Monday, June 12, 2006



Friends of  Lt. Ehren Watada Bay Area Committee
Organizing Meeting
Saturday, June 17th @ Noon
Veterans War Memorial Building
401 Van Ness Avenue (opposite SF City Hall)
Room 223


Demand General and Unconditional Amnesty for All!
Demand the Freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Demand Human Rights For All!
Rally Monday, June 19, 2006, 5:00 P.M.
Third Street and Palou Ave., San Francisco
Note: This is a very important community rally. We urge everyone
to turn out in support of the immigrant struggle and their linkage
with the struggle for human rights and social justice in the Black
community. Together and with the support of all those who seek
human freedom and justice we can build a movement that can win!
For more information call: 415-431-9925


TAKE ACTION! BART ALERT to Stop the Killing of Palestinian Children
Israel has already fired 7,000 shells on the people of Gaza this year
Palestinian families are starving because of US and EU sanctions
Hospitals face a critical shortage of medicine and supplies
Join MECA and hundreds of people to say “NO!”
to killing children by violence and deprivation.
When: Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 5pm
Where: Downtown Berkeley BART Station, Center and Shattuck
What: Rally and March to Protest the Killing of Children in Gaza
Who: You, your friends and family—Bring your children



At 9:50 AM -0700 6/12/06 Larry Hildes, attorney
for Suzanne Swift, wrote:

SPC. Suzanne Swift has been diagnosed with PTSD as a result
of constant and pervasive sexual harassment by multiple sergeants,
both in Iraq, and then back here, one of whom coerced her into
a long-term sexual relationship. She complained to command
about these sergeants; only one was disciplined, and then only
with a reprimand.

She finally reached her limit and went AWOL in January.
We've been attempting to resolve the situation with command,
and have built up the documentation of her PTSD and were getting
ready to negotiate her turning herself in when she got picked
up by the Eugene, Oregon, police at 11:00 last night.

The police forced their way in to the house, assaulted Suzanne's
mother, and took Suzanne to the Lane County, Oregon, jail where
she is right now. The Army indicated they're expecting to pick
her up in the next day or two and ship her back to Ft. Lewis,

More publicity is needed. Also calls to the Lane County Jail
(541)682-2245, and to Lt. Col Switzer, her commander
at Ft. Lewis-(253) 967-4921.


Larry Hildes (360) 715-9788,
P.0. Box 5405, Bellingham, WA 98227


A Moment of Silence Is Not Enough
By Sara Rich
t r u t h o u t | Statement
On March 18th Sara Rich, mother of an AWOL US soldier,
gave this address at an antiwar rally


Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

June 14, 2006



On Wednesday, June 7th U.S. Army
First Lieutenant Ehren Watada became the
first U.S. commissioned officer to
publicly speak out in opposition to the
Iraq War and occupation. Lt. Watada
outlined why he believes the war to be
illegal, and why he would have
to refuse to obey any future order to
participate in it.

The following day, Thursday, June 8th
Lt. Watada's commanding officer moved
to prosecute Lt. Watada for nothing
more than his protected free speech. Lt.
Watada was read his rights and
declined to make a statement without a lawyer
present. Although the Fort Lewis
military public affairs officer has stated
that Lt. Watada "hasn't done
anything wrong" so far, an official
investigation into his public speech is underway.

When soldiers join the military they
swear to uphold our Constitution. They
do not give up their basic right to
freedom of speech. Outlined in
Department of Defense Directive
1325.6, members of the military have the
right to say what they think and
feel about the military, and even
participate in peaceful demonstrations,
as long as they are off-duty, out of
uniform, off-base, and within the United States.


"Dear Col Stephen Townsend; Please drop
the investigation currently underway
against First Lt. Ehren Watada of 3-2 SBCT
for his protected free speech in
opposition to the war in Iraq. Respectfully,"

Col Stephen Townsend
Commanding Officer
3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Fort Lewis WA 98433
(253) 967-9601

Lt Gen James Dubik
Fort Commander
Fort Lewis WA 98433

For background information:

Military attempts to stop Lt. Watada
from speaking against illegal war
By Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada.
June 9, 2006

When soldiers refuse to fight: Is the
US Army trying to silence Lt. Watada?
By Sarah Olson, June 14, 2006

For up-to-date and additional information:


Sign the petition to save Bayview Hunters Point: No more Fillmore!
Editorial by Willie Ratcliff,

As urban Black displacement grows, Bayview kicks off referendum
drive to stop Redevelopment by Randy Shaw,

Hands off Bayview Hunters Point!
An open letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors


"The Democrats always promise to help workers, and the don't!
The Republicans always promise to help business, and the do!"
- Mort Sahl

"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata

Palestine, Sudan & the Myth of a "Humanitarian" U.S. Foreign Policy
Tues. June 13, 7pm
S.F. Women's Building 3543 18th St. (btwn Valencia and Guerrero)
near 16th St. BART, San Francisco
A.N.S.W.E.R. Educational Forum


Please circulate widely

Join the Campaign to
Shut Down the Guantanamo Torture Center

We urge you to join us in a nationwide campaign and petition
drive to shut down the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.
The campaign is a project of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition and
VoteNoWar. Org which was the largest grassroots peoples
referendum opposing the launch of the Iraq war.

The goal of the campaign is to ignite a mass movement
of the people of the United States and around the world
to close Guantanamo and all the secret prisons and torture
centers set up around the world by the Bush administration.
Each and every official must be held accountable for their
criminal conduct from Bush and Cheney to Rumsfeld and
General Geoffrey Miller.

Click here to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.

We will be gathering hundreds of thousands of names
on the printed "Shut It Down" petition, available at We will flood Congress with
emails, faxes and phone calls. We will be launching a mass
education campaign in the mainstream media and in the
alternative media. With your help we will be placing
newspaper ads around the country. We will be coalescing
with organizations and movements who focus on civil rights,
legal rights, faith-based and student communities,
and within the labor movement. This is an issue that
affects everyone.  

As someone who has been active in and supporting the
anti-war movement you are well aware that the most
important counter-weight to the Bush Administration's
criminal policies has been the creation of a global progressive
movement. Millions of people have been in the streets
in countless demonstrations in the past few years. Now
Bush's approval ratings have dropped to 29% and the
anti-war movement's political position has been proven
to be correct. But unless we act now, and help the rest
of the country join in this movement, the criminals in the
White House will continue on their path.

Please make a donation to help support the organizing
efforts to shut down the Guantanamo Bay torture facility.

Suicides and Torture in Guantanamo

Three men who had been held for four years resorted
to hanging themselves this last weekend, according
to Guantanamo prison authorities. Scores of others have
tried to kill themselves. In a shocking but inadvertent
admission of the depravity of the Guantanamo authorities,
the Camp Commander Rear-Admiral Harry Harris described
the suicides "an act of asymmetric warfare against us."
He then said about the dead inmates, they "have no regard
for life, neither ours or their own." 

The three men who killed themselves had previously been
hunger strikers subjected to force-feeding by prison guards.  

Held for years without ever being charged with wrongdoing,
without being able to see their families, subject to constant
interrogation and torture by the U.S. government and
no end in sight, Guantanamo detainees have increasingly
attempted suicide and others have gone on hunger strikes. 

The Pentagon made public its approval of the use of force
feeding, which is another form of torture. According to
detainees, those who refuse to eat are strapped down twice
a day in specially designed chairs, and tubes are violently
inserted through their noses and into their stomachs. The
U.S. military personnel force liquids through the tubes.
Detainees, many of whom are left vomiting blood, have
also reported that U.S. military personnel reuse the unclean
tubes on different captives. As a result of the application
of this torture regime, the U.S. military has bragged
of a significant reduction in hunger strikers in recent days.

The Associated Press today published a story about three
British youths who were detained at Guantanamo for more
than two years without charge before they were released.
The AP story reports, "At the camp, the men say they were
beaten and saw troops throw Qurans in the toilet. They also
say they were forced to watch videotapes of prisoners who
had allegedly been ordered to sodomize each other and
were chained to a hook in the floor while strobe lights
flashed and heavy metal music blared."

The New York Times lead editorial from today (Monday June 12)
condemned the Guantanamo prison and said that it was no
surprise that detainees are committing suicide, "It is a place
where secret tribunals sat in judgment of men whose
identities they barely knew and who were not permitted
to see the evidence against them. Inmates were abused,
humiliated, tormented and sometimes tortured." 

Click here to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.

UN Panel says: Shut Down Guantanamo Now! 

The United Nations panel investigating conditions at
Guantanamo insisted in a report released on May 19, 2006
that the prison must be shut down. The UN panel declared
the prison to be a torture facility. Unless they are charged
and given a fair trial, the report also called for the release
of the hundreds of prisoners at Guantanamo who are being
held indefinitely. Without criminal charges, these prisoners
are held in savage conditions and subjected to physical
and psychological abuse, including the much vaunted
innovations of "cultural" and sexual humiliation.  

The UN report did not limit itself to demanding the closing
of Guantanamo. It also called for the closure of secret CIA
prisons, and the end of the "extraordinary renditions" which
is the policy of the US government shipping people to other
countries so that they can be more effectively tortured.  

This torture center must be closed. The people of the United
States should join the people of Cuba and the people
of the world in demanding that the entire U.S. Naval Base
in Guantanamo Cuba be closed down. The U.S. invaded
Cuba in 1898 and forced the colonial government of that
time to sign a treaty giving the U.S. military control over
this part of the island of Cuba in perpetuity. The continued
maintenance of a U.S. Naval Base inside of Cuba against
the wishes of the Cuban people is a modern day expression
of the vilest colonialism.  How ironic it is that the Bush
Administration accuses the Cuban government of violating
"human rights" when the only place in Cuba where the
authorities engage in systematic torture of prisoners held
without Due Process rights is the portion under the control
of the U.S. government. 

Say No to Torture -- Say No to Bush' s Imperial Government 

The establishment of a torture facility at a US naval base
located in a foreign country is not an isolated criminal act
by this administration. It is part of a pattern whose methods
and goals are now obvious. The Bush White House, in both
its domestic and foreign policy, wants to establish that all
existing international and domestic law that in any way
inhibits the assumption of near-dictatorial power by the
President of the United States must be declared null and

The so-called war on terrorism is revealed as nothing more
than a slogan masking a quest for unfettered empire.
The war of aggression against Iraq; the assassination
of targeted individuals; the establishment of torture
facilities and secret prisons around the world; the secret
phone record collection, warrantless wiretapping and
monitoring of the email of millions of Americans --
all of this constitutes a brazen effort to assume
unfettered authority and power.  

This is the challenge of our time. Will the people
intervene and act decisively? The people of the United
States, in partnership with the peoples of all continents,
are a power far greater than the Bush White House.
But we must act. Each one of us must act to inform our
neighbors, family members and co-workers.  

Go to:

to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545



People United For a General and Unconditional Amnesty
Rally Monday, June 19, 2006, 5:00 P.M.
Palou Avenue and Third Street, S.F.

No matter what the decisions the lawmakers make to "reform" the
immigration laws, we know that they will make some immigrant
workers "legal" and others "illegal."

We will hold a rally June 19, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. at Palou Avenue
and Third Street in San Francisco to demand General and
Unconditional Amnesty for All Immigrants. We hold this rally
in celebration of the date of June 19th, 141 years ago when
it was declared the end of slavery by Black people in this country.

