Progressive Calendar 07.07.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 03:57:51 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     07.07.06

1. Labor peace rally 7.07 8am
2. fFunch lunch      7.07 11:30am
3. Road/Guantanamo/f 7.07 7pm
4. Pentel/governor   7.07 7pm

5. Cram with wamm    7.08 10am
6. Alt to military   7.08 10:30am
7. AWC/Colombia      7.08 5:30am
8. MIBA/IndyBiz bash 7.08 6:30pm
9. Girls intl forum  7.08-16

10. Democracy Now - Mexican elections
11. Alan Jones    - Mexican election: another stolen presidency?
12. Joshua Frank  - Hillary a perfect neocon on Iraq and Israel
13. ed            - Finding your butt (poem)
14. ed            - Ode to the blowed (poem)

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Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2006 13:59:19 GMT
From: Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council <betsy [at]>
Subject: Labor peace rally 7.07 8am

Rally for Labor Peace Agreement
Holiday Inn Select International Airport, 34th Ave S & Hwy 494 (across
from M/SP airport)
July 7 - 8-8:30am

-Holiday Inn Select Bloomington broke federal Labor law to such an extent
as to cause the NLRB to overturn the election results.

-UNITE HERE has met with management and asked for a Labor Peace Agreement,
which management rejected.

Please join us at this important rally, and call Mike Wilke, GM of Holiday
Inn Select Bloomington, and ask him to sign the Labor Peace Agreement.
Mike Wilke can be reached at 952-854-9000.

For questions or comments, please contact Martin Goff at 612-379-4730 ext.

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From: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: fFunch lunch 7.07 11:30am

First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for Greens/progressives.

Informal political talk and hanging out.

Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul.
Meet in the private room (holds 12+).

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

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Road to Guantanamo 7.07 7pm

TC Opening FRI JULY 7 @ Landmark Cinema:

Part documentary, part dramatization, this is the terrifying first-hand
account of three British citizens who went to Pakistan for a wedding, but
ended up being held for two years without charges in the American military
prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The three were eventually released, and no
formal charges have ever been made against them. The film's critical
stance towards the British and American governments has already engendered
significant controversy since its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival,
where it won the Silver Bear for Best Director (Michael Winterbottom and
Mat Whitecross). Official Web Site

Directors: Michael Winterbottom & Mat Whitecross

Cast: Riz Ahmed, Farhad Harun, Arfan Usman, Shahid Iqbal, Sher Khan, Jason
Salkey, Jacob Gaffney, Mark Holden, Duane Henry, William Meredith, Payman
Bina, Adam James, Ian Hughes, James Buller, Mark Sproston
MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 1hr 35mins
Release Year: 2006
Country of origin;UK

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From: Ken Pentel <kenpentel [at]>
Subject: Pentel/governor 7.07 7pm

Ken Pentel Green Party endorsed got governor.
July 7, Robbinsdale Whiz-Bang Days, 7pm outside the gate then we go in
for $5. (Just behind the Robbinsdale Water tower at Hwy 100 and Co. Rd.

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From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Cram with wamm 7.08 10am

WAMM Book Club

Saturday, July 8, 10am to 12noon Residence of Lucia Wilkes Smith, 2615
Park Avenue, Minneapolis. Book: "Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips. Open for
people to join at any time. FFI: Email <rabbas [at]>.

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From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Alt to military 7.08 10:30am

The 2nd Saturday of each month), 10:30 am, Coalition for Alternatives to
Military Service (or CAMS, a counter-recruitment group) meets at Twin
Cities Friends Meeting, 1725 Grand, St. Paul.  Contact Mary at
wamm [at]

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: AWC/Colombia 7.08 5:30am

Saturday, 7/8, 5:30  and 7 pm, Antiwar Committee fundraising dinner for
Colombia delegation with Asian grilled delicacies.  FFI: awcmere [at]
or website

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From: Tim Dykstal <tim [at]>
Subject: MIBA/Indy biz bash 7.08 6:30pm

Celebrating Our Independents!

P.M.  Come, mingle with, and learn about the independent businesses that
make the Twin Cities area such a unique and vibrant place to live."

[Saint Paul] - The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) and the
Metro Independent Business Alliance (MetroIBA) declare the week of July
1-7 Independents Week, a celebration focusing on the contributions of
independent businesses to our communities and economy.

"It's a time to reflect on the importance of economic democracy and
community self-determination by celebrating the nation's locally owned
independent businesses and the stake each citizen has in shaping their
home town's future," stated AMIBA director Jennifer Rockne.

"MetroIBA invites all members, prospective members, and friends to help us
celebrate," said Tim Dykstal, MetroIBA Executive Director.  "We're having
P.M.  Come, mingle with, and learn about the independent businesses that
make the Twin Cities area such a unique and vibrant place to live."

Dykstal added that, in addition to showcasing MetroIBAs accomplishments
during the first year of its existence, the event will offer attendees the
opportunity to discuss hot-button issues of concern to area businesses,
such as the stadium deals recently passed by the Minnesota Legislature.

MetroIBA is affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance
(AMIBA) and is part of a growing national movement of communities rallying
to support their independent businesses, take control of their local
economies, and reverse the trend of chains and big boxes displacing
locally owned businesses.

AMIBA is joined by the Council of Independent Restaurants of America
(CIRA), the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the American Specialty Toy
Retail Association (ASTRA), the American Booksellers Association (ABA),
the Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) and other concerned
citizens nationwide united to celebrate Independents Week.

