|Progressive Calendar 07.09.11||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: shove001 (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2011 14:50:25 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 07.09.11 1. MindFreedom 7.09.11 3pm 2. Mizna party 7.09.11 7:30pm 3. Cost of coal 7.09.11 9pm 4. Michael Collins - Budget cave in stabs citizens in the back 5. Gary Brumback - Come home America? Not yill her dorpocracy leaves 6. Erik Wasson - Bernie Sanders fights White House 'piece of crap' 7. Naomi Klein - Climate change and disaster in Montana --------1 of 7-------- From: John Charles Wilson <twincitiesmn [at] mindfreedom.org> Subject: MindFreedom 7.09 3pm Psychiatric Survivors and Friends: The next MindFreedom Twin Cities meeting is being held Saturday, 9 July 2011 from 3 to 6 PM in the Study Room at Hosmer Library, 347 E. 36th St. in Minneapolis (Metro Transit Route 11, 36th St. stop). --------2 of 7-------- From: Mizna <mizna [at] mizna.org> + Subject: Mizna party 7.09 7:30pm Journal Release Party at the Loft! Join us to celebrate the publication of the latest issue of Mizna's eponymous literary journal. Hear authors performing their work, including Nahid Khan, Mary Barghout, Abdifatah Shafat, D. Daryoush, and others. A reception will follow. Saturday, July 9, 2011 7:30 p.m. $5 General Â $3 Students Open Book Â 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 55414 --------3 of 7-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> + Subject: Cost of coal 7.09 9pm "The True Cost of Coal" (Part 1) The beehive collective is a group of artists and educators who, through their unique and elaborate works, share narratives about some of the most expansive and important topics of the day. Their newest piece is called "The True Cost of Coal" and centers around the history of industrialization in southern Appalachia. Through story-telling and information about the main driving force behind this industrialization, mountain-top removal coal extraction, we get a sense of our own history and likely struggles for our future. (filmed in April, UofM) MTN 17 viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts on Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow! Households with basic cable may watch. 7/9, 9pm and Tues, 7/12, 8am "The True Cost of Coal" (Part 1) --------4 of 7-------- Choreographed Budget Cave In: The Money Party Stabs Citizens in the Back by Michael Collins Dissident Voice So this is how it is going to be: âAfter putting controversial cuts to Social Security and Medicare on the table in negotiations with congressional Republicans over a plan to raise the nationâs debt ceiling, President Obama still doesnât have a deal in the works.â1 Who told President Obama to put âcontroversial cuts on Social Security and Medicare on the tableâ? Hasnât the president seen his public opinion polling numbers lately? He is consistently at or below 50% job approval. Didnât he pay attention to the special congressional election in the highly conservative, long-time Republican upstate New York district that elected a Democrat for the first time in years? Isnât the President Obama aware that thereâs an election coming up; that many of the people he is so willingly and openly betraying rely on Social Security to live and Medicare to stay alive? What planet does he live on? (Unless this is what he truly desires.) We expect just this sort of behavior from his negotiating partner, Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Boehner is part of the unashamed corruption that is the Ohio Republican Party. He learned at the feet of disgraced former Governor Robert Taft, jailed Representative Robert Ney, and voting machine magician, former Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell. Boehner will get reelected no matter what he does the way they count votes in his home state. The presidentâs behavior over the coming weeks (and past years) will make little sense unless you view the Democrats and Republicans as the distracting sideshow of the ruling elite. Obama, Boehner, and the rest of them are in place to play democracy, make us think we have some say in things. They make it look so complicated and difficult to address problems rationally and equitably. How could we, the mere citizens, ever do better, we are supposed to think. The bipartisan sideshow exists to crush all hope that anything will change. Thatâs just fine with The Money Party. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The rake off by the very top fraction of a percent continues unimpeded, a mighty flowing river of cash into their gated communities. They make it look like conflict but thereâs no real conflict. Benefits will be cut. How much more obvious do they have to be? It was Obama, after all, who cozied up to Peter Peterson, the decadeâs long foe of Social Security. Petersonâs deficit commission worked in tandem with Obamaâs hand-picked deficit commissioners to produce this conclusion: Social Security and Medicare will be cut. The government will continue to use payroll taxes to fund the deficit. It will continue to write IOUs for future repayment of that money to those who rightfully deserve it. But the benefits will dwindle and vanish, by design. If there was one ounce of sincerity and intellectual honesty in this budgeting process, we would know that war is expensive. The current two are at $4 trillion right now. Thatâs a big chunk of the federal deficit. We would know about the extensive, expensive, and unnecessary subsidy and give away programs for corporate farms. We would hear that the Bush tax cuts plus the defense increases account for a huge portion of the current deficit. And we would hear all about how both parties gave away millions of jobs through âfair tradeâ deals and by encouraging flight of good jobs to places with slave wages and no labor regulations. But we wonât hear that. The corporate sponsors of team democracy wonât stand for it. Over the past three decades, at least, the leaders of the United States and Western Europe have failed at governance at an accelerating rate. At this point, to varying degrees, the primary strategies of the US and its transatlantic partners are: wage war; demolish the middle class; swindle large groups of people and entire nations through no-win financial schemes; and pollute at a breathtaking rate in full awareness of the outcome. The level of incompetence is stunning. It canât be tolerated any longer. 1.Chris Moody, Yahoo News, July 7. [â] Michael Collins writes for Scoop Independent News and a variety of other web publications on election fraud and other corruptions of the new millennium. He is one of few to report on the ongoing struggles of Susan Lindauer, an activist accused of being a foreign agent, who was the subject of a government request for forced psychiatric medication. This article may be reproduced in whole or in part with attribution of authorship, a link to this article, and acknowledgment of images. Read other articles by Michael, or visit Michael's website. --------5 of 7-------- Come Home America? Not Till Her Corpocracy Leaves by Gary Brumback July 9th, 2011 When I recently signed an anti-war letter to be sent to the President and to members of The Congress by Come Home America, a small coalition of concerned citizens that is managed by Kevin Zeese, attorney and political activist, I added the following comment: I endorse this letter unequivocally. America has been the most warring nation since the end of WWII. It is time to stop this deadly habit that benefits only war profiteers. Later, I began thinking of the research I had done over the last 10 years on Americaâs corpocracy and what I had written about âwarfare welfareâ in my new book, The Devilâs Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch. The purpose of this article is to share with readers some of my views and proposals in that book and some additional thoughts I had about the letter after signing it. I will start with those additional thoughts. My overall opinion of the letter is that while it is well intentioned and has certainly garnered a large number of signatures from luminaries and just plain people like myself, it cannot possibly achieve its aim of persuading President Obama and The Congress ââto end the current illegal wars and start a national dialogue about shifting U.S. foreign policy away from dominance through military might, and toward being a member of the community of nationsâ (quote from the letter). The reason for my pessimism is simply that Americaâs endless, winless, deadly warring will never stop until America gets rid of her corpocracy, what I call the Devilâs marriage between powerful corporate interests and all three branches of government. The corpocracy absolutely depends on America seeking and starting covert wars (e.g., CIA orchestrated coup dâÃtats and the many ongoing shadow wars in the Greater Middle East) and very visible wars. A huge war machine and endless militarism fattens the defense industry, including beefing up its sale of arms (the U.S. is the worldâs top arms seller); gives military personnel, spooks, and the likes something to do for their pay checks; opens up, protects, and expands corporationsâ foreign markets and exploitation of natural resources (oil and minerals) and cheap labor; keeps the corpocracyâs politicians in office; and distracts the American public from growing socio-economic deterioration at home (e.g., soaring poverty rate, joblessness, etc., etc.). The changes America has undergone in 235 years have been phenomenal in their nature and impact, yet one constant always remains, war. America, after all, was born in the womb of war, fought by the colonists rebelling from King Georgeâs corpocracy. The letter I signed concluded by stating that âGeorge Washington urged Americans to âcultivate peace and harmony with allâ and to âavoid overgrown military establishments,â which are âhostile to republican liberty.