Progressive Calendar 05.09.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 04:54:05 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    05.09.08

1. Amy Goodman     5.09 11am
2. Dakota/land     5.09 4pm
3. Env justice     5.09 5pm
4. Trans/gender    5.09/10 6pm
5. CIW/fair food   5.09 8pm
6. Moyers/health   5.09 9pm

7. Kid lit/peace   5.10 10am
8. MomsDay convo   5.10 10am
9. NWN4P Mtka      5.10 11am
10. EXCO picnic    5.10 1pm
11. Ntown vigil    5.10 2pm
12. Kalpulli cncrt 5.10 4pm
13. Bitch mag      5.10 4pm
14. CIW/bands      5.10 9pm
15. Cuba/CIA/CTV   5.10 9pm

16. Tom Burghardt - Dems prepare sell-out on telecom immunity, spying
17. Sharon Smith  - The self-righteous rich / Rockefeller family fables

--------1 of 17--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Amy Goodman 5.09 11am

Fri.May 9, 11am : AMY GOODMAN on KFAI Radio

If you missed the recent Twin Cities talk by DEMOCRACUY NOW! hot AMY
GOODMAN, here's a second chance. Speaking about the "ordinary extraodinary
heroes" in her newest book "Stop The Madness!", co-auhtored with her
brother, DAVID GOODMAN and, corporate media and more.

Amy Goodman's talk is brought to you by DON OLSON, host of NORTHERN SUN
NEWS, Fridays. 11am. *To access this in the on-line archive, the first
half will be at CATALYST;the second half on NORTHERN SUN NEWS.

This is a special edition of KFAI's HOUR OF PEOPLE POWER--broadcast every
FRIDAY 11am to NOON, with CATALYST (11am) hosted by Lydia Howell and
NORTHERN SUN NEWS (11:30am) hosted by Don Olson. KFAI RADIO 90.1fm Mpls
106.7 fm St. Paul

All shows achved for 2 weeks after broadcsat at htpp://

--------2 of 17--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Dakota/land 5.09 4pm

Minnesota Sesquicenntenial: "150 Years of Lies"

The local Dakota community is asking for allies to support their voice,
raised as a counter-narrative to the official "celebration" of 150 years
of Minnesota statehood. This is an opportunity to stand up and listen to
voices who have been historically silenced. An opportunity for radical
witness to a narrative of genocide, broken treaties, and stolen land.
Today, the Dakota community has less than 3,000 members but is strong in
voice. There are many opportunities to attend to the master narrative, but
few to hear the voice of those who have been historically marginalized.
FFI: Call Diane, 651-983-6363 or email <hecetu1 [at]>.

Friday, May 9, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Walkways of the Mendota Bridge, Highway
55 Over the Minnesota River. Truth Telling Protest.

Sunday, May 11, 9:00 a.m. Tipi Wakan, Mounds Park, Earl Street and Mounds
Boulevard, St. Paul. Walk (or run) to the Minnesota State Capitol for a
rally at Noon to coincide with the colonial festivities on the actual day
of their sesquicentennial.

--------3 of 17--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Env justice 5.09 5pm

May 9: Women's Environmental Institute. Phillips Community Environmental
Justice Forum And Feast. Free and open to the public.

Speakers and a panel discussion will address the following questions: What
is environmental justice?, What do we know about air quality in and around
the Phillips community?, What do we know about environmental health issues
in our community?, What can our community do to make our environment
safer, cut costs, create "green" jobs for residents, and address
environmental justice issues? Food, music and networking.

5 PM at Plaza Verde, Minneapolis.

--------4 of 17--------

Max Gries <mgries [at]>
Subject: Trans/gender 5.09/10 6pm

Announcing Minnesota's second annual
Trans Community Health and Wellness Fair
Presented by the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition
May 9th & 10th, 2008

Featuring Keynote Speaker Surgeon Marci Bowers, MD of Trinidad, Colorado
With additional special guest Surgeon Loren Schechter, MD of Morton Grove,
An event for trans and gender variant people, partners, family, allies,
health care providers, and the general community

South High School 3131 19th Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55407
Free parking lot, wheelchair accessible
Near bus lines 19 & 21 or Lake Street light rail station
This event is free and everyone is welcome!

