Progressive Calendar 03.13.14 /3
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 22:59:18 -0700 (PDT)

1.Midstream poetry reading 3.13  7:30pm

2. James Petras - Obamaâs Ukrainian Power Grab
3. ed                 - Two political haikus

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Midstream Reading Series

When: Thursday March 13, 7:30â8:30pm.    2014

Where: Blue Moon building,  corner of 39th and (3820) East Lake. Upstairs.
Entrance just west of the Blue Moon coffee house; up the stairs and to the
left. Not wheel-chair accessible. Plentiful street parking.

  Best to arrive 10-20 minutes early to get coffee and food/dessert from
the Blue Moon, and to be seated by 7:30 so we can begin on time. And, the
venue will easily hold about 30; after that, standing or floor-sitting room
only. The early bird gets the seat. Please occupy the up-front seats first.

Original poems and stories read/performed by their creators:
Brett Elizebeth Jenkins
Katharine Rauk
Michael Walsh
Timothy Young

Brett Elizabeth Jenkins lives and writes in Saint Paul. She received an MFA
from Bennington College.  She is the author of the chapbook,  Ether/Ore,
and in 2012 was nominated for Best of the Net.   Look for her work in
Beloit Poetry Journal, PANK, Potomac Review, Revolver, Paper Darts, RHINO
and elsewhere.

Katharine Rauk is the author of the chapbook Basil (Black Lawrence Press
2011) and has poems published in Harvard Review, Anti-, Hobart, Georgetown
Review, and elsewhere. Her poems have been choreographed by dancers as part
of Sandbox Theatreâs word/move project as well as performed by the
musicians of the Willamette Jazz Collective. She is an assistant editor of
Rowboat: Poetry in Translation and teaches at North Hennepin Community

Michael Walsh's book The Dirt Riddles was the inaugural winner of the
Miller Williams Prize as well as the winner of the 2011 Thom Gunn Award for
Gay Poetry. Red Dragonfly Press published his two letterpress chapbooks,
Adam Walking the Garden and Sleepwalks. His poems have appeared in The
Writers' Almanac and American Life in Poetry. Having grown up on a dairy
farm, he lives now in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Timothy Young is a poet and retired educator in juvenile corrections. His
book, Herds of Bears Surround Us, was published by Red Dragonfly Press in
2010. He has recorded three CDs of poetry and his poem Mississippi Ecstasy
was set for a big band jazz suite by composer, Dan Cavanagh. In January
2013, Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin Library published his
long poem, The Mississippi Book of the Dead.  A book of his collected long
poems, To the Palace of Kings, is forthcoming from Red Dragonfly Press.

Before and after: The Blue Moon, downstairs, has coffee, sandwiches,
desserts. Merlinâs Rest, a bar/restaurant 3 blocks west, has a full bar,
good food, a late hours kitchen, some outside seating

For further information:
David Shove shove001 [at]     651-636-5672

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Obamaâs Ukrainian Power Grab, Sanctions, and the Boomerang Effect
by James Petras
March 12th, 2014

In the biggest power grab since George Bush seized Eastern Europe and
converted it into a NATO bastion confronting Russia, the Obama regime,
together with the EU, financed and organized a violent putsch in the
Ukraine which established a puppet regime in Kiev.1  In response the
citizens of the autonomous Crimean region, fearing the onslaught of
cultural and political repression, organized self-defense militia and
pressured the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin to help
protect them from armed incursions by the NATO-backed coup regime in
Kiev.2  Russia responded to the Crimean appeal with promises of military
assistance â effectively halting further Western absorption of the entire

Immediately following the proxy putsch the entire US-EU propaganda machine
spun into high gear.3  The nature of the Western power grab of the Ukraine
was ignored. Russiaâs defensive action in Crimea became the focus of media
and Western government attacks. Unconditional support for the for the
violent seizure of the Ukraine by the US and EU-backed coup was broadcast
by the Westâs entire stable of journalistic hacks and accompanied by
screeds calling for measures to destabilize the Russian Federation itself
through a full-scale economic and diplomatic war. The US and EU convoked
meetings and press conferences calling for trade and investment sanctions.
Threats emerged from the White House and Brussels calling for a âfreeze of
Russian assetsâ in Western banks, if Moscow did not hand over the Crimea to
the coup regime in Kiev. Russian capitulation became the price of mending
East-West ties.

