Progressive Calendar 03.01.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 06:04:48 -0800 (PST)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.01.12*

1. Stop Israel              3.01 9am
2. UoM rally/ed rights  3.01 12noon
3. UoM clean energy   3.01 7pm
4. Nobel peace forum  3.01-03

5. Chris Hedges              - Nader to Occupy: Help raise the minimum wge
6. Common Dreams staff - White House vows to 'expedite' new pipeline
7. ed                              - bumpersticker

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From: lydiahowell [at]
Stop Israel  3.01 9am

THUR.MAR 1, KFAI Radio,  9am: KAREN REDLEAF, TC activist and spokesperson
for Stop the JNF Campaign in the U.S. The JNF/Jewish National Fund has been
known for decades for planting trees in Israel. Those trees have acted as
cover for Israel's massive land theft, ethnic cleansing of Palestineans and
ecological destruction.

Hosted by  Lydia Howell, CATALYST:politics & culture, Thursdays, 9am on
KFAI Radio
90.3fm Mpls/106.7fm St.Paul ONLINE:archived for 2 weeks after broadcast on
CATALYST page at

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From: Steff Yorek yosteff [at]
UoM rally/ed rights  3.01 12noon

With increasing tuition, bloated administration, and continued staff
and faculty layoffs, it is time to stand up for education rights!
Students, Staff, and Faculty unite in solidarity on this national day
of action on campuses nationwide!


Anna Egelhoff, student at the U of M and member of SDS says, "It's
time that students speak their mind against inaccessible education and
rising tuition. As students paying our way through college, we have
the right to demand affordable education!  Our tuition should be used
for the students, not administrators who get paid so much already!"

Join us Thursday, March 1st from 12:00-1:00 at Morrill Hall near
Northrup Plaza at the U of M for a rally and march!

Initiated by: Students for a Democratic Society
Endorsed by: Women's Student Activist Collective, AFSCME Local 3800, La Raza

[Applicants for Admin jobs have found that the fatter more bloated they
look in their application photos, the more likely they are to be hired.
"It's a simple matter to alter the photo" says Steve McSwiney: "I am quite
porky, but my photo makes it look like I'd have to be lifted out of my
chair with a derrick! Needless to say, I got hired just from that photo!
Advice to other applicants: Look like you're so rotund you'd never be able
to do a stitch of work if your life depended on it, and you've got a
life-time admin slot at U of M Admin (under me, by the way)!
"When we're all together in the oversize Admin Room, we play bumper bangers
in our rolling Admin dicto-chairs! It's a ball! We're raising tuition by
$2000 a year to pay for enhanced dicto-chairs and improvements to the Admin
Room walls and floor so it's like pin-ball! Bumpers, bells, spinners,
flashing lights, you name it - we spare no expense!
"Next - we're tripling the number of Admin Room Nearly Nude food-server
co-eds on roller skates! Just place your order!"
- document recovered by ed toward the back of the oven of tenuous existence]

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From: lydiahowell [at]
UoM clean energy 3.01 7pm

Join Us for "Making the Switch"

More than 1400 people have called on Xcel Energy to replace
Minnesota's largest global warming polluter, the Sherco coal plant,
with clean energy. Now you have a chance to ask a senior Xcel
representative about their future plans in person.

Join Sierra Club and Campus Beyond Coal for "Making the Switch: A
Discussion about Minnesota's Clean Energy Future."

A Discussion about Minnesota's Clean Energy Future
Thursday, March 1st, 7:00 p.m.
Akerman Hall, Room 319, University of Minnesota East Bank
Nearest parking garage on Church St and Transit Accessible:
Questions: Joshua Low, 612-659-9124,

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From: WAMM
Nobel peace forum 3.01-03

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum: The Price of Peace March 1 through 3 Augsburg
College and the University of Minnesota West Bank Campus, Minneapolis.

