|Progressive Calendar 01.07.11||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2011 02:03:23 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.07.11 1. FFUNCH reduxdux 1.07 11:30am 2. Palestine vigil 1.07 4:15pm 3. Peace walk 1.08 9am Cambridge MN 4. Iraq peace 1.08 1pm 5. Urban chicken 1.08 1pm 6. CUAPB 1.08 1:30pm 7. Northtown vigil 1.08 2pm 8. Atheist radio 1.09 9am 9. US plutocracy 1.09 10am 10. Stillwater vigil 1.09 1pm 11. Dave Lindorff - The writing on the wall - a profound disconnect 12. Russell Mokhiber - Politics vs sports? No contest 13. Richard Neville - Smashing Plato's cave- Uncle Sam's house of horrors --------1 of 13-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: FFUNCH reduxdux 1.07 11:30am Be a howdy reduxdux dude. Join us. 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 13-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Palestine vigil 1.07 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 13-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 1.08 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------4 of 13-------- From: IPAC <iraqpeaceactioncoalition [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Iraq peace 1.08 1pm Dear friends in the peace and anti-war movement, IPAC (the Iraq Peace Action Coalition) invites you and/or another member of your group to a meeting on Saturday, January 8 to help plan Twin Cities activists' participation in the spring national actions calling for an end to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and occupations. We have scheduled a meeting on: Saturday, January 8 1:00 PM Mayday Books 301 Cedar Ave. South Minneapolis --------5 of 13-------- From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Urban chicken 1.08 1pm Urban Chicken Basics Workshop - This Saturday! Click to view this email in a browser http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/162758/814727ff0f/45000541/8acadfd1b4/ Urban Chicken Basics Al Bourgeois Saturday, January 8 1:00-3:00pm Do It Green! Minnesota Resource Center, Midtown Global Market Do you wish you could have fresh eggs whenever you want them? Learn the secrets of raising urban chickens from local chicken enthusiast and coop-maker Al Bourgeois. This workshop will cover all the basics of raising chickens in the Twin Cities, including what to feed them, the best chicken coops for our cold winters, and the pros and cons of different breeds. Cost: $10 for the public or $8 for Do It Green! Minnesota members Please email Eva Lewandowski to register ASAP to fill our last spots at eva [at] doitgreen.org. www.doitgreen.org/workshops http://cts.vresp.com/c/?twincitiesgreenguide/814727ff0f/8acadfd1b4/3b172bb566 --------6 of 13-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com> Subject: CUAPB 1.08 1:30pm Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South http://www.CUAPB.org Communities United Against Police Brutality 3100 16th Avenue S Minneapolis, MN 55407 Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867) --------7 of 13-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 1.08 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------8 of 13-------- From: Minnesota Atheists <web [at] mnatheists.org> Subject: Atheist radio 1.09 9am Sunday, January 9, 9:00am-10:00am "Atheists Talk"; Radio AM 950 KTNF in the Twin Cities or stream live at http://www.am950ktnf.com. Mike Haubrich (http://quichemoraine.com/category/mikehaubrich) hosts. Contact us during the show with questions or comments at (952) 946-6205 or radio [at] mnatheists.org. --------9 of 13-------- From: Minnesota Atheists <web [at] mnatheists.org> Subject: US plutocracy 1.09 10am Sunday January 9, 10:00am-12:00pm St. Paul Critical Thinking Club Kelly Inn off Marion Street, St. Paul This club meets the 2nd Sunday of every month. Breakfast and Presentation: $10.00 Presentation Only: $3.00 This month's topic: Jack Carter presents "The 40-Year Evolution of America's Plutocracy" --------10 of 13--------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 1.09 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------11 of 13-------- The Writing on the Wall A Profound and Jarring Disconnect By DAVE LINDORFF January 5, 2011 CounterPunch Democracy: de-moc-ra-cy, government by the people; the common people of a community, as distinguished from any privileged class According to the latest poll conducted by CBS "60 Minutes" and the magazine Vanity Fair, 61 percent of Americans want to raise taxes on the wealthy as the primary way to cut the budget. The same poll finds that the second most popular first choice for cutting the nation's budget deficit, at 20 percent, is cutting the military budget. That is, 81 percent of us - four out of five - would cut the deficit by taxing the rich and/or slashing military spending. Only four percent of those polled favored cutting Medicare, the government-run program that provides health care for the elderly and disabled, and only three percent favored cutting Social Security. President Obama meanwhile, appointed a so-called National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (quickly dubbed the "Catfood Commission" by critics) to come up with proposals to cut the budget deficit. He named as co-chairs former Republican Senator from Wyoming Alan Simpson, a troglodyte sworn enemy of Social Security who publicly declared it to be "a milk cow with 310 million tits," and Erskine Bowles, a retired investment banker and former chief of staff to President Clinton who says he want to cut spending, not raise