Progressive Calendar 02.14.13 /3
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2013 11:23:29 -0800 (PST)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   02.14.13
1. Freedom to marry rally 2.14 3pm
2. Money forum               2.14 7pm
3. RP2                            2.14 7pm
4. Midstream reading       2.14 7:30pm

5.  Chris Hedges - The NDAA and the death of the democratic state
6. ed                  - Our Love (poem)

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From: Richard Carlbom
Freedom to marry rally 2.14 3pm

Election Day 2012 is more than two months behind us, but I can still hardly
believe what we accomplished that day.

After more than 30 losses in other states, Minnesota became the first state
to say that we should not use our constitution to limit the freedom to
marry for same-sex couples. Combined with victories in Maine, Maryland and
Washington, our win clearly demonstrated that the tide is turning - and
that more and more people in Minnesota and across the country believe that
same-sex couples should no longer be excluded from marriage.

Going forward in 2013, I hope you'll join us for our first public event at
the Capitol:

Freedom to Marry Day
February 14, 3:00pm
State Capitol Rotunda

On Valentine's Day at 3:00pm, we will gather at the Minnesota State Capitol
in the Rotunda for the annual Freedom to Marry Day rally. This will be the
first time this year that supporters of the freedom to marry show up at the
State Capitol to show our legislators that it is time to change state law
to reflect our share belief that no one should be told that it is illegal
to marry the person they love.

For more information or to RSVP for the rally, please visit And stay tuned, because we'll
be announcing key speakers and exciting news in the coming days.

See you on February 14!

United, Richard Carlbom Campaign ManagerMinnesotans United

PS: On Friday, we asked folks to start to signing our petition urging
legislators to support the freedom to marry... and in less than 72 hours,
more than 11,000 people have signed it! If you haven't signed the petition,
now is your chance! Visit right now.

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Richard Kotlarz <richkotlarz [at]>
Money forum 2.14 7pm

Open Forum on Money:
Presented by - Institute for the Redemption of Money (IRM)
Under auspices of - Experimental Community Education (EXCO)

Macalester College (Old Main, Room 010)
1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN

Dates & Times: Every Thursday from January 31 through May 30, 2013
All (18) sessions will convene from 7:00 to 9:00 pm:

    February 14, 21, 28
    March 7, 14, 21, 28
    April 4, 11, 18, 25
    May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30


Richard Kotlarz:  Richard is a seeker after the truth about money and the
economic life, who has engaged in literally thousands of discussions on
money-related topics with people from all walks of life, across the U.S.,
and in Canada and Europe.  He is currently in the process of founding a
monetary institute (Institute for the Redemption of Money (IRM)) centered
in the Twin Cities.

Steven Gorg:  Steven is a professional environmental engineer who has come
to see that becoming truly conscious about money is the portal through
which a meaningful and effective ecological and social transformation can
be achieved.

Richard and Steven have discovered that, concerning money, there is a story
to be told and a vision to behold of which We the People are getting hardly
even an inkling through conventional media, academic orthodoxy, or popular

Facilitator Contact Information:
Richard Kotlarz – richkotlarz [at],  218-828-1366
Steve Gorg – stevegorg [at]

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From: Carole Rydberg
RP2  2.14 7pm

Dear friends of NW Neighbors for Peace,

I confess that when Roxanne Abbas suggested that we have a program on "R2P"
I had no idea what she was talking about!  In the past month, however,
there have been several commentary columns in the Star Tribune and at least
one letter to the editor on the subject.  Our March program, therefore, is
not only timely; R2P is HOT!

Following the genocide in Rwanda, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan asked the
question: When does the international community intervene for the sake of
protecting populations? In April 2006, the UN Security Council adopted
Resolution 1674 which "Reaffirm[ed] the provisions of paragraphs 138 and
139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility
to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and
crimes against humanity" and commits the Security Council to action to
protect civilians in armed conflict.

What do YOU believe is ... or was ...the proper role for the international
community in Libya, Mali ... Syria?

Our speaker, Bill Davnie has been before us previously and has always left
us wanting to hear more.  He is an independent international consultant and
a retired Foreign Service Officer.  If you have attended forums at
Westminster Church, you may have seen Bill leading the discussions
following those Forums. He will be speaking on, "Responsibility to Protect:
Weaponizing Compassion, Normalizing War" on Thursday March 14th at 7 PM. As
Bill pointed out in his Letter to the Editor ...  R2P has both good
intentions ... and unintended consequences. We hope you will come and
listen, learn and ask your questions.

