Progressive Calendar 04.20.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 02:59:18 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     04.20.07

1. Palestine          4.20 1:30pm
2. Art for peace      4.20 5pm
3. WasteDump/Somalia  4.20 6:30pm
4. Bent festival      4.20 6:30pm
5. Transgender rights 4.20 7pm
6. Rachel Corrie/play 4.20 7:30pm
7. Bill alert         4.20
8. AVP                4.20

9. Guatamala rights   4.21 10am
10. WAMM garage sale  4.21 10am
11. NWN4P Minnetonka  4.21 11am
12. Northtown vigil   4.21 2pm
13. WAMM Mayday prep  4.21 2pm
14. HotDish showdown  4.21 5pm
15. Muslims in MN/TV  4.21 8pm
16. Palestine         4.21 9pm

17. Gumbleton         4.22 9am
18. EarthDay/StMarks  4.22 10am
19. EarthDay/arts     4.22 11am
20. EarthDay films    4.22 11am
21. GroundTruth/film  4.22 12:30pm
22. Stillwater vigil  4.22 1pm
23. InconvenientTruth 4.22 2:15pm
24. UFPJ              4.22 4:15pm

25. Patrick Cockburn - Hundreds die in Baghdad/a day of bombs and blood
26. Larry C Johnson  - How many dead equal a failed government?
27. Norman Solomon   - Bowing down to our own violence
28. Sherwood Ross    - A glimpse into daily life in Iraq/VA Tech
29. Sunsara Taylor   - Iraq to Supreme Court/a new dark ages for women
30. Karen Houppert   - Curbing abortion rights
31. Dark Wraith      - Abortion wimps
32. ed               - Slow motion  (poem)

--------1 of 32--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Palestine 4.20 1:30pm

"The Road Map to Where and for What?"

Friday, April 20, 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. Hamline University, University
Conference Center, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul. Jennifer Lowenstein from
the University of Wisconsin-Madison will speak on "Gaza Surrealism" and
Khaldoun Samman from Macalester College will speak on "Palestine/Israel."
Endorsed by: WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI and additional conference
events: Call 651-523-2223 or visit <>.

--------2 of 32--------

From: Nonviolent Peaceforce <melduncan [at]>
Subject: Art for peace 4.20 5pm

Nonviolent Peaceforce Presents ART FOR PEACE

View Nell Hillsley's art work online:
* Art For Peace Website 

Greetings! Nell Hillsley, an internationally known artist, has donated
over 100 pieces of her art work to the Nonviolent Peaceforce. Come and
enjoy them.&nbsp;Take home&nbsp;art works from $30-$2000.&nbsp; All the
proceeds will go to the Nonviolent Peaceforce.

Friday, April 20, 2007 TIME: 5pm-8pm

Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Mark
519 Oak Grove Street
Minneapolis, 55403
COST: $ 20 per person

The show and sale continues free of charge
Saturday, April 21, 10am-5pm
Sunday, April 22, 8am-2pm

--------3 of 32--------

From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at]>
Subject: WasteDump/Somalia 4.20 6:30pm

Seeking Environmental Justice: Toxic Waste Dumping in Somalia
Presenter, Zainab Hassan

April 20, 6:30-8:30
Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Ave. N
For more information please call: 612-436-5402
This is a free event and food will be served!

Zainab Hassan was an Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM)
intern in 2006, as an Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellow.  She has been
involved with the local Arsenic Triangle campaign in South Minneapolis,
and has completed research about toxic waste dumping in Somalia.

Ms. Hassan traveled overseas to Rome and Italy to meet with news editors
about the hazardous and nuclear waste dumping in Somalia. She also met
with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya,
and others who have done field work and published reports about the
environmental degradation in Somalia. Ms. Hassan, furthermore, traveled to
Somalia to collect her own data. She interviewed Somali doctors, and
environmental and human rights groups in Somalia. Join us when Ms. Hassan
will discuss the findings of her research, "Seeking Environmental Justice:
Toxic Waste Dumping in Somalia."

Karen Monahan Environmental Justice Organizer Office # 612-436-5402

--------4 of 32---------

From: Jim Pounds <jim [at]>
Subject: Bent festival 4.20 6:30pm

Minneapolis, MN . April 2, 2007 - The Tank and Intermedia Arts are pleased
to announce BENT 2007: The Fourth Annual Circuit Bending Festival. The
term circuit bending refers to the inspired short-circuiting of
battery-powered children's toys to create new musical instruments, and
over the last few decades a worldwide subculture has sprung up around this
amazing art form. We are very excited that for the first time the Bent

Bent Festival Minneapolis - April 19-21 2007 Co-Presented by The Tank and
Intermedia Arts All workshops and concerts will be held at Intermedia
Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN



Build the Waldeck Interrupter - The "Waldeck Interrupter," is a very
simple to produce, very cool little tool used to check "voltage   drain
bends" on any battery powered device. The workshop is applicable to
beginners and for advanced benders alike. It's a tool that all benders
should have in their "kit." Participants should bring an array of devices
on which to test their new Interrupter - even if the device is already
bent! Note: not all electronics react interestingly to a voltage drain
bend. This tool is a good way to find out without having to mess up your
battery compartment.


Intro to Circuit Bending Workshop - FREE and fun for kids of all ages!
Circuit bending is a do-it-yourself sound art, which allows   one to
discover new hidden organic sounds in battery-powered electronic toys
recycled from thrift stores and garage sales. In the Introduction to
Circuit Bending Workshop participants will learn the fundamentals of
circuit bending and have the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to
modifying their own electronic devices. Participants are encouraged to
bring their own devices for bending; this would include any
battery-operated children's toys that make sounds (keyboards, speak and
spells, etc). Participants are also encouraged to bring extra batteries to
use on their machines.  

