Progressive Calendar 02.13.14
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:26:25 -0800 (PST)

1. Midstream reading - 2.13  6:50pm  with music

2. Zeese & Flowers - People powered media mobilizes masses; mass
                               media remains silent

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Midstream Reading Series
When: Thursday February 13, music 6:50-7:20. Poetry 7:30-8:30pm. Doors open
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. Celebrating
  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.

Special Valentine's Prelude: 6:50-7:20 Music made by poet Richard Terrill
(sax) and John Kolstad (guitar). Doors open at 6:45. Tunes like I can't
give you anything but love, In a sentimental mood, Autumn leaves, Blue
Monk, blues in C, My funny valentine. Possibly a tad bit more after 8:30.

Original poems and stories read/performed by their creators:
Don Ladig  Ethna McKiernan  Richard Terrill  Francine Tolf

Don Ladig is a Saint Paul based garden designer,  He was born in
Youngstown, Ohio.  He went to Princeton University where he graduated with
a degree in urban planning and anthropology.  He came initially to the Twin
Cities to dance with Nancy Hauser.  He is a printmaker specializing in
botanical subjects and performs, along with his wife, in a variety of bands
playing Irish and Scottish traditional music and that of other times and
places.  Poetry flew out of him in early adulthood, then flew away for a
long time.  This reading is part of a renewed passion in the power of
expressed feelings and observation.

Ethna McKiernan has been twice awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant
in poetry, most recently for the completion of her newest book in 2012, Sky
Thick With Fireflies. McKiernan's first book Caravan was a Minnesota Book
Award Nominee. Of her 2nd book, The One Who Swears You Can't Start Over,
The Corresponder wrote, "McKiernan is a poet's poet, assuming one believes
emotion is the beating heart of literature." McKiernan holds an MFA from
Warren Wilson Program for Writers and she has been anthologized in works
such as The Notre Dame Book of Irish American Poetry, 33 Minnesota Poets,
and Beloved on This Earth. McKiernan works for a local non-profit serving
the Minneapolis homeless population.

Richard Terrill is the author of two collections of poems, Almost Dark and
Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, winner of the Minnesota Book Award; as well as
two books of creative nonfiction, Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey
Back to Jazz and Saturday Night in Baoding: A China Memoir, winner of the
Associated Writing Programs Award for nonfiction. He has been awarded
fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wisconsin and
Minnesota State Arts Boards, the Jerome Foundation, the MacDowell Colony,
and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He has taught as a Fulbright
professor in China, Korea, and Poland, and currently teaches creative
nonfiction and poetry writing in the MFA program at Minnesota State
University, Mankato, where he is a Distinguished Faculty Scholar. He works
as a jazz saxophone player with the Larry McDonough Quartet.

Francine Marie Tolf has published two poetry collections, Rain, Lilies,
Luck (North Star Press of St. Cloud) and Prodigal (Pinyon Publishing), as
well as a memoir and five chapbooks including Eighteen Poems to God and a
Poem to Satan by Redbird Chapbooks of Minnesota. She has received grants
from the Minnesota State Arts Board; Barbara Deming / Money for Women; and
the Elizabeth George Foundation. Francine lives and works in Minneapolis.

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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People Powered Media Mobilizes Masses; Mass Media Remains Silent
by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
February 9th, 2014

[references to sites left live - ed]

If we continue to build the independent, people-powered media, greater
numbers of people will build up immunity to the destructive misinformation
of corporate media.

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / February 9th, 2014

In the last week there were two major examples of how people-powered media
can educate and mobilize people even if the mass corporate media does not
report on an issue.  We now have the ability to educate each other and tell
our narrative of what is occurring.  The movement is not dependent on the
corporate media.

We are in the midst of an era of media transition. The corporate media is
facing tremendous financial, employee, and audience challenges. At the root
of their problem is credibility.  In 2004, Gallup
"39% currently say they have 'not very much' confidence in the media's
accuracy and fairness, while 16% say they have 'none at all.'  Gallup
reported this was the lowest credibility rating in three decades.  But, the
decline continued and by 2012 Gallup
distrust of the media had risen by 5% to 60% having little or no trust
in the media - a new record.  A 2013 Gallup poll
1 in 4 Americans trust television or newspaper news.

