Progressive Calendar 11.28.11 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 13:40:13 -0800 (PST)
 P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.28.11

1. Rwanda            11.28 4pm
2. Ramsey budget 11.28 6:30pm

3. Naomi Wolf - The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy
4. Carl Gibson - America has become a fascist police state
5. ed               - Obama's sword   (haiku)

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andrea.m.palumbo [at]
subject: Rwanda 11.28 4pm

Rwanda Truth & Reconciliation Roundtable 11/28/11 at 4:00 pm -6:00 pm

Rwanda Truth and Reconciliation: The Process Begins
Paul Rusesabagina, honored for saving Hutus and Tutsis alike during the
Rwandan Genocide
Robert Flaten, Former U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda
Professor Peter Erlinder, UNâICTR Lead Defense Counsel
Special guest TBA for security reasons
Moderated by Dr. Ali Galayd, Former Prime Minister of Somalia
November 28, 2011
4:00 PM â 6:00 PM

William Mitchell College of Law, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul
Open to local students and faculty members with valid ID
Conference will be streamed live â register at
reconcileconference [at] gmail.comfor video link.

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From: Ed Davis
Ramsey budget 11.28 6:30pm

Public Hearing on County Budget
Ramsey County is in the throes of debating the 2012-13 Budget.
Details at

Budget Pt1
 Budget Pt2
 Some Highlights
# Change in revenue source from State & Federal
 Property taxes paid for 36%   (2000)
                     for 47.1% (2013)
# Increase in tax levy 2.4% in 2012 and 2013
# Overall County spending is proposed to go down $7.4 million or -1.2%
by the end of the 2012-2013 biennium
# 134 positions removed over the biennium
# 20-30 layoffs (over the biennium?)

Monday, November 28, 2011
6:30 p.m. â until public testimony completed
Roseville Area High School
1240 County Road B2 West
Roseville, MN
Contact Bonnie Jackelen at 651-266-8014 if you wish to speak at this hearing
[say, on public money for a stadium -ed]The Shocking Truth About the
Crackdown on Occupy
By Naomi Wolf

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Naomi Wolf - The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy
Guardian UK
26 November 11

The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has
touched the third rail of our political class's venality.

AS citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of
unparallelled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful
OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman
was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students
at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral
online; images proliferated of young women â targeted seemingly for their
gender â screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the
pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head,
emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park.

But just when Americans thought we had the picture â was this crazy police
and mayoral overkill, on a municipal level, in many different cities? â the
picture darkened. The National Union of Journalists and the Committee to
Protect Journalists issued a Freedom of Information Act request to
investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices
that appeared to target journalists. The New York Times reported that "New
York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed
a barrier at reporters and photographers" covering protests. Reporters were
asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many
dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the
story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news
was unfolding. Other reporters wearing press passes were arrested and
roughed up by cops, after being â falsely â informed by police that "It is
illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk."

In New York, a state supreme court justice and a New York City council
member were beaten up; in Berkeley, California, one of our greatest
national poets, Robert Hass, was beaten with batons. The picture darkened
still further when Wonkette and reported that the Mayor
of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had
participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on "how to
suppress" Occupy protests.

To Europeans, the enormity of this breach may not be obvious at first. Our
system of government prohibits the creation of a federalised police force,
and forbids federal or militarised involvement in municipal peacekeeping.

I noticed that rightwing pundits and politicians on the TV shows on which I
was appearing were all on-message against OWS. Journalist Chris Hayes
reported on a leaked memo that revealed lobbyists vying for an $850,000
contract to smear Occupy. Message coordination of this kind is impossible
without a full-court press at the top. This was clearly not simply a case
of a freaked-out mayors', city-by-city municipal overreaction against mess
in the parks and cranky campers. As the puzzle pieces fit together, they
began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.