Our Black brothers and sisters continue to be a slave of racism
and injustice just as we immigrants. And the government
continues to put on Death Row the great leaders of the Black
movement such as Mumia Abu-Jamal.

We make a call for unity at this rally in the Bayview so we can
honor June 19th by making a commitment to sow the first
seeds together in order to make a reality the emancipation
of the Black people and the immigrants and to demand the
immediate freedom of the great leader of the Black people,
Mumia Abu-Jamal, innocent on Death Row.

For More Information:

People United For a General and Unconditional Amnesty
Barrio Unido Por una Amnistia General e Incondicional
474 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Contact Persons:
Cristina Gutierrez: 415-431-9925
Kati Sanchez: 415-368-2576


There will be a special meeting in July when
the School Board will vote on this resolution.
The meeting date is to be announced.
School District Office
555 Franklin St
San Francisco

Report and Open letter to the Board of Education regarding JROTC:

At the first reading of the resolution to rid the schools
of JROTC on the basis of the policy of "Don't ask, don't
tell" that discriminates against gay's in the military, which
was presented to the Board of Education meeting on May 23, the
JROTC teachers (all retired military officers) mobilized students
to speak on behalf of JROTC. Carole Seligman and I spoke to many
students in the lobby before the meeting began. Repeatedly they
expressed that they loved the program. It gives them confidence
in themselves, provides a supportive environment, encourages good
scholarship in school, and encourages comradeship among the members.

So much so, that a young girl had a silver-colored chain with a tiny
silver-colored and diamond studded bullet. I really couldn't believe
it was a bullet so I asked her if it was. She said, "oh! this? Yes,
it's a bullet. You know, it's between me and my friend, you know,
like, 'I'll take a bullet for you!'"

Need I say more about the virtues of JROTC?

Unfortunately, the resolution that follows says nothing of this
aspect of JROTC. Nothing about the war. Nothing about young people
being taught to "take a bullet for each other". Nothing about the
realities of war. Nothing about asking students, gay or not, to
risk their lives and take the lives of Iraqis for this inhuman
and illegal war brought about by an inhuman and illegal

It was announced by gay supporters of JROTC at the meeting
that they expected the military to lift the prohibition on gays
in the military this year. If this is true this will make this
resolution obsolete before it can ever take effect. Are we to cheer
that our gay brothers and sisters will be able to fight in this war?
What is our plan to convince young gay and straight students that they can't
"be all they can be" if they are dead; or legless and armless; or with the
blood of too many dead in their hearts and head; or permanently
brain-damaged; burnt or blinded by exploding eyeballs and deafened by
exploding eardrums? Who will tell them of depleted uranium illness?
Who will tell them that although there is a very high survival rate for
our injured soldiers there is also a very high rate of survival with such
catastrophic injury and illness? Who will tell them that they are more
likely to be homeless after serving than in college? Who will tell
them about the logic of "following orders" and a "chain of command"
Instead of thinking and reasoning and making decisions for themselves
leads to disaster?

If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch the HBO special,
"Baghdad ER". In fact it should be shown to all of our students
in middle and high school. (It's far too explicit for very young children.)

We and the majority of the voters in San Francisco want
the military out of our schools immediately!

Here are my comments for the meeting. I was cut off midway
through my timed one-minute delivery. The resolution
follows my comments. Please look at it again and see that a
vital antiwar message is missing from it and correct and
amend the resolution immediately to reflect opposition
to the militarization of our schools and the offering up of our
students as cannon fodder for this bloodthirsty and greedy
government and it's military might.

We want a world without war! How can we teach children
that violence is not the answer when the most powerful
and influential adults in the world--our government--
uses it as their ultimate tool to gain wealth and power
for themselves.

You must take a stronger antiwar stand! I don't care how many
antiwar resolutions you have passed. The proof of the pudding
is in the military presence in our schools!

Bonnie Weinstein

Addressed to the President, Vice President and the
Commissioners of the San Francisco Board of Education:

I commend the board members who are bringing the motion
to rid our schools of JROTC forward. This is in line with the
wishes of the majority of the voters in San Francisco who
voted to get the military out of our schools this past November.
The military’s policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is unacceptable.
Our obligation is to educate our children against prejudice
of all kinds—not turn a blind eye—and turn a bigoted military
loose on them. But that is not the only reason we want the
military and JROTC out.

We want our children to engage in physical education, in fact,
to find joy in it; and to study history—to learn how to avoid
the mistakes of the past; to gain satisfaction and experience
joy in learning so they can contribute to human knowledge
themselves as well as help fashion a better world!

We want our children to feel responsible to her or his
community. We want students to gain a sense of
responsibility and pride in a job well done by
contributing to the life and well being of their school,
their home and their community.

We don’t want to teach our children to blindly obey
a chain of command or to glorify war. In fact, it is our
duty to teach our children that blind obedience, violence,
greed, bigotry, prejudice, human inequality, torture, pre-
emptive war, profiting off of war and injustice, inequality
in the application of the law, and poverty in the face of
fantastic wealth is wrong, inhuman and intolerable and
we can do better!

We must rid our schools of the military and JROTC, hire
enough Physical Education teachers immediately, and
re-dedicate our schools to education and human
development—and reject the road to war and militarism.

Just one more thing, I want to correct the notion that the
new school policy regarding military recruiters has resulted
in less military presence in our schools. In fact, it has resulted
in more. Many schools did not invite the military on Career Day
and now they must, and that is a shame, because we want the
military out! We don’t want our children to study war or bigotry
any more! Not for one more second!

Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War,, 415-824-8730

The resolution:

Introduction of Replacement Program for JROTC
--Commissioners Mark Sanchez and Dan Kelly

WHEREAS: It is the official policy of the San Francisco Unified School
District to oppose discrimination of any kind against any group
of people; and

WHEREAS: The District’s opposition to discrimination is articulated
in Board Policy 5163, which provides that the San Francisco Unified
School District shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion,
creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or handicapping
condition in the provision of educational programs, services, and
activities, in the admission of students to school programs and
activities; and in the recruitment and employment of personnel; and

WHEREAS: The San Francisco Unified School District deplores the
"Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" policy of the U.S. Department of Defense,
which requires the discharge of any member of the armed forces
if such service member has engaged in "homosexual acts," has
revealed that s/he is a homosexual or bisexual, or the member
has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the
same biological sex; and

WHEREAS: The District believes that the "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell"
policy is an unjust, indefensible, unintelligent, state-sanctioned
act of homophobia; and

WHEREAS: The San Francisco Unified School District cannot justify
committing any funding to a JROTC program because its connection
to the U.S. Department of Defense suggests that discrimination
against some groups is tolerable.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Board of Education of the
San Francisco Unified School District calls for the phasing –out
of the JROTC program of the United States Department of Defense
on San Francisco Unified School District campuses; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the Board of Education instructs
District staff to provide all JROTC units at SFUSD campuses with
one year notice that the programs will be terminated at all SFUSD
campuses after the 2006-2007 school year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the Board of Education calls for the
creation of a special task force to develop alternative, creative,
career-driven programs which provide students with a greater
sense of purpose and respect for self and humankind.

Board has plan to oust ROTC from S.F. schools
Members want to cut program over 'Don't ask, Don't tell'
The students engage in physical training such as running, push-ups
and jumping jacks; and discipline training such as marching,
drill-practice and using a mock chain of command. They also
study military history and perform community service.
- Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Free the Land!
Support Indigenous Sovereignty!
Support the courageous stand of the Onkwehonweh people! 

Dear supporters,
As you know, one of our comrades made a solidarity trip up to the Six
Nations a few weeks ago bringing up much needed supplies. He is
planning a return trip  and needs more support (see prior email). If
you can give anything please get in touch (
The following is a report from Six Nations regarding the current
confrontation between indigenous people standing up for their rights,
their land and their families and the Canadian and U.S. governments.
As the Chicano activist Juan Santos wrote in Mexica Tlahtolli, last
April, "The original Europeans in what is now the U.S. were not
immigrants, but colonists. And the U.S. is not a nation of immigrants -
it is a white colonial settler state, like South Africa under
Apartheid, the former Rhodesia, Australia and Israel.” And, of course,
like Canada.

Jericho Boston

June 9, 2006.  Today has been a day of unrest at the
land reclamation site.  While we won't go into great
detail on what has happened today as a press release
is being prepared, let us say that the intimidation
tactics and pressure from the outside has been worked
up to the point that 1000 OPP [Ontario Provincial
Police] officers are being dispatched to the area
surrounding the reclamation site. Caledonia residents
are up in arms, demanding the removal of our people
from the site.  They are even going so far as to set
up a barricade on the recently opened Plank Road
(Argyle Street) leading into Caledonia. 

The intimidation tactics leading up to today were
constant..... including army helicopters and others
flying overhead all hours of the day and night.  They
hovered overhead between 2 and  4 in the morning with
their lights off and their nigh vision on ,
and then on occasion, shining high powered lights
down onto the people on the site.  [this is all the
same as their tactics in Oka in 1990].

We are being faced daily with people driving by,
hollering racial remarks including "go home you f'n
Indians", "get a job", "your gonna die" etc.  Garbage
is being thrown at us.  Besides the "flipping of the
bird", there have been times where firecrackers are
being thrown out the car windows toward us.  These
incidents, however, are not investigated by the OPP
because “they are not breaking any laws”.  [See ‘Rocks
at Whisky Trench, National Film Board].  [what about
hate laws, human rights and racial discrimination?]

Today a United States Border Patrol vehicle was
retrieved with high powered surveillance equipment in
it.   The first story from the OPP was that the
"A.T.F. Officer" was just visiting friends in the
neighborhood and taking pictures "kinda like
a tourist".  [Right!  With a high tech surveillance van?
He left the family car at home?]  He was spotted just
down from the  front line barricade.  We followed them
to the back door of the reclamation site.   Later we
questioned what the United States ATF was doing
snooping around taking pictures of us with the OPP
riding in the back with them.  They changed the story
saying that they had been invited in by the OPP.
[Why?  Was the OPP getting lonely looking at each
other?  Did they need more maniacs to make themselves
feel more comfortable?] What were they doing here?
What is their mandate?  The OPP refused to tell us why
these people have gotten high government official
clearance to be so far out of their jurisdiction.   An
OPP officer was hospitalized as a result of this
incident.  A CHTV Newsperson/cameraman had to get
stitches as a result of a previous run-in with our
people.  [CHTV 11 not only reports the news,
they “create” the news]. 

This situation is not good.  [All reports from CHTV 11
are anti-Indigenous].

The incidents of today are a direct result of the
constant intimidation tactics of the OPP, the military
and the continued racist acts instigated against us by
the Caledonia people [with their professionally made
“Bring in the Army” signs always in their car trunks,
just in case the cameras are there].  Other strategies
are the recent blocking of our children from using the
arena for lacrosse games and the back tracking by the
Ontario government at the “talks”.  This is supposed
to push everything up to the ultimate goal of Canada
and Ontario.  They want to justify stopping the talks
about returning our lands to us. 

At our fire tonight, we realized that Canada does not
want to deal with the Onkwehonweh people because
they know we are absolutely right in our position on the
land, our sovereignty and upholding our Law. 