At the same time technology has given rise to a new people-powered media.
People can now turn their telephones into a video outlet and their social
networks into a newspaper. Repeatedly we have seen someone publish a video
from their phone and make national news.  Any individual can go on to
social networking outlets and reach thousands, if not tens of thousands, of
people in this new democratized media. Others create blogs that gain mass
followings. Cities have groups like the DC Media
citizen activists from the Occupy movement, or like the Media Mobilizing
Project <> in Philadelphia building media
teams. And, through activist organizations, news that is not covered in the
media is shared widely. One reason we created *Popular Resistance
<> *was to provide coverage of the
burgeoning movement for social and economic justice that is building in the
United States and around the world but ignored by the mass media. People
can even get a daily movement news
report<>in their email
every morning.

This people-powered media builds on the long developing independent media.
The independent media has built mass readership as the Internet has
developed.  Outlets like *AlterNet <>*, *Common
Dreams* <>, *Truthout
<>*, *Counterpunch
<>*, Dissident Voice<>,
*Firedoglake <>*, *OpEd News
<>*, *Z Communications
<>*, *Global Research
<>*, *The People's Voice
<>,* *LA Progressive
<>*  and *Truthdig <>*,
among others, reach more than ten million people each month.  They are
joined by movement media outlets like *Black Agenda Report
<>*, *ROAR Magazine
<>*, *Waging
Nonviolence <>*, *
<>*, *Labor Notes <>*, *In
These Times <>*, *Jacobin
<>* and *Tidal <>*, among
others, that report and analyze the movement's actions, theory, and issues.
 As you can see from this list, there is a wide variety of news
alternatives beyond the corporate media.  In fact, the web-based
independent media has much more diversity than the narrow range of opinion
allowed in the corporate media. New media projects like the
Omidyar-Greenwald "*First Look Media <>*"
will experiment with a new form of independent media, building on the
multi-decade independent media that already exists.

We're also seeing rapid change in video and radio outlets.  *The Real News
<>* shows video from around the world and
provides analysis not seen on cable or network news coverage. The *Resistance
Report <>*provides
video coverage of the movement and its actions.  *Global
Revolution <>* TV shows us revolts happening
around the world live and
reports<>on global
movements. There has also been an explosion in alternative
radio.  Our weekly show is on *We Act Radio <>*.
There is *Occupy the Airwaves <>*, *Occupy
Radio <>* and the *Progressive Radio
Network <>* to name a few; and who knows what the impact of
the new low powered FM stations will be. Then there are foreign networks
like *RT America <>*, *Press TV
<>*and *Al
Jazeera <>*. Another interesting media outlet
developing an important niche is *Huffington Post Live
All of this is providing alternative views than traditional mass media.

And, investigative journalism is changing.  As traditional media outlets
cut their staff and reduce spending on investigative journalism, new
technology is resulting in an explosion of inside information being made
public. Wikileaks <> has developed technology that
provides new ways for people to anonymously blow the whistle, producing
more news than all investigative reporting by the corporate media combined.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation is making
an open source submission platform for whistleblowers, available to media
outlets.  This will be another avenue for whistleblowers in government and
big business to expose unethical behavior or criminal activity. We know
many independent media outlets are developing investigative teams. In a few
years investigative journalism will see a new golden age, all coming from
outside the corporate media.

There is a vibrant independent and citizens media movement that offers
readers and viewers a lot of alternatives to the traditional media. The
corporate media seems stale and stagnate in comparison to the media outside
the traditional bounds.  The future seems to be with people-powered media,
not corporate-powered media. This is one more reason Pew
have stopped relying on traditional media.

