Progressive Calendar 01.22.11
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 00:59:42 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   01.22.11

1. Palestine        1.22 10am
2. Nicaragua/music  1.22 10am
3. CUAPB            1.22 1:30pm
4. Northtown vigil  1.22 2pm

5. Palestine photos 1.23 8:30am
6. Atheist radio    1.23 9am
7. Stillwater vigil 1.23 1pm
8. WAMM warm up     1.23 4pm

9. Ron Jacobs          - Informer found in Antiwar Committee's midst
10. Alexander Cockburn - Palin falls in polls - collateral damage
11. Conn Hallinan      - Empire strikes back - GOP targets Latin America
12. ed                 - Watchword
13. ed                 - Bumpersticker

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

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine 1.22 10am

Documentary: "With God On Our Side"
Saturday, January 22, 9:30 a.m. (Refreshments), 10:00 a.m. to Noon
(Program and Discussion) Southdale Hennepin County Library, 7001 York
Avenue South, Edina.

"With God On Our Side" takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism,
which teaches that because the Jews are God's chosen people, they have a
divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead
some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli
government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of
Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian
Palestinians alike and threatening Israel's security as a whole. This film
demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want
to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn't favor
one people group over another but instead promotes peace and
reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians."  Sponsored by: Middle East
Peace Now (MEPN). WAMM is a member of MEPN. FFI: Call Dixie, 952-941-1341.

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

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at]>
Subject: Nicaragua/music 1.22 10am

Saturday, January 22nd, 2010
Resource Center of the Americas
3019 Minnehaha Ave, Suite 20

Carlos Lumbi is offering a concert here at the Resource Center of The
Americas. His lyrics cover a range of topics, focusing on Central American
social and environmental justice issues, and his musical style is

He have also musicalized poems by Gioconda Belli, Ernesto Cardenal and
Francisco Ruiz Udiel, among others. Along with his own music, he will
perform songs by friends from Nicaragua who also sing of a deep desire for
social, economic and environmental justice. He has been also playing with
two different bands in Minneapolis: The Pachamama Band and Almandina.

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

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 1.22 1:30pm

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

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

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

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 1.22 2pm

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

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

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine/photos 1.23 8:30am

Exhibit: "Our Story: the Palestinians"
January 23 through February 13, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30
p.m.; Wednesday Evening, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30
p.m. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 2730 East 31st Street, Minneapolis.

A photo journey through history of the indigenous people from pre-1948
Palestine through the wars of 1948 and 1967, to the Intifada, military
occupation and present-day struggles for justice and peace. Constructed
and Updated by: the Palestinian Christian organization Sabeel and Canadian
Friends of Sabeel. Sponsored by: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. FFI: Call

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

From: Minnesota Atheists <web [at]>
Subject: Atheist radio 1.23 9am

Sunday, January 23, 9:00am-10:00am "Atheists Talk" Radio AM 950 KTNF in
the Twin Cities or stream live at Mike Haubrich
( hosts. Contact us during
the show with questions or comments at (952) 946-6205 or
[16]radio [at]

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

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 1.23 1pm

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

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

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

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

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: WAMM warm up 1.23 4pm

WAMM Warm Up
Sunday, January 23, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. May Day Cafe, 3440 Bloomington
Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Warm up on a cold January Sunday with WAMM.
Share your peace and activism stories at an open mic with MC Brigid
McDonald - or just listen to others tell their stories. All are welcome.
Sponsored by: WAMM. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.

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

Informer Found in Antiwar Committee's Midst
The Feds Go Fishing
January 21 - 23, 2011

Back in September 2010, a series of FBI raids were conducted in
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and North Carolina.  These raids were
conducted under laws pertaining to US citizens providing "material aid to
terrorists" and targeted members of antiwar, leftist, and solidarity
organizations.  Since the raids, various activists that were targeted have
been subpoenaed to appear at a grand jury and have refused to do so.  By
refusing, those subpoenaed are risking arrest for contempt.  However, as
of this writing, none have been taken to jail yet.  As I wrote in an
article first published in CounterPunch on September 27, 2010: "These
raids are a clear and vicious attempt to intimidate the antiwar movement."
and the grand jury "is a fishing expedition, as evidenced (for example) by
the warrant asking for papers from no determined time."

