Progressive Calendar 03.29.11
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 14:34:31 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   03.29.11

1. Transition Hbk  3.29 6:30pm
2. Xcel threat     3.29/30/31 7pm

3. Alliant vigil   3.30 7am
4. Divest Israel   3.30 9am
5. Corridor scam   3.30 12noon
6. Stop Israel JNF 3.30 7pm

7. PC Roberts      - Obama raises American hypocrisy to higher level
8. Andrew Levine   - On Libya, who does Obama think he is fooling?
9. Fidel Castro    - The mire of shame: NATO's fascist war
10. David Thorstad - Obama's BS speech
11. Phil Willkie   - Re: Obama's BS speech
12. Chris Hedges   - The collapse of globalization
13. ed             - Save the world bumpersticker

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

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Transition Handbook 3.29 6:30pm

Tuesday, March 29, is the Little Book of the Odd Month Club salon.  We
will be discussing The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins.  It is about
transitioning from oil dependency (and climate change coincides with this)
to local resilience.

The Transition Handbook is more than just a book of problems and ideas, it
is about solutions, which may turn out to be the foundation for one of the
most important social, political and cultural movements of the 21st

To quote from the book:

Our culture is underpinned by various stories, cultural myths that we all
take for granted: that the future will be wealthier than the present, that
economic growth can continue indefinitely, that we have become such an
individualistic society that any common goals are unthinkable, that
possessions can make you happy, and that economic globalization is an
inevitable process to which we have all given our consent.  As we shall
see, these are all stories that are profoundly misleading and indeed
positively harmful for the challenges we find ourselves facing faster than
we think.  We need new stories that paint new possibilities, that
reposition where we see ourselves in relation to the world around us, that
entice us to view the changes ahead with anticipation of the possibilities
they hold, and that will ultimately give us the strength to emerge at the
other end into a new, but more nourishing world.

This is not a book about how dreadful the future could be;  it is an
invitation to join the hundreds of communities around the world who
are taking the steps towards making a nourishing and abundant future a
Rob Hopkins.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

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

From: Carrie Anne Johnson <greenwarriorbunny [at]>
Subject: Xcel threat 3.29/30/31 7pm   [ed head]

Dear South Minneapolis residents,

As you may already be aware, Xcel Energy has conducted a study of our
energy needs and finds that without building two new High Voltage
Transmission Lines and two Substations connecting those, that we will
experience brown-outs and power surges. A Route Permit app docket has been
filed with the MN Public Utility Commission (PUC), but cannot be completed
until a new permit is given, namely a "Certificate of Need" (CON), due to
the enactment of a new law.

Xcel recently held public meetings to answer questions and take comments
on this process in our neighborhood, but less than 25ppl attended each
meeting. I'm inviting neighbors to the following meetings next week to
engage our community and invite people to submit their comments to the
Office of Energy Security (OES) on this matter before the deadline.

Please tell everyone you know!

regarding the Need of the Xcel Hiawatha Project

East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center
Bloomington/Cedar Room
2307 17th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

Meeting Dates are as follows:
Tues. March 29th, 7-9pm (Somali-focus)
Wed. March 30th, 7-9pm (English-focus)
Fri, April 1st, 7-9pm (Spanish-focus)

(Please RSVP to one of these meetings here at the Facebook events page:

The focus of each meeting will be for the community to learn about the Xcel
Hiawatha project, the PUC Certificate of Need process, and give us a chance
to discuss how we define "Need" as a community.

Here Xcel is proposing to build costly new infrastructure to supply us with
our power needs so that we don't experience brown-outs and power surges, but
where is that energy going? How much energy is wasted? What options are the
most fiscally responsible for our neighborhood?

We will spend the majority of the evening reviewing the Certificate of Need
application together, followed by updates on current local energy projects
going on in Minneapolis.

There are three meetings which will each focus on a different language
(Somali, English & Spanish) to make sure everyone has access to this
information, and a chance to make their voice heard to the OES. These
meetings will be led by English-speaking residents, but a Somali-translator
will be provided on Tuesday evening, and a Spanish-translator will be
available on Friday evening. We will be providing headset/receiver
equipment to facilitate translation as well.

A Summary page regarding the Hiawatha Project is located here:

Please come learn about this important issue in our community, and use that
knowledge to speak up! Comments on the Scope of the Environmental Report are
being accepted until April 6, 2011.

