Tuesday, November 28, 2006



Join us in a campaign to expose and stop the use of these illegal weapons


Oaxaca under attack:
APPO had planned a peaceful rally surrounding the city center where the
police are, but a PRI provocation has led to tear gas and broader
fighting initiated by the police.


Condi and George W. are A Love Story


COMPANEROS DEL BARRIO (First floor, to the left and all the
way back to the children's center.)

Bring some food to share and let's celebrate a tremendous victory
in ridding our schools of JROTC. Let's put our heads together
and brainstorm:

--community involvement in alternative programs
--continued counter-recruitment activity in the schools
--repealing the No Child Left Behind Act up
for reauthorization in Congress in 2007
--other school, student, parent and community needs
--organizing antiwar work in the schools and the community

and any other ideas you have for future action. Any plans already
under way?

Everyone welcome--please circulate

The following is of utmost relevance at this time:

Military recruitment abuses uncovered
Eyewitness News Investigators Exclusive
By Jim Hoffer
November 2, 2006

[Note the advertisement for the NYPD on the website. This is who
is coming to our schools. This is who are teaching our
students right now and for as long as JROTC is still there. The
No Child Left Behind Act insures that these people have access
to our schools on a regular basis or the schools will not receive
federal aid. The No Child Left Behind Act comes up for
reconsideration in Congress this year:

[Fact Sheet: No Child Left Behind Act
[Straight from the Whitehouse...bw]

[The reauthorization of No Child Left Behind comes up
before Congress in 2007
http://www.nea.org/esea/index.html ...bw]

(New York- WABC, November 2, 2006) - These are tough times
for the U.S. Military. With a bloody war in Iraq, finding new
recruits isn't easy. But does that justify lying to recruit
new soldiers?

Last year, the Army fell short of its recruiting goals
for the first time in years. While this year the Army
is making its quota, it's how they're doing it that's
being called into question because of what we
found undercover.

Mt. Vernon recruiter: "We're like we're not at war,
war ended a long time ago."

A recruiter tells our undercover student the war is over.

Mt. Vernon Recruiter: "The news never said war, they're
not lying now they never said war."

It appears some Army recruiters are willing to say just
about anything to reel-in a new soldier.

Student: "Will I be going to war?"
Recruiter: "I would say your chances would be slim to none ..."

We sent students undercover to ten Army recruiting
offices throughout the Tri-State area.

Recruiter: "We almost welcome being shot at because
it helps us identify where they are shooting from ..."

Some recruiters were up front about the dangers
of enlisting.

Stamford recruiter: "Every job in the Army does include
combat. Plain and simple."

But nearly half of the recruiters who talked to our undercover
students compared everyday risks here at home to being in Iraq.

Elizabeth recruiter: "I like Subway sandwiches and salads.
I watched the news yesterday, a guy got killed at Subway."

Patchogue recruiter: "You have a 10-times greater chance
of dying out here on the roads than you do dying in Iraq."

Mt. Vernon recruiter: "I'd rather be hit by a car instead
of getting hit by a bomb, what's the difference. Your not
living, your dead. That sucker is gone it's a wrap."

And with the end of the war no where in sight, the general
in charge suggesting more troops might be needed, some
recruiters told our students if they enlisted there was little
chance they'd go to war.

Student: "Aren't people still being shipped out?"
New Jersey recruiter: "Naw, they bringing people back."
Student: "Nobody is going out to Iraq anymore?"
Recruiter: "Naw, we bringing people back."

Yonkers recruiter: "As long as you don't choose a job
in this area, you don't have to worry about going over there."

Hoffer: "Chances are if you're signing up to the Army these
days, you have a pretty good chance of going to Iraq, don't you?"
Colonel Robert Manning/1st Recruiting Brigade: "I would
not disagree with that ... we are an Army and a nation
at war still."

Colonel Manning is in charge of U.S. Army recruiting for
the entire northeast. He agreed to take a look at our
undercover video of his recruiters.

Colonel Manning: "It's hard to believe some of things they
are telling perspective applicants. ... I still believe that this
is the exception more than the norm."

Hoffer: "Well what are you saying then? That we just got wildly
lucky to find recruiters more than half of the 10 we visited
to be stretching the truth or even worse, lying?"

Colonel Manning: "I've visited many stations myself and
I know that we have many wonderful Americans serving
in uniform as recruiters."

Yet we found one recruiter who even claimed if you don't
like the Army you could just quit.

Yonkers recruiter: "It's called "failure to adapt" discharge.
It's an entry level discharge so it won't affect anything
on your record it will just be like it never happened."

Hoffer: "This recruiter makes it seem its's pretty easy to
get out of it if you change your mind? Is that true?"

Colonel Manning: "I would believe it's not as easy as he
would lead you to believe it is."

Hoffer: "It's probably pretty tough isn't it?"

Colonel Manning: "It's tough."

Sue Niederer, mother: "They need to do anything they
possibly can to get new recruits."

Sue Niederer says she's all too familiar with recruiters' lies.

Hoffer: "So he was told he wouldn't see combat?"
Sue: "Absolutely, absolutely."

Her son joined the Army in 2002 and ended up in Iraq.
His job, to find roadside bombs.

Hoffer: "How did he die?"

Sue: "Killed by an IED."

Hoffer: "A bomb?"

Sue: "A bomb."

Two years later, she says our investigation confirms her
belief that there's a widespread recruiting problem.

In which another casualty appears to be the truth.

Recruiter: "We've had more close calls on the Long Island
Expressway than we did when we were over there."

Hoffer: "Doesn't this fly in the face of what this military
stands for honesty and honor?"

Colonel Manning: "Yes, obviously, there is training that
needs to be done."

Sue Niederer, mother: "Ninety percent going to be putting
their lives on the line for our country. Tell them the truth.
That's all. Just tell them the truth."

The colonel in charge of recruiting says he plans to open
his own investigation to see how widespread the misconduct
might be.

Now, if you have a tip about this story, e-mail The Investigators
here or call 877-TIP-NEWS.

Tomorrow at 11, our undercover investigation continues where
we take a look at how the Army tests new applicants for drugs,
and you'd be surprised to find out, if you fail it's not necessarily
a problem.

(Copyright 2006 WABC-TV)


JROTC Supporters Threaten JROTC Opponents

First published in BEYOND CHRON, November 22, 2006

Copyright (c) 2006 by Marc Norton

"Hey you stupid hatin azz bitch!!! Better watch ur fkn bk ya dumbazz

This was just one of the threatening MySpace messages directed at Mara
Kubrin, a senior at Lowell High School, following the vote by the San
Francisco school board to phase Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
(JROTC) out of the City's public schools.

On Tuesday evening, November 14, Mara presented a petition to the board
opposing JROTC, signed by over 800 students. The next morning her
picture appeared in the online edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, and
the flood of threats began.

"God you know how many people you have made cry & how many people hate
you! & wanna Beat you up & Slap the Shit out of you!!!!"

The San Francisco Chronicle has editorialized that JROTC teaches
"leadership skills and self-discipline." One of the program's supporters
demonstrated that leadership, if not self-discipline, by drafting a
bulletin with Mara's picture, calling her a "traitor," identifying her as a
student at Lowell, and claiming that "by viewing this... [you agree] to
release said author from all damages resulting from... any physical or
mental damages resulting from violence" as a result of the bulletin.

"Man those pic bulletins of you are really funny. i mean HAHAH! funny.
Like LOL funny. BITCH."

MySpace web pages are often private, which means that they can not be
accessed without the permission of the individual involved. Mara's page
is private. Yet, somehow, the person who drafted the inflammatory
bulletin about Mara hacked into her page, got vital information about her
and her family, and broadcast it with a link to her MySpace page --
resulting in the deluge of threatening MySpace messages.


Ironically, when Mara presented the petition at the school board she
claimed that many students opposed to JROTC were afraid to come to the
meeting, fearing intimidation by JROTC students. The threats she has
received since then have proven that point.

Others have experienced similar intimidation. Bonnie Weinstein has
posted an open letter on the Bay Area United Against War web page --
http://bauaw.org -- stating:

"...several of them [JROTC supporters] physically threatened Cristina
Guitierrez, myself and others as we left [the school board meeting] --
it was scary to see them filled with so much hate. Of course, that's why
we want JROTC out of our schools. (You may not be aware that JROTC
students were laughing when Cristina told of being tortured by U.S.
Military-trained Columbian troops.) I was also very puzzled that their
'teachers' were not there with them to counsel them after the vote was

The message from JROTC supporters to JROTC opponents, as stated in one
of the MySpace threats aimed at Mara, is coming through loud and clear.

"u should stfu."

Or else.

A police report has been filed about the threats against Mara. She
believes that the student who sent out the threatening bulletin can be


Marc Norton is a bellman at a small hotel in downtown San Francisco.
Norton's partner, Riva Enteen, is Mara's mother. Norton can be reached at
nortonsf@ix.netcom.com, and through his website at

Open Letter to Congresswoman Pelosi Regarding JROTC and
No Child Left Behind
By Bonnie Weinstein

[All the links, facts and testimonies mentioned in this letter are included

Dear Congresswoman Pelosi,

Below are some links to factual information about JROTC, Military
recruiters in our schools, and the No Child Left Behind Act, up
for reauthorization in Congress in 2007. The San Francisco Board
of Education, on November 14, 2006 voted to phase-out JROTC
by 2008. And our group, along with many other antiwar groups
and the majority of voters of the City and County of San Francisco,
are opposed to military recruiting in our schools, and we support
this historic decision.

In addition, we are opposed to the reauthorization of the No
Child Left Behind Act--in any form--and demand that all links
and/or ties between military recruiting in our schools and federal
aid to the schools be severed immediately and permanently.
We want the military out of our schools and away from our children!
We want money for schools not for war!

(To underscore the preposterousness of our unbalanced, militaristic
system I refer you to the $1.53-billion McCann/Erickson advertising
budget--for U.S. Army recruitment advertising alone,
at the following link:

Army’s New Battle Cry Aims at Potential Recruits
November 9, 2006

Just what could our schools do with that kind of cash? I am also sending
you correspondence about the behavior of JROTC students after and
during the school board meeting on November 14, 2006.)

We would appreciate a clear statement of where you stand on these
crucial issues, i.e., JROTC, Military Recruiters in our schools, the No
Child Left Behind Act and the next Pentagon Budget that funds all
of this.

We also think there should be an investigation into the teaching
practices of JROTC that teaches students this violent, threatening,
dangerous and highly disrespectful behavior--basically gang
behavior--no different--except the gang leaders here are the U.S.
military with the most powerful weapons of mass destruction in
the world today.


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War, www.bauaw.org





December 1 thru 3, 2006 (Friday thru Sunday!)
Victoria Theatre, Mission District
2961 16th St @ Mission St (across from the BART station)


$5 per film or $40 all weekend pass - Students and activists
$10 per film or $75 all weekend pass - General admission
Your ticket price is a donation to cover our costs.

Films such as Century of the Self and The Corporation will
be shown, complemented by new cutting-edge films about
corporate power such as The Forest for the Trees, a documentary
about the legal case of Judy Bari made by the daughter of Bari's
attorney. The final program will be announced in November.

Speakers on Saturday night will begin at 7:00 pm and offer
further insight into the films, corporations, and the structure
of our economy as a whole. In addition, there will be a festival
after-party on the evening of Sunday, December 3 with
refreshments and entertainment.

CounterCorp is an anti-corporate nonprofit organization
accepting no corporate donations. All of your donations
go to exposing the truth about corporations and finding
Alternatives to corporate ownership of our communities.
If you would like to support us, please visit
and click on "Donate Now." Every little bit helps. Thank you!

Built in 1908 as a vaudeville house, the 500-seat Victoria
Theatre is the oldest theater currently operation in San Francisco.
We thought this would be a perfect setting to begin to dream
beyond the memes of timed obsolescence and creative destruction
that corporations have injected into our societies, to a time before
the corporate agenda prevailed above all else. For directions
and info, please visit www.victoriatheatre.org.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Volunteering both before and/or during
the festival will earn you a FREE PASS to all films and parties!
Please contact volunteers@countercorp.org!

www.countercorp.org -for more info!


Please forward widely:

Join military resisters, their families, veterans and concerned
community members taking public action!

National Days of Action to:

SAT DEC. 9, 1pm

War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave at McAllister St
(Civic Center BART)

Iraq War Resisters:
Darrell Anderson, Iraq War Veteran and War Resister
Kyle Snyder, AWOL Iraq Veteran and War Resister
Anita Dennis, mother of Darrell Anderson
Bob Watada & Rosa Sakanishi, father and stepmother of Lt. Ehren Watada
Jeff Paterson, Gulf War 1 Marine resister
Also joining us will be members of IVAW and their cross-country bus!
more TBA

Performance and word by:
Local High School Student activists with AWE Youth Action Team

Also join us earlier for a

GI Rights, GI Resistance and Ending the War
War Memorial Veterans Building
401 Van Ness Ave at McAllister St
(Civic Center BART)

In-depth stories and discussion with:
Maxine Hong Kingston, author,poet and co-author of
the new book, “Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace”
Darrell Anderson, Iraq War Veteran and War Resister
Anita Dennis, mother of Darrell Anderson
Kyle Snyder, AWOL Iraq Veteran and War Resister
Bob Watada & Rosa Sakanishi, father and stepmother of Lt. Ehren Watada
more TBA!

It's time for us to escalate public pressure and action in support of
the growing movement of thousands of courageous men and women GI’s who have
in many different ways followed the their conscience, upholding
international law, taking a principled stand against unjust, illegal war and
occupation and stood up for their rights. Widespread public support and pressure
will help create true support for courageous troops facing isolation and
repression, and help protect their civil liberties and human rights. We
call for the following: 1) Support for War Objectors 2) Protect the
Right to Conscientious Objection 3) Protect the Liberties & Human Rights of
GI's 4) Sanctuary for War Objectors.

Your participation in these days of action—and beyond-- is crucial to
realizing these goals: together, we do have the power to end this war
and prevent the next one. As the antiwar movement builds its support for
these brave people and their important actions, we hope more will take a
stand if we show them they won't be alone.

Sponsored by: Courage to Resist, Watada Support Group (San Francisco),
Veterans for Peace-Chapter 69, AWE Youth Action Team

Days of Action Sponsored by (partial list):
Iraq Veterans Against the War, War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada),
Gold Star Families for Peace, and the Central Commitee for
Conscientious Objectors

Other Bay Area Events:

Fri Dec 8, 7:30pm:
College of Marin, Student Center
College Avenue, Kentfield, California, $5-10
Iraq Combat Veteran, turned war resister, Darrell Anderson
Plus segments of the new film “The Ground Truth"
Sponsored by Courage to Resist; College of Marin, Students for Social
Responsibility; and Marin Peace & Justice Coalition
Info: green-girl@comcast.net 415-454-5470 http://www.mpjc.org
Campus map: http://www.marin.cc.ca.us/com/files/COM-MAP06.pdf

Fri Dec 8, 7:30pm:
Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda, CA 94501
7:30 Film, "The Ground Truth"
8:30 Panel, Rev. Michael Yoshii moderator, with Bob Watada and Rosa

Sat Dec 9, NOON - 4pm:
San Jose
Peace Vigil to Support Lt. Watada!
Gather in front of MLK, Jr. Library
150 E. San Fernando St.
San Jose, CA
Sponsors: South Bay Mobilization, UFPJ in San Jose

For more info about the "National Days of Action to Support GI
Resistance and GI Rights" and an updated list of participating events nationwide
visit: http://www.CouragetoResist.org or contact: courage@riseup.net


"Ode to Joy and Struggle"
Event for Lynne Stewart and co-defendants
Saturday, December 9th ,
6:30 or 7:00 pm [I'm looking into that. -t.]
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
From: PatLevasseurP @ aol.com
Subject: Govt. seeking authorization to appeal Lynne Stewart‚s
Govt. seeking authorization from Solicitor General to appeal
Lynne Stewart's sentence (and that of her co-defendants)

Hello All,

I am writing to update you on that status of Lynne Stewart's
case after her sentencing on October 16th. While we were all
relieved that Lynne did not get 30 years, the Government has
announced that it has gone to the Solicitor General of the
United States Justice Department for authorization to appeal
her sentence and that of her co-defendants. They are not
challenging the bail pending appeal but state that they will
only agree to one 30 day adjournment of the filing of the
appeal because they want everyone serving their sentences
as soon as possible. What does all this mean for Lynne?
Lynne's attorneys are not surprised that the government wants
to appeal her sentence. Although sentences are not usually
appealed it does happen and case law in the 2nd Circuit
which governs Lynne's case shows that although rare, when
a sentence is appealed and the Circuit sends the case back
for resentencing the result is a far longer sentence. We are
hopeful that Judge Koeltl‚s meticulous sentencing decision
will carry the day but we have no guarantees and must
continue our vigilance in the face of this latest move
by the government. Of course Lynne's attorneys
will be filing the appeal of her conviction within the year.

Remember to save the date and join us in an
"Ode to Joy and Struggle
December 9th 6:30 to ?

The evening will be held at the beautifully renovated Judson
Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South
(near Thompson St.) in the West Village, New York City.
The event is mostly one of joy but of course the struggle
continues. We will also be commemorating Mumia Abu Jamal's
25 years behind bars and to that end we will hear from:

Lynne Stewart - her case and current legal status

Pam Africa
Chair of International Concerned Family
and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is currently
determining whether Abu-Jamal will be granted a new trial
or sent back to death row, which is the district attorney's
preference. Speaking about this at our event is Pam Africa,
who will be joining us after the annual rally in Philadelphia,
which recognizes the day Mumia Abu Jamal was shot and framed.


