Progressive Calendar 04.09.12
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 09:47:09 -0700 (PDT)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    04.09.12*

1. GMOs/our food  4.09 9am
2. Vs sheriff sale   4.09 10am
3. Defend Occupy 4.09 1:30pm    call all day
4. Happy atheists  4.09 5pm

5. John Grant - Who can get away with shooting whom? The Trayvon Blues
6. ed             - Newter Gingrich   (cinquain)

--------1 of 6--------

From: Andy Driscoll andydriscoll [at]
GMOs/our food  4.09 9am
TruthToTell Monday, April 9-9AM: GMOs and OUR FOOD: Whatâs Safe, What
Ainât? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/

Remember â call and join the conversation â 612-341-0980 â or Tweet us
@TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTellâs Facebook page.

The complexity of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and food literally
boggle the mind. The biochemistry involved in plant and animal genomics
and transgenics â or the business of modifying the genes of any species â
has turned ugly with growing resistance to the toying around with the
genetic makeup of our crops and livestock and the rabid refusal of the
genetic modifiers like Monsanto Chemical Company to label their foods â
fighting with millions in lobbyist money all efforts by food safety
experts, organic consumer advocates and respected groups like the Union of
Concerned Scientists to pass state or federal legislation requiring the
labeling of genetically modified foods.

That would seem a simple and responsible step toward gaining the confidence
of consumers and such. Of course, no such foods could ever again be
considered organic.

But what is the big deal?

Well of course, money for the inventers and sellers of chemicals that
Monsanto and others peddle modified seeds to millions of farmers who see
these additives as boosting yields and profits. But what is there to hide
from a public that deserves to know what the hell theyâre eating?

If they wonât say, then it canât be good. Or can it? Well, we donât know,
do we?

The government seems clearly on the side of the modifiers. Its websites are
loaded with terms that any wordsmith like this writer would see as advocacy
for one point of view versus another â and the FDAâs and the USDAâs
attempts at explanations are peppered with encouragement for accepting the
benefits of genetic modification â both in pooh-poohing the safety issues
(the evidence is never conclusive, is it, as to the harm GM foods might be
causing) or in the dangers to the environment, animals and plants from all
this playing around with biology.

But, woe to the organic farmer who tries to keep genetically modified seeds
from blowing onto his property. If anything he grows shows signs of
patented genes designed by Monsanto â never mind that nature did the
stealing â the chemical company will sue. Hell, Monsanto has already scared
off legislation in some states by threatening to sue of labeling
requirements are passed.

This is the stuff of Orwellian tales â the willingness of a chemical firm
to take some poor schlub to court over the infiltration of some other guys
modified seeds into the crops next door even when he never wanted them in
the first place â and getting the court to actually back the crushing by
big brother corporations over this âmistake.â

The bigger deal is the total lack of control over the ethical use of GMOs
by the public, especially the regulatory agencies and an apparent
willingness to spend millions keeping it that way. Some international
scientists are meting as we speak but not in the United States. No. These
are mostly Asian and European scientists gathering in hand-wringing
sessions and submitting scientific analyses about the need for keeping a
keen eye on the ethics and biology of all this modifying of  plants and
animals â even if the idea is to make them resistant to diseases and

You wouldnât believe the depth of research and discussion taking place over
the entire field.

This is why this should be a very short hour given the amount of
information available and the arguments flying back and forth over the
rampant use of this chemical technology and the complete lack of
understanding by an unwary public as to the short- and long-term
ramifications of consuming the modified meats and vegetables so prevalent
on our local food shelves these days.

TTTâs ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query three men immersed in this
field and representing diverse perspectives on the farming and consumption
of genetically modified organisms and foods and the impact of all of this
on the ecology and legality of critical pollination.

