Progressive Calendar 10.24.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 04:06:31 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.24.06

1. Mpls energy fair  10.24 6pm
2. Louisiana/play    10.24 7pm

3. Malachy McCourt   10.25 12noon
4. Spirit of Peace   10.25 1pm
5. Europe/terrorism  10.25 3:30pm
6. Malachy McCourt   10.25 5:30pm
7. Kip/health care   10.25 6:30pm
8. Malachy McCourt   10.25 6:30pm
9. John Moe/book     10.25 7pm
10. Guantanamo/law   10.25 7pm
11. PeaceQuake       10.25 7pm
12. Stanton/rights   10.25 7:30pm

13. Ralph Nader      - The messianic militarist in the White House
14. Joshua Frank     - An interview with Cindy Sheehan
15. Philip Greenspan - Election 2006: delivering more of the same
16. Milo Clark       - The games played and called elections
17. Aleksandar Jokic - Get this: imperialism is bipartisan

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

From: Karen Engelsen <siribear [at]>
Subject: Mpls energy fair 10.24 6pm

Minneapolis Energy Fair
10.24 6:00pm/9:00pm

Learn to save $$ on your energy bill & keep our community healthy!!
Tuesday, Oct. 24, 6-9pm, Jenny Lind Community School, 5025 Bryant Ave. N.,

Information Booths, Money and Energy saving tips at 6:00 p.m., High
Efficiency Heating and Cooling Systems at 6:45 p.m.  Arctic Explorer Will
Steger will speak at 7:30.

Free compact flourescent bulb for attendees, also kids activities.

For more information, call 612-335-5856 or see

Karen Engelsen Alliance for Sustainability karen [at] 612-331-1099

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

From: Toni Hauser <tigress [at]>
Subject: Voices/Louisiana/play 10.24 7pm


The Voices Foundation, a non-profit organization of actors and educators,
who have traveled from New Orleans, performing a national tour of The
Voices of Louisiana. Played by seven actors and educators of the
Evacuation Theatre Troupe who were greatly impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
The History Theatre 30 E. Tenth Street Saint Paul, MN - Box Office
COST: $25

WHY:  To 'spread the word' of the history and hardships of our hometown
through humor and poignancy. Proceeds from the show will fund art and
theatre projects as well as scholarships for communities in disaster areas
of Louisiana.


WHAT ELSE: From Columbus' arrival in the New World to Napoleon's bathtub
decision to sell Louisiana, the play begins as a historical and hysterical
romp through the pages of history.

Then we meet the colorful Louisiana characters that have shaped its
history including Huey P. Long, Anne Rice, Truman Capote, Emeril, Ellen
DeGeneres, Tennessee Williams, Britney Spears, and Richard Simmons.
Voices concludes with true Katrina stories of courage, loss, resiliency,
and gratitude.

CONTACT:  Rose Marie Sand at (504) 666.1220 OR Barry Lemoine, at (504)

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

From: Mike Whelan <mpw4883 [at]>
Subject: Malachy McCourt 10.25 12noon

Come fundraise with Malachy McCourt!

10.26.06 Malachy McCourt, actor, writer, truckloader, dishwasher, current
New York Green Party gubernatorial candidate, you name it and Malachy has
a story to add to it. He is gifting Minnesota with a 1 day tour. Don't
miss out!

Wednesday Oct. 25
12noon to 2:30p.m.
Lunch, pint, and a book
Liffey Irish Pub 175 West 7th St. St.Paul, MN

Malachy McCourt has acted on stage, on television and in several movies.
In the 1970s he had a talk show on WMCA radio.

Malachy McCourt also wrote two memoirs titled A Monk Swimming and Singing
my Him Song, detailing his life in Ireland and later return to the United
States where despite limited education he operated a successful Manhattan
tavern frequented by entertainment celebrities. He also authored a book on
the history of the much loved Irish ballad Danny Boy. -Malachy McCourt in
Wikipedia, Oct. 17, 2006

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

From: Larry Johnson <elent7 [at]>
Subject: Spirit of Peace 10.25 1pm

Spirit of Peace Sculpture to be Dedicated October 25, 2006
Final phase of installation at Lyndale Park Peace Garden, Minneapolis
Sadako Day Ceremony at 1:00 p.m.

One hundred school children will carry strings of origami peace cranes as
they process into the Lyndale Park Peace Garden to the sound of taiko
drums at the dedication of the Spirit of Peace sculpture at the Peace
Garden near Lake Harriet on Wednesday, October 25, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. The
fourteen-foot vertical bronze sculpture, the top of which shows a flying
crane, was designed by St. Paul artist Caprice Glaser as the centerpiece
of the circle of boulders that was installed in 2005.  Each of the
boulders has a plaque explaining one step of folding the origami crane.

The brief program will highlight the telling the story of Sadako Sasaki,
the young Japanese girl who folded a 1,000 paper cranes after she was
diagnosed with radiation sickness. Yumiko Yoshikiyo, a native of Hiroshima
and representative of the Never Again Campaign, will be one of the
featured speakers.  Marcia Sanoden, an American who grew up in Japan, will
lead Japanese songs. Mu Daiko will provide the drummers and Elaine Wynne
and Larry Johnson are the storytellers. The Peace Garden is located on
Roseway Road across from the Rose Garden on the northeast side of Lake
Harriet in Minneapolis.

Since the circle of boulders was installed in August 2006, thousands of
people have followed the directions on the boulders and folded a crane for
peace.  The date of this ceremony was chosen to honor Sadako Sasaki, who
died on October 25, 1955, from the after-effects of radiation from the
atomic bomb.

