Wednesday, November 15, 2006

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2006

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VICTORY! JROTC WILL GO!
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
campuses."

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

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San Francisco to Boot JROTC Programs
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 2:44 a.m. ET
November 15, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Junior-ROTC.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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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 Weinstein."

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

Army’s New Battle Cry Aims at Potential Recruits
By STUART ELLIOTT
"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
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/09/business/media/09adco.html

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You can see a sample of the real thing (if you can stand it) at:
http://www.army.mil/

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Here's a link to the Chronicle article:

SAN FRANCISCO
School board votes to dump JROTC program
Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/11/15/BAG2HMD46B1.DTL

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Communist Manifesto illustrated by Disney [and other cartoons) with
words by K. Marx and F. Engels--absolutely wonderful!...bw]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1oGIffyVVk&NR
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Asylum Street Spankers-Magnetic Yellow Ribbon
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=bfMgRHRJ- tc
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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]
http://hotair.com/archives/2006/11/12/video-the-simpsons-salute-the-lazy-and-uneducated/
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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.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/09/business/media/09adco.html?ref=business

JROTC Debate in Chronicle today:

PRO: A battle over values
Michael Bernick
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/11/09/EDG6PKE1IB1.DTL&hw=jrotc&sn=001&sc=1000

CON: Popular doesn't = appropriate
Dan Kelly, Mark Sanchez
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/11/09/EDG8EM8OIE1.DTL&hw=jrotc&sn=002&sc=936

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See the following article in full below, number:

1) Gaza: While the world looked elsewhere,
another week of death and misery
By Donald Macintyre In Beit Hanoun
"But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt."
Published: 11 November 2006
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1963264.ece

End All U.S. Aid to Israel! U.S. Out of the Middle East!

An Editorial by Bonnie Weinstein

Dear Readers:

The mass murder and genocide of Palestinians must end! This is
no "chicken and egg" quagmire. Before 1948 Palestinians lived
peacefully with Jews for centuries. And worked, loved and learned
on their land—the land of their ancestors. They were massively
and violently ejected from this land by the U.S.-orchestrated, Zionist
invasion of 1948. Using genocidal tactics this team established
a separate Jewish State with no rights for Palestinians except
to be cleansed from their land by any means necessary and
with the full financial backing of the USA and all of Western
Imperialism.

The Palestinians are in the right and the U.S. and it's bought-and-paid-
for (by our tax dollars) puppet, Zionist, Israeli government are the guilty
parties and must be stopped, disarmed and rendered powerless!

The only way that can happen is if we unite in a struggle to do so
because we, the working people of the world, since we overwhelmingly
outnumber them are able to do so. Without us to fight their wars
for them and do their work for them, they and their weapons are
powerless.

But, on the contrary, we are not helpless or powerless without them!
In fact, they are the proverbial stone around our necks!

Together, not only do we have the power to stop them. We have
the power to make things change for the better because it is we
who can and do—do the work!

Without us to fight their wars, and dig their cesspools, this tiny
minority of wealthy despots who rule this planet are helpless.

We must face it. Under their rule we are steeply descending back
to raw and brutal barbarism. These despots are not aligned by love.
They are in brutal combat with each other and are spilling our blood,
not theirs! They are using our hands to scrape their wealth out
of the earth and our hands and minds to fashion and use their
weapons of mass destruction. Be assured they will not get their
hands the least bit dirty! Not even to the very end of the planet
itself!

They need to be disarmed militarily, financially and politically—
we need to take the weapons out of their hands—demolish them
safely—all of them—and finally end the tyranny of the wealthy elite
over the poor if humanity is to survive.

I have no doubt that together, through democratic and rational
discussion, decision-making and planning we can come up with
a better and more equitable way for all of us to share this incredibly
beautiful and bountiful planet.

Personally, I think socialism is the way. But I do know whatever
way it turns out to be it must be a kind and humanitarian way that
benefits the majority and that the majority of us can agree upon.

We all want a kind and humanitarian world where we can breathe
free and thrive. Where each one is imbued with Inalienable
and equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
no matter where on the planet we live or who we are born to.

I am not thinking of a Utopia or some pinnacle of human achievement.
There is no limit to the struggle for higher human achievement.
Therein lies the very motivation for human democratic action—
to be able to devote our wealth and resources to an ongoing
struggle for the benefit of all. To devote our energy and resources
to solving human problems instead of causing devastation, death
and destruction for the monetary benefit of a tiny few warring
despots.

A society that collectively profits from each according to peoples
individual abilities and talents, and shares the wealth produced
by this universal talent pool with each, according to individual
need and want, will be a society that automatically strives toward
even higher human achievement.

We, the majority, can make that our goal! And we, the majority
have the power—if we stand united—to actually make it happen.
Furthermore, the stronger we are united, the less of our blood
these despots can shed!

I can only plead in defense of this long editorial statement that,
in viewing the news of the world each day I am bombarded with
the horrors our brothers and sisters endure at the hands of these
bloodthirsty and spoiled tyrants.

It builds up on a person. My release is to think of how beautiful
it could be; what wonders we could discover; what human progress
we could make; what a paradise we could all share.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org

Again, I recommend, for those who are unfamiliar with the history of the
Palestinian struggle for liberation and a return to their ancestral land,
to read:

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF ZIONISM
BY RALPH SCHOENMAN
The full text of the book can be found for free at:
http://takingaim. info/hhz/ index.htm

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TAX THE RICH! FEED THE POOR! MONEY FOR HUMAN NEEDS, NOT WAR!
www.bauaw.org
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Massive March in Oaxaca
11/06 | Hundreds of thousands of people
filled the streets to demand Gov.'s ouster
By John Gibler
http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/11/78891.html

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!VIVA FIDEL! LONG LIVE FIDEL! LONG LIVE THE CUBAN REVOLUTION!
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Brad Will Presente!
See what the world has lost:
"I Really Like the Cops" a song by Brad Will
http://www.friendsofbradwill.org/2006/10/28/i-really-like-the-cops-brad-will/

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SCROLL DOWN TO READ:
EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
ARTICLES IN FULL
LINKS AND VERY SHORT STORIES

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EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
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JROTC IN SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
The issue of JROTC in S.F. public schools will be addressed
at the San Francisco Board of Education
Meeting:
Tuesday, November 14th, 7:00 P.M.
(This will be a big meeting. You should show up at 6:00 P.M.)
555 Franklin Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
To get on the speakers list for the Regular Board Meeting call:
415/241-6427
(Call on Monday, the day before the meeting from 8:30 A.M. until 4:00 P.M.
or Tuesday, the day of the meeting from 8:30 A.M. until 3:00 P.M.)

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Outreach Letter for November 14 Board of Education Meeting

Dear Friends:

The San Francisco Unified School District Board is considering
a resolution to phase out the Junior Reserves Officer Training
Corp (JROTC) program over the next year while creating
a community based task force to create a program that retains
many of its popular elements without a military overtone.
(It may be amended to include concern about militarization
of youth.) We are writing to ask your organization or you
to endorse this resolution, to notify the members of the
school board of your support and to come to the board
meeting and testify in favor of the resolution.

We believe that this measure makes sense for the City and
County of San Francisco. Voters voiced their opposition to
military recruiters in the schools by passing Measure I.
While JROTC officials claim that the program is designed
to promote citizenship, Rudy de Leon, Under Secretary of
Defense, testifying before the Military Personnel Subcommittee
House Comm. On Armed Services in March 2000 said, “about 25%
of the graduating high school seniors in School Year 1997 – 98 with
more than two years participation in the JROTC program are
interested in some type of military affiliation. Translating this
to hard recruiting numbers, in FYs 1996 – 10000, about 8,000
new recruits per year entered active duty after completing two
years of JROTC. 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.”

In enticing young people to join the military, recruiters make
many promises including specialized training and college.
However, according to their own written policies, a recruiter
has no power to force the military to honor his or her promises.
While many low-income youth and youth of color see the military
as a potential resource for the future, the studies show that
this is not case; fewer than 50% ever utilize the limited college
benefits for veterans.

Currently, the School Board resolution is focused on the
district’s own policy of not contracting with any entity that
discriminates. We know that the U.S. military overtly discriminates
against gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gendered people.
While the JROTC command indicates that they allow LGBT
students to participate and even assume leadership roles,
these students are denied the specific benefits of participating
in the JROTC program – namely, eligibility for military scholarships
at the academies enrollment in the military at a higher pay-grade
after two or more years of participation in the program and eligibility
for SROTC scholarships because openly LGBT people are not allowed
to serve in the military.

We urge you to support this campaign regardless of your personal
view of the military. In our democracy, the role of the military
is separate from the roles of civil society. The military’s role
is not to educate our children in the public schools. Our public
schools are designed to prepare our children for their roles
as valued members of our community, instilling values of
responsibility, respect, tolerance and leadership.

If you have questions please call us at 415-565-0201 extension
24 for Sandra, 11 for Alan Lessik, and 12 for Stephen McNeil.

Sincerely yours,

Alan Lessik, Regional Director; Stephen McNeil, Peace Education Director;
Sandra Schwartz, Peace Ed. Coordinator; Tony Nguyen, Asian Pacific Director

State ranks second in Army recruits
By Lisa Friedman Washington Bureau
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Californians comprised about 10 percent of the Army's new
soldiers this year, second only to Texas in providing new recruits,
according to newly released figures.
October 16, 2006
http://www.sgvtribu ne.com/news/ ci_4485649
Here are some links to JROTC facts:

Review of the JROTC Curriculum
http://www.afsc. org/youthmil/ militarism- in-schools/ JROTC-review. htm

Making Soldiers - PDF
http://www.afsc. org/youthmil/ militarism- in-schools/ msitps.pdf

Report Says JROTC Benefits Students; Calls for More Funding for Programs
By Julie Blair
September 29, 1999
http://www.jrotc.org/jrotc_benifits.htm

JROTC is a Recruiting Program for Dead-End Military Jobs
http://www.objector.org/jrotc/jrotcrecruits.html

Why Question the Military's JROTC Program?
http://www.objector.org/jrotc/why.html

JROTC Challenging Progressive Ideals of Youth Voice
by Peter Lauterborn, 2006-10-25
http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/JROTC_Challenging_Progressive_Ideals_of_Youth_Voice_3830.html

San Francisco progressives are ablaze with optimism that one
of the most institutionalized sources of militarization—the JROTC
—is now on the verge of being cut out of the City’s public schools.
Students who support the program, however, are feeling betrayed
by the school district and by progressives who had previously
touted the significance of youth voice in all policy making.

The crux of the issues is that the San Francisco Unified
School District (SFUSD) does not offer enough leadership
programs of its own, and does not sufficiently recruit students
to join. This leaves the JROTC as the sole option for youth who
are looking for leadership, self-sufficiency, and better education.

JROTC is a national program run by all branches of the United
States military. Started in 1916 in the mists of World War I,
the program aims at providing leadership opportunities
to high school students while promoting good citizenship
and academic achievement. Students who enroll in JROTC—
which is offered as an elective course—can use the credit
to fulfill physical education requirements and have access
to activities such as camping and social events. The program
also offers a curriculum which covers history, health, civics,
college preparation, and more. These offers are all good
components of a rounded education which we should
be providing

But below the surface of a challenging and fulfilling extra
curricular program, the clear purpose of JROTC is to identify
and recruit students who could serve in the United State
military. Perhaps people forget what JROTC stands for:
Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Right there,
in its name, the purpose of the program is defined.
And in a city which successfully fought the docking
of the USS Iowa battleship at its shore, and formalized
its opposition to the Iraq War at the ballot box, subjecting
high school students to militarization is seen
as a dangerous path to follow.

The resolution, which is to be voted on by the School Board
after the November election, calls for a two-year phase out
of JROTC. A program which would emulate the positive
opportunities offered by the JROTC would then
be designed and implemented.

Contrary to popular belief, the costs of running the JROTC
are not split evenly between the SFUSD and the Federal
Government. According to the SFUSD’s budget analysis,
the District is only reimbursed for 43% of the costs,
of which most is dedicated to salaries. The budget
analysis also concluded that there would be no significant
cost in replacing JROTC with conventional physical
education courses, barring any facility inadequacies.