 DR. DAVID ANDOW â Entomologist; Distinguished McKnight University
Professor of Insect Ecology, University of Minnesota; Coordinator of the
International Project on GMO Environmental Risk Assessment Methodologies
(GMO ERA Project)
  GEORGE BOODY â Executive Director, Land Stewardship Project (LSP); MS in
Horticulture and Human Nutrition; BS in Biology, University of Minnesota
   RONNIE CUMMINS â Executive Director, Organic Consumers Association;
former director, Jeremy Rifkin's Beyond Beef Campaign & Pure Food Campaign;
author of books on Central American culture; co-author,
Genetically-Engineered Foods: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers

Genetically Modified Food - GM Foods List and Information
Millions Against Monsanto Minnesota
Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC)
U.S. Human Genome Project

--------2 of 6--------

From: Seasnun
Vs sheriff sale 4.09 10am

--URGENT ACTION! Help spread the word!--
Defend John & Lucinda Vinje's Home
Gather inside Henn County Gov. Center

We just got notice that US Bank is planning to auction off the Vinje family
home at a sheriffs sale this Monday, April 9th, and are calling on all
supporters to join us in protest! Gather at 10am Monday on the 1st floor of
the Hennepin County Government Center, and bring friends! This will be
Occupy Homes MN first protest against a sheriff's sale, so lets turn out
the numbers to make it count.

John & Lucinda's Story
John and Lucinda bought their home in 2008, the first house either of them
had ever owned. John is an Air Force veteran now working as a security
guard, and Lucinda has worked a government job for ten years. But when
financial difficulties caused them to fall behind on payments by just two
months, US Bank refused their request to repay their arrears in
installments and immediately began foreclosure proceedings. Meanwhile,
Lucinda has been forced into "medical retirement" due to a chronic
condition, adding financial strain on the family.

If US Bank would renegotiate their mortgage to current market value as the
Vinje's have requested, they could afford the payments. After six months of
delays, just this month U.S. Bank offered them a measly $97 less on their
monthly payments. Meanwhile, Lucinda has been forced into "medical
retirement" due to a chronic condition, adding financial strain on the
family. Both John and Lucinda have worked their entire lives, but now stand
to lose the only home they have ever owned if we do nothing to stop it.

What US Bank doesn't realize is that John and Lucinda are fighters. They,
along with a growing number of Minnesota homeowners, have taken a pledge to
stand with their community and fight for their home. John says: "Their
refusal to work with us is an outrage. Do you know how much the C.E.O. of
US Bank made last year? Over 18 MILLION dollars! And yet they want my house
that's only worth $80,000. Well you know what? I'm not gonna let them have

EVERYONE: please CONTINUE THE CALL-IN CAMPAIGN tomorrow and Monday morning:

CALL US Bank Sr. Vice President Tom Joyce: 612-303-3167
ALSO, send emails with the same demand to thomas.joyce [at]

Tell Tom Joyce and US Bank to postpone John's sheriff's sale and come to
the table with reasonable modification offer so that John and Lucinda can
stay in their home.

--------3 of 6--------

From: Meredith Aby riot369 [at] via
Defend Occupy 4.09 1:30pm;  call all day

Emergency Rally to Respond to Eviction and Arrest of 12
Monday, April 9th @  1:30pm  @ Government Center Plaza, Minneapolis
After evicting protesters attempting to reoccupy Peavey Plaza, Minneapolis
Police arrested a dozen during a peaceful march. Videos show officers
pulling several people off public sidewalks, slamming one violently into
the street and deliberately censoring the mainstream and independent press.

Join members of Occupy Minneapolis for a rally at Government Center Plaza
on Monday at 1:00pm to speak out against the repression by the Minneapolis
Police Department and demand Mayor RT Rybak order his police to leave the
occupiers to demonstrate in peace in public spaces paid for by their tax
dollars.  Afterwards we will discuss plans for our next reoccupation
attempt, and methods to protect ourselves from police brutality.

We had hoped to reestablish an occupation to bring attention to social and
economic inequality, corporate greed, and the foreclosure crisis, but
instead were met with a crackdown by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Itâs absolutely shameful that the Minneapolis Police are attacking and
arresting peaceful protesters exercising their once thought inalienable
rights while the bankers and corporate crooks who crashed our economy are
walking free.
  [We, citizen masochists, pay taxes so our amoral cops can kiss our amoral
masters asses by beating the crap out of us masses and our rights. How far
from are we from ruling class martial law? -ed]

Call-in to Mayor Rybak - URGENT ACTION! Monday April 9th-
Call Mayor RT Rybak Monday April 9th, (starting in the morning) and tell
him Hands Off the Occupy Movement!
Demand accountability for the police violence against Occupy Minneapolis on
April 7th and demand an end to the suppression of our constitutional rights
to freedom of speech and assembly! Mayor Rybak's number: 612-637-2100.  As
the Mayor of Minneapolis, RT Rybak is responsible for the actions of the
Minneapolis Police Department and we demand an end to the brutality and
infringement of our democratic rights NOW!