The garden, which is the site of an annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki
Commemoration on August 6, also boasts a bridge of Japanese design with
relic stones from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many plantings, and a cascade.
It is the longest blooming garden in the Minneapolis Park System.

Fundraising for the installation of this sculpture began in fall 2003 and
donations have arrived from throughout Minnesota, the U.S. and from Japan.
Residents of Hiroshima provided a major donation toward this project.
Major donors were able to choose a word of peace to be engraved in the
bronze base of the sculpture. Peace words include names of notable
individuals who have been involved nationally or internationally in peace
and justice, words of peace in 23 languages and other words that evoke

For further information, contact Mary Maguire Lerman, Minneapolis Park and
Recreation Board at 612-313-7726 (office) or 612-221-9319 (cell).

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

From: humanrts [at] UMN.EDU
Subject: Europe/terrorism 10.25 3:30pm

October 25, 2006 - "The European Legal System Responds to Terrorism:
Balancing Human Rights and Security". 3:30-5pm.
Cost: Free and open to the public.

Prof. Fionnuala Ni Aolain will give a free public lecture entitled "The
European Legal System Responds to Terrorism:  Balancing Human Rights and
Security," as part of the Center for Austrian Studies lecture series.

Speaker Biography: Fionnuala Ni Aolain is concurrently the Dorsey and
Whitney Chair in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School and a
Professor of Law in the University of Ulster's Transitional Justice
Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is co-founder and Associate
Director of the Institute. Professor Ni Aolain received her LL.B. and
Ph.D. in law at the Queen's University Law Faculty in Belfast, Northern
Ireland. She also holds an LL.M. degree from the Columbia University Law
School. Professor Ni Aolain has published extensively in the fields of
emergency powers, conflict regulation, and sex-based violence in times of
war. She was a representative of the Prosecutor at the International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at domestic war crimes trials
in Bosnia (1996-97).

In 2003, she was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations
as Special Expert on promoting gender equality in times of conflict and
peace-making. In 2004, she was nominated by the Irish government to the
European Court of Human Rights, the first woman and the first academic
lawyer to be thus nominated. Her lecture for the Center for Austrian
Studies lecture series will examine recent developments in the European
legal system as European legislators and jurists attempt to meet the needs
of assuring both human rights and security as they respond to the
challenge of terrorism.

FFI: Center for Austrian Studies at 612-624-9811 or casahy [at] Also
612-624-9811 or l-debo [at]

Sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies
Location: Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey Institute of Public
Affairs, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

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

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Malachy McCourt 10.25 5:30pm

Malachy McCourt reads and signs books at Magers and Quinn, 3038 Hennepin
Ave. S. in Uptown at 5:30 pm Wednesday, October 25

Malachy McCourt is the author of A Monk Swimming, Singing My Him Song,
Danny Boy, The Claddagh Ring and Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland. He
has also had a successful career as an actor in feature films and the
television series Oz. Visit his website at

Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland

In the successful tradition of Thomas Cahill's modern-day classic, How the
Irish Saved Civilization, here is an authoritative and completely engaging
one-volume account of Irish history by County Limerick native, gifted
storyteller, and bestselling author Malachy McCourt. Its pages are
populated with figures from myth, legend, ancient history, and current
events, from Cu Chulainn and Brian Boru to Oliver Cromwell, James Joyce,
Lady Gregory, Gerry Adams, and Sinead O'Connor--some beloved, some
controversial, but all with an undeniable influence on the course of Irish
history and in turn, the history of the modern world. McCourt proves an
irresistible guide on this vivid tour through the colorful and turbulent
history of the Emerald Isle, from the Celtic settlements, through Viking
and British occupations, modern troubles and struggle for independence. He
also offers fresh insights on the country's cultural contributions to
folklore, literature, art, music, and cuisine.

The Claddagh Ring

Bestselling author Malachy McCourt recounts the story of Ireland's
timeless symbol of loyalty, friendship, and love, a ring design of two
clasped hands that is worn by millions worldwide. Following the success of
his Running Press titles Danny Boy and Voices of Ireland, McCourt explores
this beloved icon of Irish heritage through vivid anecdotes, charming folk
tales, and recent documented incidents. Said to have been first crafted
more than 400 years ago in a fishing village on Galway Bay, there is much
more to the story of the Claddagh ring than simple popular history, and
McCourt tracks it down and recounts it with his stellar storytelling

Further info at or David Unowsky 612-822-4611
davidu [at]

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

From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at]>
Subject: Kip/health care 10.25 6:30pm

October 25, 6:30 to 9:00 pm, Amore Coffee, 917 Grand Ave, St. Paul.

Amore Coffee is owned by two women who are members of the progressive
Metropolitan Independent Business Alliance. Kip Sullivan, who sits on the
steering committee of the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, will
discuss his new book, The Health Care Mess. The book attributes the health
care crisis to great waste in the health care industry, and prescribes a
single-payer (or Medicare for all) system as the solution.

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

From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Malachy McCourt 10.25 6:30pm

Spreadthe word. Famous Irish Author and Green Party candidate for
Governors race in New York will be appearing at a book, reading signing
anf Fundraiser for the Green Party candidates

October 25th
6:30 pm till 10:00 pm

Keirans Irish Pub in the Titanic Lounge
(where the wake for Eugene McCarthy was held)
4th St, Downtown Minneapolis.
Music, Food and some good auld Oirish Craic provided.

If you do not know what Irish Craic is, well then show up and you will
find out. You will not regret it.

