|Progressive Calendar 03.29.11||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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] earthlink.net> 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 Century. 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 reality. Rob Hopkins. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) 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] gmail.com> 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! PLEASE JOIN US FOR COMMUNITY MEETINGS 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: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=45917044283&v=app_2344061033) 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: http://www.xcelenergy.com/Minnesota/Company/Transmission/Transmission%20Projects/Pages/HiawathaProject.aspx 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] state.mn.us To get involved in immediate solutions in our neighborhood, visit MNOurPower.org <http://mnourpower.org/>, email mnourpower [at] gmail.com, or call 612-548-1333. Another great option to move toward sustainable neighborhood resilience, consider getting involved with a local Transition Town. Transition Town Twin Cities is online here: http://www.transitiontc.org/. 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] gmail.com --------3 of 13-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> 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: alliantACTION.org --------4 of 13-------- From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at] comcast.net> 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] breakthebonds.org or 612.354.2960. More info: mn.breakthebonds.org --------5 of 13-------- From: Joan Vanhala <joan [at] metrostability.org> Subject: Corridor scam 3.30 12noon [ed head] Alliance for Metropolitan Stability Organizer Roundtable: Central Corridor Community Agreements Coordinating Committee https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/322/personalopt1.asp?formid=event&c=4923907 NOON to 1:30pm Wednesday, March 30 Rondo Community Outreach Library 461 N. Dale Street Saint Paul, MN 55103 Presenters: 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 resident 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: https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/322/personalopt1.asp?formid=event&c=4923907 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] metrostability.org --------6 of 13-------- From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at] comcast.net> 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: www.stopthejnf.org. Local contact: ljan.tc [at] gmail.com. --------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 1984." What Does the World Think Now? Obama Raises American Hypocrisy to Higher Level By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS 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 activity". 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 industry. 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 depression. 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] yahoo.com --------8 of 13-------- Intervention, Then Blowback On Libya, Who Does Obama Think He is Fooling? By ANDREW LEVINE March 29, 2011 CounterPunch 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 cares. 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: superliberal] --------9 of 13-------- March 29, 2011 CounterPunch The Mire of Shame NATO's Fascist War By FIDEL CASTRO 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 agencies: 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 plans. 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 pimp. 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. DT --------11 of 13-------- Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 11:45:12 -0500 (GMT-05:00) From: philwillkie [at] earthlink.net 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 Democrats. 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 Party..." The Collapse of Globalization by Chris Hedges Published on Monday, March 28, 2011 by Truthdig.com 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 behind. 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 catastrophe. 2011 TruthDig.com Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. 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-------- ----------------------------------- Save the world Send the billionaires to Uranus ----------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 impeach obama 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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