Send Comments to:

    Bill Storm, State Permit Manager
    Minnesota Office of Energy Security
    85 7th Place East, Suite 500
    St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101-2198
    Fax: 651-297-7891
    email: bill.storm [at]

To get involved in immediate solutions in our neighborhood, visit <>, email mnourpower [at], or 

Another great option to move toward sustainable neighborhood resilience,
consider getting involved with a local Transition Town. Transition Town
Twin Cities is online here: Click on
"Neighborhoods" to connect with any of the six initiatives in Minneapolis
(and a few in St. Paul!) that are participating so far.

Limited Child-care will be provided in the Multi-Purpose Room. Please RSVP
if at all possible for childcare.

Peace, Carrie Anne Johnson mother & resident of East Phillips 612-281-4399
cell greenwarriorbunny [at]

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

From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 3.30 7am

Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am
Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday
morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems,
7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie.
We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies?
directions and lots of info:

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

From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at]>
Subject: Divest Israel 3.30 9am

Wednesday, March 30, 9am-4pm, at Christ Lutheran on Capitol Hill, 105
University Av., St. Paul: MN Break the Bonds offers Day on the Hill,
seeking state divestment from Israel bonds. Advocacy training 9-12, rally
at Capitol 12-1, visits with legislators 1-4. Register by providing name,
postal address and/or district, and contact info to rsvp [at]
or 612.354.2960. More info:

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

From: Joan Vanhala <joan [at]>
Subject: Corridor scam 3.30 12noon [ed head]

Alliance for Metropolitan Stability Organizer Roundtable:
Central Corridor Community Agreements Coordinating Committee

NOON to 1:30pm
Wednesday, March 30
Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 N. Dale Street
Saint Paul, MN 55103

 Chris Ferguson, Minneapolis small business owner, CACC member
 Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Councilmember
 Vaughn Larry, St. Paul resident, CACC member
 John Slade, MICAH organizer, proxy for CACC member Ann Jalonen, St Paul
 Anne White, St. Paul resident, CACC member

The Community Agreements Coordinating Committee (CACC) was formed in March
2010, based on ideas generated at a Community Summit held in March 2009
and principles and objectives set forth in a Community Statement produced
in July 2009.

The mission of the CACC is to ensure equitable community benefits for
stakeholders along the Central Corridor through an inclusive process that
is transparent and accountable to corridor stakeholders. The goal is to
create agreements that address community needs, with clear expectations,
standards and measurable results, real accountability, meaningful
implementation, and ongoing monitoring of progress toward CACC objectives.

Come join in the discussion on how community leaders working together with
business and government can leverage community benefits from the
development of transitways. Presenters will speak about the history of
CACC, current strategies, future goals and opportunities.

Organizer Roundtables are free but registration is required. Please
register at:

Light snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring your lunch!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.  See you there! Joan Vanhala
Coalition Organizer 612-332-4471 joan [at]

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

From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at]>
Subject: Stop Israel JNF 3.30 7pm

Wednesday, March 30, 7pm, at Mayday Bookstore, 301 Cedar Av. S., Mpls.
"The JNF - Its Mandate, Its Actions, and the Campaign to Stop It."

A teach-in about the Jewish National Fund, an organization that's
instrumental in perpetuating Israel's apartheid system and colonization of
Palestinian land; and what's happening worldwide to challenge it. Free,
public invited. More info on international campaign:
Local contact: [at]

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

"The Bush/Cheney/Obama wars of naked aggression have bankrupted America."

"The rest of Obama's speech showed a person more capable of DoubleSpeak
and DoubleThink than Big Brother and the denizens of George Orwell's

What Does the World Think Now?
Obama Raises American Hypocrisy to Higher Level

What does the world think?  Obama has been using air strikes and drones
against civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and probably Somalia.
In his March 28 speech, Obama justified his air strikes against Libya on
the grounds that the embattled ruler, Gadhafi, was using air strikes to
put down a rebellion.

Gadhafi has been a black hat for as long as I can remember.  If we believe
the adage that "where there is smoke there is fire," Gadhafi is probably
not a nice fellow. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that the current
US president and the predecessor Bush/Cheney regime have murdered many
times more people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia than
Gadhafi has murdered in Libya.

Moreover, Gadhafi is putting down a rebellion against state authority as
presently constituted, but Obama and Bush/Cheney initiated wars of
aggression based entirely on lies and deception.

Yet Gadhafi is being demonized, and Bush/Cheney/Obama are sitting on their
high horse draped in cloaks of morality. Obama described himself as saving
Libyans from violence while Obama himself murders Afghans, Pakistanis, and
whomever else.

