Thursday, December 21, 2006



FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2007, 4:00 - 7:00 P.M.


1) US Army might break Goodyear strike
By Bernard Simon in Toronto
Financial Times
Updated: 7:12 p.m. AKT Dec 15, 2006

2) Commission Seeks School System Overhaul
By NANCY ZUCKERBROD, AP Education Writer
"including ending high school at the 10th grade "
Thursday, December 14, 2006
(12-14) 12:32 PST WASHINGTON (AP)

3) Pentagon eyes $468.9 bln budget for fiscal 2008
By Andrea Shalal-Esa and Jim Wolf
Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:39 PM ET

Range of explanations offered by experts, officials
for S.F.'s disparity with other cities
- Susan Sward, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, December 17, 2006

5) About Face: Soldiers Call for Iraq Withdrawal
[posted online on December 16, 2006]

6) Powell Says U.S. Forces Are Overstretched in Iraq

7) Brainstorming on Iraq
The Capital Awaits a Masterstroke on Iraq
December 17, 2006

8) Mexico’s Federal Forces Pull Out of Oaxaca
December 17, 2006

9) Abuse Claims Are Settled in Washington
"The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has agreed to pay
$1.3 million to 16 men who said they were sexually abused by eight
priests from 1962 to 1982."
December 17, 2006

10) Protesters Denounce Police Killing
December 17, 2006

11) Goldman’s Season to Reward and Shock
December 17, 2006

12) Report on the Thursday, December 7, 2006 BAUAW meeting and
BAUAW Open Letter to the Board of Education
December 17, 2006

13) Swift Raids
New York Times Editorial
December 18, 2006

14) Castro to Recover but Not Return, Cubans Say
December 18, 2006

15) Engels Would Gasp, and Locals Gripe, at a Golden Mile
December 18, 2006

16) In Memory-Bank ‘Dialogue,’ the Brain Is Talking to Itself
December 18, 2006

17) It's Either Occupation or Education
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches

18) Youths want no migration controls
December 4, 2006

19) What are they scared of?
by Kevin Cooper

20) FBI: Recruiters caught in drug probe
December 17, 2006

21) Offer to Invest in Delphi Adds to Pressure on Union
December 19, 2006

22) Suit filed to reinstate referendum against Redevelopment Plan
for Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco
SF Bay View

23) Perpetual War for Peace?
…Iraq…Iran…& the Corporate Agenda

24) Indict, Convict, & Jail the Killer Cops!
Stop the Raids and Intimidation Against the Community!
Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation!
No more Stolen Lives!
[This is only one of at least four demonstrations scheduled this week
throughout New York. Too many have suffered at the hands of the
NYPD. I hope these demonstrations are]
The October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the
Criminalization of a Generation calls on you to join in a
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 6pm
Corner of Archer Avenue & Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, Queens
(E/J/Z train to Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue)

25) Why we stand for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq
Chomsky, Zinn et al: US Out of Iraq Now!
please sign and circulate widely
[Unfortunately, you can't sign this petition without donating
money through PayPall. Not]

26) Only the Jailers Are Safe
New York Times Editorial
December 20, 2006

27) Bush Concedes Iraq War More Difficult Than He Expected
December 20, 2006

28) Why Unions Must Support The Immigrant Rights Movement
By Karega Hart
Guest Commentator

29) Troops Out Now Coalition
The Decisive Battle this Spring - The Challenge for the Antiwar Movement
March on Washington
On Jan. 27 and March 17 (the 4th Anniversary of the War)
How You Can Help:
Endorse the call for unity for March 17
Become an OrganizingCenter


1) US Army might break Goodyear strike
By Bernard Simon in Toronto
Financial Times
Updated: 7:12 p.m. AKT Dec 15, 2006

The US Army is considering measures to force striking workers back
to their jobs at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in Kansas in the face
of a looming shortage of tyres for Humvee trucks and other military
equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A strike involving 17,000 members of the United Steelworkers
union has crippled 16 Goodyear plants in the US and Canada
since October 5.