Proponents of the JROTC phase-out also point to the
military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy towards the
inclusion of gays and lesbians into the armed forces.
They claim that this conflicts with the SFUSD’s policy
to not contract with any agency which discriminates
in any way.

However, student leaders—particularly the SFUSD’s
Student Advisory Council (SAC)—are up in arms over
both the proposed closure and the perception that the
District is not concerned with the will of the students
it serves. “There shouldn’t be a discussion on whether
or not it should stay,” says SAC President and Mission
High senior Alvin Rivera, “The students have voiced
that they wish for it to stay.” The SAC has opposed
any closure of the JROTC program for three years,
and will be discussing the issue at their October 23
meeting. “It serves as a functioning body for the
schools well-being,” he added.

Student support for JRTOC seems to not stem from
the military aspect of the program. Rather, they are
appreciative of being reached out to and brought
into a program which has improved the lives
of many students. While the SFUSD and the City
offer a wide array of programs for students, their
recruiting efforts come nowhere close to the
aggressive recruitment conducted by the military.

A recent graduate of Balboa High School—who
asked not to be named and is personally opposed
to the JROTC—said that many students are indifferent
to the details of the JRTOC, but see the program’s
closure as yet another item within a growing list
of opportunities that are taken away, without their
input and without any replacement.

The fears students have over the loss of the JROTC
program may lie within the belief in the competency
of the SFUSD to sufficiently replace the program.
The SFUSD’s inability to create effective community-
based programs in the past is embarrassing,
and the public has good reason to suspect future
promises.

The SFUSD has not been deaf to the concerns of
students, however. The call for a two-year phase-
out rather than an immediate canceling of the program
would allow most of this year’s sophomores, juniors,
and seniors to complete the program. While the
current and future freshmen classes would not be
allowed into the program—enrollment will be whittled
down each year with no new students being allowed
to enter the program—they all have ample
opportunities to find other programs.

Of course, for this all to work, the SFUSD and the
City must make significant efforts to bring their
programs to the students, rather than expecting
students to go hunt down different programs
themselves.

A major concern is that students who participate
in the JROTC program are not hit hard with the military
recruitment aspect until late in their senior year—right
when questions about paying for college are bubbling
up. What this creates is a disconnect between students
and adults: adults know about the end goals of the JROTC,
and yet students who are in the program don’t see the
recruitment, and then feel marginalized by adults when
recruitment is discussed.

The SFUSD must address the root cause of support for
the JROTC: a lack of other programs that engage youth.
New programs should not just be more physical education
courses, but with a program includes leadership
development, self-sufficiency, and better education.
And without the militaristic mindset of the JROTC.

ACCREDITED
Army Junior ROTC Program
Mission Statement:
https://gateway.usarmyjrotc.com/http://portal.usarmyjrotc.com/jrotc/dt

To Motivate Young People to Be Better Citizens

The JROTC program intends to teach cadets to:

Appreciate the ethical values and principles that
underlie good citizenship.

Develop leadership potential, while living
and working cooperatively with others.

Be able to think logically and to communicate
effectively with others, both orally and in writing.

Appreciate the importance of physical fitness
in maintaining good health.

Understand the importance of high school graduation
for a successful future, and learn about college
and other advanced educations and employment
opportunities.

Develop mental management abilities.

Become familiar with military history as it relates to America's
culture, and understand the history, purpose, and structure
of the military services.

Develop the skills necessary to work effectively as a member of a team.

Candidates sound off on JROTC
Board of Education race
by Roger Brigham
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=1220

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Support Korean General Strike with Solidarity Action at Korean
Consulate in SF

November 15, 2006 @ 12:00 Noon
3500 Clay St/Laurel St.
San Francisco

- Free Jailed Trade Unionists and Drop Criminal Charges Against Union
Leaders and Activists

- Eliminate Repressive Anti-Labor Legislation "9-11 Deal"

- Stop Gender Discrimination Against Korean Women Workers

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) will launch a General
Strike on November 15. In conjunction with this strike, the KCTU is
calling on the international community to coordinate a series of
actions and events to support their struggle.

Korean workers are fighting against massive repression and jailing of
trade unionists. The government is seeking to destroy the Korean
Government Employees Union (KGEU) and the Korean Federation of
Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU). There will be actions
worldwide to demand justice for Korean workers.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Support the solidarity picket and rally at the Korean Consulate in
San Francisco on November 15, 2006 at 12:00 noon. Get your local or
organization to send a representative.

Send a protest letter to President Roh Moo Hyun at the Blue House:
82-2-770-1690 (Fax) or e-mail at president [at] cwd.go.kr Copies
should be sent to the Minister of Labour, Minister Lee Sang-Soo at
82-2-504-6708, 82-2-507-4755 (Fax) or e-mail at m_molab [at]
molab.go.kr. And sent to the Minister of General Administration and
Home Affairs, Minister Lee Yong-Sup at 82-2-2100-4001(Fax)

Please send copies to the KCTU at 82-2-2635-1134(Fax) or e-mail at
inter [at] kctu.org

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact:

Lee Changgeun
International Director
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
Tel.: +82-2-2670-9234 Fax: +82-2-2635-1134
E-mail: inter [at] kctu.org
Web-site : http://kctu.org
2nd Fl. Daeyoung Bld., 139 Youngdeungpo-2-ga,
Youngdeungpo-ku,
Seoul 150-032 Korea

Endorsed by San Francisco Labor Council, Transport Workers Solidarity
Committee, Labor Video Project, Open World Conference, and others.

For More information and to Endorse call (415) 867-0628 or email
lvpsf [at] labornet.org

OWC - Open World Conference in Defense of Trade Union
Independence & Democratic Rights, c/o S.F. Labor Council,
1188 Franklin St., #203, San Francisco, CA 94109.
Phone: (415) 641-8616 Fax: (415) 440-9297.

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Close the SOA and Change Oppressive U.S. Foreign Policy
Nov. 17-19, 2006 - Converge on Fort Benning, Georgia

People's Movements across the Americas are becoming increasingly more
powerful. Military "solutions" to social problems as supported by
institutions like the School of the Americas were unable to squash their
voices, and the call for justice and accountability is getting louder each
day.

Add your voice to the chorus, demand justice for all the people of the
Americas and engage in nonviolent direct action to close the SOA and
change oppressive U.S. foreign policy.

With former SOA graduates being unmasked in Chile, Argentina, Colombia,
Paraguay, Honduras, and Peru for their crimes against humanity, and with
the blatant similarities between the interrogation methods and torture
methods used at Abu Ghraib and those described in human rights abuse cases
in Latin America, the SOA/WHINSEC must be held accountable!

Visit http://www.soaw. org to learn more about the November Vigil, hotel
and travel information, the November Organizing Packet, and more.

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

ANTI-CORPORATION FILM FESTIVAL!

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

** GREAT FILMS ** ACTIVISM ** SPEAKERS ** PARTIES ** DISCUSSION ** 

$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
www.countercorp.org/countercorp-support.htm
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!

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

"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
sentence
Govt. seeking authorization from Solicitor General to appeal
Lynne Stewart's sentence (and that of her co-defendants)

November 9, 2006

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.

and

Robert Meeropol
Executive Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children

ABOUT ROBERT MEEROPOL

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

THANKING YOU !

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

Speakers:

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
212-625-9696
www.lynnestewart.org

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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
541-344-8088
Jade Screen Clinic

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

UFPJ calls for march on DC Sat, Jan. 27, local
actions on March 17
www.unitedforpeace. org
212-868-5545
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
anniversary.
Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ
today.
ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
www.unitedforpeace. org | 212-868-5545
To subscribe, visit www.unitedforpeace. org/email

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

MARCH 17, 2007 GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON THE 4TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE WAR!
DEMONSTRATIONS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.; LOS ANGELES;
SAN FRANCISCO; SEATTLE; CHICAGO AND OTHER CITIES AND
TOWNS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD. THE
A.N.S.W.E.R. COALITION URGES EVERYONE IN THE ANTIWAR
MOVEMENT TO COME TOGETHER IN UNITY AGAINST THE
CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
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

---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

The Corporate Looting of the Gulf Coast
Robin Hood in Reverse
http://www.counterpunch.org/quigley11132006.html
More Info:
www.justiceforneworleans.org
For a detailed report:
Big, Easy Money: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast
by Rita J. King, Special to CorpWatch
August 15th, 2006
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14004

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

TAX FACT SHEET
http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/901006_taxpolicy.pdf

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

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
http://www.motherjones.com/cgi-bin/print_article.pl?url=http://www.motherjones.com/news/exhibit/2006/05/perks_of_privilege.html

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

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

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

http://niacouncil.c.topica.com/maafjioabumkGbIfQs8eafpLV5/
http://niacouncil.c.topica.com/maafjioabumkGbIfQs8eafpLV5/

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

http://niacouncil.c.topica.com/maafjioabumkHbIfQs8eafpLV5/
http://niacouncil.c.topica.com/maafjioabumkHbIfQs8eafpLV5/

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:

NIAC
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.

Sincerely,
Trita Parsi
President of NIAC

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

www.uslaboragainstwar.org
http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/
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.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/112283692?z00m=6687205&z00m=6687205<l=1162406255

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

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

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

Antiwar Web Site Created by Troops
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/25/washington/25brfs-005.html

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

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
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/14864

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

Profound new assault on freedom of speech and assembly:
Manhattan: New Rules for Parade Permits
By AL BAKER
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

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

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

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

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

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

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

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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TWO AMICUS BRIEFS FILED FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL WITH
THE 3RD CIRCUIT FEDERAL APPEALS COURT IN JULY 2006

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.

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

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

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

SIR! NO SIR!
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
publications:

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

and:

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& rank=
+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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END ALL U.S. AID TO ISRAEL!
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/

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace
                nickmottern@earthlink.net

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 
http://www.consumersforpeace.org/pdf/war_crimes_iraq_101006.pdf

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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
Capitol.

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:

http://digital.libraries.ou.edu/sooner/articles/p25-27_1967v40n2_OCR.pdf

Sincerely,

Mike Wright
Norman
329-6688

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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
http://imagineaworldof.blogspot.com/

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THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF ZIONISM
BY RALPH SCHOENMAN
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:
http://takingaim. info/hhz/ index.htm

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JOIN THE LYNNE STEWAR DEFENSE - THE CASE IS NOT OVER!
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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NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO FREE THE CUBAN FIVE
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
charges.
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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REMINDER TO ALL GROUPS: BE SURE AND POST ALL ACTIONS AND
EVENTS TO WWW.INDYBAY. ORG TO REACH THE MOST PEOPLE
AGAINST THE WAR IN THE BAY AREA!
http://www.indybay. org

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

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

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

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

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DEFEND IMMIGRANT RIGHTS AND
CIVIL RIGHTS!

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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FYI
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."

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NO BORDERS! NO WALLS! NO FENCES! GENERAL AMNESTY FOR ALL!
OUR HOMELAND IS WHERE WE LIVE!