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum is a premier international event (open to the
public) that brings Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, civic leaders, scholars,
and business visionaries together with students and other citizens to
discuss and learn about peacemaking, in all its forms. For 23 years it has
been the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s only such program outside of Norway.
Speakers Include: F.W. de Klerk, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former
President of South Africa; Dessa, writer, rapper, and singer; Naomi Tutu,
human rights activist; Andrew Slack, founder. Sponsored by: the Nobel Peace
Prize Forum. FFI and Registration: Visit

[You can ask them why they gave the prize to warmonger Obama. Did someone
hold a gun to their heads? - ed]

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Nader to Occupy: Help Raise the Minimum Wage
by Chris Hedges
Published on Monday, February 27, 2012 by TruthDig

The Occupy movement may be able to forge a powerful alliance with millions
of working men and women around a national call to raise the minimum wage
to $10 an hour. The drive to establish new encampments, while important, is
going to be long and difficult. The ongoing efforts to stand up to the
foreclosure and mortgage crisis, the marches to hold Wall Street
accountable, the protests against stop-and-frisk policies in New York City
or police brutality in Oakland, while vital, do not draw the numbers into
the streets across the country needed to loosen the grip of the corporate

Some 70 percent of the public supports raising the minimum wage. This is an
issue that resonates across political, ethnic, religious and cultural
lines. It exposes the vast disparities in wealth and the gross inequalities
imposed by our corporate oligarchy. The political elite during this
election year, which needs to toss a few scraps to the voting public, might
be pressured to respond. The two leading Republican candidates, Mitt Romney
and Rick Santorum, say they support the minimum wage (although only Romney
has called for indexing the minimum wage). Barack Obama promised during his
2008 election campaign to press to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011,
a promise that, like many others, he has ignored. But the ground is

“The 24-hour encampments, largely on public property, broke through,” Ralph
Nader told me when we spoke of the Occupy movement a few days ago. “These
encampments jolted the consciousness of the nation. But people began asking
after a number of weeks what’s next. Once the movement lost the encampments
it did not have a second-strike readiness, which should be the raising of
the minimum wage to $10 an hour.”

The federal minimum wage of $7.25, adjusted for inflation, is $2.75 lower
than it was in 1968 when worker productivity was about half of what it is
today. There has been a steady decline in real wages for low-income
workers. Meanwhile, corporations such as Walmart and McDonald’s, whose
workforce earns the minimum wage or slightly above it, have enjoyed massive
profits. Executive salaries, along with prices, have soared even as worker
salaries have stagnated or declined. But the call to raise the minimum wage
is not only a matter of economic justice. The infusion of tens of billions
of dollars into the hands of the working class would increase tax revenue,
open up new jobs and lift consumer spending.

There are numerous groups, including the AFL-CIO, whose leaders dutifully
pay lip service to raising the minimum wage but have refused to mobilize to
fight for it. Rank-and-file workers, once they had a place and a movement
willing to agitate on their behalf, would shame union bosses into joining
them. There are 535 congressional offices scattered throughout the country.
These congressional offices, Nader suggests, could provide the focal point
for sustained local protests.

“You could get leading think tanks, like the Economic Policy Institute, the
AFL-CIO, member unions, especially unions like the California Nurses
Association, which has been very aggressive on this, and a bevy of
academics such as Dean Baker and professor Robert Pollin, along with groups
such as the NAACP and La Raza, to back this,” Nader said. “There is
potential for huge synergy. But it needs the jolt that can only come from
the Occupy movement.”

“The Occupy movement arose by embracing a rejectionist attitude toward
politics, but in the end that is lethal,” Nader said. “It is a form of
ideological immolation. If they won’t turn on politics, politics will
continue to turn on them. Politics means the power of government—local,
state and national—and the ability of corporations to control departments
and agencies and turn government against its own people. Not engaging in
politics might have been a good preliminary tactic to gain credibility so
they could avoid being tagged with some ‘-ism’ or some party, but it has
worn out its purpose. The movement needs to become a champion for millions
of low-income workers. This does not mean the Occupy movement should
support a political party. It means it should go after both parties. It is
only by going after the two main political parties that raising the minimum
wage will get through Congress.”