The main issues in dispute are the company's plans to close
a unionised plant in Texas, and a proposal for workers to
shoulder future increases in healthcare costs.

An army spokeswoman said on Friday that "there's not a shortage
right now but there possibly will be one in the future".

According to Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House of Representatives
armed services committee, the strike has cut output of Humvee
tyres by about 35 per cent.

Mr Hunter said that the army had stopped supplying tyres to units
not related to the Central Command, which is responsible for
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tyres were also not being
provided to army repair depots.

While concern has centred on the Humvees, tyres are also
critical to aircraft and other military equipment.

Goodyear brushed off concerns of looming shortages, saying
that production at the Kansas plant, where the Humvee tyres
are made, "is near normal levels and will be back to 100 per
cent in the near future."

It added that "we're in daily contact with the military to ensure
delivery of the required Humvee tyres".

The company said it was using salaried and temporary workers
to keep the Kansas plant running. It has taken similar measures
at other plants, as well as stepping up imports from overseas
factories to maintain supplies to the car and truck industry.

The union claims that the strikebound plants are running at
about 20 per cent of capacity. Goodyear has said that North
American output is at about half normal levels, including
non-union plants.

According to Mr Hunter, the army is exploring a possible
injunction under the Taft-Hartley Act to force the 200 Kansas
workers back to their jobs.

He proposed that they return under their current terms
of employment, on the understanding that any settlement
would be extended to them.

© The Financial Times Ltd 2006. "FT" and "Financial Times"
are trademarks of the Financial Times.Copyright The Financial
Times Ltd. All rights reserved.


2) Commission Seeks School System Overhaul
By NANCY ZUCKERBROD, AP Education Writer
"including ending high school at the 10th grade "
Thursday, December 14, 2006
(12-14) 12:32 PST WASHINGTON (AP)

Education and business leaders urged an overhaul of the U.S. school
system, including ending high school at the 10th grade for many
students. Current teaching is failing to prepare young Americans
for the global economy, members of a bipartisan panel said Thursday.

Beginning teachers should earn more, according to the group,
and money for this idea could come from the scrapping
of conventional teacher pension plans in favor of other
benefits such as 401(k)s.

"People have got to understand what we've got is not working.
It's not working for kids, but it's not working for teachers either,"
said William Brock, a former congressman who was labor secretary
and trade representative in the Reagan administration.

The Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce was
organized by people who launched a group by the same name
about 16 years ago. That commission made a series
of recommendations, several of which were enacted.

Under the new group's proposal, students would finish 10th
grade and then take exams. Depending on how well the students
perform, they could go on to community college or stay in school
and study for more advanced tests that could earn them a place
at a four-year college. Somewhat similar systems are in place
in other countries.

The report says that by not spending today's resources on 11th-
and 12th-graders and through other changes, the government
could eventually save an estimated $60 billion.

The money could pay, for example, for new pre-kindergarten
programs and higher teacher salaries, which the report said would
help recruit top graduates into the profession.

The commission recommends paying beginning teachers about
$45,000 per year, currently the median amount paid to teachers —
meaning half earn more than that and half earn less.

To help cover the cost, the commission recommends moving away
from traditional, defined benefit pensions to less generous
retirement plans commonly found in the private sector.

Antonia Cortese, executive vice president of the American
Federation of Teachers, said teachers should not have to lose
benefits in order to make more.

One other major shift would put independent contractors
in charge of operating schools, though the schools would remain
public. States would oversee the funding.

Cortese also was critical of that idea. "Blowing up the governance
system is very drastic, and we don't know what will happen
in its place," she said.

Chuck Saylors, a school board member and parent in Taylors, S.C.,
said shifting control to the states from the local districts would
be controversial. "Mainly because we have done it the same way
for so long," Saylors said, adding that he was glad the group had
put forward thought-provoking ideas.

The report notes the U.S. had 30 percent of the world's population
of college students three decades ago, but that has fallen to 14 percent.
The commission also cites poor performance by U.S. students
in exams when compared with students in other advanced
industrial nations.