2:00pm Analogue Drum Machine Hacks and Mods - Participant will learn to
modify their 1980's pcm or analog drum machines, with most   popular
models from Yamaha, Roland, Korg, and Alesis being covered. The
demonstration will be performed on a Yamaha RX-21L, with specific
instructions given for other models.    

4:00pm Build a Parallel Port to Circuit Bent Instrument Interface - This
workshop will teach you how to build a computer interface for   your bent
instruments so that you can trigger your instrument through a simple drum
machine like sequencer on your computer.

MEDIA CONTACT Mike Rosenthal 212-563-6269 or mike [at]

--------5 of 32--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Transgender rights 4.20 7pm

fri, april 20, 7:30PM:Discussion and Q&A with Paisley Currah, co-editor
of Transgender Rights

Friday, April 20, 7 p.m.
AMAZON BOOKS 4755 Chicago Ave. So. Minneapolis, MN 55407

Store hours:
Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday Noon-5 p.m.

While the transgender movement has achieved visibility and victories in
the last thirty years, violence and discrimination against transgender
people continues to be a significant problem. With analysis from legal and
policy experts, activists and advocates, the essays in Transgender Rights
bring transgender people's activism into view, articulate the challenges
they face, and offer perspectives and strategies for future action.
Examining crucial topics like family law, employment policies, public
health, economics, and grassroots organizing, this groundbreaking book is
an indispensable resource in the fight for the freedom and equality of
those who cross gender boundaries.  Moving beyond media representations to
grapple with the real lives and issues of transgender people, Transgender
Rights will launch a new moment for human rights activism in America.

Paisley Currah is associate professor of political science at Brooklyn
College, executive director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at
the CUNY Graduate Center, and a founding board member of the Transgender
Law and Policy Institute.

--------6 of 32--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Rachel Corrie/play 4.20 7:30pm

Performance: "Rachel Corrie: A Life for Others"

Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m. Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Avenue, St.
Paul. Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third
Avenue South, Minneapolis. "The War Plays Project" presents a 30-minute
play based on the true story of Rachel Corrie, a peace activist who was
killed by a bulldozer in the Gaza Strip while trying to stop the
demolition of a Palestinian home. Discussion follows. Donations accepted.
Created by Frances Ford. Sponsored by: WAMM Middle East Committee. FFI:
Call Florence, 651-696-1642.

--------7 of 32--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: Bill alert 4.20

Action Alert: Vigil with the Welfare Rights Committee

Friday, April 20, TBA (call 651-296-2146 to find out when he session
begins) Minnesota State Capitol, House Chambers, 75 Reverend Martin Luther
King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul.

The OMNIBUS Health and Human Service Bill will undo the following; $125.00
cut to families with disabilities (this cut takes $125.00 per month from
the MFIP grant if a household member is severely disabled and on SSI),
$50.00 cut to families in subsidized housing (families who receive MFIP
and live in subsidized housing, section 8, or public housing are having
their monthly cash grant cut by $50.00 a month), education in MFIP (this
requires that poor single parents work 20 hours a week while they are
getting post-secondary education), MA co-pays (this cut targets the
poorest of the poor at a time when they are sick and vulnerable and makes
it so that people do not get the health care that they need),childcare
co-pays (there was some relief in childcare last year, but not to the
co-pays that the poorest families pay for childcare). In addition, the
proposed bill will give more hardship extensions for families coming up on
their 5-year welfare limit. Sponsored by: WRC. FFI: Call 612-822-8020.

--------8 of 32--------

From: Joann Perry [mailto:joann [at]]
Subject: AVP 4.20

Alternatives to Violence Project Workshop

Peacemaking skills, as presented by the Alternatives to Violence Project
(AVP) workshops consist of games, discussions, and role plays which
explore conflict management as a way of life.  AVP workshops are presented
locally, nationally and internationally in communities, prisons, high
schools and where ever leadership requests conflict resolution skills with
a spiritual base.  AVP training "has been used to reduce violence in Twin
Cities' homes and Minnesota prisons, as well as Rwanda, Bosnia, Kenya and
the US.

Presented by Friends for a Non-Violent World. Training for Facilitators
April 20-22nd. Minnesota AVP is sponsored by FNVW. Sliding scale fee -
scholarships are available.  To register, please call 651-644-5851 or
e-mail Aaron at aaron [at]  For more information, please check out
our websites: <> and
<> .

--------9 of 32--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Guatamala rights 4.21 10am

Saturday, 4/21, 10 to 11:30 am, Guatemala human rights activist Ellen Moore
speaks on "Genocide in Guatemala," Resource Center of the Americas, 3019
Minnehaha Ave, Mpls.

--------10 of 32--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: WAMM garage sale 4.21 10am

WAMM Fundraiser: An Upscale Garage Sale at Low Scale Prices

Saturday, April 21, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Linden Hills Community Center,
43rd Street and Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis. Purchase a variety of
items, such as: art, picture frames, china, pottery, linens, silver, new
clothing, antiques, new toys, small pieces of furniture, and much more.
FFI or to donate items: Call Erica, 612-929-0802 or Sarah, 612-379-4716 .

--------11 of 32--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P Minnetonka 4.21 11am

NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7
and 101.  Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We
will walk along the public sidewalk. Bring your own signs.

--------12 of 32--------

From: Lennie <major18 [at]>
Subject: Northtown vigil 4.21 2pm

Mounds View peace vigil EVERY SATURDAY from 2-3pm at the at the southeast
corner of the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE in Blaine,
which is the northwest most corner of the Northtown Mall area. This is a
MUCH better location.

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

For further information, email major18 [at] or call Lennie at

--------13 of 32--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: WAMM Mayday prep 4.21 2pm

WAMM's MayDay Parade Preparation: Sign-Making and Painting Party

April 21 and 22, 2:00 p.m. 4354 28th Avenue South (North of Hiawatha),
Minneapolis. Put your creativity to work making costumes and props for
WAMM's participation in the annual MayDay Parade on Sunday, May 6th. This
year we want to announce that it is WAMM's 25th year "Making Waves." If
available, please bring clothes to paint in, paint brushes, scissors or a
knife to cut cardboard, water-soluable paint for posters (blue, white,
silver, or black), cardboard for signs, and clay for masks. Also, please
come with ideas for how to put everything together. FFI or to be part of
the WAMM MayDay Parade ad hoc committee: Call Ann, 612-790-8598 or email
<gannieca [at]>.