Visit our website at to pre-register and/or
fill out a workshop proposal form. If you have questions, or if you're
interested in volunteering or hosting an information table, please contact
us at 612-823-1152 or email us at mntranshealth [at]


Friday, May 9, 6-9 pm:
Dinner followed by Keynote Speech by Marci Bowers, MD

Saturday, May 10, 9 am-6 pm:
Health Fair Screenings and Information Tables,
Workshops, Chair Massage and more

Also Saturday, surgeons Marci Bowers, MD and Loren Schechter, MD will each
lead a workshop about their surgery practice, and will be on hand to
discuss surgical options with individuals.

Many thanks to All Gender Health at the University of Minnesota for
co-sponsoring the Twin Cities visits of Dr. Bowers and Dr. Schechter.

Friday dinner, Saturday continental breakfast and lunch will be provided
(meat, vegetarian, and vegan options available)

Supervised children's activities will be available this year, both Friday
and Saturday!

No-scent policy: Please refrain from wearing scented products so that
everyone, including those with allergies and Multiple Chemical
Sensitivities, can participate safely.

--------5 of 17--------

From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at]>
Subject: CIW/fair food 5.09 8pm

Gerardo Reyes Chavez, farmworker and member of the Coalition of Immokalee
Workers (CIW), is flying up to the Twin Cities for the Breaking the
Chains: Concert for Fair Food this Saturday, May 10 at the Triple Rock
Social Club (629 Cedar Ave., Mpls) - see below for more details.

For those who are interested, we are going to hold a more informal
gathering on Friday, May 9 starting at 8pm at the Greenhouse (2915 James
Ave. S.), including an overview of the organizing efforts of the CIW and a
report-back from the Twin Cities delegation to Burger King Headquarters in
Miami on April 28.  If you have any questions, contact Brian Payne at
612-859-5750 or brianpayneyvp [at]

--------6 of 17--------

From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at]>
Subject: Moyers/health 5.09 9pm

Bill Moyers Journal | Health Care
Bill Moyers Journal profiles the fight the California Nurses Association
(CNA) has been waging over universal health care. "There shouldn't be a
double standard," says Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of CNA. "We, as
the public, pay for Dick Cheney's care ... why is the government not
providing the same type of care to all Americans?"

--------7 of 17--------

From: Doris Marquit <marqu001 [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: Kid lit/peace 5.10 10am

Our hope lies in the future!
WILPF May 10 discussion of books for young readers
Saturday, May 10, 10am-12noon

"Picture Books Inviting Compassionate, Creative Responses to Human Needs"
Jo Montie reviews prize-winning juvenile literature. Engaging new formats
present stories and images embodying the values of peace, community, and
social justice. Here are books to carry forward our struggles.

Van Cleve Community Center
901 15th Ave. SE, Mpls
FFI: 612-922-7993;  <>

--------8 of 17--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: MomsDayConvo 5.10 10am

Mother's Day Convocation for a More Peaceful World: Congressman Keith
Ellison, Iraqi-American Sami Rasouli and Reverend Victoria Safford
Saturday, May 10, 10:00 a.m. White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church,
34328 Maple Street, Mahtomedi.

"Mother's Day began after the Civil War. It was proclaimed to acknowledge
the terrible price, in the hope that future generations would not have to
pay so dearly again. Today, as dollars for defense skyrocket, we can't
help feeling disappointed at the violence rocking Iraq. We are concerned
about the effects of multiple tours on our military, even those that come
home safe and sound. Nor is 'over there' the only place to see the
escalating costs of violence. The World Health Organization estimates the
costs of interpersonal violence in the United States at over $300 billion
per year. School shootings threaten our children's sense of well being,
yet programs to prevent school violence were cut by 30% between 2001 and
2007." Presentations by Congressman Keith Ellison, Iraqi-American Sami
Rasouli and Reverend Victoria Safford of White Bear Unitarian Universalist
Church. Free and open to the public. FFI: Call Do Peace Minnesota, 651-426
-9940 or Mary Jane LaVigne, 651-426-8616.