"We may want to wait to think about these changes, but quite
simply the world will not wait for us to catch up," said Thomas
Payzant, a commission member who recently stepped down
as Boston's school superintendent.

The commission's work was financed by several foundations,
including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Among the initiatives from the first commission that the government
enacted were a push for states to develop achievement standards
and stepped-up training for high school graduates going directly
into the work force.

The current commission includes are former education secretaries
Rod Paige and Richard Riley; former Labor Secretary Ray Marshall;
former Michigan Gov. John Engler; and Joel Klein, chancellor
of the New York City schools.

On the Net:

Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce:


3) Pentagon eyes $468.9 bln budget for fiscal 2008
By Andrea Shalal-Esa and Jim Wolf
Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:39 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House has approved
a $468.9 billion budget for the Pentagon in fiscal year 2008,
a six-percent increase over last year's request, according to
a Defense Department document obtained by Reuters.

It is also asking the Pentagon to cover some Army and Marine
Corps war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the regular
budget, rather than through emergency budget requests.

The 2008 budget request is $4.7 billion more than the level
the Pentagon forecast in its 2007 budget documents.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England welcomed the
increase in a letter to Rob Portman, director of the White House
Office of Management and Budget.

But he strongly objected to OMB's orders that "costs to accelerate
Army and Marine Corps combat and combat support units, Army Force
Readiness and replacement of additional aircraft losses" should
be funded as part of the 2008 budget.

England said that violated the Pentagon's earlier agreement with
the White House that the extra spending would be used to cover
Army budget shortfalls, and that war costs would continue to be
funded through supplemental budgets.

The Bush administration is continuing to discuss budgets with various
government agencies, including the Pentagon, and will submit a fiscal
2008 budget to Congress in February.

"The inconsistency ... is that adding war costs in the budget would
effectively negate the prior agreement for a topline increase," England
said in the December 14 memorandum.

Offsets proposed by White House budget officials would "significantly
weaken the department's strategic position" and jeopardize the
Pentagon's joint warfighting concept, he said.

England did not give details on the proposed offsets.

However, he said the Pentagon's initial budget proposal -- before
the suggested offsets -- was based on thousands of hours of work,
and the best judgment by senior military and civilian leaders.

"It is balanced and provides for our nation's defense at a time
of diverse and dramatic threats," England said.


U.S. lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated about the Pentagon's
use of supplemental budgets to fund war costs, given that the costs
are no longer "unanticipated," said Steven Kosiak of the Center for
Strategy and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington-based research group.

But he said lawmakers wanted more oversight of that spending than
permitted in the supplemental budgets, and there was no suggestion
that they would curb funding for the war.

"They would like the administration to ask for most of the funding
up front," he said.

Kosiak also rejected England's statement in the memo that the 2008
increase "reverses a trend of declining real growth", calling England's
description "flat-out wrong".

"There has been a upward trend in real terms, above the rate of
inflation," he said, citing a 23 percent real increase, above inflation,
in the Pentagon's budget from 2000 to 2007.

Loren Thompson of the Virginia-based Lexington Institute, said England's
letter revealed the Pentagon's growing concern about being able
to modernize its forces and fund new weapons programs while
paying escalating war bills.

"This has real significance for the Pentagon in terms of being able
to fund other items besides the war," he said.

The Pentagon is likely to ask for an additional $100 billion to fund
the Iraq and Afghanistan wars early next year.

The Pentagon's 2008 overall budget request of $468.9 for fiscal 2008
is 6.3 percent higher than its fiscal 2007 budget request of $441.2 billion.


Range of explanations offered by experts, officials
for S.F.'s disparity with other cities
- Susan Sward, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, December 17, 2006

San Francisco police arrest African Americans for serious crime at a
much higher rate than officers in California's other biggest cities.

Black people in San Francisco are arrested for felonies at nearly twice
the rate they are in Sacramento. They are arrested at twice the rate
of black people in Fresno, three times the rate in San Jose, Los
Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego, and four times the rate
in Oakland.