--------14 of 32--------

From: tom [at]
Subject: HotDish showdown 4.21 5pm

from the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association

Talk is cheap and the proof of NE pride is in the 9x13 pan! If you think
you make the best hotdish quit bragging and bring it on - the third annual
clash of the NE kitchen titans takes place April 21 at the Firefighters
Hall & Museum.

NEW! This year's event will feature a JELLO showcase - after all every
family has that one recipe - Love it or hate, just bring it. We won't
officially be judging jello, but we all know it when we see it!

The second Hotdish Revolution, April of 2006, was truly memorable.
Residents of Holland, Sheridan, Bottineau, Audubon Park, and St. Anthony
West brought their best. The competition was heated and good-hearted, and
the judges met the challenge. "Official" crowd estimates put the total
number attending at close to 150.

This year, a panel of "celebrities" will select the Top Dish in each
category. They will also crown one lucky winner as this year's HotDish
royal, and that winner's neighborhood will take the honor as champion.
Those who attend will select the People's Choice awards in each category
by voting with their forks during dinner.

Dishes will be entered into one of the following categories:
 "Spicy" (in quotes as to not exclude those who firmly believe salt and
pepper are spicy)
 Tater tot excellence
 "I made it" - kids under 16
 Darn Good! (if your dish doesn't fit in another category)

We will also award prizes for the hotdish with the best name, and the for
the most original - think of it like a Miss Congeniality,
most-likely-to-succeed deal. Of course you don't need to enter a dish to
attend, come for the food, fun, and entertainment. Suggested donation is
$5 if you enter a dish, or $10 for adults, kids age 5 - 15 are $5, and
kids under age 5 are free.

Doors open at 5:00pm for entries, entertainment starts at 5:30pm, then
it's dinner at 6:00pm until it's all gone and the accordion player can't
take anymore!

Details: If you are entering a hotdish into the competition bring it to
the Hall between 5 and 5:20pm the day of the event. We will have you fill
out a registration slip that asks you to indicate what category you are
entering, the list of ingredients in the dish, as well as your name,
phone, etc. If you would share the recipe for your dish please bring a
copy. We have plans to collect recipes and possibly publish a small
cookbook as a fundraiser for HNIA.  We have the happy, but slightly nerve
wracking feeling that this year's event will be very well attended. So we
had to make a few strategic decisions: we are adding more judges - this
should help move things along and shorten the gap between hotdish arrival
and ringing the dinner bell. Also, the judges will taste no more than 10
entries in each category. So, if any category has more than 10 entries the
judges will do an elimination round - we are borrowing this technique from
the MN State Fair judges in the Creative Activities building. The judges
can eliminate an entry based on general appearance, if needed, in order to
reduce the number of entries in a group.

Let the Olympics of cream soup begin!

--------15 of 32--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Muslims in MN/TV 4.21 8pm

TC Department of Peace activists Martin Mohammed and Imam Shiek Sa'ad
and Shukri Adan are featured in this program. Don't miss it!

Re: 4/21/07 8pm tpt-17 premiere of Muslims in MN
We appreciate all of your support for the upcoming Twin Cities Public
Television program Muslims in Minnesota that will premiere this coming
Saturday at 8pm on tpt's channel 17.  I have attached information and
also included it in the text below so that you can pass this along to
anyone you know who might have interest in watching.  Thank you for your

Twin Cities Public Television invites you to view
A discussion on the political, business & community environment for
Minnesota Muslims

SAT. April 21, 8:00 - 9:00pm
On tpt-channel 17

  tpt-17, channel 17 can also be seen on:
  Comcast cable St. Paul, channel 243
  Comcast cable Minneapolis, channel 202
  Mediacom cable, channel 102
  Over-the-air digital receivers, channel 17-2

--------16 of 32--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine 4.21 9pm

Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts weekly in Minneapolis on MTN!  Households
with basic cable can watch.  MTN shows are on Channel 17 Saturdays at
9 pm and the following Tuesday at 8 am.

Sat, 4/21, 9 pm "Re-framing The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict" Interview of
Jeff Halper, Israeli with MN roots, head of the Israeli Committee Against
House Demolitions. Hosted by Karen Redleaf.

--------17 of 32--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Gumbleton 4.22 9am

Sunday, 4/22, 9 am, peace and justice advocate Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
speaks at masses of St Joan of Arc Church, 4537 - 3rd Ave S, Mpls.

--------18 of 32--------

From: Alliance for Sustainability <sean [at]>
Subject: EarthDay/StMarks 4.22 10am

Earth Day Dean's Forum at St. Marks Episcopal Cathedral, Minneapolis
Sunday, April 22, 2007 at 10:00 AM - Event features widely published
ecologist, economist, and consultant Terry Gips, co-founder of the
Alliance for Sustainability and President of Sustainability Associates,
which works with business, government and communities to save money and
become socially and environmentally responsible.

--------19 of 32--------

From: Alliance for Sustainability <sean [at]>
Subject: EarthDay/arts 4.22 11am

Wishes for the Sky: Promises for the Earth Sunday, April 22, 2007 at 11:00
AM - Be a part of this Earth Day arts experience on Harriet Island. A
nature-inspired day of wishing and promising, Wishes for the Sky is a
contemporary art event that invites everyone to participate in a work of
public art.

--------20 of 32--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: EarthDay films 4.22 11am

With the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities on Sunday, April 22nd

Film Screening & Discussion:

11:00 am, The Science of Global Warming, A PBS documentary that explains
Earth's climate system and how it works.