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>From :ed
Midstream Reading 2.14 7:30pm

When: Thursday February 14 Valentines’ Day, 7:30–8:30pm.
Where: Blue Moon building,  corner of 39th and (3820) East Lake.  Upstairs.
 Entrance just west of the Blue Moon coffee house; up the stairs and to the
left. Not wheel-chair accessible. Plentiful street parking.
  Best to arrive 10-20 minutes early to get coffee and food/dessert from
the Blue Moon, and to be seated by 7:30 so we can begin on time. And, the
venue will easily hold about 30; after that, standing or floor-sitting room
only. The early bird gets the seat. Please occupy the up-front seats first.

Original poems and stories read/performed by their creators:
Scott Banas
Sharon Chmielarz
Roseann Lloyd
John Minczeski

Scott Banas is a local attorney and community activist who lives in the
Merriam Park neighborhood of Saint Paul.  Scott's poetry displays his
belief in the power of stories, particularly those of place and landscape,
marriage, raising children and saying goodbye.  Scott is often seen hanging
out with his friends at The Loft, and has contributed to the chapbooks The
Sun Shines, The Day is On (2010), The Inside of a Butternut Squash (2011)
and And the Humming: Poems about Grandparents (2012). [2013.03]

Sharon Chmielarz’s books of poetry include Calling (a finalist in the Next
Generation Indie Book Awards, 2011, The Sky Is Great The Sky Is Blue, The
Rhubarb King (Merit Award from the 2007 MIPA, The Other Mozart (made into a
two-part opera),  But I Won’t Go Out in a Boat, Different Arrangements, and
one chapbook, Stranger in Her House. Her work has been a finalist in the
National Poetry Series, and in ‘99, ‘01, ‘02, ’05, ’07, ’10 and ‘11
nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  It’s been featured on American Life in
Poetry (‘07) and individual poems translated into French and Polish. She’s
had poems published in magazines like The Notre Dame Review, The Iowa
Review, Prairie Schooner, The Hudson Review, The North American Review,
North Dakota Quarterly, Commonweal, Salmagundi, Margie,The Seneca Review,
Louisiana Literature, Ontario Review, CutBank.  She’s the recipient of the
2012 Jane Kenyon Award from Water~Stone Review.

Roseann Lloyd's latest book, the The Boy Who Slept Under Stars: A Memoir in
Poetry,  came out in September, 2012, from Holy Cow! Press.  She has
published three previous books of poetry and three books of nonfiction.
 The anthology she co-edited with Deborah Keenan, Looking for Home: Women
Writing About Exile, (Milkweed Editions, 1990) was awarded an American Book
Award in 1991.  For more information, please visit

John Minczeski's fifth poetry collection, "A Letter to Serafin," was
published by the University of Akron Press in 2009. He is the author of two
chapbooks and has edited several anthologies. His poems have appeared in
"Agni," "Quarterly West," "Mid-American Review," "Pleiades," "Cerise
Press," "Big City Lit," and elsewhere. Awards and fellowships include a
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Bush Artist Fellowship,
Loft-McKnight Award (for creative prose), Lin Grant, The 2000 Akron Award
for Poetry, and others. In addition to working for many years as a
poet-in-the-schools, Minczeski has taught at various colleges in the area,
including a stint as the Edelstein-Keller Distinguished Fellow at the U of
M in 2005

Before and after: The Blue Moon, downstairs, has coffee, sandwiches,
desserts. Merlin’s Rest, a bar/restaurant 3 blocks west, has a full bar,
good food, a late hours kitchen, some outside seating

For further information: David Shove shove001 [at]     651-636-5672

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Published on Monday, February 11, 2013 by
The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State
by Chris Hedges

On Wednesday a few hundred activists crowded into the courtroom of the
Second Circuit, the spillover room with its faulty audio feed and dearth of
chairs, and Foley Square outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in
Manhattan where many huddled in the cold. The fate of the nation, we
understood, could be decided by the three judges who will rule on our
lawsuit against

The section permits the military to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens,
who “substantially support”—an undefined legal term—al-Qaida, the Taliban
or “associated forces,” again a term that is legally undefined. Those
detained can be imprisoned indefinitely by the military and denied due
process until “the end of hostilities.” In an age of permanent war this is
probably a lifetime. Anyone detained under the NDAA can be sent, according
to Section (c)(4), to any “foreign country or entity.” This is, in essence,
extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to
ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.