--------9 of 17--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at]>
Subject: NWN4P Mtka 5.10 11am

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

--------10 of 17--------

From: excotc <excotc [at]>
Subject: EXCO picnic 5.10 1pm

EXCO End of the Year Picnic...You're Invited. [EXCO free university]
May 10th from 1-3pm. Hamline Park, Snelling and Thomas in St. Paul (on
Snelling 4 blocks north of University). Bring a dish to share, if you can,
and anything else you'd like to help create a festive May mood! Everyone
is welcome.

--------11 of 17--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 5.10 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------12 of 17--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Kalpulli concert 5.10 4pm

Kalpulli Turtle Island Multiversity Concert  _Home_ (
Saturday, May 10
Crosby Farms Park - St. Paul
Crosby  Regional Park
Across from Pike Island on the bank of the Mississippi

Concert participants include Matt Kitchen on the guitar, Leonard King
playing/singing jazz, Native American Drum Group and part of the Hamline
University Women's Choir led by Aubry Henry and more being planned

$5.00 per person charge will go towards ecological restoration work and
will buy seeds for community gardening on private and public land

FFI contact Ray Tricomo, Founder and director of Kalpulli Turtle Island
Multiversity, 651-714-0228

--------13 of 17--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Bitch mag 5.10 4pm

Saturday, May 10, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Debbie Rasmussen, Publisher of/ Bitch/ magazine
Feminism In/Action: What is your feminism for and why does it matter?
Amazon Bookstore Cooperative 4755 Chicago Ave. S Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-821-9630 contact:  Barb Wieser at

Please join/ Bitch/ publisher Debbie Rasmussen for a participatory
discussion about how-and whether-feminism can become a transformative
movement for social change.  Some of the questions she would like to
explore in the discussion:  How can we drive attention to the power,
privilege, and marginalization that continue to play out in feminist
communities?  How can we create an independent feminist media?  Can the
idea of "feminism" shift to foreground an uncompromising, transformative
commitment to systemic social change?

--------14 of 17--------

From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at]>
Subject: CIW/bands 5.10 9pm

The Twin Cities CIW Solidarity Committee Present:

The Twin Cities CIW Solidarity Committee is standing together with the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in the fight against injustice in
Florida's fields. We are a community based group organizing our part
of the country for change.  Join us in our Breaking the Chains,
Concert for Fair Food to help end exploitation of farmworkers by fast
food giants such as Burger King.

Saturday, May 10, doors open at 9pm, $8 at the door
Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis

BANDS INCLUDE: Soulacious, Nancy Drew Crew, Single Speed, Guerrilla Blue
and spoken word by Las Palabristas.

Special appearance by: GERARDO REYES CHAVEZ, farmworker and member of the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers, who is flying to the Twin Cities to speak
about working conditions in the fields of Florida, and about how the CIW
took on fast food giants Taco Bell and McDonald's and won.

--------15 of 17--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Cuba/CIA/CTV 5.10 9pm

Most gracious Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!.  Households with basic cable may

Sat, 5/10, 9pm and Tues, 5/13, 8am "One Man's Story: Philip Agee, Cuba and
the CIA" Short documentary film about CIA acts in Latin America,
particularly Cuba, with commentary by August Nimtz, U of M professor and
co-coordinator of the MN Cuba Committee. Hosted by Karen Redleaf. (repeat)

--------16 of 17--------

Democrats Prepare Sell-Out on Telecom Immunity: House Leaders to Give
White House a Blank Check to Spy on Americans
by Tom Burghardt / May 6th, 2008
Dissident Voice

[Hi there, lesser-evil voters: here's what you're voting for. Make you
feel proud, worthy, virtuous? Hardly. How much lesser is the evil? If it's
just a teeny teeny tiny bit less, does that justify giving it your time
and permission and moral authority? Well, gosh, you might say, what else
do the Big Boys allow you do? Free to do what they want you to do. Land of
the free to do as you're told. Or else. -ed]