Why this massive mobilisation against these not-yet-fully-articulated,
unarmed, inchoate people? After all, protesters against the war in Iraq,
Tea Party rallies and others have all proceeded without this coordinated
crackdown. Is it really the camping? As I write, two hundred young people,
with sleeping bags, suitcases and even folding chairs, are still camping
out all night and day outside of NBC on public sidewalks â under the
benevolent eye of an NYPD cop â awaiting Saturday Night Live tickets, so
surely the camping is not the issue. I was still deeply puzzled as to why
OWS, this hapless, hopeful band, would call out a violent federal response.

That is, until I found out what it was that OWS actually wanted.

The mainstream media was declaring continually "OWS has no message".
Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online "What is it you
want?" answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100
answers. These were truly eye-opening.

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was
legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets
boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system
to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to
restore the Glass-Steagall Act â the Depression-era law, done away with by
President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks.
This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment
banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of
thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole
that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting
Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

When I saw this list â and especially the last agenda item â the scales
fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit
kicked out of them.

For the terrible insight to take away from news that the Department of
Homeland Security coordinated a violent crackdown is that the DHS does not
freelance. The DHS cannot say, on its own initiative, "we are going after
these scruffy hippies". Rather, DHS is answerable up a chain of command:
first, to New York Representative Peter King, head of the House homeland
security subcommittee, who naturally is influenced by his fellow
congressmen and women's wishes and interests. And the DHS answers directly,
above King, to the president (who was conveniently in Australia at the

In other words, for the DHS to be on a call with mayors, the logic of its
chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers,
with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorise mayors to
order their police forces â pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware
and training from the DHS â to make war on peaceful citizens.

But wait: why on earth would Congress advise violent militarised reactions
against its own peaceful constituents? The answer is straightforward: in
recent years, members of Congress have started entering the system as
members of the middle class (or upper middle class) â but they are leaving
DC privy to vast personal wealth, as we see from the "scandal" of
presidential contender Newt Gingrich's having been paid $1.8m for a few
hours' "consulting" to special interests. The inflated fees to lawmakers
who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen
and women are legislating their own companies' profitsis less widely known
â and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption
on a Wall Street spectrum. Indeed, we do already know that congresspeople
are massively profiting from trading on non-public information they have on
companies about which they are legislating â a form of insider trading that
sent Martha Stewart to jail.

Since Occupy is heavily surveilled and infiltrated, it is likely that the
DHS and police informers are aware, before Occupy itself is, what its
emerging agenda is going to look like. If legislating away lobbyists'
privileges to earn boundless fees once they are close to the legislative
process, reforming the banks so they can't suck money out of fake
derivatives products, and, most critically, opening the books on a system
that allowed members of Congress to profit personally â and immensely â
from their own legislation, are two beats away from the grasp of an
electorally organised Occupy movement â well, you will call out the troops
on stopping that advance.

So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this week
is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now, only one
side is choosing violence. It is a battle in which members of Congress,
with the collusion of the American president, sent violent, organised
suppression against the people they are supposed to represent. Occupy has
touched the third rail: personal congressional profits streams. Even though
they are, as yet, unaware of what the implications of their movement are,
those threatened by the stirrings of their dreams of reform are not.

Sadly, Americans this week have come one step closer to being true brothers
and sisters of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Like them, our own national
leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from
transparency and reform, are now making war upon us.

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America Has Become a Fascist Police State
By Carl Gibson,
Reader Supported News
26 November 11
Reader Supported News | Perspective

George Orwell's "1984" wasn't meant to be an instruction manual.

One word that emerged from the novel was the word "doublespeak," where
truth is deliberately obfuscated through clever wording. In some cases, the
meaning of a word is reversed entirely. Oceania, the totalitarian regime in
Orwell's book, used doublespeak as a matter of course. The Ministry of
Truth specialized in propaganda. The Ministry of Love was a secretive
torture complex.