"Independents Week is a national celebration," said Dykstal.  "Other IBAs
will be holding similar events around the country.  We have a reason to
celebrate - these friends and neighbors embody the spirit of
entrepreneurism and individuality in our community.  Our citizens are
integral to ensuring we keep these businesses that help define who we are
and contribute to our sense of place."

For more information, contact Dykstal or visit the MetroIBA website at <>.

Contact:  Tim Dykstal, 651-399-9847, tim [at] Executive Director,
Metro Independent Business Alliance P. O. Box 4126 Saint Paul, MN 55104

--------9 of 14--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: Girls intl forum 7.08-16

Saturday, July 8 - Sunday, July16: Girls International Forum, 62 girls (ages
12-18) from eight different countries will create a Girls Platform for
Action. The girls, and their women mentors, will be developing Action Plans
to address global issues such as education, health and economic empowerment.
You can get involved. Find out how by calling 651/645-3636.

--------10 of 14--------

Dem Now transcript re Mexican Elections with David Brooks, Gilberto Lopez
Rivas, John Ross, George Grayson

Populist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and conservative Felipe
Calderon both claim victory in Mexico's closest-ever presidential race.
Lopez Obrador is now calling for a full recount after charges of voter
fraud and manipulation. We go to Mexico City to get a report and host a
roundtable discussion on the election. [includes rush transcript]

The party of populist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is demanding a
full, vote-by-vote recount in Mexico's closest-ever presidential race.  A
preliminary count of the votes cast in Sunday's election gave a slim lead
to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon. But federal election officials
acknowledged Tuesday that more than three million ballots - or eight
percent of the total - remain uncounted. In the latest tally, Calderon
leads Lopez Obrador by just over 0.6 of a percentage point, meaning the
race is still too close to call.

On election night, both of Mexico's major television networks said their
exit polls showed a statistical tie. Two hours later both candidates
claimed victory in Mexico City.

The new election results were released on Tuesday after Lopez Obrador made
charges of fraud and manipulation of the vote. His party is calling for a
full recount of all 41 million votes claiming that some voting places were
counted twice while others weren't counted at all. Although a formal
recount will begin today, electoral authorities will only be required to
re-check tallies from each ballot box.

Lopez Obrador has been running on a progressive platform calling for
greater aid to the poor; free medical care and food subsidies for the
elderly; the rewriting of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement;
and the end to the further privatization of the country's oil and gas
industries. Meanwhile Felipe Calderon has received the strong backing of
the business community.

a.. David Brooks, U.S. Bureau Chief for Mexican Daily newspaper La

b.. Gilberto López Rivas, anthropologist with the National Institute of
Anthropology and History in Mexico City. He is also a frequent contributor
to La Jornada.

c.. John Ross, a regular contributor to the Nation, Counterpunch and La
Jornada. He has also written three books chronicling the Zapitista
movement in Mexico. His latest is "Making Another World Possible:
Zapatista Chronicle 2000-2006" to be published by Nation Books in October
2006. His most recent article about the Mexico elections is on the website and is titled "Disputed Election Raises Tensions in

d.. George Grayson, professor of Government at the College of William and
Mary. He also writes a regular column for "Milenio Semanal," a weekly
magazine in Mexico. Professor Grayson's latest book is about presidential
contender, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and is titled "Mesías Mexicano," -
in English, "Mexican Messiah."


AMY GOODMAN: On election night, both of Mexico's major television networks
said their exit polls showed a statistical tie. Two hours later, both
candidates claimed victory. This is Lopez Obrador speaking in Mexico City.

ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR: [translated] I want to tell the Mexican
people that, according to our data, we won the presidency of the republic.

AMY GOODMAN: Felipe Calderon also claimed victory on Sunday night.

FELIPE CALDERON: [translated] We have won the presidential elections, and
that data will be confirmed by the Federal Electoral Institute.

AMY GOODMAN: The new election results were released on Tuesday after Lopez
Obrador made charges of fraud and manipulation of the vote. His party is
calling for a full recount of all 41 million votes, claiming that some
voting places were counted twice, while others weren't counted at all.
Although a formal recount will begin today, electoral authorities will
only be required to recheck tallies from each ballot box.

Lopez Obrador has been running on a progressive platform calling for
greater aid to the poor; free medical care and food subsidies for the
elderly; the rewriting of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement;
and the end to the further privatization of the country's oil and gas
industries. Meanwhile, Felipe Calderon has received the strong backing of
the business community.

We're joined now in our Firehouse studio by David Brooks, the U.S. Bureau
Chief for the Mexican daily newspaper La Jornada. On the phone from
Mexico, we're joined by Gilberto Lopez Rivas. He's with the National
Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, frequent contributor
to La Jornada. We're also joined on the line by John Ross, a journalist
and author who has written three books chronicling the Zapatista movement
in Mexico. His latest book is called Making Another World Possible:
Zapatista Chronicle 2000-2006. And we're joined by Professor George
Grayson, Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary. He
also writes a regular column for a weekly magazine in Mexico. We welcome
you all to Democracy Now!

David Brooks, let's begin with you. Were you surprised by the vote?