Background info: On April 7th, at about 10:30pm, the MPD violently attacked
the Occupy Minneapolis movement, arresting and jailing 12 Occupy
participants. Earlier in the evening the MPD used an arbitrary "public
nuisance" statute regarding obstruction of highways, right of ways, and
water ways to suppress the right to freedom of assembly and speech and to
deny the peaceful encampment of Occupy Minneapolis at Peavey Plaza- a
public space. As Occupy participants marched peacefully in the streets, the
MPD encircled the marchers, rammed horses into the occupiers, pulled people
off of public sidewalks, threw some protestors violently to the ground and
made arrests. They deliberately censored the mainstream and independent
media, including arresting an indy media journalist and pushing a KSTP
camerman and flipping his camera to the ground.  FFI:, www.facebook/OccupyMN

--------4 of 6--------

From: AWE
Happy atheists 4.09 5pm

Monday April 9, 5:00pm-6:30pm  Atheists for Human Rights Happy Hour
Olâ Mexico restaurant, on Lexington Ave., two blocks north of Larpenteur,
Roseville, MN.
This event takes place every Monday.  Tables on terrace level by fireplace.
 Call Paul Craven at 763-788-8918

--------5 of 6--------

Who Can Get Away With Shooting Whom? The Trayvon Blues by JOHN GRANT

Founded and preserved by acts of aggression, characterized by a continuing
tradition of self-righteous violence against suspected subversion and by a
vigorous sense of personal freedom, usually involving the widespread
possession of firearms, the United States has evidenced a unique tolerance
for homicide.

-David Brion Davis
Homicide in American Fiction 1798-1860

The Trayvon Martin story is not going to go away. It was a narrative event
waiting to happen, and the story only gets richer with meaning as time goes
on. There are the obvious racial aspects, but the most important elements
are about police power versus citizen power â and who can get away with
shooting whom?

Since the police and the various paralegal and wannabe versions of police
are the first-line of contact between individuals and The State the
incidentâs outcome is important in the struggle between citizensâ rights
and state power.

So far, the police and a flawed criminal justice system are winning most of
the battles.

The Supreme Court just ruled five to four that police departments and jail
officials have the right to strip search anyone once the person is
ensconced in their clutches. These five male robed eminences agreed it was
just fine for a police officer to make you stand in a room buck-naked, lift
your nut sack, bend over and spread your cheeks. The officer doesnât need a
reason, other than having you in his control. Itâs an elitist ruling ripe
for abuse.

Then thereâs the realm of cameras versus guns and handcuffs. The other day
Boston cops arrested a TV news crew for filming outside a hospital,
something TV crews do all the time when a news story ends in an emergency
room. The cop told the photographers he had the power to overrule their
First Amendment rights. The cop was wrong; while he certainly had the
muscle power, he did not have the legal power.

In another case, two kids are videotaping in the parking lot of a Houston
Walmart and a cop tells them to stop because he thought he was in the shot.
He was. The kid with the camera correctly tells the cop that he has the
right to videotape police officers. The cop becomes hysterical and
threatens to taser him if he doesnât stop.

I worked for years as a professional photographer, so Iâm sensitive to
this. I read about cops stopping photographers all the time. The fact that
all police departments know very well that the law says a citizen has the
right to photograph a cop doing his or her public job doesnât seem to
matter. Why? Because muscle seems to trump brains when it comes to bad
police behavior.