Nader believes that the call to raise the minimum wage has the potential to
divide the Republican Party, which has not been split on any major issue in
Congress since Obama took office. He says that the economic suffering of
low-income Americans is so severe that some Republican candidates running
for office would be loath to ignore a groundswell in their districts
calling for an increase in the minimum wage. But the pressure has to be
exerted between now and the November elections. Once the elections are
concluded, nothing will be passed that is not orchestrated, funded and
authored by corporate lobbyists.

Past campaigns to raise the minimum wage have proved very popular. ACORN,
in 2004, organized a statewide referendum in Florida to raise the minimum
wage by a dollar. Once the proposal was on the ballot, corporate forces
launched a lavishly funded assault against the initiative. The battle to
defeat the measure was spearheaded by fast food corporations such as
McDonald’s and Burger King as well as chain stores such as Walmart and
Kmart. There was no money to fund ads to counter the corporate propaganda
or support the proposal. The initiative, despite the public relations
onslaught, won by 71 percent. To placate his corporate backers, the
Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry, refused to support the
ballot initiative although he desperately needed Florida to win the

“How much political courage does it take to stand up for guys making $7.25
an hour while the head of Walmart is making $11,000 an hour?” Nader asked.
“What medieval period had that kind of wealth disparity?”

“This campaign, if successful, would make the Occupy movement the chief
movement in the country,” Nader said. “It would be a movement that got
something done. It could build on this.”

“The end of the encampments could be an unintended blessing,” Nader went
on. “The movement no longer has to deal with daily housekeeping,
sanitation, the occasional fights and bickering and the poor and homeless
who were urged to go there by police. It can develop a laser-beam focus on
the first stage of the recovery of the American worker.”

“To be able to spearhead a coalition that includes the AFL-CIO, minority
groups and local community groups will show that the movement can leverage
power,” Nader said. “It has not shown this so far. The most accessible
bastion of corporate power, the most sensitive of the three branches of
government, is the legislature, and not just Congress, but state
legislatures. This is a winnable issue. It fulfills the 99 percent motto.
And the movement can be very effective because it has developed a unique
ability to carry out daily demonstrations. If the movement can get the
minimum wage raised it will gain enormous power. Who has gotten anything on
the progressive agenda through Congress in the last few years? A victory
would permit the Occupy movement to fill this power vacuum. Once you win a
battle in Congress you produce a penumbra of power. This penumbra stops bad
things from happening. It curtails the arrogance of the Republican Party.
It empowers new and fresh leadership.”

© 2012 TruthDig
Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.

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[Now I wouldn't vote for Obama even if the GOP were to run Hitler Jr (which
they probably will). We're here because of 30 years of lesser-evil-Democrat
voting and screaming, of letting the country slide a bit further right each
election, no more progress only regress, peace in their time, sitting on
their comfortable gradually expanding asses - and now here we are, it will
be bad, and they are to blame. So when they rant bug-eyed at us "Well what
about the Supreme Court??" , we know where they can put it. -ed]

White House Vows to 'Expedite' New Pipeline Proposal
- Common Dreams staff
Published on Monday, February 27, 2012 by Common Dreams

A proposal by Canadian oil firm TransCanada to seek new approval for
segments of its Keystone XL pipeline project was greeted warmly by the
Obama White House today. In a letter sent to the US State Department, the
company said it would seek a 'Presidential Permit application (cross border
permit) in the near future for the Keystone XL Project from the U.S./Canada
border in Montana to Steele City, Nebraska.  TransCanada would supplement
that application with an alternative route in Nebraska as soon as that
route is selected.'