A Successful Revolt Outside The Media Spotlight

Sometimes the problem is not falsehoods in the media but acts of omission;
i.e., not reporting important information. An example of that has been
around the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  A
week by *Media
Matters* confirms that there has been virtually no network coverage of the
TPP over six months - ABC, CBS and NBC did not cover it at all, PBS had one
story that was favorable of the TPP. And, if you don't count Ed Schultz,
cable TV (FOX, CNN and MSNBC) have only done one story on the TPP.  This is
an embarrassing lack of coverage of the largest trade agreement since the
WTO.  It is hard to not see this as an intentional decision by the mass

There is no question the strategy of the Obama administration was to pass
the TPP without people knowing about it. They classified the text as secret
so that even the few members of Congress who have gone through the hurdles
to see it are not allowed to talk about it. The former US Trade
Representative Ron Kirk,
Reuters that disclosing what it contained would "raise such opposition
that it could make the deal impossible to sign." Obama then proceeded to
continue the secrecy by trying to push fast track trade promotion authority
through Congress.  This would have prevented Congress from seeing the text
or holding hearings so the public could weigh in before Obama signed the

As a result of this secrecy, a year and a half ago very few people knew
about the TPP even in the activist community. But today almost everyone who
is politically active is aware. Not only are they aware, but they have
massively mobilized. In the last ten days Congress has
600,000 emails and more than 40,000 phone calls opposing fast track
trade promotion authority. Weekly twitter
made #StopTheTPP a trending phrase reaching millions and last week a
social media reached 5.4 million people.  Wikileaks leaked two
important chapters on the
well a third
divisions among the negotiators.

The massive education through the people-powered media resulted in
widespread protests. There have been protests throughout the country
multiple times when
<>days of
action were called.  There have been stand-alone protests around
the country like this Nancy
that was interrupted or this fundraiser that President
Majority Leader Reid, and Minority Leader Pelosi attended. The US Trade
Reps' office has been
banners, and protesters have appeared outside
are passing 
that they will not obey the TPP if it passes and calling for trade

All of this has resulted in fast track trade promotion authority being
seriously stalled in both Houses of Congress. In the Senate, Majority
Leader Harry 
he has no plans for a floor vote on fast track. The new chairman of
the Finance Committee, Senator Ron
said he is not rushing to push fast track. In the
there has been an uprising among Democrats against Obama's call for fast
track with three-quarters of House Democrats publicly saying they oppose
fast track, along with two dozen Republicans - even more in both parties
are opposed but have not made public statements.  Speaker John
he will not bring fast track to the House Floor without 50 Democrats
publicly supporting it. The number two Democrat, Rep. Steny
says he is "not optimistic about a trade bill passing this year.

A mass movement against the now controversial TPP developed without any
coverage in the corporate mass media. This is an important display of the
power of the independent and people-powered media, perhaps like we have
never seen before. Despite conscious efforts to keep TPP out of the news
media and under the Congressional radar, the public has exposed it. A poll
opposition in the  public with 62% of Americans saying they
oppose fast track for the trade deals. The TPP was made toxic despite
efforts at keeping the public ignorant.

Friday Night Release Before the Superbowl Fails to Hide Controversial Report

It is not only the media that is the problem. As we wrote last week, the
government and economic elites cannot tell
truth because they know people will mobilize in mass revolt. Sometimes
when the government is taking an unpopular action, their strategy is to
release the information on a Friday night since the media is understaffed
and covers even less news on Saturday.

One of the more unpopular projects the government is trying to push through
on behalf of the very powerful oil industry is the Keystone XL Pipeline.
This would bring bitumen tar sands through the heart of the bread basket of
America and over much of the fresh water of the United States to be refined
in Texas and then shipped out through the Gulf of Mexico abroad for big oil
profits. To try and draw as little attention as possible to the State
Department's final environmental impact statement, the State Department
released the report on the Friday night of Superbowl weekend.

While the corporate media may have been off-duty, the people-powered
movement against tar sands, the KXL pipeline and extreme extraction for
energy was immediately active. Reactions poured
night over twitter, Facebook, social media, email lists and
organizational websites. The news was out - the State Department report was
out. Now it was up to Obama to deny the pipeline. If he fails to stop the
KXL, climate justice activists said, it will be the biggest
Obama's presidency.

Obama had put forward a climate test - if the KXL significantly exacerbated
the problem of carbon pollution he would not approve it.  Activist
commentators spread the word that the State Department report demonstrates
the pipeline fails Obama's own test. As Francis Beinecke

The State Department concluded that the pipeline would put heartland
communities, farms, and ranches in harm's way. It would expose thousands of
critical waterways, aquifers, and wells to the threat of tar sands oil
spills--spills the State Department said are much harder to clean up than
conventional crude. And it would carry oil for export to foreign ports,
leaving the U.S to bear all the risks.