Robert Meeropol
Executive Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children


Robert Meeropol is the founder and Executive Director of the
Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC). For the last 30 years he
has been an activist, writer and public speaker. He has
successfully sued the federal government and through the
RFC, has assisted hundreds of children whose parents also
have been attacked for their social activism. Robert is also
the author of AN EXECUTION IN THE FAMILY (now available
in paperback from St. Martin's Press.) This political memoir
chronicles Meeropol's journey from childhood victim of
McCarthy-era repression; to 1960's militant activist; to politically
engaged parent and law student; to founder and leader of the
Rosenberg Fund for Children. ODE TO JOY AND STRUGGLE

Join Lynne Stewart and the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee in


for your support over these last 4+ years
and uniting for the struggle ahead

Saturday, December 9th , 7pm till .......
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
New York, NY


Lynne Stewart
Pam Africa, International Concerned
Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Robert Meeropol. Executive Director,
Rosenberg Fund for Children

Music by:

Selah Eric Spruiell and The Fort Greene Project
Urbano Sanchez, Latin Jazz
Professor Louie and Fast Eddy
Professor Irwin Corey and Randy Credico
and MUCH more
(comedy, Latin jazz, rap)

Great Food & Drink provided

Judson Memorial Church resides on the southern edge
of Washington Square Park between Thompson
and Sullivan Streets. Accessible by subway.

Trains: A, C, E, F to West 4th; R to 8th St.; 1 to
Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.

Mobility Handicapped please enter through
Thompson Street entrance.

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
350 Broadway, Suite 700
New York, NY 10013


Drums Across America for Peace
December 16, 2006 simultaneously across
the country at 11:00 to 11:30 A.M. PST
For More Information contact:
Marilyn Sjaastad
Jade Screen Clinic


UFPJ calls for march on DC Sat, Jan. 27, local
actions on March 17
www.unitedforpeace. org
Please forward widely!
Tell the New Congress:
Act NOW to Bring the Troops Home!
Join United for Peace and Justice in a massive march on Washington ,
D.C. , on Sat., January 27, to call on Congress to take immediate
action to end the war.
On Election Day the voters delivered a dramatic, unmistakable mandate
for peace. Now it's time for action. On January 27, 2007, we will
converge from all around the country in Washington , D.C. to send a
strong, clear message to Congress and the Bush Administration: The
people of this country want the war and occupation in Iraq to end and
we want the troops brought home now!
Congress has the power to end this war through legislation. We call on
people from every congressional district in the country to gather in
Washington, DC -- to express support for those members of Congress who
are prepared to take immediate action against the war; to pressure
those who are hesitant to act; and to speak out against those who
remain tied to a failed policy.
The peace and justice movement helped make ending the war in Iraq the
primary issue in this last election. The actions we take do make a
difference, and now there is a new opportunity for us to move our work
forward. On Election Day people took individual action by voting. On
January 27 we will take collective action, as we march in Washington ,
DC , to make sure Congress understands the urgency of this moment.
Join United for Peace and Justice in this crucial push for peace!
1) Make a donation right now to support the January 27 mobilization and
help give us the funds we need to make this a truly massive outpouring
for peace.
2) Pass this email along to everyone you know, post it on blogs and
websites -- do everything you can to help us get the word out about
January 27th.
3) Make sure your organization endorses the January 27th mobilization.
Click here to add your endorsement.
4) Start making plans to bring people from your congressional district
to Washington on January 27. We will soon have a form on our website,
where you or your group can sign up to be the coordinator for people
coming to DC from your area, so you can meet up, coordinate
transportation, housing, etc.
5) Keep checking the UFPJ website for more details in the coming weeks!
You might have also heard that United for Peace and Justice was calling
for a demonstration in Washington to commemorate the 4th anniversary of
the war in Iraq on March 17. Because of the new developments and our
decision to organize the January 27th mobilization, we are now calling
for local and regional antiwar actions that weekend instead. We will
soon be issuing more information about the plans for the 4th
Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ
www.unitedforpeace. org | 212-868-5545
To subscribe, visit www.unitedforpeace. org/email


http://www.pephost. org/site/ PageServer? pagename= ANS_homepage

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

May Day 2007
National Mobilization to Support Immigrant Workers!
Web: http://www.MayDay2007.net
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
webpage: http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
e-mail: info@ImmigrantSolidarity.org
New York: (212)330-8172
Los Angeles: (213)403-0131
Washington D.C.: (202)595-8990


The Corporate Looting of the Gulf Coast
Robin Hood in Reverse
More Info:
For a detailed report:
Big, Easy Money: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast
by Rita J. King, Special to CorpWatch
August 15th, 2006




Communist Manifesto illustrated by Disney [and other cartoons) with
words by K. Marx and F. Engels--absolutely wonderful!...bw]


Asylum Street Spankers-Magnetic Yellow Ribbon
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=bfMgRHRJ- tc


Homer Simpson Joins the Army
Another morale-booster from Groening and company. [If you get
a chance to see the whole thing, it's worth it...bw]


A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer
Clara Jeffery (May/June 2006 Issue
IN 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined.
Today, they re worth $1.13 trillion more than the GDP of Canada.
THERE'VE BEEN FEW new additions to the Forbes 400.
The median household income
has also stagnated at around $44,000.
AMONG THE FORBES 400 who gave to a 2004 presidential
campaign, 72% gave to Bush.
IN 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires,
a 62% increase since 2002.
IN 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps,
a 49% increase since 2000.
ONLY ESTATES worth more than $1.5 million are taxed.
That's less than 1% of all estates


Do You Want to Stop PREVENT War with Iran?

Dear Friend,

Every day, pundits and military experts debate on TV when, how and where
war with Iran will occur. Can the nuclear program be destroyed? Will the
Iranian government retaliate in Iraq or use the oil weapon? Will it take
three or five days of bombing? Will the US bomb Iran with "tactical"
nuclear weapons?

Few discuss the human suffering that yet another war in the Middle East
will bring about. Few discuss the thousands and thousands of innocent
Iranian and American lives that will be lost. Few think ahead and ask
themselves what war will do to the cause of democracy in Iran or to
America's global standing.

Some dismiss the entire discussion and choose to believe that war simply
cannot happen. The US is overstretched, the task is too difficult, and
the world is against it, they say.

They are probably right, but these factors don't make war unlikely. They
just make a successful war unlikely.

At the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), we are not going to
wait and see what happens.

We are actively working to stop the war and we need your help!

Working with a coalition of peace and security organizations in
Washington DC, NIAC is adding a crucial dimension to this debate - the
voice of the Iranian-American community.

Through our US-Iran Media Resource Program
http://niacouncil.c.topica.com/maafjioabumkFbIfQs8eafpLV5/ , we help
the media ask the right questions and bring attention to the human side
of this issue.

Through the LegWatch program

http://niacouncil.c.topica.com/maafjioabummRbIfQs8eafpLV5/ ,

we are building opposition to the war on Capitol Hill. We spell out the
consequences of war and the concerns of the Iranian-American community
on Hill panels


and in direct meetings with lawmakers. We recently helped more than a dozen
Members of Congress - both Republican and Democrats - send a strong
message against war to the White House


But more is needed, and we need your help!

If you don't wish to see Iran turn into yet another Iraq, please make a
contribution online or send in a check to:

2801 M St NW
Washington DC 20007

Make the check out to NIAC and mark it "NO WAR."

ALL donations are welcome, both big and small. And just so you know,
your donations make a huge difference. Before you leave the office
today, please make a contribution to stop the war.

Trita Parsi
President of NIAC

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

Email: info@uslaboragainstwar.org

PMB 153
1718 "M" Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Voicemail: 202/521-5265

Co-convenors: Gene Bruskin, Maria Guillen, Fred Mason,
Bob Muehlenkamp, and Nancy Wohlforth
Michael Eisenscher, National Organizer & Website Coordinator
Virginia Rodino, Organizer
Adrienne Nicosia, Administrative Staff


Enforce the Roadless Rule for National Forests
Target: Michael Johanns, Secretary, USDA
Sponsor: Earthjustice
We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:
This past September, Earthjustice scored a huge victory for our roadless
national forests when a federal district court ordered the reinstatement
of the Roadless Rule.
The Roadless Rule protects roadless forest areas from road-building
and most logging. This is bad news for the timber, mining, and oil
& gas industries ... And so they're putting pressure on their friends
in the Bush Administration to challenge the victory.
Roadless area logging tends to target irreplaceable old growth forests.
Many of these majestic trees have stood for hundreds of years.
By targeting old-growth, the timber companies are destroying
natural treasures that cannot be replaced in our lifetime.
The future of nearly 50 million acres of wild, national forests
and grasslands hangs in the balance. Tell the secretary of the
USDA, Michael Johanns, to protect our roadless areas by enforcing
the Roadless Rule. The minute a road is cut through a forest, that
forest is precluded from being considered a "wilderness area," and
thus will not be covered by any of the Wilderness Area protections
afforded by Congress.


Mumia Abu-Jamal - Reply brief, U.S. Court of Appeals (Please Circulate)

Dear Friends:

On October 23, 2006, the Fourth-Step Reply Brief of Appellee and
Cross-Appellant, Mumia Abu-Jamal was submitted to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia. (Abu-Jamal v. Horn,
U.S. Ct. of Appeals Nos. 01-9014, 02-9001.)

Oral argument will likely be scheduled during the coming months.
I will advise when a hearing date is set.

The attached brief is of enormous consequence since it goes
to the essence of our client's right to a fair trial, due process
of law, and equal protection of the law, guaranteed by the Fifth,
Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The issues include:

Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied the right to due process
of law and a fair trial because of the prosecutor’s “appeal-after
-appeal” argument which encouraged the jury to disregard the
presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt, and err
on the side of guilt.

Whether the prosecution’s exclusion of African Americans
from sitting on the jury violated Mr. Abu-Jamal’s right
to due process and equal protection of the law,
in contravention of Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).

Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied due process and equal
protection of the law during a post-conviction hearing
because of the bias and racism of Judge Albert F. Sabo,
who was overheard during the trial commenting that
he was “going to help'em fry the nigger."

That the federal court is hearing issues which concern
Mr. Abu-Jamal's right to a fair trial is a great milestone
in this struggle for human rights. This is the first time
that any court has made a ruling in nearly a quarter
of a century that could lead to a new trial and freedom.
Nevertheless, our client remains on Pennsylvania's death
row and in great danger.

Mr. Abu-Jamal, the "voice of the voiceless," is a powerful
symbol in the international campaign against the death
penalty and for political prisoners everywhere. The goal
of Professor Judith L. Ritter, associate counsel, and
I is to see that the many wrongs which have occurred
in this case are righted, and that at the conclusion
of a new trial our client is freed.

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Antiwar Web Site Created by Troops
A small group of active-duty military members opposed to the war
have created a Web site intended to collect thousands of signatures
of other service members. People can submit their name, rank and
duty station if they support statements denouncing the American
invasion. “Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price,”
the Web site, appealforredress.org, says. “It is time for U.S. troops
to come home.” The electronic grievances will be passed along
to members of Congress, according to the Web site. Jonathan
Hutto, a Navy seaman based in Norfolk, Va., who set up the Web
site a month ago, said the group had collected 118 names and
was trying to verify that they were legitimate service members.
October 25, 2006


Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Child Rape Photos
Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2006-10-23 20:54. Evidence
By Greg Mitchell, http://www.editorandpublisher.com


Profound new assault on freedom of speech and assembly:
Manhattan: New Rules for Parade Permits
After recent court rulings found the Police Department's
parade regulations too vague, the department is moving
to require parade permits for groups of 10 or more
bicyclists or pedestrians who plan to travel more than
two city blocks without complying with traffic laws.
It is also pushing to require permits for groups of 30
or more bicyclists or pedestrians who obey traffic laws.
The new rules are expected to be unveiled in a public
notice today. The department will discuss them at
a hearing on Nov. 27. Norman Siegel, a lawyer whose
clients include bicyclists, said the new rules
"raise serious civil liberties issues."
October 18, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/18/nyregion/ 18mbrfs-002. html

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Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer's View of America
Jessica Murray
Format: Paperback (6x9)
ISBN 1425971253
Price: $ 13.95
About the Book
Astrology and geopolitics may seem strange bedfellows, but
Soul-Sick Nation puts the two together to provide a perspective
as extraordinary as the times we are living in. Using the principles
of ancient wisdom to make sense of the current global situation,
this book invites us to look at the USA from the biggest possible
picture: that of cosmic meaning. With a rare blend of compassion,
humor and fearless taboo-busting, Soul-Sick Nation reveals
America's noble potential without sentiment and diagnoses
its neuroses without delusion, shedding new light on troubling
issues that the pundits and culture wars inflame but leave
painfully unresolved: the WTC bombings, the war in Iraq,
Islamic jihad, media propaganda, consumerism and the
American Dream.
In her interpretation of the birth chart of the entity born
July 4, 1776, Murray offers an in-depth analysis of America's
essential destiny--uncovering , chapter by chapter, the greater
purpose motivating this group soul. She shows how this
purpose has been distorted, and how it can be re-embraced
in the decades to come. She decodes current astrological
transits that express the key themes the USA must learn
in this period of millennial crisis—including that of the
responsibility of power—spelling out the profound lessons
the nation will face in the next few years.
Combining the rigor of a political theorist with the vision
of a master astrologer, this keenly intelligent book elucidates
the meaning of an epoch in distress, and proposes a path
towards healing—of the country and of its individual citizens.
Murray explains how each of us can come to terms with this
moment in history and arrive at a response that is unique
and creative. This book will leave you revitalized, shorn
of illusions and full of hope.
About the Author
"Jessica Murray's Soul-Sick Nation raises the symbol-system
of astrology to the level of a finely-honed tool for the critical
work of social insight and commentary. Her unflinching,
in-depth analysis answers a crying need of our time. Murray's
application of laser beam-lucid common sense analysis
to the mire of illusions we've sunken into as a nation is
a courageous step in the right direction... Just breathtaking! "
--Raye Robertson, author of Culture, Media and the Collective Mind
" Jessica Murray,..a choice-centered, psychospiritually- oriented
astrologer.. . has quietly made a real difference in the lives of her
clients, one at a time. In "Soul Sick Nation," she applies exactly those
same skills to understanding America as a whole. Starting from
the premise that the United States is currently a troubled adolescent,
she applies an unflinching gaze to reach an ultimately compassionate
conclusion about how we can heal ourselves and grow up."
- Steven Forrest, author of The Inner Sky and The Changing Sky
http://www.authorho use.com/BookStor e/ItemDetail~ bookid~41780. aspx

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Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!
Interested in furthering your knowledge about Palestine
and its people?
Want to help make the Palestinian Right to Return a reality?
Looking for ways to show your support for Palestine and
Palestinian refugees?
Why not shop for a donation at Al-Awda
http://al-awda. org/shop. html
and help support a great organization and cause!!
Al-Awda offers a variety of educational materials including interesting
and unique books on everything from oral histories, photo books
on Palestinian refugees, to autobiographies, narratives, political
analysis, and culture. We also have historical maps of Palestine
(in Arabic and English), educational films, flags of various sizes,
and colorful greeting cards created by Palestinian children.
You can also show your support for a Free Palestine, and wear with
pride, great looking T-shirts, pendants, and a variety of Palestine pins.
Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!
Visit http://al-awda. org/shop. html for these great items, and more!
The Educational Supplies Division
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
E-mail: info@al-awda. org
WWW: http://al-awda. org
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC), is a broad-
based, non-partisan, democratic, and charitable organization of
grassroots activists and students committed to comprehensive public
education about the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their
homes and lands of origin, and to full restitution for all their confiscated
and destroyed property in accordance with the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, International law and the numerous United Nations
Resolutions upholding such rights (see FactSheet). Al-Awda, PRRC
is a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3)
organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the
United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations
to Al-Awda, PRRC are tax-deductible.

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Before You Enlist
Excellent flash film that should be shown to all students.
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=ZFsaGv6cefw

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In an interview in March 1995 entitled, "Jesse Helms: Setting the
Record Straight" that appeared in the Middle East Quarterly, Helms
said, "I have long believed that if the United States is going to give
money to Israel, it should be paid out of the Department of Defense
budget. My question is this: If Israel did not exist, what would
U.S. defense costs in the Middle East be? Israel is at least the
equivalent of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Middle East. Without
Israel promoting its and America's common interests, we would
be badly off indeed."
(Jesse Helms was the senior senator from North Carolina and the
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time.)
http://www.meforum. org/article/ 244

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These pdf files can be found on Michael Schiffmann's web site at:

http://againstthecr imeofsilence. de/english/ copy_of_mumia/ legalarchive/

The first brief is from the National Lawyers Guild.
The second brief is from the NAACP Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, Inc.

Howard Keylor
For the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
www.laboractionmumi a.org.

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Asylum Street Spankers-Magnetic Yellow Ribbon
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=bfMgRHRJ- tc


I urge everyone to get a copy of "Sir! No Sir!" at:
http://www.sirnosir .com/
It is an extremely informative and powerful film
of utmost importance today. I was a participant
in the anti-Vietnam war movement. What a
powerful thing it was to see troops in uniform
leading the march against the war! If you would
like to read more here are two very good

Out Now!: A Participant' s Account of the Movement
in the United States Against the Vietnam War
by Fred Halstead (Hardcover - Jun 1978)


GIs speak out against the war;: The case of the
Ft. Jackson 8; by Fred Halstead (Unknown Binding - 1970).

Both available at:
http://www.amazon. com/gp/search/ 103-1123166- 0136605?search- alias=books&
+availability, -proj-total- margin&field- author=Fred% 20Halstead

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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Endorse the following petition:
Don't Let Idaho Kill Endangered Wolves
Target: Fish and Wildlife Service
Sponsor: Defenders of Wildlife
http://www.thepetit ionsite.com/ takeaction/ 664280276?
z00m=99090&z00m= 99090<l= 1155834550

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Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.
Personalize the message text on the right with
your own words, if you wish.
Click the Next Step button to send your letter
to these decision makers:
President George W. Bush
Vice President Richard 'Dick' B. Cheney
Your Senators
Your Representative
Go here to register your outrage:
https://secure2. convio.net/ pep/site/ Advocacy?
JServSessionIdr003= cga2p2o6x1. app2a&cmd= display&page= UserAction& id=177

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Idriss Stelley Foundation is in critical financial crisis, please help !
ISF is in critical financial crisis, and might be forced to close
its doors in a couple of months due to lack of funds to cover
DSL, SBC and utilities, which is a disaster for our numerous
clients, since the are the only CBO providing direct services
to Victims (as well as extended failies) of police misconduct
for the whole city of SF. Any donation, big or small will help
us stay alive until we obtain our 501-c3 nonprofit Federal
Status! Checks can me made out to
ISF, ( 4921 3rd St , SF CA 94124 ). Please consider to volunteer
or apply for internship to help covering our 24HR Crisis line,
provide one on one couseling and co facilitate our support
groups, M.C a show on SF Village Voice, insure a 2hr block
of time at ISF, moderate one of our 26 websites for ISF clients !
http://mysite. verizon.net/ vzeo9ewi/ idrissstelleyfou ndation/
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/isf23/
Report Police Brutality
24HR Bilingual hotline
(415) 595-8251
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/Justice4As a/

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Appeal for funds:
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website http://dahrjamailir aq.com
Request for Support
Dahr Jamail will soon return to the Middle East to continue his
independent reporting. As usual, reporting independently is a costly
enterprise; for example, an average hotel room is $50, a fixer runs $50
per day, and phone/food average $25 per day. Dahr will report from the
Middle East for one month, and thus needs to raise $5,750 in order to
cover his plane ticket and daily operating expenses.
A rare opportunity has arisen for Dahr to cover several stories
regarding the occupation of Iraq, as well as U.S. policy in the region,
which have been entirely absent from mainstream media.
With the need for independent, unfiltered information greater than ever,
your financial support is deeply appreciated. Without donations from
readers, ongoing independent reports from Dahr are simply not possible.
All donations go directly towards covering Dahr's on the ground
operating expenses.
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.