The reaction of those whose homes were raided and their supporters was
quick and determined.  The targeted activists, their attorneys, and local
supporters held a couple of press conferences within days of the raids and
original subpoenas and a national network organized protests at Federal
Buildings in a number of US cities and towns.  Resolutions attacking the
raids and subpoenas and pledging support for the activists and the right
to organize were introduced and passed by a number of city councils and
antiwar and labor organizations.  The office of the US Attorney for the
Northern Illinois District under the direction of US Attorney Patrick
Fitzgerald temporarily withdrew the subpoenas.  However, they were
reinstated in December, leading to the aforementioned refusal of those
subpoenaed to appear in front of the grand jury.  Several more subpoenas
were served on other activists.  In fact, nine more activists have been
ordered to testify before the grand jury on January 25, 2011 in Chicago.

A sidebar regarding Patrick Fitzgerald might be beneficial here. If that
name seems familiar, it is because he is associated with many high profile
cases. He helped prosecute Scooter Libby in the case known as the Valerie
Plame affair.  For those who don't remember this case, it involved members
of the George Bush White House releasing the name of a CIA agent to the
media - a federal offense.  Although Libby was convicted of the crime, it
has always been believed that others in the White House, including Vice
President Cheney, were involved in its commission.  This demands the
question as to why no one else was prosecuted and how much the prosecutor
(Fitzpatrick) was involved in limiting the prosecution to one individual,
thereby sparing the White House from a criminal investigation.  Patrick
has also been involved in many other high profile cases, including the
prosecution off Illinois governors Ryan and Blagojevich in separate
corruption cases and a case involving torture by the Chicago police that
resulted in the conviction of Chicago detective Jon Burge.

In another investigation targeting leftist, anarchist and antiwar
political activists in the Twin Cities, several homes and offices were
raided before and during the 2008 Republican National Convention in
Minneapolis.  If one recalls, that convention also saw the arrest of media
members including Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, brutal attacks on
protestors by police and private "contractors" working with police, and a
lockdown against free speech activities in certain areas of the city.
Several hundred people were arrested and many were beaten.  Nine
organizers were eventually charged with acts of terrorism.  During their
trial it became clear that the organizations these individuals were
affiliated with had been infiltrated by government informers.

Similarly, last week the AntiWar Committee (one of the organizations
targeted in the September raids) of the Twin Cities discovered that they
too had had an informer in their midst since 2008.  Going by the name
Karen Sullivan, this woman claimed to be a single parent and a lesbian who
did not get along with her child's father.  According to statements from
members of the AntiWar Committee that appeared in the press, the group's
members were sympathetic to her cover story and, despite an initial
concern by some members, accepted and befriended the woman.  Also, since
the AntiWar Committee (AWC) believed their meetings and activities to be
covered by the first amendment and were always open to the public, there
was little concern for secrecy.

"Ms. Sullivan" involved herself in AWC activities and meetings, even
chairing some of them.  She was also one of three AWC members that
traveled to Palestine.  As soon as they reached Israel, the members were
told they would be detained unless they turned back.  Two chose to stay
and were detained while "Sullivan" went back to the US.  It turns out that
the Israeli authorities had prior knowledge of the visit and the intention
of the group to meet with Palestinian women.  While no one in the group
could figure out how this was so, it seems apparent now that the "Ms.
Sullivan" had provided this information to her handler who had in turn
provided it to US officials, who then passed it on to the Israeli

In the wake of the January 8, 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona there have
been calls by a number of politicians, media commentators and others
suggesting the need for new laws limiting political speech in the United
States.  Meanwhile, efforts are underway in Congress to renew sections of
the PATRIOT Act that are due to expire soon.  History tells us that when
laws designed to curb political are enacted in the US, they are used
primarily against groups and individuals on the left side of the political
spectrum.  There is no need for more laws.  Instead, there is a need for
more free speech.  Laws like the PATRIOT Act and The Effective Death
Penalty and Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996 and the subsequent interpretation
of those laws by the courts have criminalized political activities that
were previously legal.  The investigation that led to the raids and grand
juries discussed here are an example of this.