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

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: John Moe/book 10.25 7pm

John Moe discusses "Conservatize Me" 7pm Wednesday, October 25 at
Magers and Quinn in Uptown
Further info: David Unowsky 612-822-4611 davidu [at]

What would happen if a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool, recycling liberal
immersed himself entirely in conservative thought, culture, and rhetoric
for one month? One critically acclaimed political humorist decided to find
out. In the hit movie, "Supersize Me," filmmaker Morgan Spurlock
documented the dramatic effects on his body of a steady diet of McDonald's
food. Could the same technique be applied to politics? What would happen
to someone's mind if they subsisted entirely on conservative media and
rhetoric? With such rancor and polarization, is America still a place to
change someone's mind and get them to cross over to the other side of the
ideological fence? Is it possible to do that to yourself? For one month,
John Moe put himself on a strict political regimen: he reset his radio
dials from NPR to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, he watched nothing but
the Fox News Channel and read nothing but The Wall Street Journal and The
National Review. He even went head to head with some of today's most
influential conservative thinkers, NRA devotees, and the Family Research
Council all in the name of "The Experiment." He also learned a lot along
of things along the way, one of them that there's a lot more that liberals
and conservatives share than meets the eye.

John Moe is well known to humor fans as one of the writers of the
award-winning highbrow humor website He is also a
commentator for NPR's All Things Considered and a regular contributor to
the nationwide public radio program Weekend America. He lives in Seattle,
where he hosts several public radio programs dealing in politics,
business, technology, literature, and culture. Some of his short humor
pieces have appeared in the anthologies Created in Darkness by Troubled

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

From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at]>
Subject: Guantanamo/law 10.25 7pm

Separation of Powers in the Long War: Guantanamo and the Rule of Law
Joseph Margulies, attorney, MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern
Wednesday, October 25, 7:00 p.m.
Room 25 Mondale Hall (Law School), University of Minnesota west bank

free and open to the public
FFI: U of M Institute for Global Studies,
<>  or 612-624-9007

The MacArthur Justice Center is committed to ensuring that authorities at
the local and national level follow the U.S. Constitution and
international law when holding prisoners. MJC litigates on behalf of
individuals held against their will and without proper charges in order to
hold government accountable to make a clear and legal case for any

Joseph Margulies, lecturer and trial attorney at MacArthur Justice Center,
has been a successful civil rights and capital defense attorney for 14
years. He has represented scores of death row inmates around the country,
and he currently is lead counsel for four detainees held at Guantanamo Bay
in Rasul et al. v. Bush et al. The case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme
Court this spring. To work with MacArthur Justice Center, Margulies is
taking leave from Margulies & Richman, PLC, his criminal defense and civil
rights practice in Minneapolis. He previously served as the senior staff
attorney of the Texas Capital Resource Center, where he represented men
and women on Texas' death row.

Margulies' appearance is part of the U of M Institute for Global Studies
series "The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy: Alternative Voice."

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

From: "Murphy, Cathy" <CMurphy [at]>
Subject: PeaceQuake 10.25 7pm

It's a PeaceQuake!

The idea of ending the war in Iraq is spreading across our country as a
successful campaign strategy. You are invited to join your neighbors in
being part of this winning strategy. Together we will define specific
strategies that we can use locally to demonstrate to our candidates that
supporting peace can lead to electoral victory.

Wednesday, Oct 25
Peace Presbyterian Church
7624 Cedar Lake Rd, St Louis Park
refreshments & children's activities provided

Cathy Murphy 952.935.8653

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

From: humanrts [at] UMN.EDU
Subject: Stanton/rights 10.25 7:30pm

October 25, 2006 - Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Solitude of Self":
Women's Rights are Human Rights.  Time: 7:30pm.

The Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture Series

Featuring Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Professor of Communication Studies at
the University of Minnesota, and a consummate scholar of feminist
rhetoric. Campbell's presentation will highlight the life and speeches
of first-wave feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and illuminate how a
humanistic appeal for women's rights in a particular speech found a
responsive chord with Senate and House committees assigned to consider
women's suffrage.

Reception follows in the Hubert H. Humphrey Center Atrium.

RSVP: 612.625.9837 or women [at]
Location: Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center, 301 19th Ave.
S., Minneapolis, MN 55455

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

The Messianic Militarist in the White House
by Ralph Nader
Published on Saturday, October 21, 2006 by

On October 17th, George W. Bush, signed into law a bill he bulldozed
through Congress that, in Senator Patrick Leahy's prophetic words, would
suspend "the writ of habeas corpus, a core value in American law, in order
to avoid judicial review that prevents government abuse." This law, whose
constitutionality is in doubt and will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in
due time, puts so much arbitrary and secret unilateral power in the hands
of the Presidency that the ghost of King George III must be wondering what
all the fuss was about in 1776.

If you want more evidence of how obsessively-compulsed George W. Bush is
about his wars, their fabrications, budgets and cover-ups, consider his
cue card statement on the legislation at the White House signing ceremony.
"It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill he knows will save
American lives," he declared.

Hello! He has rejected all kinds of occasions to save American lives here
at home. He has refused to do anything about the widespread and
preventable mayhem known as medical and hospital malpractice, while
fanatically pushing for restrictions on the right of such victims or their
next of kin to have their full day in court. At least 80,000 Americans die
from malpractice just in hospitals every year, according to the Harvard
School of Public Health.

The same Presidential pen could have saved thousands of more lives and
prevented many more injuries were it to alight on safety legislation and
larger budgets for reducing job-related sickness and trauma (58,000 lost
lives a year) and air pollution (65,000 lives a year) - to name a few
categories of preventable violence. But he signaled from the onset of his
Presidency that such bills would be opposed from the getgo.