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Legal update on Mumia Abu-Jamal's case
Excerpts from a letter written by Robert R. Bryan, the lead attorney
for death row political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
...On July 20, 2006, we filed the Brief of Appellee and Cross
Appellant, Mumia Abu-Jamal, in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia.
http://www.workers. org/2006/ us/mumia- 0810/

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Contact:  Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

Howard Zinn joins Kathy Kelly, Dahr Jamail, Ann Wright and Neil MacKay in
endorsing "War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and
Mechanisms for Accountability."
The report was published internationally by 10 organizations in October.

"This report on the war crimes of the current administration is an
invaluable resource, with a meticulous presentation of the
evidence and an astute examination of international law.
- Howard Zinn. 

The 37 page report, written by Consumers for Peace with the
consultation of international humanitarian law expert Karen
Parker, JD, is available for free download at 

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Today in Palestine!
For up to date information on Israeli's brutal attack on
human rights and freedom in Palestine and Lebanon go to:
http://www.theheadl ines.org

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Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

Congratulations on your bill for creating an
African-American Centennial Plaza near the

I have a suggestion for including an important
moment in Oklahoma African-American
history in the displays.

The first African-American speaker at the
University of Oklahoma was Paul Boutelle,
in 1967.

He is still alive but has changed his name
to Kwame Somburu. I believe it would be
very appropriate also to invite Mr. Somburu
to attend the dedication ceremony for
this plaza. I correspond with him by email.

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:



Mike Wright

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Interesting web site with many flash films. The site is managed
by veteran James Starowicz, USN '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In-Country
'70-'71 Member: Veterans For Peace as well as other Veterans
and Pro-Peace Groups. Also Activist in other Area's, Questioning
Policies that only Benefit the Few, supporting Policies that Benefit
the Many and Move Us Forward as a Better Nation and World!
Politics: Registered Independent

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Taking Aim with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone has a new Internet
address: http://www.takingaimradio.com

Essential reading for understanding the development of Zionism
and Israel in the service of British and USA imperialism.
The full text of the book can be found for free at the
new Taking Aim web address:

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For those of you who don't know who Lynne Stewart is, go to
www.lynnestewart. org and get acquainted with Lynne and her
cause. Lynne is a criminal defense attorney who is being persecuted
for representing people charged with heinous crimes. It is a bedrock
of our legal system that every criminal defendant has a right to a
lawyer. Persecuting Lynne is an attempt to terrorize and intimidate
all criminal defense attorneys in this country so they will stop
representing unpopular people. If this happens, the fascist takeover
of this nation will be complete. We urge you all to go the website,
familiarize yourselves with Lynne and her battle for justice
www.lynnestewart. org

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Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos
Who are the Cuban Five?
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving
four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly
convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero,
Fernando González and René González.
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing
espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related
But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were
involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups,
in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
The Five's actions were never directed at the U.S. government.
They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any
weapons while in the United States.
The Cuban Five's mission was to stop terrorism
For more than 40 years, anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based
in Miami have engaged in countless terrorist activities against
Cuba, and against anyone who advocates a normalization
of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. More than 3,000 Cubans
have died as a result of these terrorists' attacks.

Gerardo Hernández, 2 Life Sentences
Antonio Guerrero, Life Sentence
Ramon Labañino, Life Sentence
Fernando González, 19 Years
René González, 15 Years

Free The Cuban Five Held Unjustly In The U.S.!
http://www.freethef ive.org/

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Eyewitness Account from Oaxaca
A website is now being circulated that has up-to-date info
and video that can be downloaded of the police action and
developments in Oaxaca. For those who have not seen it
elsewhere, the website is:
www.mexico.indymedi a.org/oaxaca
http://www.mexico. indymedia. org/oaxaca

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http://www.indybay. org

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Iraq Body Count
For current totals, see our database page.
http://www.iraqbody count.net/ press/pr13. php

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The Cost of War
[Over three-hundred- billion so far...bw]
http://nationalprio rities.org/ index.php? optionfiltered=com_
wrapper&Itemid= 182

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

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"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata
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Join the Campaign to
Shut Down the Guantanamo Torture Center
Go to:
http://www.shutitdo wn.org/
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
http://www.ANSWERco alition.org http://www.actionsf .org
sf@internationalans wer.org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

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Great Counter-Recruitment Website
http://notyoursoldi er.org/article. php?list= type&type= 14

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -


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!

For more information call 415-821- 9683.
For information on the Daniel and Shanti Defense Campaign,
visit www.nomoredeaths. org.

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According to "Minimum Wage History" at
http://oregonstate. edu/instruct/ anth484/minwage. html "

"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."

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -


---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

http://www.10reason sbook.com/
Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 [1.8 MB]
http://www.ed. gov/policy/ elsec/leg/ esea02/index. html
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
http://www.usatoday .com/news/ education/ 2006-02-13- education- panel_x.htm

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The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
http://www.law. indiana.edu/ uslawdocs/ declaration. html
http://www.law. ou.edu/hist/ decind.html
http://www.usconsti tution.net/ declar.html
http://www.indybay. org/news/ 2006/02/1805195. php

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

Bill of Rights
http://www.law. cornell.edu/ constitution/ constitution. billofrights. html
http://www.indybay. org/news/ 2006/02/1805182. php

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -
---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

1) Victory in San Francisco on November 14:
Board of Ed. Votes to Phase Out JROTC!
Student Activist Receives
Threats For Opposing JROTC
Report by Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org
With statements read to the board by Bonnie Weinstein and
Carole Seligman.

[Col. Writ. 11/19/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

3) Learning From Iraq
New York Times Editorial
"Modern innovations in warfare make it possible for America’s
technologically proficient forces to vanquish an opposing army
quickly and with relatively few troops. But re-establishing
order in a defeated, decapitated society demands a much
larger force for a much longer time."
November 26, 2006

4) While Iraq Burns
By Bob Herbert
NYT Op-Ed Columnist
"Americans are shopping while Iraq burns."
November 27, 2006

5) Ford Raises $18 Billion in Financing
November 27, 2006

6) Connectivity
By Jeremie Lucia
The following post was written on Thanksgiving day, Nov. 23.
November 26, 2006, 10:00 pm

7) Protesters Set Buildings on Fire in Embattled Oaxaca
November 27, 2006

8) Dreams in the Dark at the Drive-Through Window
November 27, 2006

9) Stocks Fall Sharply on Concerns About Slowdown
November 27, 2006

10) If You’ve Got the Money, Honey, You May Be a Little Bit Happier
[Just as my mother always said, "Anyone can be miserable--but
it sure is a lot easier to be miserable in the lap of luxury than
if your homeless and out in the streets...bw]

11) Employers May Get Access to Applicants' Minor 'Offenses'
by Michelle Chen
November 17, 2006

12) Stress disorders, drug abuse, little help for troops
As repeat tours of Iraq wear on U.S. forces, government
struggles to provide mental health care; many say they
take refuge in drugs.
By Anne Usher
Sunday, November 26, 2006

13) ’04 Income in U.S. Was Below 2000 Level
"The bottom 60 percent of Americans, on average, made less than
95 cents in 2004 for each dollar they reported in 1979, analysis
of the I.R.S. data shows."
November 28, 2006

14) Bicyclists and Others Protest a Plan for New Parade Rules
November 28, 2006

15) Speed Bump at the Border
Guest Columnist
November 28, 2006

16) Michael Richards and the NYPD -50 Shots 50 Years

17) Racist New York cops kill groom on wedding day, fire 50 shots
By: Monica Ruíz
Monday, November 27, 2006

The Economist Who Died This Month Understood Decades Ago that Drug
Prohibition Was Bad for Public Policy, the Economy and Society
by Robyn Blumner, Tribune Media Services
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Nov 26, 2006

19) Volunteer force may be ‘severely degraded’ soon, retired general says
By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Saturday, November 18, 2006

From: SF Bay View editor@sfbayview.com
Subject: Re: Lennar promised to build infrastructure for Shipyard
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:06:49 -0800


1) Victory in San Francisco on November 14:
Board of Ed. Votes to Phase Out JROTC!
Student Activist Receives
Threats For Opposing JROTC
Report by Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org
With statements read to the board by Bonnie Weinstein and
Carole Seligman.
On November 14, a major political earthquake shook San Francisco and
the entire country. For the first time ever in the United States, a
school board -- the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified
School District (SFUSD) -- voted to kick the Junior Reserve Officer
Training Corps (JROTC) off the high school campuses.

By a vote of 4-2 (with one board member absent), the school board
voted to phase out the JROTC program over the next two years and to
set up a task force to establish an alternative program to provide a
community structure and leadership skills to the approximately 1,600
high school students -- mainly Asian, Black and Latino -- who enroll
in JROTC every year.

With this vote, San Francisco will immediately become an important
example for other cities to kick out this authoritarian recruitment
tool of the U.S. military from our country's public high schools.

This victory was not a foregone conclusion. Not by a long shot.
Enormous pressures were brought to bear on the school board to
maintain JROTC.

All-Out Media Drive to Keep JROTC

On November 5, the San Francisco Chronicle published a front-page
glowing tribute to the JROTC, warning of the proposal to "kill off
the long-standing and enormously popular course," which, it stated,
is neither discriminatory nor a vehicle for military recruitment, but
merely a positive "learning experience."

A few days later, the Chronicle editors published an editorial urging
its readers to contact all the board members who had indicated they
might support the proposal to drop JROTC from the high schools. They
even gave out the board members' email addresses, which they never do.

In the week leading up to the vote, S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom, School
Superintendent Gwen Chan, and countless other prominent community
figures lashed out at the school board members who had moved the
anti-JROTC resolution through committee. The board members were
accused of racism, elitism, scorn for the city's students, and a
blind concern for their own "narrow and leftist" political agendas at
the expense of the most needy children in the district.

A few voices went so far as to place the blame for any future
students killed in gang wars on the board members who would vote to
suspend JROTC. They claimed that the only thing that has prevented
these most at-risk students from joining these gangs is the JROTC

Other voices still insisted that JROTC is not a vehicle for the
military to recruit in San Francisco, and that JROTC does not
discriminate against LGBT students in San Francisco. This might occur
in other cities, they insisted, but not in San Francisco.

RY Launches Anti-JROTC Campaign

At the beginning of the school year, Revolution Youth (RY) members at
Lowell High School began to organize support the school board
resolution to phase out JROTC. They decided to circulate a student
petition in support of this proposal and to build a city-wide
campaign on the high school campuses.

Within weeks, the Lowell RY students were holding weekly Saturday
afternoon meetings at Dolores Park with students from 11 other public
and private high schools in the city (and even the greater Bay Area).
The campaign was carried out in close collaboration with the American
Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

A few days before the school board vote, Revolution Youth sent out an
email posting to students and antiwar activists throughout the city
urging them to attend the board meeting and reminding them of the
importance of this campaign. The posting reads, in part:

"Is the JROTC really 'enormously popular' throughout the city, as the
Chronicle claims? Hardly. In fact, an independent movement of
high-school students at more than 12 schools began in August to
support the proposal in the Board of Education. A petition circulated
by these students has in a few weeks received more than 800
signatures. [See copy of Petition below.]

"It also should be noted that at Mission High School, some of the
main student-advocates of the petition are Latino youth who are
current members of JROTC and who were pushed into the program without
knowing what it was -- or because their parents couldn't afford the
P.E. uniforms -- and who are unable to leave it now because of
scheduling conflicts due to the lack of space in regular P.E.
classes. Š

"'As students we believe that fighting JROTC is a way to fight the
Iraq war by taking away a valuable recruitment tool for the U.S.
military,' says J.L., Lowell high-school student and member of
Revolution Youth, the principal youth organization mobilizing S.F.
students against the military presence on campuses.

"And in November 2005, S.F. voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition
I, opposing military recruiters on campuses.

"What about the claim that JROTC is not a recruitment tool? Rudy de
Leon, Under Secretary of Defense, testifying before the Military
Personnel Subcommittee House Committee On Armed Services in March
2000 admitted that, 'The proportion of JROTC graduates who enter the
military following completion of high school is roughly five times
greater than the proportion of non-JROTC students.'

"It is true that this percentage is for the time being lower in San
Francisco, but this could change in coming period, as the U.S.
military seeks to overcome its recruitment woes in order to continue
the occupation of Iraq.

"And what about the denial that JROTC is discriminatory? It is true
that in San Francisco there are openly LGBT students in JROTC, but
these students are denied certain privileges of joining JROTC, such
as eligibility for special military scholarships or eligibility for
entering the military with higher pay. Moreover, JROTC is
intrinsically linked to and funded by the military, which overtly
bans openly LGTB citizens from joining.

"And what about the 'positive impact' of JROTC on students? It is
true that some students in San Francisco have learned leadership
skills and 'found a family' in JROTC, but there is no reason why
students couldn't have a similar experience with the new alternative
program that is planned to be set up after phasing out JROTC; the $1
million in S.F. yearly public funding that goes to JROTC could
provide the financial base for building this new program.

"What is needed now is for all students, community organizations,
progressives, and antiwar activists to mobilize in support of the
school board proposal to get rid of JROTC."

The RY members devoted the final week before the school board vote to
line up students to speak at the school board meeting in support of
the proposed board resolution. This was not so easy. It was one thing
for students to sign a petition addressed to the school board
members, but it was quite another for students, particularly at the
predominantly Black or Latino high schools, to testify publicly
against JROTC.

Public Testimonies and the Final Vote

The evening of November 14 began as anticipated. The pro-JROTC forces
bused in hundreds of their supporters, including war veterans, to
pressure the school board to drop the resolution disbanding their
program. Pro-JROTC speakers claimed throughout the evening that "at
least 1,500" of their supporters had mobilized in front of the school
board building. Most observers placed the number at a 200 to 300 --
still not a negligible turnout.

After taking up some other minor agenda items, the president of the
school board, Norman Yee, called on board member Dan Kelly to read
and move the final and amended version of the resolution on JROTC.
This was followed by some initial comments by school board members
and then the comments from the public.

Each side was given half an hour of testimony to support their
position. With a one-minute time limit per speaker, this meant
roughly 30 speakers per side.

The pro-JROTC group went first. The speakers were livid against the
board members, accusing them of racism against Asians, wanton
disregard for the poor students in the district, and more. All denied
there was any link between JROTC and the military; in fact a few
teachers who spoke in favor of JROTC said they strongly opposed the
war and military recruitment. For them this was simply a case of
providing structure and discipline to kids who otherwise would be out
in the streets, susceptible to the pressures from the gangs.

To the surprise of many, the pro-JROTC grouping included only a few
high school students. Most of the speakers were adult leaders of the
JROTC program.

The anti-JROTC side went next, led off by M.K., a Revolution Youth
member and senior at Lowell High School, who opened her comments
announcing that students at 11 high schools had gathered more than
800 signatures from students in support of the board resolution.

M. then announced that many more students would have been at the
meeting in support of the proposal to phase out JROTC but they were
scared to speak out. She mentioned that anti-JROTC activists at
Lincoln High School were actually threatened physically on account of
their support for the school board resolution..

M. was one of six RY students who spoke before the board. Two student
members of the Youth Commission from SOTA and Lowell also spoke in
favor of the board resolution. [Two of the statements from RY members
are included below; the others will be available shortly.]

Other speakers in support of the resolution included political and
community activists Eric Blanc, Millie Phillips, Tom Lacey, Denise
D'Anne, Cristina Gutierrez, Medea Benjamin, Bonnie Weinstein and
Carole Seligman, among others. All underscored the fact that the
people of San Francisco, in two separate ballot votes, have rejected
the war in Iraq and recruiters on campuses: Prop N (2004) called for
the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and then Prop I
(2005) called for Out Now! and also for an end to JROTC on the high
school campuses.

All insisted on the horrors of the war and explained that the
military, with its task of killing or be killed for the sake of
empire and oil profits for the multinational corporations, cannot be
viewed as an acceptable alternative to gang-war violence; it only
transfers the killing fields to the streets of Kabul or Baghdad.

School, many said, also must be a place to develop critical thinking
-- something that is contrary to what JROTC and the army is all
about. Bonnie Weinstein, for example, noted the following in her

"The Army JROTC text from their Leadership, Education and Training
manual states on page 87, 'When troops react to command rather than
thought, the result is more than just a good-looking ceremony or
parade. Drill has been and will continue to be the backbone of
military discipline.' And from the Navy JROTC Naval Science text,
page 24, the Navy calls for, 'loyalty to those above us in the chain
of command whether or not we agree with them.'

The anti-JROTC activists were a slight minority in the room but they
were as loud, or louder, than the pro-JROTC forces. No one who
observed the meeting, or who heard the impassioned pleas of the
anti-recruitment student speakers over KALW Radio can claim that the
JROTC program has 'overwhelming support' among the students of San

Then came the vote, with the school board holding its ground and
voting to phase out the JROTC program. A major victory was scored for
peace, and for public education independent from military recruiters!