DAVID BROOKS: The election had been neck-and-neck for the last couple
months, although Lopez Obrador's people had expected to win by 2, 3, 4
percentage points, so everybody was a bit upset about this tie. And the
question is now that nobody quite knows what the result is in Mexico. And
that uncertainty and that doubt that has been brought upon the electoral
institution for not being clear about what happened with these three
million votes, what's happened with the preliminary results, has led for
more uncertainty, and so now we're in uncharted terrain in Mexico.

AMY GOODMAN: George Grayson, you're with the College of William and Mary,
a professor who writes a weekly column in Mexico. Can you talk about your
reaction to the vote?

GEORGE GRAYSON: I agree with David. I was out on election day as an
observer visiting various precincts, and I found it to be a relatively
calm, orderly process, except their so-called special precincts, casillas
especiales, where if you happen to be a tourist from another part of
Mexico, you can cast your vote. Regrettably, the election law only allows
these special precincts to have 750 ballots. And I was in the neighborhood
of the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, where there are just thousands
and thousands of tourists on the weekend. And in the five special
precincts around the Basilica or in that particular borough of the city,
all of them ran out of ballots, and they were looking for another place to
vote. I think that was probably more bureaucratic incompetence and the
failure of the legislature here to update a law that's about 11 years old.
But otherwise, the voting seemed to go smoothly.

AMY GOODMAN: John Ross, you've been writing extensively, well, for years
and in the lead-up to the election and now afterwards. Your assessment
today of what the numbers mean that have so far been revealed and how this
reverberates with the past?

JOHN ROSS: I think I'd like first to say that we need to put this in
context. This is the most important election that Mexico has had perhaps
since the Mexican Revolution. This is an election which will tell us
whether Mexico is part of North America or is, in fact, in alignment with
the left democracies in Latin America that have developped. This is an
election that's been based on the class war. Lopez Obrador represents the
poor people in this country. This is poor versus rich, brown versus white,
worker versus boss. This is, in fact, an electoral class war, and in fact,
if the election isn't straightened out real quickly it's not only going to
be an electoral class war.

My assessment is that, in relation to what Professor Grayson said, that
you can't tell anything from what happens in the poles on election day,
elections here are stolen before, during and after the election, and so
now we're in the aftermath, and we saw the disappearance of 3 million
votes from the PREP, from the preliminary totals. Only 2.5 million have
been put back in there. There's still 600,000 votes out there. I
personally believe that those votes were not counted on Sunday night to
give the impression that Felipe Calderon had won the election. The PREP,
of course, can't determine who won the election, but if we look at the
news media, particularly the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times,
they're all giving it to Calderon on the basis of this PREP, from which
the Federal Electoral Institute withdrew 3 million votes, in order to give
the impression that Calderon had won, and I think that's a measure of how
the Federal Electoral Institute is active throughout this entire electoral

Way before the campaigns began in January, when Luis Carlos Ugalde was
appointed president of the IFE, we began to see a pronounced bias against
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and in favor of Felipe Calderon in the
decisions that the IFE and Ugalde were making. This latest event where
three million votes disappeared and then were placed back in after Ugalde
was called on it, and he only on a television interview yesterday morning
admitted that these votes had been taken out.

The other thing, Amy, that we really have to look at is that there's an
enormous disparity between the numbers of votes that have been cast for
senators and deputies and those for the president. And interestingly
enough, in those states in which the PRD, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's
party, has won the elections, there are much many fewer votes for the
president than there are for the senators and deputies, whereas in the
states that the PAN now controls, there are many more votes for the
president than there are for the senators and the deputies.

And the state that's most, I think, blaring here is the state of Tabasco.
There were 13% more votes for the president than there are for senators
and congressmen. And I say that Tabasco is an interesting case, because
both the candidate from the PRI, Roberto Madrazo, and Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador are natives of Tabasco, and of course there would be a much higher
vote for president than there would be for senators or deputies. So,
that's where we are.

Today, they begin to tally up the districts. There's going to be a huge
fight about whether or not you get to open up the ballot box, open up the
bags in which the ballots are counted, and recount those things. What
we're seeing here is a replay of the 1988 election, which was stolen from
Cuauhtemoc Cardenas by an electoral authority that was then part of the
government. The IFE is supposed to be autonomous. But we're seeing a
replay right down to the fact that on Saturday night two poll-watchers
[inaudible] were shot, were killed. After the 1988 election was stolen
from Cardenas, hundreds and hundreds of his supporters were killed in
political violence here.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response, Professor George Grayson? You, too, are in
Mexico City right now.

GEORGE GRAYSON: I think it's been a public relations nightmare for the
Federal Electoral Institute because Lopez Obrador was asserting that there
were several million votes that hadn't been tallied, and the head of the
institute did recognize that yesterday. I think it's too early to say that
the fix is in. And one of the problems was when they constituted the
political council of IFE, which, as John Ross said so accurately,
supervises the election, issues credentials and gives a preliminary tally,
Lopez Obrador's party wasn't included on that nine-member council. And I
think it was a mistake by the main political forces here not to just lock
the various party leaders' room and insist that they have someone from
Lopez Obrador's party. Now, his party can be feisty, sometimes downright
cantankerous, but it was a major error, I think, of Congress and of the
government secretary not to include his party in the race.

Before we get to the point of painting him as some kind of a Franklin
Roosevelt, I wrote a book about him that was published two months ago;
followed him for three years and went to his hometown of Tepetitan in
rural Tabasco, and I think he's done a service to the nation in that he's
focused on the plight of the poor here, because 10% of the elite control
45% of the wealth. And it's especially -- these disparities are especially
notable in the south. And if you look at a map of the vote on Sunday, it's
virtually the north versus the south, the north being the more developed
and more U.S.-oriented part of the country, the south being less
developed, lots of natural resources but mal-distribution of income and
larger indigenous populations.

