Progressive Calendar 02.18.11
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 02:54:25 -0800 (PST)
           P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   02.18.11

1. Palestine vigil 2.18 4:15pm
2. Iraq/arts       2.18 6pm
3. Full moon walk  2.18 7pm
4. Human rights    2.18 7pm Austin MN
5. Nonviolence     2.18-2.20

6. Matthew Rothschild - Rallies in Madison, ground zero of the fight back
7. Christopher Fons   - Prairie fire in Madison
8. Stein et al        - Senate Dems boycott vote on Walker's budget plan
9. Glen Ford          - Obamaland, where right meets center-right
10. ed                - Five pretty damn important political questions

--------1 of 10--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Palestine vigil 2.18 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.


--------2 of 10--------

From: WAMM <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Iraq/arts 2.18 6pm

Art Exhibit: Navigating the Aftermath
February 18 through March 4 (Opening Reception: Friday, February 18, 6:00
to 9:00 p.m.) University of Minnesota, Regis Center for the Arts, Quarter
Gallery, 405 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Eight years into an ongoing war in Iraq: Where do we go from here?
American and Iraqi artists explore the effects of the Iraq War to chart a
course toward healing and reconciliation. Sponsored by: the Iraqi and
American Reconciliation Project and the West Bank Arts Quarter. FFI: Visit
www.navigatingtheaftermath.org .


--------3 of 10--------

From: Sue Ann <seasnun [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Full moon walk 2.18 7pm   [FULL FRONTAL VIEW!! must be 18! -ed]

Full Moon Walk at Coldwater SpringFriday, February 18, 2011, at 7 PM
The Quickening Moon

Come and walk the snow labyrinth before it melts.

Nora Morning Star & John Gebhardt will talk about Dakota plans for a huge
Native American gathering at Twin Cities sacred sites for the Summer
Solstice.

The Moon of Snow Crust hides a quickening. Timber wolves are mating,
nights are shrinking - since the Winter Solstice Full Moon we've lost
one-hour, 50 minutes of nighttime. No wonder if you're tired.  A cure is
to come out to Coldwater and catch the quickening. Traditional group howl!

Sunset 5:45 PM (42-minutes later than last month due to lengthening day)
Moonrise 6:42 PM (29-minutes later than last month)
The Earth is not round but pear-shaped, like a woman - with hips, so the
daylight gain is not symmetrical. [Since Reagan the earth has expanded
1000 miles to the right   -ed]

Directions: Coldwater is south of Minnehaha Park, in Minneapolis. From Hwy
55/Hiawatha, turn East (toward the Mississippi) at 54th Street, take an
immediate right, & drive South on the frontage road for -mile past the
parking meters, through the cul-de-sac & the gates, & past the abandoned
buildings. Follow the curvy road left & then right down to the pond, next to
the great willow tree.
Free. Open to all. Info: www.friendsofcoldwater.org


--------4 of 10--------

From: Kiera Coulter <kcoulter [at] macalester.edu>
Subject: Human rights 2.18 7pm Austin MN

"Welcome to Shelbyville" Documentary Screening (2/18/11)

In honor of Human Rights Day, the Advocates for Human Rights and the One
Voice Minnesota Network are hosting a special documentary screening of
"Welcome to Shelbyville." The documentary features a small town of
southern Tennessee, and examines how its residents grapple with fast
demographic change with large influxes of immigrants of several
cultural/ethnic backgrounds.  Viewers can watch how Shelbyville has worked
to understand, challenge, and accept new immigrants into their community.
The screening will be followed by a discussion of how this spring's PBS
broadcast of "Welcome to Shelbyville" can serve as a tool to better the
multicultural communities of Minnesota.

Location:  Riverland Community College Theater, 1900 8th Avenue NW, Austin
Time:  7:00 pm

For more information contact Madeline at onevoiceminnesota [at] gmail.com


--------5 of 10--------

From: WAMM <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Nonviolence 2.18-2.20

Active Nonviolence Training
February 18 through 20 United Church of Christ, 4200 Lake Road,
Robbinsdale. March 18 through 20 Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 East 22nd
Street, Minneapolis.

Intensive 3-day training in the principles and practice of active
nonviolence. An interactive weekend (non- lecture and non-reading) in
social change analysis, community-building and project planning to
strengthen our group for action. Certificates for participants. Trainers
from Creating a Culture of Peace (CCP) which moved its national
headquarters to Minnesota. Sponsored by: CCP. FFI and to Register: Visit
www.creatingacultureofpeace.org.