The disparity between San Francisco's black felony arrest rates
and the seven other largest cities' -- measured by the number
of African Americans arrested per 1,000 black residents -- is so
large that many experts and civic leaders who reviewed the
numbers said they are "disturbing" and require an investigation.

The numbers prompt several questions, all of which basically boil
down to this: Is the high arrest rate of African Americans because
of the way the San Francisco Police Department does its policing,
or because of criminal activity within the community?

Mayor Gavin Newsom and Police Chief Heather Fong said they
do not think the department is going after African Americans
in an unfair manner. They also said they were consulting experts
to try to learn why the arrest numbers look the way they do.

Newsom said he found the numbers "outrageous'' but was not
shocked by them because of the time he has spent attempting
to tackle the root causes of poverty.

"There is no question in my mind that this deserves immediate
attention and investigation, and I will be doing that,'' Newsom
said. He said the investigation would be conducted by a University
of South Florida criminologist, Lorie Fridell, who will "do
aggressive data analysis'' of the arrest numbers and report
back to him and Fong in about two months.

While Fong said the arrest numbers merit review, she suggested
that the disparity exists in part because the perception that
sometimes San Francisco is "soft on crime'' may draw criminals
from out of the city who feel they can come here and "not be
held accountable.''

Fong's staff said they hand-counted arrests made by the
Tenderloin Task Force last year and found that more than
60 percent of the African Americans arrested were listed on
booking cards as "no local" -- a term often applied to transients
-- or gave addresses outside San Francisco. The department
does not have similar data for other districts besides the
Tenderloin, which police looked at because they believe
many nonresidents are involved in drug dealing and other
crimes there.

San Francisco officers arrest criminal suspects as they find
them, not based on the color of their skin, Fong said.

"I don't think just by looking at the numbers, you can prove
or disprove that there is any targeting,'' she said, adding that
factors such as repeat offenders and out-of-town criminals
influence the numbers.

Others who reviewed the numbers for The Chronicle found
them startling.

"What is significant about these numbers is that they beg serious
attention,'' said San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.
"These numbers are clearly based on a legitimate collection
of data and are not based on emotional cries.''

Merrick Bobb, a nationally recognized expert in police practices,
said the city must look harder to explain the numbers.

"The strongly disparate impact of San Francisco policing on
African Americans begs for a convincing set of reasons based
solidly on empirical fact,'' said Bobb, who heads a nonprofit
organization in Los Angeles that advises departments nationwide.

"The SFPD, to date, has not persuasively explained what legitimate
factors cause San Francisco to have felony arrest patterns so
different'' from the state's other biggest cities, Bobb said.

Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who runs the city's jails and has
tracked their racial composition for years, said his lockup
population reflects the black arrest rate. "The disparity is just
incredibly dramatic,'' he said. "If you are an adult white male,
your chances of being in my jail are 1 in 365, and if you are
an adult black male, your chances are 1 in 23.''

The Chronicle began examining the city's black felony arrest
rate after its investigation of the department's use of force,
published in February, found officers were arresting African
Americans and reporting use of force on them at rates about
five times greater than their presence in the city's population.

San Francisco police cited several factors they say contribute
to African Americans accounting for about half of all felony
arrests in the city, where they are less than 8 percent of the
population. In 2005, 1 out of 3 arrests of black people
involved narcotics.

Officers interviewed by The Chronicle said most of the dealers
coming from out of town by BART or car to sell drugs --
primarily crack cocaine and sometimes methamphetamine --
are African Americans. Moreover, said Capt. Timothy Hettrich,
head of the narcotics division, black drug dealers often sell
out in the open on street corners, thus increasing their
chances for arrest.

Fong also has said that some of the offenders are arrested
time and again, thereby increasing the black arrest numbers.

