|Progressive Calendar 11.16.11 /2||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 12:10:56 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.16.11 1. Sustain films 11.16 7pm 2. Green strategy 11.16 7pm 3. Chris Hedges - This is what revolution looks like 4. Charles Pierce - A militarized force takes Zucotti for the economic elite 5. ed - Three wolves (a story) --------1 of 5-------- From:Curt McNamara <mcnam025 [at] tc.umn.edu> subject: Sustain films 11.16 7pm Celebrate Sustainability Films Wed. November 16 2011 Sustainable transportation alternatives that address the crises of automobile culture and fossil fuel: existing technologies, to long-term urban planning, to economic incentives http://www.pbs.org/e2/transport.html All films shown in Auditorium 150 at 7 p.m. Free! MCAD 2501 Stevens Ave. S. Mpls. MN --------2 of 5-------- fromHolle Brian holleb [at] aol.com subject: Green strategy 11.16 7pm There will be a meeting to discuss 2012 GP campaign strategy this Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 7-9 p.m. at Sibley Park Community Center, 1900 East 40th Street in Minneapolis. Topics will include candidate recruitment for state and federal offices; redistricting update; and the role of the GP in campaign support. The meeting is open to all GP members and supporters. We hope to make this event ongoing, either monthly or more frequently, for the next few months. Holle Brian Minneapolis, MN 612-822-6593 holleb [at] aol.com --------3 of 5-------- Published on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by TruthDig This Is What Revolution Looks Like by Chris Hedges Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future. Occupy DenverOur decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise. They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the voice of the people is a cruel joke. Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits. Stand by mutely as our bipartisan congressional super committee, either through consensus or cynical dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street. The rogues’ gallery of Wall Street crooks, such as Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs, Howard Milstein at New York Private Bank & Trust, the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase & Co., no doubt think it’s over. They think it is back to the business of harvesting what is left of America to swell their personal and corporate fortunes. But they no longer have any concept of what is happening around them. They are as mystified and clueless about these uprisings as the courtiers at Versailles or in the Forbidden City who never understood until the very end that their world was collapsing. The billionaire mayor of New York, enriched by a deregulated Wall Street, is unable to grasp why people would spend two months sleeping in an open park and marching on banks. He says he understands that the Occupy protests are “cathartic” and “entertaining,” as if demonstrating against the pain of being homeless and unemployed is a form of therapy or diversion, but that it is time to let the adults handle the affairs of state. Democratic and Republican mayors, along with their parties, have sold us out. But for them this is the beginning of the end. The historian Crane Brinton in his book “Anatomy of a Revolution” laid out the common route to revolution. The preconditions for successful revolution, Brinton argued, are discontent that affects nearly all social classes, widespread feelings of entrapment and despair, unfulfilled expectations, a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite, a refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the ruling class, an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of citizens, a steady loss of will within the power elite itself and defections from the inner circle, a crippling isolation that leaves the power elite without any allies or outside support and, finally, a financial crisis. Our corporate elite, as far as Brinton was concerned, has amply fulfilled these preconditions. But it is Brinton’s next observation that is most worth remembering. Revolutions always begin, he wrote, by making impossible demands that if the government met would mean the end of the old configurations of power. The second stage, the one we have entered now, is the unsuccessful attempt by the power elite to quell the unrest and discontent through physical acts of repression. Occupy Oakland. I have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force. The vast million-person bureaucracy of the internal security and surveillance state will not be used to stop terrorism but to try and stop us. Despotic regimes in the end collapse internally. Once the foot soldiers who are ordered to carry out acts of repression, such as the clearing of parks or arresting or even shooting demonstrators, no longer obey orders, the old regime swiftly crumbles. When the aging East German dictator Erich Honecker was unable to get paratroopers to fire on protesting crowds in Leipzig, the regime was finished. The same refusal to employ violence doomed the communist governments in Prague and Bucharest. I watched in December 1989 as the army general that the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had depended on to crush protests condemned him to death on Christmas Day. Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak lost power once they could no longer count on the security forces to fire into crowds. The process of defection among the ruling class and security forces is slow and often imperceptible. These defections are advanced through a rigid adherence to nonviolence, a refusal to respond to police provocation and a verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police, no matter how awful they can be while wading into a crowd and using batons as battering rams against human bodies. The resignations of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s deputy, Sharon Cornu, and the mayor’s legal adviser and longtime friend, Dan Siegel, in protest over the clearing of the Oakland encampment are some of the first cracks in the edifice. “Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators,” Siegel tweeted after his resignation. There were times when I entered the ring as a boxer and knew, as did the spectators, that I was woefully mismatched. Ringers, experienced boxers in need of a tuneup or a little practice, would go to the clubs where semi-pros fought, lie about their long professional fight records, and toy with us. Those fights became about something other than winning. They became about dignity and self-respect. You fought to say something about who you were as a human being. These bouts were punishing, physically brutal and demoralizing. You would get knocked down and stagger back up. You would reel backwards from a blow that felt like a cement block. You would taste the saltiness of your blood on your lips. Your vision would blur. Your ribs, the back of your neck and your abdomen would ache. Your legs would feel like lead. But the longer you held on, the more the crowd in the club turned in your favor. No one, even you, thought you could win. But then, every once in a while, the ringer would get overconfident. He would get careless. He would become a victim of his own hubris. And you would find