Progressive Calendar 04.23.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 03:23:18 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.23.07

1. Iran              4.23 12noon
2. Sami/Iraq         4.23 1pm StCloud MN
3. IRV YouTube       4.23 3pm
4. Wind zoning       4.23 4:30pm
5. News award        4.23 5pm
6. Iraq/Bush         4.23 7pm
7. Climate crisis    4.23 7:30pm

8. Cover uninsured   4.24 12:15pm
9. Glob/unequal/TV   4.24 5pm
10. Women/AIDS/Asia  4.24 5:30pm
11. Young citizens   4.24 6pm
12. Loose talk salon 4.24 6:30pm
13. Single-payer     4.24 6:30pm
14. Health bills/MN  4.24 7pm
15. Ford plant/hist  4.24 7pm
16. Guatemala/film   4.24 7pm

17. Manuel Garcia    - Racism, wealth and IQ/the heart of whiteness
18. Ron Jacobs       - The meaning of Marxism
19. Philip Greenspan - The conspiracy vs "conspiracy"
20. E                - Adjunct professors are educated hobos

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From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Iran 4.23 12noon

Monday, 4/23, noon to 1:30, College of Education and Human Development
sponsors Jinous Kasravi on "Alternative Cultural and Political Images of
Iran," Room 250, Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St SE, Mpls.

--------2 of 20--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Sami/Iraq 4.23 1pm StCloud MN

Monday, 4/23, 1 pm, Alternatives to War sponsors Muslim Peacemaker Team
founder Sami Rasouli speaking at St Cloud State, details with Breanna
Swanberg swbr0302 [at] or 320-309-6721.  Pax Christi also has
event in the evening; details from Merle Nolde MNolde [at] or

--------3 of 20--------

From: "[ISO-8859-1] Renée Lepreau" <renee.lepreau [at]>
Subject: IRV YouTube 4.23 3pm

We want your opinion!
IRV or Instant Runoff Voting in St. Paul
Record and upload your thoughts on this important issue to YouTube.  Both
Pro or Con (or undecided) are welcome.

At Rondo Community Outreach Library, University and Dale
Monday - April 23rd
           (3:00 - 5:00 PM)
You can make an appointment in advance, or simply 'drop in' and we'll do
our best to accommodate you.  Please feel free to forward email this to
your friends and other politically interested people.

Contact: Gary Thompson,  651-695-0615,  gkthomp [at]

--------4 of 20--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at]>
Subject: Wind zoning 4.23 4:30pm

My proposal to amend the Minneapolis Zoning Code to expand the allowable
uses of wind energy conversion systems is coming up for a public hearing
at the Minneapolis City Planning Commission's regular meeting on, Monday,
April 23, 2007, 4:30 p.m. - Room 317, in City Hall.

Following the public hearing it will be brought forward to the Zoning and
Planning Committee.  I welcome you to submit comments, attend the Public
Hearing or let me know if you have any questions or concerns. It might be
especially important for Commission and Council Members to hear from
people who are supportive. There may be some opposition.

Here is more information.

18. Zoning Code Text Amendment (Chapter 535, Ward: Citywide)
staff report
Wind Turbine Code Text
A. Text Amendment: Amending Title 20, Chapter 535 of the Minneapolis Code
of Ordinances relating to the Zoning Code: Regulations of General
Applicability.  The purpose of the amendment is to expand the allowed use
of wind energy conversion systems. Recommended Motion: The Community
Planning and Economic Development Planning Division recommends that the
City Planning Commission and City Council adopt the findings and approve
the zoning code text amendment.

Cam Gordon Minneapolis City Council Member, Second Ward 673-2202, 296-0579
cam [at]

--------5 of 20--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: News award 4.23 5pm

Hopefully it doesn't seem odd or egotistic to share notice of this event.
As some of you know along with 3 other Pulse reporters (who wrote separate
stories on homelessness), I won an annual Premack Award for Public
Interest Journalism (for my story "No Direction Home" about homeless teens
in the TC, published in late December 2006).

The award is named for Frank Premack--an "Old School" editor at the
Minneapolis Star Tribune who died in (I believe) 1976. I know some of his
colleagues and he sounds like the kind of tough editor that's gone the way
of the 8-track tape player: as one journalist buddy told me, Premack felt
that "ALL journalism should be investigative journalism".  I've been lucky
enough to have worked with some editors who ARE carrying on that Premack
attitude--and you know who you are! Pulse has and is a newspaper where one
CAN follow a story wherever it leads and the "powerful" are not given a

The awards ceremony and journalism panel (on which I will represent PULSE)
happens this Monday. It's open to the public and I'd be delighted to see
any of you there. PULSE is the ONLY independent newspaper that won--we're
standing with the corporate big boys, Strib & PiPress (along w/the
Rochester daily paper and a paper from the Iron Range). Information below.
solidarity, Lydia Howell

5pm-6pm Coctails & appetizers
6pm-7pm Awards ceremony
7pm-8pm Symposium/Panel

COFFMAN UNION: Mississippi Room U of M campus, East Bank Minneapolis

--------6 of 20--------

To: David Shove <shove001 [at]>, wamm [at],
Subject: Iraq/Bush 4.23 7pm

Robert Brenner, director of the Center for Social Theory for Comparative
History, UCLA speaking on "Why Iraq? The Politics of Bush II"

Monday, April 23, 7:00 p.m.
Institute for Advanced Study, 140 Nolte Center, 315 Pillsbury Drive
SE, University of Minnesota east bank
Free and open to the public
FFI: Institute for Advanced Study, 612-626-5054

Root Causes of Iraq War to be Addressed at U of M

University of California, Los Angeles historian Robert Brenner will speak
about the Iraq invasion at a talk at the U of M Institute for Advanced
Study on Monday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m.

