Progressive Calendar 05.04.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 02:26:10 -0700 (PDT)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    05.04.12*

1. Ffunch fated          5.04 11.30am
2. MayDay signs       5.04 1pm
3. Palestine vigil        5.04  4:15pm
4. Cruz/free BBQ       5.04 6pm
5. Venezuela/Chavez 5.04 7pm

6. John Knefel    - 1% media stiffs the 99%
7. E L Doctorow - Unexceptionalism: a primer
8. ed                 - Truly titled heads (haiku)

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From: ed
Ffunch fated 5.04 11.30am

You are fated to attend and have a a good time at Ffunch. Go with the flow.
Follow fate's humble suggestion.


First Friday Lunch (FFUNCH) for progressives.
Informal political talk and hanging out.
Day By Day Cafe 477 W 7th Av St Paul.
Meet on the far south side.

Day By Day has soups, salads, sandwiches, and dangerous
apple pie; is close to downtown St Paul & on major bus lines

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From: WAMM
MayDay signs 5.04 1pm

1. Sign-Making for WAMM’s Participation in the MayDay Parade and Festival
Friday, May 4, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Sabathani Community Center, WAMM Office
(Suite 222), 310 East 38th Street, Minneapolis.
Join others in making signs for WAMM’s participation in this year’s MayDay
Parade and Festival on Sunday, May 6 .
Supplies will be provided. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364.

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From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 5.04 4:15pm

The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the
intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo
starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs

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From: Dave Bicking
Cruz/free BBQ 5.04 6pm

Friday, May 4, 6 - 9pm  Foreclosure-Free BBQ and potluck, at the
Cruz house, 4044 Cedar Ave., Mpls.  Meet the family, the neighbors, and
the community who are working to keep this family in their home.

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From: WAMM
Venezuela/Chavez 5.04 7pm

Talk by Bob Heberle: Venezuela Friday, May 4, 7:00 p.m. Mayday Books, 301
Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis.

Bob is back from a visit to Venezuela where he wanted to learn what’s
happening there and the status of Hugo Chavez. Bring friends. Sponsored by:
Veterans for Peace. FFI: Call 612-333-4719.

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Media Get Bored With Occupy—and Inequality
Class issues fade along with protest coverage
by John Knefel
Published on Thursday, May 3, 2012 by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting

Occupy Wall Street is rightly credited with helping to shift the economic
debate in America from a fixation on deficits to issues of income
inequality, corporate greed and the centralization of wealth among the
richest 1 percent. The movement has chalked up other victories as well,
from altering New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax plan (New York Times,
12/5/11) to re-energizing activists and unions, but bringing some
discussion of class into the mainstream dialogue has been one of its
crowning achievements.

As mentions of “Occupy Wall Street” or “Occupy movement” waned in early
2012, so too have mentions of “income inequality” and, to an even greater
extent, “corporate greed”, according to an examination of key media
outlets. (Source: beautyfilledrevolution) As Occupy slowed down for the
winter, though, would corporate media continue to talk about our
increasingly stratified society without a vibrant protest movement forcing
their hand? The answer, unsurprisingly, is no.

As mentions of “Occupy Wall Street” or “Occupy movement” waned in early
2012, so too have mentions of “income inequality” and, to an even greater
extent, “corporate greed.” The trend is true for four leading papers (New
York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, L.A. Times), news programs on the
major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), cable (MSNBC, CNN, Fox News) and NPR,
according to searches of the Nexis news media database. Google Trends data
also indicates that from January to March, the phrases “income inequality”
and “corporate greed” declined in volume of both news stories and searches.

>From June 2011 through March 2012, mentions of the phrase “income
inequality” in the four papers first increased dramatically, then decreased
slightly more slowly. The number of mentions per month ranged from 8 to 15
between June and September. Then in October, when OWS coverage peaked,
“income inequality” mentions increased nearly fourfold to 44, and reached
52 mentions in November. January had a total of 64 mentions, though 13 of
those stories focused on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union

By March, there were only 16 mentions of “income inequality,” half from the
New York Times—which also far outpaced the other papers in coverage of OWS
that month, at 45 mentions to the L.A. Times’ 12, the Post’s 10 and USA
Today’s three, due in part to the scores arrested in New York City on the
movement’s six-month anniversary on March 17.