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REPEAL THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT IN 2007!
Check out: 10 EXCELLENT REASONS NOT TO JOIN THE MILITARY
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

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

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -
ARTICLES IN FULL:
---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

1) Gaza: While the world looked elsewhere,
another week of death and misery
By Donald Macintyre In Beit Hanoun
"But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt."
Published: 11 November 2006
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1963264.ece

2) My Mother and Alzheimer’s. And cancer.
By Jack Herer
http://www.jackherer.com/

3) Immigrant Protection Rules Draw Fire
By JESSE McKINLEY
November 12, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/us/12sanctuary.html?hp&ex=1163394000&en=3b5a24db1a0cf444&ei=5094&partner=homepage

4) ¡Viva el Capitalismo!
By ÁLVARO VARGAS LLOSA
Guatemala City
November 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/13/opinion/13llosa.html

5) The Corporate Looting of the Gulf Coast
Robin Hood in Reverse
By BILL QUIGLEY
November 13, 2006
http://www.counterpunch.org/quigley11132006.html

6) The Corporate End Run
New York Times Editorial
November 12, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/opinion/12sun2.html?ex=1320987600&en=551cfa3fe1dfbc81&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

7) Wall Street Gets Ready for Rain
November 14, 2006, 6:38 am
http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/wall-street-gets-ready-for-rain/

8) Boy’s Death at China Hospital Spurs Riot Over Care and Fees
By JOSEPH KAHN
November 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/13/world/asia/13china.html

9) US: Immigrants May Be Held Indefinitely
November 13, 2006
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061114/D8LCIVL80.html
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111406Z.shtml

10) The Democrats Don't Care
Screw the Palestinians, Full Steam Ahead
By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON
http://www.counterpunch.org/christison11132006.html

11) SADDAM'S SENTENCE
[From transcription recently posted on ICFFMAJ web site - Howard Keylor]
[Col. Writ. 11/5/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

12) Marijuana
By Bonnie Weinstein
November 15, 2006
www.socialistviewpoint.org

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

1) Gaza: While the world looked elsewhere,
another week of death and misery
By Donald Macintyre In Beit Hanoun
"But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt."
Published: 11 November 2006
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1963264.ece

Majdi Saad Athamneh couldn't easily explain why he had come back
after Friday prayers yesterday to the now empty, four-storey breeze-
block building where it had all happened two days earlier. "I don't
know," he said in hesitant English. "It's the house where I was born
and lived all my life. What can I say?"

It was also, he didn't need to remind anybody, the house outside
which he had passed the most hellish 15 minutes he will ever
live through.

Forty-eight hours earlier he had been in the morgue at Kamal
Adwan hospital distraught and weeping as he wrote down the
names on a cigarette packet while the refrigeration trays were
opened in turn to reveal the bodies of his 10-year-old son,
Saad, three of his brothers and nine of his other close relatives,
lost as they tried to flee through the choking smoke and dust
from the barrage of shells fired by an Israeli artillery battery.
The puddles in the dirt road beside the building through which
the family had tried to flee were no longer dark red with blood
as they had been on Wednesday. Someone, too, had moved
the chickens killed by shrapnel from the backyard. But last
Tuesday's wash was still there, women's long dresses, a child's
frayed orange tracksuit trousers, some blouses, hanging
from poles dislodged by the blasts.

The Western world, which was anyway more interested by the
count in the state of Virginia than the catastrophe in Beit Hanoun,
has no doubt already moved on. For the Athamneh family,
now in their second day of mourning after the funerals,
it is impossible to do so.

Majdi's cousin Munir Athamneh, 36, who had lived across
the road, sat smoking a cigarette and weeping yesterday,
hunched and alone in the doorway of the building. He pointed
to the still visible patches of blood on the ground across
the alley where he had first seen, amid the confusion and
screams of panic, the bodies of his two brothers lying by the
wall. He, too, struggled to explain his presence here two
days later. "I came to see," he said simply.

Five miles away from here and an hour or so earlier, the
poverty-stricken and increasingly desperate 1.3 million
residents of Gaza had been thrown what may prove their first
real lifeline since the beginning of international economic
blockade against the new Hamas government they had elected
almost 10 months ago. Ishmail Haniyeh, the Palestinian Prime
Minister, offered publicly to step down if it was necessary
to ease the boycott. He was cheered by stunned worshippers
when he announced at a Gaza City mosque: "When the issue
of the siege is on one side, and my being Prime Minister
is on the other, let the siege be lifted to end the suffering
of the Palestinian people."

While the carnage in Beit Hanoun may have stimulated further
popular demand for the Palestinian factions to resolve their
differences in the face of external attack, it isn't the main reason
for Mr Haniyeh's declaration. It could presage the long talked
about "national unity" government which President Mahmoud
Abbas hopes will persuade the international community -
among other things - to pressure Israel to pay up the $60m
a month in duties it owes the Palestinian Authority so that
salaries can be paid to the tens of thousands of employees
on whom Gaza and West Bank income is now so disproportionately
dependent.

For now at any rate, it will have little meaning for the Athamneh
family, immersed in its private grief. It is unlikely, for example,
to console Majdi's surviving brother, Ibrahim Athamneh, 26,
whose wife, lying in intensive care in Shifa, has yet to be told
that their infant daughter, Malak, is dead. Even less so 11-year-
old Mustafa Athamneh, whose mother, Nihad, 33, was killed
in the alley, whose two brothers, Yazin and Saqr, are in Shifa
hospital in Gaza City, and whose 13-year-old brother, Saeb,
has been transferred to the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv with
severe head injuries.

As friends and neighbours continued to arrive at the blue
mourning tent 150 yards from the now-deserted family home,
Mustafa, the arm of his widowed father Usama around his
shoulder, was unable to stop crying. "I have no one to play
with," he had said a few minutes earlier. "I have no one
around me."

The sense of loss and survivor guilt he will have to grow
up with is scarcely imaginable. "I was with my mother when
she fell down," he said. "I ran away. I haven't slept for two
days and nights."

Yesterday, red-eyed but eager now to get the details right,
Majdi, who had barely been able to speak on Wednesday,
described how he had rushed out into the alley with his wife
and children after the first shell hit the roof only to see Saad,
semi conscious and gasping after being struck by the second
shell, lying on the ground. He had rushed to the end of the
alley, turning right into Hamad Street, to try and summon
help or an ambulance, but was halted in his tracks by third
shell. As he turned back, a fourth shell, he said, struck the
building, killing Saad. He picked the child up in his arms and
ran back and turned left into the street. Before he could reach
the crossroad 50 metres away, a fifth landed. He believes this
was the shell which killed four of his female relatives.

The more grief stricken the family members, the less inclined
they are to mouth political slogans or, for the most part,
to engage in open debate over whether the tactic of Qassams
has brought more suffering to Palestinians than to Israelis.
But they react with near-universal disbelief at Israel's depiction
of the artillery barrage as a "technical malfunction", or at the
idea that its targeting could not have been observed in real time
by one of the units among the military presence in the vicinity.
"One or two shells might be a mistake but not 15 or 20," said
Ibrahim Al Athamneh. The number of shells was probably closer
to 12. But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt.

Reflecting for a moment on the meaning of the attack, Majdi
allowed himself one political statement - a reference to the
newest Israeli Cabinet member, the hard-right nationalist
Avigdor Liberman. "It's a present for the deputy Prime Minister,"
he said. "The man who said he wanted to turn Gaza into Chechnya."

A bloody week
* SUNDAY
Two Palestinian militants are killed and several injured in an
Israeli missile strike near Jabalya.
* MONDAY
Israeli missile aimed at a group of militants lands near a Palestinian
kindergarten, killing a teenage boy, critically wounding a teacher
and seriously wounding eight children. A female Palestinian suicide
bomber blows herself up near Israeli troops in Beit Hanoun, injuring
one soldier.
* TUESDAY
Eight Palestinians are killed by Israeli soldiers in separate incidents.
Hamas fires six rockets into Israeli town of Ashkelon. Israel says
it has completed its week-long Gaza operation in Beit Hanoun
which killed 60 gunmen and civilians.
* WEDNESDAY
Nineteen civilians killed in artillery barrage in Beit Hanoun, including
13 members of a single Palestinian family.
* THURSDAY
Two Palestinians reported missing after Israeli missile attack
on home of a militant leader. Israeli drones buzz funeral
of victims of Beit Hanoun attack.
* YESTERDAY
The death toll from Beit Hanoun rises as Israeli hospital officials
confirm that one of the wounded transferred to Israel, has died.

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

2) My Mother and Alzheimer’s. And cancer.
By Jack Herer
http://www.jackherer.com/

Around 1983, when my mother was 75 years old, she was in the first
stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She came out to California from Miami
Beach for six weeks to visit my children and me. My son, Barry went
into the airport to get her, while I waited in the car. Although she had
just seen him the year before, she didn’t recognize him and thought
he was trying to pick her up. My older sister, Marlene, explained
to me that was a symptom of the disease.

At that time, I was just beginning to write a book called “The Emperor
Wears No Clothes” about the history of hemp, including the medical
history of cannabis. I had read many reports about diseases being
treated with cannabis, including the first reports on Alzheimer’s
disease and dementia. One report said that if you smoke marijuana
morning, noon and night you won’t have a problem with Alzheimer’s.
It won’t go away but it won’t progress and may even go backwards
a little bit.

My mother didn’t smoke except for maybe 10 tobacco cigarettes
a year. When she came to California I gave her marijuana morning,
noon and night. She smoked it and ate it. She had never tried it before.

Prior to this, I was never able to really talk to my mother. Our
conversations always consisted of her telling me to “don’t do this”
or “don’t do that.” Now, for the first time, I was able to talk
to my mother about everything including politics, family and
about when she first came to the U.S. from Poland 60 years
before. It was the most wonderful time in my whole life being
able to talk with my mother like that. My only regret was that
I didn’t give it to her when she was 45 or 55.

After six weeks she had no symptoms of Alzheimer’s whatsoever.
Then it was time for her to go back to Miami Beach to my stepfather.
I sent her back with about 60 joints. I was planning on sending
her 60 already rolled joints a month.

When she got home she showed her husband what she was doing
and he had a fit about her smoking so she quit. He said “You can’t
smoke marijuana. I don’t care if you think it’s good for you or not.
It’s against the law.” They threw away the 60 joints.

Two years later my mother got so bad she was put into a hospital.
One year later she didn’t recognize me or my children at all.
She died in 1990. The last 4 years she didn’t recognize me
at all when I came to visit.

When I wrote the first edition (106 pages) of my book, I wrote
that Alzheimer’s disease is best treated by using marijuana
morning, noon, and night (not once in a while). Everyone
thought I was crazy, including my brother and sister.

I have kept up on all the information about marijuana for the
last 30 years. I’ve known about the preliminary studies
for Alzheimer’s since the early ‘80s.

Two weeks ago it was reported on CNN and newspapers
throughout the world that using marijuana is the best treatment
for Alzheimer’s. If you use marijuana morning, noon and night
it won’t progress. You may even get better. If you start using
it when you’re 20 or 30 or 40, your chances are high you will
not get Alzheimer’s. Cannabis has been proven to be many
times more effective than the drugs currently being used
to treat it. But marijuana is illegal in most places.

Thirty percent of all medicines used 100 to 200 years ago
were made out of compounds of natural marijuana. In 1964,
researchers discovered the main ingredient is THC. No one
has ever died from using marijuana.

In 1974, Virginia Medical College in Richmond, Virginia did
research on tumors of the lung, brain, liver and kidney using
mice and rats. Incredible things were done. The cancer stopped
growing and in most cases even reversed itself 100 percent.
Some of the mice who were given cancer and treated with
cannabis actually lived longer than some of the control mice
who were not even given cancer! It was found that marijuana
is the best thing to treat cancer of the lungs, brain, etc. After
that they were stopped from doing anymore research at all
by first Nixon and then Ford. No research with positive results
could be done, only research with negative results. That’s the
way it’s been since 1975 until now, even though a 1999
marijuana study turned out to be positive also.

You live almost two years longer if you smoke marijuana morning,
noon and night. This was the result of the most extensive research
ever done (from 1968 to 1974). It was a $6,000,000 study done
by Dr. Vera Ruben in Jamaica and Costa Rica. Today that same
research would cost $150,000,000. If you smoke cigarettes and
drink alcohol, you will lose approximately 8-24 years off your life.
If you don’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol you will live (in the U.S.)
until about 76 for a man and 78 for a woman. But if you smoke
marijuana and don’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, you live
about two years longer than that.

When this study came out in 1974, Nixon and then Ford dropped
the most expensive research ever done on anything whatsoever.
No more research of any type could be done on marijuana to prove
the positive effects, only negative effects. From 1984 until now.

Read my book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” and get mad.
The chapters are online free on this website.

The reason I am writing this is because my friend, Ed Rosenthal, is
on trial for marijuana. He was convicted in federal court two years
ago and was sentenced to one day in prison by a federal judge.
Ed fought this one day conviction and now the federal government
is indicting him again. Ed and others in the hemp movement
are the real American heroes and our government leaders
are the real criminals.

Please get this information out to everyone you know.