An amazing incident occurred last November in a public housing unit in
White Plains, NY. A 68-year-old Vietnam veteranâs medical alert device goes
off by mistake while heâs sleeping and police respond to his home. OK so
far. But when he tells them it was a mistake and heâs all right and that
they should leave so he can go back to bed, their crime-buster imaginations
and adrenaline glands go to work overtime and they bash down his door and
ultimately shoot him dead standing in his boxer shorts. Next, the story
comes out in the press as the cops forced to shoot a knife-wielding maniac.

The case has belatedly gotten national legs due to the Trayvon Martin
incident and the fact the medical alert companyâs audio recording device
recorded the whole incident, including an officer hollering, âI donât give
a fuck, nigger, open the door!â This, of course, may suggest why some
officers are so sensitive to being recorded. Itâs called accountability.

Whatâs going on here? And why do so many police officers seem reluctant to
question and re-evaluate their initial hyperventilated and paranoid
assessments of a situation?

Of course, it needs to be said here that most cops are good people working
a hard and often thankless job. We need good cops. The problem is a
powerful handful whose bad behavior is too often condoned or overlooked. As
our courts drift to the right, they unfortunately tend to empower the bad
apples, as in the go-ahead to strip search, a power begging to be abused as
a tool of humiliation.

What if Trayvon Had Been Armed?

There appears only two ways that young Trayvon Martin could have behaved to
effect a different outcome than the one where he ended up shot dead by a
nine-millimeter pistol.

One, he could have passively complied with everything in wannabe cop George
Zimmermanâs fertile, paranoid imagination. He could have been circumspect
and understood Zimmermanâs fears and dropped to the ground in a spread
eagle pose to reassure Zimmerman he wasnât a danger.

Or, two, he could have been armed himself or been able to wrestle
Zimmermanâs weapon from him. But then if Martin had shot Zimmerman dead
would the teenage Martin have been covered by the Stand Your Ground law
that is protecting Zimmerman? Would Martin have been handled so cordially
by the Sanford police? All this while itâs indisputable Trayvon had an
open-and-shut case for fear of bodily harm or death.

Many African Americans aware of Jim Crow history in America might
characterize the first scenario as the âgood niggerâ response, as in,
âSorry I scared you, boss. Please donât shoot me!â The latter, accordingly,
might be called the âbad niggerâ response.

MSNBC has reported that professional analysis of the 9/11 tapes reveals
George Zimmerman muttering under his breath the words âfuckinâ coonâ as he
is following Martin. Those analyzing the âHelp!â cry heard on the tape
during the tussle just before the gunshot are reportedly â99 percent
certainâ the voice was Trayvon Martinâs and not Zimmermanâs. The fact
Zimmerman and his father, a magistrate judge, claimed it was Zimmermanâs
voice suggests desperation and fabrication.

The fact Zimmerman was not jailed and no forensic murder investigation was
undertaken is damning for the Sanford criminal justice system. It seems to
find nothing wrong with an armed 28-year-old man stalking a 17-year-old kid
to the point of killing the child. The final insult is an NRA-sponsored law
that says the 28-year-old can declare self-defense because the 17-year-old
kid had the audacity to fight back.

It seems incredible this can happen in 2012.

Itâs more frightening when you consider the historical parallels with the
rise of post Civil War Jim Crow laws, which spread like wildfire. Once one
state enacted such a law, other states were encouraged to enact their own,
even harsher, versions. Soon enough, criminal justice systems in much of
the land had effectively turned their backs on African Americans. The law
became the enemy. And as author Davis points out in the epigram above, it
was a history with âa unique tolerance for homicide.â

Michelle Alexander writes about this kind of parallel eloquently in her
book, The New Jim Crow. âIn an era of colorblindness, it is no longer
socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for
discrimination, exclusion and social contempt,â she writes. âSo we donât.
Rather than rely on race, we use our criminal justice system to label
people of color âcriminalsâ and then engage in all the practices we
supposedly left behind.â

I work in the Philadelphia prison teaching writing, and from what I see
itâs hard to dispute the existential fact of what Alexander argues.
Meanwhile, people like George Zimmerman are extended the benefit of the
doubt; weâre asked to understand the stresses they live with, how hard it
is to be a cop or a wannabe cop â all important elements of âjustice,â but
not evenly distributed.