But Lopez Obrador, for his genuine commitment to poor people, does have
messianic tendencies. He would lead marches from Tabasco to Mexico City,
which he called "exodus" marches. When he became mayor of Mexico City, he
rechristened the city the "City of Hope," La Ciudad de la Esperanza. He
calls himself the little ray of hope. And during his first three years as
mayor, he regularly distorted or perverted actions of the city council.
They passed a bill, for example, requiring all motorists to have auto
insurance. He simply told the Secretary of Transportation not to enforce
that. The city council passed legislation saying we want a transparency
council, so we can have a local Freedom of Information Act. He tied that
initiative up in knots, and so now it has become a toothless tabby cat. So
he has a strong commitment to the poor, but he also has a belief that law
is the will of the people, not actions of elected officials.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor George Grayson, we'll get response after break.
Professor Grayson speaking to us from Mexico City; John Ross also there;
independent journalist David Brooks in studio here in New York, of La
Jornada, Mexican newspaper. When we come back we'll also speak to an
Gilberto Lopez Rivas, who is an anthropologist in Mexico City.


AMY GOODMAN: I'm Amy Goodman, as we talk about the elections right now in
Mexico. The PRD candidate, Lopez Obrador, has called for a recount, with
the officials saying it's too close to call, though many are calling it
for the PAN candidate. We have a roundtable of people to speak. In
addition to John Ross, independent journalist in Mexico City, we're
speaking with Professor Grayson there, David Brooks of La Jornada in our
New York studio, and we're now joined by Gilberto Lopez Rivas,
anthropologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History in
Mexico City. Can you first share your reaction to this election -- they
say the closest in history -- and this latest news of the three million
votes that have not yet been counted?

GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: Well, I think that we have the phantom of the fraud
election and state election appearing now in the public opinion and
letters. Hundreds of letters in electronic means of communication are
counting the irregularities and the forms in which this fraud is carried
on by the Institute of Federal Elections. And I think that the counting of
the votes could clear this fraud or could confirm that there is complicity
between Ugalde, who is the head of the Institute of Federal Elections, and
the President Fox. So now we have, as the other professor said, a nation
divided by the vote but united in the clarification process that is needed
to accept any president in the future. So I think that we are in the
middle of a big conflict that is going to explode in these days. The
counting, you have to finish at the end of the week. But I think that the
people is not so happy with what is happening now.

AMY GOODMAN: In terms of history, going back to Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, 1988,
afterwards there was terrible violence. A number of people were killed.
Lopez Obrador being one of the top aides to Cardenas at the time. Do you
see this being repeated today?

GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: Yes, but with the difference that we have a society
more clear, with more consciousness of what is happening. And if we have a
modernization of fraud by the means of the electronic counting, we have
also the democratization of what is happening by the means of the
electronic mail. So what is happening now is that I receive hundreds of
mails that are calling to demonstrations. As a matter of fact, today we
have several demonstrations in front of the electoral body counting. So, I
think that the society, Mexican society, cannot afford another fraud and
especially with this officially difference that today appears in only
0.63% of difference between one and the other candidate. So I think that
there are more forces, political and social forces, that are going to
oppose to this kind of result.

AMY GOODMAN: The Los Angeles Times is reporting today suspicion among
Lopez Obrador's supporters was heightened Monday when the investigative
magazine Proceso, citing police intelligence sources, reported that senior
Interior Ministry officials had attempted to shape media coverage on
election night. Ministry officials called the news directors at Mexico's
two leading television networks and requested that they not broadcast the
results of their exit polls, Proceso reported, those exit polls, of
course, showing that Lopez Obrador was in the lead.

GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: Yeah. It's completely -- the behavior of the means
of communication -- the television, especially -- is completely in the
side of the government, because, well, we have a legislative reform that
gave them the complete monopoly of the media. So I believe that the
behavior during the night of the election was completely suspicious, and
nobody explains why they don't give the election exit polls that in
another occasion was kind of something natural. And everybody's talking
about that there is a big complicity between the big means of the media
and the electoral body and the power. So, this belief is going to
thousands and thousands of citizens that are very, very angry at what is
happening. So I think that we are going to have days and weeks and
probably months, and I think that we are not going to have a president in
several weeks that is going to be accepted for the Mexicans.

AMY GOODMAN: David Brooks, can you talk about the role of U.S. consultants
in Mexico, specifically Dick Morris?

DAVID BROOKS: I mean, the campaign of Felipe Calderon became much more
successful once it went negative and it started borrowing U.S.-style fear
campaign tactics and negative campaigning. Dick Morris was one of the
informal consultants. He claims that he was never hired and wasn't
full-time, but that he has said and admitted that he did have informal
consultations with the Calderon campaign.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, Dick Morris being the former --

DAVID BROOKS: Strategist for Bill Clinton, who then had to leave the
public scene in disgrace and now is a Rupert Murdoch columnist, for Rupert
Murdoch media. Part of what he contributed, as well as what operatives
from the Aznar government, the ex-Prime Minister of Spain, Aznar, and
other people to the campaign was to create a sense of fear about the
possible -- because, actually projecting Lopez Obrador as a danger to
Mexico, as a danger to the United States, as somebody who would be akin to
a Hugo Chavez on our border.