In his talk, "Why Iraq? The Politics of Bush II," Brenner will address the
causes of the Iraq war. After four years of military failure, standard
explanations such as oil or neo-conservatism seem insufficient. The
lecture will seek to lay bare the forces and processes behind what Brenner
considers the greatest U.S. overseas misadventure since Vietnam by rooting
it in the transformations of American politics of the last three decades.

Robert Brenner is a professor of history and the director of the Center
for Social Theory and Comparative History at UCLA. He is the author of
many works on historical political economy, including The Boom and the
Bubble: The US in the World Economy, Economics of Global Turbulence: The
Advanced Capitalist Economies From Long Boom to Long Downturn, 1945-2005,
and "Structure and Conjuncture: The 2006 Elections and the Rightward
Shift" (New Left Review, 2007). He is completing the book Why Iraq: The
Politics of Bush II, which seeks to understand the Iraq war in the context
of the transformations of the domestic economic and political scene taking
place over the last three decades, especially the decline of liberalism
and the rise of the Republican far right.

--------7 of 20--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Climate crisis 4.23 7:30pm

Regular meeting of the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities (3CTC).
EVERY 2nd and 4th Monday at 7:30 pm.  The Freight House Dunn Brothers, 201
3rd Ave S, next door to the Milwaukee Road Depot, Downtown Minneapolis.
Stop global warming, save Earth!

In solidarity w/people and the planet, Eric 651-644-1173

--------8 of 20--------

From: joel michael albers <joel [at]>
Subject: Cover uninsured 4.24 12:15pm

UHCAN-MN and the Center for Health Interdisciplinary Programs (CHIP at U
of MN) will be co-sponsoring a Cover the Uninsured Week Lunch Forum Tues,
April 24, 12:15 PM - 1:15PM.  at the U of MN East Bank Campus,
Minneapolis, in Moos Tower ( located at Washington & Harvard Streets, with
parking ramp just across the street), Room 1- 450 (go down the stairs next
to the cafeteria). The event is open to the public and all students,
staff, and faculty. Stefanie, Deb, and Joel from UHCAN-MN will also be
tabling from 10AM - 3PM. Please join us tabling if you can.

The Forum will be mostly Q & A , discussion, and networking/action steps,
with some brief background material presented by health economist and
pharmacist, Joel Albers, outlining the spectrum of proposed solutions to
the health care crisis, their merits and drawbacks. These include:
Covering all children (the theme of the 2007 Cover the Uninsured Week
April 23-29), individual mandates, health savings accounts, single-payer,
community-based co-ops, pooling all MN school districts, etc.

Pizza and a beverage will be available free, as long as supplies last.

Joel Albers Ph.D., Pharm.D. Health Care Economics Researcher, Clinical
Pharmacist Universal Health Care Action Network Minnesota
Community/University Collaborative Research 612-384-0973 joel [at]

--------9 of 20--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Glob/unequal/TV 4.24 5pm

Dear St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10
am each Wednesday in St. Paul.  All households with basic cable can watch.

4/24 and 4/25 "Globalization and the Age of Inequality" An interview with
the widely-read, muckraking Indian journalist: P. Sainath. (this show
contains economics!)  Hosted by Karen Redleaf.

--------10 of 20--------

From: The United Nations Association of MN <info [at]>
Subject: Women/AIDS/Asia 4.24 5:30pm

Women & HIV/AIDS in Asia: the Looming Crisis
A public forum with Dr. Nafis Sadik, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia

What factors are influencing the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS in Asia? How
this disease can it be contained? Roughly 8.3 milling people are living
with HIV in Asia and over a quarter of those are women.

Join MIC and the Americans for UNFPA on Tuesday, April 24, in welcoming
Dr. Nafis Sadik, UN Special Enjoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia for an evening
forum. One of the highest ranking women in the United Nations system, Dr.
Sadik will speak on the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis on women in Asia,
and what steps can be taken to combat this growing issue.

Registration 5:30 P; program 6:00 P; discussion 7:30 P
University of Minnesota?s Humphrey Institute
301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Cost:  $5 MIC, co-sponsoring members and students, $15 Non-members
Advance registration and payment is preferred.
Register online at or call 612.625.4421

Cosponsors: Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, Planned Parenthood
Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the University of Minnesota
Powell Center for Women?s Health, and UNA of Minnesota

--------11 of 20--------

From: Annie Levenson-Falk <alevensonfalk [at]>
Subject: Young citizens 4.24 6pm

Are you a young person (18 to 25) looking to get involved in your
community? Join a Citizens League action group.