As revelations of the Bush administration's illegal surveillance programs
continue to expose the criminal nature of the regime in Washington, new
reports suggest that House Democrats are preparing to capitulate to the
White House on warrantless wiretapping and amnesty for lawbreaking

When the Orwellian "Protect America Act" expired in February, Republicans
and right-wing Democrats argued that unless the state's covert alliance
with giant telecommunications companies were not shielded from
congressional oversight or public scrutiny, "Americans would die".
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Mike McConnell made this threat
explicit last August when he told the El Paso Times:

Now part of this is a classified world. The fact we're doing it this way
means that some Americans are going to die, because we do this mission
unknown to the bad guys because they're using a process that we can
exploit and the more we talk about it, the more they will go with an
alternative means and when they go to an alternative means, remember what
I said. (Chris Roberts, "Transcript: Debate on the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act," El Paso Times, August 22, 2007)

But as Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy
for the Federation of American Scientists told The New York Times, "If
we're to believe that Americans will die from discussing these things,
then he is complicit in that. It's an unseemly argument. He's basically
saying that democracy is going to kill Americans".

But with "Blue Dog" Democrats on-board with the Bush administration, it's
more a case of Americans killing (their own) democracy.

As Salon's Glenn Greenwald reports,

Numerous reports - both public and otherwise - suggest that [Steny] Hoyer
is negotiating with Jay Rockefeller to write a new FISA bill that would be
agreeable to the White House and the Senate. Their strategy is to craft a
bill that they can pretend is something short of amnesty for telecoms but
which, in every meaningful respect, ensures an end to the telecom
lawsuits. It goes without saying that no "compromise" will be acceptable
to Rockefeller or the White House unless there is a guaranteed end to
those lawsuits, i.e., unless the bill grants amnesty to lawbreaking
telecoms. (Glenn Greenwald, "What backroom conniving Are Steny Hoyer and
the Chris Carney Blue Dogs up to on FISA?," Salon, May 2, 2008)

According to Alexander Bolton's article in The Hill, right-wing and
freshman congressional Democrats "are growing skittish," and that House
Speaker Nancy "impeachment is off the table" Pelosi (D-CA), "has stepped
back from the FISA talks and let Hoyer spearhead House talks with the
Senate and executive branch". Translation: give the White House what it

And what the White House wants is the ability - and legal cover - to spy
at will.

As AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein revealed in 2006, NSA gained access to
"massive amounts" of internet data after the company allowed the spy
agency to hook into its network in San Francisco and other cities. The
retired technician described how the NSA created a system that vacuumed up
internet and phone-call data with AT&T executives as the agency's willing

Despite administration claims that its so-called "Terrorist Surveillance
Program" is aimed solely at overseas terrorists, Klein demonstrated that a
vast proportion of the data swept up by AT&T and forwarded to NSA was
purely domestic. Klein told The Washington Post,

[T]he NSA built a special room to receive data streamed through an AT&T
Internet room containing "peering links," or major connections to other
telecom providers. The largest of the links delivered 2.5 gigabits of data
- the equivalent of one-quarter of the Encyclopedia Britannica's text -
per second, said Klein, whose documents and eyewitness account form the
basis of one of the first lawsuits filed against the telecom giants after
the government's warrantless-surveillance program was reported in the New
York Times in December 2005. (Ellen Nakashima, "A Story of Surveillance:
Former Technician 'Turning In' AT&T Over NSA Program," The Washington
Post, November 7, 2007, Page D01)

Klein's story of flagrant lawlessness by the Bush regime and the telecoms
was seconded by Babak Pasdar, a security consultant and CEO of Bat Blue
Corporation, who provided a signed affidavit to the Government
Accountability Project describing the FBI's "Quantico circuit".

Last month The Washington Post reported that FBI investigators "with the
click of a mouse" have the ability to "instantly" transfer data along a
computer circuit "to an FBI technology office in Quantico". Verizon is the
company named by the Post in its report as having provided "unfettered
access" to its data stream, a charge denied by the company.