Also, she said, the department has had to devote a lot of
resources to combatting gangs of youths responsible for many
of the city's black-on-black homicides. William Whitfield,
an African American officer who has worked in the department
for more than a decade, said factors such as out-of-town
criminals do affect arrests.

"I've seen that with my own eyes -- I got a guy once with an
automatic weapon around his neck on a shoestring coming off
of BART,'' Whitfield said. "He had the weapon under his jacket,
and I was buying dope undercover. I saw him walk up from BART,
and when they moved in and arrested him and the crew he was
working with, they found the weapon. He was an Oakland guy.''

Whitfield said many black criminals today quickly resort to violence
and this occurs at a younger and younger age. People are "selling
dope in the Sunset, don't get me wrong, but they aren't shooting
each other over it, and they are out in the Bayview and the Fillmore.
It's not all about dope and gangs, either, because you've got that
everywhere. Sometimes a shooting is a personal beef, sometimes
it's jealousy, sometimes it's as simple as, 'You were looking
at my girlfriend.' ''

'Disturbing' numbers

Many experts acknowledge that the factors Fong and her officers
cite may contribute to the city's black arrest rate. They also note
that in cities throughout America, African Americans are arrested
in numbers that exceed their presence in the population.

But they say the black arrest rate in San Francisco is so much
higher than other California cities that the disparity cannot be
explained completely by the factors cited by police.

"America's criminal justice system disproportionately affects
African Americans, and San Francisco is no exception,'' said
Bobb, the police practices expert. "What stands out in this
city is the degree of disproportion, which is higher than what I've
seen elsewhere on the West Coast.''

Joseph Marshall, a member of the San Francisco Police Commission
and co-founder of the Omega Boys Club who has worked with
at-risk youth for decades, said he knows the Police Department
has made a concerted effort to combat black gang violence
"to reduce the homicides, and those numbers are down.''

But he added: "These numbers on arrest rates are disturbing
and scream for an explanation. Is there something going
on within the SFPD that makes the numbers so different?''

James Bell, executive director of the San Francisco-based
W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness and
Equity, has been wrestling for years with Marshall's question.
About 60 percent of juveniles detained in the city are black.

"If you are an intelligent, caring person in San Francisco, you
should be disquieted that in a supposedly liberal city, black
youths are so much in the overwhelming majority among the
detainees,'' Bell said. "The numbers are just too disparate
for anyone to credibly advance the 'you-do-the-crime,
you-do-the-time' syndrome as an explanation. To believe
these numbers, you'd have to believe that white kids in places
like the Haight and the Sunset are basically doing no crime.''

Hettrich, who heads the narcotics division, says numbers
don't convey what police confront.

"The real story is we go after the drugs, and we go where we
have had complaints,'' Hettrich said in a ride-along interview
where he pointed out drug dealing hot spots around the city
and the high numbers of African Americans and Latinos making
sales. "Those arrest numbers may indicate we are doing a good
job in areas where we have had complaints.

"Color means nothing to us,'' Hettrich said. "We are prejudiced
against dealers."

David Dockery, an African American officer who walks a beat
in the predominantly black Hunters Point housing projects, said
most citizens "want more of us out there. If I could stand
in front of their houses all day long, that's what they'd like.''

Dockery and his African American partner, Officer Mike Robinson,
said the department's crime chasing is "color blind.'' They also said
what many officers believe -- that criminals are drawn to San
Francisco because they feel that if caught, their punishment
in the courts will be lighter than it would be in surrounding
counties. "We know a guy with four cases pending,'' Robinson said.
"Where does this stop?''

Answers, not speculation

San Francisco's high black arrest rate is not of recent origin:
20 years ago, San Francisco was making black felony arrests
at a rate much higher than California's seven other largest cities,
state Justice Department reports show. In 1986, for example,
San Francisco's black felony arrest rate was almost 45 percent
greater than Los Angeles' and almost 51 percent higher than

In the decades since then, San Francisco's black felony arrest
rate has climbed by more than 35 percent while the other seven
major California cities' rates have dropped -- often by a considerable
amount. During those 20 years, Los Angeles' black felony arrest
rate dropped by more than 36 percent and Oakland's declined
by more than 52 percent.