Three action groups will be formed around the broad topics of poverty,
energy and the environment, and public leadership. The groups will choose
a particular issue within their area, propose a solution they can get
done, and put that solution into place. Solutions could range from a
website that people can use to get informed about their health care
options to a new way for people to stay in contact with their
representatives, or could be something completely different that your
group comes up with.

At the kick-off event, we'll hear a little about the project from
organizers then break down into groups and start to talk about what issue
we want to tackle. We'll be joined by experts in each area to help guide
our conversations as groups narrow their focus.

Tuesday, April 24th
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Town Hall Brewery
1430 Washington Avenue S., Minneapolis (at the Seven Corners)
Appetizers provided

For more information or to sign up, visit or contact Annie Levenson-Falk at
651-293-0575 x16 or alevensonfalk [at]

Annie Levenson-Falk Membership and Policy Assistant 651.293.0575 x16 555
North Wabasha Street, Suite 240 St. Paul, MN 55102

--------12 of 20--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Loose talk salon 4.24 6:30pm

Tuesday, April 24, we will have Open Discussion.  Since we didn't have
a lot of time to discuss the film When The Levees Broke perhaps we could
discuss that and what is happening in New Orleans since Katrina. Or,
discuss the program that has been going on all week on PBS, America at the

Pax Salons ( ) are held (unless otherwise
noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943
W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------13 of 20--------

From: Don Pylkkanen <don [at]>
Subject: Single-payer 4.24 6:30pm


Four Regional Minnesota Forums to Address Nation's and State's Health
Insurance Crisis during "Cover The Uninsured Week"

On Tuesday, April 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sabathani Community
Center in Minneapolis, a panel of working families, business owners,
health care providers and other community members will discuss
single-payer health care as the solution to the national and state health
care crisis with area legislators.

The forums are part of "Cover The Uninsured Week," the national campaign
to call attention to the escalating number of uninsured Americans,
including half a million Minnesotans [1]. The Minneapolis forum will be
one of four regional "Community Conversations on Health Care" in Duluth,
Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, and LaCrescent, in Southeast Minnesota, to
extend the health insurance debate from the state capitol to Minnesota
communities and neighborhoods.

The forums are sponsored by the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition
(MUHCC), Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition, the Great Northern
States Health Care Initiative, and the Minnesota Citizens'
Federation-Northeast. MUHCC is sponsoring the Minneapolis forum.

Minneapolis to host one of four regional "Community Conversations"
on the single-payer solution to Minnesota's health insurance crisis.  It
is free and open to the public.

Tuesday evening, April 24, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Sabathani Community Center, 310 East 38th Street, Minneapolis

A panel representing working families, business owners, farm families,
senior citizens, doctors, nurses, teachers, and other concerned citizens
will discuss with area legislators single payer health care as the
solution to the escalating health insurance crisis.

[1] Over half a million working Minnesotans under age 65 are uninsured for
six months over a two-year period, and nearly one million are uninsured
sometime during that period, according to a recent report by Families USA, a
sponsor of Cover The Uninsured Week.

CONTACT: Joel Clemmer, 612-690-4296 Don Pylkkanen, 651-464-0900

--------14 of 20--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Health bills/MN 2.24 7pm

Rhoda Gilman (untiring legislative observer/single-payer lobbyist) will
analyse the politics and power struggle around achieving a single-payer
system in Minnesota.

She will describe the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition and its
legislative program, with emphasis on measures it supports in the '07
session and goals for next year:
 What are the opportunities?
 Is step-by-step progress enough?
 Who are our friends and potential allies?  Our enemies?
 Can Minnesota, the birthplace of the HMO, redeem itself by becoming a
single-payer state?

April 24 7-9pm
Roseville Public Library
2180 Hamline Av N Roseville 651-628-6803
Hamline & Cty Rd B
(2 blocks south of the Hamline exit on hwy 36)

One of several health care forums sponsored by the Green Party of StPaul

contact: David Shove 651-636-5672 shove001 [at]

--------15 of 20--------

From: Joseph Callahan <joeandcaroline [at]>
Subject: Ford plant/hist 4.24 7pm

ON THE LINE: The Ford Assembly Plant in Oral History & Verse Tuesday,
April 24 at 7pm
It is at the Ford Training Center, 966 Mississippi River Boulevard, this
is in the front part of the plant. The event is sponsored by the Friends
of the Saint Paul Public Library.

In the late 1990s, UAW Local 879 and the Minnesota Labor Interpretive
Center interviewed twenty-five retired auto workers as part of an oral
history program documenting the experiences of working at the Ford
Assembly Plant.  Listen to excerpts from these interviews in a dramatic
re-telling, read by recently retired auto workers.  In the second half of
the program, Ford workers Denny Dickhausen and Joe Callahan, members of a
writer's workshop created by poet Mark Nowak, share poems inspired by life
and labor at Ford.  Also, see a poetic exchange with Ford workers in South
Africa, who share their own stories.