M.K. Receives Physical Threats

As the anti-JROTC activists left the meeting room following the
board, many were harassed and subjected to threats from the JROTC

Antiwar activist Bonnie Weinstein wrote a letter to the school board
members the day after the vote to congratulate them for their
historic stand and to notify them of threats she and others had
received on their way out of the board meeting. Weinstein wrote:

"Students who were at the meeting last evening and who are
disappointed by the vote were extremely hostile -- several of them
physically threatened Cristina Gutierrez, myself and others as we
left. It was scary to see them filled with so much hate. Of course,
that's why we want JROTC out of our schools. (You may not be aware
but JROTC students were laughing when Cristina told of being tortured
by U.S. military-trained Colombian troops.) I was also very puzzled
that their 'teachers' were not there with them to counsel them after
the vote was taken and to monitor this threatening and extremely
disrespectful behavior.

"This is important to bring up because we were not speaking to them
on the way out -- just among ourselves, and we were accosted by them
screaming at the top of their lungs in our faces with their fists
raised and tight! We were standing with an older woman with a cane
and the students crowded around us and began shouting and chanting
and screaming in our faces as we tried to leave.

"Cristina's small stature came to the waist of one of the boys who
stood in front of us momentarily barring the exit. There was a big
screen in the lobby and the students -- some of whom have seen and
talked to us before -- must have recognized us again from the screen
and were furious with our statements. Their behavior exposes the very
real danger JROTC is to our student's character and well being."

The threats did not stop there.

RY member M.K. reports that the night after the school board vote she
received a dozen threatening myspace messages from students across
the city about the petition and her comments to the board. M. also
reports she found out there is a bulletin circulating with her
information, pictures of her, and a direct link to her myspace site
encouraging people to harass and physically threaten her.

"So much for the JROTC kids proving how much the program taught them
leadership, social skils, and maturity," M. writes.

M.'s parents have contacted the police, the board of education, the
JROTC instructors, and the principals at various high schools, to
notify them of the threats against their daughter. M. has sent a
letter to the Chronicle editors informing them of the threats and
urging them to stop fanning the flames of intolerance and hatred.

Where To Go From Here?

This is an important first victory -- but the battle has not been won.

The U.S. Army has just announced a $1.53 billion ad campaign contract
with McCann/Erickson, a major advertising agency, to launch a new
recruitment campaign. Also, so long as Bush's No Child Left Behind
Act is the law of the land, school board will be pressured to keep
the military recruiters on the campuses.

We must organize to repeal No Child Left Behind!

For now, Revolution Youth members are calling on all San Francisco
students who signed the RY petition and on all anti-recruitment
activists in San Francisco to contact the school board members to
congratulate and thank them for writing the historic resolution and
for making the tough decision to support it.

Please write your letters to:

- Dr. Dan Kelly
- Mr. Mark Sanchez
- Mr. Eric Mar, Esq.
- Ms. Sarah Lipson

Also, please inform the board members if you are willing to work with
the SFUSD to develop an alternative program to JROTC. We now have an
obligation to develop such a program for the students who, for
various reasons, have found a home in JROTC.

Students interested in continuing to organize this anti-recruitment
work should contact RY at the following: Tel. 415-641-8616 or

There are a lot of things we can do in the coming months, such as an
antiwar battle of the bands or a holiday CD action at the Stonestown
Recruiting Center.

Please get back to us. We have to continue the struggle to end the
war in Iraq and to get the military recruiters off our campuses -- in
other Bay Area cities, across California, and all across the country.

(Eric Blanc, a graduate of Lowell High School in 2002, was one of the
Revolution Youth anti-JROTC campaign coordinators.)


Hello, my name is D.S. and I attend Lowell High School.

I support the Board of Education's resolution to replace JROTC with
an alternative program that is not directly affiliated with the
military. Career opportunities in high schools should be equally
represented, and JROTC holds for the military the advantage of
receiving physical education credit as well as almost one million
dollars in district funding while other clubs do not. (There is also
a smaller student to teacher ratio, despite JROTC instructors'
$15,000 greater salary.)

The military is not the only organization capable of teaching
leadership, discipline, first aid, and map reading. I trust that the
Board of Education will not abandon their students, and ensure that
the talent of the Drum Corps, Drill Team, Colour Guard, and so on are
not wasted. If the statistics of the views on war of JROTC and
non-JROTC students are equal, let us unite to demilitarize and
promote a progressive educational environment in our schools in San
Francisco to initiate this movement throughout America.


Hello, my name is I.C. and I am a freshman at School of the Arts high

I support the proposal made by the school board to phase out JROTC
from San Francisco public schools. It is not accurate to say that
this proposal will deprive students of feeling leadership. If JROTC
remains connected to the military it will eventually deprive these
same students of their lives. JROTC is used by the military as a
recruiting tool and though not all of the students who participate in
it end up joining the military a great many of them do.

Yes, many people are in JROTC because they feel that it provides
great leadership opportunities and they feel like a family among
their fellow JROTC peers, and I think that all of this is important.
However, all of this is highly achievable with alternative programs
not linked so strongly with the military.

I have only been at my school for about three months and through my
art discipline I have felt family. Perhaps with more creative and
artistic opportunities in public schools, these students can feel the
same way.

Report by Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org
With statements read to the board by Bonnie Weinstein and
Carole Seligman.

[Bay Area United Against War has been organizing to rid our schools
of JROTC. For three years, we set a table up in front of the Board of
Education meetings once a month handing out information exposing
JROTC as a major recruiting tool in our schools, organized counter-
recruitment workshops and tables in our schools; and brought the
issue up over and over again at the school board meetings.
This is a great prize for all our hard work.
Thanks to all!...bw]

Warmest congratulations to the San Francisco Board of Education!
Many thanks to all who showed up--the students who presented
over 800 signatures demanding an end to JROTC to the board--and
all those who spoke and those who did not have the chance to
speak. And all those who have worked so hard to get JROTC
our of our schools. A battle won!

Open letter and report to the S.F. Board of Education
by Bonnie Weinstein

Dear Board Members,

You have done a wonderful thing! After all these years, while we are
still stuck with military recruiters because of No Child Left Behind,
we can finally look forward to a more non-military environment for
our children without the addition of JROTC. I can also testify than
many students are put into JROTC against their will. In one counter-
recruitment workshop a freshman student told of how, since
she was new to the district and late for enrollment, she was assigned
to JROTC and hated it but feared speaking out about it--and she
was just a sample of the many I have spoken to who were not
in JROTC by choice. Now, finally, this will end.

I do have a lot of concern for the students who were at the meeting
last evening and who are disappointed by the vote. As a matter
of fact, they were extremely hostile--several of them physically
threatened Cristina Gutierrez, myself and others as we left--
it was scary to see them filled with so much hate. Of course, that's
why we want JROTC out of our schools. (You may not be aware but
JROTC students were laughing when Cristina told of being tortured
by U.S. Military-trained Columbian troops.) I was also very
puzzled that their "teachers" were not there with them to counsel
them after the vote was taken and to monitor this threatening
and extremely disrespectful behavior.

(This is important to bring up because we were not speaking
to them on the way out--just among ourselves and we were
accosted by them screaming at the top of their lungs in our
faces with their fists raised and tight! We were standing with
an older woman with a cane and the students crowded around
us and began shouting and chanting and screaming in our
faces as we tried to leave. Cristina's small stature came to
the waist of one of the boys who stood in front of us momentarily
barring the exit. There was a big screen in the lobby and the
students--some of whom have seen and talked to us before--
must have recognized us again from the screen and were furious
with our statements. I am very afraid for these students. They
need to be counseled by professionals. Their behavior exposes
the very real danger JROTC is to our student's character and
well being.)

But this decision was an historical one. It was picked up by the
New York Times (See link to article below) and even Newsweek
sent a reporter. According to the Times article, "Lt. Cmdr. Joe
Carpenter, a Pentagon spokesman, has said he didn't know
of any other school district having barred JROTC from its

So, we have come to the attention of the Pentagon!

Hopefully this will set a precedent just as our antiwar-anti-
military recruitment initiatives have done across the country.
This past election saw many cities across the East Coast pass
antiwar referendums.

But our battle is not yet over. The Army alone has a 1.53 billion-
dollar ad campaign contract with McCann/Erickson--a major
advertising agency--to launch a new recruitment campaign.
And, meanwhile, the No Child Left Behind act will be up for
grabs again in 2007. We must organize to abolish it!

But for your information I would like to give you two quotes
I didn't have time to give you last night:

The Army JROTC text from their Leadership, Education and
Training manual page 87 states, "When troops react to command
rather than thought, the result is more than just a good-looking
ceremony or parade. Drill has been and will continue to be the
backbone of military discipline." And from the Navy JROTC Naval
Science text page. 24, the Navy calls for, "...loyalty to those
above us in the chain of command whether or not we agree
with them."

This can be found at: http://www.objector.org/jrotc/why.html

Your decision last evening will go a long way toward bringing
this kind of non-thinking to an end. We have seen the results
of JROTC on our children and it isn't very pretty.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org

The following is the text of my short statement and a link to the
source of the $1.35 billion figure I quote:

"The U.S. Army has a new 1.35 billion dollar recruitment campaign
budget*—they don’t need our help! And with a 45 percent recruitment
rate nationwide, JROTC qualifies as top-recruiters.

Their main job is to teach students that loyalty to those above in the
chain of command, whether or not you agree with them, takes
precedence over thinking.

Isn’t that what got us into the war in the first place?

The most basic responsibility of our public education program
is to teach critical thinking and that blindly obeying orders—especially
when you don’t agree with them—is thoughts’ antithesis, and, in fact,
has led to history’s most heinous military crimes.

For two years in a row the voters of San Francisco have declared
their opposition to the war in Iraq and against military recruitment
in our schools. Now is the time to carry out the will of the majority.
Get JROTC and all military recruiters out of our schools!...Bonnie

Text of Carole Seligman's statement to the Board of Education:

"The war on Iraq could not happen without troops. The purpose of the Jr.
ROTC is to steer young people into the military. Your decision
tonight has national importance.

The people oppose the war on Iraq and want the troops home now!
Horrified by the deaths of over 655,000 Iraqi civilians, we
oppose the half-trillion dollars spent on war that should be
spent on education, health care, and other human needs.
ROTC has been in S.F. since World War One. The purpose is still
to turn young people into occupiers and killers for the big

I hope the students and the Board of Education won’t
fall for the line.

of The Chronicle that ROTC is just harmless marching
around with flags and sticks.

It's a military program. The pressure is on because the
military has failed to meet its enlistment goals. We do not
want the military to have any part in our schools. We want
them out! Out of Iraq and out of our schools!"

* Link to New York Times article on $1.35 Billion Army advertising budget:

Army’s New Battle Cry Aims at Potential Recruits
"A PRIZED goal of Madison Avenue is to link a brand to a desirable
quality or attribute: Ford trucks with toughness, Coca-Cola
with reliability. Now comes a major effort from one of the oldest
brands of all, the Army, to lay claim to the concept of strength.
“Army strong” is the theme of a campaign that the Army plans
to announce formally today. The effort, with a budget estimated
at $1.35 billion in the next five years, will appear in traditional
media like television as well as nontraditional outlets like blogs,
social networking Web sites and chat rooms...."
November 9, 2006

You can see a sample of the real thing (if you can stand it) at:

Here's a link to the Chronicle article:

School board votes to dump JROTC program
Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New U.S. Army Recruitment Ad Campaign:
"There's strong, and then there's Army strong. It is not just
the strength to obey, but the strength to command. Not just strength
in numbers, the strength of brothers. Not just the strength to lift, the
strength to raise. Not just the strength to get yourself over, the strength
to get over yourself."

Commercials that feature soldiers and their families take a similar
tack. "You made them strong, We’ll make them Army strong."
The effort, with a budget estimated at $1.35 billion in the next five
years, will appear in traditional media like television as well as
nontraditional outlets like blogs, social networking Web sites
and chat rooms.

JROTC Debate in Chronicle today:

PRO: A battle over values
Michael Bernick

CON: Popular doesn't = appr jfjks;dlj' mk
Dan Kelly, Mark Sanchez


[Col. Writ. 11/19/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Since the recent Democratic wins in the U.S. House and Senate, there has
been a concerted effort from the corporate media to evoke from them
pre-installation promises of moderation, and a mass denial that there
are any plans to impeach a widely unpopular President, George W. Bush.

There has been equally aggressive attention paid to House Speaker-elect,
Nancy Pelosi (Dem. - Ca.), who makes history as the first American woman
to reach what is essentially the third most powerful office in the nation.

With few exceptions, most outspoken legislators have pooh-poohed the
idea of impeaching the President, even before there have been hearings
into the events that led to the ruinous disaster in Iraq.

Columnists lecture, "It would be too divisive." Others decry such talks
as 'radical.'

What is more radical than war?

Why are the same voices and institutions that led the cheerleading squad
to war now setting the parameters of acceptable political debate and

Perhaps the most influential newspaper in the U.S., the *New York
Times*, used its front pages as a virtual billboard for the Bush
administration, and high-ranking people like Vice-President Dick Cheney,
and Secretary of State (then National Security Advisor), Condoleeza Rice
quoted the *NYT* incessantly in the run-up to the Iraq War. Pulitzer
Prize-winning *Times* reporter, Judith Miller essentially served as a
scribe for the White House.

It was press scrutiny that led to the recent downfall of outspoken
anti-war figure, Congressman John Murtha (Dem.-Pa.) in the race for
House Majority Whip, using grainy tapes from almost 3 decades ago -- the
FBI ABSCAM attempts to bust corrupt politicians. It certainly appears
like the so-called 'Washington consensus' was unilaterally opposed to
Murtha in the Whip post, for it would have provided the critic with a
platform that could not be easily ignored. It was precisely this
so-called 'consensus' that lined up to support the Iraq adventure,
virtually without a whisper of dissent.

It very well may be the case that these same forces wanted to humble the
House Speaker-elect. And yet it was this same alleged 'consensus'
(driven, to be sure, by the mad neocons in the White House, the Defense
Dept. and the corporate think tanks) that led to this mess.

Consensus, here in the U.S., is actually the agreement of a fairly
narrow slice of the American (and sometimes foreign) elite. In the
brief but brilliant book, *Behind the Invasion of Iraq* (N.Y.: Monthly
Review Press, 2003) written by the Humbai, India-based Research Unit for
Political Economy, this theme is argued quite strongly:

"Typically apart from legislators and the press, a proliferation of
research institutes, semi-governmental bodies, and academic forums
circulate proposals voicing the case of one or the other lobby (leaving
the administration free to deny that they constitute official policy).
These proposals elicit objections from other interests, through similar
media; other powerful countries press their interests, directly or
indirectly; and the entire discussion, in the light of the strength of
the respective interests, helps shape the course of action finally
adopted and helps coalesce the various ruling class sections around it.
(This process, of course, has nothing to do with democratic debate,
since the *people* are excluded as participants, and are included only
as a factor to be taken into account)."

We shouldn't haggle with theory here. One need only recall the
unprecedented mass pre-war protests, all around the nation, and abroad.
The experts and think tank types decried the ignorance of the masses,
but time has proven that the mass demonstrations were right. Now, the
Democrats, being seduced by the lobbyists, the media, and the
know-it-alls (who might best be called 'the know-nothings') are being
persuaded to be bipartisan; to take impeachment off the table; to cool
that rap about ending the war.

That, like before, is the recipe for disaster, for it ignores the people
who turned out to vote, largely disgusted with Bush's war. People are
sick to the soul about Iraq.

If they ignore the public mood, they will, once again, be digging their
political graves. For this war, from beginning to now, has been an
unholy disaster, causing the deaths of at least a 1/2 million people.
That ain't impeachable?

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal


3) Learning From Iraq
New York Times Editorial
"Modern innovations in warfare make it possible for America’s
technologically proficient forces to vanquish an opposing army
quickly and with relatively few troops. But re-establishing
order in a defeated, decapitated society demands a much
larger force for a much longer time."
November 26, 2006

While politicians from both parties spin out their versions of Iraqs
that should have been, could have been and just maybe still might
be, the Army has taken on a far more useful project: figuring out
why the Bush administration’s military plans worked out so badly
and drawing lessons for future conflicts.

That effort is a welcome sign that despite six years of ideologically
driven dictates from Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, Army leaders
remain usefully focused on the real world, where actual soldiers
daily put their lives on the line for their country and where the
quality of military planning goes a long way toward determining
whether their sacrifices help achieve America’s national purposes.

Two hopeful examples are the latest draft of a new Army field
manual that will be taught to officers at all levels beginning next
year and a series of oral history interviews conducted with Iraqi
and American officers involved in the disappointing efforts
to establish and train Iraqi security forces. Last week, The Los
Angeles Times published details of some of the major changes
being incorporated into the new field manual, while The
Washington Post reported on some of the lessons learned
in the Iraqi training programs.

The field manual, the Army’s basic guidebook for war,
peacekeeping and counterinsurgency, quietly jettisons
the single most disastrous innovation of the Rumsfeld era.
That is the misconceived notion that the size and composition
of an American intervention force should be based only
on what is needed to defeat the organized armed forces
of an enemy government, instead of also taking into account
the needs of providing security and stability for the civilian
population for which the United States will then be responsible.

Almost every post-invasion problem in Iraq can be directly
traced to this one catastrophic planning failure, which left too
few troops in Iraq to prevent rampant looting, restore basic
services and move decisively against the insurgency before
it took root and spread.

Modern innovations in warfare make it possible for America’s
technologically proficient forces to vanquish an opposing army
quickly and with relatively few troops. But re-establishing
order in a defeated, decapitated society demands a much
larger force for a much longer time.

The new field manual will rightly call for stabilization efforts
to start as soon as American troops arrive. And it will legally
require American field commanders to request sufficient forces
to successfully carry out these stability operations. That should
short-circuit future debates about whether Pentagon policy
makers are providing all the troops that the generals on the
spot honestly feel they need.

Correcting deficiencies in American military training is also
essential, since the biggest reason the United States has not
been able to withdraw significant numbers of its own troops
over the past three years has been the lack of adequately
prepared and reliable Iraqi security forces.