deep within yourself some new burst of energy, some untapped strength and, with the fury of the dispossessed, bring him down. I have not put on a pair of boxing gloves for 30 years. But I felt this twinge of euphoria again in my stomach this morning, this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall. © 2011 Chris Hedges 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. --------4 of 5-------- A Militarized Force Takes to Zuccotti for the Economic Elite By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire 15 November 11 Our right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances, and how you may do it, and what you may say, will be defined by the police power of the state, backed by its political establishment and the business elite. They will define "acceptable" forms of public protest, even (and especially) public protest against them. This is the way it is now. This is the way it has been for some time. It's just that people didn't notice. And that was the problem with the Occupy protests. They resisted the marginalization - both literal physical marginalization, and the kind of intellectual marginalization that keeps real solutions to real problems out of our kabuki political debates. They could not be ignored. In 1831, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wrote of his own cause: I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; - but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch - AND I WILL BE HEARD. That was the real problem with the Occupy people. They were being heard. Late last night, the New York Police Department, apparently decked out for a confrontation with the Decepticons, cleared Zuccotti Park of the campers who had occupied it for nearly three months. It was, as all of these things have been, a fully militarized operation, launched with a maximum of surprise by armored tactical police who even brought a helicopter, in case they needed air support. They also uncrated all their exotic toys for the occasion. The operation netted the police about 100 arrests, and it is being said that it went off peacefully, although accounts on that do vary. (Keeping the press out while the action is being taken is a particular tell.) The action followed several days of similar operations in Oakland, and Denver, and St. Louis, and a particularly nasty bit of business in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where authorities appeared to require a tactical unit with automatic weapons to protect an abandoned building. All of them took the place by surprise, and in the middle of the night. These are basic military tactics. The former car dealership building at 419 W. Franklin St. is owned by Fayetteville businessman Joe Riddle and has stood empty for many years. The town condemned it Monday as unfit for human habitation. Nice that they could finally get around to that. Urban blight? Okay. Urban blight containing political protest? Not Okay. Got it. In almost every case, there was the ritual defense of the First Amendment by the nervous mayors who sent in the riot cops. There was the assertion that they were only acting in the interest of public safety and public health. The mayor of Portland, Sam Adams - proof enough that the Almighty has a deft touch with historical irony - seems like a decent enough skin. He makes as cogent an argument as you can on Twitter that the Occupy movement needs to get beyond simply occupying physical space, which is true enough. (Although fobbing the whole thing off on "Washington" seems to be ducking the issue. Income inequality is everywhere. The theft of the nation's wealth was the theft of the wealth of the entire nation. That's been the whole point. Should the protests against the Vietnam War been restricted to the area around the Pentagon? Should every civil-rights march been confined to the National Mall?) Unfortunately, it's hard for people to hear reason from a mayor who's about to set upon them a faceless force in body armor that seems to have beamed in from Mars. Like all the other mayors in all the other cities, Mayor Sam is being led around by his "business community" and his police force. Never has civilian control over our thoroughly militarized urban police forces seemed so tenuous. Never have we seemed so close to being subject to a private police force that answers, primarily, to the economic power of the financial elite. Some mayors don't care. Michael Bloomberg in New York clearly steps to the tune called by his peers, and by the New York Post, the local franchise in a vast criminal enterprise run by an Aussie T&A merchant. Mayor Sam out in Portland at least seems to have a vestigial conscience about what he was forced to do. The matter rests in New York with the courts, and the protesters won a preliminary victory there this morning. But the precedent has been set, all over the country: Public protest shall be polite, quiet, and invisible, and that is the way they will let us be free. --------5 of 5-------- THREE WOLVES The three wolves ran down the corporate executive. One of the wolves was bleeding. Look, that lousy CEO bit me! I warned you Cal, said Jack. Look closely, their teeth and claws are even sharper than ours. That’s why, to be safe, it takes three of us to one of them. Scary, said Gus. They drew bones. The shortest – Gus – had to cut the CEO in three equal pieces, then take last choice. He unwrapped their mail-order Popeil Pocket CEO Slicer and plugged it in. Thank god for rural electrification he said. Zip snap zap and it was done. The bones give me first choice, said Jack, and took two of the three pieces. Hey, that’s not fair! howled Cal and especially Gus, who stood to get nothing at all to eat. Every member gets a share! It says so in the rules! No, it’s not there, said Jack. You may think it is, but it isn’t. Take a look! So Cal and Gus snuffled through the Rule Book. While they were doing that, Jack wolfed down one whole share and part of another. Gus and Cal, disgusted, slammed the book shut; Jack was right, the rule wasn’t there. What a howler, said Gus. Why did you do this, Jack? You’re usually so fair, asked Cal. Well, yeah, but CEOs are especially delicious morsels. They sit around all day doing nothing, eating expensive food and getting massages just like those fancy cattle. Yum! And they’re relatively rare. The other ones – the ones they make work for them – are full of gristle and biologically destructive chemicals. You’ve tasted them. Yuk! barfed Cal. Pa-tooey! spat Gus. Now just touch a paw to any part of this big soft butt I saved to show you. Tender – juicy - marbled, entirely delicious! Bigger than a giant puffball. Here – each of you can have a sample. Ohh! said Cal, and smacked his lips. Ahh! said Gus. That’s what I want for Christmas! I’ll show you, said Jack, the happy hunting ground where we can feast like that as long as we live. Where? Where! yipped Cal and Gus. Follow me! barked Jack. They ran all out for several miles, slowed down as they got closer, stopped and waited for darkness, then skulked up and into the MegaCorp Forest Parking Ramp. Police the next morning figured out where they had gone by the shining trail of drool. -11.14.11 des ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shove Grove
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