--------16 of 20--------

From: hehafter [at]
Subject: Guatemala/film 4.24 7pm

Guatemala Film Screening & Fundraiser (Spanish w/english subtitles)
"NO PODEMOS QUEDARNOS CALLADOS" (We cannot be silenced)

In the 1980s the Guatemalan government targetted rural, indigenous
communities in a"scorched earth" extermination campaign . This film
addresses life under the Guatemalan army, the struggle for dignity and the
right to live during the years of the genocide, and survivors' current
organizing efforts for justice. Followed by a Q&A with members of the
Guatemalan Accompaniment Program.

$5 suggested donation to help fund Human Rights Accompaniers from
Minneapolis who are going to Guatemala to support witnesses in the
genocide trials through the Network in Solidarity with the People of
Guatemala ( for more information)


Kid friendly! We'll have someone available to hang out with your kids.

--------17 of 20--------

Racism, Wealth and IQ
The Heart of Whiteness
April 21 / 22, 2007

Three items, then a response:

(1) A photo-journalist friend returns from trips to Jordan, Israel and the
West Bank, and describes his experiences being graciously received in Arab
homes, and his shock at seeing the "separation wall" - really a
separation corral with machine-gun towers surrounding Bethlehem and other
towns - and choke-point checkpoints for Palestinians only (Israeli
"settlers" getting four-lane highways), which keep Palestinian family
members only 2 miles apart, near Jerusalem, from being able to visit each
other for YEARS.

(2) I just finished re-reading "The Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad.
This is a story of European colonialism and the ivory trade in Africa,
published in 1903. It describes the personal corruption of a careerist
tradesman-class European whose ambition reaches its apogee in the
"Belgian" Congo (presumably), where he elevates himself to a local god who
can exact human sacrifices, in addition to receiving a tribute of ivory;
all by the magic of pure violence. The horror Kurtz, our ephemeral white
god, recognizes is that to achieve his ambition he has utterly destroyed
his own humanity by the very process used for his elevation: the
degradation of the Africans he exploits. The "heart of darkness" is the
illusion that an emptiness of soul can be released in the bush without
hazard to its owner.

(3) "Jewish Genius," an article by Charles Murray, is published by the
magazine Commentary. In this essay, Murray, the author of the book "The
Bell Curve," on the racial basis of intelligence, "mulls the roots of
Jewish brainpower" (1)

* * *

I.Q. is a measure of wealth. The children of gangsters and war criminals
(i.e., national politicians, corporate executives, race-favored Americans,
Europeans, and others from outposts of Pan-Whiteness, e.g., Israel,
Australia, New Zealand) will have higher I.Q. because they have been
brought up in material comfort, physical security, and they have
experienced the best educational systems in existence. There is no genetic
basis for this, but there is certainly a racist one.

Since the days of Columbus, Pan-Whiteness has used technology (primarily
explosives) and piracy (now called finance) to steal world resources, and
enslave and exterminate "colored" people. "High" I.Q. is merely a
developmental indicator of race-based physical plundering by their elders
and ancestors in the children of the Race Warriors of the White Supremacy

The religious core of capitalism is white supremacy, which is why the
nations mentioned are bonded so tightly, and why the U.S. Government will
often pursue policies vis-a-vis Israel that logically seem to be at odds
with "U.S. interests" (e.g., the pursuit, with U.S. casualties, of war
with Iraq and Iran, not just for oil but in Israel's interest). It may be
objectively true that a particular policy (e.g., bankrolling Israel's
theft of Palestine - "settlements" - backing Israel's stonewalling and
aggression (e.g., Lebanon) and blocking U.N. and international efforts to
settle the Palestinian issue) seems more to Israel's benefit than to "us."
But, when viewed through the emotive religious-mythical lens of white
supremacy, the apparent inconsistency dissolves.

"We" are defending our brother and sister "white" settlers in "Injun
country." Israel, like our military bases and corporate installations
around the world, is one of our many Fort Apaches in wild territory,
filled with "colored" natives hostile to our manifest destiny to clear
them off and "develop" the land. At best, they could work as sub-human
machines in our agricultural and mechanized plantations, while being
slowly ground down to dust and thence to disappearance behind "Separation
Walls" (which actually encircle isolated populations, and so are corrals
with machine gun towers - slow motion Buchenwalds), and Border Fences and
Free Trade Agreements.

The core basis of U.S. Government and capitalist policy is the protection
of White Supremacy Nationalism and White Supremacy Super-Nationalism, or
Empire. This is what we are fighting for. "We", the United States, are the
7th Cavalry, the Crusaders riding to the rescue of Pan-Whiteness around
the world. The nature of your life and the degree of your prosperity is
determined by the degree of your complicity in this cult. People like Bush
and Rove and Cheney, Olmert, Sharon, the Israeli Zionist militarists, and,
yes, Hitler was and are not simply motivated by elementary greed, because
theft is an act of convenience, a short-cut, a matter of avoiding work.
These zealots are tireless, working furiously even to the point of death,
because they are motivated by a greed of religiously-inspired magnitude,
and this is the compelling vision - the cult - of white supremacy.