Alexanderâs ânew Jim Crowâ is the first cousin of the great American
institution of selective enforcement noted for the incredible amount of
laws on the books and uneven enforcement. Some citizens find themselves
caught in a demographic that is liberally arrested and charged to the max,
where the operable word is not mitigation but demonization based on
societal fears and the possibly unrecognized, but deep-seated racial
prejudices of a ruling majority. Cops seem to be especially susceptible to
this kind of thing.

Guns and Politics

I own an H&K nine-millimeter automatic pistol, a gun I bought and practice
with largely out of principle. My principle is a bit different than the
usual Second Amendment NRA nutcase. As a vocal, left-leaning
writer/activist, I decided to buy a gun because it seemed important to me
that the political right not have a monopoly on gun ownership. In the epic
battle of the amendments, being a leftist I feel the First trumps the
Second. The right I fear tends to see it the other way: The Second trumps
the First.

So Iâm more afraid of reactionary, lunatic rightists than I am of African
American kids walking in my neighborhood. I would not articulate this fear,
except that the Trayvon Martin story is heartbreaking and really disturbs
me. Iâm a 64-year-old white man who has had interracial relationships, and
I know interracial kids. So Iâm serious when I say, echoing President
Obama, Trayvon could be my son.

It needs to be asked, exactly who are these right-wing, NRA-spawned Stand
Your Ground laws meant to protect and who are they meant to control? Who is
it the forces of rightist reaction fear? And how much of it is a factor of
race and class?

The Black Panthers were famous for appearing with guns in a sixties version
of Stand Your Ground. Why, in this case, is it so different when blacks arm
themselves? The same goes for marginalized leftists? What difference should
politics make when it comes to standing oneâs ground or defending oneâs
life? Well, we all know the answer: Government and the Justice System favor
certain political persuasions.

Weâre told by the responsible, smart people in our culture â rightfully so
â that our politics have become too polarized. We need to listen to others
better. As a leftist, Iâll concede that the left does have things to answer
for in this regard.

But thereâs one major difference, a real imbalance that is rarely
discussed. And that is that the right is willfully armed to the teeth and
now pushing laws about liberalizing the use of their beloved weaponry â as
the peace-loving left tends to advocate non-violence. The fact the criminal
justice system from the Supreme Court down to the cops in community squad
cars seem to instinctually lean to the right only makes the matter more
frightening for someone on the left.

As a photographer, when I see video of a cop threatening to Taser a kid for
videotaping him, a chill runs up my spine that I know must be a familiar
feeling in dictatorships throughout history and across the world. In my
view, the five robed eminences in the Supreme Court who think a scenario of
me being strip searched for photographing a cop is just fine are no
different than the robed Ayatollahs in Iran who make the same kind of
on-high rulings in their culture.

Which leads to the obvious final question: At what point does standing your
ground in a mode of self-defense against elements of the criminal justice
system become existentially acceptable? That is, are police officers (or
their wannabe cousins) so completely above the law that fighting back is
never an acceptable response to a violation of a citizenâs rights or

Hoosier Justice

Interestingly, in Indiana the state Supreme Court, the legislature and the
governor of recently debated the question in the open. The case involves a
marital argument that took place on a front lawn; when the police arrived
the husband refused them entry into his house. They forced their way in and
he fought them. The Supreme Court rejected his arguments that he had the
right to fight them because they had no search warrant.

Under assault from libertarians like Bob Barr, the legislature came up with
a new law that Republican Governor Mitch Daniel recently signed. Police
supporters are up in arms and claim the law declares open season on cops.

Time will tell what the Indiana law really means. The important point is,
political forces in Indiana are questioning the absolute power of police.
And thatâs progress.

JOHN GRANT is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new
independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper.

--------6 of 6--------

Newter Gingrich

Newt let
his conscience
be his guide and now no
one can find him. So, where in Hell
is he?

[The above is a CINQUAIN, 5 lines, syllable count 2 4 6 8 2, total 22, 5
more than the haiku. There will soon be a
  [?]*Cinquain Open*[?], so you might start word doodling. -ed]


       Shove Cove

 Everything but the kitchen cinquain
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