The Obama Administration and a host of US Congress people, media pundits
and policy advisers called for, or engaged in, imposing sanctions on
strategic sectors of the Russian economy, including its financial assets in
the West. Opinions in Europe divided over this issue: England, France and
the rabidly anti-Russian regimes of Central Europe (especially Poland and
the Czech Republic) pushed for harsh sanctions, while Germany, Italy and
the Netherlands were more measured in their response (Financial Times,
3/5/14, p. 2).

The Washington-based advocates for imposing sanctions against Russia view
this as an opportunity to: (1) punish Russia for acceding to the Crimean
autonomous governmentâs call for defense against the Kiev putsch by
activating Russian troops stationed in the region; (2) weaken Russiaâs
economy and isolate it politically from its major Western trading and
investment partners; (3) legitimatize the violent seizure of power by
neo-liberal and neo-Nazi clients of the US; and (4) promote destabilization
within the borders of the Russian Federation. At a minimum, economic
sanctions have become an aggressive tool for energizing the corrupt
pro-Western elites and oligarchs in Russia to influence the Putin
government to accept the de-facto regime in Kiev and deliver the autonomous
Crimean nation into their hands.

âSanctionsâ are seen by the White House advisers as: (1) projecting US
power, (2) securing the Ukraine as a strategic new base for NATO, (3)
ethnically cleansing this diverse and complicated region of its
Russian-speaking minority and (4) opening the Ukraine for the whole-sale
plunder of its economic and natural resources by Western multinational

The Obama regime cites the âsuccessâ of the financial and economic
sanctions against Iran as a âmodelâ for what can be achieved with Russia: A
weakened economy, diminution of its trade, destabilizing its currency and
provoking consumer scarcities and mass unrest. (FT 03/05/2014 p.2)
Secretary of US State John Kerry is pushing for more extreme forms of
economic reprisals: trade and investment sanctions, which obviously could
lead to a break in diplomatic relations. (FT 03/05/2014 p.1)

Impact of Sanctions on Russia, the US, and EU

Energy and financial sanctions on Russia, assuming that they can be
imposed, would have a severe impact on Russian energy companies, its
oligarchs and bankers. Trade and investment agreements would have to be
abrogated. As a result Europe, which relies on Russian oil and gas imports
for 30% of its energy needs, would slip back into an economic recession.
(FT 03/05/2014 p.2) The US is in no position to replace these energy
shortfalls. In other words, trade and investment sanctions against the
Russian Federation would have a âboomerang effectâ â especially against
Germany, the economic âlocomotorâ of the European Union.

Financial sanctions would hurt the corrupt Russian oligarchs who have
stashed away tens of billions of Euros and Pounds in European real estate,
business investments, sport teams and financial institutions. Sanctions and
a real freeze on the overseas assets of the Russian billionaires would
curtail all those profitable transactions for major Western financial
institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan-Chase and other âgiants of
Wall Streetâ as well as in the âCity of Londonâ. (FT 03/05/2014 p.2) In
âpunishingâ Putin, the EU would also be âspiting on itselfâ. Sanctions
might weaken Russia but they would also precipitate an economic crisis in
the EU and end its fragile recovery.

Russiaâs Response to Sanctions

Essentially the Putin Administration can take one of two polar responses to
the US-EU sanctions: It can capitulate and withdraw from Crimea, sign an
agreement on its military base (knowing full well that NATO will not
comply), and accepts its own international status as a quasi-vassal state
incapable of defending its allies and borders; or the Putin Administration
can prepare a reciprocal set of counter-sanctions, confiscate Western
investments, freeze financial assets, renege on debt payments and
re-nationalize major industries. The Russian state would be strengthened at
the expense of the neo-liberal and pro-Western oligarchical sectors of
Russiaâs policy elite. Russia could terminate its transport and base
agreements with the US, cut off the Pentagonâs Central Asian supply routes
to Afghanistan. President Putin could end sanctions with Iran, weakening
Washingtonâs negotiating position. Finally, Russia could actively support
dissident anti-imperialist movements in the Middle East, Africa and Latin
America while strengthening its support for the Syrian government as it
defends itself from US-supported violent jihadists.