--------6 of 10--------

Rallies in Madison, Ground Zero of the Fight Back
by Matthew Rothschild
Published on Thursday, February 17, 2011 by The Progressive Glorious

What glory it is to be in Madison, Wisconsin, this week, where the people
of this state have risen up in revolt against the Neanderthal Republicans
who are trying to bust public sector unions and inflict massive harm on
their workers.

It's not about balancing a budget. It's about destroying unions as a
political and economic force. That's why the bill says every public sector
union would have to recertify every year, and why it says that no employer
could deduct union dues from paychecks. Neither of those things has
anything to do with saving a dime of Wisconsin taxpayer money.

This is ground zero in the fight back, and Wisconsinites are engaging in
the closest thing to a general strike that I've ever seen in my lifetime.

This is what democracy looks like. One sign said, "This Is Our Tahrir
Square".

I interviewed protestors on Wednesday when the crowd swelled to 30,000.
One woman was wearing a "Kick Me, I'm a State Worker" sign. But she
declined to give her name. "I'm afraid I'd get fired," she said.

Another woman named Mary Batt, who works for the Department of Justice,
said, "I'm here for people who can't be for fear they'd be retaliated
against".

I spoke with Allie Riefke, 17, of Mt. Horeb High School, who took off
school to come to the rally. She held a sign that read, "Save Our
teachers. And My Mom". Her mom works as a guidance counselor at another
school, and she couldn't come to the rally "because she'd get into
trouble".

Allie said her mom is "going to lose $5,000 if they pass this bill". She
added: "That's braces for my little brother. It's not fair".

She's right. It isn't fair.

And that's why so many Wisconsinites are out in the street nonviolently
but militantly fighting for their rights this week.

Copyright 2010, The Progressive Magazine
 Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine.


--------7 of 10--------

Flames of Resistance
Prairie Fire in Madison
By CHRISTOPHER FONS
CounterPunch
2.17.11

From grudging complacency to thousands on the streets, Wisconsin's
protests are spreading like a prairie fire.  With notable work over the
years done by small numbers of committed activists aside, widespread
political activism has been dormant in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is the state where Fighting Bob La Follette led the progressive
movement a century back and was the first state where public employees
secured the right to collectively bargain in 1959. Wisconsites have
enjoyed the equity of this past activism for decades, yet 30 years after
Ronald Reagan launched his class war against workers, labor is finally
taking a stand.

After a series of cascading factory closings, longer work weeks, shortened
leisure, lowered expectations and heightened insecurity Wisconsin labor is
saying "enough".

Enter Governor Scott Walker to drop a match to the parched prairie and
start the flames of resistance.

Early this week labor unions called for the usual lobbying, protests,
rallies, and vigils against Walker's aggressive move to eliminate
collective bargaining rights and cut benefits in order to pay for his
larding up the budget with tax breaks for the rich. Except this time it
was different.  Walker's attack was not the usual administration of slow
bleeding, but a move to go in for the final kill.  This time, workers
across the state realized it was time to fight or see themselves
sacrificed on the altar of Scott Walker's political ambitions.

This week, with each passing hour, demonstrations grew and communication
among workers left the incubator of organized labor tops and went into a
high energy transformation into a mass movement.  On the ground, the
Republican strategy to railroad the bill through in special session was
confounded by protestors, abetted by progressive legislators, which halted
its rapid passage in small hearing rooms and moved it into the halls of
the capitol rotunda. An all night peoples' discussion of the bill ensued.
This brought out students and trade unionists to sleep overnight at the
state capitol building.

The following day saw the crowd swell to near 15,000, with a walkout by
Madison area students, which was followed by the Madison teachers. union
call for a walkout on Wednesday, which continues.  The upbeat mood was
further elevated by the firefighters, whom Walker tried to split off from
labor by exempting them the cuts. Instead, the firefighters came in
support of the people and entered the crowd as heroes. Meanwhile, Governor
Walker remained rigid, but with some Republican State Senators beginning
to bend and urge compromise. At this point, the largest union in the
state, the teachers union (WEAC) had enough. With the vote pending on
Thursday, they implored all Wisconsinites to come to Madison and get as
close to the capitol rotunda as possible and sit. This call spread across
with state, with 35 school districts either canceling or delaying classes
today.

More to come!