AMY GOODMAN: Not only akin, I was looking at a magazine from Mexico that
had a chessboard with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro beings the players and
they're holding the pawn, who is Lopez Obrador.

DAVID BROOKS: And the campaign also projected him as somebody who violates
the law, who disregards the laws.

AMY GOODMAN: As Professor Grayson was saying.

DAVID BROOKS: Right, and part of that became the media campaign of saying
this person is dangerous, doesn't respect the law, is willing to go to the
streets and provoke violence and confront things. And all this -- up to
the end of the campaign people were getting messages on their phones, as
well as emails from the Calderon campaign, saying that if Lopez Obrador
won you might lose your car, you might lose your business and you might
lose even the right to practice your Catholic religion. And so, it

This did have an effect and did close the polls and did polarize the
election to a point, and that media campaign is now proceeding after the
election, where most of Mexico's mainstream media, as well as the two
monopoly television stations, have been projecting Calderon and giving a
sense that he has won. There is no official result. The Federal Electoral
Institute has said that the preliminary vote cannot be an indicator of who
won or who lost, etc., etc.

That media campaign has now crossed the border. And just yesterday, the
L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, all published
editorials basically repeating some of the claims of Lopez Obrador as a
danger, basically proclaiming that, in their view, Calderon has won the
election, and saying that that's a good thing for Mexico and for the
United States. Because, again, as the L.A. Times editorial subtitle says,
editorial standoff reveals a populous candidate with undemocratic
leanings. And they make this accusation because he proclaimed victory late
Sunday night, but they failed to mention that the PAN was the first to
proclaim victory and that Felipe Calderon, a few minutes after Andres
Manuel said this, he said the same thing. So essentially what we have is
this whole media campaign, very similar to what we've seen in this
country, where the fight now is to use the media and use all the tools
possible to proclaim yourself a winner without a basis in any of the

So what's happening, as well, and what I think the key is in Mexico is not
what the fight is between Lopez Obrador and Felipe Calderon, but what
about the people? And supposedly they're supposed to be the protagonists
of this great democratic expression, and that's what's being violated
right now. And that's what the fury is and the ire and the anger of
people. Neither of these two candidates can claim to now represent the
majority of Mexico. And so one of the questions is how is Mexico going to
define how to proceed, and the protagonist can't be the candidates. The
protagonist has to be the popular will. At least that's what we're told in
a democracy.

And the other factor there is, of course, that the U.S. has been very
careful, the U.S. government has been very careful not to openly
participate in this election, which is a wise thing to do. But it's no
secret that the Bush administration, that Wall Street and, of course, the
major media in this country favor Felipe Calderon, and that is also
creating an issue of be careful what you read in the editorials, although
the reports in most of these papers contradict the editorial.

AMY GOODMAN: John Ross, from your vantage point in Mexico City and your
years of writing on this issue, the Zapatistas, where does the whole
movement fit into this? This week, Subcomandante Marcos was in a radio
studio also alleging fraud.

JOHN ROSS: Yeah. I -- you know, I've written a lot on the Zapatistas. The
Zapatistas are in the middle of what is called the Other Campaign. I
haven't been real happy with the Other Campaign. I think Gilberto is
probably a better person to talk about the Other Campaign than I am. At
this particular point, I think that the campaign has kind of -- it's kind
of like a bicycle. When it doesn't go forward, it falls over, and it's
kind of fallen over here in Mexico City. It pretty much limited its
constituency to many young people, very much out of the mainstream of
Mexican politics at this point and indeed is a contributor to the fact
that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has had difficulty here, and there's been
constant attacks on him by Subcomandante Marcos since the very beginning
of this campaign.

I wanted to take up another thing, because I think it's important, and
also to respond to Professor Grayson, who wrote a hit piece, a book that
was a hit piece on Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador: this question of Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador as being a violator of the law. We see statements in
the New York Times by Ginger Thompson that he led violent demonstrations
in Tabasco in 1996. I was with Lopez Obrador at those demonstrations in
front of the PEMEX platforms. They were, in fact, nonviolent
demonstrations. Just another example of how the U.S. press has turned this
thing around. And, you know, here in Mexico City was accused of breaking
the law because he tried to build an access road to a hospital out in
Cuajimalpa in violation of a court order. They tried to bar him from the
ballot. Major parties and Vicente Fox tried to bar him from the ballot. He
put 1.2 million people in the streets. I was happy to march in that
demonstration, the largest political demonstration in Mexico's history,
last April. And they dropped the charges right away.

The other thing is that, you know, when we say that the media has been
very bad in this campaign, we have to understand that they're operating
with the permission of the IFE. These hit pieces spots that ran for months
and months that compared Lopez Obrador, inter-cut his face Hugo Chavez,
Subcomandante Marcos, riots, lynchings, whatever you want, all these
inter-cut his face, ran for months and months and months despite the
objections of the PRD and of Lopez Obrador. It was only when there was a
court order to have them removed that the IFE moved to remove those from
the air just at the beginning of June.