Iraqi officers interviewed for the oral history complained that
their American trainers were often junior officers without
combat experience. American officers expressed unhappiness
about how their own training teams had been selected and
prepared. One major tellingly remarked that “I went there
with the wrong attitude and I thought I understood Iraq and
the history because I had seen PowerPoint slides, but I really

These are useful insights. But they can only go so far when
a host government lacks the will to rid its security forces of
sectarian militia fighters more intent on waging civil war than
achieving national stability. That so far has been the biggest
obstacle in Iraq.

Transforming American forces to fight 21st-century conflicts
was the ubiquitous but largely empty slogan of the Rumsfeld era.
Incorporating the hard lessons learned in Iraq into future military
planning and training operations would constitute a far more
practical variety of transformation.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company


4) While Iraq Burns
By Bob Herbert
NYT Op-Ed Columnist
"Americans are shopping while Iraq burns."
November 27, 2006

Americans are shopping while Iraq burns.

The competing television news images on the morning after
Thanksgiving were of the unspeakable carnage in Sadr City ˜
where more than 200 Iraqi civilians were killed by a series
of coordinated car bombs ˜ and the long lines of cars filled
with holiday shopping zealots that jammed the highway
approaches to American malls that had opened for business
at midnight.

A Wal-Mart in Union, N.J., was besieged by customers even
before it opened its doors at 5 a.m. on Friday. „All I can tell
you,‰ said a Wal-Mart employee, „is that they were fired up
and ready to spend money.‰

There is something terribly wrong with this juxtaposition
of gleeful Americans with fistfuls of dollars storming the
department store barricades and the slaughter by the
thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, including old people,
children and babies. The war was started by the U.S., but
most Americans feel absolutely no sense of personal
responsibility for it.

Representative Charles Rangel recently proposed that
the draft be reinstated, suggesting that politicians would
be more reluctant to take the country to war if they
understood that their constituents might be called
up to fight. What struck me was not the uniform
opposition to the congressman‚s proposal ˜ it has
long been clear that there is zero sentiment in favor
of a draft in the U.S. ˜ but the fact that it never
provoked even the briefest discussion of the
responsibilities and obligations of ordinary Americans
in a time of war.

With no obvious personal stake in the war in Iraq,
most Americans are indifferent to its consequences.
In an interview last week, Alex Racheotes, a 19-year-old
history major at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, said:
„I definitely don‚t know anyone who would want to fight
in Iraq. But beyond that, I get the feeling that most people
at school don‚t even think about the war. They‚re more
concerned with what grade they got on yesterday‚s test.‰

His thoughts were echoed by other students, including
John Cafarelli, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University
of New Hampshire, who was asked if he had any friends
who would be willing to join the Army. „No, definitely
not,‰ he said. „None of my friends even really care
about what‚s going on in Iraq.‰

This indifference is widespread. It enables most Americans
to go about their daily lives completely unconcerned about
the atrocities resulting from a war being waged in their
name. While shoppers here are scrambling to put the
perfect touch to their holidays with the purchase of
a giant flat-screen TV or a PlayStation 3, the news out
of Baghdad is of a society in the midst of a meltdown.

According to the United Nations, more than 7,000 Iraqi
civilians were killed in September and October. Nearly
5,000 of those killings occurred in Baghdad,
a staggering figure.

In a demoralizing reprise of life in Afghanistan under
Taliban rule, the U.N. reported that in Iraq: „The situation
of women has continued to deteriorate. Increasing numbers
of women were recorded to be either victims of religious
extremists or Œhonor killings.‚ Some non-Muslim women
are forced to wear a headscarf and to be accompanied
by spouses or male relatives.‰

Journalists in Iraq are being „assassinated with utmost
impunity,‰ the U.N. report said, with 18 murdered
in the last two months.

Iraq burns. We shop. The Americans dying in Iraq are
barely mentioned in the press anymore. They warrant
maybe one sentence in a long roundup article out of
Baghdad, or a passing reference ˜ no longer than
a few seconds ˜ in a television news account of the
latest political ditherings.

Since the vast majority of Americans do not want
anything to do with the military or the war, the burden
of fighting has fallen on a small cadre of volunteers
who are being sent into the war zone again and again.
Nearly 3,000 have been killed, and many thousands
more have been maimed.

The war has now lasted as long as the American
involvement in World War II. But there is no sense
of collective sacrifice in this war, no shared burden
of responsibility. The soldiers in Iraq are fighting,
suffering and dying in a war in which there are no
clear objectives and no end in sight, and which
a majority of Americans do not support.

They are dying anonymously and pointlessly, while
the rest of us are free to buckle ourselves into the
family vehicle and head off to the malls and shop.


5) Ford Raises $18 Billion in Financing
November 27, 2006

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 27 — For the first time in its 103-year history,
the Ford Motor Company is mortgaging its assets, including factories,
equipment, office buildings, patents and trademarks, and stakes
in subsidiaries like Volvo, in order to raise $18 billion to overhaul itself.

The amount Ford is borrowing exceeds the total market value of
all its outstanding stock by more than $2 billion.

Although other auto companies have put up manufacturing equipment
and other types of collateral over the years to secure loan, Ford has
never done so before. For many decades, its credit was so good that
it could easily borrow without pledging assets.

By doing so now, analysts said, Ford is putting its independence at
risk. If management fails in its latest attempt to make the ailing
company profitable again, Ford may be left with little choice but to
find a buyer or merger partner or file for bankruptcy protection.

“This refinancing tells us that they see very tough times ahead,”
said John Casesa, a veteran automotive analyst with Casesa Strategic
Advisers in New York. “Either they’re incredibly conservative,
or they’re preparing for an extremely dark outlook.”

Ford, in a statement, said it needs the financing “to address near-
and medium-term negative operating-related cash flow, to fund
its restructuring, and to provide added liquidity to protect against
a recession or other unanticipated events.”

The company said it expects to complete the financing by the end
of the year, giving it a total of $38 billion in liquidity to work with.

Ford stock fell 20 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $8.31 a share in morning
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company said last month that it might arrange secured
financing for the planned overhaul because its credit rating,
now well below investment grade, makes other methods for
borrowing money too expensive and too limiting.

Ford’s chief financial officer, Don R. Leclair, told reporters and
analysts on a conference call two weeks ago that management’s
willingness to leverage the company’s assets is “a measure
of the confidence we have” in the turnaround plan.

Of the $18 billion Ford is borrowing, $15 billion will be secured
and $3 billion unsecured.

Moody’s Investors Service lowered its rating of Ford’s senior
unsecured debt to Caa1, seven levels below investment grade,
from B3, saying that the asset pledges would make it more
difficult for unsecured lenders to get their money back if the
company defaults. Still, Moody’s analysts saw logic in the plan
from the company’s perspective.

“It was important for Ford to structure this type of financing
plan in order to ensure that it had adequate liquidity as it enters
a highly challenging period,” said Bruce Clark, Moody’s automotive
analyst. “The company still faces daunting competitive
and market challenges, but this plan would give it some
breathing room over the next two years.”

Shelly Lombard, senior high-yield analyst with Gimme Credit,
a corporate-bond research service in New York, said the financing
“makes sense,” given that Ford is expected to burn through
$5 billion of its cash reserves this year.

“At that kind of run rate,” Ms. Lombard wrote in a research
note this morning, “the company would have had only a few
more years of liquidity, especially since it insists that it won’t
sell Ford Motor Credit.” The company’s stake in the credit arm
is one of the assets pledged in the financing deal.

Today is the deadline for hourly workers in Ford’s American
operations to decide whether to accept retirement and buyout
packages worth as much as $140,000 apiece. Ford offered the
deals to all 75,000 of its unionized workers as it prepares
to close more than a dozen factories and eliminate 30,000
hourly jobs.

About 14,000 salaried positions also are being cut, but those
workers have more time to decide on buyout packages.

Nearly 35,000 workers at G.M. accepted similar deals earlier
this year, costing that company about $3.8 billion. Ford’s
program is expected to cost somewhat less than that amount
because its work force is smaller and, on average, younger
and thus farther from retirement age.

Ford announced its turnaround plan, called the Way Forward,
in January, and revised it in September to accelerate the job
cuts and plant closings. The company, which lost about
$7 billion in the first nine months of this year, says it does
not expect to earn a profit in North America until 2009
at the soonest.


6) Connectivity
By Jeremie Lucia
The following post was written on Thanksgiving day, Nov. 23.
November 26, 2006, 10:00 pm

The Internet is down again. To the average person this is a minor
nuisance; simply call the cable or phone company and a technician
will be by your house sometime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. the
next day to remedy the lack in service. Presto! You’re back on
MySpace, checking your e-mail, playing fantasy football, digging,
and reading posts from your favorite TimesSelect blogger, Jeremie Lucia!

Today in the United States of America families gather around tables
spread with cornucopias of food. A teenager graduates from the
"kiddy table” to sit with the adults. There is the smell of turkey and
stuffing, cranberry sauce the exact shape of the can it just wiggled
out of, Aunt Sally’s world famous mashed potatoes, Uncle Jack’s
… (what is that anyway? – he makes it every year but no one seems
to eat it) … and of course, the aroma of pumpkin pie permeates the
air causing everyone to salivate. A herd of children playfully run
and scream throughout house while men watching football doze
off high on tryptophan, and the sound of mothers scolding their
children fills the air: “Timmy, leave the cat alone. Jane, get out
from under the table. Johnny, stop pestering your sister. Amanda,
chew with your mouth closed!”

Today in Afghanistan soldiers gather for a woeful fallen comrade
ceremony. Someone’s life has been claimed by a malicious act of
terrorism and hate. Bonded by a universal feeling of intangible loss,
absence fills the night air and infects the base with an uneasy,
in-the-back-of-your-head malaise. One of our brothers or sisters
won’t make roll call tomorrow. I might not know them, probably
never even crossed paths, but for some reason my heart is
saturated with a dull ache. I feel sad for the unwitting family
about to receive the terrible news that next year there is still
going to be an empty place setting. Nobody talks about it; no
one wants to really admit they feel something for a person they
never knew. To do so would lend power to the idea of “I could be
next,” but we are all connected by it.

The Internet is down again. To the average service member on my
F.O.B. (forward operating base), this indicates a communications
blackout, a sign that a fellow soldier, sailor, marine or airman has
fallen. The world is a little less beautiful, a family is robbed
of a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father.
There is no technician who can repair this loss, no waiting
between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the fallen to return.

The doors to M.W.R. (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) are locked
“until further notice.” It seems there’s little to be thankful for today.


7) Protesters Set Buildings on Fire in Embattled Oaxaca
November 27, 2006

OAXACA, Mexico, Nov. 26 (AP) — Leftist protesters trying to force
out the Oaxaca state governor set fire to another building Sunday
after a night of burning government offices and vehicles in running
street battles with the police that injured at least 43 people.

The violence broke out late Saturday after masked youths broke
away from a protest march by about 4,000 people and began
attacking the police and buildings in Oaxaca city.

Youths hurled rocks, fireworks and gasoline bombs in a failed
attempt to encircle the federal police holding the main square.

In late October, security forces took the square back from
protesters who had held it for months demanding that Gov. Ulises
Ruiz resign, accusing him of corruption.

The police on Saturday drove off attackers with tear gas and jets
of water from tanker trucks, then advanced in massed ranks
to drive protesters out of a camp at a smaller plaza two blocks
from the main square.

But bands of young people rampaged through the city’s
downtown area, pushing shopping carts filled with rocks
and gasoline bombs.

Court offices in one of Oaxaca’s imposing colonial buildings
were gutted by flames, and the protesters burned 20 private
vehicles and attacked three hotels, throwing gasoline bombs
at one and smashing windows at two. Fires also damaged four
buildings housing government offices, one university building
and the state hotel association. Firefighters put out the blazes
by early Sunday, but later in the day protesters set a tax office
on fire.

In a press statement, the federal police said 152 people had
been arrested, and they accused people from outside the region
of participating in the unrest, which the statement said resulted
in injuries to four officers and an unspecified number of bystanders.

While violence in the southern city continued to plague his last
week in office, President Vicente Fox suffered a fainting spell
Sunday while serving as the host of a large celebration at his
ranch in Guanajuato.

The president fainted while watching a horse show in the hot sun
and was taken by ambulance to his quarters on the ranch. The episode
caused consternation in Mexico for a few hours. But later in the
evening, Mr. Fox’s office said that too much sun had caused him
to faint and that after a medical evaluation, he returned to the party.


8) Dreams in the Dark at the Drive-Through Window
November 27, 2006

DALLAS — Off a bleak and empty interchange midway through the
Dallas sprawl stands a Burger King. It’s past midnight, the rain
sizzles on the parking lot blacktop like frying bacon. A young
woman is working the lobster shift at the drive-through window.
She is overweight and wears pink lipstick.

“Nothing special,” she says of herself. “Nothing much.”

Gloria Castillo is 22, married, a mother of two, a Latina from the
rough side of Dallas. She is on the low side of making it.

The night is busy, and a mustache of perspiration breaks
across her lip. She is alone with the fry cook.

The customers are rude tonight, drunk and bellicose. One guy
doesn’t want to pay for his food, figuring it ought to be free.
If he had wanted to rob the place, Ms. Castillo says with a tight
smile, it would have been easy enough; the window doesn’t
lock here like it does at the McDonald’s.

From the car window, the whole fast-food experience is a numbing
routine. Pull up. Order from the billboard. Idle. Pay. Drive away.
Fast food has become a $120 billion motorized American experience.

But consider the life inside that window on Loop 12 in West Dallas.
There is a woman with children and no health insurance,
undereducated, a foot soldier in the army of the working poor.
The fry cook sneezes on the meat patties. Cigarettes go half
smoked. Cameras spy on the employees. Customers throw their
fries and soft drinks sometimes because they think it’s funny.

“I hate this job,” Ms. Castillo says with a smile. “I hate it.” It is
her third drive-through job. First it was Whataburger. Then McDonald’s.
Now here. It is becoming a career.

“Burger King pays better,” she says. Even so, she has taken
a second job: “It’s a bar. There’s a lot of white guys in there.
I go and clean the restrooms. There’s three restrooms I clean
for $150, and I do it in one hour and 30 minutes. One hour
and a half.”

Ms. Castillo is the daughter of an illegal immigrant who came
to America from Honduras by bus 22 years ago, with Ms. Castillo
gestating inside her. Her mother lives on a disability check now,
and Ms. Castillo is the American who sees herself competing
with illegal labor, labor that drives down her wage, she says.

“I never worked with white people,” she says while putting
a cup of soda and ice together. “Everywhere I go and apply,
it’s always Mexicans, black or Chinese.”

She surmises that the entire morning staff at her Burger King
is illegal. “I can tell you everyone who works here in the
morning works fake papers. No English. Nobody in the
morning knows English.

“Somebody takes the order and then we tell them in Spanish.”

Ernesto Hernandez, her manager, says that he does not know
if he employs people who work with false Social Security numbers
and that it is not his job to know if the numbers are real. “Call
corporate,” he says in a thick accent. “They have that information.”

Corporate did not return calls.

Whatever the truth of the matter, there’s a lot of ethnic friction
behind the drive-through glass, Ms. Castillo says: “There’s
a lot of hate.”

She hands the soda and a sack of 10 tacos to a guy in a Chevy
who looks stoned. He doesn’t count his change. He drives
away with one hand on the wheel, one in the sack of tacos.

A sign on the window says: “Burgers for breakfast beginning
at 8 a.m.”

Ms. Castillo works from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. She earns
$252 a week before taxes. There is no chance of overtime,
because the boss doesn’t allow it. To make ends meet, she
and her husband work split shifts, he at an auto parts place
during the day and she at the Burger King at night. And
so the children, ages 7 and 8, are alone for a half-hour
in the morning, left to wash and dress themselves.

Ms. Castillo arrives at her two-bedroom rental house
on a tough street at 7. She takes the boys to a McDonald’s
for breakfast at 7:15 — the same place she used to work —
before dropping them off at school at 7:45. A man named
Carlos works the window there. They used to work there

Every morning, the boys’ order is the same: one sausage,
egg and cheese biscuit; one bacon biscuit; two hash browns;
and two orange juices. Ms. Castillo could take free food home
from Burger King, but the boys like McDonald’s better.

She returns home, sleeps until 2 and collects the boys from
school. She cooks them supper prepared from frozen packages,
and sometimes they eat it in front of the television. It takes
time and money to eat healthy, she says.

At 7 she puts the kids to bed. She spends a few hours with
her husband, dresses in her purple polyester uniform with
the yellow piping and drives to work. On Saturdays she attends
community college, hoping that in a few years she will be
a paralegal going to work in a downtown office tower,
wearing a pantsuit. She is hoping for $20 an hour and
a lunch break.

“Regrets, yes, I got some,” she says. She wishes she would
have worked harder in school. Not gotten pregnant at 13.
Again at 14. She wishes she would have thought about life
instead of letting it come at her, one dead end job at a time.

Around 2 a.m. work begins to slow down. This is the unpredictable
hour. It could be filled with only the fry cook’s music, or it could
be the hour that gunmen rob the place and lock them in the
freezer. It’s happened before, she says. It happens dozens
of times a month at fast food restaurants across the country.

Tonight, it’s music. Gloria Castillo stares out the open window,
allowing the wet air to blow inside. “I got dreams,” she says.
“I’m a human being.”

She looks at the crummy little house across the parking lot
with peeling paint. “That would be good too, a little house.
I don’t want much.”


9) Stocks Fall Sharply on Concerns About Slowdown
November 27, 2006

Stocks fell sharply today as mixed post-Thanksgiving results from
retailers fed into concerns about the slowing economy.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, helped lead the drop on Wall
Street. For the first time in 10 years, Wal-Mart reported that its monthly
sales declined. Its stock, one of the 30 in the Dow Jones industrial average,
dropped 2.7 percent.

Big declines in Boeing and I.B.M., two other Dow components, also
weighed on the stock market.

The slipping value of the dollar against other currencies contributed
to the darkened investor sentiment. After exceeding $1.30 last week
for the first time in a year and a half, the euro continued to gain
against the dollar today, rising to $1.3134 in late afternoon trading.
Investors around the world seem increasingly uncertain about the
outlook for growth in the United States, while the prospects
for Europe appear quite strong.