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3) Immigrant Protection Rules Draw Fire
By JESSE McKINLEY
November 12, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/us/12sanctuary.html?hp&ex=1163394000&en=3b5a24db1a0cf444&ei=5094&partner=homepage

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 9 — Dr. Stephen B. Turner built a profitable
business here by providing low-cost “immigrant medical exams,”
including immunizations and blood tests, to hundreds of newcomers
to America. Many of his clients did not speak English, but they paid
in cash, spending a total of nearly $250,000 at Dr. Turner’s practice
from 2003 to 2005.

It was only later, after a tip from a suspicious client, that the San
Francisco police and the district attorney’s office learned the truth:
Dr. Turner had been throwing out his clients’ blood samples
and injecting them with “inoculations” of saline.

Kamala D. Harris, the San Francisco district attorney, said the case,
which led to a seven-year prison term for Dr. Turner, was one
of many her office had been able to pursue under San Francisco’s
so-called sanctuary policy, which forbids police and city officials
from asking people they encounter in the course of an investigation
about their immigration status. It is a protection Ms. Harris says
has made immigrants — legal and illegal — more willing to come
to forward about crimes.

With immigration continuing to flare and frustrate as a national
political issue, sanctuary cities like San Francisco may soon be the
next battlefront. Critics argue that sanctuary policies discourage
the police from enforcing laws, though about 50 cities and counties
have enacted variations on sanctuary, according to the National
Immigration Law Center. They include Detroit, Los Angeles, New
York and Washington. A handful of states have similar policies,
including Alaska, Maine and Oregon.

Conservative legal groups and politicians have begun to challenge
such policies. Yet on the other side, cities like Chicago have
announced they will avoid involving their police in issues that
smack of federal immigration enforcement. And while a federal
proposal to punish sanctuary cities recently failed to become
law, some states have passed laws discouraging sanctuary
policies.

“To say to a law enforcement official, if you encounter a foreign
national who is in this country illegally and you believe that
information would be of use and benefit to federal authorities,
that you can’t call them, that’s just wrong,” said Representative
John Campbell, Republican of California, who authored a provision
in the federal Homeland Security bill that would have denied
federal antiterrorism money to cities with sanctuary policies.
The provision passed the House, but was not part of the bill
eventually signed by President Bush.

But even with Democrats in control of Congress, immigration
hard-liners say the issue is here to stay.

“It’s mind-blowing for us to see taxpayer dollars spent to subsidize
criminal activity — that’s the end result,” said Christopher J. Farrell,
director of research for Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group
that is suing the Los Angeles Police Department over its sanctuary rule.

Some states have also taken up the issue. In Colorado, a law signed
by the governor in May prevents localities from passing ordinances
that stop officials or police from communicating or cooperating
with federal officials on immigration.

Other states have taken up larger immigration issues involving local
cooperation with the federal authorities. A Georgia law enacted
in April authorizes the state to enter into an agreement with federal
officials to train and certify state law enforcement officials to enforce
immigration. The Georgia law also requires the police to make a
“reasonable effort” to determine the legal status of those they
arrest for felonies or drunken driving.

Both the Colorado and Georgia laws include some protections
against and stiffer penalties for exploitation of illegal immigrants.

In September, a sanctuary debate erupted in Houston after an illegal
immigrant was accused of killing a police officer. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs,
a Republican city councilwoman who ran for Congress as an unsuccessful
write-in candidate in place of former Representative Tom DeLay, called
on the mayor to declare the city off-limits to illegal immigrants.

“Terrorists, drug runners and cartel members could be among
us, and police officers are not allowed to check their identities,”
Ms. Sekula-Gibbs wrote in an e-mail message to supporters.
“Why? Because some politicians fear that asking people who
have no ID about their legal status might intimidate all illegals
into not reporting crimes. This policy of appeasement must
be stopped.”

Craig E. Ferrell Jr., general counsel for the Houston Police
Department, said the city did not have a formal sanctuary
policy. But he said a tangle of laws — police codes and legal
decisions, including those involving racial profiling and the
Fourth Amendment guarantee against unlawful search and
seizure — required caution by police officers.

“We’re not just trying to be obstructionist or not trying to help,”
Mr. Ferrell said. “What we’re against is the federal government
mandating that local enforcement be initiated without addressing
these issues.”

Sanctuary supporters have pushed back. In San Francisco, Supervisor
Gerardo C. Sandoval — who authored a resolution affirming
the city’s policy, which dates to 1989 — said the federal government
was simply trying to pass the buck for failing to secure federal borders.

“If they want to enforce the law,” Mr. Sandoval said, “they should
put troops on the ground to do that.”

Lt. Paul Vernon, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department,
which has operated under sanctuary guidelines since 1979, said,
“We didn’t want people to fear cooperating with police.” Lieutenant
Vernon added, “And the local police department job is not to enforce
the federal immigration law.”

An organization of police chiefs, the Major Cities Chiefs Association,
said that requiring the local police to enforce immigration policy
did not “take into full account the realities of local law enforcement
dealing with this issue on the ground.” The association said
its concerns included a lack of authority, training, and resources,
as well as risks of liability.

Advocates for illegal immigrants, meanwhile, said they feared that
getting rid of sanctuary rules would encourage immigrant communities
not to report crime, including human and drug trafficking, prostitution,
domestic violence, and even terrorism.

“Once the police are seen as agents of the immigration service,
it discourages and deters immigrant communities from going
to the police,” said Lucas Guttentag, the director of the Immigrants’
Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. “There’s a whole
mixture of people in these communities — some recent, some illegal
— and its going to cause the entire community to fear going to the
police if they feel going to the local cop is essentially going to the
immigration service.”

But opponents say localities should be forced to participate in solving
some of the problems that accompany illegal immigration.

“You can’t have it both ways,” said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for
the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which lobbies for
stronger immigration enforcement. “If you want to harbor people
who are in the country illegally, you can’t expect to have federal
funds for issues that arise from having illegal people in your
community.”

Sanctuary policies are often less sweeping than opponents make
them out to be. In San Francisco, for example, where resources
cannot be used in immigration investigations, the police can inquire
about immigration status in felony or drug cases.

Joan Friedland, an immigration lawyer for the National Immigration
Law Center, said the concept of sanctuary cities was often misunderstood
and that it gave the impression that such cities were lawless havens
for illegal immigrants.

“It’s not like people, if they are charged with a crime, they just escape
immigration,” Ms. Friedland said. “Even the cities that have ordinances
limiting inquiries about immigration status cooperate and are in touch
with the Department of Homeland Security when a serious crime
is involved.”

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4) ¡Viva el Capitalismo!
By ÁLVARO VARGAS LLOSA
Guatemala City
November 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/13/opinion/13llosa.html

THE irony could not be more poignant. Twenty years ago today,
Ronald Reagan went on national television and admitted
his government’s involvement in an arms deal with Iran,
the proceeds of which, we later found out, were diverted
to the contra rebels fighting a Marxist regime in Central
America. Now Daniel Ortega, the man those funds were
aimed against, has just been elected president of Nicaragua.

And the irony does not stop there. A few days before last
week’s elections, Oliver North, the face of the Iran-contra
scandal, landed in Managua and asked Nicaraguans to vote
for the right-wing Liberal Constitutionalist Party, which
is made up in part of old contra sympathizers, and
to stop Mr. Ortega.

Whatever else he might have been doing all these years,
Mr. North has not been following Nicaraguan politics:
for the last seven years, the Liberal Constitutionalists
have been allied with Mr. Ortega’s Sandinistas, and they
paved the way for Mr. Ortega’s victory by lowering the
electoral bar for a first-round victory and by helping
split the anti-Sandinista vote. The Gipper must be
turning in his grave.

Some will be tempted to conclude that Mr. Ortega’s
return amounts to a revival of the cold war dynamic
in the Western Hemisphere and, in particular, to a
retrospective impugning of Reagan’s policy in Central
America. Some might also be inclined to see the vote
as a confirmation that the radical left is sweeping Latin
America and that the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez,
who supported Mr. Ortega and provides municipalities
under Sandinista governments with fertilizer and oil,
has scored a strategic victory.

That would be giving too much credit to Nicaragua, which
is today a political and economic pygmy in the region;
to left-wing radicalism, which had little to do with
Mr. Ortega’s comeback; and to Mr. Chávez, whose
favored candidates were recently repudiated in Peru
and in Mexico, the two countries where he concentrated
most of his efforts.

Daniel Ortega’s comeback is the result of two factors.
One is the power-sharing pact that the former President
Arnoldo Alemán sealed with the Sandinistas in 1999, with
a view to protecting himself and his Liberal Constitutionalist
cronies from charges of corruption after leaving office.
(It didn’t work out well for Mr. Alemán, who in 2003 was
given a 20-year sentence.) The deal they came up with
gave Mr. Ortega, who was politically moribund at the time,
the kiss of life and gave the Sandinistas seats on the Supreme
Court and control of some key institutions, including
the election authority.

The other factor was Mr. Ortega’s betrayal of his own
creed. The Sandinista leader shed his Marxist rhetoric and,
conscious of the need to seduce a profoundly Catholic
nation, mended fences with the Roman Catholic Church
he had once persecuted. His old nemesis, Cardinal Miguel
Obando, presided over the religious (should I say bourgeois?)
ceremony in which Mr. Ortega married his longtime partner
last year.

The man responsible for the infamous “piñata” — a series
of laws put in place just before he lost power in 1990 that
allowed the Sandinista leaders to take for themselves
confiscated property worth hundreds of millions of dollars
— is now talking about his respect for private property
and foreign investment.

He has tossed the olive green fatigues and the red and
black flag; his campaign colors were pink and turquoise,
and his theme song a Spanish version of John Lennon’s
“Give Peace a Chance.” He apologized for the massacre
of the indigenous Miskito people that took place in the
north of the country during his first regime and, finally,
he instructed his legislators to vote for a bill banning
abortion even in cases of a threat to the woman’s life.

What this farcical saga tells us is that Daniel Ortega was
much more interested in being president than in being
principled and, more important, that anyone who wants
to lead today’s Nicaragua needs to persuade voters that
he will respect the rule of law and private property, will
try to lure investment and will be sensitive to the nation’s
religious heritage. The fact that Mr. Ortega’s past conduct
casts a shadow over the proclamation that he is a reformed
character does not detract from the fact that Nicaragua
has not voted for radical leftist policies.

What about the broader claims — that Mr. Ortega’s victory
is a confirmation that radical left-wing politics are back in
Latin America? True, in addition to Mr. Chávez, leftists have
taken power in Brazil, Chile, Panama, and Uruguay.
(Mr. Chávez’s efforts have apparently led the Bush administration
to quietly lift a ban on the training of military personnel from
11 Latin American countries in the United States.) But these
other Latin American socialists belong to the “vegetarian left”
rather than the “carnivorous left.” Other than the occasional
Castro-like rhetorical flourish, the new leaders are avoiding
the mistakes of the old left, including confrontation with the
United States and Europe, fiscal profligacy and nationalization
of industry.

Hugo Chávez has been unable to reproduce his regime in any
other country except in Bolivia, where President Evo Morales
is now increasingly unpopular and has been forced to backtrack
on some of his revolutionary announcements. Mr. Morales,
for example, campaigned on a promise to force the nationalization
of Bolivia’s natural gas fields, but last month came to a deal
in which two major Brazilian companies agreed to share revenues
and operate as service providers to the state energy company.
He even sent his vice president to Washington in July to appeal
to the White House for renewed trade preferences.

And in the week since his victory, Mr. Ortega has been sending
the signal that he thinks joining the “vegetarians” will bring him
more credit than being a clone of Hugo Chávez without the oil.
“No one is going to allow the seizure of property big or small,”
he told a group of Nicaraguan businessmen after his victory.
“We need to eradicate poverty, but you don’t do that by getting
rid of investment and those who have resources.”

Now, whether the moderate left will continue to enjoy the
support of the masses is an entirely different question. Since
many of these new leaders are not engaging in systematic
reform, it is likely that voters will hold them to account
should their economies — now buoyed by the forces
of globalization, through rising exports and foreign
investment — start to sag. But for the moment, it’s their
show, and the carnivores are outside looking in.