1:00pm, Global Warming: Bush's Climate of Fear, a BBC documentary on the
U.S. governments' suppression of climate science.

3:00pm, The Power of Community:  How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, an inspiring
documentary on how we can wean our society off of fossil fuels.

Acadia Cafe Theatre 1931 Nicollet Ave, Mpls For more info, email
_chirstinefrank [at] visi.com_ (mailto:chirstinefrank [at]  or call

--------21 of 32--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: GroundTruth/film 4.22 12:30pm

Free screening- 12:30 PM, Sun. April 22nd, The Ground Truth

The moving documentary, The Ground Truth, will be presented free of charge
at the Ridgedale Library at 12:30 PM on Sunday April 22.  It will be shown
in the large meeting room on the ground floor of the library at 12601
Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, just south of the mall. Hear the true stories
of our vets from induction, training, deployment in Iraq, and return to
their families ... why they will never be the same, how the system is
failing them, and what we can do to help. We owe it to our veterans to
hear their stories. Sponsored by NW Neighbors for Peace. For more
information contact Gary, nowworldpeace [at] or 612-298-0466.

--------22 of 32--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 4.22 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------23 of 32--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: InconvenientTruth 4.22 2:15pm

In celebration of Earth Day, Sunday April 22, NW Neighbors for Peace is
offering a free screening of the award winning documentary, An
Inconvenient Truth, at the Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka.  The film
will begin at  2:15 PM and will be shown in the large meeting room on
the first floor of the library, 12601 Ridgedale Drive. Global warming
and climate change are factually explained in a way that is compelling
as well as entertaining.  For more information, contact Gary at
nowworldpeace [at] or 612-298-0468.

--------24 of 32--------

From: Doris Marquit <marqu001 [at]>
Subject: UFPJ 4.22 4:15pm

Judith LeBlanc, United for Peace & Justice National Co-chair, will meet
with local peace activists Sunday, April 22, 4:15-5:30 pm at Mayday Books,
301 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis. Everyone welcome. FFI 612-922-7993.

--------25 of 32--------

Hundreds Die in Baghdad
A Day of Bombs and Blood
April 19, 2007

Yesterday will go down as a day of infamy for Iraqis who are repeatedly
told by the US that their security is improving. Almost 200 people were
killed on one of the bloodiest days of the four-year-old war, when car
bombs ripped through four neighbourhoods across Baghdad, exposing the
failure of the two-month-old US security plan.

In the aftermath of the blasts, American and Iraqi soldiers who rushed to
the scene of the explosions were pelted with stones by angry crowds
shouting: "Where is the security plan? We are not protected by this plan."

Billowing clouds of oily black smoke rose into the sky over the Iraqi
capital after four bombs tore through crowded markets and streets leaving
the ground covered in charred bodies and severed limbs. "I saw dozens of
dead bodies," said a witness in Sadriyah, a mixed Shia-Kurdish
neighbourhood in west Baghdad where 140 people died and 150 were injured.
" Some people were burned alive inside minibuses. Nobody could reach them
after the explosion. There were pieces of flesh all over the place. Women
were screaming and shouting for their loved ones who died."

The escalation in devastating bomb attacks by Sunni insurgents against
Shia civilians is discrediting the US security plan, implemented by a
"surge" in American troop numbers. Launched on 14 February it was intended
to give the Iraqi government greater control over the streets of Baghdad.
The Mehdi Army Shia militia, blamed for operating death squads against
Sunni civilians, had adopted a lower profile and avoided military
confrontation with the US but that is unlikely to continue in the wake of
these devastating bomb attacks. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki,
is seen as being unable to defend his own people.

In the aftermath of the explosions, one man waved his arms and shouted
angrily: "Where's Maliki? Let him come and see what is happening here."
The enraged crowds throwing stones at American and Iraqi troops who
arrived after the blasts also shouted: "Down with Maliki."

The worst attack was on Sadriyah meat and vegetable market in the centre
of Baghdad. It had already been the target of one of Baghdad's worst
atrocities when a suicide bomber blew up a Mercedes truck on 3 February,
killing 137 people.

Some of the casualties yesterday were construction workers rebuilding the
marketplace. One of the workers who survived, 28-year-old Salih Mustafa,
said he was waiting for a minibus to go home when the bomb went off at
4.05pm. "I rushed with others to give a hand and help the victims," he
said. "I saw three bodies in a wooden cart, and civilian cars were helping
to transfer the victims. It was really a horrible scene."

There is no doubt that the bombs were directed at killing as many Shia
civilians as possible. About half an hour before the Sadriyah blast, a
suicide bomber had rammed a police checkpoint at the entrance to the great
Shia bastion in Sadr City in east Baghdad. It is also the stronghold of
the Shia nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The explosion killed 35
people and wounded 75, police say. Black smoke rose from blazing vehicles
as people scrambled over the twisted wreckage of cars to try to rescue the

In another Shia neighbourhood, Karada, a parked car exploded, killing 10
people and wounding 15.

"The problem is that the Shia stopped killing so many Sunni but the Sunni
are killing more Shia than ever," said an Iraqi official before the
attacks yesterday. He added: "If this goes on, the Shia will exact
revenge. Sectarian massacres will dwarf anything we have seen before."

The bombings came hours after Mr Maliki said that Iraqi security forces
would take full control of the whole country by the end of the year. But
last night, amid a torrent of public criticism, the Prime Minister ordered
the arrest of the Iraqi army colonel in charge of security around the
Sadriyah market.

And in another move that could weaken his position further, six ministers
supporting Mr Sadr have just withdrawn from the government because of Mr
Maliki's failure to demand that the US set a timetable for the withdrawal
of its troops.

The 17-million strong Shia community, the majority of the Iraqi
population, is increasingly hostile to the US presence while the five
million Sunni generally support anti- American armed resistance. Only the
Kurds fully back the US.