All three leading stock indexes in the United States fell today.
According to preliminary figures, the Dow industrials dropped
158.38 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 12,121.79, while the
Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index lost 19.00 points, or 1.4 percent,
to 1,381.95. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite suffered
a steeper decline, falling 54.34 points, or 2.2 percent, to 2,405.92.

Analysts said investors seemed to be putting the brakes on what
had been a steady run-up in stock prices. In recent weeks, both
the S.&P. 500 and the Dow traded at new highs: the S.&P. 500
closed above 1,400 for the first time on Nov. 17, and the Dow
has gone without a significant drop since reaching 12,000 last
month. Today, the analysts said, investors seemed to be trying
to take profits and get out while their shares were still high-priced.

“This has been a nice year,” said Howard Silverblatt, senior index
analyst with Standard & Poor’s. “And it’s a matter of timing,
deciding when you get in and when you get out.”

Wal-Mart’s disappointing sales report for November — a decline
of 0.1 percent from November 2005 in stores open at least
a year — overshadowed the largely positive news from many
of the nation’s other retailers. Sales for the day after Thanksgiving,
known as Black Friday for its role in catapulting retailers
into the black for the year — appeared to be strong. According
to ShopperTrak RCT, which measures purchases at malls, sales
rose 6 percent from last year, to $9 billion.

Still, stock prices of several major retailers declined today.
Shares of Federated Department Stores, the parent of Macy’s,
slipped 3 percent, and Target, Circuit City and the Gap’s
shares also fell.


10) If You’ve Got the Money, Honey, You May Be a Little Bit Happier
[Just as my mother always said, "Anyone can be miserable--but
it sure is a lot easier to be miserable in the lap of luxury than
if your homeless and out in the streets...bw]

Money can’t buy happiness, or so the saying goes. But it may not be true.

Ed Diener, a University of Illinois psychologist, said that the
connection was complex but that very rich people rated
substantially higher in satisfaction with life than very poor
people did, even within wealthy nations.

“There is overwhelming evidence that money buys happiness,”
said Andrew Oswald, an economist with the University
of Warwick, in England. The debate, he said, is how strong
the effect is.

Professor Oswald reported a study of Britons who won
$2,000 to $250,000 in a lottery. They showed an increase
in happiness averaging just more than a point on a 36-point
scale two years later.

Daniel Kahneman, an economist at Princeton and a winner
of the Nobel in economic science, and colleagues declared
that the notion that making a lot of money would produce
a good overall mood was “mostly illusory.”

In one study, they said, people with household incomes
of $90,000 or more were only slightly more likely to call
themselves very happy over all than were people from
households making $50,000 to $89,999 — 43 percent
to 42 percent. (Members of the first group were nearly
twice as likely to be “very happy” as people from households
with incomes below $20,000.)

Other studies, rather than asking for a summary estimate
of happiness, followed people and repeatedly recorded their
feelings. These studies show a smaller effect of income
on happiness, Professor Kahneman and his colleagues said.

There is another twist to the story of money and happiness.
Even though people who make $150,000 are considerably
happier than those who make $40,000, it is not clear why,
said Richard E. Lucas, a psychologist at Michigan State University.

Does money make someone happier? Or does being happier
allow someone to earn more money?

In any case, researchers say money’s effect is small. “It’s much
better advice, if you’re looking for happiness in life, to try to find
the right husband or wife rather than trying to double your salary,”
Professor Oswald said.


11) Employers May Get Access to Applicants' Minor 'Offenses'
by Michelle Chen
November 17, 2006

Nov. 17 - The FBI wants to start including "non-serious offenses" on
criminal-history reports to employers - a move some say could unduly taint
people's job prospects and spread misinformation.

If the proposal goes into effect, many employers using the FBI's system could
discover a job applicant had been convicted for drinking in public, or had been
arrested for vagrancy as a teenager, among other offenses.

"This new policy is bound to destroy a lot people's lives," said Roberta
Meyers-Peeples with the Legal Action Center, which helps people with criminal
records rejoin the workforce.

In joint comments filed with the FBI, labor and civil-liberties groups warned
that the plan, coupled with other efforts to expand the criminal-data system,
would foreclose employment opportunities for an untold number of people,
disproportionately impact people of color, and invite the abuse of sensitive

Under the proposal, which has not yet been finalized, the FBI would report minor
offenses on "rap sheets" - records used by employers for screening job and
licensing applicants and employees. These offenses - which can range from
traffic violations to urinating in public - would be reported through the FBI's
nationwide fingerprint databank.

Currently, the Bureau essentially tracks only information on "severe and/or
significant" offenses, mainly major misdemeanors and felonies. Now, the FBI
proposes to include virtually all "finger-printable offenses" in the database,
which feeds into a national crime-information system that is available to more
than 90,000 law-enforcement agencies and other authorized users. States set
their own policies on what offenses warrant fingerprinting.

Workers' and privacy-rights advocates say that the expansion of rap sheets fits
into a widening scheme to promote "security" - by exposing people's personal
histories to private interests.

Past offenses, new stigmas

Noting "the stigma associated with having a criminal record, no matter how minor
it is," Meyers-Peeples predicted that people with prior minor convictions could
face even higher barriers to employment."

A 2003 study of employers in the Los Angeles area by the liberal think tank
Urban Institute found that over 40 percent of employers said they would
"probably" or "definitely" not hire an ex-offender.

Groups opposed to the proposal say it would also push many people of color
further away from the mainstream employment market. According to the FBI's
report on crime in 2005, for low-level offenses like "disorderly conduct" and
"loitering," blacks made up more than 30 percent of arrests in 2005, but only
about 13 percent of the general population.

"We're concerned both about error and about discrimination at every step in the
criminal-justice process," said Peter Zamora, an attorney with the Latino
advocacy group Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "The risks
to this rule, or the damage caused to minorities, just really outweigh the
benefit to employers."

The FBI refused to comment about the plan, pending the analysis of input
submitted during the public-comment period, which ended earlier this month.

The workers' rights group National Employment Law Center (NELP) and other groups
say that instead of broadening the scope of the criminal-data system and the
public's access to it, the government should more tightly regulate how
employers use rap sheets. That includes ensuring that people have a chance to
explain their records before their applications are rejected.

"We're not saying that if there's a legitimate reason to conduct a background
check, that they can't conduct a background check," said Maurice Emsellem, a
project director with NELP. "We're saying that there has to be some basic
fairness figured into the system."

Personal privacy, public safety

There are about 1,200 statutes nationwide permitting different groups and
businesses to access FBI data through state governments, according to the US
attorney general's office. In recent years, Congress has passed laws allowing
some employers - such as nursing homes, banking institutions, childcare
providers and schools - to more directly initiate background checks with the
FBI, bypassing much of the state-level bureaucracy.

In a June report on criminal-background checks, the attorney general's office
recommended making the FBI's databank even more user-friendly: through policies
granting access to all private employers and third-party screening firms, which
employers often use to investigate job applicants' personal and financial

But as the federal government moves to collect and disseminate more information,
the attorney general's office acknowledged that the existing system is riddled
with quality issues, from substandard fingerprint imaging to incomplete
records. For instance, information on the final outcome of a case - including
whether an arrest led to an actual conviction - is missing for about half of
the records.

The report conceded that while the FBI database is one of the more comprehensive
resources for criminal-background checks, "no single source exists that provides
complete and up-to-date information about a person's criminal history."

Still, some organizations, especially those dealing with children, see
criminal-background checks as crucial safeguards. SafetyNET, for example, a
pilot program launched by Congress in 2003, gives youth-mentoring organizations
direct access to FBI rap sheets. Though SafetyNET is intended for screening
volunteer applicants, participating organizations can choose to submit
fingerprints for prospective employees as well. Roughly one-in-fifteen
applicant screenings have turned up criminal records, according to the
Mentor/National Mentoring Partnership, one of the organizations spearheading
the initiative.

Margo Pedroso, vice president of public policy for Mentor, said the expansion of
rap sheets could help program staff "get a more complete picture of a volunteer
or an employee's past." She noted that a slew of traffic violations could be
just as significant as a major offense when considering an application for a
position that involved driving children around.

But critics say that the more offenses show up on a rap sheet, the greater the
potential for overreaction and misinterpretation.

Tena Friery, an advocate with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a
California-based consumer-rights group, said a frequent concern cited by people
who contact the organization is what to do about offenses committed long ago
that may haunt their current employment prospects.

"Certainly employers have a right to know things that are relevant to the job,"
she said, "but the question is, how far back does the inquiry need to go? We've
heard from people in their 40s and 50s who are concerned about something that
happened when they were in college."

Criminal-background checks are subject to some regulation, including state and
federal consumer and civil-rights protections. Some states restrict employers
from inquiring about certain types of past offenses. Many states have policies
enabling courts to expunge records after a certain period to prevent a criminal
background from permanently tainting someone's record - as is often done for
young convicts when they reach legal adulthood.

But NELP, which tracks policies governing criminal-background checks across the
country, said such regulations are inadequate. Even if a record is expunged
long after the conviction, for example, the FBI's databank might not receive an
update to the old records, leaving it up to the individual to petition to change
the rap sheet.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research and advocacy group, said
the expansion of background checks continues a pattern of crowding out privacy
in the name of public safety.

Executive Director Marc Rotenberg noted that while authorized employers and
government agencies can have "real-time" access to a person's criminal history,
the individual must typically file a formal petition with the FBI to see the
same information.

Rotenberg said, "It's remarkable that more than 90,000 law-enforcement agencies
can see whether or not you have a record on the FBI's crime-information
database, but you can't."


12) Stress disorders, drug abuse, little help for troops
As repeat tours of Iraq wear on U.S. forces, government
struggles to provide mental health care; many say they
take refuge in drugs.
By Anne Usher
Sunday, November 26, 2006

WASHINGTON — Military personnel on multiple and extended tours
of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan are being diagnosed with post-traumatic
stress disorder at rates that probably will match or exceed the rate among
Vietnam veterans, government officials and veterans groups say.

The war in Iraq, with often-hidden enemies and explosives, has left many
service members particularly vulnerable to combat stress and is driving
the abuse of drugs and alcohol both in Iraq and at home, military health
experts say.

Yet many veterans and on-duty troops are not getting the treatment
they need.

As of August, more than 184,500 returning veterans had sought care
of all kinds through the Department of Veterans Affairs, and about one
in six of those had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder,
a rate expected to climb since it can take months and sometimes years
for the condition to manifest itself.

Symptoms include anxiety, sleeplessness, flashbacks and extreme wariness,
a recipe that can strain relationships and make it hard for those suffering
to get or keep jobs.

Jesus Bocanegra, a 24-year-old former Army sergeant with an infantry
company based at Fort Hood, says he is haunted by countless shots
he fired at Iraqis while serving as a scout in Tikrit in 2003-04.

The McAllen native says he lost track of how many civilians died in
the crossfire when he squeezed off rounds at Iraqi insurgents.

"How the hell was I capable of that?" he says now.

Back home and plagued with anxiety attacks, he said he tried to close
himself off from the world by drinking to the point of passing out.
He said he progressed to marijuana use and then cocaine.

"The only way to sustain yourself day to day is to keep yourself drugged
up," he said. But "it made it worse."

Eventually, he said, he stopped taking drugs and visited a VA clinic.
Seven months later, a psychiatrist there diagnosed him with post-traumatic
stress disorder and gave him pills, dispensing medications in five-minute
meetings every three to four months. A clinic employee verified his
diagnosis and said that with 400 to 600 patients a day, "every doctor
is overbooked."

With no VA psychotherapists in his area at the time — one has since
been added — Bocanegra sought help from a support group called
Vets for Vets.

"It's good to have someone to talk to," he said. "It's the only thing
that keeps me going."

Married for just under a year, he is unemployed but hopes
to return to school.

He said he is focused now on his mental health and on touring
with other veterans to push for improved services for vets, many
of whom he says are also suffering from post-traumatic stress
disorder. Disability benefits of $2,500 a month help keep him afloat.

Up to 29 percent of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan
will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, predicts Col. Charles
Engel, a clinician at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As of August,
the VA had diagnosed 63,767 discharged veterans with a mental
disorder and 34,380 with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Experts say the rate of the disorder among Iraq veterans could well
eclipse the 30 percent lifetime rate found in a 1990 study of Vietnam
veterans because military personnel are being deployed longer and
more often to Iraq and because greater awareness of the disorder
among doctors will lead to more diagnoses.

Some statistics show the cases climbing fast. The number of Iraq
and Afghanistan veterans who have sought help for readjustment
concerns including post-traumatic stress disorder doubled between
October 2005 and June 2006, according to a recent survey of 60 VA-run
centers by the Democratic staff of the House Committee
on Veterans Affairs.

That increase has made it only more difficult to get quality
care, the survey found.

Among active-duty military personnel who served in Iraq, 35 percent
used military mental health care services in the year after coming home
and 12 percent were diagnosed with a mental health problem, a study
published in March in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Veterans groups fear that the VA won't be able to handle the high
proportion of service members seeking such help once they are
discharged. They note studies showing that though post-traumatic
stress disorder can resolve itself in some people over time,
its symptoms can worsen if not treated quickly.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has enough resources
to offer treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and substance
abuse to all of the roughly 160,000 service members now in Iraq
and Afghanistan once they are home.

Dr. Ira Katz, deputy chief patient care officer for mental health
for the VA, noted that there are 200 veteran readjustment centers
nationwide and that mental health counseling is available over
the Internet.

As part of unprecedented efforts on its part, the military in September
2005 began giving returning troops a questionnaire aimed at catching
early signs of the disorder. Questions include whether they have
nightmares, are feeling emotionally numb or super alert, or have
physical reactions such as breathing trouble when reminded
of a stressful experience. In January, the military put in place
a secondary screening test to check for similar symptoms.

But nearly four in five returning troops who may have been
at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder were not referred for
further mental health evaluation, according to a study released
in May by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative
arm of Congress. About half of those diagnosed with a mental
health problem got care, but fewer than 10 percent were referred
through the military's new screening program, the JAMA study
in March showed.

The Pentagon told the GAO that it generally concurred with its
recommendations and that a systemic evaluation of referrals
is planned. After the study's publication, however, the Pentagon
said it was flawed because it did not include troops referred
to chaplains, primary care physicians and group counseling.
The GAO says the Defense Department was not able to provide
any evidence that those referrals occurred and still has not provided
figures on personnel who may have since received treatment.

After his first Iraq tour ended in August 2005, former Pfc. Josh
Revak said, a large number of soldiers in his 1st Battalion, 37th
Armor Regiment reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress
disorder on the test, but the commanders "just took it as a joke,
and I think barely anybody received treatment."

The 25-year-old said he asked for help but didn't get psychological
counseling until after a 120 mm mortar landed near him on his
second tour in Iraq in June, sending him back to their base
in Germany with shrapnel through his foot.

By that time, Revak said, several men in his unit had been
disciplined for Valium use.

Medical experts say mental health problems such as post-
traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse are often

"When they don't get the kind of mental health screening —
or physical — history tells us they will turn to coping mechanisms,"
said Steve Robinson, director of government relations
for Veterans for America, a 35,000-member organization.

He says many of the hundreds of troops he has interviewed
at post-deployment sites are addicted to medications given
to them in the field, such as painkillers and sleeping pills.
But they are not getting the therapy that normally goes with
such medications, Robinson said.

Adam Reuter, a 23-year-old former Army specialist, said
that after he was tossed out of a Humvee in an accident
in Iraq, a medic handed him a plastic bag filled with pills
and gave him no instructions.

The bag contained four kinds of painkillers, an anti-
inflammatory drug and a muscle relaxant, said Reuter,
an Atlanta native who served with the 3rd Squadron of the 3rd
Armored Company from May 2003 until February 2004.
He said he went back for more and developed a dependency
that he is still trying to shake.

Military personnel said they used banned substances as a way
to mentally escape the violence around them. Drugs ranging
from marijuana to prescription anti-depressants are easily
accessible in Iraq, according to interviews with more than
a dozen soldiers who served there.

John Crawford, a 28-year-old former Florida National Guardsman
with the Army's 101st Airborne Division, said soldiers in his unit
drank alcohol, some took steroids, "pretty much everyone took
Valium," and "some did all three."

Crawford said he bought 200 to 300 Valium pills on the street
in Baghdad for $2 as a way to get some sleep between patrols.
After eight months, he built up a tolerance and was taking
seven or eight at a time.

The extent of alcohol and drug abuse among combat veterans
is difficult to quantify. The Pentagon declined to release the
results of announced drug tests specifically for Iraq. The tests
are usually done just once a year.

Army Maj. James Weeden directed a team of 200 specialists
dealing with combat stress in Iraq until he left the country
in September.

He says senior officers recognize the strain their troops are
under and in the past year have assigned specialists to address
the issue at remote forward operating bases.

But seeking treatment in a combat environment is difficult.
All travel is risky, and asking for help is seen as a sign
of weakness.

Weeden and other medical specialists say that they can treat
only the symptoms of combat stress — with anti-depressant
drugs and rest, for example — and that troops are sent out
of Iraq only when they have clearly disabling cases of post-
traumatic stress disorder.

Commanders want to keep troops in the field, and most service
members say that they don't want to abandon their units.

"We strengthen (combat readiness) because we get them back,"
Weeden said.

That desire to keep medicated troops in combat troubles Joyce
Raezer, director of government relations at the National Military
Family Association.

She says U.S. troops — some now on their fourth or fifth tour —
are bringing "all the baggage from the last deployment into the next."

"The stress is cumulative," she said.

Families are alarmed by military statistics showing that 80 percent
of soldiers who have been flagged with mild symptoms of post-
traumatic stress disorder have been sent back to Iraq and Afghanistan,
many with anti-depressant pills aimed at ensuring they can still fight.
Experts say repeated exposure to combat is the greatest predictor
of whether a person will get post-traumatic stress disorder
and how severe it will be.

When they come home, many seeking treatment say they face steep
hurdles getting help from the government. With a wave of post-
traumatic stress disorder cases arriving, outreach groups fear
the VA will not have adequate resources to treat them and
to pay disability benefits.

The VA is proposing a $339 million increase in mental health care
spending next year, Katz said Tuesday. That would bring total annual
spending on those programs to about $3.2 billion.

Implementation is another question. As of late September, about
$42 million of $200 million directed for initiatives to close gaps
in VA mental health care in 2006 had not been spent, the GAO found.

