|Progressive Calendar 08.19.13 /3||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2013 14:18:45 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.19.13 1.Stadium vote! 8.20 8am 2 Communities/Color 8.21 9am 3.Peace resolution 8.21 3:30pm 4. Paul Buchheit - Charles Koch:The Scariest Man in America 5. Lisa Graves - ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection 6. Juan Cole - How to Create a Dictatorship --------1 of 6-------- From: to mann4mayor Stadium vote! 8.20 8am Fill the Courtroom! Demand a vote on Vikings Stadium taxes this fall! Press conference: 8:00 AM Tuesday, August 20 North entrance, ground floor In case of rain: main floor above ground level near pond Hennepin County Government Center ------------------------ Court hearing: 8:30 AM Tuesday, August 20 Courtroom 1359, Court Tower Judge: The Hon. Phillip D. Bush Hennepin County Government Center 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 Doug Mann, with support from the Minneapolis Farmer Labor Association, is suing the City of Minneapolis to give voters the chance to approve (or not) the City's contribution of almost one billion dollars worth of tax revenues and other resources to build and operate a new Vikings Stadium. On July 16, Mann filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, [an order by the Court] that commands the Minneapolis City Council to refer approval of the City's role in funding the Vikings Stadium to voters in a referendum at the next general election on November 5, 2013. Mann asserts that the Minnesota legislature overstepped its constitutional authority by not allowing the City Council to refer approval of the City's financial obligations under the Vikings Stadium Act to the voters. Furthermore, the legislature wrongly asserted that local-option sales tax revenues are not "city resources" within the meaning of any law or city charter provision, in order to circumvent a provision of the Minneapolis Charter that requires voter approval for the use of more than ten million dollars in city resources, including local sales tax revenues, to pay for a stadium or professional sports facility. Prepared and paid for by Citizens for a Stadium Vote Treasurer: Doug Mann 3706 Logan Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55412 Phone 612 824-8800 mann4mayor [at] cs.com --------2 of 6-------- From: Alliance for Metropolitan Stability Communities/Color 8.21 9am You are invited to join local leaders from the public, private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors to learn about an innovative model for organizing communities of color for results. Leadership from the Coalition of Communities of Color in Portland, Oregon are coming to the Twin Cities to share the story of their history, formation, and work to transform the racial equity landscape in Portland and its surrounding region. Organizing Communities of Color Wednesday, August 21 9:00 a.m—11:00 a.m. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Auditorium 451 Lexington Parkway North Saint Paul, MN 55104 *A continental breakfast will be provided The Organizing Communities of Color is free but registration is required. Hope to see you there! --------3 of 6-------- From: WAMM Peace resolution 8.21 3:30pm Hearing: Kellogg Briand Pact Day Wednesday, August 21, 3:30 p.m. Room 300, Saint Paul City Hall, 15 W Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul. Council member David Thune will introduce a resolution calling for Aug 27 2013 the 85th anniversary of the Law against War signing of the Kellogg Briand Pact to be Proclaimed Kellogg Briand Pact Day. This Pact outlaws war, is signed by 84 countries including our own and was engineered by the only person from Minnesota to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. It still is U.S. and International Law and is what Kellogg Boulevard is named after. Please come to the hearing and vote to support this resolution. Sponsored by: Saint Paul City Council member David Thune. FFI: Steve 612-869-2040. Two articles in the August newsletter describe the Kellogg Briand Pact and resolution: http://worldwidewamm.org/newsletter/2013/0813/declares.html --------4 of 6-------- The Scariest Man in America By Paul Buchheit Charles Koch:The Scariest Man in America Scary because he claims "We don't have the power to coerce anybody" while providing massive funding to organizations that attack public education, social programs, worker salaries, business regulations, and the environment. Scary because he refers to himself with words like 'integrity' and 'principles' while saying "I want my fair share - and that's all of it." Scary because he declares, "I want my legacy to be...a better way of life for...all Americans." Here is some of the legacy of Charles Koch: 1. Environment In Crossett, Arkansas, local waterways have been filled with toxic chemicals by the nearby Georgia-Pacific plant, a likely contributor to the surge in cancer and other illnesses in their community. A spokesman for Georgia-Pacific called the allegations "sensationalized." But the EPA reported that the Crossett plant released 136,000 pounds of toxic chemicals to nearby waterways, and buried over 444,000 pounds in the soil to degrade. A USA Today study ranked Crossett in the top percentile of communities for schoolchildren's exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. More recently, the besieged city of Detroit has become the dumping ground for a three-story pile of petroleum coke covering an entire city block near the Detroit River. The pile is owned by Koch Carbon, a company controlled by Charles and David Koch. The mound of toxic matter has been spewing thick black "fugitive dust" over the homes of nearby residents. Koch Industries was ranked as one of the top air polluters by the Political Economy Research Institute. 