And once again remember his incompetence in letting U.S. soldiers -
hundreds of them die in Iraq from the lack of adequate body armor.

At the signing event, Mr. Bush called the legislation "a way to deliver
justice to the terrorists we have captured." To him all captured subjects
are ipso facto convicted terrorists. It is not as if his record gives any
credence to such fantasies. But he persists in his deception none the
less. Out of nearly 700 prisoners in Guantnamo Bay, he has charged only
ten after over four years of detention. Ten! Why? Mostly, as military,
civilian lawyers and other monitors have said, because the vast majority
of these abused or beaten prisoners were innocent from the day of their
apprehension - victims of bounty hunters in Afghanistan and surroundings.

It served Bush political purposes to say to the American people that
Guantnamo Bay contained among the most evil of all people, so long as he
could deny the innocents any opportunity to challenge their incarceration
(habeas corpus) in an impartial tribunal. Until the Supreme Court ordered
him to stop denying the "detainees" due process.

Here in the U.S. Bush has imprisoned without charges over 5000 people, as
terror suspects. Ninety nine percent turned out to be innocent of
accusations that they were engaged in terrorist activities. Given this
batting average, it is troubling that Mr. Bush has the unchecked power to
deprive those he imprisons, with or without charges and without attorneys,
of habeas corpus. In these tribunals established by the new law, the
defendants' have no right to review evidence against them and cannot
challenge Bush's unbridled power to determine the definition of torture.

So vague are the law's words that what constitutes "terrorist activity"
and whether it can be used against U.S. citizens remain with the
monarchical power of George W. Bush to decide.

Anyone who doubts the assertion that the new law will be used to remove
any boundaries - constitutional, statutory or treaty - from restraining
Mr. Bush and his subordinates should read the celebratory article by a
former Bush Administration official, law professor John Yoo, in the Wall
Street Journal. He reads the law as removing the courts - including the
Supreme Court - from any judicial review of Bush's "war on terror". Mr.
Yoo left out the obvious conclusion, which is that Mr. Bush is now, in
this area, the legislative and the judicial authority - the dominator of
checks and balances.

To Bush allies, such as Mr. Yoo, the boundless inherent power of the
Presidency, does not ever include any recommendation that these poor,
innocent souls, swept up by wasteful, boomeranging dragnet practices, be
compensated for their brutalization and confinement.

Bush's belligerent policies after 9/11, which caught him napping in
Crawford, have served to provide recruitment grounds for more and more
trained terrorists. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. Pursuing policies
against terrorism that create more terrorists have been noted by Bush's
own officials, not to mention scores of ex-military, diplomatic and
intelligence officials who served in past Republican and Democratic

One would think, with such backing, the Congressional Democrats would have
moved to block his rampages which have so lowered his public approval to
below 40 percent.

None of this fazes or affects the messianic militarist in the White House.
He continues his ways of endangering our nation, weakening its moral and
political influence abroad, turning off more and more of the American
people disgusted with the huge costs in lives and money, and deep-sixing
his Republican Party. Even the latter achievement cannot rescue history's
description as an all-purpose, self-inflicted Wrecker-in-Chief.

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

An Interview with Cindy Sheehan
The Antiwar Movement and Independent Politics
October 23, 2006

When the admirable Tiberius upon becoming emperor, received a message from
the Senate in which the conscript fathers assured him that whatever
legislation he wanted would be automatically passed by them, he sent back
word that this was outrageous. "Suppose the emperor is ill or mad or
incompetent?" He returned their message. They sent it again. His response:
"How eager you are to be slaves."

-- Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Joshua Frank: Cindy, we are in the armpit of another election season and
it seems that the mainstream antiwar movement is rallying behind the
Democrats once again, hoping if the Dems can just recapture the House that
the Republicans will finally be held accountable for all their horrible
faults. Impeachment will follow and the war will end. What do you think?
Where do you stand on all of this?

Cindy Sheehan: I hold very little hope that, due to the utter corruption
of our electoral system, and the Republican reign of terror and fear
against the American public, the Democrats will even take back one or more
Houses of Congress.

Even if the Democrats take back the lower House, the potential Speaker,
Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) has already said that impeachment would not be "in the
cards." Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi) has also backed off of impeachment
rhetoric. Since Bush has said over and over again that the troops aren't
coming home while he is president, it is up to us to make sure that his
presidency is cut short.

We all know that the Vietnam War ended when Congress cut its funding.
There is a bill that has been sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern, (D-Ma)
HR4232 that cuts funding to leave our troops in Iraq, but he has very
little support and even a smaller chance of getting it to the floor for a
vote. I believe that most representatives don't support the bill because
they will be accused of "not supporting the troops." I believe that it is
not supporting the troops to leave them in that nightmare.

Although I admire the Democrats on many issues, when it comes to war and
peace, most get their pockets lined by the same corporate interests.

No matter which party has control of Congress come November, we the people
have to keep the pressure up to stop the current course our country is

Frank: You are currently serving on the Board of Directors for the
Progressive Democrats of America, a pro-Democrat organization that calls
for reform of the Democratic Party from within. The PDA consistently
ignores progressive antiwar alternatives to the Democrats. Do you think
that such a position could actually hurt the antiwar movement? Should we
instead be supporting antiwar candidates who want to hold both parties

Sheehan: I think that the PDA endorses candidates based on their entire
platforms. Of course, I only care about candidate's record on the war and
what they say about peace. I prefer to call our movement a "peace"
movement, because "antiwar" is too narrow.

I think it would be great if we didn't need a PDA, if all Democrats were
progressive peace candidates, but we know they are not.

I would vote for a Republican if they were calling for the withdrawal of
troops and for impeachment, and I definitely think a viable third party
could rein in the "two" parties we have now.