Network broadcasts followed the same pattern, albeit with significantly
lower numbers. From June to September, there was only one mention of income
inequality (ABC, 8/10/11). Mentions across ABC, CBS and NBC jumped to seven
in October and held fairly steady through January, but returned to zero by

Similarly, “income inequality” was barely mentioned on CNN, MSNBC and Fox
News in the early months of the study. October saw a dramatic increase on
MSNBC and CNN, with 10 and 14 mentions, respectively, while Fox News stayed
low at only five mentions. The numbers peaked at 54 total in January—again,
partially due to the SOTU—but by March, “income inequality” was mentioned
only six times across all three cable news channels, four times on CNN and
once each on MSNBC and Fox.

NPR [National "Public"  (hah!) Radio -ed] followed the same pattern, with a
peak of 18 mentions in October and only one mention each in February and
March."While it is certainly true that prior to Occupy, there was virtually
no discussion of class issues in the mainstream media... it’s clear that as
Occupy faded from coverage, the media turned away from the persistent
issues the movement is trying to highlight.

The spike and subsequent drop-off for “corporate greed” was even more
pronounced. After only five total mentions in the four leading papers from
June through September, the numbers skyrocketed to 62 mentions in
October—again, at the peak of Occupy coverage. The following month,
however, “corporate greed” only showed up 19 times. By January, it had
completely disappeared from the pages of USA Today and the L.A. Times and
made only a meager showing at the New York Times (four mentions) and
Washington Post (one).

The broadcast network coverage again mirrored the print coverage. From June
to September, “corporate greed” appeared only once. In October, mentions
shot up to 35, but as in the newspapers, the drop-off was severe: 11
mentions in November and only one across February and March (ABC, 3/14/12).

NPR and cable data tell the same story. Prior to OWS, “corporate greed”
virtually never came up. Then, in October, NPR used the phrase 23 times and
CNN used it a remarkable 78 times. The return to business as usual was
quick, though, with three mentions on NPR in November, one in December, and
none after that. By March, “corporate greed” was mentioned only one time on
CNN, and not at all on MSNBC or Fox (where the October peaks were only 11
and five mentions, respectively).

While it is certainly true that prior to Occupy, there was virtually no
discussion of class issues in the mainstream media (Extra!, 8/09), it’s
clear that as Occupy faded from coverage, the media turned away from the
persistent issues the movement is trying to highlight.

That’s not to say that there have been no important, lasting rhetorical
shifts. Occupy’s most prominent slogan—“We are the 99 Percent”—and the
other side of the equation, “the 1 Percent,” have created new ways of
talking about centralized wealth in America. Even as media focus turned
away from Occupy, the phrase “the 1 Percent” continues to appear in news
stories worldwide. Whether it’s used to describe recent lottery winners
(Washington Post, 3/31/12), consumers of expensive new gadgets (PC Mag,
3/26/12) or beneficiaries of Paul Ryan’s recently released budget (Chicago
Tribune, 3/26/12), the phrase seems to have staying power: From January to
March, 109 articles in the four papers mentioned “the 1 Percent” and

The danger, of course, is that “the 1 Percent” simply becomes a buzzword
and ceases to have any connection to the way American capitalism produces
and reproduces economic and social inequality.

What these data show is that “changing the conversation” isn’t a one-time
thing. Corporate media and their owners have every incentive to ignore not
only protest movements, but also the underlying causes of those protest
movements. Hurricane Katrina showed that even the most powerful and
dramatic events exposing the inequalities and poverty in this country have
had only very short-term impact on media coverage of those issues (Extra!,

Occupy Wall Street reminded the country of the deep economic divisions
running through our society, but it appears the only way to keep the issue
in the media discussion is to keep OWS—or some other form of large-scale
protest—in the news.