2. Government Rampant cronyism threatens the economic foundations that have made this the most prosperous country in the world. -- Charles Koch Join NationofChange today by making a generous tax-deductible contribution and take a stand against the status quo. In a 2012 essay Charles Koch further criticized crony capitalism, saying "This growing partnership between business and government is a destructive force, undermining not just our economy and our political system, but the very foundations of our culture." Yet Koch Industries is one of the biggest beneficiaries of oil subsidies and government contracts. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the company has spent an average of almost $12 million per year from 2008 to 2012 on oil and gas industry lobbying. There's more. Over 100 bills introduced in 2013, backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and heavily funded by the Kochs, seek to drive down wages, benefits, and worker rights.3. Social Needs The Nation reported that free-market libertarian Charles Koch coached economist Friedrich Hayek in the acquisition of publicly-funded retirement insurance and health care. Said Koch, "You are entitled to Social Security payments [and to] hospital coverage." Koch-funded organizations like The Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, and The Reason Foundation oppose Social Security,climate change science, gay marriage, and the Affordable Care Act. 4. Inequality If you earn over $34,000 a year, you are one of the wealthiest 1% in the world. -- Koch Foundation With stunning condescension toward lower-income Americans who are one emergency away from financial collapse, the Charles Koch Foundation recently released a commercial that ranked a near-poverty-level $34,000 family among the Top 1% in the world. The Economic Policy Institute calculated that a U.S. family of three would require an average of about $48,000 a year to meet basic needs. 5. Minimum Wage The minimum wage often hurts workers with the least experience. -- EconomicFreedom.org, Charles Koch Institute Charles Koch wants to eliminate the minimum wage, apparently believing that "economic freedom" applies to people struggling to survive on a minimum wage annual income of $14,500. He sermonizes, "Anything that people with limited capital can do to raise themselves up, they keep throwing obstacles in their way. And so we've got to clear those out. Or the minimum wage. Or anything that reduces the mobility of labor." Regarding that $14,500 per year, each Koch brother made that much from his 2012 investment income in 17 seconds at the office. 6. Education The Koch Brothers' contribution of millions of dollars to higher education, at first glance a magnanimous gesture, betrays less noble motives upon examination. The funding comes with a stipulation for control over faculty hiring and curriculum. As an extension of think tank media control, Koch's surreptitious entry into over 150 colleges has guided academic decisions toward a libertarian, Ayn-Rand-like philosophy. As an example, an agreement with Florida State University stated, "Professorship Positions will be recruited and hired in a manner consistent with both the...Faculty Handbook and CGK Foundation's intent to support the...Program." 7. Taxes I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington. -- Charles Koch Charles Koch may believe he can best decide how people should live. He insists that "Much of what the government spends money on does more harm than good." But as ThinkProgress notes, Koch's investments "at best advance Koch's political ideology and at worst misinform American voters. Either way, they are hardly a replacement for 'government spend[ing]' on things like food assistance and basic medical service." 8. Business Ethics Charles Koch offered a definition of integrity: "When the other person is vulnerable and you're in a position to take advantage of them and you don't do it." According to a 1989 report by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, "Koch Oil, the largest purchaser of Indian oil in the country, was engaged in a widespread and sophisticated scheme to steal crude oil from Indians and others through fraudulent mismeasuring and reporting." Charles elaborated on his business management philosophy: "Every leader needs to be a role model for these principles, because people will spot hypocrisy a mile away." Scary. Paul Buchheit is a college teacher with formal training in language development and cognitive science. He is the founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, RappingHistory.org, PayUpNow.org), and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul [at] UsAgainstGreed.org. --------5 of 6-------- ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection Untold sums of cash poured into ALEC by Charles and David Koch have been an effective investment in advancing their worldview. Lisa Graves July 12, 2011 | This article appeared in the August 1-8, 2011 edition of The Nation. This article is part of a Nation series exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council, in collaboration with the Center For Media and Democracy. John Nichols introduces the series. Hundreds of ALEC’s model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: raw ideas that were once at the fringes but that have been carved into “mainstream” policy through the wealth and will of Charles and David Koch. Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding. No one knows how much the Kochs have given ALEC in total, but the amount likely exceeds $1 million—not including a half-million loaned to ALEC when the group was floundering. ALEC gave the Kochs its Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award, and Koch Industries has been one of the select members of ALEC’s corporate board for almost twenty years. The company’s top lobbyist was once ALEC’s chairman. As a result, the Kochs have shaped legislation touching every state in the country. Like ideological venture capitalists, the Kochs have used ALEC as a way to invest in radical ideas and fertilize them with tons of cash. Take environmental protections. The Kochs have a penchant for paying their way out of serious violations and coming out ahead. Helped by Koch Industries’ lobbying efforts, one of the first measures George W. Bush signed into law as governor of Texas was an ALEC model bill giving corporations immunity from penalties if they tell regulators about their own violation of environmental rules. Dozens of other ALEC bills would limit environmental regulations or litigation in ways that would benefit Koch. ALEC’s model legislation reflects parts of the Kochs’ agenda that have little to do with oil profits. Long before ALEC started pushing taxpayer-subsidized school vouchers, for example, the Koch fortune was already underwriting attacks on public education. David Koch helped inject the idea of privatizing public schools into the national debate as a candidate for vice president in 1980. A cornerstone of the Libertarian Party platform, which he bankrolled, was the call for “educational tax credits to encourage alternatives to public education,” a plan to the right of Ronald Reagan. Several pieces of ALEC’s model legislation echo this plan. The Kochs’ mistrust of public education can be traced to their father, Fred, who ranted and raved that the National Education Association was a communist group and public-school books were filled with “communist propaganda,” paranoia that extended to all unions, President Eisenhower and the “pro-communist” Supreme Court. Such redbaiting might be ancient history if fifty years later David were not calling President Obama a “hard-core socialist” who is “scary.” The Kochs have not just multiplied the wealth of their dad; they’ve repackaged and amplified his worldview. David’s latest venture, Americans for Prosperity, subsidizes the Tea Party movement, which repeats this “socialist” smear. Charles is a member of the exclusive Mount Pelerin Society, inspired by Frederic von Hayek’s antisocialist polemic The Road to Serfdom. Through the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Institute for Humane Studies administers the Hayek Fund for Scholars and sister programs to fund academics and staffers for like-minded groups across the country. “Charles G. Koch Fellows” and interns stock ALEC, and have gone on to direct ALEC task forces. Another David Koch project, Citizens for a Sound Economy—which launched the effort to repeal Glass-Steagall protections keeping banks from gambling in securities—helped fuel the fight for “free trade,” an unpopular policy in the 1980s. The North American Free Trade Agreement passed with help from CSE and its corporate allies. ALEC resolutions for state legislators have long supported such trade agreements in the face of local concerns about job losses, and today the Koch free-market fantasy is reflected in ALEC’s support for free trade pacts with Korea, Georgia, Colombia and other countries. On just about every issue taken on by Koch’s CSE, ALEC has provided legislative tools to carry them through to state legislatures, from privatizing “federal and state services and assets,” as CSE put it, to blocking common-sense caps on unlimited credit card interest rates. ALEC and the Kochs often pursue parallel tracks. Just as ALEC “educates” legislators, Koch funding has helped “tutor” hundreds of judges with all-expenses-paid junkets at fancy resorts, where they learn about the “free market” impact of their rulings. But ALEC also operates like an arm of the Koch agenda, circulating bills that make their vision of the world concrete. For a mere $25,000 a year, Koch Industries sits as an “equal” board member with state legislators, influencing bills that serve as a wish list for its financial or ideological interests. It’s a pittance for the Kochs but far out of the reach of working Americans. Ordinary citizens rely on our elected representatives’ efforts to restore what’s left of the American Dream. But through ALEC, billionaire industrialists are purchasing a version that seems like a real nightmare for most Americans. Lisa Graves, a former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, is the executive director of the... -------- 6 of 6-------- How to Create a Dictatorship By Juan Cole, Informed Comment 19 August 13 How to turn a democracy into a STASI authoritarian state in 10 easy steps: Misuse the concept of a Top Secret government document (say, the date of D-Day) and extend classification to trillions of mundane documents a year. Classify all government crimes and violations of the Constitution as secret Create a class of 4.5 million privileged individuals, many of them corporate employees, with access to classified documents but allege it is illegal for public to see leaked classified documents Spy on the public in violation of the Constitution Classify environmental activists as terrorists while allowing Big Coal and Big Oil to pollute and destroy the planet Share info gained from NSA spying on public with DEA, FBI, local law enforcement to protect pharmaceuticals & liquor industry from competition from pot, or to protect polluters from activists Falsify to judges and defense attorneys how allegedly incriminating info was discovered Lie and deny to Congress you are spying on the public. Criminalize the revelation of government crimes and spying as Espionage Further criminalize whistleblowing as "Terrorism", have compradors arrest innocent people, detain them, and confiscate personal effects with no cause or warrant (i.e. David Miranda, partner of Glenn Greenwald) Presto, what looks like a democracy is really an authoritarian state ruling on its own behalf and that of 2000 corporations, databasing the activities of 312 million innocent citizens and actively helping destroy the planet while forestalling climate activism --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shove Trove
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