"Requesting more money is a step in the right direction," said Paul
Sullivan, director of programs for Veterans for America, who was
a senior analyst at the VA until he left six months ago.

But he added, "The VA's problems are systemic, and the solutions
must be more comprehensive than simple increases in funding."

He noted the GAO findings that the VA lacked a comprehensive
plan to implement the funding in last year's budget.

About 144,000 of the 589,000 veterans who have served in Iraq
and Afghanistan have already been seen at VA-run Vet Centers
for "readjustment concerns" ranging from depression and marital
problems to full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder.

Forty percent of the 60 centers surveyed in the study by the
Democratic House staff have directed veterans for whom individualized
therapy would be appropriate to group therapy instead.

Dr. Frances Murphy, undersecretary for Health Policy Coordination
at the VA, told a mental health commission in March that the growing
numbers of veterans seeking mental health care has revealed areas
in which improvement is needed.

Some VA clinics, she said, do not provide mental health or substance
abuse care, or if they do, "waiting lists render that care virtually

"The VA needs more capacity so that vets can get treatment
and don't have to wait," Sullivan said.

If they are able to see a VA doctor, hundreds of veterans with
severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are being denied
disability benefits because their condition is obscured by drug or alcohol
abuse, which is labeled "willful misconduct," said Elinor Roberts, legal
director for Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco-based veterans

The military maintains a zero tolerance policy for drug use
on all but prescription medications.

Some service members have lost their military benefits, regardless
of their combat citations, after they have been found to have used
banned substances.

But many commanders offer leeway in such cases, choosing
nonjudicial punishments such as demotions to keep soldiers
on duty, said Army Col. Bill Buckner, a public affairs officer
at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The VA is allowed to give benefits to veterans dealing with alcohol
abuse but not illicit drugs, and only if a clinician finds that the
veteran also has post-traumatic stress disorder. VA officials
say many vets with the condition have trouble making appointments
to get that diagnosis in the first place.

Amy Fairweather, who has counseled about 50 Iraq vets for Swords
to Plowshares, said the impact of repeated deployments "is enormous."

"It contributes to all the elements for substance abuse, mental illness
and family dissolution," she said. "There's only so many times you
can be uprooted from family and work. Not to mention that they're
over there in hell."


13) ’04 Income in U.S. Was Below 2000 Level
"The bottom 60 percent of Americans, on average, made less than
95 cents in 2004 for each dollar they reported in 1979, analysis
of the I.R.S. data shows."
November 28, 2006

Despite significant gains in 2004, the total income Americans reported
to the tax collector that year, adjusted for inflation, was still below
its peak in 2000, new government data shows.

Reported income totaled $7.044 trillion in 2004, the latest year for
which data is available, down from more than $7.143 trillion in 2000,
new Internal Revenue Service data shows.

Total reported income, in 2004 dollars, fell 1.4 percent, but because
the population grew during that period average real incomes declined
more than twice as much, falling $1,641, or 3 percent, to $53,974.

Since 2004, the Census Department has found, the income of the
typical American household has grown along with the rise in average
incomes but at a slow pace that, until recent months, had barely
kept ahead of inflation.

The tax data, while not as up to date, helps spell out whose incomes
were most affected in the recent downturn and why.

The overall income declines of that extended era came despite
a series of tax cuts that President Bush and Congressional Republicans
promoted as the best way to stimulate both short- and long-term
growth after the Internet bubble burst on Wall Street in 2000 and
the economy fell into a brief recession in 2001.

The tax cuts contributed to a big decline in individual income tax
receipts, which fell at a rate 14 times that of the drop in incomes.

In 2004 individual income tax receipts were 21.6 percent smaller
than in 2000 — and indeed smaller than they were in 1997, the
new I.R.S. report shows. The government collected $831.8 billion
in individual income taxes in 2004, down from $980.4 billion
in 2000 and $848.6 billion in 1997.

Those figures have risen since then, but rather than pay for
themselves through economic growth, the Bush tax cuts,
at least through 2004, were financed with borrowed money.

A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said the decline in
income through 2004 was a predictable result of “what we all know
now was a bubble economy with inflated asset values, which is why
$7 trillion of equity in the stock markets evaporated.”

Mr. Fratto said that the benefits of lowered tax rates were shown
by more recent gains in incomes and tax receipts and the creation
of more than 6.5 million jobs since 2003, the year that
he contended should be used as the benchmark to assess
the value of the Bush tax cuts on incomes, jobs and increased

Incomes in 2004 did rise above those in 2003, with an overall
average gain of 6.8 percent. The average year-over-year increases
from 2003 to 2004 ranged from 1.8 percent for the poorest fifth
of Americans to a 27.5 percent increase for the top tenth
of 1 percent.

But those gains were not enough to make up for the drop in 2001,
the further drop in 2002 and the almost unchanged overall income
total in 2003, when only the top 1 percent made any significant
gains, primarily by selling assets at a profit to take advantage
of lowered tax rates on capital gains that took effect that year.

Analysis of the I.R.S. data by The New York Times found that average
reported incomes fell or were virtually flat at the end of the period
at every level of income except for the poorest 26 million taxpayers,
the bottom fifth. Those impoverished taxpayers made less than
$11,166 each in 2004 and had an average income of $5,743,
up $135 or 2.4 percent, from the year 2000.

A taxpayer can be a single individual or a married couple. The
poorest taxpayers consist of nearly 48 million adults and about
12 million dependent children. This means that the poorest 60
million Americans reported average incomes of less than
$7 a day each.

The official poverty line in 2004 was $27 a day for a single adult
below retirement age and $42 a day for a household with one child.
The I.R.S. data does not include the value of government benefits
like food stamps, the earned-income tax credit for working families
and subsidized medical care.

It also excludes unreported income, which the Treasury Department
and the I.R.S. have said is a major and growing problem among the
highest-income Americans, especially those who own businesses,
invest in stocks and have overseas financial interests.

Incomes after 2000 fell the most among those at the top of the
income ladder.

The top one-tenth of 1 percent, about 130,500 taxpayers, reported
their average income fell almost 17 percent, to just under
$4.9 million each in 2004. Because of the tax cuts after-tax
incomes fell by a significantly smaller amount, 12.1 percent.

Still, those very top households, which include about 300,000
Americans, reported significantly more pretax income combined
than the poorest 120 million Americans earned in 2004, the data
show. This was a sharp change from 1979, the oldest year examined
by the I.R.S., when the thin slice at the top received about one-third
of the total income of the big group at the bottom.

Over all, average incomes rose 27 percent in real terms over the
quarter-century from 1979 through 2004. But the gains were narrowly
concentrated at the top and offset by losses for the bottom
60 percent of Americans, those making less than $38,761
in 2004.

The bottom 60 percent of Americans, on average, made less than
95 cents in 2004 for each dollar they reported in 1979, analysis
of the I.R.S. data shows.

The next best-off group, the fifth of Americans on the 60th to
80th rungs of the income ladder, averaged 2 cents more income
in 2004 for each dollar they earned in 1979.

Only those in the top 5 percent had significant gains. The average
income of those on the 95th to 99th rungs of the income ladder
rose by 53 percent, almost twice the average rate.

A third of the entire national increase in reported income went
to the top 1 percent — and more than half of that went to the top
tenth of 1 percent, whose average incomes soared so much that
for each dollar, adjusted for inflation, that they had in 1979
they had $3.48 in 2004.

Because of cuts in the tax rate, the top tenth of 1 percent did even
better than their rising incomes alone would suggest. For each
inflation-adjusted dollar they had after tax in 1979 they had
$3.94 left after taxes in 2004.

For the bottom 60 percent, their income taxes were so small in
1979 that the cuts did little to change their after-tax incomes.
While their pretax average incomes fell by a nickel on the dollar
from 1979 to 2004, their after-tax incomes fell by a fraction
of a penny less.


14) Bicyclists and Others Protest a Plan for New Parade Rules
November 28, 2006

Behind a canvas banner reading “Back Off, N.Y.P.D.,” about two dozen
bicyclists rang their bike bells yesterday morning outside Police
Headquarters in support of critics denouncing a Police Department
proposal to revise parade permit requirements.

The proposal, up for debate at a public hearing yesterday, would
define a parade, which requires a permit, as a procession or race
of 30 or more “vehicles, bicycles or other devices moved by human
power, or ridden or herded animals proceeding together upon
any public street or roadway.”

Under the proposal, if the procession continued for more than
two city blocks and if the group did not follow all traffic regulations,
the threshold for a permit would drop to 10 people. Recent court
rulings have said the rules are too vague.

Many civil rights advocates say they consider the proposed
requirement to be both impractical and an affront to their rights
to free speech and assembly.

At the rally, Norman Siegel, a civil rights lawyer, called the proposal
an attempt by the police to “get Critical Mass,” the crowd of Friday
night bicyclists who ride in support of nonpolluting forms
of transportation.

“For the disfavored, the troublemakers and the critics of government,
like Critical Mass bike riders, the new rules will stifle, or seriously
impair, their activities,” Mr. Siegel shouted as the “ting, ting” of bicycle
bells sounded off behind him.

Later, inside department headquarters, where city and police officials
heard comments for three hours, Peter T. Barbur of the City Bar
Association said the proposal was a threat to lawful, peaceful
protests and other public gatherings. “We believe this approach
is ill-conceived and fundamentally wrong,” he said.

Mr. Barbur and many of the other critics who spoke yesterday
called on the City Council to take the revision process out
of the Police Department’s hands.

Though she did not attend the hearing, Christine C. Quinn, the
City Council speaker, called the proposal an improvement over
the version the department submitted in July.

“The revised regulations better balance the protection of civil liberties
with the need for public order,” she said in a statement. “We do hope,
however, that the Police Department will carefully consider all of the
comments that it receives” and “will make further revisions to the
proposals as appropriate.”

Mr. Siegel said it seemed to him at the hearing that the “decision
had already been made.”

“It was like talking to a wall,” he said, noting that police officials
running the hearing did not ask questions of those who spoke.
“Not a single person spoke in favor of the rules,” he said, “yet the
rules are going to be enacted.”


15) Speed Bump at the Border
Guest Columnist
November 28, 2006

Democrats preparing to take over Congress appear to have a perfect
issue for the party of the left: the rich are getting richer, but sizable
productivity gains and rising corporate profits are not paying off for
the working and middle classes. All boats are not rising with the tide.

The picture is a paint-by-the-numbers portrait of the greedy picking
the pockets of the needy. The villains are C.E.O.s, investment bankers
and corporate managers who refuse to pass on profits in the form
of higher wages. The victims are workers who struggle to deal with
an increasingly unreliable and, for many, unrewarding marketplace —
producing more while under the constant threat of job, health care
and pension loss.

The success of candidates attacking outsourcing and trade agreements
like Nafta, combined with high Democratic margins among economically
pessimistic voters, clearly point to middle-class wage stagnation
and growing inequality as significant factors in the election
this month.

Politically, the result has shifted the balance of power within the
Democratic Party in favor of the protectionist wing, and especially
in favor of such major unions as the Teamsters, the steelworkers
and the autoworkers, all key party supporters with money and

The strengthening of the Democrats’ protectionist wing is virtually
certain to force to the surface a second, and closely related, internal
conflict between the party’s pro- and anti-immigration wings.
This conflict among Democrats remained submerged while
President Bush and the Republican House and Senate majorities
fought without resolution over the same issue.

“Immigration is a difficult issue for the Democrats; it cuts
in complicated ways,” says Stephen Ansolabehere, an M.I.T.
political scientist who helped conduct an Internet survey
of 37,000 voters. The Democratic Party made major gains
in the Mountain West, he says, and many of these voters are
“populist with a lot of nativism,” firmly opposed to the more
liberal immigration policies of key party leaders.

A solid block of Democrats who won this month — Jon Tester,
James Webb, Sherrod Brown and Heath Shuler included —
is inclined to put the brakes on all cross-border activity
(otherwise known as globalization): trade, outsourcing
and the flow of human labor. Nolan McCarty of Princeton,
writing with two colleagues, has provided some empirical
data supporting the argument that immigration has led
“to policies that increase economic inequality.” Significant
numbers within the Democratic Party agree with this reasoning.

Globalization “needs to be controlled and slowed down
because of the brutal destruction and vast imbalances
of wealth it causes,” Jeff Faux, a stalwart of the protectionist
wing on the Democratic left, writes in Dissent magazine. “The
nihilistic vision of the world as an accelerating treadmill
of constant insecurity, jobs with longer hours and shorter
pay ... the triumph of dog-eat-dog competition ... is a vision
of hell.”

The protectionist wing will likely hold sway at least in the first
few months of the 110th Congress. Over time, however, Faux
and his allies are likely to fail. The forces of international
competition have proved more powerful than any government,
and advocates of aggressive policies to constrain them face
a porous, borderless and now highly electronic international
economy. Legislation can require American companies
to distribute profits to workers, but it will be virtually
impossible to enforce as competition razes companies
playing by those rules. For the moment, Democratic
chances of restoring more equal patterns in the growth
of wages are bleak.

Barney Frank, representing members of the House who
would like to stake out middle ground, has proposed
a “grand bargain.” If corporate America agrees to equitable
wages, Democrats will back free trade and eased regulations.
"What we want to do is to look at public policies that’ll get
some bigger share of the increased wealth into wages,
and in return you’ll see Democrats as internationalists,”
he said.

Even if the deal were cut, the odds are strong that the global
economy would prevent American business from keeping
its promise. The sooner Democrats realize that they — and,
more important, their constituents — are up against a wall,
the sooner they will seriously focus their attention on how
to climb it.

Thomas B. Edsall holds the Pulitzer-Moore Chair at Columbia
University. He is a guest columnist this month.


16) Michael Richards and the NYPD -50 Shots 50 Years

Fifty shots were fired. Fifty shots were fired by NYC police upon a vehicle
of unarmed, African American men leaving a bachelor party in Queens this
past weekend. The man who was killed was to be married the following day.

This horrific incident happened within days of Michael Richards' racist
taunts. There is a historical relationship between the rages of racism that
leads to unprovoked death for black men.

Richards' chilling provocation brought the past present in resurrecting the
image of lynching. Hate speech disguised as improvisational comedy readily
accessed a threatening white supremacy to provoke fear for the hecklers. If
it wasn't the hecklers what else could have easily set Richards' off?
Richards' racist tirade created an instant atmosphere of hate, the same
hate of 50 years ago that Richards' referenced in order to position his
rage towards African American men. America has a history of applying
senseless accusations to justify lynching black men from "looking" at white
women to any type of behavior that made white men feel impotent. Black men
were punished and routinely made entertainment faire by public torture and
hanging. The white audience witnessing the neighborhood lynching would be
jovial and purchase pictures of the terrorized bodies to send as postcards,
a souvenir.

Listening to Richards' commanding the black male hecklers, signal the
audience that white Richards' was in control of putting black men in their
place of "no voice." The black men simply challenged his social norm, his
required white pedestal to be looked up to in order to "perform." Richards
was made impotent. The unspoken boundary was disrupted on Sunset Boulevard
at the Laugh Factory by the hecklers and Richards inisisted at maintaining
control at all costs. Black men would pay for laughing at him.

But let's substitute Richards's white taunt of referencing lynchings of 50
years ago... to the 50 shots by the New York City police this past weekend.
Yes, there is a relationship between Richards and the excessive shooting of
50 bullets by police upon African American men in their vehicle after
leaving a strip club and the history of lynching. The police authorized a
reason to kill as self defense. This is done in a rage, a rage that is all
too familiar. A national rage that is based on a national history of racism.

I seriously doubt that if a group of white men at a bachelor party were
leaving a strip club that there would be an overreaction to attack to kill.
Fifty shots is not diplomacy, it is not multiple warnings but only an
intention to shoot to kill. These black young men were unarmed. And what
was their crime? All we know is that the black men were leaving a strip
club looking, yes looking at women. Fifty years ago this could have been
reason enough to be lynched. Supposedly the policeman were in the strip
club as well.

Emmett Till was lynched for looking at a white woman.

Michael Richards reminds his audience " 50 years ago we have turned you
upside down with a F****** up your ass."

You have it wrong, Michael. You don't have to look in the past. Look at today.

New York mayor Bloomberg asks us not to rush to judgment. Why didn't the

If only things were different, the young man would have been married this
weekend. Now, instead of being on his honeymoon he is attending his own



17) Racist New York cops kill groom on wedding day, fire 50 shots
By: Monica Ruíz
Monday, November 27, 2006

Queens community takes action

In yet another racist police atrocity in New York City, three young, Black men
were brutally attacked and shot 50 times by undercover cops on Nov. 25.

Sean Bell, only 23-years-old, was gunned down and killed by the barrage of
bullets while exiting his bachelor party in Jamaica, Queens. Two other young men
also attending the bachelor party, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield,

survived the shooting but are seriously injured.

Bell was to be married later that day to his longtime girlfriend and mother of
their two young daughters. Now, instead of celebrating his wedding, Bell‚s family
is attending his funeral.

Actions have begun to mobilize the largely African American community in Jamaica
and their supporters. The day after the shooting, hundreds of people participated
in a vigil in front of Mary Immaculate Hospital where Benefield and Guzman are
being treated. Bell‚s fiancé, along with many family members of all three victims
attended the vigil. It was officiated by Rev. Al Sharpton, along with other local
religious and civic leaders.

Grief stricken and angry, the crowd called for New York City police commissioner
Ray Kelly to be removed from his position. They also counted loudly from 1 to 50,
highlighting how long it took to kill Sean Bell and injure his friends.

Chanting "No justice, no peace," the people then marched around the hospital and
into the nearby neighborhood where others joined as the marchers passed through.
The victims‚ friends and relatives marched with the crowd, some crying and others
clearly filled with fury at the police.

Many demonstrators decided to continue the march beyond its scheduled route.
Ignoring police requests not to take the street, the marchers took Jamaica Avenue
chanting "whose streets, our streets!" The police did not dare to challenge the
marchers to stop. The march ended shortly after arriving at the precinct. But
people vowed to return.

Family members have been joined by civil rights leaders, activists and some
elected officials, including Rev. Al Sharpton and city councilman Charles Barron,
in demanding justice for the three men. It was reported that the Black police
officer organization, "100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care," has issued a vote
of no confidence in Kelly.