taxes, which, when it comes to Social Security, means lower benefits for retirees. The writing on the wall appears to be that the White House, and Democrats and Republicans in Congress, are looking to raise the retirement age, currently 66, to 68 or 69, to reduce or at least limit the inflation adjustment in Social Security benefits, and perhaps also to increase the payroll tax on current workers. What they want to do is balance the budget by screwing with our retirement. What they do not want to do is raise taxes on the rich and on investment income, two steps which, if taken, could fully fund Social Security indefinitely into the future. Already, the president and Congress have agreed to extend tax breaks for the rich, even though the vast majority of the American public wants the rich to pay higher taxes. A second poll, this time by CNN, reports that 63 percent of Americans oppose the US War in Afghanistan and want it ended. Only 35 percent say they support the war (now in its ninth year). Yet the president, who originally promised he would end US involvement in 2011, is now saying the US will "end combat operations" in that war-torn country in 2014 - a turn of phrase that doesn't even mean the war would be ended that year (US combat operations allegedly ended in Iraq last summer, but some 50,000 American troops and many more private mercenaries are still there today and will be next year too, unless they are thrown out by the Iraqi government). Even on the matter of cutting military spending, and with the US currently at war, a Financial Times/Harris poll found in November of last year that a third of Americans thought cutting the Pentagon budget was a good idea, and another third said it would not be a bad thing, with only just over a third saying it was a bad idea. Only 30 percent said that they were concerned that cutting military spending might pose a security risk. Instead of cutting though, the Obama administration with Congressional backing has continued to raise military spending to record levels not seen since World War II, when the US was in a state of all-out war and full national mobilization. Last April, while Congress was considering the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill, a Pew poll found that 64 percent of Americans favored regulations placing a maximum limit on the permissible size of a bank. Only 27 percent opposed such a limit. Yet Congress passed, and the president signed into law, a bill that allows banks to grow even larger, without any constraint on size. A Pew Charitable Trust poll released last March found that 52 percent of Americans favor setting limits on carbon emissions by vehicles and power plants, even if such limits meant higher energy prices. Only 35 percent opposed such limits on emissions. And yet Congress and President Obama have refused to offer up with any plan to limit CO2 emissions. Finally, for decades, a majority of Americans have favored some kind of national healthcare system, whether a fully socialized plan such as that in the UK, or a so-called single-payer type plan where the government is the insurer of all citizens, as in Canada. In May 2009, as the battle over health care reform was heating up, a CNN poll found Americans favored a government health plan by 69-29%. What polls showed Americans didn't want was a system of private insurers with a government mandate that everyone had to buy insurance or pay a penalty. Guess what kind of "health reform" Congress and the President gave them? Hint: It wasn't socialized medicine. What's wrong with this picture? On every key issue of public concern - protecting Social Security, reforming and universalizing health care, re-regulating the banking industry, ending America's endless wars, cutting the military budget, and taking serious steps to combat global climate change, the government in this supposed democracy has gone against the wishes of the majority of the public. Clearly, whatever it is, this is no democracy we are living in today. No wonder the American government is so busy figuring out new ways to spy on and monitor us citizens, to militarize police departments, to construct ever bigger prisons, to restrict access to information, and to control and intimidate the media! Instead of being of, by and for the public, it has become the public's enemy. Revolution: rev-uh-loo-shun, an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed. Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin.s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net. He can be reached at dlindorff [at] mindspring.com --------12 of 13-------- Politics vs. Sports? No Contest By RUSSELL MOKHIBER January 6, 2011 CounterPunch Fox, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span? Or ESPN? Politics v. Sports. A friend of mine - a life long political junkie - told me recently that he used to watch more politics than sports. Now, it's the opposite. Now, he's given up on politics. "No competition in politics anymore" he said. Instead of Fox, CNN, C-Span and MSNBC - he spends most of his time watching ESPN. Where there are actually two sides fighting each other to come out on top. Day in and day out. Night in and night out. Why is sports more interesting than politics? Slam dunk answer. Increasingly, Americans are starting to realize that - on hard core economic issues - both Republicans and Democrats are playing for the same owner. Break up the six big too big to fail banks? (Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley.) American people in favor. Both