The intention of the government in this and other similar investigations
is to intimidate people into keeping silent so they can carry on their
business with a minimum amount of attention from the public.  As the
discovery of an informer in the AWC shows, they will stop at nothing in
their attempt to silence protest against their imperial designs.  It
doesn't matter if they get any convictions or even an indictment out of
their fishing expedition.  If they have intimidated those who oppose
imperial war and support people around the world in their struggle against
military occupation, they will have accomplished their goal.  This is
reason enough to support those currently targeted by the FBI in the
investigations discussed here.  It is more than enough reason to attend
the protests against the grand jury on January 25, 2011 around the US.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the
Weather Underground. Jacobs. essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in
CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden.
His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. His
most recent book, titled Tripping Through the American Night is published
as an ebook.  Fomite (Burlington, VT.) is publishing his new novel, titled
The Co-Conspirator's Tale in Spring 2011 He can be reached at:
rjacobs3625 [at]

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

Collateral Damage
January 21 - 23, 2011

It's too soon to say of course, but it really does look as though though
the Tucson shooter has done Sarah Palin serious damage. A Gallup poll run
at the end of last week gives her a 53 per cent unfavorable rating, the
lowest level she's sunk to in public esteem since she was first lofted to
national prominence as John McCain's vice presidential pick in 2008.

Only 38 per cent now have a favorable view of the former Alaska governor.

Palin has only herself to blame. Against accusations that her bulls-eye
campaign map targeted Democrats, including Gabrielle Giffords, she could
have countered with measured expressions of sympathy for the dead and
wounded, and a more in-sorrow-than-in-anger reproof for the over-hasty

Instead of which she came out with eight minutes of self-defensive whining
on Facebook, and caused great annoyance to Jewish groups by filching the
"blood libel" charge on which they have had copyright since the Middle
Ages. Since then, she's done nothing to improve her performance,
complaining that Obama had given a campaign speech at the memorial in

Her charge was  true, but the trouble is that most Americans liked Obama's
campaign speech. It was essentially the same speech that got him into the
White House in the first place. While Palin was plummeting in the polls,
approval for the President's Tucson performance was up in the high 70s

Before the shootings the Republicans were rearing and plunging as they
burst out of the starting gate for the new Congressional session.  John
Boehner (dry eyed when talking about what happened in Tucson)  went
through a couple of cambric kerchiefs wiping the tears from his eyes in
his "maiden" address as Speaker while down on the floor manly Republicans
like Steve King of Iowa exulted that the blood-dimmed tides of payback
were about to be loosed.

It was King, back in September, who fretted that the Republican leadership
might go soft on reforming Obamacare, and that "a blood oath" of fortitude
was necessary. It was King too who talked about the necessity of there
being "blood on the floor" in the struggle for America's future. Their
first legislative target, Obama's health insurance bill, which passed into
law last summer, was rolled out under the title, 'Repeal of the
Job-Killing Health Care Law Act'. They just couldn't get enough of blood
or killing. One columnist did a search on how many bills have had the word
"killing" in the title. He found that "almost no legislation in 20 years
used the word".

Then real blood splattered across the parking lot of a Tucson Safeway. The
sheriff of Pima Country blamed poisonous rhetoric. Panic-stricken
Republicans spent the next two weeks embarking on a fairly successful
campaign to persuade the press that two years worth of incendiary,
para-homicidal rhetoric could by definition have absolutely no measurable
effect on any psychotic in America, including Loughner.  Liberal pundits
like Jonathan Alter obediently clicked their heels and agreed that putting
targets on electoral maps was as influential in measurable consequence as
sticking a soft toy on the window of a Volvo.

They may have counter-attacked with some effect in this skirmish, but even
now about a third of the country still believes that violent political
rhetoric helped provoke Loughner's rampage.

The Republicans have lost their 'mo, at least for a while. But efforts by
their leaders to damp down the bellicosity of newly elected Tea Party
types is running into the fact that the Tea Partiers have only the high
volume setting on their amplifiers, just like Palin. They're like a couple
having a fight at a funeral; politely sotto voce, then suddenly bursting
out fortissimo with their plaints and accusations.

Meanwhile Obama is looking more chipper than he has in the whole of the
last year, a unifier at last, acting presidential as he triangulates just
as Bill did in 95 and the years thereafter. Clinton and Gore "reinvented
government" and Obama vows to do away with irksome regulations (like
storing long form birth certificates securely)  that hold America back.