Despite these revelations, the Bush administration continues to illegally
target the American people. As Ryan Singel reported last week,

2007 might have been a rough year for U.S. home prices, but growth in
government wiretaps remained healthy, with the eavesdropping sector
posting a 14% increase in court orders compared to 2006. In 2007, judges
approved 4,578 state and federal wiretaps, as compared to 4,015 in 2006,
according to two new reports on criminal and intelligence wiretaps".

It's unclear how many people these orders applied to since they can name
more than one target, and in January 2007, the Bush Administration began
getting so-called basket warrants from the secret court, in order to
reduce the political heat over its warrantless wiretapping program.

Those orders, which the administration described as "innovative," likely
covered many individuals or entire geographic regions and required
periodic re-authorization from the court. Sometime in spring 2007, one
judge on the court ruled that the orders were unconstitutional, prompting
a summer fear-mongering campaign to get Congress to expand the
government's warrantless wiretapping powers. (Ryan Singel, "Court-Approved
Wiretapping Rose 14% in '07," Wired, May 1, 2008)

We don't know, and the administration won't say, how many Americans have
been swept up by so-called "basket warrants".

None of this however, troubles congressional Democrats. As the
administration continues to eviscerate the Constitution, it should be
clear that like the Republicans, the Democratic party completely accepts
the overall framework of Bushist "national security" and the specious
argument that it is waging a global "war on terrorism".

Since taking control of both house of Congress in 2006, the Democrats -
like their Republican "adversaries" - have refused to hold hearings on
domestic spying nor have they sought to expose the scope of the illegal
NSA program. Lost in the shuffle, are the obvious - and growing - dangers
posed by these intrusive programs.

In a time of systemic crisis for the capitalist system as a whole, the
massive intelligence being gathered by the Bush regime, and by future
administrations - Democratic or Republican, take your pick - will be
deployed as tools for wholesale repression under conditions of growing
class polarization, economic crisis and mass opposition to war.

Telecom immunity? "There's nothing to see here, move along".

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay
Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage
and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military
"Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.

This article was posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 at 9:05 am and is filed
under Civil Liberties, Democrats, Espionage, Legal/Constitutional,

[The huge number of lesser-evil voters, sure in their timorous hearts that
they're doing the best the ruling class will let them, are the last bloc
required for the ruling class to end democracy in America. -ed]

--------17 of 17--------

[Most of the world's ills are caused by parasites - rich human ones -ed]

The Self-Righteous Rich
Rockefeller Family Fables
May 8, 2008

On April 30th, reporters flocked to the penthouse suite of a Midtown
Manhattan hotel where fifteen representatives of the Rockefeller dynasty
were holding court. There, the Rockefellers chastised oil giant
Exxon-Mobil for failing to invest in "alternative energy" sources,
invoking their own moral authority as Exxon-Mobil's longest standing

Family spokesperson Neva Rockefeller Goodwin sanctimoniously recalled the
memory of her great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard
Oil and originator of the family fortune. "Kerosene was the alternative
energy of its day when he realized it could replace whale oil," she
argued. "Part of John D. Rockefeller's genius was in recognizing early the
need and opportunity for a transition to a better, cheaper and cleaner

But the indignation of today's generation of Rockefellers - who inherited
their own exorbitant wealth from Standard Oil, Exxon-Mobil's parent
corporation - is aimed more at ensuring the continued financial health of
the family's trust funds than concern for the future of the world's
population. As Peter O'Neill, great-great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller,
commented at the press conference, "I have a world of respect for what the
company has done well. In fact, if the next 20 years of the energy
business were just going to be about oil and gas, we probably wouldn't be
here today".

Nevertheless, the corporate media obediently described the Rockefellers as
concerned environmentalists. The New York Times ran the headline, "Can
Rockefeller Heirs Turn Exxon Greener?" News outlets quoted freely from the
Rockefellers' press release, which described John D. Rockefeller as "one
of the first major philanthropists in the U.S. and the World" and the
family's Rockefeller Foundation's mission as "promot[ing] the well-being
of mankind throughout the world".