Indeed, the Obama regime has been torturing a US soldier, Bradley Manning,
for having a moral conscience. America has degenerated to the point where
having a moral conscience is evidence of anti-Americanism and "terrorist

The Bush/Cheney/Obama wars of naked aggression have bankrupted America.
Joseph Stiglitz, former chairman of the President's Council of Economic
Advisers, concluded that the money wasted on the Iraq war could have been
used to fix America's Social Security problem for half a century.
Instead, the money was used to boost the obscene profits of the armament

The obscene wars of aggression, the obscene profits of the offshoring
corporations, and the obscene bailouts of the rich financial gangsters
have left the American public with annual budget deficits of approximately
$1.5 trillion. These deficits are being covered by printing money.  Sooner
or later, the printing presses will cause the US dollar to collapse and
domestic inflation to explode. Social Security benefits will be wiped out
by inflation rising more rapidly than the cost-of-living adjustments.  If
America survives, no one will be left but the mega-rich.  Unless there is
a violent revolution.

Alternatively, if the Federal Reserve puts the brake on monetary
expansion, interest rates will rise, sending the economy into a deeper

Washington, focused on its newest war, is oblivious to America's peril. As
Stiglitz notes, the costs of the Iraq war alone could have kept every
foreclosed family in their home, provided health care for every American
child, and wiped out the student loans of graduates who cannot find jobs
because they have been outsourced to foreigners.  However, the great
democratic elected government of "the world's only superpower" prefers to
murder Muslims in order to enhance the profits of the military/security
complex.  More money is spent violating the constitutional rights of
American air travelers than is spent in behalf of the needy.

The moral authority of the West is rapidly collapsing.  When Russia, Asia,
and South America look at Europe, Australia and Canada, they see American
puppet states that contribute troops to the aggressive wars of the Empire.
The French president, the British prime minister, the "president" of
Georgia, and the rest are merely functionaries of the American Empire. The
puppet rulers routinely sell out the interests and welfare of their
peoples in behalf of American hegemony. And they are well rewarded for
their service. One year out of office former British prime minister Tony
Blair had a net worth of $30 million.

In his war against Libya, Obama has taken America one step further into
Caesarism. Obama did Bush one step better and did not even bother to get
congressional authorization for his attack on Libya.  Obama claimed that
his moral authority trumped the US Constitution.  The hypocrisy reeks.
How the public stands it, I do not know:

"To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and - more
profoundly - our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such
circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may
be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United
States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for
the images of slaughter and mass graves  before taking action".

This from the Great Moral Leader who every day murders civilians in
Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia and now Libya and who turns
a blind eye when "the great democracy in the Middle East," Israel, murders
more Palestinians.

The American president, whose drones and air force slaughter civilians
every day of the year went on to say Libya stands alone in presenting the
world with "the prospect of violence on a horrific scale".  Obviously,
Obama thinks that one million dead Iraqis, four million displaced Iraqis,
and an unknown number of murdered Afghans is just a small thing.

The rest of Obama's speech showed a person more capable of DoubleSpeak and
DoubleThink than Big Brother and the denizens of George Orwell's 1984.

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

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

Intervention, Then Blowback
On Libya, Who Does Obama Think He is Fooling?
March 29, 2011

The answer is: liberals. No surprise there; liberals are as confused about
"humanitarian interventions" now as they were in the (Bill) Clinton days.
They just don't get it, and the ones who get it least are the ones who are
most inclined to cut Obama slack, no matter what the issue is.

Juan Cole usually does get it. Not this time. Last weekend he produced
what amounts to a guide for perplexed Obama apologists on his "Informed
Comment" blog.

Notwithstanding Cole's focus, it must be said that most of what passes for
a left in both the United States and Europe sides, like Cole, with the War
Party. This is one of those rare instances where Democrats are even worse
than Republicans, though the skepticism voiced by some Republican leaders
doubtless has more to do with weakening Obama than more principled or
pragmatic considerations.

Cole's piece is instructive for setting out the pro-war position, such as
it is, perspicaciously. After rehearsing the now familiar case for
demonizing Qaddafi and praising the "rebels," a difficult task since they
are still an inchoate force that neither he nor anyone else knows much
about, and then distinguishing this latest war from recent
neo-conservative misadventures, Cole goes on to list (and dismiss) reasons
that he claims some on the American left advance for opposing
intervention. He claims that the left's reasons for opposing Obama on
Libya reduce to absolute pacifism (which categorically prohibits the use
of force) or absolute anti-imperialism (which categorically prohibits all
outside interventions in world affairs) or to what he calls "anti-military
pragmatism" (which holds that military force is in principle incapable of
resolving social problems).