â While it is true that he proposed a âproper peace establishment,â it was in name only as he then went on to explain that it would have âa regular and standing force,â âa well-regulated militia,â âarsenals of all kinds of military stores,â and âacademies, one or more for the Instruction of the Art [of the] Military.â Would we have expected a different utterance from a victorious army general? Since the Kingâs corpocracy there have been four âhomegrownâ ones. The first was during the Robber Baronâs era. Abe Lincoln said âCorporations have been enthronedâAn era of corruption in high places will follow.â It did, but public outrage and Teddy Roosevelt busted this corpocracy. The second was during the Flapper Era. The Great Depression, WWII, and FDR ended it. The third was during the Cold War. The warfare industry and fear mongering politicians helped sustain it. The fourth, is the current one, begun in the 1970âs with a âcorporate revolutionâ triggered by the âbattle planâ Lewis F. Powell, soon-to-be a US Supreme Court Justice, sent to the US Chamber of Commerce, a stauncher ally no corpocracy will ever know or find. The corpocracy in all of its renditions has, in effect, and over time honed to perfection a culture of war in which Americans generally expect and accept America at war. The letter writer alluded to this culture in saying that âthe military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned of in his final speech to the nation has become deeply embedded.â What the writer did not say is that Ike not only presided over that very complex but also authored the CIA, purportedly to stem the spread of communism but in reality to install dictators friendly to corporate Americaâs insatiable appetite. His Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, more a hawk than a statesman, is quoted as having said that âIn order to bring a nation to support the burdens of maintaining great military establishments, it is necessary to create an emotional state akin to war psychology. There must be the portrayal of external menace.â While making such a statement seems audacious and not unlike Joseph Goebbelsâ sentiments, Dulles was merely speaking the truth of the corpocracy and its modus operandi: scare the American people with fear mongering, half truths and outright lies; evoke jingoistic patriotism (âmy country right or wrongâ); blather about building nations and spreading democracy; and slander peace seekers as weaklings soft on the enemy. Neither Americans subjugated to its power nor the rest of world confronted, and sometimes devastated, by it has ever seen a more powerful force than Americaâs corpocracy, along with its myriad allies like the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the numerous think tanks and litigation centers, the captive media, and a foreign enemy or two or three or more. At the same time, the corpocracyâs opposition is pathetically weak and unorganized. There is nothing comparable to the massive demonstrations against the Vietnam War, and even if there were, they would be crushed (the Kent State killings would pale in comparison). There is no national leader of FDRâs stature or capability or viable third political party now or in the foreseeable future. The 150 or so non-governmental organizations (NGOs) opposed to the corpocracy that I researched are splintered, and I strongly doubt my ongoing petition drive aimed at uniting them will ever succeed. Some of them seem to be already âcorporatized,â and some, if not all the rest, are too territorial, And more to the point here on opposition to war, the opposition is totally fractured. There are over 40 anti-war organizations in the U.S. and a smattering of them throughout the rest of the world. The oldest in the U.S. reportedly is the War Resistors League, founded in 1923. The largest in the U.S. reportedly is Peace Action, with over 100,000 members, a national network of 27 state affiliates, and over 100 chapters nationwide. Wars continue unfazed by these divided and conquered anti-war organizations. They need, says Lawrence S. Wittner, a professor of history and once a member of Peace Actionâs Board, âa powerful national peace organization, with a mass membership.â Mr. Zeeseâs letter hardly reflects such a powerful organization. Moreover, less than a month before he wrote about his new anti-war movement in Dissident Voice (July 6, 2011) Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis mentioned in the same outlet (June 15) yet another new anti-war movement, âA Call to Action â Oct. 6, 2011 and onward.