|Progressive Calendar 04.23.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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 --------1 of 20-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> 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] hotmail.com> 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] stcloudstate.edu or 320-309-6721. Pax Christi also has event in the evening; details from Merle Nolde MNolde [at] scbsju.edu or 320-363-5011. --------3 of 20-------- From: "[ISO-8859-1] Renée Lepreau" <renee.lepreau [at] gmail.com> 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] yahoo.com --------4 of 20-------- From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com> 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] camgordon.org http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/council/ward2/ http://secondward.blogspot.com/ --------5 of 20-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> 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 pass. 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 MONDAY, April 23, PREMACK 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] tc.umn.edu>, wamm [at] mtn.org, 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] riseup.net> 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] uhcan-mn.org> 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] uhcan-mn.org www.uhcan-mn.org --------9 of 20-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> 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] unamn.org> 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 www.micglobe.org 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] citizensleague.org> 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 www.citizensleague.org/actiongroups or contact Annie Levenson-Falk at 651-293-0575 x16 or alevensonfalk [at] citizensleague.org. Annie Levenson-Falk Membership and Policy Assistant 651.293.0575 x16 555 North Wabasha Street, Suite 240 St. Paul, MN 55102 www.citizensleague.org --------12 of 20-------- From: patty <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> 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 Crossroads. Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) 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] coact.org> Subject: Single-payer 4.24 6:30pm SINGLE-PAYER IS FOCUS OF MINNEAPOLIS FORUM ON HEALTH CARE 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 . 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.  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] tc.umn.edu> 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] umn.edu --------15 of 20-------- From: Joseph Callahan <joeandcaroline [at] msn.com> 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] mtholyoke.edu 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 (www.nisgua.org for more information) TUE. APRIL 24, 7 PM JACK PINE COMMUNITY CENTER 2815 E LAKE STREET, MPLS MN Kid friendly! We'll have someone available to hang out with your kids. --------17 of 20-------- Racism, Wealth and IQ The Heart of Whiteness By MANUEL GARCIA, Jr. CounterPunch 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 Crusade. 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. Note  http://www.forward.com/articles/bell-curve-scribe-mulls-roots-of-jews-br/ Manuel Garcia, Jr. is a physicist, a native of New York, and perhaps a Tralfamadorian. E-mail received at mango [at] idiom.com. --------18 of 20-------- The Meaning of Marxism Explaining the Spectre By RON JACOBS CounterPunch 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] charter.net --------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 war); 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 conspiracy. * 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 strings. 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, dark-wraith.com 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. E -- 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 experience. In art and labor, Joe [Bageant] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.