In Cole's discussion, there is barely a nod to Obama's hypocrisy (recall
his silence during the Israeli assault on Gaza and his pale condemnation
of murderous repression in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain), and there is
no mention of the fact that Obama undertook this latest war of choice
without Congressional approval - a dangerous precedent and an impeachable
offence (at least back in the Watergate era, when Richard Nixon was
charged for invading Cambodia without Congressional authorization).
Neither does Cole acknowledge how preposterous it is that there is money
for another war but not for meeting urgent needs at home - needs made
more urgent by "bipartisan" support for unnecessary, indeed
counterproductive, deficit reduction and austerity.

Cole makes short shrift of the reasons he does adduce, as indeed he
should. But they are not the reasons opponents of humanitarian
interventions advance. The argument is not that the use of force or
violations of state sovereignty are always wrong or counter-productive,
but that in today's world humanitarian reasons are covers for imperial
machinations. In principle, they needn't be, but in practice they are, and
this case is no exception.

Interventionists favor easily demonizable targets; Qaddafi is a fine
example. However, it is seldom, if ever, the case that the demonized side
is as evil as depicted or, for that matter, any worse than "the good
guys." This usually becomes clear in the fullness of time, though clarity
can be a long time in coming when the propaganda machine is working well.
Thus there are many on "the left" who still demonize Serbs and laud
Bosnian Muslims and Kosovars. In the Libyan case, the conventional wisdom
may be at least as hard to dispel, despite the fact that the US and NATO
are intervening into what is plainly becoming a civil war.

The character and legitimacy of the Qaddafi regime and the rights and
wrongs of the combat taking place in Libya are important to reflect upon
and assess, and the ways they are represented figure importantly in
mobilizing public support for war. But these issues are irrelevant to the
question of whether or not to support this humanitarian intervention. What
is dispositive there is the fact that, in the real world, humanitarian
interventions led by the United States do more harm than good. This is why
condemnation would be called for even in the unlikely circumstance that
the conventional wisdom on Libya turns out to be correct.

Whether the US intervenes unilaterally or through NATO, and whether or not
it has UN approval, is also irrelevant, except insofar as cosmetic factors
affect public perceptions. The US calls the shots in NATO and,
unfortunately, even Russia and China now seem comfortable with NATO being
the Security Council's enforcement agency. No doubt, most members of the
United Nations think differently, but who in Washington or London or Paris

Calling the shots is not quite the same as being entirely in control;
sometimes the tail wags the dog. In this case, it was Nicolas Sarkozy's
premature belligerence, his settling of accounts with the French Right's
anti-Iraq War past, that forced the US and Britain to stop coddling and
start overthrowing Muammar Qaddafi. Germany and Turkey, the other leading
NATO military powers, have saner views, but it seems that they have been
brought along for the time being. Dissent within NATO is sure to mount as
the humanitarian intervention grinds on and America's allies tire of being
used as proxies. In all likelihood, therefore, the US will find itself
bogged down in another quagmire. If that happens, the Nobel laureate will
have only himself - and his bellicose Secretary of State - to thank.

In the weeks and months to come, it will become harder too for Obama to
argue that the killing he has unleashed is intended to save civilian
lives. That this war is about regime change was clear from the moment the
French extended official recognition to the anti-Qaddafi side. This is a
point so obvious that even John McCain gets it. Only liberals don't,
though perhaps they too will finally see the light as "days, not weeks"
slides into "months, not years."

On the "bright" side, this latest war is so ill conceived that it just
might cause the NATO alliance to start to unravel. It could also make
future humanitarian (imperialist) interventions harder to launch. But
silver linings, if any, are a long way off. For now, there is only murder
and mayhem in the offing, and the likelihood of blowback that even Obama
apologists will regret.

Andrew Levine is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the
author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL
KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in
political philosophy. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University
of Maryland-College Park.

 [Dense as dodos
slimy as worms
 clueless as turkeys:

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

March 29, 2011
The Mire of Shame
NATO's Fascist War

You didn't have to be clairvoyant to foresee what I wrote with great
detail in three Reflection Articles I published in CounterPunch between
February 21 and March 3: "The NATO Plan is to Occupy Libya," "The Cynical
Danse Macabre," and "NATO's Inevitable War".

Not even the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy were so blatantly
shameless regarding the Spanish Civil War unleashed in 1936, an event that
maybe a lot of people have been recalling over these past days.

Almost 75 years to the day have passed since then, but nothing that has
happened over the last 75 centuries, or even 75 millenniums of human life
on our planet can compare.

Sometimes it seems that those of us who serenely voice our opinions on
these issues are exaggerating. I dare say that we have actually been naive
to assume that we all should be aware of the deception or colossal
ignorance that humanity has been dragged into.

