Progressive Calendar 03.31.11
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:38:55 -0700 (PDT)
               P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   03.31.11

1. Eagan peace vigil 3.31 4:30pm
2. Northtown vigil   3.31 5pm
3. StP schools       3.31 7pm
4. Berryman's poems  3.31 7:30pm
5. Cuba film         3.31 7:30pm

6. Ffunch fools      4.01 11:30am
7. Palestine vigil   4.01 4:15pm
8. Malalai Joya      4.01 7pm

9. Lois Willand      - Urban gardener classes at Luxton Park SE Mpls
10. Friends/Earth    - Obama doubles down on dirty energy
11. Michael Schwalbe - A primer on class struggle
12. DE Shove         - Obama's Constantinople crusade

--------1 of 12--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 3.31 4:30pm

PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of
Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and
candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south
of the river speaking out against war.

--------2 of 12--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 3.31 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------3 of 12--------

From: Anne Carroll <carrfran [at]>
Subject: StP schools 3.31 7pm

SAINT PAUL, MINN - The Saint Paul Public Schools Board of Education will
hold a Listening Session Thursday, March 31, 2011 from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
at Hancock - Hamline University Collaborative Magnet.

Listening Sessions are part of the Board's community engagement and are
designed to allow participants the opportunity to speak with Board members
in an open forum with no pre-determined topics. The session is similar to
town hall meetings held by state legislators to connect with constituents.

At least two Board of Education members will participate in the session to
listen and talk about topics and issues participants choose to address.
Listening Sessions are in addition to, and less formal than, public
comment sessions held each month during regular Board of Education
meetings. The Listening Sessions are not Board meetings, but will be
hosted and facilitated by Board members who are looking forward to hearing
what people have to say.

Board members participating in the Listening Session will share discussion
from the session with Board colleagues at the earliest opportunity
following the listening session.

For more information about the Listening Session, please call
651-767-8149. To request a Hmong, Karen, Somali or Spanish interpreter for
the session, please call 651-767-8334.

Board of Education Listening Session
Hancock - Hamline University Collaborative Magnet
1599 Englewood Avenue
Saint Paul, MN  55104
Thursday, March 31, 2011 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

For more information about St. Paul Public Schools, go to
ZwYA51ZlpuVij-MUFWQXY-zg=> .

--------4 of 12--------

From: lydiahowell [at]
Subject: Berryman's poems 3.31 7:30pm

--- On Wed, 3/23/11, Lois Willand <loiswilland [at]> wrote:

The Book House in Dinkytown will host an evening of Dream Songs with local
actor/playwright Ben Kreilkamp, and poet/editor Michael Mann on Thursday,
March 31 at 7:30 pm.

This program grew out of the overwhelming success of our February 17th
event, John Berryman, Poet and Teacher: A Celebration, at the Loring Pasta
Bar which was attended by over a 100 former students, friends and fans of
the Pulitzer Prize winning poet and University of Minnesota teacher.

As a playwright Ben's interest in the Dream Songs is based largely in his
fascination with the possibilities their syntax suggests for an American
theatrical language. Michael Mann has said that he considers the Addresses
to the Lord the the final Dream Songs, which were published some four
years earlier.

The readings will be held in the downstairs event space of the Book House,
429 14th Ave, SE, Minneapolis, MN. Admission is free.

Book House in Dinkytown A Dinkytown landmark for 35 years 612-822-4853 Follow us on Facebook

--------5 of 12--------

From: Rowley Clan <rowleyclan [at]>
Subject: Cuba film 3.31 7:30pm

Cuban Movie Festival

Thursdays from February 24 through March 31, 7:30 p.m. St. Anthony Main,
115 Main Street Southeast, Minneapolis. An outstanding collection of Cuban
cinema, featuring winners from the 2010 Latin American Film Festival in
Havana. Five Cuban feature films and one US/Cuba documentary will be
screened at the Second Annual Cuban Film Festival. All films are in
Spanish with English subtitles.Tickets: $7.00. Sponsored by: the Minnesota
Cuba Committee and the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul. FFI: Visit

March 31st Van Van Fever

This film is a new feature length documentary about Cuba's most popular
dance orchestra.. It is a fascinating testimony to the power of Cuban
music. Put on your dancing shoes! After the film there will be a closing
reception party with live band "Cubania" celebrating the music of Cuba. It
will take place at Vic's, just down the street from the theatre.