In a sense, these moderate left-wing leaders, perhaps
now including Mr. Ortega, are a lot more in sync with what
Ronald Reagan and his men were aiming for in Central
America in the 1980s than Oliver North would care to
admit. As they fall over themselves pandering to the
church, the business community and conservative voters,
there’s little time left over for creating a New Man.

Álvaro Vargas Llosa, the author of “Liberty for Latin America,”
is the director of the Center on Global Prosperity at the
Independent Institute in Washington.

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5) The Corporate Looting of the Gulf Coast
Robin Hood in Reverse
By BILL QUIGLEY
November 13, 2006
http://www.counterpunch.org/quigley11132006.html

Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. On the Gulf
Coast, the reverse is happening. Federal state and local governments
are teaming up with corporations and developers to systematically
steal hurricane relief funds from the poor to enrich themselves.

Billions of dollars were given to help the communities damaged
by Katrina. The people gave this money to help the working,
elderly and disabled people of the Gulf Coast rebuild and restart
their lives after Katrina.

The need is still great. Over three hundred thousand people
remain displaced from the City of New Orleans alone. Hundreds
of thousands of others on the rest of the Gulf Coast are also not
home. Over 80,000 families in Louisiana are living in FEMA trailers.
Texas says they have 250,000 displaced people and Georgia
reports another 100,000.

Tragically, money that was supposed to go to those in need
is instead being diverted by federal, state and local politicians
and corporations who have swooped down on these billions
and are taking them for other purposes.

Example one. Congress allocated $10.4 billion through the
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to
rebuild Louisiana. By law, over 50% of these funds are
supposed to benefit low and moderate income people

As of November 1, 2006, only eighteen people have actually
received any of this money to fix up their homes, out
of over 77,000 homeowners who have applied
for assistance. Yes, only 18!

Louisiana cannot get the money to those in need, but it has
managed to start paying a corporate management company,
ICF International, $756 million over the next three years.
This is very big for ICF, whose total revenue in 2005
was $177 million.

While tens of thousands of homeowners wait for assistance,
renters are not even on the list. Not a single dollar of CDBG
money is allocated directly to any of the renters devastated
by Katrina, despite the fact that over 50% of the people
in New Orleans were renters.

Example two. Louisiana is giving $200 million in CDBG
federal hurricane relief funds to bail out a private utility
corporation, Entergy New Orleans. This corporation pleads
poverty despite being a subsidiary of its parent Entergy Inc.
which reported a net cash flow of $777 million dollars
for the third quarter of 2006.

Worse, Louisiana is saying this $200 million in CDBG funds
counts as a contribution to the low and moderate income
people of New Orleans most of whom have not even
made it back to the city.

Example three. U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD),
which has taken over the local Housing Authority of New
Orleans (HANO), is seeking millions in hurricane relief tax
credits to demolish over 5000 apartments. Since Katrina,
HUD and HANO have barred thousands of families from
returning to their apartments. All the renters are African
American, most are mothers and grandmothers. Some
are elderly and disabled. Private apartments are out
of the question as rent in the New Orleans area is up
nearly 80% over last year.

These apartments are safe and could have already been
repaired, but almost all the maintenance workers were fired.
A professor from MIT recently inspected the apartments and
declared they are structurally sound and are in better shape
than most of the rest of the housing in New Orleans.

Residents still living in Texas and Georgia are pleading
to return to their apartments and promise to clean up the
apartments themselves if only the government will take
the bars off the doors and windows.

Developers and the agencies want to tear these apartments
down and build other mixed income housing. They say there
is only a short window of opportunity available to get hurricane
tax credits to demolish and redevelop so it does not make
financial sense to repair the apartments.

After taking millions in hurricane relief money will the developers
still provide affordable housing to 5000 families? Absolutely
not. HUD flatly says that everyone who lived in these apartments
before Katrina will not have a home after the developers
are finished. Public housing residents remember a 1600
apartment development was demolished before Katrina
and only 100 families have been allowed to live in the
new place.

A hopeful sign is that Amnesty International USA has joined
in on the side of local residents and affordable housing allies.
AIUSA has mounted a campaign calling on people across the
country to "stand with Katrina survivors and call for HUD
to stop the destruction of housing for low-income residents."

Meanwhile, disaster profiteering continues. The Gulf
Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 was established by Congress
to rebuild the communities devastated by Hurricanes Katrina
and Rita. So far, this has been used to subsidize all kinds
of private projects including the building of a mall
for Target and JC Penny in Lafayette, expanding
an auto dealership in Baton Rouge, converting
a plantation in Livingston into a hotel.

This corporate plundering follows the path taken in the
immediate days after Katrina when politically connected
corporations were given hundreds of millions of no-bid
contracts. Ashbritt of Florida was awarded a contract
over $500 million to clean up debris in Mississippi despite
not owning a single dump truck. Ashbritt had paid a GOP
lobbyist firm $40,000 right before the storm and another
$50,000 directly to the GOP the year before.

Ceres Environmental of Brooklyn Park, MN was given a $500
million contract for debris removal in LA by the Corps
of Engineers. In the previous 4 years, the company had
received a total of $29 million in government contracts.
The Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance listed
the company as a provider of "yard waste compost and
horticultural potting soil."

Circle B Enterprises was awarded $287 million in contracts
by FEMA to build trailers despite not even being licensed
to build homes in its own state of Georgia and filing for
bankruptcy in 2003. The company does not even have
a website.

Other corporations profiting off the devastation include
Bechtel, Blackwater, CH2M Hill, Fluor, Halliburton subsidiary
KBR and many others.

There has been no real oversight of these misdeeds. The only
criminal charges filed have been against individuals who ripped
off programs for a couple of hundred or a few thousand dollars.
Most recently, the Department of Justice triumphantly announced
to the press that they had issued an indictment for abuse
of Katrina funds of a man who illegally received Katrina
unemployment benefits while still working! Meanwhile,
hundreds of millions are being diverted without a peep
from the government.

The people of New Orleans and the Gulf coast are fighting
against the robbing of the poor and the looting of hurricane
relief funds, but the clock is ticking.

Before long, there will be no money left. The generosity
of those who contributed to help those harmed by Katrina will
be snugly in the pockets of developers and corporations.
Affordable housing will remain scarce. The working poor,
the elderly and the disabled will remain displaced. The next
disaster will occur and this will happen again.

Support the people and community organizations of the gulf
coast in this fight. Raise righteous and holy hell! Join with Amnesty
International USA in the human rights campaign to stop
the demolition of affordable housing. Ask your federal
elected officials for an immediate investigation into the looting
of the Gulf Coast. We need your help, before all the money is gone.

Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and professor at Loyola
University New Orleans College of Law. Bill and Dan Gregor
assisted the defendants in this matter. You can reach Bill
at Quigley@loyno.edu

If you want to know more, check out
www.justiceforneworleans.org
and look at the CorpWatch report,
"Big, Easy Money: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast."
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14004

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6) The Corporate End Run
New York Times Editorial
November 12, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/opinion/12sun2.html?ex=1320987600&en=551cfa3fe1dfbc81&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Corporate profits are at record levels. The Dow, too, has climbed past
its high-water mark from the dot-com era. Executives reap bigger
and bigger paydays, even as wages have stagnated. Meanwhile,
the widening investigation into stock-option backdating reminds
us that the corporate malfeasance era was much more than just
a couple of bad apples like Enron and WorldCom.

It seems almost unbelievable, then, that corporate America
would pick this moment to beg for relaxed regulation and
enforcement, as well as more protection from investors’ lawsuits.
But as Stephen Labaton reported recently in The Times, industry
groups are seeking broad new protections for corporations
and accounting firms, not through legislation but from the
Bush administration through agency rule changes.

The rationale is that the high cost of complying with the
corporate governance law, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, along with
runaway lawsuits have scared foreign companies away from
American stock exchanges. The timing is particularly odd given
that the compliance costs associated with the much-reviled
Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley — which requires audits
of companies’ internal financial controls — fell last year,
as did the number of investor lawsuits, for the second
year in a row.

What has actually happened is that opponents of regulation
believe that the coast is clear. The law’s namesakes, Paul
Sarbanes and Michael Oxley, are retiring. Kenneth Lay of
Enron is dead. The time appears ripe for rollbacks.

Advocates of big business like to point to a sharp decline
in the United States’ share of global initial stock offerings
between 2000 and 2005, hoping that everyone will infer that
the cause was the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002. In fact,
that share had been declining since 1996, even before the
Asian financial crisis. It hit bottom in 2001 and has risen since.

United States markets lost their dominance of initial stock
offerings for numerous reasons that had little to do with
regulation. Some of last year’s biggest deals were Chinese
and French privatizations. Markets elsewhere are bigger and
more liquid than they once were. There are also intangibles,
such as America’s recent unpopularity, increased barriers for
visa seekers and extraordinary budget and trade deficits,
which might make an issuer think twice about a dollar-
denominated stock.

The London Stock Exchange, one of the leading beneficiaries
of the American decline, commissioned a study showing that
underwriting fees in London are just 3 percent to 4 percent
of a transaction, compared with an average of 6.5 percent
to 7 percent in the United States.

When workers confront globalization, they are told to adapt,
take their pink slips and go to night school. It is the harsh
downside of an integrated world economy that has on balance
significantly enriched the country. When financiers feel the
pinch from competition in Hong Kong and London, they
run to the Bush administration for rule changes.

America’s investor protections and corporate regulations
have made it a nation of share owners, with almost
57 million American households owning stocks either
directly or through mutual funds. The Securities and
Exchange Commission has already signaled that it will
smooth the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley, especially
for smaller companies. And abuses of the private litigation
system like pay-to-play should be stopped. There is room
for reform. But over all, the system is working. It may
need tweaks, but it does not need a revamping.

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7) Wall Street Gets Ready for Rain
November 14, 2006, 6:38 am
http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/wall-street-gets-ready-for-rain/

The sun is shining now, but many financial firms seem to be gearing
up for a storm. The latest bellwether, as reported Tuesday in The
New York Times, is Perella Weinberg Partners‘ decision to acquire
Kramer Capital Partners, a small firm established last year by Michael
Kramer, a restructuring whiz formerly with Greenhill & Company.
Kramer Capital advises companies and creditors in bankruptcy
and out-of-court restructurings, and the deal suggests that Perella
Weinberg, a new investment banking boutique with high-profile
founders, expects this sort of workout activity to increase.

Other examples abound. Duff & Phelps, an investment bank
known for providing valuation services, recently agreed to buy
Chanin Capital Partners, a firm that is a leading adviser
to creditors in major bankruptcy cases.

AlixPartners, which has advised some of the largest corporate
debtors in recent years in their bankruptcy proceedings, including
WorldCom and Kmart, recently received an investment from
a private equity firm, Hellman & Friedman, which is the largest
single shareholder of the Nasdaq Stock Market. That transaction
put an enterprise value of more than $800 million on AlixPartners,
the firm said.

The activity is especially notable because corporate default rates
are near historic lows. Most companies have found it exceedingly
easy to get new loans or refinance their existing debt, which
has masked a multitude of sins.

But companies may be getting complacent. As The New York
Times’s Floyd Norris reported last week, the median debt rating
for nonfinancial companies in the United States is BB, or relatively
high-quality junk. A decade ago, the median rating was BBB,
an investment grade rating.

This trend toward lower-rated credit — and more highly leveraged
balance sheets — may cause problems if lenders and purchasers
of bonds become less willing to hold speculative-grade debt.
The result could be a rash of defaults, which seems to be just
what firms such as Perella Weinberg are bracing for.

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8) Boy’s Death at China Hospital Spurs Riot Over Care and Fees
By JOSEPH KAHN
November 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/13/world/asia/13china.html

BEIJING, Nov. 12 — Some 2,000 people mobbed and ransacked
a hospital in southwestern China on Friday in a dispute over medical
fees and shoddy health care practices, a human rights group
said Sunday.

At least 10 people were injured when the police broke up the
demonstration at Guang’an City No. 2 People’s Hospital, said
the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, based
in Hong Kong. The area, in Sichuan Province, was described
as under tight police control on Sunday, with at least five
people detained on suspicion of instigating a riot.

The unrest erupted after a 3-year-old boy died in the hospital,
where he had been taken for emergency treatment after ingesting
pesticides. Reports conflicted about how much medical
care he had received.