This is racism at the level of the central nervous system, subconscious
and unconscious, a bond that expresses itself in a tribal level of
identification, similar to but of deeper power than the Mafia's Sicilian
identification and code of 'omerta.' This is what I imagine C. G. Jung
would have called the archetype of empire, which "we" - the high I.Q.
children nourished on the legacy of race plunder - inherited, and which
enables us to "feel" the cause and put our adult efforts to its benefit (a
transition that can be seamless in its unconsciousness), or to "recognize"
(to awaken, to become aware, to experience 'satori') and to choose to
fight against. "Whiteness" is not a skin color, it is a frame of mind and
a moral choice.

With this understanding, it is easy to see the basis of much Black
commentary since Frederick Douglass, and most pointedly from Malcolm X.
The argument presented here is no news to readers of Black Agenda Report
and similar outlets. It is easy to see Texas and Southern California as
Israel USA and Apartheid South Africa; and a city like San Diego as a
sizzling Xanadu of triumphalist colonial pleasure, continuing the
Whiteness fantasy of Apartheid Johannesburg or Tel Aviv.

There is good money to be made by apologists for White Supremacy
Nationalism, by authoring "scholarly" books on the supposed genetic
superiority, and hence "god-given" nature of the status quo; and by
"colored" commentators singing the praises of their "white" overlords, the
overlord ideology and the naturally ordained baseness of their own genetic
pools. I, personally, know the costs in career and "earnings potential"
that can result from a rejection of work "assignments" ("opportunities")
in furtherance of the fundamental cause (the "Prime Directive," if you
will). Fortunately for me, self respect is only expensive financially, in
every other way it is most bountiful.

It is possible that an expanding awareness of self respect - even a
popular trans-national solidarity based on compassion (Fidel?, Chavez?,
Mandela?) - may ultimately topple the mighty military and financial
powers of the White Supremacy Tribe. Until then, we will have to consider
civilization an idea as yet unrealized.



Manuel Garcia, Jr. is a physicist, a native of New York, and perhaps a
Tralfamadorian. E-mail received at mango [at]

--------18 of 20--------

The Meaning of Marxism
Explaining the Spectre
April 21 / 22, 2007

Back in 1989 and the early 1990s, when the Stalinist states of Eastern
Europe ceased to exist as such, there were many triumphant crows of
triumph from the various cocks of capitalism. It was said that staunch old
intellectual rhetorician of reaction, the "end of history." From then on,
the so-called free market would be able to do its magic and create a
utopian reality for all - those who were being trickled on and those who
had been doing the trickling during the trickle-down reigns of Mr. Reagan
and Ms. Thatcher in the bulwarks of capitals kingdom on earth. Marx and
his critique of capitalism had been proven wrong. Finally, the champions
of all that was good in the world could dance on Karl's grave.

Of course, this triumphant and shortsighted narrative was not only
premature, it has turned out to be wrong. Free market capitalism has not
created a utopia for anybody but the world's wealthiest. In fact, it can
be convincingly argued that it has not only not created a utopia for most
of the world, but has actually shrunk the numbers of earthlings able to
avail themselves to the material wealth created by those who labor for the
kings. Furthermore, it has also turned out that those who control the
wealth of the world have found it easier to go to war in order to expand
and maintain their control over the surplus created by the world's
workforce. If there was anything positive to be said about the existence
of the Stalinist states, it is that they kept the ravages of the monopoly
capitalists (or free market advocates, as they prefer to be called) at
bay. Their disintegration ensured a resurgence of imperial desire and its
consequent lust of armed force to achieve that desire.

Along with this imagined triumph capitalism came a philosophical
justification. Some of that philosophy was merely dusted off John Locke
and Adam Smith without the cautions both men expressed about the nature of
capitalism when combined with greed. Yet another philosophical creation to
justify the nature of the new liberal (or neoliberal) world born in the
ashes of the Cold War was something called postmodernism. A bit of Plato's
cave allegory with a good dash of influence of modern communications
technology in the brew, this philosophy excused the abuses of labor and
the poor in the name of the "new capitalist order" with notions that
pretended that these and other abuses were natural phenomena and occurred
without any human agency. Eventually, certain intellectuals (specifically
Jacques Derrida) that had been making their names via the exposition of
postmodernism came up against its shortcomings and turned back to Marx to
make sense of their world.

It's 2007 now. The world's most powerful nation is caught up in a war
against a nationalist insurgency it cannot defeat. Its domestic political
situation is divided from its legislature to the nation's streets. Yet,
the politicians continue to look for a way to resolve the war and a myriad
other problematic situations that threaten its dominance without losing
that dominance. The war is not only reducing the country of Iraq to
rubble, it is shredding the US military and precipitating the further
erosion of the US's infrastructure and economic future. Yet, the damn
fools march on.

Into this morass comes a text more relevant than all the millions of words
written by establishment scribes like the liberal Thomas Friedman and the
rightwing Charles Krauthammer. Written by socialist organizer Paul
D'Amato, it is titled The Meaning of Marxism. Simply put, this book takes
the essence of Karl Marx's writings on philosophy, economics and politics
and explains them in the context of today's world. Like many of today's
(and yesterday's) Marxists, D'Amato has little use for the legacy of
Stalin but does not spend much time belittling that legacy. Instead, he
looks toward the writings of Marx and their development by the
revolutionaries Lenin, Bukharin, Rosa Luxembourg, and Trotsky.
Furthermore, and more importantly, the book uses historical and current
events to prove Marx's analysis. Likewise, it uses the prism that Marxism
provides to help us understand that history and those events. This is what
makes The Meaning of Marxism quite useful for today's reader looking for a
method that makes sense of the mess our world is in.