--------6 of 12--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Ffunch fools 4.01 11:30am

Ffunch 4.01 11:30am

First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for April fools.
Informal political tricks and hanging out.

Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul.
Meet on the far south side.

Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous apple pie; is
close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines

--------7 of 12--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 4.01 4:15pm

The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the
intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo
starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs

--------8 of 12--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Malalai Joya 4.01 7pm

Malalai Joya: "Ten Years Into the U.S. War: An Evening with the
'Bravest Woman in Afghanistan'"

After initially being denied, Malalai Joya was finally issued her visa
late Wednesday night and was scheduled to board a plane for the U.S.
shortly thereafter. She will make her scheduled appearances, in person,
starting with her Boston appearance at Harvard University.  Thanks to all
who called in on this issue - it had a tremendous effect.  Power to the

Friday, April 1, 7:00 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue
South, Minneapolis.

Malalai Joya has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan." At a
constitutional assembly in Kabul in 2003, she stood up and denounced her
country's powerful U.S./ NATO-backed warlords.  She was only twenty-five
years old. Two years later, she became the youngest person elected to
Afghanistan's new Parliament. In 2007, she was suspended from the
parliament for her persistent criticism of the warlords and drug barons
and their cronies. She has survived four assassination attempts to date.

Malalai Joya takes us inside Afghanistan and shows us the desperate
day-to-day situation the Afghan people face at every turn. She will answer
such questions as "What are U.S. tax dollars paying for in Afghanistan?"
and "Is the U.S. war and occupation really helping Afghan women?" A
controversial political figure in one of the most dangerous places on
earth, Malalai Joya is a hero for our times, a young woman who refused to
be silent, a young woman committed to making a difference in the world, no
matter the cost.

Tickets: $10.00. Call the WAMM office today to reserve a ticket, as they
are going rapidly. Sponsored by: the Twin Cities Peace Campaign (TCPC) and
WAMM. FFI and Tickets: Call TCPC, 612-522-1861 or WAMM, 612-827-5364.

--------9 of 12--------

From: lydiahowell [at]
From: Lois Willand <loiswilland [at]>
Subject: Urban gardener classes at Luxton Park SE Mpls


There is space left to participate in the Urban Gardener program. The
classes are taught by certified Hennepin County Master Gardeners and are
meant for beginning and intermediate level gardeners who want to learn
more about topics such as soils, plants, and vegetable gardening.
Translation is available in Somali and Hmong. If you need help with
another language, please let us know and we will try to accommodate you.

Urban Gardener classes will start Thursday, April 7 th , 6:00 PM at Luxton

Space is limited so please reserve your spot soon. You can reserve a spot
by emailing Dean Porter and dean.porter [at] or calling him at

--------10 of 12--------

March 30, 2011
CONTACT: Friends of The Earth
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748, nberning [at]; Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722,
ktrout [at]

Obama Doubles Down on Dirty Energy, Continues to Call Nukes "Clean,"
Ignores Clean Air Act

WASHINGTON - March 30 - In response to President Obama's speech today on
the subject of energy security, as well as supporting documentation
released by the White House, Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy
Director Damon Moglen had the following statement:

"This speech was more about polluting the future than winning it.
President Obama today doubled down on his support for dirty energy sources
including the nuclear, corn ethanol, oil, natural gas, and coal
industries, while going AWOL on a crucial fight over the Clean Air Act.

"Given the escalating radiation disaster in Japan, it's dumbfounding that
President Obama believes it's justifiable to call nuclear energy "clean".
After such misguided nuclear boosterism, in addition to the multibillion
dollar bailout guarantees for the nuclear industry that the President
supports, it's easy to see why Duke Energy was willing to offer the
President's party a $10 million line of credit for the 2012 Democratic

"Moreover, it is unacceptable that in a speech billed as being about
'energy security," the President failed to recommit his administration to
defending the Clean Air Act against rollbacks. The Clean Air Act is the
most potent tool against climate change that Congress has created, and
climate change is the biggest energy-related threat to our security. If
the President is truly serious about energy security, he must be much more
vocal in his support of this crucial law".
Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots
environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969,
Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

[Obama, corporate pig, squeals for his masters.]