Time and time again -- I think the most -- one of the most egregious
errors, maybe a deliberate error, that the IFE committed during this
campaign was to disenfranchise millions and millions of Mexicans north of
the border by setting up a procedure where it was impossible for people,
undocumented workers, in the United States to cast a ballot, although
there is a law now that says they're allowed to cast that ballot. Indeed
on Sunday when thousands of people caravanned out of Los Angeles down to
Tijuana to vote -- and the PRD is extremely strong in Los Angeles -- they
were denied to vote because there were not enough special polling places
and because, as Mr. Grayson has indicated, there's only 750 ballots in
each. So at every step -- and again, the bulk of those voters, millions of
voters in the United States who are thought to be Lopez Obrador supporters
were denied the ballot because of IFE procedures.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Grayson, your response?

GEORGE GRAYSON: First of all, IFE wasn't enthusiastic about having the
vote abroad. It was legislation passed by the Mexican Congress, which is
elected, and I agree that the Mexican Congress is no model of efficiency.
It does much better at blocking bills than passing them. But IFE simply
had to abide by the guidelines, and the guidelines required expatriates to
have to register in January, and so that meant that you were going to have
a very small registration, only about 41,000 sought ballots, and maybe 32
or 33 thousand actually voted. Turns out, the overwhelming number of
people who voted from abroad voted for Calderon, although one can assume
that was a largely middle-class vote.

With regard to the 1988 election, I was here for that one also, and
undoubtedly the fraud was ubiquitous. But there wasn't much violence after
that election, mainly because the loser, Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, who's run
three times for president of Mexico unsuccessfully and is kind of an icon
of the Mexican left and who did not support Lopez Obrador in this
campaign, the election was in early July, I think July 6, as I recall, and
about two months later he went into the Zocalo and made a speech in which
he criticized the outcome of the election. He said he had been defrauded
of the presidency, although, of course, the ballots were impounded, later
burned, but he did not call the people to violence. There was a major
split within what became the PRD at that time, and Cuahtémoc Cardenas
acted in a -- I think a patriotic fashion, because he could have had a
class warfare at that time.

With regard to the spots, the negative campaigning here is really rather
mild compared to what it is in the United States. It's just for 71 years
one party controlled the system. And the candidates didn't have to -- at
least the candidates of the official party didn't have to beat up on their
opponents because they were going to win anyway. And Lopez Obrador does
make intemperate statements on the stump.

AMY GOODMAN: I'm going to give the last word to Gilberto Lopez Rivas. Your
response and final comment.

GILBERTO LOPEZ RIVAS: I agree with a lot of commentaries that make my
colleagues. And what, for me, is important is what is going to be the
reaction of the people, before the fraud that is carrying out by the
federal institute. That is the main questions. And we have to go into what
the people is thinking and what the majority of the people is thinking.
Mexico was a specialist in electoral fraud, but we believe that we have
been overcome this kind of situation, and now we return again to 12 years
ago, and that is very dangerous today. It's completely dangerous. I think
that if the tribunal, the electoral tribunal, that is the body that has to
say who is the next president, doesn't take in account what is happening
in the federal institute, this is going to be kind of riot in Mexico.

AMY GOODMAN: We'll leave it there, and we'll certainly continue to follow
the story of the Mexico elections. I want to thank you, Gilberto Lopez
Rivas, for joining us, anthropologist with the National Institute of
Anthropology and History in Mexico City; David Brooks here in New York, of
La Jornada; John Ross who writes for The Nation and writes independently,
a number of books, among them Rebellion from the Roots and The Annexation
of Mexico; and Professor George Grayson of the College of William and
Mary. I want to thank you all for being with us.

--------11 of 14--------

Mexican Presidential Election: Another Stolen Presidency?
The Country Threatens to Erupt if the Right Steals Another Election
Alan Jones
Jul 5, 2006

Latin America is in the midst of a continental revolt against the
governments and ruling elites which have relentlessly followed neo-liberal
free-market policies for more than a decade. Over 215 million, a
staggering 41%, are "living in poverty" in Latin America while an
additional 18% are facing hunger.

As a result there has been an explosion of mass opposition.  Struggles of
workers, peasants, indigenous people, students and others exploited by
capitalism and imperialism have erupted in Chile, Peru, Argentina,
Colombia and many other countries. In Venezuela, and Bolivia, mass
movements resulted in the election of left populist governments that
challenge US imperialism.

Polarized Elections

The July 2nd elections in Mexico were a bitterly polarized electoral
contest described by the New York Times as a contrast between "promise and
fear." The "promise"  part represented the empty promises for jobs and a
decent life by the Harvard-educated, millionaire right-wing candidate of
the National Action Party (PAN) Felipe Calderon. The "fear" was for the
high anxiety of the Mexican and US ruling class over a possible victory by
the radical populist Lopez Obrador, candidate of the Democratic
Revolutionary Party (PRD).

Obrador was ahead in the polls for months before the elections and all
exit polls indicated a lead for the PRD candidate. Yet, after the
election, and with three million votes reported "missing,"  both Obrador
and Calderon claimed victory. At the time of this writing, there were
reports that Calderon was "ahead" by 0.6%, (Calderon and Obrador had
roughly a reported 36% each and the PRI candidate had 21%) and there were
going to be several recounts of ballots. On July 5, a later partial
recount showed Obrador again in the lead, resulting in the Mexican stock
market index falling 4% and the peso plunging against the dollar because
of the uncertainty and tension. In the US and Mexican corporate media
there were fears that there may be clashes as the polarization and anger
against fraud threaten to explode to the surface.