In 1936 there was an intense clash between two systems and ideologies of
more or less equal military power.

The arms back then seemed more like toys compared with today's weapons.
Humanity's survival was not threatened despite the destructive power and
the locally lethal force deployed. Entire cities and even nations could
have been virtually destroyed. But never was the human race, in its
totality, at risk of being exterminated several times over for the stupid
and suicidal power developed by modern science and technology.

With these current realities in mind, it is embarrassing to read the
continuous news reports on the use of powerful laser-guided rockets with
100% accuracy, fighter-bombers that go twice the speed of light, potent
explosives that blow apart uranium-hardened metals that have an
everlasting effect on the inhabitants and their descendants.

Cuba stated its position regarding the internal situation in Libya at the
meeting in Geneva. Without hesitating, Cuba defended the idea of a
political solution to the conflict in Libya and was categorically opposed
to any foreign military intervention.

In a world where the alliance between the United States and the developed
capitalist powers of Europe increasingly take hold of the people's
resources and fruits of their labor, any honest citizen, whatever their
standpoint to the government, would be opposed to a foreign military
intervention in their country.

But most absurd about the current situation is the fact that before the
brutal war broke out in Northern Africa, in another region of the world,
nearly 10 000 kilometers away, a nuclear accident had occurred in one of
the most populated areas of the world following a tsunami caused by a 9.0
earthquake, which has already cost a hard-working nation like Japan nearly
30 000 lives. Such accident would have not occurred 75 years before.

In Haiti, a poor and underdeveloped country, a nearly 7.0 quake according
to the Richter scale, caused over 300 000 deaths, countless people wounded
and hundreds of thousands harmed.

However, what was terribly tragic in Japan was the accident at the
Fukushima nuclear plant, whose consequences are still to be assessed.

I will only recall some of the main stories published by the news

ANSA.- Fukushima 1 nuclear plant is releasing "extremely high and
potentially lethal radiations," said Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the US nuclear entity.

EFE.- The nuclear threat stemming from the serious situation at a Japanese
plant, following the earthquake, has triggered security revisions in
atomic plants around the world and has made some countries paralyze their

Reuters.- Japan's devastating earthquake and deepening nuclear crisis
could result in losses of up to $200 billion for Japanese economy, but the
global impact remains hard to gauge.

EFE.- The deterioration of one reactor after another at Japan's Fukushima
nuclear center continued to feed fears of a pending nuclear disaster as
desperate attempts to control a radioactive leak did nothing to provide
even a glimmer of hope.

 AFP.- Japans Emperor Akihito expressed concern about the unpredictable
character of the nuclear crisis hitting Japan following the quake and
tsunami that killed thousands of people and left 500 000 homeless. New
quake reported in the Tokyo area.

There are reports talking about even more concerning issues.

Some refer to the presence of toxic radioactive iodine in Tokyo's drinking
water, which doubles the tolerable amount that can be consumed by the
smallest children in the Japanese capital. One of these reports says that
the stocks of bottled water are shrinking in Tokyo, a city located in a
prefecture at more than 200 kilometers from Fukushima.

This series of circumstances poses a dramatic situation on our world.

I can express freely my views on the war in Libya.

I do not share political or religious views with the leader of that
country. I am a Marxist-Leninist and a follower of Marti, as I have
already said.

I see Libya as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and a sovereign State
of the nearly 200 members of the United Nations.

Never, a large or small country, in this case with only 5 million
inhabitants, was the victim of such a brutal attack by the air force of a
militaristic organization with thousands of fighter-bombers, more than 100
submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, and sufficient arsenal to destroy
the planet many times over.  Our species had never encountered this
situation and there had been nothing similar 75 years ago, when the Nazi
bombers attacked targets in Spain.

Now, however, the criminal and discredited NATO will write a "beautiful"
little story about its "humanitarian" bombing.

If Gaddafi honors the traditions of his people and decides to fight to the
last breath, as he has promised, together with the Libyans who are facing
the worst bombing a country has ever suffered, NATO and its criminal
projects will sink into the mire of shame.

The people respect and believe in men who fulfill their duty.

More than 50 years ago, when the United States killed more than a hundred
Cubans with the explosion of merchant ship "La Coubre" our people
proclaimed "Patria o Muerte." (Homeland or Death). They have fulfilled
this, and have always been determined to keep their word.

"Anyone who tries to seize Cuba," said the most glorious fighter in our
history-"will only gather the dust of her soil soaked in blood."

I beg you to excuse the frankness with which I address the issue.