Christopher Fons is a Social Studies teacher in Milwaukee and a member of
the Milwaukee Teacher's Education Association (MTEA). He can be reached at
fonsca [at] gmail.com


--------8 of 10--------

Senate Democrats Boycott Thursday Vote on Walker's Budget Plan
by Jason Stein, Patrick Marley and Steve Schultze
Published on Thursday, February 17, 2011 by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
common dreams

MADISON, WI . Law enforcement officers are searching for Democratic
senators boycotting a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair
plan Thursday in an attempt to bring the lawmakers to the floor to allow
Republicans to move forward with action on the bill.

One Democratic senator said that he believed at least most of the members
of his caucus are in another state. At least one, however, Sen. Chris
Larson (D-Milwaukee) said he was still in his Capitol office listening to
constituents.

In a press conference just off the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader
Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said that Democrats were "not showing up for
work" and that police were searching for them to bring them to the floor.

"That's not democracy. That's not what this chamber is about," Fitzgerald
said of the boycott to reporters.

Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) confirmed Thursday that Democrats are
boycotting the Senate action on the bill in efforts to block a quorum and
keep the measure from passing. Because 20 senators of the 33-member house
are needed to be present to pass a fiscal bill, the body's 19 Republicans
will not be enough to pass the budget repair bill without at least one
Democrat present.

"They can't pass this bill if there's not a Democrat in the chamber,"
Cullen said.

Cullen said he believed at least most of the Democrats were now outside
Wisconsin, though he declined to say where.

"I think they're all out of state. I am anyway," Cullen said.

Speculation in the Capitol pointed to Illinois as the state where
Democrats had headed.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) released a statement calling
on Republicans to listen to unions and protesters calling for changes to
the bill, which would cut benefits and almost all union bargaining rights
for public employees.

"Democrats believe it is wrong to strip people of their right to have a
say in the conditions of their employment and to use state law to bust
unions," Miller said. "These people deserve to be heard and their rights
ought to be respected."

Cullen said Democrats hope delaying the bill will give more time for union
demonstrators to win over any possible wavering Republicans. He said the
decision was made by other Democrats at a meeting at which he was not
present.

Fitzgerald said he believed the last time such an action had happened was
in the mid-1990s when the Assembly was at odds over a bill to help finance
Miller Park. He said he was not sure how much authority law enforcement
officials would have to compel Democrats to show up.

The tactic wasn't winning over Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), a moderate
whom unions had been trying to court to vote against the bill. Cowles
called the blockage of the Senate vote an attempt to "shut down
democracy."

The Senate convened at 11:30, with 17 Republicans but no Democrats
present. After a prayer and the pledge of allegiance, action was
immediately disrupted by demonstrators in the gallery shouting, "Freedom,
democracy, unions."

Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) made a call of the house to bring
the three additional senators needed to vote on the bill to the Senate
floor.

If a Democrat does show up for the vote, a handful of GOP senators will
decide the fate of Walker's bill.

The Senate is meeting amid massive demonstrations that have so packed the
Capitol that movement outside the Senate chambers is difficult at best.

Spokesmen for the Republican governor and Senate Majority Leader Scott
Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said they were confident that the GOP lawmakers had
the votes they needed to pass the bill without further changes. Walker has
said that the proposal's cuts to worker benefits and to decades-old union
bargaining laws are needed to help balance the state's gaping budget
shortfall in this year and the next two.

Republicans control the Senate 19-14, meaning they can lose only two votes
and still pass the bill if all Democrats oppose it. Some Republicans have
shown reluctance about the bill, though so far none have said publicly
that they will vote against it.

Even after voting for the proposal in the Legislature's budget committee
just before midnight Wednesday, Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) showed his
concern about the effects of the proposal on workers.

"I will probably vote for it" on the Senate floor, Olsen said.

On a 12-4 party-line vote Wednesday, the Joint Finance Committee added new
civil-service protections for local government employees and kept cuts to
public worker benefits. The budget committee began debating the bill at
7:45 p.m. Wednesday, after Republicans spent hours behind closed doors
crafting the changes. The Senate and Assembly could now act on it as early
as Thursday.

"This will pass in that form," Fitzgerald said.

His brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), said he also
expected the Legislature to accept the changes the committee adopted and
not make any further ones.

Some senators attempted to make significant changes to the bill Wednesday,
but it appeared their efforts had failed.

The changes the committee adopted would require all local governments to
create civil-service systems similar to the one for the state. It would
also allow limited-term employees to keep their benefits. Some
limited-term employees have worked for the state for years, and the
original version of the bill would have taken away all their health care
coverage and retirement benefits.

The debate in the committee was impassioned and at times emotional.

"People have said they're willing to sacrifice. Why are we going after
people's rights?" asked Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee).

But Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), whose wife is a teacher, said he
believed the bill was needed to ensure schools are run efficiently.

"What about the right of the taxpayer to run a frugal school district?"
Nygren said.

The changes did not appease the thousands of teachers and state workers
who have filled the Capitol for two days.

They booed loudly as they learned the bill still would take away their
union rights as they watched the committee proceedings on televisions
mounted in the Capitol Rotunda.

"I think it's disgusting," said John Bausch, a Darlington music teacher in
elementary and middle school.

"This is not what Wisconsin is all about. We've had collective bargaining
for (50) years and to throw it all out without our say is a disgrace."

More are expected to come to the Capitol after Mary Bell, president of the
Wisconsin Education Association Council, urged teachers and other
Wisconsin residents to come to Madison on Thursday and Friday. She stopped
short of asking teachers to walk off their jobs.

In Milwaukee, Superintendent Gregory E. Thornton said teachers are
expected to be at work Thursday and Friday, and failure to do so, without
a valid excuse, will result in disciplinary action.

WEAC's effort came as Madison schools closed Wednesday because more than
40% of teachers called in sick so they could lobby legislators. Madison
schools will be closed Thursday for the same reason. Other districts also
were considering closing.

Walker, who proposed the bill, said he was "disappointed" with the action
by the Madison teachers and that he appreciates that other public
employees are showing up for work. He said he respects workers' right to
demonstrate but that he is "not intimidated into thinking that they're the
only voices out there."

In a sign of the national attention the proposal is drawing, U.S.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has scheduled a telephone call with
Walker for Thursday, said Jim Bradshaw, a spokesman for the federal
agency. The Associated Press reported Duncan said Wednesday at a Denver
conference of teacher unions and school administrators that the move in
Wisconsin and other states to strip teachers of bargaining rights worries
him.

In an interview with WTMJ-TV (Channel 4), President Barack Obama said
public workers have to be prepared to make concessions but that he thought
Walker's plan was unduly harsh on unions.

Walker offered the bill to help shore up the state's finances in advance
of a budget to be delivered Tuesday that is expected to include major cuts
in areas like aid to local schools and governments.

He first wants the budget repair bill passed to help clear up a
$137.million budget shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30 and ease
solving a deficit of more than $3.billion over the next two years. The
cuts to benefits would save taxpayers nearly $330 million through
mid-2013.

Major elements of the budget-repair bill remain in place. It would require
most public workers to pay half their pension costs - typically 5.8% of
pay for state workers - and at least 12% of their health care costs. It
applies to most state and local employees but does not apply to police,
firefighters and state troopers, who would continue to bargain for their
benefits.

Except for police, firefighters and troopers, raises would be limited to
inflation unless a bigger increase was approved in a referendum. The
non-law enforcement unions would lose their rights to bargain over
anything but wages, would have to hold annual elections to keep their
organizations intact and would lose the ability to have union dues
deducted from state paychecks.

The most significant change the Joint Finance Committee approved would
require local governments that don't have civil-service systems to create
an employee grievance system within months. Those local civil-service
systems would have to address grievances for employee termination,
employee discipline and workplace safety.

The bill also gives Walker's Department of Health Services the power to
write rules that would change state laws dealing with medical care for
children, parents and childless adults; prescription drug plans for
seniors; nursing home care for the elderly; and long-term care for the
elderly and disabled outside of nursing homes.

The programs that could see changes under the proposal would include the
BadgerCare Plus and BadgerCare Core plans, Family Care and SeniorCare.

Lawmakers planned to modify the bill so that the Walker administration
could drop people from BadgerCare Plus because of having too high an
income temporarily, but not permanently. Current income eligibility
standards would be restored on Jan. 1, 2015, under the changes the
committee adopted.

The bill was also amended to allow the Walker administration to sell or
lease state-owned heating plants but first require a review of any deals
by the Joint Finance Committee.

Separate from the committee's action, individual lawmakers are hoping to
make other changes to the bill.

Two GOP sources familiar with internal talks said Sens. Dale Schultz
(R-Richland Center) and Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) were backing a plan to
put at least some union bargaining rights back into the bill. One source
said the plan would make use of devices such as sunset clause to bring
back certain bargaining rights in future years.

Schultz acknowledged he was working on alternatives, though he said he
couldn't comment on any details. He said he was headed to his home and
expected to find both protesters and law enforcement protection there.

"Everything is a work in progress and everything is fluid and there are no
lines drawn in the sand," Schultz said. "Obviously, it's a very emotional
time for us."