This violence today occurred as a result of the
underhanded and direct attempts at inciting an action
from us to justify another attack against us.   They
want to make it look like we are uncontrollable.  Why
else have they been playing the "terrorists in Canada
in court in Brampton" back to back with the "Six
Nations land reclamation in Caledonia" on all the news
stations?  Canada, with the help of corporate media,
is making sure the mental brainwashing of its citizens
against the Onkwehonweh continues.   [Across Canada
people are not buying this corporate brainwashing].

How convenient that CHTV 11 was there even before this
all started!  How coincidently that the couple who
sparked the violence with their racial attacks and
their attempt to run over our people, drove straight
to the Canadian Tire parking lot!  How convenient that
a "by-stander" happened to have a video camera across
the road at the Tim Horton’s coffee shop video taping
the whole scene [with a Boston Cream donut in the
other hand].  He directly reported to CHML radio which
happens to be co-owned by CHTV 11.  Was it a
co-incidence!  Or were they already on standby knowing
that a story was about to break.  [Another high-priced
promotion failed!]

It is unfortunate that our people fell for it.  [Our
guys are the only ones legally here].  The reality is,
we are dealing with the constant mental, emotional and
physical intimidation of the corrupt bureaucrats.
Also, we face racial violence constantly.  Does anyone
know for sure how they would react in the same

The potential for violence against us here in the next
while is tremendous.  [Expect this to happen.  This is
their “bad act” and no one’s buying any tickets for
it!]  The Caledonia people want to take us off
our land.  The OPP are maintaining a line between the
Caledonia residents and the reclamation site.  [Just
like the people in Chateauguay in 1990.  See “Act of
Defiance” by the National Film Board].  We don’t know
how long this is going to last.  Our people are on
alert.  We are on the site unarmed.  We are trying to
maintain the peace.  We are keeping the people within
the inner perimeter.  We will continue to forward
updates.  Please forward to others.  Stay Strong and
keep the Peace.  Hazel

You support is crucial now.  Do whatever you can.  Use
your good mind and heart.  Stand by us in solidarity
and support.   


Great Counter-Recruitment Website





People United For a General and Unconditional Amnesty
Rally Monday, June 19, 2006, 5:00 P.M.
Palou Avenue and Third Street, S.F.

No matter what the decisions the lawmakers make to "reform" the
immigration laws, we know that they will make some immigrant
workers "legal" and others "illegal."

We will hold a rally June 19, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. at Palou Avenue
and Third Street in San Francisco to demand General and
Unconditional Amnesty for All Immigrants. We hold this rally
in celebration of the date of June 19th, 141 years ago when
it was declared the end of slavery by Black people in this country.

Our Black brothers and sisters continue to be a slave of racism
and injustice just as we immigrants. And the government
continues to put on Death Row the great leaders of the Black
movement such as Mumia Abu-Jamal.

We make a call for unity at this rally in the Bayview so we can
honor June 19th by making a commitment to sow the first
seeds together in order to make a reality the emancipation
of the Black people and the immigrants and to demand the
immediate freedom of the great leader of the Black people,
Mumia Abu-Jamal, innocent on Death Row.

For More Information:

People United For a General and Unconditional Amnesty
Barrio Unido Por una Amnistia General e Incondicional
474 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Contact Persons:
Cristina Gutierrez: 415-431-9925
Kati Sanchez: 415-368-2576



Last summer the U.S. Border Patrol arrested Shanti Sellz and
Daniel Strauss, both 23-year-old volunteers assisting immigrants
on the border, for medically evacuating 3 people in critical
condition from the Arizona desert.

Criminalization for aiding undocumented immigrants already
exists on the books in the state of Arizona. Daniel and Shanti
are targeted to be its first victims. Their arrest and subsequent
prosecution for providing humanitarian aid could result in
a 15-year prison sentence. Any Congressional compromise
with the Sensenbrenner bill (HR 4437) may include these
harmful criminalization provisions. Fight back NOW!

Help stop the criminalization of undocumented immigrants
and those who support them!

Bay Area Tour of Daniel and Shanti
Saturday, June 17th, 1 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church
1187 Franklin Street at Geary
San Francisco

For more information on the event call 415-821- 9683.
For information on the Daniel and Shanti Defense Campaign,

Co-sponsored by: La Raza Centro Legal, SF Living Wage
Coalition, No More Deaths, Socialist Organizer, San Francisco
Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Ministry and Bay Area
Labor Committee for Peace & Justice, East Bay Jobs
With Justice, San Francisco Labor Council.


Saving The Idriss Stelley Foundation
Host: Idriss Stelley Foundation, Rap4Rights
Location: Studio Z
314 11th Street, San Francisco, CA View Map
When: Sunday, June 25, 1:00pm
Phone: 415.252.7100


ISF is a nonprofit organization created through the settlement
of Idriss Stelley's vs. City & County and SFPD case and its
allocation to his mother Mesha Monge-Irizarry.

Her only child, a 23 year old African American honor student
was killed by SFPD at the SF Sony Metreon on June 13, 2001.
48 shots! 9 officers! He stood alone in an empty theater.

Mesha now operates the Idriss Stelley Foundation, a 24 HR
bilingual crisis line (415) 595-8251 that has broadened
its services to all people negatively impacted by law

Idriss Stelley's case is at the root of the 40-HR mandatory
SFPD Mental Health Training. ISF provides free, confidential
services to victims, biological and extended families who are
negatively impacted by law enforcement

ISF office is located at 4921 3rd St., in the heart of Bayview District,
between Palou and Quesada in San Francisco and is open Sunday,
Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 8 pm.

Please come out Sunday June 25, 2006 at 1pm to enjoy food,
drinks and live entertainment in support of ISF. (21+ Please)





LaborFest 2006 Schedule
July 1 (Saturday) 12-4:00 PM ($15-50)
(sliding scale donation to CounterPULSE requested. Bring a bag lunch!)
Labor Bike Tour with Chris Carlson of San Francisco©ˆs labor history
For more info: call Chris Carlsson
Meet at 1310 Mission (at 9th), San Francisco


Fourth Annual International Al-Awda Convention
San Francisco - July 14-16, 2006
To register:
To flyer, the writing is on the wall:
For all other info:




Join the call by reproductive rights activists to send
a letter to

Defend Oglala Sioux President Cecilia Fire Thunder

After taking a courageous stance against the ban on
abortion in South Dakota, Cecilia Fire Thunder, first
female president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, has been
attacked by members of the Tribal Council, who are
attempting to remove her from office.

After abortion was banned in South Dakota, Fire
Thunder, a healthcare provider, announced that she
would personally help set-up Sacred Choices Women's
Clinic on her own land, within the boundaries of the
Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota
has no jurisdiction. The clinic would provide
reproductive health care to all women. In an interview
she said, "Ultimately, this is a much bigger issue
than just abortion. It's time for women to reclaim
their bodies." and "As Indian women, we fight many
battles. This is just another battle we have to
fight." Read an interview, "The Power of Thunder" on
Altnet at

The Complaint:
On May 30 the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council banned
abortions on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and
suspended President Fire Thunder for 20 days until an
impeachment hearing can take place. The complaint is
that Fire Thunder improperly used her title to solicit
donations for the clinic. Fire Thunder has said that
donations for the proposed private clinic have been
unsolicited, though she has welcomed nationwide
support. The surprise vote was called when Fire
Thunder was out of town getting an annual checkup of
the cochlear implants that restored her hearing. Read
more at

Fire Thunder said the people who brought this
complaint are the same people who have opposed her
since she was elected in November 2004. Fire Thunder
ran on a platform of fiscal accountability, the Oglala
Sioux Tribe was in financial trouble and listed as a
financial high risk. Since Fire Thunder became
president there have been audits that go back into
1997 (see
) And she took tribal employees off the roles for jobs
that had been defunded by the federal government. (see
analysis by Elizabeth Castle at the end of this
message.). For her brave stance, Fire Thunder has been
suspended and cleared before, see

Support Fire Thunder:
President Fire Thunder's supporters are organizing on
the reservation. They would like letters, especially
from indigenous people, to the tribal council in
support of President Fire Thunder and opposing the
tribe's ban on abortions. Message should reach the
council before Monday, June 19.

Oglala Sioux Tribal Council
PO Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770-2070
fax: 605-867-1449
phone 605-867-5821

and send a copy to
President Cecelia Fire Thunder
PO Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD 57770-2070

If you have any questions about this issue, please
contact Radical Women at 415-864-1278 or Thank you for your support!

In solidarity,

Toni Mendicino
Bay Area Radical Women and
Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights

Below is an excerpt from an email from Elizabeth
Castle, UC Berkeley History Professor and personal
historian to Madonna Thunder Hawk.

...there are many complicated political factors behind
this action. This is the third time it has happened
and the danger is that this time the Tribal Council is
using the abortion issues as leverage.

When she was elected she cleaned up house. This meant
taking tribal employees off the roles for jobs that
had been defunded by the federal government. In
addition to federal cuts, often the grants were lost
for these tribal programs because the employees had
not taken the necessary action to see their reports
were in and the grants were properly renewed. Fire
Thunder notified these individuals that they were
welcome back if they were able to get the program
funded again.

The ending of this "gravy train," created significant
enemies. These actions must be understood in the ever
relevant context of the continuing effects of
colonization. They are very real as in the welfare
mentality that reigns on the reservation makes
progressive change difficult. The federal government
not only knows this but encourages it as it makes the
pathway to terminating treaty obligations to tribes.

Though the full details are as of yet unknown, it is
easy to see that the Fire Thunder's bold leadership
makes her vulnerable not only to those right wing
individuals off the reservation in the racist state of
South Dakota but even more so at home in Pine Ridge.
With generations of boarding school christianity
drummed into the minds of many Native people, there is
little awareness of the Lakota's traditional practices
of reproductive control.

It would be easy to see "Abortion is not traditional"
signs popping up as a very patriarchal and inaccurate
reinvigoration of traditional practice. Also, in a
community where illegal sterilization was commonly
practiced, the link to organizing behind the right to
abortion will not be as easily made.

Please take a look at the links below to see how often
Fire Thunder has been attacked. It is dead clear that
she needs serious support. Website:


According to "Minimum Wage History" at "

"Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. "The 8 dollar per hour Whole Foods employees
are being paid $1.12 less than the 1968 minimum wage.

"A federal minimum wage was first set in 1938. The graph shows
both nominal (red) and real (blue) minimum wage values. Nominal
values range from 25 cents per hour in 1938 to the current $5.15/hr.
The greatest percentage jump in the minimum wage was in 1950,
when it nearly doubled. The graph adjusts these wages to 2005
dollars (blue line) to show the real value of the minimum wage.
Calculated in real 2005 dollars, the 1968 minimum wage was the
highest at $9.12. Note how the real dollar minimum wage rises and
falls. This is because it gets periodically adjusted by Congress.
The period 1997-2006, is the longest period during which the
minimum wage has not been adjusted. States have departed from
the federal minimum wage. Washington has the highest minimum
wage in the country at $7.63 as of January 1, 2006. Oregon is next
at $7.50. Cities, too, have set minimum wages. Santa Fe, New
Mexico has a minimum wage of $9.50, which is more than double
the state minimum wage at $4.35."