We will never have a viable third party, though, as long as we vote out of
fear and not out of integrity. Instead of voting for the "lesser of two
evils" we should be voting for a candidate that reflects our "beatitudes"
and not the war machine's.

Frank: The PDA may endorse candidates based on their entire platform, but
they still won't support antiwar candidates that are not Democrats -- and
they've received a fair amount of criticism for that position. Do you
think that such a policy may be a problem for those who want to build an
independent antiwar movement that seeks to challenge both parties?

Sheehan: Yes, well the group is called Progressive Democrats of America.
They have had no problem with me endorsing third party candidates. I
completely support a viable third party. I don't know if PDA's position is
holding up an independent antiwar party as much as the mainstream
Republican and Democrats are.

I think reform of the Democratic Party could only reinforce antiwar
efforts and all progressive causes in general.

I don't think the PDA is hurting the antiwar movement because I don't
think they have enough consolidated power to affect it one-way or the

Frank: It seems to me that working to reform the Democratic Party, like
the PDA, sidelines other issues, most importantly right now, the war
effort. I guess you don't agree?

Sheehan: I think it will take all of us working for all kinds of issues;
the PDA can focus on their piece. I will continue to focus on mine just
like you will continue to focus on yours.

Frank: Who are the peace candidates you are supporting this year?

Sheehan: So far I have supported three who ended up losing in the
primaries: Marcy Winograd, Jonathan Tasisni and Christine Cegelis -- all
of whom are Democrats, first two up against pro-war incumbents. I have
also supported Jeanne Cricenzo, a Democrat, Malachy McCourt for Governor
of New York who is a Green and Michael Berg and Todd Chretien, both of
whom are Greens. Kevin Zeese of Maryland who is an independent candidate.
And most recently I told Howie Hawkins, who is running against Hillary
Clinton in New York as a Green, that I would support his antiwar campaign.

Frank: I've heard a rumor that you may be looking to start your own third
party. Is that true?

Sheehan: Yes, it is true. I think that to save our democracy our country
needs a viable and credible third party. This nation was founded on rule
by a few rich white males, and for all intents and purposes, we are still
ruled by a corporate elite.

We need a third party that will represent all the people, not just the

Joshua Frank, author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W.
Bush, edits

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

Election 2006: Delivering More of the Same
by Philip Greenspan

(Swans - October 23, 2006)  With an election approaching, torrents of
babble are flooding the media with predictions of which congressional
candidates in the various elections are gaining and losing and what the
ultimate impact of the election will mean.

No one can predict what is to come but in making decisions affecting our
future, we speculate on how the future will unfold and envision how it
might affect those decisions. So of necessity we gamble on our assumptions
of the future. The media pundits are supposedly experts but their
prognostication scores are well below par. The alternate media and the
knowledgeable authorities that they relied on, like retired General
Anthony Zinni and Scott Ritter, who were ignored or pooh-poohed by the
major media called it correctly.

I am no pundit, but disagree with my friends and acquaintances who are
hoping that this coming election will bring changes - impeachment of Bush
and/or a retreat in the war policy. Irrespective of any changes in the
makeup of the legislative branch, I foresee no significant change in
foreign policy. Candidates from both major parties will spout out promises
that they know will electrify the voters, but once elected will tactfully
withdraw from the needs and demands of their political constituencies. The
Democrats, even if they win big, will not touch impeachment. Their party
is equally guilty of all of Bush's transgressions. If it hadn't been for
Congress's - Democratic as well as Republican - endorsement of all of
Bush's policies, his impeachable offenses would not have been enacted.
Impeachments only arise where Congress can claim innocence of the offense
- like a sexual impropriety or an illegal burglary.

Elected officials and their appointees are controlled by the corporate
elite and accordingly respond to the elite's demands. Their position can
be discerned by analyzing the major media, an important part of that
elite. How the news is handled is the tip-off. Well-regarded pundits who
whole-heartedly supported Bush, such as Thomas Friedman and George Will,
have turned critical of his policies. Editorial columns and news items
have done likewise. But they do not advocate ending the War on Terror. The
elite is well aware that the Bush policies are a shambles and that the
public is fed up with the war. But they are not. So they must keep things
going by feeding the public an alternate and plausible prescription. The
wars, the killings, the spending will continue. There is too much invested
in the Middle East to give up - billions in military bases, oodles and
oodles of untapped oil. Much, much more than there was in Vietnam and
Tricky Dick, after promising that he would get out, not only kept it going
but expanded it into Laos and Cambodia, while appeasing the public with
gradual troop withdrawals.

The war will end when an overwhelming public demand tantamount to a revolt
breaks out or the GIs on the front lines mutiny as they did in Vietnam.
Neither occurrence is as far-fetched as it may seem. The precariousness of
the economic condition of the country - an unprecedented debt, the
continual erosion of employment opportunities, possibility of a crushing
inflation, etc., could lead to the impoverishment of a substantial segment
of the public and a citizen revolt. The GIs being overstretched for long
periods in the war zones will eventually lead to the massive mutinies.
Fasten your seat belts and hold on to your hats a turbulent future is

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

The Games Played And Called Elections
by Milo Clark

"Bending straws is local, rigging electronic systems is not." - Mary
Magdalene, Making Things Right, Karlingenus Robotus, Tiberius et Ux, Rome,

(Swans - October 23, 2006)   In terms of framing, holding elections is now
the criterion for democracy. Elections in Kazakhstan, Ecuador, Myanmar,
Eureka County, and South Chicago are cited as evidence of democracy in
action. Nonsense!