--------11 of 12--------

A Primer on Class Struggle
by Michael Schwalbe
Thursday, March 31, 2011 by

When we study Marx in my graduate social theory course, it never fails
that at least one student will say (approximately), "Class struggle didn't
escalate in the way Marx expected. In modern capitalist societies class
struggle has disappeared. So isn't it clear that Marx was wrong and his
ideas are of little value today?"

I respond by challenging the premise that class struggle has disappeared.
On the contrary, I say that class struggle is going on all the time in
every major institution of society. One just has to learn how to recognize

One needn't embrace the labor theory of value to understand that employers
try to increase profits by keeping wages down and getting as much work as
possible out of their employees. As the saying goes, every successful
capitalist knows what a Marxist knows; they just apply the knowledge

Workers' desire for better pay and benefits, safe working conditions, and
control over their own time puts them at odds with employers. Class
struggle in this sense hasn't gone away. In fact, it's inherent in the
relationship between capitalist employer and employee. What varies is how
aggressively and overtly each side fights for its interests.

Where else does class struggle occur? We can find class struggle wherever
three things are at stake: the balance of power between capitalists and
workers, the legitimacy of capitalism, and profits.

The most important arena outside the workplace is government, because it's
here that the rules of the game are made, interpreted, and enforced. When
we look at how capitalists try to use government to protect and advance
their interests -- and at how other groups resist -- we are looking at
class struggle.

Capitalists want laws that weaken and cheapen labor. This means laws that
make it harder for workers to organize unions; laws that make it easier to
export production to other countries; laws that make it easier to import
workers from other countries; laws and fiscal policies that keep
unemployment high, so that workers will feel lucky just to have jobs, even
with low pay and poor benefits.

Capitalists want tax codes that allow them to pay as little tax as
possible; laws that allow them to externalize the costs of production
(e.g., the health damage caused by pollution); laws that allow them to
swallow competitors and grow huge and more powerful; and laws that allow
them to use their wealth to dominate the political process. Workers, when
guided by their economic interests, generally want the opposite.

I should note that by "workers," I mean everyone who earns a wage or a
salary and does not derive wealth from controlling the labor of others. By
this definition, most of us are workers, though some are more privileged
than others. This definition also implies that whenever we resist the
creation and enforcement of laws that give capitalists more power to
exploit people and the environment, we are engaged in class struggle,
whether we call it that or not.

There are many other things capitalists want from government. They want
public subsidy of the infrastructure on which profitability depends; they
want wealth transferred to them via military spending; they want
militarily-enforced access to foreign markets, raw materials, and labor;
and they want suppression of dissent when it becomes economically
disruptive. So we can include popular resistance to corporate welfare,
military spending, imperialist wars, and government authoritarianism as
further instances of class struggle.

Class struggle goes on in other realms. In goes on in K-12 education, for
example, when business tries to influence what students are taught about
everything from nutrition to the virtues of free enterprise; when U.S.
labor history is excluded from the required curriculum; and when teachers.
unions are blamed for problems of student achievement that are in fact
consequences of the maldistribution of income and wealth in U.S. society.

It goes on in higher education when corporations lavish funds on
commercially viable research; when capitalist-backed pundits attack
professors for teaching students to think critically about capitalism; and
when they give money in exchange for putting their names on buildings and
schools. Class struggle also goes on in higher education when
pro-capitalist business schools are exempted from criticism for being
ideological and free-market economists are lauded as objective scientists.

In media discourse, class struggle goes on when we're told that the
criminal behavior of capitalist firms is a bad-apple problem rather than a
rotten-barrel problem. It goes on when we're told that the economy is
improving when wages are stagnant, unemployment is high, and jobs continue
to be moved overseas. It goes on when we're told that U.S. wars and
occupations are motivated by humanitarian rather than economic and
geopolitical concerns.

Class struggle goes on in the cultural realm when books, films, and songs
vaunt the myth that economic inequality is a result of natural differences
in talent and motivation. It goes on when books, films, and songs
celebrate militarism and violence. It also goes on when writers,
filmmakers, songwriters, and other artists challenge these myths and

It goes on, too, in the realm of religion. When economic exploitation is
justified as divinely ordained, when the oppressed are appeased by
promises of justice in an afterlife, and when human capacities for
rational thought are stunted by superstition, capitalism is reinforced.
Class struggle is also evident when religious teachings are used,
antithetically to capitalism, to affirm values of equality, compassion,
and cooperation.