Section 1021(b)(2) was declared invalid in September after our first trial,
in the Southern District Court of New York. The Obama administration
appealed the Southern District Court ruling. The appeal was heard Wednesday
in the Second Circuit Court with Judges Raymond J. Lohier, Lewis A. Kaplan
and Amalya L. Kearse presiding. The judges might not make a decision until
the spring when the Supreme Court rules in Clapper v. Amnesty International
USA, another case in which I am a plaintiff. The Supreme Court case
challenges the government’s use of electronic surveillance. If we are
successful in the Clapper case, it will strengthen all the plaintiffs’
standing in Hedges v. Obama. The Supreme Court, if it rules against the
government, will affirm that we as plaintiffs have a reasonable fear of
being detained.

If we lose in Hedges v. Obama—and it seems certain that no matter the
outcome of the appeal this case will reach the Supreme Court—electoral
politics and our rights as citizens will be as empty as those of Nero’s
Rome. If we lose, the power of the military to detain citizens, strip them
of due process and hold them indefinitely in military prisons will become a
terrifying reality. Democrat or Republican. Occupy activist or libertarian.
Socialist or tea party stalwart. It does not matter. This is not a partisan
fight. Once the state seizes this unchecked power, it will inevitably
create a secret, lawless world of indiscriminate violence, terror and
gulags. I lived under several military dictatorships during the two decades
I was a foreign correspondent. I know the beast.

“The stakes are very high,” said attorney Carl Mayer, who with attorney
Bruce Afran brought our case to trial, in addressing a Culture Project
audience in Manhattan on Wednesday after the hearing. “What our case comes
down to is: Are we going to have a civil justice system in the United
States or a military justice system? The civil justice system is something
that is ingrained in the Constitution. It was always very important in
combating tyranny and building a democratic society. What the NDAA is
trying to impose is a system of military justice that allows the military
to police the streets of America to detain U.S. citizens, to detain
residents in the United States in military prisons. Probably the most
frightening aspect of the NDAA is that it allows for detention until ‘the
end of hostilities.’ ” [To see videos of Mayer, Afran, Hedges and other
participating in the Culture Project panel discussion, click here.]

Five thousand years of human civilization has left behind innumerable ruins
to remind us that the grand structures and complex societies we build, and
foolishly venerate as immortal, crumble into dust. It is the descent that
matters now. If the corporate state is handed the tools, as under Section
1021(b)(2) of the NDAA, to use deadly force and military power to
criminalize dissent, then our decline will be one of repression, blood and
suffering. No one, not least our corporate overlords, believes that our
material conditions will improve with the impending collapse of
globalization, the steady deterioration of the global economy, the decline
of natural resources and the looming catastrophes of climate change.

But the global corporatists—who have created a new species of
totalitarianism—demand, during our decay, total power to extract the last
vestiges of profit from a degraded ecosystem and disempowered citizenry.
The looming dystopia is visible in the skies of blighted postindustrial
cities such as Flint, Mich., where drones circle like mechanical vultures.
And in an era where the executive branch can draw up secret kill lists that
include U.S. citizens, it would be naive to believe these domestic drones
will remain unarmed.

Robert M. Loeb, the lead attorney for the government in Wednesday’s
proceedings, took a tack very different from that of the government in the
Southern District Court of New York before Judge Katherine B. Forrest.
Forrest repeatedly asked the government attorneys if they could guarantee
that the other plaintiffs and I would not be subject to detention under
Section 1021(b)(2). The government attorneys in the first trial granted no
such immunity. The government also claimed in the first trial that under
the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act (AUMF), it already had the
power to detain U.S. citizens. Section 1021(b)(2), the attorneys said, did
not constitute a significant change in government power. Judge Forrest in
September rejected the government’s arguments and ruled Section 1021(b)(2)

The government, however, argued Wednesday that as “independent journalists”
we were exempt from the law and had no cause for concern. Loeb stated that
if journalists used journalism as a cover to aid the enemy, they would be
seized and treated as enemy combatants. But he assured the court that I
would be untouched by the new law as long as “Mr. Hedges did not start
driving black vans for people we don’t like.”