â I do not see it mentioned in Mr. Zeeseâs letter or listed among his letterâs endorsers. [It is mentioned in "The Revolution Will Not Be Deactualized," June 15. -- Eds] If the corpocracy, let alone its warring arm, is to be ended before it ends America I am convinced it will take a unified network of NGOs, including anti-war NGOs, (letâs call the network the US Chamber of Democracy) carrying out a strategic plan of major political, legislative, judicial, and economic reforms that are backed up by a massive coalition of 20 or more segments of the populace most likely to abhor the corpocracy. To appreciate the scope of what it would take to end the entire corpocracy I will close by listing without discussing what I think it would take just to end the warfare welfare component: Waging War on War Establish a Citizenâs Assembly for Peace. Establish a Department of Peace Keeping and National Security Establish a Peace Keeping and National Security Council. Nationalize and reorient the defense industry. Join the International Criminal Court. Create a dual draft. (community vs military service). End the propagandizing of the military and militarism. Determine the lost opportunity costs of warfare welfare. Impeach or prosecute officials who commit the U.S. to war on false pretenses or unconstitutionally. Permanently ban and prosecute defense contractors who defraud the government. Publish a detailed âname and shameâ annual warfare welfare report. Stop budget overruns in military spending. Stop emergency and off-the-book defense budgeting and funding. Include supplemental funding and nuclear weapon funding in the military budget. Require open and competitive bidding on all contract bids. Purge the GNP index of defense costs. Prevent war profiteering. Stop the manufacture and purchase of useless weapons. Stop the sale anywhere abroad of arms from U.S. manufacturers. Eliminate the privatization of the military. Forbid military recruiting at public schools and colleges. Eliminate college ROTC programs. Gary Brumback is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. His forthcoming book is The Devilâs Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave it in the Lurch. Gary can be reached at: garybrumback [at] bellsouth.net and you can visit his web site at www.democracypowernow.com. Read other articles by Gary. --------6 of 7-------- Liberal Senators Warn Obama Over Social Security Cuts in Any Debt Deal Bernie Sanders promises to filibuster if White House proposes 'piece of crap' by Erik Wasson Published on Saturday, July 9, 2011 by The Hill (Washington, DC) Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) warned Friday that President Obama faces turmoil in the Senate and in his reelection campaign if he includes Social Security cuts in any debt-ceiling deal. Bernie Sanders The senators said the White House has not communicated effectively to Senate Democrats and they and their rank-and-file colleagues are being frozen out of the process. âI have talked to some of my colleagues, including some that you might not expect, who say if [White House officials] bring to the Senate a piece of crap that comes down heavy on working families and children and the elderly and they expect me to matter-of-factly vote for it, they'll have another thing coming,â Sanders said. He added that he would filibuster such a deal. âI do worry that the White House is misreading the Senate and taking things for granted,â Whitehouse said. âThere has not been enough communication to alleviate that potential misreading.â Sanders wants Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to rule out any benefit cuts, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has done. Whitehouse noted that Democrats can support a $4 trillion deficit-reduction package without touching Social Security. He noted the so-far secret Senate Budget Committee plan has more deficit reduction than the House-passed budget without doing so. Both men said they have only heard of potential cuts to Social Security through newspaper accounts and they do not know what is on the table. Sources have said that at the very least, leaders are considering whether to alter how inflation is calculated. This move would reduce benefits by an average of $1,000 per year after 20 years, Sanders noted. Sanders quoted Obama as saying during the 2008 campaign that he would not change the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security. âYou have a gentleman who ran for president who made a promise to the American people, and it is important he keep it,â Sanders said. The senators were joined on a press call by a coalition of liberal groups that said Obama would be punished at the polls if he touches the third rail of Social Security. Sarah Lane of MoveOn.org warned that 76 percent of her members have said they would be less likely to donate to or volunteer for Obama if he cuts Social Security. The Strengthen Social Security Campaign has targeted next Thursday, July 14, as a day to flood Congress with calls opposing the proposal. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security will be out with a new advertisement campaign by mid-week. Â 2011 The Hill. --------7 of 7-------- Climate Change and Disaster in Montana By Naomi Klein Source: Naomiklein.orgSaturday, July 09, 2011 Published in the Los Angeles Times "We're a disaster area," Alexis Bonogofsky told me, "and it's going to take a long time to get over it." Bonogofsky and her partner, Mike Scott, are all over the news this week, telling the world about how Montana's Exxon Mobil pipeline spill has fouled their goat ranch and is threatening the health of their animals. But my conversation with Bonogofsky was four full days before the pipeline began pouring oil into the Yellowstone River. And no, it's not that she's psychic; she was talking about this year's historic flooding. "It's unbelievable," she said. "It's like nothing I've experienced in my lifetime. It destroyed houses; people died; crops didn't get in the fieldsâ. We barely were able to get our hay crop in." Everyone agrees that the two disasters â the flooding of the Yellowstone River and the oil spill in the riverbed â are connected. According to Exxon officials, the high and fast-moving river has four times its usual flow this year, which has hampered cleanup and prevented their workers from reaching the exact source of the spill. Also thanks to the flooding, the oiled water has breached the riverbanks, inundating farmland, endangering animals, killing crops and contaminating surface water. And the rush of water appears to be carrying the oil toward North Dakota. Government and company officials have also speculated that the flooding may even have caused the spill in the first place. Recent testing showed the pipeline was buried five to eight feet under the riverbed, but officials suspect that raging water may have exposed the pipe, leaving it vulnerable to fast-moving debris. So the flooding may have caused the pipeline spill. But here is the really uncomfortable question: Did the pipeline cause the flooding? Not this one particular pipeline, of course, but all the pipelines, and all the coal trains, and all the refineries and the power plants they supply? Was the flooding that has made the oil spill so much worse caused by the burning of oil and other fossil fuels? Put bluntly, do these dual disasters have the same root? This is an unanswerable question, since no one weather event can be traced to climate change. Still, in Montana, it's hard to deny that global warming is happening. The state is home to Glacier National Park, which had 150 large glaciers in 1850 and now has just 25, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. And we do know that Montana's flooding was caused by record rainfall and by runoff from heavy snowfall. Though climate deniers (some of them funded by Exxon) love to point to freak snowstorms as "proof" that the planet isn't warming, the opposite is often true: In some places, the warmer the air, the more water vapor accumulates in the atmosphere and the more moisture comes down in the form of rain or snow. As Scott put it to me, "We went from drought to rain forest in just a few months. The weather has just been bizarre." Despite all this, Montana is in the midst of a fossil fuel frenzy. The state's governor may be shaking his fist at Exxon now, but he has championed virtually every fossil fuel project that has crossed his desk, from a vast new coal mine near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, to new rail lines that would help ship Montana's coal to China, to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta's tar sands to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Bonogofsky and Scott are at the forefront of the fight against this carbon-centric vision of Montana's future. When they aren't growing food or taking care of their herd of goats, both are full-time environmental activists: she with the National Wildlife Federation, he with the Sierra Club. But they don't just fight the coal and oil companies; they also work hard to show their fellow Montanans that there are other ways to get energy and create jobs besides drilling and mining, ones that don't turn vast swaths of the state into sacrifice zones. That is precisely what Bonogofsky was doing when the spill happened. She had arranged for 25 people on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to learn how to install solar air heaters in their homes as part of the EPA's "climate showcase communities" program. She and Scott have also tried to live their beliefs on their farm, which just a few days ago was still a peaceful oasis circled by Billings' three oil refineries and one coal-fired power plant. "We're trying to be self-sufficient," she told me. "We want to grow all our own food and grow food for other people, not be dependent on fossil fuels." Now their oasis is choking in oil, carried onto their land by floods very likely linked to the burning of that very same black muck. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shove rhymes with clove
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