Wanggaard sent out a statement after the budget committee action saying he
would vote for the bill as amended by the panel.

"'In a democracy, making law is like making sausage.' I never fully
understood that statement until this week," Wanggaard said. "No compromise
is perfect, but I am thankful that the bill has been substantially
modified to add additional worker protection."

Before the committee met Wednesday, Walker told reporters he still had the
votes to pass the proposal without changes.

"We're willing to (make changes), but we're just not going to
fundamentally undermine the principle of the proposal, which is to let not
only the state but local governments balance their budgets," he said.

The committee debated the bill Wednesday night after holding a 17-hour
public hearing on it that ended at 3 a.m. Wednesday. Hundreds of people
were still registered to speak when Republicans halted the hearing.

Democratic lawmakers then started an impromptu hearing of their own. They
were still taking testimony as of 10 p.m. Wednesday - 36 hours after the
official hearing started.

 2010 Journal Sentinel.


--------9 of 10--------

Published on Thursday, February 17, 2011 by Black Agenda Report
Obamaland, Where Right Meets Center-Right
A Black Agenda Radio commentary
by Glen Ford

The First Black President just gave birth to an unmistakably Republican
budget - and everybody knows who that ugly baby's daddy is. For the past
two years, Barack Obama has been making out quite publicly with George
Bush's corporate friends. But that shouldn't be a scandal; after all,
Obama has always told everyone in range of his voice that his main goal in
life is to forge a grand consensus with the GOP, a bipartisan
understanding between the Right and the Center Right.

The result is an Obama budget that is all sliced up, like the loser in a
knife fight - only, Obama and his corporate executives-on-loan at the
White House did all the cutting, themselves. Obama is showing such
extraordinary talent for obliterating poor and working class programs
across the board, he's making Republicans look redundant and obsolete.

>From community block grants to Section 8 housing vouchers to child care to
Pell Grants to home heating oil for the poor, Obama has preemptively
savaged all that decent people hold dear in the social safety net, and is
in enthusiastic, principled agreement with the Republicans that the big
cuts are still to come, in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

Obama has arrived in his element, and he has nothing to be ashamed about.
Way back on the campaign trail, he told everyone willing to listen how
much he admired President Reagan. So, why be surprised when you get a
Reagan-type budget?

No, the shame is not Obama's. The people who should be scandalized by the
president's budget are the enablers on the Left who abrogated their
political responsibility to the people - and to Truth - by inventing an
Obama that did not exist, back in 2007 and 2008. The shame of the proposed
2012 budget rests on the heads of those Blacks and progressives in
leadership positions who chose to mis-lead their constituencies in '07 and
'08, who refused to make even one demand, or even a mild request of Obama,
the candidate - and thus rendered Blacks and progressives politically
irrelevant. As we at Black Agenda Report and honest analysts like Paul
Street pointed out all along, Obama has always been a dangerous, corporate
creature. But like the frog that allows the scorpion to hitch a ride on
his back across the swollen river, Black and progressive misleaders act
shocked and hurt when Obama stings them with his deadly budget halfway
through his term. But the frog should have known the nature of a scorpion.
Obama's corporate character was no secret to anyone except those who
wished not to know.

Despite being dazzled by Obama's skin color and charm, there is still a
consensus among Black Americans on issues of social justice. With his
draconian cuts, President Obama is violating that consensus so sharply, it
cannot be papered over for the sake of racial pride. We were pleased to
learn that Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional
Black Caucus, has dramatically distanced himself from Obama's budget
priorities. The heads of traditional Black organizations would be wise to
do the same. African Americans are watching their Obama-dreams turn into
nightmares. Sometime soon, they will demand an accounting from those who
misled them into the lair of the scorpion.

 2011 Black Agenda Report
 Back Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at
Glen.Ford [at] BlackAgendaReport.com.


--------10 of 10--------

Five pretty damn important political questions

1. Which Republican Party will you vote for next time?
    A. The one that calls itself the Republican Party
    B. The one that calls itself the Democratic Party

2. What kind of Republican are you?
    A. One who calls himself/herself a Republican
    B. One who calls himself/herself a Democrat

3. Obama speaks out of which side of his mouth?
    A. Right
    B. Far right

4. Obama is photographed only on his right side because
    A. He thinks he looks better that way
    B. He had his whole left side surgically removed

5. Does this describe you? "I used to be a Republican, but then I got with
   it and switched to the other major party. Now I'm a Republican."
    A. Yes
    B. Yeah
    C. Yup
    D. Uh-huh
    E. Jawohl
    F. You betscha


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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