Ever since folks first bent straws, rigging elections has been a way to

The number of ways we can expect next month's US midterm elections to be
rigged are numbered by the counties within the states. Elections in the
once United States of America are primarily governed by local laws only
faintly guided by state laws within the shadowy context of federal law.

Electoral districts are an overlay of local offices working up the ladders
of representation through to the state Electoral College processes, which,
in aggregate and in theory, yield a national president.

At each step, determination of district boundaries, establishment of
voting places, appointments of workers and bosses, voting forms, methods
of collecting ballots and then counting them fall to a jungle of
officials, authorities, and arbiters. Every step is inundated in politics.
Control of local politics ends up as control of elections.

>From the very first days of elections in the nascent United States of
America, politicians worked diligently and tirelessly to craft the
electoral processes to guarantee predictable results. Governor Gerry of
Massachusetts (1810-1811) devised grotesque boundaries for districts and
lent his name to the now very sophisticated redistricting processes worked
to return incumbents to office (Gerrymandering). Computerized database
modeling now yields over 90% re-election results.

At simplest levels, a ballot cast in whatever form is collected at
precinct level, put in some kind of container and sent to the counting
place. Rarely now are ballots counted at precinct level. Whoever controls
that box or cartridge or electronic disk from precinct to counting place
may manipulate the ballots as a first step.

We must go back, however, to understand those rules governing who actually
ends up being allowed to vote in a precinct. Registration processes
varying from rigorously excluding to very loosely including tend to be a
function of state law administered at county level. Massive efforts are
marshaled by various parties to (1) encourage or (2) to discourage classes
of voters. That is, to get certain demographic profiles to the polls or to
keep them away. From poll taxes to literacy tests, from specific forms of
identification documents to remote locations to register, ever-new means
are sought to restrict or to expand particular sets of voters.

Assuming a person manages to get registered and that person is in a
demographic profile deemed favorable by the politicians controlling the
local elections, then ballot forms will be designed that are judged to be
easy to understand and to use. These people deemed favorable will also
tend to find rides offered to polling places in convenient locations that
will be well supplied with blank ballots, friendly poll workers and short

A person with unfavorable demographic profile who manages to get
registered will find little transportation offered, remote and
inconvenient locations, ballot shortages, unfriendly workers slowly
shuffling voters through long lines.

Ballot design is also open to manipulations. In Hawaii, primary elections
are by party only. Any crossing of party lines will invalidate the ballot.
Ballot design places the different parties in adjacent lines with minimal
apparent separation. Parties are distinguished by very faint colors easy
to mistake in all but the best lighting conditions. The infamous "chads"
of Florida's 2000 election are similar ballot design manipulations.

"Paper ballots" are in the charade category also. Mark-sensed or optically
scanned "paper" ballots marked with a #2 lead pencil or a special
electronically sensitive lead are collected in a reader box, totals of
which are electronically determined.

>From entry into the collector box through registration in counting
processes, the system is electronic and open to all the manipulations of
any electronic system.

Theoretically, a recount would involve taking the marked ballots from the
collecting boxes and re-running them again. They would not be hand-counted
unless a court ordered them to be. Which, in part, was exactly where the
once Supreme Court intervened in a grossly partisan 2000 ruling that gave
the presidency to George W. Bush.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines were given great impetus
by the Help America Voting Act (HAVA) which, superficially, was designed
to facilitate voting by disabled or handicapped people.

DRE machines use touch screens or wheels to enter selections (votes). The
votes are collected electronically into cartridges vaguely similar to ATM
cards. The cartridges are programmed before the elections by the
manufacturers and "read" by the manufacturers' proprietary programs
classified as intellectual property and unavailable to public scrutiny.
HAVA set up "testing" procedures by theoretically third parties that, in
practice, proved laughable.

Computer experts by the droves have shown the ease by which these devices
and their cartridges can be manipulated.

Years and years of work have gone into creating our present voting
systems. Every attempt to make any process inviolate has only challenged
those who want to use them.

The present Republican Party has worked most diligently in recent years to
find ways to frustrate voting by those deemed demographically
inappropriate. Their success has been registered notably in Florida,
Georgia, Ohio, and California.

Whether or not their control of process will overcome the Foley and
related factors we will know after November 7th.

My research suggests that it will take very heavy turns in numbers and
reasonably accurate counting of those numbers to take Congress from the
Republicans in 2006. The heavy turns in numbers are a possibility. Given
those numbers, the temptations to manipulate results will be massive. The
tools to manipulate results are in place.

Simply creating challenges has the potential of tying up election outcomes
in legal battles dragging far into the coming years. Will the court system
reflect the heavy efforts made to place judges in key positions?

[ed predicts: The GOP will subvert and contest enough close elections in
2006 to leave the outcome in doubt for months. Finally, they will all go
to the Supreme Court, which will declare that all contested elections go
to the previous incumbent. Bush can keep soldiers in the military beyond
their enlistment period; now he will move to keep GOP incumbents in beyond
their last election period. If so, it will take more drastic citizen
action than we have see for decades to actually change the federal
government.  If I'm wrong, we will soon see. I think things are far worse
than lesser-evil Dems would like to believe. -ed]

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

Get This: Imperialism Is Bipartisan
by Aleksandar Jokic

(Swans - October 23, 2006)
Some polls suggest voter interest in the run-up to the midterm elections
is at its highest point in years. Should it be? One phrase politicians
love to use in describing why they are running is "to make a difference."
However, could any difference materialize as a result of voting in the
current two-part political system? The answer is not really, because there
is no real difference between the parties, particularly when US corporate
interests and the US imperium are concerned.