D'Amato breaks the subject matter into fourteen chapters. The first
provides a bit of the history of socialist ideas and their relation to the
development of capitalism. From there, one is presented with the Marxist
view of history and economics, its take on the nature and origins of
political and social oppression and the nature of imperialism. Sprinkled
in between one finds a discussion of the Russian revolution and its
aftermath and the nature of modern day socialist organizing. For those who
wish to read further, the book concludes with a reading list that includes
most of the important texts of world socialism. I say most, because there
is nothing by Mao or Stalin included. By the way, for those who wish to
read some Mao, let me recommend Slavoj Zizek's recent edition of his
series on revolutionists and their writings titled Slavoj Zizek presents
Mao On Practice and Contradiction. Coming on the heels of his collection
of material written by one of the ultimate bourgeois revolutionaries,
Maximilian Robespierre, Zizek opens this collection of Mao with the
observation that "one of the most devious traps which lurk in wait for
Marxists is the search for the moment of the Fall; when things took a
wrong turn in Marxism...." To their credit, neither Zizek or D'Amato spend
much time on this question, choosing instead to look at the lessons
learned from its failure in Eastern Europe and Asia- a failure that
Marxists who debate this kind of thing believe occurred either soon after
Lenin's death in Moscow, Trotsky's in Mexico or Mao's in Beijing. Or
perhaps as soon as the Bolsheviks assumed power. Not only do they debate
these things, they make and lose friends over this question. But then,
searching for the Fall is not much different than debating Adam and Eve's
expulsion from the garden, is it? What matters is not when or even why the
Fall happened, but what we do in its wake.

Sensible and modest, D'Amato's effort to explain Marxism and its relevance
to today's world is without overblown rhetoric or angry attacks. Instead,
it is a rational argument for revolutionary change in the capitalist
monolith that is the United States while simultaneously an instructional
text for those seeking such a change. For those who are not certain about
the possibilities of socialism but wondering how to effectively change the
world they find fault with, The Meaning of Marxism answers many of their
potential questions. It goes well beyond the traditional
liberal-conservative politics of the capitalist world and presents a
genuine alternative that, if it does nothing else, provides an analysis
that maintains its veracity and accuracy no matter what happens in the
realm of capital. This book could also easily be used as a college
textbook in any course that examines philosophy and economics. In short,
this book is a concise and readable addition to the socialist library.

Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather
Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill
Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex,
Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is
forthcoming from Mainstay Press. He can be reached at:
rjacobs3625 [at]

--------19 of 20--------

[The conspiracy vs "conspiracy"]
Suspicious Scenarios + Logical Explanations = Nuts
by Philip Greenspan

(Swans - April 23, 2007)
 Operation Ajax (1953 Iran - overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh);
 Operation PBSUCCESS (1954 Guatemala - overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmn);
 Bay of Pigs (1961 Cuba - failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro);
 Tonkin Gulf Resolution (1964 Vietnam - US fraudulent justification for
 No cryptonym designations (1958 Indonesia - failed attempt to overthrow
Sukarno and 1965-1966 Indonesia - overthrow of Sukarno)
 Project Cherry (1967 Cambodia - failed attempt to overthrow and
assassinate Prince Norodom Sihanouk);
 Operation Menu (1969-1970 Cambodia - secret bombing);
 Watergate (1972-1974 USA - illegal activities of Nixon administration);
 Project FUBELT (1973 Chile - overthrow of Salvadore Allende);
 Iraqgate (1982-1988 USA - illegally supplying weapons, intelligence,
credit to Iran in Iran-Iraq War);
 Iran-Contra (1985 USA - illegal sale of weapons to Iran to illegally fund
the Contras).

What do all these historical activities have in common? All are
conspiracies that reach up to the highest levels of the US government!

Why do federal and state prosecutors rely so often on indictments based on
a conspiracy to commit a crime rather than on the underlying crime itself?
Because it is much easier to prove a conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt
than prove the actual commission of the crime! Although prosecutors
litigate conspiracies, they themselves engage in conspiracies. To climb
the political ladder they try to build a high score of noteworthy
convictions. So rather than searching for the truth and seeking justice
they strive to win their legal battles at all costs. Judge Alex Kozinski
of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, a Reagan appointee and a former
clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, stated in testimony before
the House Judiciary Committee, "It is an open secret long shared by
prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges that perjury is widespread among
law enforcement officers." What does such an admission imply? That the
judicial system itself conspires against juries and the public! It results
in such obviously unjust death penalty convictions as those of Sacco and
Vanzetti and of the current imprisonments of the Cuban Five.