The human rights group said in a faxed statement that
essential medical care had been denied the boy until his
grandfather, who was taking care of him, could pay.
The boy died after the grandfather left to raise money,
the group said.

An official report from the New China News Agency
confirmed that a dispute over medical fees had occurred
at the hospital, but also said that doctors there had
treated the boy even though the grandfather had
not been able to pay the $82 bill.

Local residents who heard about the incident staged
a demonstration at the hospital that quickly turned
violent. People smashed windows and destroyed
equipment at the six-story building. The human
rights group said three police vans had been
overturned.

The New China News Agency did not report the
demonstration or the police crackdown in its dispatch,
saying only that there had been a dispute over fees.
The state-run Sichuan Daily newspaper reported
Sunday that local authorities were looking into the
matter and “attached great importance” to investigating
the causes of the boy’s death.

Medical costs are a major issue for tens of millions
of people in Chinese cities and hundreds of millions
in the countryside who have no medical insurance and
no public safety net to cover the soaring cost of care.

The Communist Party-controlled government once
offered rudimentary medical care for nominal prices
in the countryside. But hospitals were left largely
to fend for themselves in the expanding market
economy of the 1990s.

Many ceased providing even emergency care for people
who could not pay hospital fees in cash before treatment.

Providing better access to health care and education
and reducing the country’s growing urban-rural wealth
gap have become part of President Hu Jintao’s pledge
to build a “harmonious society.”

But the government has provided relatively little money
for hospital care in poor areas. It has experimented with
social insurance for people who do not work for major
companies, including most of the 800 million classified
as peasants, but has not introduced a national plan.

China has also been grappling with a wave of social unrest
in recent years. Riots involving thousands of people
protesting confiscation of land, environmental pollution,
official corruption and other issues are no longer uncommon.

The government canceled agricultural taxes and promised
to spend more on rural development in response. But rural
residents still face weak or nonexistent public services and
have regular disputes with local officials over repossession
of their farmland for development.

The number of violent protests declined by 22 percent
in the first nine months of 2006, to 17,900, one measure
the police use indicates.

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9) US: Immigrants May Be Held Indefinitely
November 13, 2006
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061114/D8LCIVL80.html
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111406Z.shtml

WASHINGTON (AP) - Immigrants arrested in the United States may
be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge
their imprisonment in civilian courts, the Bush administration said
Monday, opening a new legal front in the fight over the rights
of detainees.

In court documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in Richmond, Va., the Justice Department said a new anti-terrorism
law being used to hold detainees in Guantanamo Bay also applies
to foreigners captured and held in the United States.

Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar, was arrested in 2001
while studying in the United States. He has been labeled
an "enemy combatant," a designation that, under a law signed
last month, strips foreigners of the right to challenge their
detention in federal courts.

That law is being used to argue the Guantanamo Bay cases,
but Al-Marri represents the first detainee inside the United
States to come under the new law. Aliens normally have the
right to contest their imprisonment, such as when they
are arrested on immigration violations or for other crimes.

"It's pretty stunning that any alien living in the United States
can be denied this right," said Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney
or Al-Marri. "It means any non-citizen, and there are millions
of them, can be whisked off at night and be put in detention."

The new law says that enemy combatants will be tried before
military commissions, not a civilian judge or jury, and establishes
different rules of evidence in the cases. It also prohibits
detainees from challenging their detention in civilian court.

In a separate court filing in Washington on Monday, the Justice
Department defended that law as constitutional and necessary.

Government attorneys said foreign fighters arrested as part
of an overseas military action have no constitutional rights
and are being afforded more legal rights than ever.

In its short filing in the Al-Marri case, however, the Justice
Department doesn't mention that Al-Marri is being held
at a military prison in South Carolina - a fact that his
attorneys say affords him the same rights as anyone
else being held in the United States.

The Justice Department noted only that the new law applies
to all enemy combatants "regardless of the location
of the detention."

The Bush administration maintains that al-Marri is an al-Qaida
sleeper agent. The Defense Department ordered a review
of Al-Marri's status as an enemy combatant be conducted if,
as requested, the case is thrown out of court.

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10) The Democrats Don't Care
Screw the Palestinians, Full Steam Ahead
By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON
http://www.counterpunch.org/christison11132006.html

At a panel on the defense and foreign policy impact of the midterm
election, sponsored two days after the election by Congressional
Quarterly, Steven Simon, late of the Clinton administration and
still a member of the Democratic, pro-Zionist mainstream at the
Council on Foreign Relations, pronounced on prospects for
Palestinian-Israeli peace and essentially declared it not worth
anyone's effort. Using words, a tone, and a body language that
clearly betrayed his own disinterest, he said that Hamas is "there"
(exaggerated shrug), that the Israeli government is in turmoil
after its Lebanon "contretemps" (dismissive wave of the hand),
that both sides are incapable of significant movement, and that
therefore there is no incentive for anyone, Democrat or Republican,
to intervene (casual frown indicating an unfortunate reality about
which serious people need not concern themselves). There is
simply no prospect for more unilateral Israeli withdrawals and
therefore for any progress toward peace, Simon said in conclusion
-- signaling not only a total lack of concern but an utter ignorance
of just what it is that might bring progress, as if Israeli unilateralism
were truly the ticket to peace.

Thus spake the Democratic oracle. Not that anyone who knows
the Palestinian-Israeli situation from other than the selective focus
of the Zionist perspective had any expectations in the first place.
No one ever thought the new Democratic Congress would hop
to and put pressure on Israel to make peace. Just remember
John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, to say nothing of Bill Clinton,
when any question of the Democrats' stance arises. And don't
forget Nancy Pelosi, who rushed to condemn Jimmy Carter for
using the word "apartheid" in the title of his new book and for
whom, according to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency profile, support
for Israel is personal and "heartfelt." One Jewish activist and long-
time friend described her as "incredibly loyal" (interesting term)
and as feeling Jewish and Israeli issues "in her soul."

But Simon's brief disquisition on the futility of even making
an effort was particularly striking for its profound dismissiveness
and its profound blindness to what is and has been going
on on the ground. Simon's "contretemps" in Lebanon was
no mere embarrassing misstep but a murderous rampage
that killed 1,300 innocent Lebanese and dropped over a million
cluster bomblets in villages across the south, left to be discovered
by returning residents. But the Democrats don't care, and Steven
Simon considers this hardly worth a second thought. Israel gets
itself in trouble, showing its true brutal nature in the process,
and this gives Simon and the Democrats a handy excuse
to avoid doing anything.

Eighteen [Now 19--one died in hospital--this number is twice
the number of Israeli's killed by Palestinian rockets in the last
six years! And most of Israeli's killed were military
combatants not civilians!...bw] Palestinian innocents in
Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip were murdered
while sleeping in their beds a day before Simon spoke,
killed by Israeli shellfire, round after round
fired at a residential housing complex -- 16 members of one
extended family and two others who came to help them after
the first round exploded. The Democrats don't care.
Steven Simon considers this not worth a mention.

In the six days preceding this incident, Israel assaulted
Beit Hanoun the way it assaulted Jenin and Nablus and
other West Bank cities in 2002 -- a murderous assault
reminiscent of Nazi sieges or of the Russian siege of
Chechnya, in which in these six days 57 Palestinians
were killed, to one Israeli soldier. The dead include
Palestinian fighters and a large number of civilians,
including children and including two women shot down
in the street while attempting to lift the Israeli siege
of a mosque. The mosque was leveled. The Democrats
don't care. Steven Simon considers this not worth a mention.

In the four months preceding this six-day siege, the Israelis
killed 247 Palestinians in a prolonged attack on Gaza.
Of the dead, two-thirds are civilians, 20 percent children. Of nearly
1,000 injured, one-third are children. The Democrats don't care.
Steven Simon considers this not worth a mention.

Israel is planning a larger siege of Gaza, concentrating not
just on Beit Hanoun in the north but on Rafah in the south,
ostensibly to unearth arms-smuggling tunnels. This has
been going on for years; Rafah has been the scene of Israel's
murderous pummeling periodically since the intifada began --
in 2003 when Rachel Corrie was killed trying to protect the
home of an innocent family from demolition, in 2004 when
hundreds of homes were demolished in multiple sieges and
a peaceful protest demonstration was strafed from the air.
But the Democrats don't care. Steven Simon considers this
not worth a mention.

Gaza, of course, is not the only Palestinian territory being
raped and pillaged. Its 1.4 million residents are the most
distraught -- living imprisoned in a territory with the highest
population density in the world, walled in with no exit except
as Israel sporadically allows, being deliberately starved by the
official policy of Israel, which dictates to the U.S., which dictates
to Europe, vulnerable to constant Israeli assault. But the West
Bank's 2.5 million Palestinians are not much better off. They
continue to be killed by Israelis and squeezed by Israel's
separation wall, by settlement expansion, by movement
restrictions, by theft of agricultural land, by diminishing
economic opportunity, and by massive Israeli-fostered
unemployment. Their death toll is only minimally less
than Gaza's.

This obscenity of oppression and murder does not faze the
Democrats or any of Israel's Zionist supporters in the U.S.
Whatever Israel wants is all right with the Democrats.
The 110th Congress will screw the Palestinians just the
way the Republican 109th did.

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and
has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the
author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound
of Dispossession.

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served
as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the
CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis. They spent
October 2006 in Palestine and on a speaking tour of Ireland
sponsored by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

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11) SADDAM'S SENTENCE
[From transcription recently posted on ICFFMAJ web site - Howard Keylor]
[Col. Writ. 11/5/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

With excitement and barely suppressed glee, the media announced the
death sentence returned against Iraqi strongman, Saddam Hussein, for
crimes against humanity during the 1982 Dujail massacre.

In the face of the deadly horror that is Iraq, Hussein has become little
more than a bad, but distant memory.

Indeed, in both print and audio interviews I've read and heard in the
last few weeks, Iraqis looked to life under the Hussein regime as the
good old days. That is a measure, not of how 'good' the old days were,
but of how anguished is the present.

While Shi'as groaned under the repression of the secret police, and the
Kurds lived in terror of the central government, the day-to-day life of
Iraqis was one that was among the most envied of the Arab world. Its
populace was among the most educated, certainly one of the highest among
women in that region.

With the very serious exception of the omnipresent threat of government
security forces, Iraqis lived lives of relative safety and security.

Today, Iraq is bedlam; the police and army are little more than ethnic
death squads.

The U.S.-backed puppet government in Baghdad is a 'government' in name
only. Real power is in the militias and regional religious leaders,
like Moqtada al-Sadr, a man who is both!

In light of Saddam's death sentence, you'll probably hear some pundits
claim it's a 'turning point', or a 'benchmark', of the new Iraqi
democracy. In truth, it's neither.

The forces unleashed by the invasion and occupation have become bigger
than Saddam.

The irony is that Saddam Hussein, according to recently published
reports, never believed that the U.S. would actually take Baghdad; not
because he thought his Republican Guard was so fierce, but because he
thought that Americans couldn't be so stupid.

Peter Galbraith in an Aug. 2006 article in the *New York Review of
Books* criticized the military knowledge of both Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, and Saddam Hussein, as leaders who routinely ignored
advice from their generals.

In the article, "Mindless in Iraq," Galbraith noted:

"Men who had put their lives on the line in combat were mostly unwilling
to put their careers on the line to speak out against a plan based on
the numbers pulled out of the air by a cranky sixty-nine-year old [i.e.,
Rumsfeld].

"Fortunately for the US troops who had to invade Iraq, they were
initially up against an adversary who was also convinced of his own
military genius. Saddam Hussein knew it made no strategic sense for the
US to invade Iraq and therefore he assumed it wouldn't happen. He had
maintained ambiguity about whether he had WMDs not because he had
something to hide but to intimidate the two enemies about whom he really
was worried, the Iranians and Iraq's Shiite majority.

"Even before the invasion began ... Saddam could not quite believe the
United States intended to go all the way to Baghdad .. Saddam could not
imagine that the United States would see an advantage in replacing him
with a pro-Iranian, Shiite-dominated regime." [Fr.: Galbraith, P.,
"Mindless in Iraq," NYROB (Aug. 10, 2006), p. 29.]