Where is Monica Lewinsky now that we need her? Coming off the Tucson
memorial service and the performance of the intern who may have saved
Giffords' life Slate compiled a list of Great Contributions by Interns in
History. Of course it failed to include Monica Lewinsky and her almost
single-handed salvation, exclusively reported here in CounterPunch, of
Social Security which Clinton was on the very edge of "reforming" before
the scandal forced him to drop his plans.

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

The Republicans Target Latin America
The Empire Strikes Back
January 21 - 23, 2011

For the past decade, American policy vis-a-vis Latin America has been
relatively low-key, partly because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
and partly because the region has seen an unprecedented growth in economic
power and political independence. But, with Republicans taking over the
House of Representatives, that is about to change, and, while the Southern
Cone no longer stands to attention when Washington snaps its fingers, an
aggressive and right wing Congress is capable of causing considerable

Rep. Lleana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl), a long-time hawk on Cuba and leftist
regimes in Venezuela and Bolivia, is the new chair of the powerful House
Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the rightist Rep. Connie Mack (D-Fl)
heads up the House subcommittee on Western Hemisphere affairs.
Ros-Lethinen is already preparing hearings aimed at Venezuela and Bolivia,
and Mack will try to put the former on the State Department's list of
countries sponsoring terrorism.

Ros-Lehtinen plans to target Venezuela's supposed ties to Middle East
terrorist groups and Iran's nuclear weapons program, and to push for
economic sanctions against Venezuela's state-owned oil company and banks.
"It will be good for congressional subcommittees to start talking about
[President of Venezuela Hugo] Chavez, about [President of Bolivia Evo]
Morales, about issues that have not been talked about," she told the Miami

The new chairs of the House Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee
have also signaled they intend to weigh in on establishing a more hawkish
line on Latin America.

Unfortunately, it is the Obama administration that created an opening for
the Republicans. While the White House came in pledging to improve
relations with Latin America, Washington has ended up supporting a coup in
Honduras, strengthening the U.S. military's presence in the region, and
ignoring growing criticism of its failed war on drugs.

Recent disclosures by Wikileaks reveal the Obama administration was well
aware that the June 2009 Honduran coup against President Manuel Zelaya was
illegal; nonetheless, it intervened to help keep the coup forces in power.
Other cables demonstrate an on-going American hostility to the Morales
regime in Bolivia and Washington's sympathy with secessionist forces in
that country's rich eastern provinces.

Many Latin Americans initially had high hopes the Obama administration
would bring a new approach to its relations with the region, but some say
they have seen little difference from the Bush Administration. "The truth
is that nothing has changed and I view that with sadness," says former
Brazilian president Luiz Lula da Silva. But things may go from bad to
worse if the White House is passive in the face of a sharp rightward turn
by Congress.

The Latin America of 2011 is not the same place it was a generation ago.
Economic growth has outstripped the U.S. and Europe, progressive and left
governments have lifted 38 million people out of poverty, cut extreme
poverty by 70 percent, and increased literacy. The region has also
increased its south-south relations with countries like China, South
Africa and India. China is now Brazil's number one trading partner. An
economic alliance - Mercosur - has knitted the region together
economically, and the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS)
finds itself eclipsed by the newly formed Union of South American Nations.

But many countries in Latin America are still riven by wealth disparities,
ethnic divides, and powerful ties between local oligarchies and the
region's curse: powerful and undemocratic police and militaries. One such
military pulled off the Honduran coup, and police came within a whisker of
overthrowing Ecuador's progressive president, Rafael Correa, in 2010.

One 2007 Wikileaks cable titled "A Southern Cone perspective on countering
Chavez and reasserting U.S. leadership," pointed out "Southern Cone
militaries remain key institutions in their respective countries and
important allies for the U.S." The author of the cable, then ambassador to
Chile, Craig Kelly, is currently principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State. Kelly strongly recommended increasing aid to Latin American
militaries to help them "modernize."