I can't imagine that you haven't seen this, but if you
haven't, please sign the petition to keep our access.
Everything we do online will be hurt if Congress
passes a radical law next week that gives giant
corporations more control over what we do and see on
the Internet.

Internet providers like AT&T are lobbying Congress
hard to gut Network Neutrality--the Internet's First
Amendment and the key to Internet freedom. Right now,
Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which
websites open most easily for you based on which site
pays AT&T more. doesn't have to
outbid Amazon for the right to work properly on your

If Net Neutrality is gutted, many sites--including
Google, eBay, and iTunes--must either pay protection
money to companies like AT&T or risk having their
websites process slowly. That why these high-tech
pioneers, plus diverse groups ranging from MoveOn to
Gun Owners of America, are opposing Congress' effort
to gut Internet freedom.

So please! sign this petition telling your member of
Congress to preserve Internet freedom? Click here:


Flash Film: Ides of March




Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 [1.8 MB]
Also, the law is up before Congress again in 2007.
See this article from USA Today:
Bipartisan panel to study No Child Left Behind
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
February 13, 2006


The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

Bill of Rights


1) Israeli Airstrike Kills Militant and 9 Others
Filed at 10:58 a.m. ET
June 13, 2006

2) How Not to Get Out Of Iraq:Why “Redeployment” is the Wrong
Answer to the Iraq Question
by Pat Gerber
Published on Monday, June 12 2006

3) Representative Kennedy Reaches Deal
"Police did not conduct field sobriety tests on Kennedy. A police
union official has said the officers involved in the accident were
instructed by a superior to take the congressman home."
Filed at 12:20 p.m. ET
June 13, 2006

4) Somber Tone and Protest as U.A.W. Convenes
June 13, 2006

5) House Passes $94.5 Billion for Iraq War and Katrina Aid
"$66 billion for the two wars...20 billion in funds to further deal
with the remaining hurricane devastation along the Gulf Coast...
and $1.9 billion for a border security initiative featuring the
deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico
Filed at 1:07 p.m. ET
June 13, 2006

6) UAW Highlights Special Bulletin
by Gregg Shotwell/The UnCommonSense
June 12, 2006

7) G.M. — Again
"The loophole works this way: A dual-fuel vehicle that can run
on either gasoline or 85 percent ethanol, or E85, is credited with
a much higher mileage rating than it really gets. That keeps the
overall mileage of the cars and trucks that a company like Ford
or General Motors makes in any given year within the government's
mileage limits."
June 14, 2006

8) The Road Back
Lives Suspended on Gulf Coast, Crammed Into 240 Square Feet
June 14, 2006

9) U.A.W. Will Use Part of Strike Fund
to Aid Recruitment of New Members
June 14, 2006

10) Profits Fall, Stores Close
Grocery Chains and Bush's Ownership Society
June 10 / 11, 2006

11) "Just in the Name of 'Democracy' "
June 3, 2006
Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

12) Where the Hogs Come First
June 15, 2006


1) Israeli Airstrike Kills Militant and 9 Others
Filed at 10:58 a.m. ET
June 13, 2006

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- An Israeli airstrike targeting a key
figure in Palestinian rocket attacks killed 10 people Tuesday,
including the militant, two children and three medical workers
who rushed to the scene of an initial blast.

The deaths of at least eight civilians in the Gaza City attack was
sure to heighten anti-Israel passions already inflamed by a weekend
blast at a Gaza shore that killed eight beachgoers. It was also likely
to further complicate efforts by the moderate Palestinian president,
Mahmoud Abbas, to persuade the balking Hamas government
to endorse a proposal implicitly recognizing Israel.

Abbas condemned the airstrike, calling it ''state terrorism.''

The deadly airstrike came just hours after hundreds of Palestinian
police loyal to Abbas went on a rampage against the Hamas
government, riddling the parliament building and Cabinet offices
with bullets before setting them ablaze in retaliation for an attack
by Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip. The rampage raised new
fears the Palestinians were headed toward civil war.

The Israeli military said its aircraft targeted militants on a mission
to launch Katyusha rockets at southern Israel. Palestinian witnesses
said the first missile missed the vehicle, which then hit a curb
and was struck by two other missiles.

The last two missiles killed the civilians and wounded 32 others,
three of them seriously. Also killed was Hamoud Wadiya, Islamic
Jihad's top rocket launcher, and an unidentified person in his van,
whom the Israeli military identified as another Palestinian militant.

Islamic Jihad swiftly vowed revenge.

''The Zionist enemy insists on shedding Palestinian blood and
we insist on going ahead with our holy war and resistance,'' said
Khader Abib, an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza. ''God willing,
the resistance groups ... will deliver a harsh response.
All options are open.''

Hekmat Mughrabi, tears streaming down her face and her veil
soaked with blood, said her 30-year-old son, Ashraf, and
a 13-year-old family member died when one of the missiles
hit the curb outside her home. She and her son were chatting
on her bed when they heard the boom of the first missile.
The young man ran to the door of the house after the initial
explosion, seeking to calm the children, who had been on the
roof making paper kites during their summer vacation.

''He was shouting to the kids, 'Don't be afraid, don't be afraid,'''
and hadn't even finished his sentence when the second missile
hit, she said. ''My son died in my arms.''

Shrapnel from the blast injured several other family members
in the house, she said.

Outside, dozens of people surrounded Wadiya's mangled yellow
van, whose interior was a jumble of twisted metal and shredded
upholstery. A man wailed beside the van as people propped him
up by the arms. A white slipper lay in a pool of blood on the ground.

If the van was carrying Katyusha rockets as Israel said, that could
explain why the army was so determined to stop it. Katyushas
have a longer range than the homemade rockets usually fired
by Gaza militants and have only recently appeared in the
coastal strip.

A Cabinet minister from Hamas, Yousef Rizka, condemned
what he called ''the continuous series of Israeli massacres
of our Palestinian people.''

''I call on the international community to immediately intervene
to protect the Palestinian people from the increasing aggression
of the Israeli occupation army, which will definitely provoke
a response that will engage the entire region,'' Rizka said.

Hamas recently resumed open involvement in rocket attacks
against Israel, and after the beach explosion Friday, officially
called off a 16-month truce.

Ambulances raced toward Shifa Hospital, carrying dead and
wounded. At the hospital, three blood-covered bodies lay
on the floor, and rescue workers carried a dead boy inside.

A father and son also were killed, as were three medical workers
on their way to tend to people wounded by an earlier missile.

Doctors had a hard time handling all the casualties, and
some were treated on the bloodied floor.

At the hospital's morgue, where the bodies were brought,
angry women shouted, ''Death to Israel, death to the occupation!''

Just outside, an Islamic Jihad militant fired his rifle in a show
of anger. Other gunmen vowed revenge. One went inside the
morgue, put his hands on one of the dead bodies, then smeared
their blood on his rifle. Angry crowds burned tires near the house
one Israeli missile hit.

''What happened today is a brutal massacre committed against
innocent civilians and fighters from our group,'' said Abib, the
Islamic Jihad leader, outside the morgue. ''This massacre is similar
to the one that took place on Friday.''

Palestinians have blamed the Gaza beach deaths on an Israeli
artillery round. Israeli military officials said Tuesday that the
military's investigation, whose results are to be released later
in the day, shows the deaths likely were caused by a mine
planted by Hamas militants.

Abbas accused Israel of trying to ''wipe out the Palestinian people.''

''Every day there are martyrs, there are wounded people,
all of them innocents, all of them bystanders,'' he said.
''They want to eliminate the Palestinian people, but we are
going to sit tight. We are sitting tight on our land.

''We want to establish our state and live in peace,'' he added.
''What Israel is committing is state terrorism.''

Abbas, a moderate elected separately last year, is being
squeezed by violence with Israel and violence pitting his
Fatah faction against Hamas gunmen, which has killed
20 Palestinians, some of them civilians, over the past month.

He is trying to persuade Israel to restart long-stalled peace
talks with him, rather than the Hamas government, but
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, visiting European
capitals this week, says Israel won't negotiate with Abbas
unless Hamas abandons violence.

Olmert plans to unilaterally pull Israeli settlers out of about
90 percent of the West Bank, with or without negotiations.


2) How Not to Get Out Of Iraq:Why “Redeployment” is the Wrong
Answer to the Iraq Question
by Pat Gerber
Published on Monday, June 12 2006

“Redeployment.” Even if you can define it correctly, you may not
know what its implications are. For starters, it is not a formula
for ending the war.

Rep. John Murtha introduced America to the word “redeployment”
during his press conference last November, when he spoke about
a bill he authored that was designed to prevent the military
he loves from becoming “a broken force,” to use General
Helmly’s words. Rep. Murtha has never claimed that his
redeployment bill was peace-oriented, and if you examine
it closely, you can see that its purpose is to change the arc
of the war rather than end it.

Now Senator Boxer has introduced a Senate companion to
Murtha’s House of Representatives resolution. Both of these
call for American troops to be “redeployed at the earliest
practicable date.” The phrase “earliest practicable date” is
so vague that it allows things to be done whenever the good
old boys in Washington decide that they are in the mood.
The word “redeployment” means moving troops from point
A to point B and/or giving them a new set of tasks. In this
instance, it means that some of the forces who are currently
on Iraqi soil will be moved to other bases in the region and
become part of two new entities specified in the legislation,
“a quick-reaction U.S. force” that can be put back into Iraq
on a few hours notice and “an over-the-horizon presence
of U.S Marines.”

A number of analysts have pointed out that this proposed
redeployment is no more than a vehicle for moving the
focus of the war from the ground to the air:

-... if the troops are pulled back from the front and brought
home, the Pentagon plans to replace their combat capability
with air power … [This] would probably decrease the number
of US casualties and (they hope) ensure the re-election of
most of those congressmen and women who will hear the
wrath of their constituents … [It is] a strategy that replaces
ground combat with death from the air (1)

- When troops are cut, we'll still be bombing the hell out of
the place … the plans call for the air war to be beefed up and
kept that way for years to come. (2)

-...the departing American troops will be replaced by American
airpower ... while the number of American casualties would
decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level
of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase
unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what. (3)

-...a pullout won't end the war … we're going to leave and
increase the bombing (4)

- The added air power is meant to compensate for any lost
punch on the ground (5)

-… the Pentagon plans to copy Imperial Britain’s method of
ruling oil-rich Iraq … A powerful British RAF contingent, based
at Habbibanyah, was tasked with bombing serious revolts
and rebellious tribes ... The USAF has developed an extremely
effective new technique of wide area control. Small numbers
of strike aircraft are kept in the air around the clock. When
US ground forces come under attack or foes are sighted,
these aircraft are vectored to the site in minutes and deliver
precision-guided bombs on enemy forces. The effectiveness
of this tactic has led Iraqi resistance fighters to favor roadside
bombs over ambushes against US convoys. (6)

The Murtha and Boxer resolutions are steps toward repositioning
U.S. planes, the troops who fly and service them, and everything
else the military needs to bases in nearby Kuwait, Qatar, and
Oman, as well as on ships that patrol the Gulf. These aircraft
would then patrol Iraq’s skies 24/7, looking for “signs of trouble”
and dropping bombs whenever any are found. Since the number
of troops needed to control Iraq by use of air power is smaller
than the number we currently have on the ground, some of them
– perhaps as many as 25% -- will be able to come home. However,
this is not a formula for bringing peace to the region but
for continuing to exercise American control without having
our boots on their soil.