And so, Saddam will soon have a date with the hangman; but events and
forces at work in Iraq will barely ripple from his passage. His death
warrant, signed and sealed in Washington, D.C., will bring it no closer
to US regional objectives.

Hasn't Iraq had *enough* death?

The hell of today is far worse than the hell of yesterday.


Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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12) Marijuana
By Bonnie Weinstein
November 15, 2006
www.socialistviewpoint.org

This article is written in two parts., “Part 1 : Background to the Drug
War,” gives an essential history of the racist criminilzation of Marijuana.
“Part 2: Marijuana Today,” is an analysis of the current “drug war”
that has its roots in this racist history.
—Bonnie Weinstein

Part 1: Background to the Drug War

There is a great book that documents how hemp and marijuana
proscriptions and the racist application of the law throughout
its history came about. The book is free on the web. It’s called,
“The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” by Jack Herer1—a tale of capitalist
profit, greed and tyranny. Here’s are excerpts from Chapter 4,
“The Last Days of Legal Cannabis” which outlines this history:
“In the mid-1930s, when the new mechanical hemp fiber stripping
machines and machines to conserve hemp’s high-cellulose pulp
finally became state-of-the-art, available and affordable, the
enormous timber acreage and businesses of the Hearst Paper
Manufacturing Division, Kimberly Clark (USA), St. Regis - and
virtually all other timber, paper and large newspaper holding
companies - stood to lose billions of dollars and perhaps
go bankrupt…

“Coincidentally, in 1937, DuPont had just patented processes
for making plastics from oil and coal, as well as a new
sulfate/sulfite process for making paper from wood pulp.
According to DuPont’s own corporate records and historians,
these processes accounted for over 80 percent of all the
company’s railroad car loadings over the next 60 years into
the 1990s…

“If hemp had not been made illegal, 80 percent of DuPont’s
business would never have materialized and the great majority
of the pollution, which has poisoned our Northwestern
and Southeastern Rivers, would not have occurred…

“But competing against environmentally-sane hemp paper
and natural plastic technology would have jeopardized the
lucrative financial schemes of Hearst, DuPont and DuPont’s
chief financial backer, Andrew Mellon of the Mellon Bank
of Pittsburgh…

“In 1931, Mellon, in his role as Hoover’s Secretary of the
Treasury, appointed his future nephew-in-law, Harry J.
Anslinger, to be head of the newly reorganized Federal
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (FBNDD),
a post he held for the next 31 years…

“By the fall of 1936, Herman Oliphant (general counsel
to the Treasury Department) had decided to employ the
taxing power [of the federal government], but in a statute
modeled after the National Firearms Act and wholly unrelated
to the 1914 Harrison [narcotics] Act. Oliphant himself was
in charge of preparing the bill. Anslinger directed his
army to turn its campaign toward Washington...

“The key departure of the marijuana tax scheme from that
of the Harrison Act is the notion of the prohibitive tax. Under
the Harrison Act, a non-medical user could not legitimately
buy or possess narcotics. To the dissenters in the Supreme
Court decisions upholding the act, this clearly demonstrated
that Congress’ motive was to prohibit conduct rather than
raise revenue. So in the National Firearms Act, designed
to prohibit traffic in machine guns, Congress ‘permitted’
anyone to buy a machine gun, but required him to pay
a $200 transfer tax and carry out the purchase on an
order form…

“The Firearms Act, passed in June 1934, was the first
act to hide Congress’ motives behind a prohibitive tax.
The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the anti-machine
gun law on March 29, 1937. Oliphant had undoubtedly been
awaiting the Court’s decision, and the Treasury Department
introduced its marijuana tax bill two weeks later, April 14, 1937…
Thus, DuPont’s decision to invest in new technologies based
on ‘forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial
and social reorganization’ makes sense…”

“Yellow Journalism” becomes the tool of oppression

“The war fury that led to the Spanish American War in 1898
was ignited by William Randolph Hearst, through his nationwide
chain of newspapers, and marked the beginning of ‘yellow
journalism’ as a force in American politics…

“In the 1920s and ’30s, Hearst’s newspapers deliberately
manufactured a new threat to America and a new yellow
journalism campaign to have hemp outlawed. For example,
a story of a car accident in which a “marijuana cigarette” was
found would dominate the headlines for weeks, while alcohol
related car accidents (which outnumbered marijuana connected
accidents by more than 10,000 to 1) made only the back pages…

“Starting with the 1898 Spanish American War, the Hearst
newspaper had denounced Spaniards, Mexican-Americans
and Latinos…

“After the seizure of 800,000 acres of Hearst’s prime Mexican
timberland by the ‘marihuana’ smoking army of Pancho Villa,
these slurs intensified…

“Non-stop for the next three decades, Hearst painted a picture
of the lazy, pot-smoking Mexican—still one of our most insidious
prejudices. Simultaneously, he waged a similar racist smear
campaign against the Chinese, referring to them as the
‘Yellow Peril.’…

“From 1910 to 1920, Hearst’s newspapers would claim that
the majority of incidents in which blacks were said to have
raped white women, could be traced directly to cocaine.
This continued for 10 years until Hearst decided it was not
‘cocaine-crazed Negroes’ raping white women—it was now
‘marijuana-crazed Negroes’ raping white women…

“Hearst’s and other sensationalistic tabloids ran hysterical
headlines atop stories portraying ‘Negroes’ and Mexicans
as frenzied beasts who, under the influence of marijuana,
would play anti-white ‘voodoo-satanic’ music (jazz) and heap
disrespect and ‘viciousness’ upon the predominantly white
readership. Other such offenses resulting from this drug-induced
‘crime wave’ included: stepping on white men’s shadows,
looking white people directly in the eye for three seconds
or more, looking at a white woman twice, laughing
at a white person, etc.”

Part 2: Marijuana Today

The U.S. incarceration rate is the largest in the entire world.
Most of those in prison are in there because of drug-related
convictions.

Treatment by police is completely arbitrary. But 90 percent
of the prison population is poor. A high percentage is non-
white. Rich people rarely go to jail for drug offenses unless,
of course, they aren’t white.

The drug problem exists everywhere—in the inner cities,
of course—but also in poverty-stricken rural areas. In those
areas kids are sniffing gasoline and paint thinner to escape
from their dreadful lives of poverty and destitution. In none
of these areas is marijuana the “problem drug.” Cigarettes
and alcohol still remain the most problematic of all the drugs
causing tens thousands of deaths every year. But the point
is, in the drug-infested neighborhoods of the poor the hard
stuff—the most dangerous stuff—is the cheapest and easiest
to buy and sell.

Thanks to the CIA, crack-cocaine goes hand in hand with
the opiates to turn kids into zombies and then, blame them
for their own addiction—“Just say no,” they tell these kids.
Then, every TV show, every movie portrays the most violent
and vicious, callous, unfeeling crimes being perpetrated
by these very same drug-addicted kids—taking care to portray
them as mostly and overwhelmingly Black or Latino.

“Gang Bangers” is the term used to describe kids living in abject
poverty, without any education, without language skills, without
the kind of deportment or clothing that would allow them into
corporate society—the trash; the riffraff resulting from “too many
poor people having too many babies!” That’s the view perpetrated
by the bourgeois media. That’s the purpose of “The Jerry Springer
Show.” For those watching to say to themselves, “these people
are worthless and stupid! Who cares about them! They belong in jail.”

And the capitalists, using the most sanctimonious, self-righteous
and condescending voice they can muster perpetuate this myth
in every way possible. We need only mention the case of the
New York kids convicted and incarcerated for over ten years
for the beating and rape of a white jogger only to find out that
the whole case was trumped up by the cops to perpetuate the
myth of rampaging black youth in order to get more law
enforcement money to repress them. In fact, the woman was
raped and beaten by a solitary man! He, by the way, was convinced
to come forward and confess to the crime by attorney Lynne Stewart,
who is now facing prison for her role in defending “The Blind Sheik”
(convicted of planning several bombings in New York—bombings
that never took place.) The confession by this single attacker,
spurred on by Lynne, finally lead to the release of the innocent
youth.

Drug rehabilitation for real drug problems

Massive drug rehabilitation programs for hard drugs like
heroine, cocaine and met amphetamines are desperately needed.
And these programs must include educational development along
with development of feelings of self-worth and ability. There is
50 percent unemployment among Black youth today! And 30
percent unemployment among poor white youth! Both are profoundly
undereducated—victims of an unjust school funding system where
the rich kids get way more than the poorest kids—those
who need the most get the least!

Today we are faced with a tremendous drug problem most
prominent among our poorest youth. And, while there is no
difference in the amount of drug use among wealthier, white
America, they are not in our prisons and jails and are not trying
to make a living by selling it to each other in the streets.

Oh! There are plenty of drug dealers among white, rich kids;
but to them it’s merely a hobby and a way to make friends—
everyone likes to hang out with the marijuana dealer—but
it’s not an economic necessity as it is among the poorest youth.

There is also the question of the medical use of marijuana. This
is legal in many states and cities. San Francisco has Cannabis
Clubs all over the city. But even the permits are distributed
unequally. No doctor would proscribe Cannabis to a Black
teenager—even if he or she would benefit from it for some
health reason or other.

Just say no to the drug laws

We must oppose the unjust drug laws that allow the wealthy
to go to Betty Fords to “recover” even when they are caught
using and selling large quantities of extremely dangerous
drugs and lock-up and throw away the key on the poor even
for marijuana use and sale, and consistently fail to provide
drug rehabilitation for even the most severe cases of drug
dependency and addiction among the poor.

All drug problems should be treated until cured trying
as many rehabilitation attempts as it takes to succeed!
Saving lives must be society’s top priority!

Education and opportunity are the only real insurance
against recurrence.

Marijuana and all drugs should be decriminalized

Marijuana use is not addictive and has caused no deaths
on its own. Among the poor, marijuana is treated as the
same as heroine or cocaine. Among the wealthy, even
those drugs are considered “recreational.”

Here are some facts:

Annual American deaths caused by drugs: tobacco, 400,000;
alcohol, 100,000; all legal drugs, 20,000; all illegal drugs, 15,000;
caffeine, 2,000; aspirin, 500; marijuana, 0. (Source: United
States government National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bureau
of Mortality Statistics.)2

Marijuana, a convenient tool for the cops.

Most kids smoke or at least have tried marijuana. In a crowd
of say, five kids, the cops are sure to find someone with a joint,
and the cops can always use that discriminately. To them, the
drug laws are just a means of putting them in control of the
whole thing allowing them to pick and choose who to enforce
the laws against.

It has been proven that the prohibition of drugs is counter-
productive to reducing their use and dependency. Drug treatment,
withdrawal and rehabilitation programs backed up with education,
decent paying job opportunities and decent housing once one
is “cured” of the addiction is the answer.

These are real, current and compelling issues among the poor
and working class in this country

Workers are drug users—on the job, at home, when they
are away on vacation. They smoke marijuana.

Who hasn’t gone to a concert and come out high just by being
there? Or maybe you didn’t know why you were feeling so good!

But still, the reality still is that workers will get the book thrown
at them if it suits the boss, the cops and their generals.

Marijuana is the recreational drug of choice of most American
workers, both men and women. They work all day, come home
exhausted and frustrated from the day’s work—and the gauntlet
they have to go through, usually, to get there and back home—
and look forward to smoking a joint, eating, playing with the
kids and watching TV then getting up and doing it all over again.
There’s not much time or energy left in an average worker’s
life for anything else.

Money for drug rehabilitation, education, jobs and housing,
not for war!

The enemy isn’t drugs, or too many poor quality, rotten people
as the Jerry Springer’s would have us believe. It’s capitalism that
judges human worth in dollars and cents. The solution to drug
addiction is the cure and all that that entails, i.e., ultimately,
the cure of our society by ridding it of the disease of capitalism.

We are struggling with encroaching barbarism now. The drug
culture is part of it. It’s dog-eat-dog on the streets—each out
for themselves and their own and to hell with everyone else.
That’s just business as usual and don’t the cops know it and
love it. And don’t they feed it and stir it up again and again!
Let them kill each other. Who cares?