History of fraud

The events that followed the election of July 2nd bear an eerie
resemblance to the presidential elections of 1988 when the insurgent left
candidate of the PRD Cardenas, was defeated by massive fraud after a
"computer collapse" and the award of the election to Salinas of the
corrupt PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party). Salinas, and after him
Zedillo and current president of the PAN, Vincente Fox, went ahead with a
massive program of privatizations and attacks on the living standards of
millions of Mexican workers and peasants while opening the country to the
plunder and exploitation of US capital through NAFTA.

Millions of displaced and impoverished Mexican peasants and workers
especially from the south had to emigrate internally to the new factories
in the maquiladoras or as undocumented immigrants in the United States in
order to survive. As a result of NAFTA, the real wages of unskilled
workers have further declined since the collapse of the Mexican economy in
the 1980s and Mexican workers are now facing mounting wage pressure from

The imposition of Felipe Calderón as President would mean the continuation
of the same policies, which are threatening to cause an explosion. The
election took place as hundreds of thousands of miners, teachers and other
workers were staging strikes and demonstrations across Mexico. The death
of 65 coal miners in Coahuila state in February was followed by an
explosion of struggles by miners and metal workers demanding an emergency
wage increase, safe working conditions and an end to privatizations.

Popular rebellion

In July, 70,000 teachers in the state of Oaxaca were striking for higher
wages.  Following attacks by 1,700 riot police, teachers armed with sticks
and stones fought running battles and eventually overpowered them. The
movement in Oaxaca has broadened into a popular rebellion. Meanwhile
hundreds of unions, and community organizations representing over 10
million workers are calling a nationwide general strike for July 28.

The mass support for the campaign of Obrador, was an indication of the
determination of the working class and the most oppressed to defeat the
neo-liberal policies. Lopez Obrador campaigned as a populist adopting the
slogan, "For the Good of Everyone, the Poor First." Obrador pledged to
renegotiate sections of the North American Free Trade Agreement in order
to protect domestic producers from US agricultural imports. At the same
time, he has repeatedly made clear to business and banking groups that he
can be trusted to safeguard their interests and balance the budget.

A government led by Lopez Obrador would be a major irritant to George Bush
who has thus far only had to deal with the compliant right-wing president
Vicente Fox. His victory could possibly open the floodgates to a new wave
of struggles by the Mexican workers and peasants and will have important
repercussions north of the border on the Latino population in the US
especially over the issue of undocumented immigrants. The remittances of
Mexican immigrants in the United States-approximately $18 billion a
year-is now the second most important source of foreign exchange, after
oil, flowing into Mexico.

The only way to defeat the electoral fraud organized by the ruling class
and its operatives is for the independent unions and community
organizations that supported Obrador to call mass demonstrations across
Mexico, organize action committees and prepare for a general strike to
bring the country at a standstill. However, it is unlikely that Obrador
and the PRD will take such action as his program and policies hardly
touches the heart of the crisis in Mexico - capitalism. The only way to
reverse the attacks on the living standards of the mass of the population
is to break completely with capitalism by nationalizing the banks, big
industry and the large commercial enterprises.

--------12 of 14--------

Hillary May Be Presidential Material, After All;
On Iraq and Israel, she's a perfect neocon
By Joshua Frank
Antiwar - 5 July 2006'47

There really is no way of getting around it. Sen. Hillary Clinton may well
be future presidential material. From Manhattan to Hollywood, Hillary
Clinton is pocketing enormous amounts of cash for her reelection campaign.
Yet, Hillary is facing what seems to be fierce opposition from within her
own party, as well as from third parties here in New York. The main reason
candidates have signed up to challenge Hillary is her position, er,
non-position on the disgraceful "war on terror."

Hillary, in a letter to constituents last November, expressed her belief
that the war in Iraq shouldn't be "open-ended" but was clear that she
would never "pull out of Iraq immediately." She wrote that she wouldn't
accept any timetable for withdrawal and won't even embrace a
"redeployment" of U.S. troops along the lines of Rep. John Murtha.

"I take responsibility for my vote, and I, along with a majority of
Americans, expect the president and his administration to take
responsibility for the false assurances, faulty evidence, and
mismanagement of the war," Clinton wrote in her lengthy letter, which
amounted to nothing short of denial for her own culpability in the mess.

Sen. Clinton soon after reiterated her position to a group of Democrats in

"The time has come for the administration to stop serving up platitudes
and present a plan for finishing this war with success and honor," she
said. "I reject a rigid timetable that the terrorists can exploit, and I
reject an open timetable that has no ending attached to it."

Translation: Clinton is all for an extended American stay in Iraq. She
"takes responsibility" for her vote on the war, but won't admit that it
was wrong. And of course, Clinton is still for "winning" this war.
Whatever that means.

In the same letter, Clinton hoped contingents of U.S. soldiers would
remain in the region with "quick-strike capabilities. ... This will help
us stabilize that new Iraqi government," she attested. "It will send a
message to Iran that they do not have a free hand in Iraq despite their
considerable influence and personal and religious connections there."

Messages, I guess, carry more weight when they are delivered at gunpoint.
"Watch out Tehran," Hillary seems to be declaring, "I'll strike quick."
Such neoconish attitudes have upset antiwar activists, and now many are
rallying 'round any alternative they can find to challenge Hillary in her
bid for reelection this year.