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

From: David Thorstad
Sent: Mar 29, 2011 10:13 AM
Subject: Obama's BS speech

I forced myself last night to watch Our Savior's sanctimonious sack of
lies and felt my blood pressure go up for half an hour. Repeatedly, I
found myself yelling at the image on the screen: "Brown Hitler!" It was
nothing but the Big Lie - many of them, actually, strung together.

Hitler himself could have made that speech, and did, I think, using some
of the same formulations about how high-minded and civilized war can be
(even if the word isn't used). From the first minute, as Obomba hopped up
the step and swaggered to the podium, I saw yet again how apt was the
description of his demeanor by a former Panther friend as like that of a

In view of his repugnant performance, calling for impeachment, as a few
liberals are now doing, seems far too soft.

One could easily imagine McCain making the exact same speech, defending
the exact same imperialist policy. So, how pathetic is it that so many who
voted for the Great One said they did so because McCain would be worse? He
would not have been worse. He would have been the same. Whoever gets into
the White House does so through lies and smoke and mirrors, and, as Gore
Vidal has aptly put it, through the ruling class's having perfected a
system to get citizens to vote against their own interests.

The one-party system of Mafia-like crime rules.

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

Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 11:45:12 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: philwillkie [at]
Subject: Fw: Re: Obama's BS speech  [reply to above]

Worse is Obama has managed to silenced dissient in America. One of my
Dumbocrat friends said "it's too bad Obama went along with the military on
this one". The military was opposed to this action after being bloodied in
Iraq and Afghantistan. The operation was crafted by Hillary Clinton, with
side kick John Kerry and the the French President, an American stooge. If
Bush had gone to war with out even consulting the leadership of congress,
much less a meaning less vote of consent, there would be howls from the

Obama is a camelion, who ran as a reformer and has since run away from
every thing he promised except accelerating the war in Afghantistan and
repealing DADT. They repealed that policy so they could again recruit on
college campuses to get more bodies for their wars.  I actually believe Mc
Cain might have made a better President for at least he knows somthing
about the military, just as Goldwater may have been better than LBJ.

I recently again visited the Eisenhower library driving across Kansas.
Eisenhower said he feared for future Presidents that did not understand
the military. Of course his famous last speech warned of an out of control
military industrial complex while JFK lied saying we had missle gap with
the Soviets. There's no question the Democrats are the war party from
Harry Truman who launched the cold war to the creep that currently
occupies the White House !

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

"We must view the corporate capitalists who have seized control of our
money, our food, our energy, our education, our press, our health care
system and our governance as mortal enemies to be vanquished.... None
of this is going to change until we turn our backs on the Democratic

The Collapse of Globalization
by Chris Hedges
Published on Monday, March 28, 2011 by
common dreams

The uprisings in the Middle East, the unrest that is tearing apart nations
such as the Ivory Coast, the bubbling discontent in Greece, Ireland and
Britain and the labor disputes in states such as Wisconsin and Ohio
presage the collapse of globalization. They presage a world where vital
resources, including food and water, jobs and security, are becoming
scarcer and harder to obtain. They presage growing misery for hundreds of
millions of people who find themselves trapped in failed states, suffering
escalating violence and crippling poverty. They presage increasingly
draconian controls and force - take a look at what is being done to Pfc.
Bradley Manning - used to protect the corporate elite who are
orchestrating our demise.

We must embrace, and embrace rapidly, a radical new ethic of simplicity
and rigorous protection of our ecosystem - especially the climate - or we
will all be holding on to life by our fingertips. We must rebuild radical
socialist movements that demand that the resources of the state and the
nation provide for the welfare of all citizens and the heavy hand of state
power be employed to prohibit the plunder by the corporate power elite. We
must view the corporate capitalists who have seized control of our money,
our food, our energy, our education, our press, our health care system and
our governance as mortal enemies to be vanquished.

Adequate food, clean water and basic security are already beyond the reach
of perhaps half the world's population. Food prices have risen 61 percent
globally since December 2008, according to the International Monetary
Fund. The price of wheat has exploded, more than doubling in the last
eight months to $8.56 a bushel. When half of your income is spent on food,
as it is in countries such as Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia and the Ivory Coast,
price increases of this magnitude bring with them malnutrition and
starvation. Food prices in the United States have risen over the past
three months at an annualized rate of 5 percent. There are some 40 million
poor in the United States who devote 35 percent of their after-tax incomes
to pay for food. As the cost of fossil fuel climbs, as climate change
continues to disrupt agricultural production and as populations and
unemployment swell, we will find ourselves convulsed in more global and
domestic unrest. Food riots and political protests will be inevitable. But
it will not necessarily mean more democracy.