parties opposed. President Obama is reportedly now considering hiring Bill Daley as his new chief of staff. Bill Daley - for the last seven years, a senior executive for JP Morgan Chase - one of the biggest banks in America. And you are going to hear the White House advocate for breaking up the too big to fail banks? No. Get rid of the private health insurance corporations? American people in favor. Both parties opposed. Tax the hyper rich? American people in favor. Both parties opposed. Cut the bloated military budget? American people in favor. Both parties opposed. End the war in Afghanistan? American people in favor. Both parties opposed. (With the Wall Street Journal reporting today that President Obama is sending 1,400 more combat troops to Afghanistan.) So, the only competition is between the American people and the political establishment. That's the real contest. But the American people have no team in the playoffs. We're not on ESPN. Or Fox. Or CNN. Or MSNBC. It's a rigged game in Washington. Both teams are playing for the same owners. Wall Street. The big banks. The insurance corporations. The wealthiest one percent that owns as much as the bottom 90 percent of the American people. The military industrial complex. My friend is right. There is no competition in American politics anymore. Why watch? We know the outcome before the kickoff. So, this weekend, America is going to kick back the barcolounger. Pop open a beer. And turn on ESPN. Politics v. Sports? No contest. Russell Mokhiber edits Single Payer Action. --------13 of 13-------- Smashing Plato's Cave Unlocking Uncle Sam's House of Horrors By RICHARD NEVILLE January 5, 2011 CounterPunch The secrecy-busting by Wiki-leakers may take years to play out in the corridors of power, but there are signs on the ground that citizens are finally rubbing the sleep from their eyes. It's an Aha moment: "They've been lying to us all this time". And so they have; law-breaking with impunity, instigating wars, abetting torture, renditions, secret jails; destroying documents, conspiring to steal DNA from diplomats, slaughtering civilians on several continents, plus much else besides and - weirdly - getting away with it. For how much longer? Citizens today resemble the chained prisoners in Plato's cave, mesmerized by the shadowy flickering on the wall, or on our TVs, which we mistake for reality. The images are illusions. In Plato's famous parable, a prisoner escapes from the cave and discovers the "real world" in all its heartbreak and glory, which he seeks to reveal to the inmates. The revelation is unwanted and the escapee is branded a lunatic. This tale can be viewed from today's perspective, where prisoners of the US military are shackled night and day, brutally beaten, tortured, humiliated, even "disappeared" until they lose all hope of re-entering a world they once knew. Many prisoners are innocent, and - according to numerous accounts - many of the guards are psychopaths. In October 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan, an ill educated Australian searching for adventure, David Hicks, tried to flee. Previously he had enlisted in the Kosovo Liberation Army, then fighting against the Serbs in the Balkans, and allied with NATO. Hicks saw no action. A confused and uneducated but idealistic young man, he later sought to fight on the side of the Kashmiri people but changed his mind. He had been briefly fascinated by Islam. Hicks was picked up by a Northern Alliance soldier and sold to US operatives for US$5000. As he states in his memoir, Guantanamo, My Journey, the brutal beatings began on day one in Afghanistan and he feared for his life. Like many others traded for cash, he is hooded, shackled, interrogated at gun point, repeatedly kicked, punched in the face, treated to mock executions and sodomized with a "large piece of white plastic" as a US soldier snarls "extra ribbed for your pleasure". The sadism is breathtaking - and this is just the beginning. Hicks was among the first batch detainees to arrive at Guantanamo. Plonked on a lump of cement in a barbed wire cage, he is forbidden to look at his jailers. The only authorized positions are to sit or lie in the middle of the cage staring at a fixed spot in the sky or the concrete. The slightest variation provoked an attack from the Instant Reaction Force, who beat offenders to pulp, often accompanied by dogs. Everything about Guantanamo is shameful and sick - including the inability of President Obama to wipe it from the face of the Earth. The observations of Hicks on his six years of cruel and unusual punishment are corroborated by numerous sources. Not a single soldier has been held to account, not even the ones who murdered three prisoners by stuffing rags down their throats. Hicks strongly denies that he had any involvement with al-Qaeda and of course he would, and says he had not even heard of the organization until he was taken to Cuba. However, at a camp in in Afghanistan, he had met Osama Bin Laden which of course begs the question of what sort of camp it was and this understandably excited U.S intelligence. However, does this justify the repugnant behavior that has come to light at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere? Think seriously about this, and if the answer is yes, then we are not who we claim to be. When Major General Geoffrey Miller arrived at the facility, torments multiplied. "We were no longer entitled to toilet paper", writes Hicks, "We were not allowed soap to wash our hands, yet still expected