Not to be outdone, the legislative branches of government are also
involved in conspiracies. Those payoffs, referred to benignly as political
contributions, are quids pro quo that provide ample funds to buy
re-elections in exchange for some special interests - interests that are
the antithesis of the public interest. How can the new democratic
majorities in both houses respond to the electorate's message and reverse
the disastrous pro-war policies of the Bush administration when they are
captives of the generous military-industrial-complex and Israeli lobby?
They can't! They will continue funding the war and enthusiastically
espouse the hawkish Israeli urge to expand the belligerency in the Middle
East. Another obvious example involves the Congress's regularly enacted
reforms of the health care industries - medical, hospital, pharmaceutical,
and insurance. Reforms that consistently fatten the industries and
consistently cripple the public. All are well aware that a single payer
plan for universal coverage - overwhelmingly supported by the public - is
the answer!

And then there's the private sector conspiring, conspiring, and
conspiring. The tobacco industry knew of the adverse health effects of
cigarettes - deaths, cancers, heart conditions, etc. - for many years.
Its executives consistently lied when confronted with evidence. But it was
good for the bottom line! GM, DuPont, and Standard Oil profited enormously
from a patented chemical compound, tetraethyl lead, an additive in
automobile fuel to prevent engine knocking - all the while knowing that
freely available non-patentable ethyl alcohol would suffice. The lead
compound was not only a health hazard but eroded the engines. But, again,
it was good for the bottom line! The pharmaceutical industry is not averse
to lying about the safety of its new products to gain FDA approval for its
sale. But, yes, it's good for the bottom line!

Conspiracies are ubiquitous - the listings above are just a tiny fraction
of those that emanate from governments and big business. Fallout from them
appears daily in every newspaper and news program. The current Iraq war
and a possible Iranian war are justified by phony news items concocted by
the administration's newly created Office of Special Plans that bypasses
and overrides the more trustworthy intelligent services. The news media
gobbles up all of those lies, embellishes them, and feeds them to the
public. Do all of those journalists believe the trash they spew out? I
doubt it. But they are well aware that their bosses - as towering figures
in the establishment that not only approves but guides the pro-war
policies of the US government - expect and approve such reporting; and
they are convinced that their readers and viewers are gullible so they run
no risk! And they are right!

Prior to exposure, government and business conspiracies are very
effectively covered up. How? By the major media and prominent elite voices
giving a positive spin to pertinent news items.

Never, never, never associate those actions with that horrid word

* Thwart investigations that would be warranted when suspicious evidence
eventually leaks out by vindicating the prominent and reputable
individuals who would be involved. Could anything so scandalous be
attributed to such high minded persons? Nonsense!

* Ignore potential whistleblowers so their testimonies are never heard.

* Promptly disparage influential individuals whose voices cannot be
silenced as "conspiracy theory nuts."

What is a conspiracy? A secret plan by two or more individuals to achieve
an illegal outcome. Many more individuals not parties to the plan become
aware of the illegal plot by being directly or tangentially involved in
its execution. By their silence, acquiescence, or active support they, in
reality, are culpable as well, to a lesser extent perhaps than the
plotters themselves. Those who disparage conspiracy theories defuse the
argument by asserting that major conspiracies would require loads of
people for their execution and it is highly unlikely that all could be
silenced. Eventual disclosure, often many long years later, proves that
argument to be false.

Daniel Ellsberg was one of those who through his tangential employment
learned of the criminal secrets of Johnson's war. Armed with the Pentagon
Papers, 7,000 pages (47 volumes) - an awful lot of people, scads of them,
must have written and edited them and learned those secrets as well - he
alone was determined to reveal the truth. First he brought them to such
antiwar legislators as Senators J. William Fulbright and George McGovern
and Representative Pete McCloskey, among others, and found that they would
not tackle this hot potato! He then permitted Neil Sheehan, a friend and
respected Vietnam reporter for The New York Times, to see them. With a
Times staff far different than today's yes-men; the country violently
opposed to war; and a president, Nixon, extremely antagonistic to the
press - The Times in particular - the paper published them. Before that
fateful step many people, some with sterling reputations, learned of the
perfidy yet kept silent for years.

The word conspiracy has recently developed vile connotations. It is
unmentionable in respectable circles, especially when important state or
business affairs are discussed. Irrational individuals hearing it uttered
will often conjure up weird and menacing hypotheses. It wasn't that way
before the Soviet Union expired. Back then, whenever the Un-American
Activities Committee, McCarthy, or the FBI was hunting subversive fifth
columnists, or the Defense Department or the CIA was responding to a
foreign emergency, the International Communist Conspiracy was invariably
blamed. That conspiracy was a legitimate conspiracy. It was not followed
by the word "theory." It was a fact, plain and simple. So how come there
are so many foreign emergencies and so much internal insecurity since it
has been gone?

A massive super deluxe example of a conspiracy that was known by many,
including some of our most upstanding names, ran for years and ripped off
the public for trillions, was none other than - fanfare please - Enron.
A company that grew to become the seventh largest in the U.S. It was
extolled as a model for a new way of conducting business as its operations
expanded throughout the world. When it imploded, conned investors were out
six-trillion bucks - you read it right, six followed by twelve zeros!
Those implicated not only included the company's auditors, lawyers, and
directors, but outside auditors, financial analysts, credit rating
agencies, banks, regulators, the media, Congress, and the White House.
Arthur Anderson, one of the top accounting firms, in a complete reversal
of its duties condoned the firm's frauds and was destroyed by the scandal.
Such reputable names as Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase were
implicated and paid heavily in court. "Kenny Boy" Lay, who had contributed
millions to the GOP candidates and the party and whose wise counsel
allowed him to influence the energy policies of the administration and
choose regulators, was suddenly dumped by the White House - Bush
insisting he was never close to Lay or Enron. Most impressive was the
energy crisis con job that cost California an estimated forty-five billion
dollars. Claims that the company was rigging the market were pooh-poohed
by the responsible experts - only conspiracy theory nuts would think of
such outrageous nonsense. Evidence subsequently uncovered showed that
Enron secretly shut down power plants and manipulated the market. The
administration should be credited with an assist for rejecting price caps
that could have halted the gouging.

