|Progressive Calendar 02.18.11||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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 ½-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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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