Loeb did not explain to the court who defines an “independent journalist.”
I have interviewed members of al-Qaida as well as 16 other individuals or
members of groups on the State Department’s terrorism list. When I convey
these viewpoints, deeply hostile to the United States, am I considered by
the government to be “independent”? Could I be seen by the security and
surveillance state, because I challenge the official narrative, as a
collaborator with the enemy? And although I do not drive black vans for
people Loeb does not like, I have spent days, part of the time in vehicles,
with armed units that are hostile to the United States. These include Hamas
in Gaza and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey.

I traveled frequently with armed members of the Farabundo Marti National
Liberation Front in El Salvador and the Sandinista army in Nicaragua during
the five years I spent in Central America. Senior officials in the Reagan
administration regularly denounced many of us in the press as fifth
columnists and collaborators with terrorists. These officials did not view
us as “independent.” They viewed us as propagandists for the enemy. Section
1021(b)(2) turns this linguistic condemnation into legal condemnation.

Alexa O’Brien, another plaintiff and a co-founder of the US Day of Rage,
learned after WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private
security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, that Stratfor
operatives were trying to link her and her organization to Islamic
radicals, including al-Qaida, and sympathetic websites as well as jihadist
ideology. If that link were made, she and those in her organization would
not be immune from detention.

Afran said at the Culture Project discussion that he once gave a donation
at a fundraising dinner to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish
Catholic organization. A few months later, to his surprise, he received a
note of thanks from Sinn Féin. “I didn’t expect to be giving money to a
group that maintains a paramilitary terrorist organization, as some people
say,” Afran said. “This is the danger. You can easily find yourself in a
setting that the government deems worthy of incarceration. This is why
people cease to speak out."

The government attempted in court last week to smear Sami Al-Hajj, a
journalist for the Al-Jazeera news network who was picked up by the U.S.
military and imprisoned for nearly seven years in Guantanamo. This, for me,
was one of the most chilling moments in the hearing.

“Just calling yourself a journalist doesn’t make you a journalist, like
Al-Hajj,” Loeb told the court. “He used journalism as a cover. He was a
member of al-Qaida and provided Stinger missiles to al-Qaida.”

Al-Hajj, despite Loeb’s assertions, was never charged with any crimes. And
the slander by Loeb only highlighted the potential for misuse of this
provision of the NDAA if it is not struck down.

The second central argument by the government was even more specious. Loeb
claimed that Subsection 1021(e) of the NDAA exempts citizens from
detention. Section 1021(e) states: “Nothing in this section shall be
construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention
of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or
any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

Afran countered Loeb by saying that Subsection 1021(e) illustrated that the
NDAA assumed that U.S. citizens would be detained by the military,
overturning two centuries of domestic law that forbids the military to
carry out domestic policing. And military detention of citizens, Afran
noted, is not permitted under the Constitution.

Afran quoted the NDAA bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,
who said on the floor of the Senate: “In the case where somebody is worried
about being picked up by a rogue executive branch because they went to the
wrong political rally, they don’t have to worry very long, because our
federal courts have the right and the obligation to make sure the
government proves their case that you are a member of al-Qaida and didn’t
[just] go to a political rally.”

Afran told the court that Graham’s statement implicitly acknowledged that
U.S. citizens could be detained by the military under 1021(b)(2). “There is
no reason for the sponsor to make that statement if he does not realize
that the statute causes that chilling fear,” Afran told the judges.

After the hearing Afran explained: “If the senator who sponsored and
managed the bill believed people would be afraid of the law, then the
plaintiffs obviously have a reasonably objective basis to fear the statute.”

In speaking to the court Afran said of 1021(e): “It says it is applied to
people in the United States. It presumes that they are going to be detained
under some law. The only law we know of is this law. What other laws,
before this one, allowed the military to detain people in this country?”

This was a question Judge Lohier, at Afran’s urging, asked Loeb during the
argument. Loeb concurred that the NDAA was the only law he knew of that
permitted the military to detain and hold U.S. citizens.

© 2013
 Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.

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Our Love

Our love is one two unbuckle my shoe
Our love is thee four for god’s sake shut the door
Our love is five six pick up sticks and tricks
Our love is seven eight lay us straight
Our love is nine ten do it again.



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