© 2012 Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR).E-mailPrintShare

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Unexceptionalism: A Primer  by E.L. Doctorow
Published on Monday, April 30, 2012 by The New York Times
common dreams

To achieve unexceptionalism, the political ideal that would render the
United States indistinguishable from the impoverished, traditionally
undemocratic, brutal or catatonic countries of the world, do the following:


If you’re a justice of the Supreme Court, ignore the first sacrament of a
democracy and suspend the counting of ballots in a presidential election.
Appoint the candidate of your choice as president.

If you’re the newly anointed president, react to a terrorist attack by
invading a nonterrorist country. Despite the loss or disablement of untold
numbers of lives, manage your war so that its results will be indeterminate.

Using the state of war as justification, order secret surveillance of
American citizens, data mine their phone calls and e-mail, make business,
medical and public library records available to government agencies,
perform illegal warrantless searches of homes and offices.

Take to torturing terrorism suspects, here or abroad, in violation of the
Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits the infliction of
cruel and unusual punishment. Unilaterally abrogate the Convention Against
Torture as well as the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of
prisoners of war. Commit to indeterminate detention without trial those you
decide are enemies. For good measure, trust that legislative supporters
will eventually apply this policy as well to American citizens.

Suspend progressive taxation so that the wealthiest pay less
proportionately than the middle class. See to it that the wealth of the
country accumulates to a small fraction of the population so that the gap
between rich and poor widens exponentially.

By cutting taxes and raising wartime expenditures, deplete the national
treasury so that Congress and state and municipal legislatures cut back on
domestic services, ensuring that there will be less money for the education
of the young, for government health programs, for the care of veterans, for
the maintenance of roads and bridges, for free public libraries, and so

Deregulate the banking industry so as to create a severe recession in which
enormous numbers of people lose their homes and jobs.

Before you leave office add to the Supreme Court justices like the ones who
awarded you the presidency.


If you’re one of the conservative majority of a refurbished Supreme Court,
rule that corporations, no less than human beings, have the right under the
First Amendment to express their political point of view. To come to this
judgment, do not acknowledge that corporations lack the range of feelings
or values that define what it is to be human. That humans can act against
their own interest, whereas corporations cannot act otherwise than in their
own interest. That the corporation’s only purpose is to produce wealth,
regardless of social consequences.

This decision of the court will ensure tremendous infusions of corporate
money into the political process and lead to the election in national and
state legislatures of majorities of de facto corporate lobbyists.


Given corporate control of legislative bodies, enact laws to the benefit of
corporate interests. For example, those laws sponsored by weapons
manufacturers wherein people may carry concealed weapons and shoot and kill
anyone by whom they feel threatened.

Give the running of state prisons over to private corporations whose
profits increase with the increase in inmate populations. See to it that a
majority of prisoners are African-American.

When possible, treat immigrants as criminals.

Deplete and underfinance a viable system of free public schools and give
the education of children over to private for-profit corporations.

Make college education unaffordable.

Inject religious precepts into public policy so as to control women’s

Enact laws prohibiting collective bargaining. Portray trade unions as

Enact laws restricting the voting rights of possibly unruly constituencies.

Propagandize against scientific facts that would affect corporate profits.
Portray global warming as a conspiracy of scientists.

Having subverted the Constitution and enervated the nation with these
measures,  portray the federal government as unwieldy, bumbling and shot
through with elitist liberals.  Create mental states of maladaptive
populism among the citizenry to support this view.


If you’re a justice of the Supreme Court, decide that the police of any and
all cities and towns and villages have the absolute authority to
strip-search any person whom they, for whatever reason, put under arrest.

With this ruling, the reduction of America to unexceptionalism is complete.

© 2012 E.L. Doctorow
E.L. Doctorow is an American novelist. His works are noted for their
mingling of American history and literary imagination through the
interaction of fictional and real-life characters. His most recent novel is
“Homer and Langley.”

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Truly Titled Heads

Were there justice, those
at the top would be known as
The MisRuling Class.


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