Instead of advancing the cause of ending the war and ushering
in an era of peace, it allows the U.S. to continue managing Iraq’s
affairs by using a new technique.

This is not a substitute for ending the carnage.

But there is more bad news. One of the things this resolution
does accomplish is to provide a convenient way for politicians
to continue to play politics with the war. Because its provisions
entail a lowering of troop levels, congressmembers who sign
on as co-sponsors can make themselves appear to be in favor
of peace, though actually all they are supporting is a change
in the war’s strategy. (Troop levels will have to be reduced
regardless of any action congress may take because,
as Murtha and others have pointed out, the only way to
sustain the current number of troops would be to have
a draft, which no one wants to advocate at this time.) In
addition, the chatter about redeployment has taken the
spotlight off of other, better proposals pending in congress
as well as off of any serious discussion of what the end game
will look like and when it will start. Most insidiously, if this
passes, it will become harder -- not easier -- for congress
to pass true peace-oriented legislation in the future. For
example, they will have a more difficult time mandating
a timetable in any future bill, as they will already be on the
record on that topic as a result of having passed the Murtha
and Boxer resolutions. It may also become more difficult
for them to direct that steps be taken toward ending the
conflict, call for peace talks with combatants, or direct the
future course of the war because it is difficult to be certain
whether the redeployment bills cede decision-making
power about these issues to the Pentagon.

Last year, a few peace groups endorsed the Murtha bill
before they understood what it actually entailed. Let’s not
make that mistake again. This year, let’s tell congress that
the only redeployment we want is the one that brings the
troops home.

Pat Gerber ( is a San Francisco editor,
cartoonist, and peace activist.


3) Representative Kennedy Reaches Deal
Police did not conduct field sobriety tests on Kennedy. A police
union official has said the officers involved in the accident were
instructed by a superior to take the congressman home.
Filed at 12:20 p.m. ET
June 13, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy has reached a deal
with prosecutors to plead guilty to a charge of driving under the
influence of prescription drugs in connection with his middle-
of-the-night car crash last month near the U.S. Capitol.

Two additional charges of reckless driving and failure to exhibit
a driving permit will be dismissed under the plea agreement.

Announcing this, Kennedy's chief of staff, Sean Richardson,
said the Rhode Island Democrat would appear in District of
Columbia Superior Court Tuesday afternoon ''to accept the
consequences of his actions.''

''He is looking forward to closing this chapter,'' Richardson
said. ''He's feeling great and is expected to be back to work.''

Kennedy agreed to the guilty plea in exchange for having
two additional charges of reckless driving and failure to
exhibit a driving permit dismissed.

Kennedy returned to Congress last week after nearly
a month of treatment for addiction to prescription pain
drugs at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

The six-term congressman, who has struggled with
addiction since high school, had entered the clinic one
day after the May 4 crash on Capitol Hill that he said
he could not remember.

The accident has raised questions about whether Kennedy,
38, was drinking and had received special treatment by
police, who did not conduct field sobriety tests. Kennedy
has denied consuming alcohol before the crash.

In the hours before the crash, Kennedy said he returned
home from work and took a sleeping pill, Ambien, and
Phenergan, a prescription anti-nauseau drug that can
cause drowsiness. He said he did not consume alcohol.

Kennedy crashed his green 1997 Ford Mustang convertible
into a security barrier near the Capitol about 3 a.m. The
officer listed alcohol influence as a contributing factor
in the crash and noted that Kennedy was ''ability impaired,''
with red, watery eyes, slurred speech and unsteady balance,
according to the accident report.

Police did not conduct field sobriety tests on Kennedy.
A police union official has said the officers involved
in the accident were instructed by a superior to take
the congressman home. Kennedy has denied asking
for special treatment.

Police had observed Kennedy's car, with no headlights
on, swerve into the wrong lane and strike a curb. Kennedy
nearly hit a police car, the report said, and did not respond
to the officer's efforts to pull him over. He continued at
a slower speed before hitting a security barrier head-on,
the report said.

Kennedy told the police officer he was ''headed to the Capitol
to make a vote,'' the report said. He was cited for failure
to keep in the proper lane, traveling at ''unreasonable speed''
and failing to ''give full time and attention'' to operating
his vehicle.

Kennedy's office has said that it has not received those
initial citations.


4) Somber Tone and Protest as U.A.W. Convenes
June 13, 2006

LAS VEGAS, June 12 — The United Automobile Workers' convention
opened here Monday with leaders and members in a familiar
fighting mood, but with a new battle plan aimed at protecting
what they have rather than gaining new ground.

The change reflected the falling fortunes of Detroit's automakers,
a new reality that the union's president, Ron Gettelfinger, laid
out for members both in his speech and in a written report
that the U.A.W. issued on Sunday.

"This isn't a cyclical downturn," Mr. Gettelfinger told the
convention. "The kind of challenges we face aren't the kind
that can be ridden out. They're structural challenges,
and they require new and farsighted solutions."

That statement, part of an hourlong speech, drew silence
from the audience.

What brought the delegates to their feet was Mr. Gettelfinger's
dismissal of comments by pundits who try to argue that
the U.A.W. has lost its influence.

"They think we've run out of gas intellectually and emotionally,
that we've lost our will, our creativity and our nerve,"
said Mr. Gettelfinger, who is expected to win re-election
to a second four-year term later this week.

"We've got news for them," he went on, pounding the lectern.
"We're not going to surrender. We're not going to lower our
sights, give up our dreams or give up our fight for a better
world for our children and grandchildren."

In the short term, though, many union members at the
convention said the most urgent fight was to protect the
current lot of the members, to draw a line in the sand.

A Ford worker, Gary Walkowicz, said he could not support
any further concessions by the U.A.W., despite Ford's
financial problems.

"If we start giving concessions, the companies will only
want more," said Mr. Walkowicz, who works at Ford's
truck plant in Dearborn, Mich.

He was among a small group of workers who passed out
bright yellow leaflets to convention delegates Monday,
urging them to fight further concessions.

The leaflets, titled "Draw the Line at Delphi," asked union
officials to allow open debate at the convention over resisting
givebacks. "These are life and death issues for our union,"
said the leaflet, which was signed by more than 30 local
union officials and other delegates.

Delphi, a former G.M. division that is now a stand-alone
parts supplier, is operating under bankruptcy protection
and seeking steep concessions from workers to lower its
operating costs.

Mr. Gettelfinger has shown a willingness to negotiate when
the circumstances demand it. In his speech, he gravely took
responsibility for a landmark agreement, reached last year
with General Motors and Ford, that required workers to pay
more for health care coverage.

The deal, meant to alleviate an enormous burden that the
automakers face in providing retiree health care, was "the
most painful decision" he had made as union president.

Further, Mr. Gettelfinger told delegates, broader economic
pressures had forced all labor groups to reset their expectations.

"In the not-too-distant past," he said, "when the U.S. economy
grew and productivity increased, we could expect wages
to rise as well. That's no longer true."

Mr. Gettelfinger vowed to fight for changes in bankruptcy
laws, aiming his criticism at Delphi and other bankrupt parts
suppliers that have demanded steep concessions from workers.

"These reforms are needed to stop unscrupulous employers
and their battery of bankruptcy vultures," he said.

His voice barely audible over the delegates' cheers,
Mr. Gettelfinger added, "We need to stop dead in their
tracks those who would seek to void contracts with their
workers while lining their pockets with everything of value
and uncaringly destroying lives, hopes, dreams and
communities in the process."

The mood of defiance extended to several workers
interviewed near Detroit.

Tom Dean, a forklift driver with 29 years' experience at
G.M.'s truck assembly plant in Pontiac, Mich., said Monday
that he did not intend to accept a buyout under the programs
that had been offered to workers at G.M. and Delphi.

He said he hoped his job would remain secure until he was
ready to leave in a few years. As for concessions, Mr. Dean
said, "We want the company to prosper, but we don't want
to be taken advantage of."

Some 113,000 workers at G.M. and 23,000 at Delphi have
until June 23 to decide whether to stay or go and a week
more in which to change their minds.

Barbara Farrell Brown, a convention delegate who has spent
22 years at G.M.'s plant at Lake Orion, Mich., said she had
already rejected a $140,000 buyout that would have allowed
her to keep her pension but required that she give
up retirement health care coverage.

"I'm not taking a buyout. I would not cut my ties," said
Ms. Brown, who was accompanied to Las Vegas by her
daughter, Stephanie, 21, a U.A.W. member at a G.M.
parts supplier.

Ms. Brown said she was concerned that a number of her
factory's younger workers were planning to accept the
deals and leave. She said she hoped to persuade them
to stay and help carry on the U.A.W.'s fight.

"A lot of our young seniority workers need to be taught
how to stick together," Ms. Brown added.

The call for creative new solutions to revive the union's
fortunes in a struggling industry was made by others
at the convention, as well.

"We can help the auto industry win again," Senator
Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, told the delegates
via satellite. "We need to start thinking big again.

"I need for all of you to fight for the future," Senator
Obama continued. "I need all of you to be open to creative
ways of doing business. None of us can afford to watch the
American auto industry fail. If we've got the courage
to succeed, labor will rise again."

Labor experts viewed the sobering notes of the convention
as a sign that the U.A.W. was facing the reality that has
resulted in a drop in its membership to the lowest level
since 1942. Mr. Gettelfinger noted Monday that the U.A.W.
had lost more than 78,000 members in the four years since
its last convention, although it managed to add 66,000 new
members through organizing drives and affiliations with
other unions.

For all its troubles, the union remains a force with significant
power to affect the future of the auto industry, said
Harry Katz, director of the Institute of Collective Bargaining
at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

"They're still the U.A.W.," he said.

Nick Bunkley contributed reporting from Pontiac, Mich.,
for this article.


5) House Passes $94.5 Billion for Iraq War and Katrina Aid
"$66 billion for the two wars...20 billion in funds to further deal
with the remaining hurricane devastation along the Gulf Coast...
and $1.9 billion for a border security initiative featuring the
deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico
Filed at 1:07 p.m. ET
June 13, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House passed a $94.5 billion bill Tuesday
to pay for continuing U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,
hurricane relief, bird flu preparations and border security at home.

The House-Senate compromise bill contains $66 billion for the two
wars, bringing the cost of the three-year-old war in Iraq to about
$320 billion. Operations in Afghanistan have now tallied about
$89 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The bill, which passed by a 351-67 vote, had only minimal
debate Monday night.

It contains almost $20 billion in funds to further deal with the
remaining hurricane devastation along the Gulf Coast. Much
of the money would go to Louisiana for housing aid, flood
control projects and a new veterans hospital in New Orleans.

It also provides funding for small-business disaster loans,
rebuilding federal facilities and replenishing Federal Emergency
Management Agency disaster-relief coffers.

The Senate is to clear the measure for President Bush's signature
later this week. The big margin in the House reflected lawmakers'
support for U.S. troops overseas despite whatever reservations
they may have about the war.

Separately, the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday
approved a $427 billion defense spending bill that includes
another $50 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan for the
budget year beginning Oct. 1. The panel attached
a provision to a measure to block the U.S. from operating
permanent military bases in Iraq.