"Most significantly, the State Department reported that the Keystone XL tar
sands pipeline could accelerate climate
pumping more carbon pollution into our air. The surge in pollution would be
similar to putting up to 5.7 million extra cars on the road, the review

Not only were climate justice activists educated overnight but they also
immediately began to mobilize. More than 200 protests were
weekend to be held on Monday across the country with Americans urging
the KXL Pipeline to be rejected. Native Americans frequently at the
environmental battles over gas and oil extraction and transport
an "epic 
the pipeline if it was approved. People in the Democratic Party base
stay home on Election Day if Obama approved the pipeline.

Already, the Obama administration has
delay, saying a decision will not be made until the president hears
the EPA, Energy Department, and other federal agencies and prepares its own
report. This is probably a stall tactic to get through the mid-term
elections because the President has all of the information he needs right
now to reject the pipeline.

Once again an effort to keep an unpopular decision out of the news failed,
not because the mass media exposed it, but because the people-powered media
and movement got the word out, educated and mobilized people.

Next Test and the Future

This Tuesday there will be another test of the people-powered movement. The
coalition that defeated the Internet-destroying laws SOPA and PIPA have
joined together for "The Day We Fight Back <>"
challenging NSA and other security state mass surveillance. More than 4,000
websites have signed up to participate in a web-based protest against
dragnet surveillance. Banners will be published on the websites
(including *Popular
Resistance*) leading people to take action and call and email their
legislators.  No doubt you have not read about this protest in the *Washington
Post* or *New York Times* or heard it reported in the corporate media. Once
again, it will be a showing of the people-powered media and social movement
organizing itself without traditional media coverage. Stay tuned and
participate. We're expecting impressive results.

Those in the media and government are well aware that the people-powered
media is a growing threat because of the Internet.  There are constant
battles to be fought to keep the Internet open and free so that information
can flow democratically and everyone has access. A recent court decision
ability to keep the Internet open, but the government still has the
power to do so. The people-powered movement is joining in solidarity to
prevent the destruction of the Internet.

One of our main ongoing tasks is to break through the 'official truth' put
out by the government and repeated by the corporate media. We need to break
through with the actual truth, to describe reality so people know what is
going on around them. Fortunately, a growing number of people understand
the importance of their role as media outlets.

The interesting thing about the recent success we have seen is that the
people-powered media is still in its infancy. There is no overt
organization to it. People spread the word and share information without
any coordinated plan to do so. People concerned about the direction of the
country seem to take action organically and tell their friends, family,
colleagues and Internet contacts what they have learned.

Educating each other through social media is not the whole of the movement
- people also have to be mobilized in a strategic and sustained fashion
acting together toward a common goal within a national strategic framework.
But we should not underestimate the importance of creating our own media
because building a mass movement begins with education. Activists should be
aggressive in sharing information through their outlets.  At *Popular
Resistance *our daily digest
provides<>you with news
you can share in your networks to educate vast numbers of
people. We need to think of ourselves as media outlets, build our networks,
expand our audiences and share relevant information widely and regularly.

The corporate media, working with government, has lied us into wars that
have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands and the treasures of nations;
they have created fear and hatred so that many accept destruction of our
freedom and mass surveillance of our communications; they have lied to us
about the safety of extreme energy extraction so our environment is put at
risk; and they have pushed corporate policies that enrich the wealthiest
with public dollars while destroying social programs and falsely claiming
they are helping us.

If we continue to build the independent, people-powered media, greater
numbers of people will build up immunity to the destructive misinformation
of corporate media. To build the media we need, each of us must act with
the intention to build it and use it in a consistent and strategic way.

Remember, you are the media; and the media matters.

Kevin Zeese, JD and Margaret Flowers, MD co-host Clearing the
We Act Radio 1480 AM Washington, DC, co-direct Its
Our Economy <http:ItsOurEconomy.US> and are organizers of the Occupation of
Washington, DC <>. Read other articles by Kevin Zeese
and Margaret 


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