Racist police violence

Undercover cops had been staking out the club where Bell‚s bachelor party was
taking place for other supposed criminal activity. As the three men exited the
club and got into their car to leave, they were met with police fire. It is still
unclear exactly what occurred. But it is clear that the victims were unarmed.

Reminiscent of the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo, who was shot at 41 times by
cops, the three young men in Queens were shot at an incredible 50 times. One cop
alone fired 31 times, clearly having time to reload his weapon at least once.

The shooting was so unrestrained and out of control that bullets were found in
nearby homes and even in a train station. It is fortunate that other passersby
were not injured or killed.

Like the Diallo case, no gun was found on the three victims. Now police
commissioner Kelly and mayor Bloomberg are scrambling to explain why 50 bullets
were shot at three unarmed young men.

Both Benefield and Guzman are seriously injured and in the hospital. While they
were not charged with any crime, their families found them shackled to their beds
with police-issued cuffs. Guzman, who has a bullet wound to his foot, was cuffed
to the bed post by the injured foot. The cuffs were removed only after their
families demanded that they be unshackled or charged with a crime.

The police department claims to be "investigating" the shooting, but the families
of the victims and the community at large are not depending on any investigation
to shed real light on police brutality.

People have not forgotten the killings of Diallo, Anthony Baez, Malcolm Ferguson,
Alberta Spruill, Patrick Dorismond and Ousmane Zongo˜just a few of the many
innocent people who have suffered and died at the hands of New York‚s "finest"
over the last few years.

There will be a mass demonstration on Dec. 6 in front of the police headquarters
in Manhattan to continue the fight for justice for Sean Bell and to demand an end
to racist police brutality in New York City.


The Economist Who Died This Month Understood Decades Ago that Drug
Prohibition Was Bad for Public Policy, the Economy and Society
by Robyn Blumner, Tribune Media Services
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Nov 26, 2006

In 1971, when Richard Nixon declared his "War on Drugs," calling for
harsher penalties and stricter enforcement of drug laws, the renowned
Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman had a John Lennon
moment. He suggested we give peace a chance. To Friedman, who died
earlier this month at 94, drug prohibition was unsound public policy,
economic insanity and inherently immoral. It wasn't the drug user who
was immoral, as the political world asserted with so much vim and
vinegar, the immorality stemmed from making users into criminals.

In a Newsweek article Friedman wrote in 1972, he took a step outside
his realm of monetary policy and free marketeering and laid out in
clear, unequivocal terms what kind of social disaster we were buying
with Nixon's drug war. Thirty years later, we know he couldn't have
been more right.

Friedman's views emanated from libertarianism. He resented the
government's interference in an adult's free will. But the economist
in him also recognized the inexorable market forces that drove the
illicit drug trade. He understood that as long as there was demand
there would be supply, and by making drugs illegal, those enriched by
the drug trade would be a violent, corrupting element of society.

In 1989, in a famous exchange he had on the pages of the Wall Street
Journal with then-Drug Czar William Bennett, Friedman told Bennett
that the prohibitionist's model was doomed to fail and would grind up
freedom in the process.

"The path you propose of more police, more jails, use of the military
in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole
panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse.
The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the
human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish."

Bennett apparently didn't see the hypocrisy in cherishing his freedom
to gamble, while waging war against the rights of others to engage in
their own personal vices. "The Book of Virtues" author who reportedly
lost millions in Atlantic City and Las Vegas (Bennett must equate
"moral" with technically legal), was a drug warrior of the first
order, dismissing Friedman's legalization prescription as
"irresponsible and reckless."

We've followed the Nixon/Bennett drug-war model for 30 years and what
we have to show for it was predictable from Day One.

Those who have gotten rich on the illicit drug trade are drug lords
and their cartels who use violence to control their enterprise. The
money that flows from the illegal sales corrupts everything it
touches from the cops on the beat to entire countries like Colombia.
Drug use has not been curbed, yet our prisons have filled up with
low-level dealers and users.

We have spent $1 trillion on the drug war since 1972 and we arrest
1.7 million people for nonviolent drug offenses every year. When you
put a rapist in prison another one doesn't get recruited to take his
place, but that is precisely what happens in drug dealing. Take one
guy off the streets and that becomes a job opportunity for someone
else in the neighborhood.

And despite this huge interdiction, enforcement and imprisonment
apparatus that we have shoveled money into over the last 30 years,
illicit drugs have become cheaper and more available.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is "doing the
same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." We
must really be nuts.

Friedman wasn't the only brilliant economist to make the case for
drug legalization. Nobel laureate Gary Becker wrote a column in
Business Week in 2001 titled "It's Time to Give Up the War on Drugs."

Then, in 2005, Dr. Jeffrey Miron, a visiting professor at Harvard,
published a report which called for replacing marijuana prohibition
with a taxation and regulation scheme. It was endorsed by more than
500 distinguished economists.

Miron found that government could save between $10 billion and $14
billion annually if marijuana were legalized and taxed. As the
Marijuana Policy Project noted, that would be enough to secure the
former Soviet Union's "loose nukes" within three years. If safety and
security is the goal, where would a yearly sum of $10 billion be
better spent?

Since his death, Friedman has been lovingly eulogized by the nation's
premier conservative voices, but few have lauded his bold and
visionary understanding of the drug war. Legalization of drugs is
Friedman's best economic and moral thesis that has been left untried;
and one day, when courage returns to politics and we take this
sensible step, experience will bear that out.


19) Volunteer force may be ‘severely degraded’ soon, retired general says
By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Saturday, November 18, 2006

WASHINGTON — The all-volunteer force could be “severely degraded”
within two years unless major recruiting and retention reforms
are made soon, according to a retired Army four-star.

“We’re in trouble,” said retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, former commander
of U.S. Southern Command. “We’re making some very short-term decisions.
This is a problem of resources and political will."

McCaffrey, speaking on a panel at the Military Officers Association
of America symposium, military base pay isn’t high enough to entice
the top high schoolers to enlist, and politicians haven’t done a good
enough job appealing to Americans' sense of duty to help with recruiting.

“I don’t believe we’ve ever fielded a more effective fighting force than
we have today,” he said.

“But we’ve had some problems in the last year with the number
and quality of people coming into the armed forces. Generally speaking
we’ve quadrupled the number of the lowest mental categories. We’ve
quadrupled the number of high school graduates. We’re putting 6,000,
7,000, 8,000 moral waivers into the armed forces.”

The panel on Thursday said recent recruiting difficulties are a combination
of a lack of emphasis on military service in society and the heavy
deployment of both active duty and reserve forces. And the experts
said if those issues aren’t addressed, the recruiting difficulties will
only grow, jeopardizing the readiness of the military.

Lt. Gen. Michael Rochelle, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, said the
current recruiting environment may be the most challenging the service
has faced since the draft ended 33 years ago.

He pointed to high schools and colleges who block military
recruiters — and noted the San Francisco Board of Education’s recent
decision to end JROTC programs there — and indications that the
general public has not put enough emphasis on the importance
of serving the country.

William Chatfield, director of the selective service program, said that
military recruiting has evolved into “what the Army can do for young
people, not what they can do for their country.”

Stephen Duncan, director of the National Defense University’s Institute
for Homeland Security, said one of the side effects of moving
to a voluntary military from the previously drafted forces was a lack
of connection between combat overseas and U.S. society as a whole.

“Now we’re in a situation where the folks who step forward to volunteer
are paying a disproportionate share for the freedoms of everyone
else,” he said.

Other panelists noted that private contractors in Iraq can make
baseline salaries over $100,000, while young privates often make
only a small fraction of that amount.

McCaffrey said more bonuses and better base pay for young
servicemembers will help solve some of those financial problems.

But he said in order to make sure the military has enough people
to respond to future threats, Congress needs to increase the size
of the entire force: not just active-duty troops but also the reserves,
Coast Guard and border patrol units.

More people will mean more time between deployments and less
reliance on the reserves, he said.

“Are we undermanned? Of course we are, for god’s sake,” he said.
“We’ve got to get our resources to match our rhetoric and our strategy.”

But getting that larger pool will require action and more defense funding
from Congress, and more promotion of the military by politicians.

“I have not heard the commander in chief, any governor, any mayor,
any member of Congress ever stand in front of a TV camera and ask
the country to send their boys and girls to fight with us,” he said.

“I’ve pushed the president to get that in one of his speeches. What
I heard was, in a speech at Fort Bragg, ‘If you’re considering a career
in the military there could be no more honorable way to serve.’ That’s
not the same. We need people to fight.”

© 2006 Stars and Stripes. All Rights Reserved.


From: SF Bay View editor@sfbayview.com
Subject: Re: Lennar promised to build infrastructure for Shipyard
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:06:49 -0800

San Francisco owes itself an audit by Budget Analysts Harvey Rose and Stan
Jones of Redevelopment's tenure as the City's lead agency for the Hunters
Point Shipyard.

Lennar is the major player at the Shipyard. Lennar is a make-or-break
player at Candlestick. Shouldn't San Franciscans know more about this
mystery player that holds so much of their future in its hands?

We in Bayview Hunters Point know that Lennar wants to "clean up" our
neighborhood so our fierce reputation won't deter buyers for the thousands
of homes Lennar aims to build. Pressure from Lennar must be driving Dennis
Herrera's gang injunction against young Black men - called "urban
terrorists" by Kamala Harris - from the Oakdale public housing development
that is separated by nothing but a fence from Parcel A of the Shipyard
where Lennar's housing is to be built.

Lennar's Shipyard construction was shut down Tuesday by the Redevelopment
Commission after hours of testimony from parents of schoolchildren and
residents about its failure to suppress clouds of toxic dust from its
operations that are creating a nightmarish moonscape out of what was until
recently a lovely hilltop residential enclave of naval officers' single
family homes.

So even the Redevelopment Commission is losing faith in Lennar, which it
designated in 1999 as the Shipyard 's "master developer" (a poor choice of
terms in a Black neighborhood).

Lennar seems to be signaling a possible pullout from the Shipyard with its
announcement that projected home sales profits are plummeting. And the
Chronicle's mention
that "inspectors recently found radiological deposits in the shipyard's
sewers," a "discovery" that Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai has been warning about for
years - but who listens to community advocates, even when their credentials
beat anyone's in the room - gives Lennar another incentive to leave. To
which the community's response would be: "Good riddance!"

Before they go, let's find out how many San Francisco tax dollars Lennar
has stuffed into its duffle bag. "(Redevelopment Agency Director) Marcia
Rosen has bent over backwards to help Lennar, and even yesterday, prior to
the hearing on the asbestos, approved huge sums of money that Lennar BVHP
LLC begs from the SFRA - and which it receives without any justification,"
wrote Francisco Da Costa on Wednesday

Let's take a look; let's follow the money. Lennar's boasts about huge
un-reimbursed investments in the Shipyard have always sounded phony to me.

"The city has invested years in planning for the (Shipyard) project, so
bucking Lennar was unlikely," opined the Chronicle in the Thursday story
cited above. OK, so don't buck 'em. Just audit 'em!

And do it against the backdrop of Proposition P, passed in 2000 by an 87
percent landslide of San Francisco voters, demanding that there be NO
CLEANED TO RESIDENTIAL STANDARDS. We in BVHP still believe in Prop P, while
this administration has dropped it in history's dustbin.

I know our Supervisors have the guts to call for an audit. I hope they have
the will.

SF Bay View
(415) 671-0789

ahimsa sumchai wrote:

Bullshit! Lennar and Michael Cohen promised to build the infrastructure
for the shipyard development. Michael Cohen told the RAB the city would
not be obligated to pay for infrastructure development on Parcel A and as
soon as the Parcel was transferred the Redevelopment Agency approved bonds
to pay for the infrastructure development of Lennars project.
Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai NSCA-CPT

From: Iolmisha@cs.com
To: ENOUGH_BVHP@yahoogroups.com
CC: editor@sfbayview.com, asumchai@hotmail.com, h@ludd.net,
Subject: 49er Stadium Infrastructure Uncertainty Remains
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 23:12:18 EST

49er Stadium Infrastructure Uncertainty Remains November 22, 2006
Now in SanFranciscoSentinel.com,


By Pat Murphy with Business Wire and Emmett Berg of Bay City News

Jeb York, scion of the 49ers family business, descended City Hall
steps late this afternoon insisting the San Francisco institution
is willing to consider any City offer to retain it as the San
Francisco home team.

York made the comment following a three-hour public hearing on the
issue before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Mayor Gavin Newsom requested the hearing to view and evaluate the
various elements of the plan.

For his part, City project coordinator *Michael Cohen insisted
developer Lennar Corporation is obligated to complete

A Lennar spokesman was more circumspect.

"The way it is currently structured we actually have to build the
infrastructure first anyway," Kofi Bonner told the Sentinel.
Bonner is president of Lennar Communities Bay Area Urban Division,
the company selected by the 49ers and the City to devise the plan.

"But you don't build all the infrastructure.

And 49er Chief Financial Operating Officer Larry MacNeil said
downsizing the parking garage would reduce the amount of land
available for housing, and uncertainties over the sale of 6,500
units of housing meant that there was a chance that $800 million
in needed infrastructure improvements would take much longer.

"The site plan is spectacular.

"It just does not work for a NFL stadium," asserted MacNeil.


West Virginia: Mine Safety Staff to Be Tested for Drugs
West Virginia’s new mine safety chief is preparing to test members
of his agency’s staff for illegal drug use. The safety chief, Ron Wooten,
said that he did not suspect a drug problem at the Office of Miners’
Health, Safety and Training but that testing was a first step toward
combating what he believed was a drug problem in the coal fields.
A United Mine Workers of America spokesman, Phil Smith, said there
was little evidence to support suspicions that drug use was more
prevalent among miners than any other segment of society.
November 28, 2006

Louisiana: Extended Guard Presence in New Orleans Is Sought
The New Orleans police superintendent, reeling from the deaths of
six people over the holiday weekend, said he would ask the governor
to keep National Guard troops in the city past the end of the year,
when their mission to help patrol hurricane-damaged neighborhoods
was to end. Superintendent Warren J. Riley planned to ask that the Guard
stay through June. Soldiers began patrolling New Orleans neighborhoods
in June after five teenagers were killed in a shooting. The Guard focused
on areas most devastated by Hurricane Katrina so the police could focus
on crime-ridden areas. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, violence claimed
six lives and raised the city’s homicides for the year to 147. A spokeswoman
for Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said the governor would reassess
the need to extend the Guard’s presence in New Orleans at the end
of the year.
November 28, 2006

The Search for Private Profit in the Nation’s Public Parks
November 28, 2006

On the Road
It’s Not Easy Being a Comic on the Airport Security Line
November 28, 2006

Orders for Manufactured Goods Plunge
Businesses reined in spending on major purchases last month,
a Commerce Department report said today, a sign that corporate
America is pulling back as the economy slows down.
Orders for durable goods, which include everything from jet engines
to computers to refrigerators, declined in October by 8.3 percent,
or $19 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, from the month
before. The figure stood in sharp contrast to the rise of 8.7 percent
posted in September.
The biggest drop in the latest month was in purchases of transportation
equipment, specifically civilian aircraft, which contracted by an annualized
$10.6 billion. But the slide was also steep for orders of non-defense
equipment other than aircraft.
The overall drop in durable goods orders — the biggest in more than
six years — was larger than economists had forecast, and it suggested
that businesses are beginning to feel and respond to slower economic
“This perhaps suggests that the U.S. economic slowdown is spreading
to the corporate sector, adding to worries about the prospects
for U.S. growth,” James Knightley, an economist with ING Financial
Markets, wrote today in a research note to clients.
The durable-goods statistics accelerated the dollar’s decline against
the euro, the British pound and other foreign currencies today. Since
late last week, when the euro exceeded $1.30 for the first time in
a year and a half, the dollar has fallen broadly in global currency
November 28, 2006

Does It Matter What You Call It?
Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians
November 27, 2006

Mayor Says Shooting Was ‘Excessive’
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said this afternoon that “it sounds to me
like excessive force was used” in a police shooting over the weekend
in Queens in which one man was killed and two were wounded
in a hail of 50 bullets.
November 27, 2006

Peer Pressure: Inflating Executive Pay
November 26, 2006

BBC Claims CIA Involvement in RFK Assassination
New video and photographic evidence that puts three senior CIA
operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination has been brought to
light. The evidence was shown in a report by Shane O'Sullivan, broadcast
on BBC Newsnight. It reveals that the operatives and four unidentified
associates were at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles in the moments
before and after the shooting on 5 June, 1968.

In Trials for New Cancer Drugs, Family Pets Are Benefiting, Too
November 24, 2006

Bigger Push for Charging Drivers Who Use the Busiest Streets
November 24, 2006

A Border Watcher Finds Himself Under Scrutiny
November 24, 2006

Civil War in Lebanon

Bush Plans to Bomb Iran Nuclear Sites in 2007: Analysts

Rivers of Blood and Tears in Gaza

Another “antiwar” General calls for escalation
Filed under: Iraq — louisproyect @ 3:26 pm
November 23, 2006

Of Rubber and Blood in Brazilian Amazon
November 23, 2006

Too Young to Die
The health care system's prescription for saving the country's sickest
babies isn't working. Newborns are more likely to die in the U.S.
than in almost any other industrialized nation. San Francisco's
rate of infant deaths is the lowest among U.S. cities, but in the
Bay Area's disadvantaged neighborhoods babies die as often
as those in much poorer countries. New science suggests the
problem may have been misdiagnosed.
Part 1: Life's Toll
In Bayview-Hunters Point, the stress created by environmental problems,
racism, poverty and crime may explain why so many babies die young.
Infant mortality is twice as high here as in the rest of San Francisco.

Lessons from the Teachers
Repression and Resistance in Oaxaca

Study: 40 percent of settlements were built on Palestinian land
By Yair Sheleg, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and Agencies
A new study conducted by left-wing group Peace Now has found that
approximately 40 percent of settlements, including long-standing
communities, are built on private Palestinian land and not
on state-owned land.
November 21, 2006

Six Imams Removed From Twin Cities Flight
Muslim Group Calls for Investigation of Airline Staff, Security
[vote on this policy in the poll on this site today...bw]


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