I began with the claim that Marx's contemporary relevance becomes clear
once one learns to see the pervasiveness of class struggle. But apart from
courses in social theory, reading Marx is optional. In the real world, the
important thing is learning to see the myriad ways that capitalists try to
advance their interests at the expense of everyone else. This doesn't mean
that everything in social life can be reduced to class struggle, but that
everything in social life should be examined to see if and how it involves
a playing-out of class interests.

There is fierce resistance to thinking along these lines, precisely
because class analysis threatens to unite the great majority of working
people who are otherwise divided in a fight over crumbs. Class analysis
also threatens to break down the nationalism upon which capitalists depend
to raise armies to help exploit the people and resources of other
countries. Even unions, supposed agents of workers, often resist class
analysis because it exposes the limits of accommodationism.

Resistance to thinking about class struggle is powerful, but the power of
class analysis is hard to resist, once one grasps it. Suddenly, seemingly
odd or unrelated capitalist stratagems begin to make sense. To take a
current example, why would capitalists bankroll candidates and politicians
to destroy public sector unions? Why do capitalists care so much about the
public sector?

It's not because they want to balance budgets, create jobs, improve
government efficiency, or achieve any of the goals publicly touted by
governors like Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Rick Snyder, or John Kasich.
It's because of the profit and power they can gain by destroying the last
remaining organizations that fight for the interests of working people in
the political sphere, and by making sure that private-sector workers can't
look to the public sector for examples of how to win better pay and

Other parts of the agenda being pursued by corporate-backed governors and
other elected officials also make sense as elements of class struggle.

Selling off utilities, forests, and roads is not about saving taxpayers
money. It's about giving capitalists control of these assets so they can
be used to generate profits. Cutting social services is about ensuring
that workers depend on low-wage jobs for survival. Capitalists' goal, as
always, is a greater share of wealth for them and a smaller share for the
rest of us. Clear away the befogging rhetoric, the rhetoric that masks
class struggle, and it becomes clear that the bottom line is the bottom

If class struggle is hard to see, it's not only because of mystifying
ideology. It's because the struggle has been a rout for the last thirty
years. But a more visible class struggle could be at hand. The side that's
been losing has begun to fight back more aggressively, as we've seen most
notably in Wisconsin. To see what's at stake in this fight and what a real
victory might look like, it will help to call the fight by its proper

 Michael Schwalbe is a professor of sociology at North Carolina State
University. He can be reached at MLSchwalbe [at]

--------12 of 12--------

Obama's Constantinople Crusade
DE Shove
Intuition Hotline

A few days ago the CIA called Obama's attention to a 1950's song:

 Istanbul not Constantinople
 Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
 Istanbul not Constantinople -
 Why did Constantinople get the works?
 That's nobody's business but the Turks

 Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
 Why'd they change it who can say
 Maybe they liked it better that way

 Istanbul not Constantinople
 Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
 Istanbul not Constantinople -
 Why did Constantinople get the works?
 That's nobody's business but the Turks

Well, said Obama, it's OUR business. Constantinople is a good
old-fashioned Christian name, after the Emperor Constantine. But what is
this "Istanbul" nonsense? Moslem terrorism on roller skates. Good
America-loving Turks want to return to the old name. Only rabid
death-dealing democracy-hating anti-American terrorists want the new one.

The CIA and 24 (25? 26?) super-secret defense agencies found that Turkisb
city to be filled with Constantinopolitans (Cons) begging to be liberated
from the dreaded Istan Bulls. I immediately launched 2000 of our best
pro-democracy Moslem-Mangler drones. Followed by 200 randomly targeted
Shia-Shredder cruise missiles.  Ka-Boom boom boom, ha ha, that'll show

The army, navy, air force, marines, and contractors have begun
co-ordinated land air and sea humanitarian rescue operations. It will show
those Moslem miscreants not to mess with Uncle Sam or Father Obama or Lord
Jesus Jehovah-Yahweh.

Contrary to what spittle-dribbling wild-eyed weirdo America-haters are
saying, this is not about oil. However, God did put it there for the
United States now, so how could we refuse it if it came our way?  (Oil
companies: please call, and remember 2012.)


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