Responsibility for security in Maysan province was handed over by Britain
to Iraq yesterday. "Then it will be province by province until we achieve
[this transfer] before the end of the year," said Mr Maliki in a speech
delivered on his behalf by the National Security Adviser, Mowaffaq

But the transfer of political or security control by the US and Britain to
Iraqi authorities has always been deceptive. Iraqis believe, with some
reason, that real control remains in the hands of the occupying forces.
Earlier in the year, British forces blew up a police headquarters in Basra
and US helicopter-borne troops tried to kidnap two senior Iranian
officials visiting Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi President.

The success of the US security plan in Baghdad depended less on an
additional five American brigades than in fostering a belief by Iraqis
that it was providing them with security.

The Sunni insurgents and Shia militias grew in strength in the Iraqi
capital in 2006 because their communities were terrified of bombers, death
squads and kidnappers. The US army and Iraqi army and police could only
win acceptance if they provided a superior level of security, which they
are notably failing to do.

"We've always said securing Baghdad would not be easy. We've seen both
inspiring progress and too much evidence that we still face many grave
challenges," Major-General William Caldwell, a US military spokesman,

Patrick Cockburn is the author of 'The Occupation: War, resistance and
daily life in Iraq', a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle
Award for best non-fiction book of 2006.

[If this is OK with you, vote your usual major party -ed]

--------26 of 32--------

The Hobbesian Hell of Iraq
How Many Dead Equal a Failed Government?
April 19, 2007

What are we to make of the bizarre contrast between our national grief
over the terrible slaughter of students and faculty at Virginia Tech and
our muted reaction to the continuing bloodbath in and around Baghdad? One
mass killing in the 209 years since Virginia Tech was founded is not
exactly a trend. It is a terrible thing but not likely to be repeated
anytime soon.

We cannot say the same about events in Baghdad and Iraq. Just today four
separate car bombs in and around Baghdad teft at least 180 Iraqis - mostly
Shia - dead. On Tuesday, at least 85 bodies turned up and there were more
bombings. Monday was not much better - thirty corpses and at least twenty
killed in bombings. Sixty nine plus on Sunday. And the beat goes on.

Think about those numbers in relationship to the anger expressed by the
public and press because Virginia Tech University officials failed to
prevent Monday's massacre. What would we be saying if another shooter
showed up at Virginia Tech on Tuesday and killed 20 more students and
another shooter bagged an additional 40 on Wednesday? The President of the
University would be lynched, the students would arm themselves, and the
police would lose any pretense of control. Why do we think Iraqi Shias and
Sunnis should react differently then we would?

When you consider the events of the last week in Iraq there is no reason
any sane Iraqi - Sunni or Shia - would have any confidence in the Petraeus
plan. Petraeus and U.S forcecs are in trouble. Desperate trouble. Despite
White House flacks and politicians like McCain insisting that things are
improving in Baghdad, the continued mass casualty bombings, the stacks of
bodies left on the streets, the destruction of key infrastructure (like
the Sarafiya bridge), and the bombing of the Iraqi parliament is reality
and cannot be casually dismissed as the crazy ravings of a news media
intent on reporting bad news.

Hell, compare the conduct of reporters operating in the Iraq combat zones
with the nonsense being spewed by every network and cable anchor who
managed to buy a seat to Blacksburg, Virginia. Not a single news
organization operating at Virginia Tech had to contract body guards and
armored cars to move around to report the story. The U.S. based media did
not have to find a sand bagged roof in the Green Zone as a background shot
for their nightly report. They roamed freely without fear.

That is not the case in Baghdad specifically and Iraq in general. Despite
the surge of U.S. troops into Baghdad the violence continues, especially
against the Shia majority. Today's attacks on the Shia, coming on the
heels of the resignation of Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr, are particularly

No Iraqi Shia with any sense trusts the Maliki government or the Americans
to protect them. Do not be too surprised when the Mehdi Army and Badr
Militias, two of the most prominent Shia militias, step up attacks in the
coming weeks against Sunni targets and U.S. forces. Why U.S. forces?
Because many of the Shia, particularly those mourning loved ones murdered
in the latest blasts, will be convinced that the U.S. allowed these
attacks to take place. How could they think otherwise? The U.S. is a
superpower. The U.S. has deployed more troops to Baghdad ostensibly to
protect the people. Yet the Shia are dying now in a disproportionate
number. The Shia are likely to draw only one conclusion - this is a
deliberate policy of the United States to target and kill the Shia.

Moqtada al Sadr's recent withdrawal from the Maliki government is
fortuitous for him. His folks are not part of the government and cannot be
blamed for failing to prevent the latest bloodshed. But they will now be
on the scene to offer protection and revenge. If the government cannot
protect you and your family then you must do it yourself or back someone
who can.

In the total scheme of things the horror unfolding in Iraq will affect our
nation's security more than a month of Virginia Tech massacres. Yet our
attention is riveted on Blacksburg not Baghdad. There are some silver
linings. At least the media is covering genuine grief and anguish as
opposed to the nonsense of a Don Imus or Anna Nicole Smith. And maybe,
just maybe, as we contemplate what it means to mourn the single day
massacre of 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech we will develop an
empathy for Iraqis who, today, are mourning the equivalent of five Virgina

But the Iraqis won't sleep tonight with the hope that today's heartache
was an aberration. Nope. They wake up each and every day confronting a new
horror just as bad as Monday in Blacksburg, Virginia. When government
institutions and officials prove incompetent or incapable of protecting
citizens it is no shocker that people take matters into their own hands.
Welcome to the Hobbesian world of modern Iraq.

Larry C. Johnson is a former CIA analyst who blogs at No Quarter.