As I ponder what I've written and think of all the past and ongoing
conspiracies I come to the conclusion that all fit conveniently into one
gigantic master conspiracy. In order to gain control of the entire world,
the big business elite and the US government are quite willing to
sacrifice the lives, the health, and the wealth of EVERYONE ELSE (and that
includes future generations)! Yes, I know what you're thinking, and I
plead guilty for being a Conspiracy Theory Nut!

--------20 of 20--------

Adjunct professors are educated hobos
by E,

[To] Joe [Bageant]:

Just finished reading your essay on academia vs. the working class ("A
Feral Dog Howls in Harvard Yard"). It reminds me of a business professor I
once knew who told me something along the lines of "my job is to keep the
little shits off the streets for four years in hopes that they grow up
enough so that by the time they get out they won't shit on the carpets and
chew on the drapes when they get hired."

I tended to hang around the offices of professors when I was in college. I
was an older student without much in common with the "little shits" in my
classes, and the professors were generally older, lonely, and happy to
have someone to talk to for a few minutes who wasn't utterly brain dead
like most of their students. I can't say that they educated me (I did that
myself), but they certainly had some good pointers on how to get a real
education. And the Internet has made that even easier.

The sad thing, though, is that so many of the academic twits today aren't
even "working class" slobs - they'd have to make a lot more money than
they're making to classify as "working class". Close to 60% of college
instructors today are "adjunct" faculty, with no benefits, no office on
campus, and an average wage of $15,000 per year, who roam the nation from
temporary job to temporary job like a herd of over-educated hobos living
out of the trunk of 15 year old shit cars that your average cracker living
in a trailer house in Bugfuck, Mississippi would nod wisely at the sight
of because he has one just like it. They delude themselves with the notion
that somewhere, somehow, they're going to land "the" tenure track position
that's going to put them into the gravy train with the "real" professors.
They put on airs of elitism, but what it really is, is desperation. If
only they can suck up enough, prostitute themselves enough, fuck the right
member of the departmental hiring committee, work at the right unpaid
post-graduate fellowship, then they'll get that tenure track position. And
the elite at those academic workhouses merely chuckle, knowing that as
long as they keep that raw hamburger meat of tenure dangling in front of
the starving dogs of itinerate adjuncts, said adjuncts will snarl and snap
at it forever without ever looking beyond at the puppeteers holding the

Shit, even that cracker in his trailer house isn't that stupid. He knows
he's going to be working cutting up chickens at the rendering plant for
the rest of his life (or until Tyson figures out how to import illegals to
work as slaves for nothing anyhow), or else sign up for the army and blow
shit up, but he sure the fuck knows he's not ever going to be one of the
paid prostitute class that serves our rulers directly. He's always going
to be at the bottom of the two-story outhouse getting shat upon from
upstairs. Crap, even I'm not that stupid. I know that a kid who grew up
poor in Bugfuck, Mississippi ain't ever going to be one of the elite that
rules our nation. I don't have the "social skills" for that (meaning, I
don't say "thank you sir, give me more please?" when my rulers shit on
me). I don't "talk right" (i.e., like I got a fucking ramrod stuck up my
ass at one of those all-male "boarding schools" that my elite bosses went
to), and I'm not pretty enough (meaning, no medical or dental care during
my childhood means that I don't look like some goddamned airbrushed model
in a fashion magazine).

If I was dumb enough to bring kids into this fucked up world that we've
made for ourselves, I have the money now and the knowledge of how this
shitty world really works behind the scenes to make sure he could make it
into the bottom ranks of the elite, but really, who the fuck cares anyhow?
We're all dead, in the end. So it goes.

Anyhow, just wanted to bring you up to date on how academia really works
nowadays. If you want to read some mordant commentary from one of that
breed of itinerant intelligentsia who's figured out his place in all this, might be a nice web site to look at. I don't go there too
often because his dark and cynical sense of humor hits home way too often,
but he's figured out the score just like the business professor in my
first paragraph (who was, however, a couple of generations older than this
relative youngster). Not that it makes a damned bit of difference in the
end. He serves our masters just as I do, in my own way (I secure their
computer networks so that the howling barbarians can't take their
ill-gotten gains away from them). So it goes in the United States of
Delusion, where we pretend we're free even though we know we aren't.



Dear E.

There is absolutely nothing I can and to add to your blunt eloquence. What
few young thinkers and progressive minds we have left in this tattered
empire must learn the same way the working class learns - by brutal life

In art and labor,
Joe [Bageant]


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