The refusal by all of our liberal institutions, including the press,
universities, labor and the Democratic Party, to challenge the utopian
assumptions that the marketplace should determine human behavior permits
corporations and investment firms to continue their assault, including
speculating on commodities to drive up food prices. It permits coal, oil
and natural gas corporations to stymie alternative energy and emit deadly
levels of greenhouse gases. It permits agribusinesses to divert corn and
soybeans to ethanol production and crush systems of local, sustainable
agriculture. It permits the war industry to drain half of all state
expenditures, generate trillions in deficits, and profit from conflicts in
the Middle East we have no chance of winning. It permits corporations to
evade the most basic controls and regulations to cement into place a
global neo-feudalism. The last people who should be in charge of our food
supply or our social and political life, not to mention the welfare of
sick children, are corporate capitalists and Wall Street speculators. But
none of this is going to change until we turn our backs on the Democratic
Party, denounce the orthodoxies peddled in our universities and in the
press by corporate apologists and construct our opposition to the
corporate state from the ground up. It will not be easy. It will take
time. And it will require us to accept the status of social and political
pariahs, especially as the lunatic fringe of our political establishment
steadily gains power. The corporate state has nothing to offer the left or
the right but fear. It uses fear - fear of secular humanism or fear of
Christian fascists - to turn the population into passive accomplices. As
long as we remain afraid nothing will change.

Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, two of the major architects for
unregulated capitalism, should never have been taken seriously. But the
wonders of corporate propaganda and corporate funding turned these fringe
figures into revered prophets in our universities, think tanks, the press,
legislative bodies, courts and corporate boardrooms. We still endure the
cant of their discredited economic theories even as Wall Street sucks the
U.S. Treasury dry and engages once again in the speculation that has to
date evaporated some $40 trillion in global wealth. We are taught by all
systems of information to chant the mantra that the market knows best.

It does not matter, as writers such as John Ralston Saul have pointed out,
that every one of globalism's  promises has turned out to be a lie. It
does not matter that economic inequality has gotten worse and that most of
the world's wealth has became concentrated in a few hands. It does not
matter that the middle class - the beating heart of any democracy - is
disappearing and that the rights and wages of the working class have
fallen into precipitous decline as labor regulations, protection of our
manufacturing base and labor unions have been demolished. It does not
matter that corporations have used the destruction of trade barriers as a
mechanism for massive tax evasion, a technique that allows conglomerates
such as General Electric to avoid paying any taxes. It does not matter
that corporations are exploiting and killing the ecosystem on which the
human species depends for life. The steady barrage of illusions
disseminated by corporate systems of propaganda, in which words are often
replaced with music and images, are impervious to truth. Faith in the
marketplace replaces for many faith in an omnipresent God. And those who
dissent - from Ralph Nader to Noam Chomsky - are banished as heretics.

The aim of the corporate state is not to feed, clothe or house the masses,
but to shift all economic, social and political power and wealth into the
hands of the tiny corporate elite. It is to create a world where the heads
of corporations make $900,000 an hour and four-job families struggle to
survive. The corporate elite achieves its aims of greater and greater
profit by weakening and dismantling government agencies and taking over or
destroying public institutions. Charter schools, mercenary armies, a
for-profit health insurance industry and outsourcing every facet of
government work, from clerical tasks to intelligence, feed the corporate
beast at our expense. The decimation of labor unions, the twisting of
education into mindless vocational training and the slashing of social
services leave us ever more enslaved to the whims of corporations. The
intrusion of corporations into the public sphere destroys the concept of
the common good. It erases the lines between public and private interests.
It creates a world that is defined exclusively by naked self-interest.

The ideological proponents of globalism - Thomas Friedman, Daniel Yergin,
Ben Bernanke and Anthony Giddens - are stunted products of the
self-satisfied, materialistic power elite. They use the utopian ideology
of globalism as a moral justification for their own comfort,
self-absorption and privilege. They do not question the imperial projects
of the nation, the widening disparities in wealth and security between
themselves as members of the world's industrialized elite and the rest of
the planet. They embrace globalism because it, like most philosophical and
theological ideologies, justifies their privilege and power. They believe
that globalism is not an ideology but an expression of an incontrovertible
truth. And because the truth has been uncovered, all competing economic
and political visions are dismissed from public debate before they are
even heard.