[If this is OK with you, vote your usual major party -ed]

--------27 of 32--------

The Media's Chronic Obsessions and Evasions
Bowing Down to Our Own Violence
April 19, 2007

Several days after the mass killings at Virginia Tech, grisly stories
about the tragedy still dominate front pages and cable television. News of
carnage on a vastly larger scale - the war in Iraq - ebbs and flows. The
overall coverage of lethal violence, at home and far away, reflects the
chronic evasions of the American media establishment.

In the world of U.S. mainline journalism, the boilerplate legitimacy of
official American violence overseas is a routine assumption.

"The first task of the occupation remains the first task of government: to
establish a monopoly on violence," George Will wrote three years ago in
the Washington Post. But now, his latest Newsweek column laments: "Vietnam
produced an antiwar movement in America; Iraq has produced an antiwar

Current polls and public discourse - in spite of media inclinations to
tamp down authentic anger at the war - do reflect an "antiwar America" of
sorts. So, why is the ghastly war effort continuing unabated? A big factor
is the undue respect that's reserved for American warriors in American

When a mentally unstable person goes on a shooting rampage in the United
States, no one questions that such actions are intrinsically,
fundamentally and absolutely wrong. The media condemnation is 100 percent.

However - even after four years of a U.S. war in Iraq that has been
increasingly deplored by the American public - the standard violence
directed from the Pentagon does not undergo much critical scrutiny from
American journalists. The president's war policies may come under
withering media fire, but the daily activities of the U.S. armed forces
are subjected to scant moral condemnation. Yet, under orders from the top,
they routinely continue to inflict - or serve as a catalyst for -
violence far more extensive than the shooting sprees that turned a placid
Virginia campus into a slaughterhouse.

News outlets in the United States combine the totally proper condemnation
of killing at home with a notably different affect toward the methodical
killing abroad that is funded by the U.S. Treasury. We often read, see and
hear explicit media commendations that praise as heroic the Americans in
uniform who are trying to kill, and to avoid being killed, in Afghanistan
and Iraq.

In recent decades, the trends of war have been clear. A majority of the
dead - estimated at 75 to 90 percent - are civilians. They are no less
innocent than the more than 30 people who suddenly died from gunshots at
Virginia Tech.

It would be inaccurate to say that the bulk of U.S. media's coverage
accepts war launched from Washington. The media system of the USA does
much more than accept - it embraces the high-tech violence under the
Pentagon's aegis. Key reasons are cultural, economic and political.

We grew up with - and continue to see - countless movies and TV programs
showing how certain people with a handgun, a machine gun or missiles are
able to set wrongs right with sufficiently deft and destructive violence.

The annual reports of large, medium and small companies boast that the
U.S. Defense Department is a lucrative customer with more and more to
spend on their wares for war.

And the scope of political discourse, reinforced by major news outlets,
ordinarily remains narrow enough to dodge the huge differences between
"defense spending" and "military spending." More broadly, the big media
rarely explore the terrain of basic moral challenges to the warfare state.

Everyone who isn't deranged can agree that what happened on April 16,
2007, at the campus of Virginia Tech was an abomination. It came about
because of an individual's madness. We must reject it without the
slightest equivocation. And we do.

But the media baseline is to glorify the U.S. military - yesterday, today
and tomorrow - bringing so much bloodshed to Iraq. The social dynamics in
our own midst, fueling the war effort, are spared tough scrutiny. We're
constantly encouraged to go along, avidly or passively.

Yet George Will has it wrong. The first task of government should not be
"to establish a monopoly on violence." Government should work to prevent
violence - including its own.

Norman Solomon is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death.

[If this is OK with you, vote your usual major party -ed]

--------28 of 32--------

A Momentary Glimpse into Daily Life in Iraq
Massacre at Va Tech
April 18, 2007

At the memorial ceremony for those slain at Virginia Tech, President Bush
said today he did not know what the victims had done to deserve their
fate. How this nation wept as one when thirty innocent Americans perished
and twenty more were wounded! There is almost nothing else on the
television news but this tragedy - not even news from the ongoing
slaughter from the war in Iraq.

Here we have the sorry spectacle of the man in the White House who made
the war on Iraq, where a disaster comparable to the Virginia Tech massacre
occurs four or five times a day every day, leading the nation in prayer!
Yet when does this man go on television to ask the American people to pray
for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been murdered in the
illegal war he launched? And just as the students and teachers who
perished at the hands of a crazed killer on the Virginia Tech campus had
done nothing to deserve their fate, neither have the people of Iraq
committed any crime to endure the unendurable they are suffering at the
hands of a president who professed to be "horrified" at the events on a
peaceful campus. If a South Korean student is regarded as a berserk killer
for murdering thirty people what is President Bush, whose invasion to
control oil-rich Iraq has cost nearly three quarters of a million lives,
created four million refugees, and plunged the Middle East into turmoil?

The American people, including the families of the murdered Virginia Tech
innocents, have collective blood-guilt on their hands. I have not gone to
jail to protest the war machine, so I am no better than they and probably
a good deal worse because I have given the issue some thought. How many of
those parents in the audience hearing the President's words had elected to
Congress men and women who voted for lax laws on gun ownership? How many
of those parents in the audience had also voted for legislators who backed
the president's illegal invasion of Iraq? Are we, as a nation, too obtuse
to grasp the connection between our "gun culture" policy at home and our
militarist policy abroad that murders and mutilates human beings at every
turn? Practically any one in America can buy a gun, and abroad, any
dictator in the world can buy weapons made in America because we just
happen to be the world's biggest arms peddler.

What kind of a society has America become? Why do we have two-million men
in our prisons? Why, in some cities, is every second or third male either
in prison or out on parole? Why is the murder rate soaring in so many
cities? Why is there on average more than one killing a day in a city like
Philadelphia? Why are our own terrorists murdering 30,000 Americans each
year and injuring tens of thousands more with rapid-fire handguns of the
sort used on the Virginia Tech campus? Do we realize, speaking of
terrorists, that ten times as many Americans are being killed by Americans
each year as all our troops in Iraq? Osama bin Laden is everywhere in
America. He has a thousand faces. They are the faces of our own
dispossessed, our own poverty-stricken, our own unemployed, our own
underclass, our own idolized gangsters, our own youth who grew up in
front of television sets that ooze violence and blood.