Jonathan Tasini, who is running against Clinton in the New York Democratic
primary, is gaining the most visible support. His position on the Iraq war
is solid, as he wants all U.S. troops home now. Tasini also believes that
democracy in Iraq is a long way from developing, and argues that there
will be no such thing in Iraq's future as long as the U.S. stays the
course. "[The] invasion of Iraq has created a theocracy," says Tasini.
"The people of Iraq have the right to decide what law they choose to

The Green Party is also tossing its antiwar weight into the ring with
veteran antiwar Green Howie Hawkins winning his party's nomination.
Hawkins still has to gather enough signatures to get his party's line on
the ballot. The Libertarian Party of New York recently nominated Jeff
Russell, who says he'd bring soldiers home as soon as possible, and the
Socialist Equity Party is running Bill Van Auken, who wants to bring U.S.
troops home now.

None of the antiwar third-party candidates at this point in the campaign
season have any real name recognition or financial backing. Even so,
Tasini the Democrat does. Antiwar flyers plaster campuses throughout New
York City touting his challenge to Hillary, and his campaign is being
discussed on numerous antiwar blogs and e-mail discussion lists. Tasini's
drive may soon spark some real tension among antiwar activists in New
York, however, as many believe supporting Tasini will fail the movement
against the war and set up Clinton for a 2008 run for president.

For starters, they contend that Tasini is still a Democrat, which means
that if he doesn't beat Hillary in September's primary election, he will
most likely endorse her campaign and hand over his antiwar funds to the
pro-war Democratic Party, something he denies. Another problem is Tasini
may not even appear on the Democrat's ballot in September, he still has to
turn in 15,000 Democratic signatures before that happens. And Hillary,
despite her primary challenge, has already accepted her party's nomination
in typical establishment style: ignore any challenges and stay on message,
no matter how misguided it may be.

The Working Families Party, the alleged labor party here in New York,
endorsed Hillary on June 3 over Tasini, even though the WFP was one of the
first third parties to oppose the Iraq invasion four years ago. No wonder
the Democrats take us for granted.

If the antiwar movement is to truly take on Hillary this election season,
we need to challenge her all the way up to November, and Tasini won't cut
it. The majority of New Yorkers who oppose the Iraq war aren't even
Democrats and can't vote for Tasini in New York's closed primary

Supporting another antiwar candidate or voting "none of the above" may be
the only way to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her depraved Iraq war
stance on Election Day 2006.

Fortunately, antiwar activists can all agree on one thing: Hillary Clinton
doesn't deserve our votes. And there are plenty of reasons why, including
her atrocious position on Israel and Palestine.

Sen. Clinton, along with her husband Bill, paid a visit to Israel last
fall. The former president was a featured speaker at a mass rally that
marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin. It was Hillary's second visit to Israel since she was elected to
office in 2000.

The senator did manage to take time out of her voyage to meet with the
then-semi-conscious Ariel Sharon to discuss "security matters." Hillary
also made her way to the great apartheid wall, which separates Palestine
from Israel. As of now, the barrier is nearing completion, and when all is
said and done the monstrosity will stretch to well over 400 miles in

Palestinians rightly criticize the obtrusive wall on the grounds that it
cuts them off from occupied land in the West Bank. Thousands have also
been cut off from their jobs, schools, and essential farmland.

Hillary and her Israeli allies don't get it. When you put powerless
Palestinians behind a jail-like wall where life in any real economic sense
is unattainable, you wreak pain and anguish, which in turn leads to more
anger and resentment toward Israel's brutal policies. Indeed, the wall
will not prove to be a deterrent to resistance, but an incitement to

"This is not against the Palestinian people," Clinton said as she gazed
over the massive wall. "This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian
people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the
attitudes about terrorism."

The senator's comments seem as if they were taken word-for-word from an
AIPAC position paper. They may well have been. In May 2005, Sen. Clinton
spoke at an AIPAC conference where she praised the bonds between Israel
and the United States:

"[O]ur future here in this country is intertwined with the future of
Israel and the Middle East. Now there is a lot that we could talk about,
and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have
been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our
deep and lasting bonds between the United States and Israel."

Clinton went on to wail about the importance of disarming Iran and Syria,
as well as keeping troops in Iraq for as long as "it" takes. It was
textbook warmongering and surprise, surprise, Hillary got a standing
ovation for her repertoire.

It is no matter that Iraq will never see true democracy. The U.S. won't
allow that. The imperial powers would never let an Iraq government form
that embodied even the slightest hatred toward Israel or the U.S.
Democracy in Iraq, like democracy in Israel, has clear limitations.

Sen. Clinton's trip to Israel was just one of many more to come. Like her
husband and the current Republican president, Hillary will never alter the
U.S.' Middle East policy that so blatantly favors Israeli interests.

Sadly, Clinton, if elected president in 2008, will praise and embolden the
occupations - both in Iraq and Palestine. She won't pull out U.S. troops,
and she won't cut U.S. funding to Israel.

Like I said, Hillary Clinton may well be presidential material after all.

--------13 of 14--------

 Finding your butt: just
 ask BushCo where they left it
 when last they used it.

--------14 of 14--------

 Ode to the Blowed

 What is so yesterday as a faded balloon,
 wrinkled with stretch marks,
 limp as old celery?

 Who celebrates or mourns their passing?
 Use 'em and lose 'em,
 exploited and dumped.
 Rising today, sinking tomorrow
 pantless, taking leaks.

 Each balloon dreams of a quick glorious life
 dashing erratically through the air
 expelling all to the soul-satisfying sound
 of tail-embrouchure farting -


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