We must show we are on the side of the working class and
that they along with their allies are the key to the better world
we all know is possible.

We can’t get into the blame-game. Or purge those who may
be using. Instead, our job is to expose the true nature of this
“drug war on the poor” and fight for what is needed to solve
the very real problems those suffering from drug addiction face.
And to organize to eliminate capitalism, the real cause of the
problem and the giant obstacle in the way of solving it.

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LINKS AND VERY SHORT STORIES
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Ford Profits for a Few Years Are Revised Higher
By NICK BUNKLEY
November 15, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/15/business/15ford.html

Fed Minutes Show Concerns About Inflation
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 2:10 p.m. ET
November 15, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-Fed-Minutes.html?ref=business

Soldier Pleads Guilty to Iraq Rape and Killings
By JOHN HOLUSHA
One of four Army infantrymen charged with raping a 14-year-old
girl in Iraq last March and then killing her and her family pleaded
guilty today to all charges in a military court at Fort Campbell, Ky.
November 15, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/15/us/16pleacnd.html?ref=us

Live Bait & Ammo #84: Work like a Screw Machine.
Gettelfinger stepped to the plate, pointed his bat
at Miller and said, “No more concessions.”
The UAW-Delphi contract forbids plant closings or sales.
The Delphi plant in Anderson is closing. The Delphi plant
in Adrian is closing. The Delphi plant in Coopersville
is closing. The Delphi plant in Flint is closing.......
The Slugger took a look at a fast ball right down the
middle. Strike one!
http://www.soldiersofsolidarity.com/files/livebaitammo/lba84worklikeascrewmachine.html

Where the Bombs Are
by Hans Kristensen on November 9, 2006
Federation of American Scientists
Ever wondered where all those nukes are stored?
http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2006/11/new_article_where_the_bombs_ar.php

Oaxaca's APPO Forms Permanent Government,
Announces Escalation of Resistance
3,000 Delegates Meet in the Midst of State
Repression and Reorganize for the Struggle Ahead
By Nancy Davies
Commentary from Oaxaca
November 14, 2006
http://www.narconews.com/Issue43/article2343.html

Israeli firm gets Mexico border wall contract
Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Wed, 11/08/2006 - 03:40.
http://ww4report.com/node/2743

IRAQ TROOP WITHDRAWAL LOOKS FAR OFF
Bush/Cheney appear benched by Baker/Daddy Bush “Coup”.
What can we expect from the Baker Iraq Study Group?
New plans for taming resistance likely to be very bloody.
By Nick Mottern, Director, Consumers for Peace
http://www.consumersforpeace.org/headline_iraq_troop_withdrawal_far_off.html

Massacre in Chiapas: Six Women, Three Men, Two Children,
Assassinated in Montes Azules
Indigenous Communities and Human Rights Organizations
Warned State and Federal Governments of Threats,
but Authorities Failed to Act
By Al Giordano
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in Chiapas
November 13, 2006
http://www.narconews.com/Issue43/article2339.html

Racial Disparities Persist
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Racial disparities in income, education and home ownership persist
and, by some measurements, are growing, according to data
from the Census Bureau. The median income for white households
was $50,622 last year. It was $30,939 for black households,
$36,278 for Hispanic households and $60,367 for Asian
households, the bureau reported. Three-fourths of white
households owned their homes in 2005, compared with
46 percent of black households and 48 percent of Hispanic
households. Black adults have narrowed the gap with white
adults in receiving high school diplomas, but the gap has
widened for college degrees. Thirty percent of white adults
had at least bachelor’s degrees in last year, compared with
17 percent of black adults and 12 percent of Hispanic adults.
November 14, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/us/14brfs-race.html

California: Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Appealed
By CAROLYN MARSHALL
The lawyers for 11 gay and lesbian couples filed an appeal
with the State Supreme Court in San Francisco, seeking
to overturn a lower court decision in October that upheld
a state ban against same-sex marriage. State law requires
that marriage be between a man and a woman, although
gay and lesbian couples have some rights under the state’s
domestic partners law. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that
same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
In April 2005, a Superior Court judge agreed, ruling that
the ban violates the California Constitution. An appeals court
last month overturned the ruling, in a 2-to-1 decision.
A companion lawsuit filed by the City of San Francisco
supporting same-sex marriage is also headed for a State
Supreme Court appeal, the city attorney’s office said.
November 14, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/us/14brfs-gay.html

Restaurant Group Sues Over Health Plan
By CAROLYN MARSHALL
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 13 — A legal battle over a plan to offer free
or low-cost health care to all uninsured residents here has been
set in motion by a group of the city’s most important and
beloved constituents: restaurants.
A culinary trade group with more than 800 members has
sued the city, saying a central provision of the health care
program, established by the city’s Board of Supervisors
in July, violates federal employment law.
November 14, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/14/us/14frisco.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin

New Faces, Same Agenda
Stephen Lendman
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2006/11/13/p12142#more12142

Baghdad morgue took in 1,600 bodies in October
11.20am Monday November 13, 2006
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=2&ObjectID=10410496

Nicaragua Redux
The Strange Return of Daniel Ortega
By JOE DeRAYMOND
November 13, 2006
http://www.counterpunch.org/deraymond11132006.html

In New Middle East, Tests for an Old Friendship
By STEVEN ERLANGER
Two months after that final subway ride, Mr. Haggins’s body was
placed in a pine coffin and sent to Potter’s Field on Hart Island,
east of the Bronx, the city’s cemetery for the poor, the unknown
and the unclaimed. Over the past 137 years, an estimated 800,000
people have been buried there. On Feb. 25, 2004, Mr. Haggins
was placed in a common grave with 149 others.
November 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/13/world/middleeast/13israel.html?ref=world

Half a Century Ago, Did the Indians Really Want the Bronx?
By JENNIFER BLEYER
November 12, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/nyregion/thecity/12india.html

A Chance to Be Mourned
By EMILY BRADY
November 12, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/nyregion/thecity/12home.html?ref=thecity

A New Al Jazeera With a Global Focus
By HASSAN M. FATTAH
November 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/13/business/media/13jazeera.html?ref=business

FOCUS | A Staggering New Bill For Iraq?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111106X.shtml

FOCUS | Nat'l Guard Units to Be Sent Back to Battle in Iraq Again
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111106Z.shtml

Beyond the Barricades
Oaxaca at Any Cost
By BARUCHA CALAMITY PELLER
A CounterPunch Special Report
November 11 / 12, 2006
http://www.counterpunch.org/peller11112006.html

Marines Get the News From an Iraqi Host:
Rumsfeld’s Out. ‘Who’s Rumsfeld?’
By C. J. CHIVERS
November 10, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/10/world/middleeast/10marines.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

Palestinians Bury 18 Killed in Gaza Attack
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:23 a.m. ET
November 9, 2006
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Tens of thousands
of grief-stricken, furious Gazans flocked to an artillery-
scarred cluster of apartment buildings in the town
of Beit Hanoun on Thursday to mourn 18 civilians
killed when a barrage of Israeli shells tore through
their homes.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Israel-Palestinians.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

Afghans Losing Faith in Nation’s Path, Poll Shows
By CARLOTTA GALL
November 9, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/09/world/asia/09afghan.html

Veterans Await a Resting Place That Is Truly Final
By JANE GROSS
November 9, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/09/us/09veterans.html?ref=us

Rumsfeld Resigns as Defense Secretary After Big Election
Gains for Democrats
By DAVID STOUT
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the hard-driving and
super-confident Pentagon boss who came to symbolize President
Bush’s controversial Iraq policy, is resigning, President Bush
announced today.
November 8, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/us/politics/09BUSHCND.html?hp&ex=1163048400&en=90b2a0d9c77157ea&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Drilling Deep in the Gulf of Mexico
By JAD MOUAWAD
ABOARD THE WESTERN NEPTUNE, Gulf of Mexico — Every 17 seconds,
a small armada of ships trawling 130 miles from the Louisiana coast
fire powerful air guns toward the bottom of the sea in a hunt for
the next big oil discovery.
The Neptune and three other ships are on a three-month mission
to map one of the most remote regions of the United States. The data
they collect from the vibrations set off by the guns in the gulf’s deepest
waters will help engineers form a picture of some of the world’s newest
petroleum prospects.
November 8, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/business/worldbusiness/08gulf.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Massive March in Oaxaca
11/06 | Hundreds of thousands of people
filled the streets to demand Gov.'s ouster
By John Gibler
http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2006/11/78891.html

Oaxaca: November 5: The Sunday of the march.
The caravan continues in spite of the roadblocks.
http://vientos.info/cml/?q=node/6341

Hundreds of US Soldiers Call for Iraq Withdrawal in Petition
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/1107-01.htm

Melting Arctic Makes Way for Man - Shipping risks ecosystem
VIDEO: Changing Face of Northwest Passage
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2006/11/03/
VI2006110301105.html

Melting Arctic Makes Way for Man
Researchers Aboard Icebreaker Say
Shipping Could Add to Risks for
Ecosystem
By Doug Struck
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 5, 2006; A01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/04/
AR2006110401173.html

Robert Fisk: This was a guilty verdict on America as well
Published: 06 November 2006
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article1959051.ece

One for the Ages: A Prescription That May Extend Life
By MICHAEL MASON
October 31, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/health/nutrition/31agin.html

Pennsylvania: Immigrant Measure Bar Extended
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A federal judge’s order temporarily blocking the City of Hazleton
from enforcing a crackdown on illegal immigrants was extended
to give both sides time to prepare for a trial. The judge, James M.
Munley of United States District Court, whose temporary restraining
order was to expire Nov. 14, extended it for up to 120 days. Two
measures approved by the City Council last month would fine
landlords who rented to illegal immigrants, deny business permits
to companies that hired them and require tenants to register with
City Hall and pay for a rental permit. Hispanic groups and the
American Civil Liberties Union filed suit, saying the measures
trampled on the government’s exclusive power to regulate
immigration. The city defends the law as necessary to protect
legal residents from crime.
November 7, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/us/07brfs-PENNSYLVANIA_BRF.html

New York Plans to Make Gender Personal Choice
By DAMIEN CAVE
November 7, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/nyregion/07gender.html?hp&ex=1162962000&en=ad8cd9271abf7ee8&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Iraq War Will Cost More Than $2 Trillion
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110506A.shtml

Israelis to Pursue Offensive in Gaza Strip
By GREG MYRE
November 5, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/world/middleeast/05cnd-mideast.html?hp&ex=1162789200&en=19f5163e4181e2c1&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Oil, Cash and Corruption
By RON STODGHILL
November 5, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/business/yourmoney/05giffen.html?ref=business

FOCUS | Military Newspapers Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation
An editorial scheduled to appear on Monday in Army Times, Air Force
Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, calls for the resignation
of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The papers are sold
to American servicemen and women.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110406Z.shtml

FOCUS | Supreme Court to Hear Major Abortion Case Next Week
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110406X.shtml

Anger Joins Grief as Marine’s Family Feels Misled
By SHAILA DEWAN
November 5, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/us/05friendly.html?ref=us

FOCUS | British Believe Bush Is More Dangerous Than Kim Jong-il
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110306Z.shtml
America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest
neighbours and allies, according to an international survey of public opinion
published today that reveals just how far the country's reputation has
fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq.

Jobless Rate Hits 5-Year Low
By JEREMY W. PETERS
November 4, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/04/business/04job.html?ref=business

Texas: Wider Audience for Border Cameras
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Texas has started broadcasting live images of the Mexican border
on the Internet in a program that asks the public to report signs
of illegal immigration or drug crimes. A test Web site,
texasborderwatch.com, went live Thursday with views from
eight cameras and ways for viewers to e-mail reports of suspicious
activity. Previously, the images had been available only to law
enforcement and landowners where the cameras are located.
Some civil rights groups have said use of the cameras would
instill fear in border communities and could lead to racial
profiling and fraudulent reports of crimes.
November 4, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/04/us/04brfs-TEXASWIDERAU_BRF.html

98 Percent of Cluster Bombs Victims are Civilians
Ann De Ron, Electronic Lebanon, 2 November 2006
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5930.shtml

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