Against the Bush Regime

Paul Craig Roberts concludes "The War is Lost" by stating:

"Before America can preach democracy to the world, we must first rescue
American democracy from the Bush regime and re-establish government
accountability to the people."

One can read similar statements elsewhere. For example, Antonia Juhasz, in
her book, The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time,
writes the following:

"The individual Middle East Free Trade Area agreements are paving the way
for a radical, thoroughly U.S.-centric corporate globalization agenda for
the Bush administration to carry from country to country in the Middle
East and then well beyond. The president has forced into acquiescence the
growing wave of criticism against these economic policies, both within the
United States and abroad by linking them to the defeat of terrorism. It is
economic imperialism in its truest form: Governments the world over are
forced to adopt economic policies that benefit the growth and power of one
nation with a threat of military action if they do not accede, all in the
name of "world peace." (p. 290)"

While pronouncements like these certainly could seem appealing to all who
are angry, for whatever reason (and there are many), with the Bush
administration, oversimplifications harm the clarity and substance of
legitimate and otherwise persuasive political and economic criticism. The
danger lies in misidentifying the sources of the US foreign policies (such
as "spreading democracy") and in misplacing the responsibility for the
consequences of such policies.

There is Only One Party in the United States

When one realizes that the title of Ms. Juhasz's book is in fact a
colossal misnomer, one can better appreciate the dangers. "Invading the
world one economy at time" is and has been for some time the US agenda or,
which amounts to the same, the agenda of a few dozen Anglo-American Big
Oil and banking old money oligarchs who own the political establishment of
the country. Another reason why there is nothing new in these policies is
the fact that they are an exact replica of the free-trade dogma of the
19th century British Empire that lead to its practice of "cannibalizing
the economies of increasing parts of the globe in order to survive." The
quote is from William Engdahl's A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil
Politics and the New World Order, a book that describes in solidly
footnoted detail how it happened that just a handful of Anglo-American
families could amass untold wealth and unprecedented power, including the
ability to get their and other countries to wage war to support their
private interests:

"During the course of the Versailles talks, a new institution of
Anglo-American coordination in strategic affairs was formed. Lionel
Curtis, a longtime member of the secretive Round Table or 'new empire'
circle of Balfour, Milner and others, proposed organizing a Royal
Institute of International Affairs. ...The same circle at Versailles also
decided to establish an American branch of the London Institute, to be
named the New York Council on Foreign Relations, so as to obscure its
close British ties."

Thus, under the leadership of the Council on Foreign Relations, US foreign
policy came to be based on the synergy between control over oil and
control over finance, with government, intelligence agencies, and the
military playing a supporting role to the banks and the oil cartels.

No surprise, then, that the practice "of invading one (or a few) economies
at the time" has been playing out no matter who the president was or from
which of the two identical (as far as imperialism is concerned) political
parties he hails: when it comes to US foreign policy, the elephant and the
donkey are equally a hyena. The imperial project of Pax Americana is
bipartisan. The inimitable Gore Vidal puts it thusly:

"[t]here is only one party in the United States, the Property party ...
and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit
stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism
than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt -- until
recently ... and more willing than the Republicans to make small
adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of
hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

If Vidal's "one party" claim were true, one would want to know what
exactly explains this fact. Why are the two parties in reality one party?
But before considering this question let us first explore two examples
that suggest that Vidal's thesis is extremely plausible:

Continuity of Policy Across Political Parties

The United States is building an enormous embassy in Baghdad and a base so
large it eclipses Kosovo's Camp Bondsteel, which had been the largest
foreign US military base built since Vietnam (it is so big, I am led to
understand, that it is better visible from space than the Great Wall of

Obviously, it is under President Bush that this construction in Iraq is
taking place. However, who conquered the land where Bondsteel was built in
the first place? The name is: Bill Clinton. The party: Democratic. In
addition, did Clinton engage in the process called: "invade the world one
economy at the time"? Yes he did, and in particular the socialist and
self-sustainable economies, such as Rwanda and Yugoslavia, by way of proxy
aggression and direct aggression respectively. It should strike us as
peculiar that a president from the "left" side of the spectrum, i.e.,
Democrat side, is engaged in a policy that critics call "the Bu$h Agenda,"
should it not? Was Clinton then the Bush (or Bu$h) before Bush? Indeed,
the practice stretches back even further.

In each case, of course, the crime against peace (the supreme
international crime, according to the Nuremberg court) is committed for
the sake of "world peace," and when we end up owning everything and
everyone, this is imperialism "in its truest form." However, it is
important that we make clear that this is not new to the Bush
administration. In fact, Bush is an amateur compared to Clinton when it
comes to concealing this imperialism. Clinton was and continues to be a
better manipulator of the public; thus, in my mind, the most gruesomely
misguided political bumper sticker of all times reads: "No one died when
Clinton lied." Of course, people died when the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical
plant was bombed in Sudan (Operation "Infinite Reach" killed one, wounded
10, and deprived hundreds of thousands of Sudanese and Africans of
medication). People died when he lied about Bosnia, about Racak, the
pretext for starting to bomb Yugoslavia in the operation "Merciful Angel,"
i.e., about "impending genocide" in Kosovo that now in 2006 (after
Slobodan Milosevic defended himself successfully in The Hague) is no
longer an indictable offence at the ICTY. Those were real bombs released
upon then-Yugoslavia (a country no longer in existence), though some were
banned by international convention. How else did the U.S. get in the
possession of the land to build Bondsteel in Serbia?