The family fable concocted above warrants a rebuttal. Standard Oil was the
world's first oil monopoly, and Rockefeller's greed was insatiable.
Indeed, the Rockefeller family legacy is deeply entangled with the U.S.'
current reliance on oil - and automobiles. Moreover, the family's
"philanthropic" pursuits include a peculiar preoccupation with lowering
the birth rates of the world's black and brown populations throughout the
twentieth century - highlighting the absurdity of their claim to be
promoting the well being of humankind. Mainstream journalists could easily
uncover these unsavory aspects of the family history but instead report
the Rockefellers' self-sanitized version, with all its glaring omissions.

* * *
Indeed, the family's selective memory of its patriarch, John D.
Rockefeller, as a saintly philanthropist stands in sharp contrast to his
role as a nineteenth-century robber baron. "God gave me my money," he
said. "Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my
duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for
the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience".

Rockefeller's conscience apparently did not dictate paying his employees
more than a starvation wage. His admirers praise him for making gasoline
affordable to average Americans, and he did indeed aim to produce large
amounts of "cheap and good" gasoline for mass consumption, successfully
lowering the price of gas from 58 cents to 8 cents a gallon. But he
achieved this goal through ruthless union busting, hiring his own private
militias to crush workers who dared to go on strike to demand higher

The private armies of the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel & Iron
Rockefeller was a cutthroat capitalist who built his oil monopoly in the
decades after the Civil War using methods more in keeping with the
bribery, blackmail and back stabbing of a mafia family than an honest
entrepreneur. As he once proclaimed, "I would rather earn 1 percent off a
[sic] 100 people's efforts than 100 percent of my own efforts". This credo
made him the richest man in the world.

As he quietly bought up his smaller oil competitors with these methods,
Rockefeller entered into secret - and illegal - agreements with railroad
magnates that gave discounts as off-the books-rebates to his growing oil
monopoly, easily driving smaller refiners out of business. By 1879,
Standard Oil controlled 90 percent of the oil refining business in the
U.S.  When the Supreme Court finally forced Rockefeller to formally
disband Standard Oil as a monopoly trust in 1911, the damage was done.
Indeed, the breakup doubled the value of his stock and gave birth to oil
conglomerates Esso and Mobil (now Exxon-Mobil), Arco and Amoco (now BP),
Pennzoil (now Shell), Chevron and Conoco. Rockefeller spent his remaining
decades playing golf.

* * *
John D. Rockefeller's descendents have happily carried on in the robber
baron's tradition, alongside a public relations machine that routinely
airbrushes the family history.  These heirs have never needed to work a
day in their lives to afford the best of everything money could buy. The
Rockefeller name ensures each generation a ten-figure trust fund and a
guaranteed spot at an elite university, enabled by the Rockefeller
family's generous donations. The many chapels, libraries, museums and
other buildings bearing the Rockefeller name on private campuses across
the U.S. bear testament to the family's self-serving approach to gift
giving. Most recently, David M. Rockefeller, Sr., former chairman,
president and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank, and former chairman of the
board of the Rockefeller Group, donated a record $100 million to Harvard
University, citing his fond memories as part of the class of '36.

By design, the Rockefellers have received no blame for their pivotal role
in destroying the vast trolley car system that dominated U.S. cities
before the 1940s, thereby increasing city dwellers. dependency on
automobiles and gas-fueled bus lines. Yet the Rockefellers' Standard Oil
of California joined General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of
California and Phillips Petroleum to form the National City Lines holding
company, which bought out and dismantled more than 100 trolley systems in
45 cities (including New York, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, St.
Louis, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Minneapolis and Los Angeles) between 1936
and 1950.

In 1949, these corporate defendants were acquitted of conspiring to
monopolize transportation services. Indeed, the corporations behind
National City Lines were each fined just $5,000 - while each of their
directors paid a mere $1 fine - a small price to pay for the windfall in
profits they all enjoyed in the decades that followed. Congress offered up
tax dollars to build the enormous highway infrastructure that encouraged
automobile travel in the 1950s, while federal investment in mass transit
and train systems languished.  As Noam Chomsky noted, "By the mid-1960s,
one out of six business enterprises was directly dependent on the motor
vehicle industry".