In other words, US-EU sanctions while attempting to undermine Russia could
actually radicalize Moscowâs domestic and foreign policy and marginalize
the currently pro-Western oligarchs who had influenced the heretofore
conciliatory policies of the Putin and Medvedev Administrations.

The EU and Obama might consolidate their hold over the Ukraine but they
have plenty to lose on a global scale. Moreover, the Ukraine will likely
turn into a highly unstable vassal state for the NATO planners. EU, US and
IMF loans for the bankrupt regime are conditional on (1) 40% cutbacks on
energy and gas subsidies, (2) 50% cuts in public sector pension payments,
(3) major increases in consumer prices and (4) the privatization (plunder)
of public firms. The result will be large-scale job loss and a huge jump in
unemployment. Neo-liberal austerity programs will further erode the living
standards of most wage and salaried workers and likely antagonize the
neo-Nazi âpopular baseâ provoking new rounds of violent mass protests. The
West would move forward with âagreementsâ with their Ukraine clients âat
the topâ but face bitter conflicts âbelowâ. The prospect of Brussels and
the IMF dictating devastating economic policies as part of an austerity
program on the masses of Ukrainian citizens will make a mockery of the
puffed-up nationalist slogans of the far Right putschists. Economic
collapse, political chaos and a new round of social upheaval will erode the
political gains assumed in the power grab of February 2014.


The unfolding of the US-EU-Russian conflict over the Ukraine has
far-reaching consequences, which will define the global configuration of
power and foster new ideological alignments

Western sanctions will directly hit Russian capitalists and strengthen a
âcollectivist turnâ. The Western power grab of the âsoft underbelly of
Russiaâ could provoke greater Russian support for insurgent movements
challenging Western hegemony. Sanctions could hasten greater Sino-Russian
trade and investment ties, as well as military cooperation agreement.

Much depends on Obama and the EUâs calculation of another weak and
pusillanimous response from the Russian government. They are confidant that
the Russian Federation will once again, as in the past, âbluster and
objectâ to Western expansionist moves but will ultimately capitulate. If
these calculations are wrong, if the West goes through with financial and
energy sanctions and President Putin makes a robust riposte, we are heading
into the eye of a new political storm in which a polarized world will
witness new class, national and regional conflicts.
1. The pro EU-US putsch regime in Kiev is a product of nearly 25 years of
planning and enormous funding by political agencies of the US government.
According to William Blum (Anti-Empire Report#126, 03/07/2014), the
self-styled National Endowment for Democracy bankrolled 65 projects
involving political indoctrination and the formation of political action
groups. Under-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland boasted that the US
government had spent over $5 billion dollars preparing the ground for the
putsch in Kiev. [â]

2. The Crimean people had excellent reasons for organizing self âdefense
militias and calling for Russian military aid. According to analyst Brian
Becker(âWhoâs Who in Ukraineâs New Semi-Fascist Governmentâ, Global
Research, 05/09/2014), prominent neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists occupy
key positions in the Kiev junta. Fascists hold the two top positions in the
National Defense Council (controlling the army, police, intelligence and
the judiciary); head the Ministry of Defense; control the Prosecutor
General; and include one of the Vice Presidents. The Prime Minister,
Arseniy Yatsenyuk (âYatsâ), was âhand-pickedâ by Washington, (as revealed
by a secretly recorded conversation between US Under-Secretary of State
Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Kiev). He is the âfront manâ of
Ukrainian fascism and NATO penetration. [â]

3. âNewsâ reporting became indistinguishable from editorials in all the
major media outlets. The corporate and state mediaâs rabid support of the
violent seizure of power in Kiev by US-funded clients was equaled by their
hysterical claims of a Russian âtake-overâ of Crimea. See the coverage from
the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post,
BBC News, and CNN from 03/01/014 to 03/10/2014. [â]

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New
York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the
landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of
Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petrasâ most recent book is The Arab
Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack. He can be reached at:
jpetras [at] Read other articles by James, or visit James's

This article was posted on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 7:07pm and is
filed under EU, Finance, Media, Military/Militarism, NATO, Obama, Russia,
Sanctions, Ukraine, Wall Street.

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CryTearyOn...And On

Crimea River,
love of mine, 'cuz I've cried a
river over you.

Japan TapanYuki

Tsunami Mommy
and Fukuishima Papa
fry free fission chips.


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