obama's actual acts, as
contrasted with what he says in his moving speeches.

.We can stop getting our information from the main stream media. We can
"cut the cord". We can and we must rely on non-mainstream internet sources
like World Socialist Web Site, MRzine, George Washington's Blog,
Counterpunch, and Dissident Voice. We must become aware that even sources
like Move On.org, NLPF, Huffington's Post, NPR, PBS, and The Nation are
beholden to and influenced by private banks and the private business
institutions. We must judge their proposals, "insights" and "information"
accordingly, and we must become aware of what they simply leave out of
their coverage.

.We can use the internet to communicate and organize, perhaps using
something like Face book.

.We can have one day or many day "buyers" strikes. where we simply buy
nothing, to demonstrate our power and our outrage, to mobilize ourselves,
and to challenge the power of the super rich.

.We can have one day "work stoppages" or "sick days" where we simply do
not work.

.We must be ever on guard that our use of the internet will be foreclosed
or monitored by the powers that be.

--
1.See, for example, former Congressman Wright Patman.s report to the
Congress and to the American people entitled .Money.; See also Paul
Grignon.s eye opening 47 minute video, Money as Debt. [.]

2.. (b) Under regulations of the Comptroller General, the Comptroller
General shall audit an agency, but may carry out an onsite examination of
an open insured bank or bank holding company only if the appropriate
agency has consented in writing. Audits of the Federal Reserve Board and
Federal reserve banks may not include.

(1) transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a
foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization;

(2) deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters,
including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities
credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations;

(3) transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market
Committee; or

(4) a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of
the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve
System related to clauses (1)-(3) of this subsection.. [emphasis added]
[.]

3.See the draft of the proposed American Monetary Act drafted by Steven
Zarlenga and others. [.]

Doug Page is a retired lawyer for unions, a former Democratic politician,
and a life long observer of government, unions and business. He can be
reached at: dougpage2 [at] earthlink.net.


--------12 of 12--------

 Some day, doctors will
 fix criminals. Until then,
 freeze the ruling class.


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