The defense of globalism marks a disturbing rupture in American
intellectual life. The collapse of the global economy in 1929 discredited
the proponents of deregulated markets. It permitted alternative visions,
many of them products of the socialist, anarchist and communist movements
that once existed in the United States, to be heard. We adjusted to
economic and political reality. The capacity to be critical of political
and economic assumptions resulted in the New Deal, the dismantling of
corporate monopolies and heavy government regulation of banks and
corporations. But this time around, because corporations control the
organs of mass communication, and because thousands of economists,
business school professors, financial analysts, journalists and corporate
managers have staked their credibility on the utopianism of globalism, we
speak to each other in gibberish. We continue to heed the advice of Alan
Greenspan, who believed the third-rate novelist Ayn Rand was an economic
prophet, or Larry Summers, whose deregulation of our banks as treasury
secretary under President Bill Clinton helped snuff out some $17 trillion
in wages, retirement benefits and personal savings. We are assured by
presidential candidates like Mitt Romney that more tax breaks for
corporations would entice them to move their overseas profits back to the
United States to create new jobs. This idea comes from a former hedge fund
manager whose personal fortune was amassed largely by firing workers, and
only illustrates how rational political discourse has descended into
mindless sound bites.

We are seduced by this childish happy talk. Who wants to hear that we are
advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal
prosperity but a disaster? Who wants to confront a future in which the
rapacious and greedy appetites of our global elite, who have failed to
protect the planet, threaten to produce widespread anarchy, famine,
environmental catastrophe, nuclear terrorism and wars for diminishing
resources? Who wants to shatter the myth that the human race is evolving
morally, that it can continue its giddy plundering of non-renewable
resources and its profligate levels of consumption, that capitalist
expansion is eternal and will never cease?

Dying civilizations often prefer hope, even absurd hope, to truth. It
makes life easier to bear. It lets them turn away from the hard choices
ahead to bask in a comforting certitude that God or science or the market
will be their salvation. This is why these apologists for globalism
continue to find a following. And their systems of propaganda have built a
vast, global Potemkin village to entertain us. The tens of millions of
impoverished Americans, whose lives and struggles rarely make it onto
television, are invisible. So are most of the world's billions of poor,
crowded into fetid slums. We do not see those who die from drinking
contaminated water or being unable to afford medical care. We do not see
those being foreclosed from their homes. We do not see the children who go
to bed hungry. We busy ourselves with the absurd. We invest our emotional
life in reality shows that celebrate excess, hedonism and wealth. We are
tempted by the opulent life enjoyed by the American oligarchy, 1 percent
of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

The celebrities and reality television stars whose foibles we know
intimately live indolent, self-centered lives in sprawling mansions or
exclusive Manhattan apartments. They parade their sculpted and surgically
enhanced bodies before us in designer clothes. They devote their lives to
self-promotion and personal advancement, consumption, parties and the
making of money. They celebrate the cult of the self. And when they have
meltdowns we watch with gruesome fascination. This empty existence is the
one we are taught to admire and emulate. This is the life, we are told, we
can all have. The perversion of values has created a landscape where
corporate management by sleazy figures like Donald Trump is confused with
leadership and where the ability to accumulate vast sums of money is
confused with intelligence. And when we do glimpse the poor or working
class on our screens, they are ridiculed and taunted. They are objects of
contempt, whether on "The Jerry Springer Show" or "Jersey Shore".

The incessant chasing after status, personal advancement and wealth has
plunged most of the country into unmanageable debt. Families, whose real
wages have dropped over the past three decades, live in oversized houses
financed by mortgages they often cannot repay. They seek identity through
products. They occupy their leisure time in malls buying things they do
not need. Those of working age spend their weekdays in little cubicles, if
they still have steady jobs, under the heels of corporations that have
disempowered American workers and taken control of the state and can lay
them off on a whim. It is a desperate scramble. No one wants to be left

The propagandists for globalism are the natural outgrowth of this
image-based and culturally illiterate world. They speak about economic and
political theory in empty cliches. They cater to our subliminal and
irrational desires. They select a few facts and isolated data and use them
to dismiss historical, economic, political and cultural realities. They
tell us what we want to believe about ourselves. They assure us that we
are exceptional as individuals and as a nation. They champion our
ignorance as knowledge. They tell us that there is no reason to
investigate other ways of organizing and governing our society. Our way of
life is the best. Capitalism has made us great. They peddle the
self-delusional dream of inevitable human progress. They assure us we will
be saved by science, technology and rationality and that humanity is
moving inexorably forward.

None of this is true. It is a message that defies human nature and human
history. But it is what many desperately want to believe. And until we
awake from our collective self-delusion, until we carry out sustained acts
of civil disobedience against the corporate state and sever ourselves from
the liberal institutions that serve the corporate juggernaut - especially
the Democratic Party - we will continue to be rocketed toward a global

 Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle

--------13 of 13x--------

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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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