Secondly, when it comes to Bush's crimes against peace described as "war
on terror," they represent a simple continuation of what a democratic
president, Jimmy Carter, inaugurated on July 3, 1979. Carter on this
fateful day secretly authorized $500 million to create an international
terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central
Asia. The result, in Zbigniew Brzezinski's words, was "a few stirred up
Muslims" -- meaning the Jihadists and the Taliban. Some like to call the
current trouble with "terrorism" a blowback, suggesting that what we now
have is the result of some fundamentally misguided policies put in place
by some previous (incompetent?) administration. It is interesting,
however, that the very term "blowback" first appeared "in a classified CIA
post-action report on the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953,
carried out in the interests of British Petroleum."

If one is wondering what the CIA is doing acting on behalf of British
Petroleum, which is not even an American company, it is worth consulting
Enghdahl once more to recognize that there is in fact no differentiation
within Anglo-American global oil interests. He writes that after the
Achnacarry Agreement, the "Seven Sisters" [made up of Esso (Standard Oil
of New Jersey, now Exxon), Mobil (Standard Oil of New York), Gulf Oil,
Texaco, Standard Oil of California (Chevron), Royal Dutch Shell, and the
Anglo-Persian Oil Company (British Petroleum)] "were effectively one
institution," and that with it, "British and American oil majors agreed to
accept the existing market divisions and shares, to set a secret world
cartel price, and end the destructive competition and price wars of the
last decade." He says that since this 1927 agreement, "the Anglo-American
grip over the world's oil reserves has been hegemonic," and that "threats
to break that grip have been met with ruthless response..." Engdahl's A
Century of War documents a number of instances throughout history where
this ruthlessness was displayed on a global scale.

But returning to the notion of "blowback," it is worth pondering if back
in 1953 the young CIA was already smart enough to invent this term to
express concern about "unintended consequences of covert operations," how
difficult it would be for the mature CIA in the 21st century to invent the
practice of politically expedient fake blowbacks? Could it be that there
is continuity (across administrations and "party" lines) in pursuing Pax
Americana (by all means, illegal and immoral)?

There is No Remedy

The inevitable conclusion regarding opposition to "Bush regime" is that
the critics of imperialism ostensibly coming from the left are apparently
capable of criticizing Pax Americana only as something which is supposedly
part of just the Republican agenda, and even more narrowly construed as
the Bush agenda. Why are they doing this? One may surmise that if these
talking heads were to become "equal opportunity critics," call things as
they are, consequences might follow. Perhaps there would be no speaking
engagements, and TV interviews would wither away. What else would they
lose? Thus, while Juhasz's book makes good points she is constantly on
tour speaking, but by misplacing blame, in fact she (as many others), ends
up aiding and abetting the U.S. in pursuing its imperialist

I understand that being a critic with integrity may push one out of all
markets, empty one's niche of supporters, and shrink one's corner of
relevance. While the latter is unfortunate, I still prefer the former

Consequently, if rescuing "American democracy" (or restoring government
accountability to the people) is the goal, it is not enough to rescue it
from the "Bush regime." It also must be rescued from Democrats who are
equally invested in the imperial project just as Republicans are.
Furthermore, as far as the goal of "democracy to the world" is concerned,
the best thing for America, American people, and the world is to leave
"democracy" up to the world.

These are lofty goals contemplated from the perspective of what is good
for not only Americans but also for the peoples the world over. It is
another question whether these goals could be accomplished at all. Here
are some reasons for doubt:

The calls such as one from Paul Craig Roberts to "rescue American
democracy from the Bush regime" have two straightforward interpretations.
On the "soft" reading, this is a simple appeal to vote for Democrats come
next rounds of elections. This, however, will take us nowhere given that
the imperial project is bipartisan in nature. On a more "hard-line"
understanding, since the US Constitution provides "for calling forth the
Militia to execute the Laws of the Union," this may be an invitation to
organize a quasi-revolution that would remove by force an administration
that is continuously violating the Laws of the Union. This is unrealistic,
however. The Founding Fathers could not have possibly envisaged a US
government controlling the armed forces with such destructive powers that
no Militia could defeat.

It appears, therefore, that the imperial project with its bipartisan
support is firmly entrenched no matter whether the "Bush regime" or some
other regime, Republican or Democrat, is in place.

The Ultimate Cause: Private Ownership of National Interest

In the end, two fundamental question remain unanswered: Why exactly is the
US foreign policy bipartisan, why is there only one party in the United
States? Could it be the case that just as there is nothing "Federal" about
the US Federal Reserve, which is a private enterprise (that possesses no
reserves, by the way) or nothing "English" about the Bank of England,
which is another private enterprise, that there is nothing "National" in
the awesomely important National Interest, which could also be just
another private enterprise (perhaps of the very same people as above). It
is sometimes said that the U.S. is run by its "East-Coast Elite." However,
what is so called would presumably be (part of) American elite, as, after
all, the "East Coast" is a part of the U.S. But American elite they are
not, for they do not act for the good of their nation since they
(mistakenly) think that all nations are theirs (to toy with).

Naturally, if this hypothesis is correct, those who would want to "rescue"
American democracy and "re-establish" government accountability are given
a clear method to accomplish this. Eliminating the grotesque wealth of a
very few persons (through for example something like nationalization) who
because of their privileged position have the ability to print money or
control interest rates and so on, and to exercise full control of the
government (that is, both parties), intelligence agencies, and the
military would at once eliminate the "private ownership of national
interest." Deprivatizing or recollectivizing national interest would
reestablish democracy and political competition would once more become
something other than the battle of the clones.

However, the outlined scenario may be more utopian than the Bolshevik
Revolution, and certainly the hope would be that American democracy could
be rescued without the multiple repeat of the fate that befell the


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