Both House and Senate gave overwhelming votes to such
language in the Iraq war funding bill, but Republicans
stripped it out in House-Senate talks on the bill that
passed the chamber Tuesday.

The Iraq and hurricane relief measure's long legislative
odyssey began in February as a $92.2 billion request
by President Bush. He subsequently added another
$2.2 billion in Louisiana levee projects and $1.9 billion
for a border security initiative featuring the deployment
of 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The House largely stuck to Bush's demands when passing
its version back in March. But the Senate, led by
Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran,
R-Miss., responded with a $109 billion measure that
drew a veto threat from Bush for add-ons such as
$4 billion in farm disaster aid, $648 million for port
security and $1.1 billion in aid to the Gulf Coast seafood

But House negotiators killed a controversial Senate
project to pay CSX Transportation $700 million for
a recently rebuilt freight rail line along the Mississippi
coast so the state could use its path for a new East-West
highway. The project had earned scornful media coverage
and protests from the White House and conservative activists.

Although the measure sticks with Bush's demand of
$94.5 billion -- including $2.3 billion to combat the
avian flu -- lawmakers reduced funding for the Federal
Emergency Management's main disaster fund for
additional grants for Mississippi, Texas and Alabama
and a new Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss.

The FEMA disaster relief fund would still receive $6 billion,
which includes $400 million for temporary housing sturdier
than FEMA trailers. The funds also go toward debris removal,
reimbursing state and local governments for infrastructure
repairs and direct aid to individuals.

There is lingering concern that if the hurricane season is
a destructive one another infusion of disaster aid will be
needed before Election Day. But a senior White House official
said last week that the funding would be sufficient to last
until next year.

The compromise bill includes Bush's plan to provide 1,000
more Border Patrol agents along the Mexican border, deploy
about 6,000 National Guard troops and build detention
space for 4,000 illegal immigrants.

The bill also contains $4 billion in military and foreign aid
for Iraq and other allies, and to combat famine in Africa and
Afghanistan and support U.N. peacekeeping missions in Sudan.

The bill also contains funding for controversial, accident-
prone V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for deployment to Iraq,
as well as more popular C-130 cargo planes.

During Monday's brief debate, Democrats said the huge cost
of the Iraq and Afghanistan missions being done on the
installment plan, hiding their cost from the public.

''In 18 separate actions, we will now have spent $450 billion
on this adventure,'' said Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, top
Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. ''This
is a huge expenditure for a misguided war.''

''Enough blood is enough blood!'' said Rep. Dennis Kucinich,
D-Ohio. ''You can stop it! Bring our troops home!''

GOP Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma countered that the bill
''provides critical funds that will be used to conduct ongoing
operations in the war on terror.''

Meanwhile, in a symbolic statement, the Senate on Tuesday
voted 97-0 to commend U.S. troops and intelligence agents
for actions that resulted in the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
who led al-Qaida in Iraq until he was killed last Wednesday
in an American airstrike.


6) UAW Highlights Special Bulletin
by Gregg Shotwell/The UnCommonSense
June 12, 2006

Historic Gains!
Lifetime Job Security! Pension Enhancements!
Record Salary Increases!
Free Cradle to Grave Health Care!
No Co-Pays! No Premiums!
For ALL International Appointees! Forever!

“This is unbelievable!” exclaimed UAW spokesperson, Pauline Paul.
“Ron Gettelfinger is king!” she gushed. Pauline punctuated her
comments with finger puppets. “Words! Just! Aren’t! Enough!”
she enunciated breathlessly.

In 2003 UAW President Ron Gettelfinger completed negotiations
on five contracts in two weeks. Everyone was stupefied. But his
latest achievement exceeded the corporations’ wildest expectations.
Ron Gettelfinger has officially announced the end of collective
bargaining forever.

“We took an entirely different tact,” Bob King, UAW VP of
Organizing, said. “We organized the employers.”

“The advantage of organizing employers is that we see eye
to eye on everything,” explained Dick Shoemaker who will sit
on the GM Board of Directors after his retirement from the UAW
this June. “Now we don’t have to go through the motions
of making workers vote until they get it right.”

“Democracy is too inefficient,” said Gerard Bantom. Another
UAW VP jockeying for a seat on Ford’s revolving circle of perks.
“Now that we have organized the employers we can fast track

“Since we agree on everything,” said Cal Rapson, another
UAW VP angling for a corner window in the Pyramid, “We can
do away with the tedium of contract negotiations and

“Never mind elections,” Nate Gooden laughed. “The new
agreement guarantees job security for all UAW International
appointees and their children forever.”

“This Non Expiring Living Agreement tranquilizes anxiety,
relieves all doubt, and allows our negotiators to wheel and
deal concessions more freely,” murmured Pauline Paul as she
wiggled her finger puppets languidly in the air to demonstrate
how relaxed International appointees feel.

“Our appointees literally mesmerize the members into voting
for which concessions they like best. Everyone is happy!”
Pauline’s puppets hugged each other.

“Even though the UAW has functioned like a one party state
for years,” Frank Joyce, UAW Public Relations consultant,
interjected. “The appointees feared they might be challenged
by opposition groups, but now that we’ve organized the
employers, who cares what workers think?” The new UAW INC.
will enjoy a host of privileges including profit sharing, stock
options, unrestricted use of company vehicles, extended
vacations in luxury hotels, lucrative salaries, and free

“In a genuine spirit of solidarity, all the International
appointees will share in the rewards gained from concessions.
It’s really a win-win for all,” said William Clay Ford as he
announced another plant closing. Ron Gettelfinger has
always enjoyed a lot of support from those closest to the
top. The buzz around the country club is that Ronnie G is
Dr. Love Supreme, the go to guy with the hole-in-one drive.

“When it comes to ‘Holding the Line on Health Care’
[Gettelfinger’s slogan at the 2002 UAW Convention], I must
say, the reins couldn’t be in better hands,” said Rick Wagoner,
head honcho at GM. “When Ron suggested that GM pony up
for UAW attorney fees in their lawsuit against GM [the UAW
sued GM for taking accrued vested benefits away from retirees],
I knew it was time to put him on the payroll.”

Outsiders are surprised by recent developments, but insiders
can trace the trajectory of appointee ascendance up the
corporate ladder and into Solidarity Heaven back to the
golf course at Black Lake.

“When the UAW built a golf course we knew right then and
there that organizing had entered the twenty-first century,”
said a greenskeeper who preferred not to have his name
used because he can’t afford to live on his pension and
doesn’t want to get fired for speaking out of turn.

Ron Gettelfinger was not available for comment but sources
close to the corporation’s beloved say Ronnie has been
planning this feat since his days as a summer ranch hand.
The work gave him saddle sores but long hot days on horse
back instilled in him an appreciation for desk jobs. It was
at the Rollover Ranch that Ron met the man who would
influence him for the rest of his life, Steve “Bob” Miller,
a turnaround specialist with a stunning pirouette and
a graceful side saddle style that charmed the shit out
of a lot of bulls.

The two men were both studying accounting and working
summers on the ranch when they rubbed their match heads
together. Sparks flew and the rest is fodder for the long
barrel. So it comes as no surprise that years later the two
should meet again — this time riding herd on the rank and file.


7) G.M. — Again
"The loophole works this way: A dual-fuel vehicle that can run
on either gasoline or 85 percent ethanol, or E85, is credited with
a much higher mileage rating than it really gets. That keeps the
overall mileage of the cars and trucks that a company like Ford
or General Motors makes in any given year within the government's
mileage limits."
June 14, 2006

On May 31 I wrote a column accusing General Motors of acting
irresponsibly by offering unlimited gasoline at $1.99 a gallon for
one year to anyone who buys certain of its midsize sedans, big
S.U.V.'s or gas-guzzling Hummers in California or Florida. At a time
when we are at war in the Middle East, with an enemy who is indirectly
financed by our energy purchases, it seems to me that every American,
and every American company, has an obligation to reduce oil
consumption. No one should be making a huge gas-guzzling
Hummer, and no one should be driving one, and no one —
certainly not G.M. — should be subsidizing people to drive them.

After the May 31 column appeared, G.M.'s vice president for global
communications, Steven J. Harris, and his colleagues denounced my
argument in a formal statement and on G.M.'s corporate blog. This
is an important issue, so let me respond to their response.

To begin with, I would much prefer to see G.M. thriving and growing
American jobs — not selling itself off, limb by limb. But as long
as G.M. is giving away $1.99 gasoline for its gas guzzlers, I will
be a harsh critic. Pardon me if — at a time when China is imposing
higher mileage standards than America — I don't want to join the
many congressmen and senators in drinking G.M.'s Kool-Aid and
not demanding that it become the most fuel-efficient automaker
in the world. If more people in Washington insisted that G.M. focus
on building cars that could compete in a world of $3.99 gasoline,
rather than creating an artificial universe of $1.99 gasoline, G.M.
would not be worrying about bankruptcy today.

G.M. says that the cars chosen for its $1.99 gas giveaway were
chosen because of "their outstanding fuel economy and great
consumer appeal." It also says that G.M. makes more cars that
get an E.P.A.-estimated 30 miles per gallon on the highway than
any other company.

Fact: G.M. also sells more cars that get 9 to 11 m.p.g. — the Hummer
— than any other company. And even though G.M. justified the
$1.99 program as giving consumers a chance to drive some
of its most fuel-efficient cars, it did not include its best-selling,
most fuel-efficient model, the Chevy Aveo (35 m.p.g. highway),
in the program, but did include seven gas-guzzling trucks.
G.M. still does not have a family-friendly hybrid on the market
(one is due this summer) — nine years after Toyota introduced
the 45-m.p.g. Prius hybrid, which G.M. scoffed at at the time.

Stephanie Salter, a columnist writing in the Terre Haute Tribune-
Star, did a spoof about G.M.'s $1.99 gas giveaway by imagining
what other less-than-healthy consumer companies might now
do: "Today R.J. Reynolds Corp. announced a new 'smoke more/
pay less' instant rebate program for most of its cigarette brands.
Time-dated coupons will be included in every pack of RJR cigarettes.
Tobacco consumers who collect 10 same-brand coupons in five
days can redeem them for a pack costing $1. The only brands
not covered by the coupon program are the company's cigarettes
with very low tar and nicotine content."

Next, G.M.'s Harris asked: "How is offering a gas card that may
be worth $1,000 any different or more sinister than the $2,000
cash rebate that Toyota's offering right now nationwide on its
full-size S.U.V., the Sequoia?"

Fact: Reading that question you'd think that G.M. was giving
away cheap gas instead of big S.U.V. rebates. The truth: We called
G.M. dealers in California who said that under the new program
they were authorized to offer $5,000 discounts on the 2006
Suburban and Tahoe S.U.V.'s — which are like the Sequoia —
in addition to G.M.'s unlimited $1.99 gas for a year. I guess
Mr. Harris just forgot that.

Yes, Toyota makes trucks and S.U.V.'s, just like G.M. I am not
against either. Some people need them, others enjoy them.
But I don't think we should be subsidizing gasoline so people
who don't need them will buy them or buy the most gas-
guzzling versions. G.M. says its full-size S.U.V.'s get better
mileage than Toyota's. All I know is that Consumer Reports
rates all size S.U.V.'s for fuel efficiency, reliability and performance.
Toyota and Honda S.U.V.'s are its top picks in every size category.