In the early years of public school, or in public addresses by politicians,
America is touted as the Land of the Free, or the Land of Opportunity, or
the Greatest Country on Earth. We're taught from near-infancy that this
country was founded on the right to say what you want, whenever, wherever,
to whomever. We're told we have the freedom to assemble peacefully, to
petition our leaders for a redress of grievances. We're taught that if
you're apprehended by the law, you have the right to a fair trial and legal

Yet, today we live in a country where government aids the corporate
takeover of elections. Here, banks who fraudulently took Americans' homes
for profit can get bailed out by the taxpayers, and use the money to pay
themselves 12-figure bonuses. This is a country where even US citizens can
be detained without due process, tortured, and even assassinated overseas.

Today, in the Land of the Free, nonviolent political protesters using their
First Amendment rights to speak out against all of the above can be beaten,
tasered, and maced by heavily-militarized police forces, using
military-grade equipment, without any provocation.

âStudents sitting down in the quad at UC Davis were covered with
military-grade pepper spray, before cops in riot gear knelt on them and
sprayed indiscriminately down student's throats according to Professor
Nathan Brown of UC Davis.

âAt UC Berkeley, Robert Hass, a former poet laureate, was clubbed by police
while nonviolently protesting with students.

âIn Seattle, cops clad in riot gear pepper-sprayed an 84-year-old woman and
an expectant mother.

âIn Oakland, veterans who served overseas to allegedly protect the rights
we hold dear come home and get aggressively beaten without warning, and
shot in the face with tear-gas canisters. Oakland police even threw a
flash-bang grenade at people rushing to give medical attention to the
wounded vet.

The recent Black Friday mobs of consumers pitching tents in parking lots
and rioting over $2 waffle irons were met with silence from the police.
Yet, 10 people speaking out in a Wal-Mart about the company's CEO making
$19,000 per hour while his employees are forced to work on a holiday for
less than poverty-level wages apparently provokes police to tackle and
arrest the citizens nonviolently encouraging shoppers to buy local. In
today's America we can Occupy for Capitalism, but not for Democracy.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has openly admitted that the recent police
crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street solidarity encampments were the result of
careful coordination between mayors on a series of conference calls. There
are also reports that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI gave
advice on the crackdowns, encouraging municipalities to deploy large
numbers of police, equip them with riot gear, and break up encampments when
the media were least likely to be present. Reports from New York allege
that reporters were asked to raise their hand if they had press
credentials, before being penned in an area far from the protests. Those
trying to get through were arrested, and told that it was illegal to "take
pictures on the sidewalk."

It is no longer extreme to say we now live in a fascist police state.
Thanks to the Patriot Act, the SCOTUS' Citizens United decision, and a
complacent electorate, our First Amendment rights of free speech and free
assembly now only exist on paper. In Tienanmen Square, the Chinese
government also censored the press and violently cracked down on peaceful
protesters. All that's missing here are the tanks.

Mussolini said, "Fascism should be more accurately called corporatism,
because it is a merger of state and corporate power." It is Orwellian
doublespeak to call this country "free" while freedom is actively
suppressed with aid from a corporate-owned government. The people are not
free if their leaders are actively making war with them.

Carl Gibson, 24, of Lexington, Kentucky, is a spokesman and organizer for
US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts
by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. He graduated from
Morehead State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism before starting
the first US Uncut group in Jackson, Mississippi, in February of 2011.
Since then, over 20,000 US Uncut activists have carried out more than 300
actions in over 100 cities nationwide. You may contact Carl at
carl [at] rsnorg.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You
need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work.
Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to
Reader Supported News.

--------5 of 5--------

When defending the
people, Barack Obama
wields a no-edged sword.

BO wouldn't want to *hurt *anybody, and besides, so long as he
*looks*like he would defend them, that lets them off the hook for the
2008 vote,
and lets them do it again in 2012. Otherwise they'd have to dump the
two-party "choice" and become *radicals.* And they will believe
*anything *rather
than that.


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