to eat with our fingers". Inmates suffered prolonged solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, forced medication, forced nudity, pepper sprays, exposure to severe cold and "torture of a sexual nature". It was Miller who introduced attack dogs, and when he was transferred to Abhu Ghraib, he again put them to work. Among the unforgettable series of porno tableaus created by the prison's night shift, Miller's dogs can be seen menacing inmates. (At his retirement ceremony in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes in 2006, Miller was honoured by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Richard Cody.) After 9/11, Neo McCarthyism took hold, traumatizing the media mainstream and reducing its reporters to war mongering hacks. In rare moments, when excesses of the US military spilled onto the TV news, such the massacre of children in Afghanistan or the shooting of journalists in Baghdad, an "expert" was corralled to provide "context". Thanks to Wikileaks, a range of NGOs, independent film makers, investigative web sites and a handful of defiantly un-embedded reporters, there is a shift in the wind. In John Pilger's latest film, The War You Don't See, you do surprisingly see a range of media heavies apologizing for biased reporting. "I didn't really do my job properly," BBC reporter Rageh Omaar admits to Pilger. "I'd hold my hand up and say that one didn't press the most uncomfortable buttons hard enough." Omaar describes how British military propaganda successfully manipulated coverage of the fall of Basra, which BBC News reported as having fallen "17 times". This coverage, he says, was "a giant echo chamber". Veteran CBS news anchor Dan Rather tells Pilger "there was a fear in every newsroom in America, a fear of losing your job... the fear of being stuck with some label, unpatriotic or otherwise." Rather said the war turned reporters into stenographers and that had "journalists questioned the deceptions that led to the Iraq war, instead of amplifying them, the invasion would not have happened". This view is reportedly shared by a number of senior journalists interviewed by Pilger. Australia's media fell head first into the propaganda trap, excited by Shock and Awe and hosting discussions with Pentagon experts, who claimed precision bombing in Baghdad would reduce civilian casualties. The crushing of Falluja and other atrocities were scarcely mentioned. The War You Don't See was screened in Britain in late December and quickly migrated to YouTube <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7wXhN5h_Pg> and beyond. The response is astonishing. Scales are falling from the eyes of a new generation: I'm speechless, brokenhearted, and appalled at our own complicity. 90% Civilian deaths! "I could have watched another 3 hours more and still want more... Awesome video, thank you all so much...!!" Unfortunately, to stop all this, we have to re-think our entire concept of society, authority and personal responsibility and ability... And so on and so on. Even those close to the US military have been jolted into re-assessing their mission, as in this confession by Tim King from Oregon's Salem-News. "On the verge of understanding my own role in promoting the US wars overseas as a former embedded reporter, John Pilger's new program shoved me right off of the cliff of ignorance, into a painful valley of understanding. I always thought I had a moral 'out' because even though I was a Marine, the only thing I ever shot in a war was my television camera. But as it turns out, when I confront this demon; I discover quite clearly that however small in comparison to some reporters, I was part of the problem. In this age of terror it is time to focus on homegrown terrorists who pose as saviors; the gutless assassins of the CIA and its secret affiliates, flinging Drones at impoverished tribes, killing the good and the bad and the babies, just like in Vietnam. As noted by anthropologist Maximilian Forte, the real war on terror is "in fact a global counterinsurgency program directed at all of us. We live in a regime of global occupation, where psychological warfare, assaults on human rights, and increasingly dictatorial state powers are directed against citizens, not just foreign 'enemy combatants'". In Plato's cave the inmates are more at ease with illusions than the truth, much like today. Over the last decade millions have turned a blind eye to the stinking system of deception, torture and wholesale slaughter that has infected the West. Indifferent to treaties, conventions and the rules of war, the US government is a blot on the landscape of the future, a sleazy exterminator who never sleeps, addicted to war; unmoved by the carnage it creates. The US Government proclaim a passion for freedom, even as they seek to eliminate the freedom of others, such as Julian Assange, for exposing the inglorious exploits of its military, as it murders bystanders with a volley from a helicopter, followed by a chuckle. Now raining down from cyber space are revelations on what's really been happening, as opposed the fairy tales told on TV. They provide a window of information. So what are we going to do about it? Richard Neville lives in Australia, the land that formed him. In the Sixties he raised hell in London and published Oz. He can be reached at rneville [at] ozemail.com.au ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress for governor now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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