Ah, says Mr. Harris, but we offer nine vehicles that can run on
E85 ethanol-gas blends, and have made 1.9 million such cars
and trucks. Toyota makes none. The truth: The Big Three U.S.
automakers started making flex-fuel cars in the mid-1990's
after they were given a shameful federal loophole.

As the Des Moines Register explained in an article on May 26:
"The loophole works this way: A dual-fuel vehicle that can run
on either gasoline or 85 percent ethanol, or E85, is credited with
a much higher mileage rating than it really gets. That keeps the
overall mileage of the cars and trucks that a company like Ford
or General Motors makes in any given year within the government's
mileage limits."

By agreeing to build flex-fuel vehicles credited with phony
mileage, Detroit gets to make many more bigger, heavier gas
guzzlers, the paper explained, "without having to pay fines
for exceeding the federal mileage standards." For instance,
the 2006 G.M.C. two-wheel-drive Yukon 1500 actually gets
15 m.p.g. city and 20 m.p.g. highway. But under this loophole
it is rated as getting 33 miles per gallon for purposes of
meeting the government's fleet fuel economy standards.
"The Union of Concerned Scientists calculates that the
loophole increased U.S. oil consumption by 80,000 barrels
per day in 2005 alone," the paper said.

If G.M., Ford and Chrysler really care about saving oil and
the environment, why exploit this loophole? And by the way,
even though G.M. has made 1.9 million flex-fuel vehicles,
it and the other automakers for a long time did little to inform
customers that their cars could run on ethanol — because
their real interest was the mileage loophole to make more
big cars. Most people didn't know they were driving a flex-
fuel car. "Until recently, the only way to tell was by checking
the vehicle identification number," the paper noted. Recently,
General Motors has put yellow gas caps on its dual-fuel
vehicles to alert customers.

I'm not a car expert, so let me leave the last word to
Automotive News, the industry's top trade magazine. Its
June 5 editorial said: "General Motors' promotion that
reimburses some buyers for gasoline purchases is ill-
advised for an automaker that is trying to burnish its green
image. The program should be dropped, not expanded. ...
It's simply a subsidy for vehicles that burn a lot of gasoline.
And it's one more example of G.M.'s tone deafness on
environmental issues. ... Yes, G.M. can make vehicles that
are as fuel efficient as anybody else's. But it acts as though
its future depends on gas guzzlers."


8) The Road Back
Lives Suspended on Gulf Coast, Crammed Into 240 Square Feet
June 14, 2006

LAKESHORE, Miss., June 12 — If you were to fly over rural Hancock
County here, you would see more than 9,000 of them, white
rectangles clumped in sun-bleached parks and scattered in
piney woods like pieces of a trashed picket fence. Pick any one,
and contained within that FEMA trailer are lives in claustrophobic

Paulette Shiyou invites you into her family's trailer with a natural
hospitality that has remained intact. Her husband, Hugh, offers
a can of beer, and her son, Cody, itching to show you his card
collection, his rock collection, his pocketknife, kicks off his

And suddenly, in this tight trailer of 240 square feet, an
11-year-old boy's shoes loom like ottomans.

"I'm constantly yelling at him because you're always tripping
over him," Ms. Shiyou says, scolding but smiling. "And he yells
at me to turn the lights out."

Cody defends himself by nodding toward the droning television
set that sits near the only door, about five feet from his
cubbyhole bunk bed. "I'll be going to bed," he says, "and
she'll be watching TV and have all these lights on."

As the television set gabs and a boy complains and a mother
justifies her liberal use of lights by saying she just cannot
tolerate darkness, not since the storm, it seems that in
a FEMA trailer even words take up space.

FEMA trailer. The phrase has nearly lost meaning,
so embedded is it in the national memory of last year's
crushing hurricanes, Katrina and Rita. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency provided trailers to people whose
homes were damaged or destroyed; got it.

But tens of thousands of people continue to live crammed
in FEMA trailers, greeting this year's hurricane season the
same way they said goodbye to the last one: in light-metal
boxes that even a tropical storm could flip like playing cards
and which seem so vulnerable alongside the brush fires
crackling through some stretches of the Gulf Coast.

Ms. Shiyou hurries through her family's FEMA trailer back
story, which is extraordinary, but here, mundane: Returning
to a home that was miles from shore but destroyed, then
moving like nomads, from a gymnasium to a warehouse
to a tent to a FEMA trailer encampment for five months.
Then, finally, back to their property, into this FEMA trailer
on their former front lawn, where they have lived since March.

She takes you on a tour.

To keep from tracking mud into the trailer, the Shiyous have
placed a recovered piece of their old deck on the ground.
"This was the color of my house," Ms. Shiyou says, walking
on it. "A country blue."

She takes one step into the trailer, and the initial urge is
to hunch. Mr. Shiyou, a gangly 6-foot-2, stretches out his
arms to demonstrate how he can simultaneously touch the
ceiling with one hand and the floor with the other.

His wife slides open a door to her immediate right, revealing
a room taken up almost entirely by the master bed. "You just
crawl in from the foot and pull the blankets up as you go,"
she says.

The hangers in the small closet have to be tilted sideways
to fit, and the space-eating fan is necessary because you
lose the air-conditioning if you slide the door shut for privacy.
Mr. Shiyou says he sleeps less than five hours a night because
that is all he can take of this confinement.

Moving left, the kitchen, with the bread and cookies stored
in the microwave, paper plates and plastic cups from Wal-Mart
in the cabinet and a couple of Reed & Barton silver coffeepots
the family found in the woods after the waters receded.

"I'm going to put them in my china closet when I get one,"
Ms. Shiyou says, talking over the television set, which is
blaring MTV beside her. "He usually always watches cartoons,"
she says of Cody. "And it drives me crazy."

Take one step off the small stretch of tan linoleum, which
she keeps clean with the mop at the door, and onto the patch
of worn dun-colored carpet, which she keeps clean with the
carpet sweeper beside the mop, and you are now in the dining
room, living room, and practically into Cody's bed.

A small, hard couch. A small booth with a small table, under
which are stored a blue suitcase, Cody's book bag, Cody's
suddenly massive sneakers and shoes and his father's even
larger shoes. Cody's bed, where he stashes Doritos, and the
bed above, used for storing blankets and winter clothes.

Finally, the bathroom, whose door, when opened, blocks
Cody's bed. You have to lean over the toilet to see yourself
in the mirror. Mr. Shiyou practically kneels to fit into the

This, then, is the home where the Shiyous had family
over for an Easter barbecue.

"There was Vanessa and Joe, Jessica, Tim, Raegan and Kiley,"
Ms. Shiyou says. "And then Heather and Jasper, and then
my niece Mindy her boyfriend, Josh, and their two kids,
John and Jared. And wasn't David and Regina here? Yes,
they were."

Mr. Shiyou, 43, is a welder, and Ms. Shiyou, 40, runs a check-
cashing store. When they look out from their FEMA trailer,
they see two other FEMA trailers, occupied by two of her
daughters and their families. They can also see the raised
dirt foundation where they plan to build a home at a higher
level, even though the land is well beyond the flood zone.

Insurance paid off the note on their old home, and nothing
more. They have secured another loan, but have yet to hear
whether they will receive any federal grant to ease their
financial burden. Either way, they plan to start building next
month, and with luck will be out of the trailer by Christmas.

Dusk has descended; a full moon is rising over the gulf.
Mr. Shiyou returns to working on the all-but-destroyed
house of a beloved 89-year-old neighbor. Ms. Shiyou,
meanwhile, recreates in her mind the home they shared for
10 years and lost nine months ago.

The Kia Sephia and the Dodge pickup in the driveway. The
curio cabinet, with all those angels collected by her late mother.
The framed family photographs. The children's encyclopedias.
Her set of dishes, whose pattern was, was —

"God, what color was my kitchen set?" Ms. Shiyou asks, her
voice breaking. She says it will come to her, but it doesn't.


9) U.A.W. Will Use Part of Strike Fund
to Aid Recruitment of New Members
June 14, 2006

LAS VEGAS, June 13 (AP) — The United Automobile Workers union
voted Tuesday to use part of its $914 million strike fund to pay
for the recruitment of new members.

The amendment to the union's constitution, approved
overwhelmingly by voice vote at the U.A.W.'s convention here,
allows the international leadership to spend up to $60 million
from the strike fund, mainly for organizing efforts during the
four years between conventions.

The union's membership peaked at 1.5 million in 1979. It dropped
to 676,000 in 2002 and now stands at just less than 599,000.

"It makes sense in terms of what it's going to take to build the
future strength of the U.A.W.," said Scott Bailey, president of
Local 2865, a relatively new local that represents 12,000 academic
student employees of the University of California.

Mr. Bailey told fellow members that organizing could often take
a long time, saying that it took nearly two decades to change
California law to allow academic student workers to organize.

"We all know that the industrial sector is flying away to right-to-
work states, where it's going to take time and big-time financial
resources to win campaigns," he said, referring to states with
laws that do not favor unions.

The U.A.W. said it had had success recently in organizing workers
in health care, on college campuses, at auto dealerships and
in the technical, office and professional sectors.

Officials say the union has recruited about 66,000 new members
since its last convention in 2002, with 42,000 coming from the
traditional manufacturing sector and 24,000 from other areas.

But the growth has not been enough to counter the loss of
members because of restructuring, plant closings, outsourcing
and privatization, the union's president, Ron Gettelfinger, said
in his opening-day speech on Monday.

The union is about to lose thousands more members in
manufacturing. Ford Motor and General Motors want to reduce
their hourly work forces by 60,000, and suppliers represented
by the U.A.W. also are cutting jobs. Delphi, G.M.'s largest
supplier, plans to close 21 of its 29 United States plants
by 2008 and cut its hourly work force by thousands.

The change approved Tuesday by the union allows the U.A.W.
to use the $60 million for initiatives to bolster membership,
strengthen its bargaining ability or promote the interests
of members and working people.

The membership also authorized the union to transfer
$50 million from the strike fund to the union's general
operating fund.

And it voted to increase the dues rebates that locals get
when the strike fund exceeds $550 million, giving them
more money for operating costs.


10) Profits Fall, Stores Close
Grocery Chains and Bush's Ownership Society
June 10 / 11, 2006

There are too many U.S. grocery chain stores, said George Whalin, head
of Retail Management Consultants, in The Sacramento Bee of June 7. Call
it overcapacity in the grocery industry.

A few new owners of the Albertsons grocery chain are responding
accordingly. In early June, three companies purchased Albertsons Inc.
for the tidy sum of $17 billion.

One of the trio, Cerberus Partners, an investment firm based in New
York, partnered with the commercial real estate firm of Kimco Realty
Corp. To halt a fall in profits for Albertsons during the past four
years, 100 of its stores nationwide will be closing, 37 of which are
located in Northern California.

These "under-performing stores" did not bring an acceptable return on
investment to owners, according to Albertsons spokeswoman Quyen Ha. And
the consequences for Albertsons employees?

How many of them will become jobless is not yet known. Contrast their
bitter fate with that of Larry Johnston, CEO of Albertsons.