In effect, TransCanada is using a divide-and-conquer method by splitting up
the original Keystone route in two. The lower half of the pipeline would
now start in Oklahoma and travel to Texas, but because it does not cross an
international border it would not require the special cross-border permit.
The northern half would still need federal approval, but TransCanada would
begin building the lower half even without it. The company would apply
separately to the various federal and state permits for the southern
portion of the pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. White
House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to the company's letter by
saying, "We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is
built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every
step possible to expedite the necessary Federal permits."

The Hill reports:

The administration said Obama's decision last month to reject the permit
was made because of a 60-day, GOP-backed deadline included in a two-month
extension of the payroll tax cut.

TransCanada said it expects the new application for the cross-border permit
to be dealt with quickly.

"The over three year environmental review for Keystone XL completed last
summer was the most comprehensive process ever for a cross border
pipeline," TransCanada President Russ Girling said in a statement. "Based
on that work, we would expect our cross border permit should be processed
expeditiously and a decision made once a new route in Nebraska is

TransCanada said Monday that it would continue working with Nebraska
officials to identify an alternative route for Keystone around the state's
ecologically sensitive Sand Hill's region. The Obama administration had
delayed a final decision on the project until 2013 in order to identify and
analyze the alternative route. But the 60-day deadline forced the
administration to weigh in on the project sooner.

Groups that have worked hard to prevent these pipelines, however, were not
pleased with the developments.

"Any attempt to move forward with any segment of the pipeline will be met
with the same fierce grassroots opposition that stopped the pipeline the
first time. We know that Big Oil will stop at nothing to further its
profits, but it can't hide the dirty reality that importing more tar sands
oil through our heartland endangers our land, water and climate." -- Kim
Huynh, FOE

Kim Huynh, dirty fuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth, had the
following statement in response:

TransCanada is grasping at straws. The permit for the Keystone XL tar sands
oil pipeline was rejected. Desperate to placate shareholders, TransCanada
is trying to dodge a robust environmental review process. No matter how
TransCanada tries to slice and dice it, the Keystone XL pipeline would be
an environmental disaster.

The administration must stop trying to have it both ways. President Obama
cannot expect to protect the climate and to put the country on a path
toward 21st-century clean energy while simultaneously shilling for one of
the dirtiest industries on Earth. What the administration seems to be
missing is that the southern segment of this pipeline would exacerbate air
pollution in refinery communities along the Gulf Coast and threaten our
heartland with costly spills — all for oil that likely won't make it to
Americans' gas tanks.

Any attempt to move forward with any segment of the pipeline will be met
with the same fierce grassroots opposition that stopped the pipeline the
first time. We know that Big Oil will stop at nothing to further its
profits, but it can't hide the dirty reality that importing more tar sands
oil through our heartland endangers our land, water and climate.

And founder Bill McKibben, who has led protests against Keystone
XL, focused on the impact of farmers and landowners along the southern
section of the proposed pipeline, with this response to the news:

Transcanada's decision to build its pipe from Oklahoma to Texas is a nifty
excuse to steal some land by eminent domain. It doesn't increase tar sands
mining because there's still no pipe across the Canadian border, but it's
the usual ugly power grab and land grab by the fossil fuel industry --
we'll do what we can to stand by our allies in that arid and beautiful land.

NRDC's Susan Casey-Lefkowitz called TransCanada's plan "a ploy" designed to
"avoid a review that will show how the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will
raise U.S. oil prices, send tar sands overseas, endanger U.S. homes and
waters, and contribute to worsening climate change." And continued:

What part of “no” does TransCanada not understand? Texans, Nebraskans, and
folks all across the country are saying that whether in a hundred pieces or
one piece, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in the national
interest.  [...]

TransCanada is clearly trying to circumvent the process that we have in
place for approving international pipelines by now going around the
presidential permit national interest determination requirement for the
part of this pipeline that will hurt the U.S. economy. Whether in pieces or
as a whole, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in the national

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*                                                       Sterilize the
ruling class  *


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