In many cases, rightists in Latin America share an agenda with right-wing
forces in the U.S. For instance, Republicans played a key role in
supporting the Honduran coup and continue to strengthen those ties. In a
recent trip to Honduras, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca) - a senior member of
the House Foreign Affairs Committee - brought together U.S. business
leaders and Honduran officials to discuss American investment. Honduras
was suspended from the OAS, and only a handful of Latin American
governments recognize the new president, Porfirio Lobo.

It was the Obama Administration, however, who recognized the government
established by the coup, and remains silent in the face of what Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch calls widespread human rights
violations by the Lobos regime, including the unsolved murder of at least
18 opponents. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is lobbying hard to
have Honduras re-admitted to the OAS.

A quick survey of Republican targets suggests troubled waters ahead.

Chavez has won two elections and is enormously popular. He has cut
poverty, tripled social spending, doubled university enrollment, and
extended health care to most of the poor. A U.S. engineered coup seems
unlikely. But a "supporter of terrorism" designation would cause
considerable difficulties with international financing and foreign
investment. Sanctions on oil and banking would also disrupt the Venezuelan
economy, in the long run creating conditions favorable to a possible coup.

While it is hard to imagine what else the U.S. could do to Cuba, Congress
may try to choke off investment in Cuba's growing oil and gas industries.
Companies are already jumping through hoops to avoid getting around the
current embargo. The Spanish oil company Repsol and Italy's Eni SpA
recently built an offshore oil rig in China to dodge the blockade.

"It is ridiculous that Repsol, a Spanish oil company, is paying an Italian
firm to build an oil rig in China that will be used next year to explore
for oil 50 miles from Florida," Sarah Stephens, director of the Center for
Democracy in the Americas told the Financial Times. If the Republicans
have their way, sanctions will be applied to those oil companies.

Ecuador's Correa beat back a recent right-wing coup, largely because of
his 67 percent approval rating. He has doubled spending on health care,
increased social spending, and stiffed an illegitimate $3.2 billion
foreign debt. But he has a tense relationship with indigenous movements,
which accuse him of trying to marginalize them. While those groups did not
support the coup, neither did they rally to the government's support.
Those divisions could be easily exploited to destabilize the government.

In the case of Bolivia, the Wikileak released cables, according to Latin
American journalist and author Benjamin Dangl, "lays bare an embassy that
is biased against Evo Morales' government, underestimates the
sophistication of the governing party's grassroots base, and is out of
touch with the political reality of the country."

The cables indicate the U.S. is relying on information from extreme right
wing and violent secessionist groups in Eastern Bolivia, groups that
receive financing and training from the National Endowment for Democracy
and USAID. Both groups have close ties to American intelligence
organizations. Given Brazil's strong opposition to any attempt to break up
Bolivia, it is not clear a succession movement would succeed. But would
Brazil - or Argentina, Uruguay or Paraguay - actually intervene?

Paraguay is also a country deeply divided between left and right, with a
progressive president who warned last year that a coup by the country's
powerful military was a possibility.

The Obama administration's acceptance of the Honduran coup sent a chill
throughout Latin America, and certainly emboldened those who see tanks and
caudillos as an answer to the region's surge of progressive politics and
independent foreign policy. The recent effort by Turkey and Brazil to
broker a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program did not go down
well in Washington. Neither have efforts to chart an independent course on
the Middle East by nations in the region. Several countries have formally
recognized a Palestinian state, and Peru will host an Arab-Latin America
summit Feb. 16.

Latin America is no longer an appendage to the colossus of the north, but
its growing independence is fragile, as the coups in Honduras and Ecuador
suggest. The chasm between rich and poor is being closed, but it is still
substantial. The economies in the region are growing at a respectable 6
percent, but, because they are relatively small, they can be more easily
derailed by internal and external crises. Even as its power wanes, the
U.S. is still the world's largest economy with the world's largest
military. This, plus anti-democratic forces in Latin America, is fertile
ground for mischief, particularly if there is not strong resistance on the
U.S. home front.

Conn Hallinan can be reached at: ringoanne [at]

[All of this mischief is supported by Obama, the traitor to democracy that
millions of politically and ethically bankrupt lesser-evil liberals are
going to vote for in 2012, because they are spinelessly incapable of
long-range intelligent action. (This is the nice way to put it.) -ed]

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

 The only thing necessary for lesser-evil to triumph
 is for good men to do nothing.

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

                                F the FBI


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