* * *
No Rockefeller family history would be complete without highlighting their
central role in shaping twentieth century population control policy, aimed
explicitly at curbing birth rates among the non-Caucasian poor. Beginning
in 1910, Rockefeller money flowed into organizations such as the Race
Betterment Foundation and the Eugenics Section of the American Breeders
Association, which spearheaded the eugenics movement - the "science" of
"improving heredity". These organizations, also funded by the upstanding
Carnegie, Harriman and Kellogg families, sponsored academics claiming that
those at the top of the social ladder had proven their racial superiority,
while those at the bottom were biologically incapable of success. The
eugenics movement encouraged the "superior" races to marry each other and
have lots of children, while promoting forced sterilization, racial
segregation and deportation of immigrants of those deemed "unfit" to

The "superior" races so admired by the eugenics movement were "Nordic,"
with blond hair and blue eyes, and the movement soon gained an admirer in
Adolph Hitler. In 1924's "Mein Kampf," Hitler noted, "There is today one
state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception (of
immigration) are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German
Republic, but the United States." By the 1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation
was already providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund eugenics
research in Germany; in 1929 alone, $317,000 of Rockefeller money went to
the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research, according to Edwin Black,
writing in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003. Although the Rockefellers
had withdrawn all funding to German research by the onset of the Second
World War in 1939, Black argued, "[B]y that time, the die had been cast.
The talented men Rockefeller and Carnegie financed, the great institutions
they helped found, and the science they helped create took on a scientific
momentum of their own".

By the 1930s, the wheels for forced sterilization were also in motion
inside the U.S. Laws were enacted in 27 states in 1932, calling for
compulsory sterilization of the "feeble-minded, insane, criminal, and
physically defective". In 1939, the Birth Control Federation of America,
as historian Dorothy E. Roberts described, "planned a 'Negro Project'
designed to limit reproduction by blacks 'who still breed carelessly and
disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more
than among whites, is from that portion of the population least
intelligent and fit, and least able to rear children properly'".  In 1974,
an Alabama court found that between 100,000 and 150,000 poor black
teenagers had been sterilized in that state alone.

After World War Two, population control agencies set their sights
overseas. In the 1960s, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation,
heavily funded by the Rockefellers alongside the U.S. government, played a
key role in a coercive sterilization programs targeting Third World
populations. By 1968, one-third of women of childbearing age in Puerto
Rico - still a U.S. colony - had been permanently sterilized, often
without their knowledge or consent. Rockefeller-funded programs sterilized
40,000 women in Colombia between 1963 and 1965, according to feminist
author Bonnie Mass. These are just two examples among many.

The self-righteous claims of the current generation of Rockefellers must
be viewed in this context. They have kept silent since the 1989
Exxon-Valdez Alaskan oil spill, even as Exxon-Mobil has refused to pay
court-ordered compensation to the nearly 33,000 Alaskans who won a lawsuit
against Exxon in 1994 for the company's "reckless" behavior. Nor have they
uttered a word of protest following news that growing numbers of employed
workers across the U.S. are lining up at food pantries due to the
skyrocketing price of food and gasoline. As Bill Bolling, founder of the
Atlanta Community Food Bank, told CNN, "People are giving up buying
groceries so that they can pay rent and put gas in the car."

Today's Rockefellers praise Exxon-Mobil for its current status as the most
profitable corporation in U.S. history, having raked in a record $40.6
billion in profits in 2007.  They are merely watching out for their own
parasitical futures.

Sharon Smith is the author of Women and Socialism and Subterranean Fire: a
History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States. She can be
reached at: sharon [at]

[The rich pay a ton of money to propagandists to get us to admire the
rich. They steal a billion from us, then pay professional liars a million
to get us to like it. What a sweet scam! -ed]


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