Who is responsible for the killings in Iraq except the same now bereaved
parents of the murdered students at Virginia Tech? It's not that some of
them voted to elect George Bush. Anyone can be deceived, particularly by a
notorious liar. But when the president broke the law and invaded Iraq,
violating the UN Charter, how many of them protested? Today they are upset
that a young, crazed gunman has ran amok on the campus of a peaceful
university, but where were they when President Bush defied the United
Nations and ran amok in Iraq? Do they know, as Amnesty International
reported on the same day as the Virginia Tech murders, the Middle East "is
on the verge of a massive humanitarian crisis" because three-million
Iraqis have been "forcibly displaced" by the war the grief-stricken Mr.
Bush began? Who do the American people think made this humanitarian crisis
in the Middle East if not the American people?

The same parents who weep for their children might consider that they and
their neighbors are also spending a half trillion dollars a year so that
the Pentagon, just over the horizon from Virginia Tech, can wage a war
that is snuffing out the lives of children of other parents just like
their own. Thousands of Virginians work for the military-industrial
complex. They work for the Pentagon. They work for defense contractors.
They work for the Central Intelligence Agency. They are in the business of
killing directly or indirectly, yet how many of them are haunted by the
consequences of their "jobs" in their dreams at night?

All across America, people who attend church and regard themselves as
"good" people, such as the bereaved at Virginia Tech, are working in the
plants that make atomic bombs and warplanes and napalm and cluster bombs
and are creating new, demonical designs of germ warfare and space-based
weapons so vile and horrible they defy description.

America as a nation has become an organized nightmare. Yesterday, the
nation woke up to the pain of the kind of killing it has been inflicting
widely around the world since its fleets of bombers roared out to destroy
Dresden, since it leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki, since it laid waste to
Vietnam, since it overthrew Chile, and now since it has invaded two Middle
Eastern nations in its thirst for oil. Yes, weep for the innocent victims
of Virginia Tech, who only wanted to study and live in peace. But weep
also, America, for the people of Iraq! If President Bush cared as much for
them as he cares for his own, he would have to hold four news conferences
a day. He would never stop grieving.

Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based columnist. For comments or to arrange for
speaking engagements contact him at sherwoodr1 [at]

[If this is OK with you, vote your usual major party -ed]

--------29 of 32--------

From Iraq to the Supreme Court
A New Dark Ages for Women
April 19, 2007

"The Supreme Court's decision is an affirmation of the progress we have
made over the past six years in protecting human dignity."
 -- George W. Bush praising the Supreme Court decision to uphold the ban
on dilation and extraction abortions, August 18, 2007

"What does that mean, 'outrages upon human dignity'?"
 -- George W. Bush lashing out against the Geneva Conventions and
demanding that Congress remove legal obstacles to torture, September 6,

In an act of perverse dishonesty, Bush claimed the war on Iraq would
liberate women. In reality, it has visited the stench of death upon the
birth wards, the bedrooms of children, and the daily routines of women as
well as men throughout Iraq. In the post-Sadam central power vacuum,
Sharia law is flourishing, forcing women under the hijab, fostering "honor
killings" and filling the morgues with growing numbers of women's bodies
bearing signs of rape, sexual mutilation and torture. A dark curtain is
being curtain being pulled over the schools that once served girls and
dreams of equality are being snuffed out.

Here at home, George Bush's claim to support the liberation of women is
more shameless hypocrisy. Speaking sanctimoniously about the "value" of
fetal tissue, Bush has overseen the most aggressive and cruel assault on
women's fundamental rights and the fostering of an openly patriarchal

Yesterday's Supreme Court decision, which Bush heralded, criminalized the
abortion procedure scientifically known as dilation and extraction (and
manipulatively labeled "partial birth abortion" by anti-choice fanatics)
and was written so vaguely that it could be used to ban the most common
abortion procedure used by women after the first trimester. It is a law
that lays the basis to begin sending the courageous doctors who provide
women abortion procedures - often at the risk of death - to prison. And,
in a situation where lack of abortion access is beginning to drive women
to seek illegal abortions, this new law is a five ton weight pressed down
on women's lives already stalked by brutality, degradation, and endless
insults large and small. It is not only a new legal precedent along the
way towards outlawing abortion it is also red meat thrown to a hungry
movement of Christian fascists determined to end not only abortion, but
also birth control and any kind of independence of women.

If women are not free to decide for themselves without shame and without
apology when and whether they will become mothers, they cannot be free. If
women are not free, then no one can be free.

Although the forms of the oppression of women in this country are today
different, this Christian fascist movement in the U.S. is the near twin of
the movements imposing Sharia law in Iraq, only it is far more powerful
given that it is embedded within the ruling elites of the world's only
superpower. It is rooted in a literal interpretation of a scripture every
bit as brutal as the Q'uran - biblical scripture that casts child-bearing
as the only way women can be redeemed for their alleged "original sin":
"For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the
woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression: but she shall be
saved through her child-bearing." (1 Timothy 2:13-15) This movement has
initiative in the ruling class today.

On a world scale the future for women - HALF OF HUMANITY - is in grave

This is not the time for putting ones hopes into a political process that
has done nothing but facilitate and legitimate the invasion, occupation,
continued occupation and now possible widening of the war on Iraq in the
face of massive public opposition. Now is not the time for resting the
future of women's control of their own destiny in the same political
process that has facilitated and legitimated the chipping away of
abortion, clinic closing by clinic closing, law by law, and judicial
nominee by judicial nominee.

This is not a time for turning one's energies towards '08 and the slate of
Democratic Party hopefuls which have ceded the moral high ground on
abortion to religious fanatics and refused to demand an end to colonial
occupation of Iraq. This is not a time for remaining polite, being
patient, or seeking "common ground."