Mr. Johnston earned about $60 million as Albertsons shareholders lost
around $900 million between 2000 and 2003, said Graef Crystal, a
business professor at UC Berkeley, in a report on KTVB NewsChannel 7,
the NBC station in Boise, Idaho on July 8, 2003. Nice work if you can
get it.

Albertsons competes for profits and market share in the grocery industry
with discounter Wal-Mart Stores Inc., owned by the Walton family of
multi-billionaires. Their wealth is built on the backs of Wal-Mart's
hourly work force, which earns lower wages than unionized Albertsons

As the good Marxists in corporate America know, low wages plus high
productivity boost profit rates. Driven thusly, grocery companies
compete to undersell their rivals and put them out of business.

Wal-Mart is pursuing this strategy with a vengeance in California. In
early 2006, Kroger-owned Ralphs fell to the Wal-Mart discount rout,
departing the Sacramento area, having shut down eight of its stores in
the capital region.

Two years earlier, unionized Southern California grocery workers endured
a five-month strike and lockout, trying to prevent Safeway-owned Vons,
Ralphs and Albertsons from making deep cuts to employees' health
benefits and hourly wages. On one hand, the employers did not get all of
the cuts they wanted at the end of the five months.

On the other hand, new-hire grocery workers in the south state were
forced to labor for lower wages and fork out higher co-pays for their
health benefits. The grocery chains had sought such cuts due to
competition from Wal-Mart.

It is unclear how many Albertsons workers will be fired as a result of
the upcoming store closures. What is clear is that overcapacity runs a
red line through the U.S. economy, from airlines to cars, and more.

Currently, the shake-out underway in the marketplace of U.S. grocery
chains is falling hard on wage earners. They are living the lives of pay
cuts and layoffs under President George W. Bush's "Ownership Society."

National health care would provide a cushion for the human harm created
by overcapacity in the U.S. economy. It is time to think and act outside
the box of the usual labor union-company agreements fueled by market
share and profits.

Seth Sandronsky is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a
co-editor of Because People Matter, Sacramento's progressive paper. He
can be reached at


11) "Just in the Name of 'Democracy' "
June 3, 2006
Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The word 'democracy' is a kind of verbal narcotic.

To mention it is to daze us; to dull us; to lull us into peaceful slumber.

That's why the Bush Regime, perhaps the least democratic of
governments in generations, calls the invasion and occupation
a 'war for democracy.' It is ironic that a government that is profoundly
autocratic, that relies on elite authoritarianism, secrecy, wireless
wiretaps, secret prisons and torture, can claim to be fighting for
something that is becoming so rare in the U.S. (ahem -- democracy).

But, don't trip; this ain't a Bush thing. Writer and historian,
Michael Parenti in his book, Super Patriotism (San Francisco:
City Light Books, 2004), tells us that democracy has been wiped
out in a host of countries -- by the ! Parenti writes:

"US leaders have long professed a dedication to democracy, yet
over the last half century they have devoted themselves to overthrowing
democratic governments in Guatemala, Guyana, the Dominican
Republic,Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Syria, Indonesia (under Sukarno),
Greece (twice), Argentina (twice), Haiti (twice), Bolivia, Jamaica,
Yugoslavia,and other countries. These governments were all
guilty of pursuing policies that occasionally favored the poorer
elements and infringed upon the affluent. In most instances,
the US-sponsored coups were accompanied by widespread
killings of democratic activists.

"US leaders have supported covert actions, sanctions, or proxy
mercenary wars against revolutionary governments in Cuba,
Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Iraq (with the CIA ushering in
Saddam Hussein's reign of repression), Portugal, South Yemen,
Nicaragua, Cambodia, East Timor, Western Sahara, and elsewhere.

"US interventions and destabilization campaigns have been
directed against other populist nationalistic governments,
including Egypt, Lebanon, Peru, Iran, Syria, Zaire, Venezuela,
the Fiji Islands, and Afghanistan (before the Soviets ever
went into the country).

"And since World War II, direct US military invasions or aerial
attacks or both have been perpetrated against Vietnam, Laos,
Cambodia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, North Korea,
Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Libya, Somalia,
and Iraq (twice). There is no 'rogue state,' 'axis of evil,'
or communist country that has a comparable record of
such criminal aggression against other nations." [pp. 133-34)

The point? The next time you hear about a 'war to bring
democracy' -- question it.

Decades ago, a Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, gave
the quintessential recipe for American military adventures
abroad. Speaking during the Eisenhower years, Dulles said,
"In order to bring a nation to support the burdens of maintaining
great military establishments, it is necessary to create an
emotional state akin to war psychology." Dulles added,
"*There must be the portrayal of external menace*."
To do this, Dulles explained, one must depict one's own
country as the shining hero, while portraying the adversary
as the embodiment of all evil.

We have, all of us, seen this recipe cooked all of our lives,
all around the world, and on every continent. It works,
because people allow it to work. Yet, while Dulles
explains how such a thing happens, he doesn't explain why.

Years ago, an American president was explaining why
the Vietnam War was necessary. This man said:

"Now let us assume that we lost Indochina , the tin and
tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would
cease coming. So when the votes $400 million to help
that war, we are not voting a give-away program. We are
voting for the cheapest way that we can prevent the
occurrence of something that would be of a most terrible
significance to the , our security, our power
and ability to get certain things we need from the
riches of the Indo-Chinese territory and from
Southeast Asia ." [p. 67]**

These words were spoken by Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Now, why is that remarkable? Isn't it merely the case
of an American president talking turkey? These words
were spoken in 1953 -- *eleven years before the
entered the Vietnam War!*

Why are wars fought? For 'democracy' -- or for profit?
Think about this the next time you hear
a plea for your patriotism.

Just say, "No."

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

**["Source: Carmichael, Stokely. Stokely Speaks: Black Power
Back to Pan-Africanism. (New York: Vintage, 1971), p. 67.
The author was giving an anti-war speech to students at
Morgan State College, Baltimore, Md. , Jan. 28, 1967.
He cited as his source a book entitled , by Felix Green.]


12) Where the Hogs Come First
June 15, 2006

Tar Heel, N.C.

Think pork. Sizzling bacon and breakfast sausage. Juicy chops
and ribs and robust holiday hams.

The pork capital of the planet is this tiny town in the Cape Fear
River basin, not far from the South Carolina border. Spending
a few days in Tar Heel and the surrounding area — dotted with
hog farms, cornfields and the occasional Confederate flag —
is like stepping back in time. This is a place where progress
has slowed to a crawl.

Tar Heel's raison d'être (and the employment anchor for much
of the region) is the mammoth plant of the Smithfield Packing
Company, a million-square-foot colossus that is the largest
pork processing facility in the world.

You can learn a lot at Smithfield. It's a case study in both
the butchering of hogs (some 32,000 are slaughtered there
each day) and the systematic exploitation of vulnerable
workers. More than 5,500 men and women work at Smithfield,
most of them Latino or black, and nearly all of them
undereducated and poor.

The big issue at Smithfield is not necessarily money. Workers
are drawn there from all over the region, sometimes traveling
in crowded vans for two hours or more each day, because
the starting pay — until recently, $8 and change an hour —
is higher than the pay at most other jobs available to them.

But the work is often brutal beyond imagining. Company
officials will tell you everything is fine, but serious injuries
abound, and the company has used illegal and, at times,
violent tactics over the course of a dozen years to keep the
workers from joining a union that would give them
a modicum of protection and dignity.

"It was depressing inside there," said Edward Morrison, who
spent hour after hour flipping bloody hog carcasses on the
kill floor, until he was injured last fall after just a few months
on the job. "You have to work fast because that machine
is shooting those hogs out at you constantly. You can end
up with all this blood dripping down on you, all these feces
and stuff just hanging off of you. It's a terrible environment.

"We've had guys walk off after the first break and never return."

Mr. Morrison's comments were echoed by a young man who
was with a group of Smithfield workers waiting for a van
to pick them up at a gas station in Dillon, S.C., nearly 50
miles from Tar Heel. "The line do move fast," the young
man said, "and people do get hurt. You can hear 'em
hollering when they're on their way to the clinic."

Workers are cut by the flashing, slashing knives that slice
the meat from the bones. They are hurt sliding and falling
on floors and stairs that are slick with blood, guts and
a variety of fluids. They suffer repetitive motion injuries.

The processing line on the kill floor moves hogs past the
workers at the dizzying rate of one every three or four seconds.

Union representation would make a big difference for
Smithfield workers. The United Food and Commercial
Workers Union has been trying to organize the plant since
the mid-1990's. Smithfield has responded with tactics
that have ranged from the sleazy to the reprehensible.

After an exhaustive investigation, a judge found that the
company had threatened to shut down the entire plant
if the workers dared to organize, and had warned Latino
workers that immigration authorities would be alerted
if they voted for a union.

The union lost votes to organize the plant in 1994 and 1997,
but the results of those elections were thrown out by the
National Labor Relations Board after the judge found that
Smithfield had prevented the union from holding fair elections.
The judge said the company had engaged in myriad "egregious"
violations of federal labor law, including threatening, intimidating
and firing workers involved in the organizing effort, and beating
up a worker "for engaging in union activities."

Rather than obey the directives of the board and subsequent
court decisions, the company has tied the matter up on appeals
that have lasted for years. A U.S. Court of Appeals ruling just
last month referred to "the intense and widespread coercion
prevalent at the Tar Heel facility."

Workers at Smithfield and their families are suffering while
the government dithers, refusing to require a mighty corporation
like Smithfield to obey the nation's labor laws in a timely manner.

The defiance, greed and misplaced humanity of the merchants
of misery at the apex of the Smithfield power structure are
matters consumers might keep in mind as they bite into that
next sizzling, succulent morsel of Smithfield pork.


Judge Rules That U.S. Has Broad Powers to
Detain Noncitizens Indefinitely
A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled yesterday that the government
has wide latitude under immigration law to detain noncitizens
on the basis of religion, race or national origin, and to hold
them indefinitely without explanation.
June 15, 2006

Bear Stearns Profit Jumps 83 Percent
Filed at 1:36 p.m. ET
June 15, 2006

Alito Vote Loosens Limits on Evidence
WASHINGTON, June 15— The Supreme Court today affirmed the
power of police officers backed by a search warrant to enter
a home without knocking, and in so doing signaled the more
conservative tilt of the tribunal in recent months.
June 15, 2006

US Military Death Toll in Iraq Reaches 2,500
The number of US military deaths in the Iraq war has reached
2,500, the Pentagon said on Thursday. In addition, 18,490
US troops have been wounded in the war.

Green Fuel's Dirty Secret
By:Sasha Lilley on:Jun 14 2006 [11:35 am] (44 reads)

US inflation and rate rise worries cause worldwide shares sell-off
-Oil, gold and industrial metal prices plummet
-Fears grow of American economic slowdown
Larry Elliott and Justin McCurry in Tokyo
Wednesday June 14, 2006

Gaza beach killings highlight need for revolutionary change
By Yossi Schwartz in Israel   
Monday, 12 June 2006

Greg Palast | Keeping Iraq's Oil in the Ground
Greg Palast asks, "Did the petroleum industry, which had a direct,
if hidden, hand in promoting invasion, cheerlead for a takeover
of Iraq to prevent overproduction?"

Dogs and Their Fine Noses Find New Career Paths
June 13, 2006

Global Image of the U.S. Is Worsening, Survey Finds
June 14, 2006


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