Ben Manski and Medea Benjamin

by fpaynter on October 16, 2010

in Corporate Imperialism,Democracy

Progressive activist Medea Benjamin isn’t often in Madison, so when she comes, one goes. Last night she came for Ben Manski, a real progressive, a Green running for Assembly in Wisconsin’s “safe” 77th district. His opponent, Brett Hulsey, a Democrat and former lobbyist for energy corporations against environmentally sound legislation, has one thing going for him: the tendency of the voters in the 77th to vote a straight party line.

Last night’s 5pm gathering on Bascom Hill drew about fifty people. Many more than that are expected at the stadium today to watch the Badgers play the Buckeyes.

So what did I learn last night that the fans who were saving their energy for today’s football game might have missed? Here’s a list:

  • Condaleezza Rice was on the Jon Stewart show this week flogging her autobiography and her own peculiar brand of Presbyterianism. In an effort to remain fair and balanced, Stewart will have Medea Benjamin on the show this coming Tuesday.
  • Benjamin, founder of Global Exchange, says that the 9/11 terrorist attacks stopped the global movement in its tracks.
  • I was reminded that Colin Powell was laughed at by the people of the world when he gave his false “WMD” testimony at the UN. Nevertheless Bush moved from that testimony to the Iraq invasion.
  • NGOs in Afghanistan have been advised by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Organisation to register with the local Taliban. Things are that shaky over there.
  • Connecting the trillions we spend on Empire with the dearth of jobs in the USA is on the activist “to do list.”
  • The Madison/Rafah sister city project is working on potable water projects in Gaza.
  • Israel’s blockade of Gaza will be busted this weekend through the cooperation of Egypt and Syria. “The aid will not go to Gaza by sea. It is due to arrive Monday at the Egyptian port, from where it will be transferred into the Palestinian territory by land through the Rafah crossing.”
  • Recommended reading: “The Three Trillion Dollar War” by Joseph Stieglitz.
  • George W. Bush will be in Milwaukee on November 10th. Email for details on how he will be encountered.
  • George Goehl of National Peoples Action is organizing to monitor elected sheriffs and judges and recall them for bad decisions.
  • “Move to Amend” first national Democracy Convention planned for Madison next August.
  • Glenn Greenwald will be on campus on 11/3, appearing under the auspices of Progressive Dane.
  • John Nichols was at last night’s gathering. He might have been the guy who said: “Since the Jon Stewart Rally for Sanity has no substance, we must bring substance to it.” He did aver that Stewart is the most radical voice in mass media today, and also that he (Nichols) likes the sign that reads: “I disagree with you” and, on the reverse side, “…but I do not think you are Satan’s spawn.” He urged that people have fun at the Stewart rally. He said, “Our side shouldn’t just be about critique.”
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