The Bush administration - and the imperialist system it is a product of
- have no claim to any moral high ground in regard to women's lives or in
regard to human dignity. With their wars of aggression, their torture, and
their frontal assault on the lives of women, this is a time when the
direction they are dragging the world in must be resisted. Fiercely. And

This is a time when Bush must be impeached and his whole direction must be

And this is a time when everyone seriously concerned about women, here and
around the world, must look deeper to see how the oppressive,
exploitative, and brutal conditions for women are deeply rooted not only
in thousands of years of tradition's chains but also in the basic
relations, structures, and institutions of "modern" capitalist society. As
Bob Avakian has written, "The oppression of women is completely bound up
with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and
exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the
complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role
to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is
all-the-way revolution."

For all those who thought "they would never outlaw abortion" let this be
our final, sobering wake-up call. Let it be said that this was the Supreme
Court decision was the final straw after which a powerful resistance rose.

For all those heartsick after four years of unjust war, let us shake off
passivity and complicity and prepare for struggle.

For all those who dream of a better world, break the chains! Unleash the
fury of women as a mighty force for revolution!

Sunsara Taylor writes for Revolution Newspaper and sits on the Advisory
Board of The World Can't Wait  Drive Out the Bush Regime. She can be
reached at: sunsarasworld [at]

[Anyone upset enough to DO something? Or do we just sit, mesmerized
by evil? -ed]

--------30 of 32--------

Curbing Abortion Rights
The Nation
[posted online on April 18, 2007]

Today the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-4 decision that a nationwide ban
on so-called "partial birth" abortions was legal. Significantly, this is
the first time the Court has intervened to this extent on the medical
procedures used in abortion - as opposed to issues of public funding and
parental notification, which had littered its docket in the past. The
decision has been a major blow to abortion rights activists, who, although
they are not surprised by the decision given the conservative majority on
the bench today, remain dismayed by the implications.

"This is an invitation for states to pass further restrictions on
abortion," National Abortion Federation president and CEO Vicki Saporta
told The Nation. "Most troubling, it undermines the core principles of Roe
v. Wade by not putting women's health first."

The Supreme Court decision upholds the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that
Congress passed in 2003 and makes it criminal for physicians to perform
abortions using "dilation and extraction," a procedure that is used for
late-term abortions. The law makes exceptions for the life, but not the
health, of the mother. "If there are any medical uncertainties, this law
gives the benefit of the doubt to politicians, not physicians," says
Saporta. "And that's plainly and simply not good for women's health."

The Court struck down a similar state ban on "partial birth" abortions in
2000 - but with a different Court makeup. In today's case, three appellate
courts had ruled that the law was unconstitutional before it came to the
Supreme Court, with the US District Court of Northern California insisting
that the law made criminals of physicians "during virtually all abortions
performed after the first trimester."

In fact, 85 percent to 90 percent of the roughly 1.3 million abortions
performed each year in the United States occur in the first trimester. But
the remaining 10 percent have been increasingly difficult for women to
procure, as fewer physicians are trained in the late-term procedures and
fewer hospitals and clinics are willing to provide them. This new ban is
expected to hit older women and teens hardest: older women because they
don't often get amniocentesis results until well into their pregnancies,
and teens because they are notoriously reluctant to tell their parents
they're pregnant until it is nearly obvious.

As predicted, the President's appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts
has helped advance the "prolife" agenda despite the fancy footwork Roberts
displayed during confirmation hearings in September 2005, when he assured
senators that he respected Court precedent, was "not an ideologue" and -
to the dismay of some conservatives - indicated that he "respected the
right to privacy" (key words in the abortion battle).

Conservatives need not have worried their purty little heads: This
decision, in which newcomers Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito joined the
majority, ignores thirty years of precedent, marches lockstep with a
prolife plan to chip away at women's reproductive rights and throws
privacy rights out the window.

A decade ago, when prolifers were making their first forays into this
territory - naming the procedure "partial birth" abortion and introducing
the idea in a few conservative states - they argued that those pregnant,
promiscuous teens who couldn't fit into prom dresses would simply slip out
and get this type of late-term abortion. In graphic detail, prolife
activists explained how a fetus has its skull crushed to fit through the
birth canal in this particular procedure and provided gory photos to
hammer home their point.

Today, they've refined their methods a bit and tend, when arguing, to
remind opponents that there are still alternative methods for late-term
abortions. That's when they invoke language like "dismembering the baby
piece by piece within the mother's womb" - a worrisome description that
seems to be laying the groundwork for their next area of attack.

All of this is going exactly according to the Prolife Master Plan:
Standing no chance of an outright ban on abortion, prolifers aim to strip
women's reproductive rights one "ban" at a time. Americans United for
Life, one of the oldest prolife groups in the country, puts it quite
clearly in its mission statement: "If we are to prevail in our secular
culture, we must reach out to address the practical concerns of ambivalent
Americans. We must address our culture as it is and not as we would like
it to be. With a steady eye toward the mark and the support of people of
and for life, we are confident that a renewed culture of life is within
our reach."

Today, the organization is doubtless preparing to anoint as saints Chief
Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

--------31 of 32-------- blog
Quoth the Dark Wraith

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken its first stab at what will
eventually be the end of abortion rights in this country, maybe we ought
to reflect for a minute on all those Democrats in the Senate last year who
were too cowardly to filibuster the nominations of Justices Samuel Alito
and John Roberts.

Any backbone those Senators are currently displaying will not change the
fact that the rights of every American are ultimately now in the hands of
Right-wing religious extremists and will remain in those nasty clutches
for a generation to come.

Thank you, Democratic Senators, one and all.

You spineless assholes.

[Amen. -ed]

--------32 of 32--------

 The US under
 the ruling class: slow motion
 to the gas chambers.


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