When evaluating why San Francisco's black arrest numbers are
so different from the other cities', Bobb said speculation
is not productive.

"It is not helpful, in the absence of thorough research and hard
evidence, for the SFPD merely to speculate as to possible
reasons, just as it is unproductive for others to speculate that
there must be police antipathy to African Americans," Bobb said.

A second review was conducted at The Chronicle's request by
Samuel Walker, a criminal justice professor emeritus from the
University of Nebraska, Omaha, who has consulted with the
U.S. Justice Department on matters ranging from police use
of force to questions of race-based civil rights violations
by police agencies.

Walker concluded that San Francisco police are targeting black
people in their law enforcement efforts. To him, the numbers
indicate that "many law-abiding citizens" are confronted by
officers "solely because of their skin color."

"No other factor than race could possibly explain the San Francisco
arrest data given the fact that they are so far out of line compared
with other departments,'' Walker said.

Two figures in San Francisco's criminal justice system expressed
similar conclusions.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said that he does not believe the
department has a go-after-black-suspects plan, but he added
that by focusing on heavily black neighborhoods plagued by
crime and violence, police inevitably drive black arrest numbers
up and often use those high numbers as proof they are in the
right spots to catch the criminals.

"I believe that the San Francisco Police Department has focused
its efforts, in terms of 'crime crackdowns,' in those neighborhoods
where there is a high concentration of blacks -- the Western
Addition, Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley, Potrero Hill, Ingleside
Terrace and Bayview-Hunters Point,'' he said. "This has long been
the trend since the crack cocaine epidemic, when task forces
were formed to focus buy-bust operations in those neighborhoods.''

Sheriff Hennessey said the problem does not just lie with the police.

"I think this is a reflection of institutionalized racism: You are
more likely to get arrested for the same act if you're black, you
are more likely to be retained in jail for the same crime if you
are black, and society is more likely to care less about your
incarceration if you are black," Hennessey said.

Officers in the department said they go where the crime and
violence is happening.

Mikail Ali and Toney Chaplin, African American inspectors in the
gang task force, said police concentrate their efforts on areas
where violence is occurring.

"African American youth are shooting each other at a rate far
greater than other groups, so we try to get those kids on some
charge if we can't get them on a homicide,'' Chaplin said. Ali added:
"Social neglect by the community, government and business have
caused environments populated predominantly by black people
to be conducive to crime and violence, and law enforcement ends
up having to deal with the bottom line -- young black kids killing
one another at a disproportionate rate.''

The community perception

Chief Fong says officers are taught to treat all citizens equally.
Police Academy recruits are given 52 hours of training -- more
than twice the state requirement -- on discrimination and cultural
diversity as it relates to African Americans, and other races and
segments of society, including gays and lesbians, seniors and
the homeless.

But in San Francisco's black neighborhoods, many believe
police give them special attention.

At the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center -- a hub of activity for
African American youths living in the Western Addition --
Executive Director George Smith says he is blunt with young
people about what he believes they face.

"I tell young kids that you shouldn't break the law because this
is a system so poised to arrest young African American males,''
Smith said.

Guy Hudson, who works two jobs as a city athletics coach and
as a security guard, knows many of the kids in black
neighborhoods all over town, and he said that many black
people believe they often can "talk things over'' with police
in San Francisco when that wouldn't work in Oakland, Santa
Clara or Daly City.

Even so, Hudson says, it's a reality that police focus on black
people in San Francisco. He recalls the time three officers stopped
him in Hunters Point after he "drove down a hill a little fast''
and they emerged from their car "pointing guns at my head.''

Hudson, 42, said he asked them, "Out in the avenues, would
you be jumping out of your car with an automatic machinegun?''

The police eventually let him go. Before they drove off, Hudson
said, one of them told him that someone recently had fired
shots at an officer on Harbor Road. Hudson said he responded:
"That gives you the right to pull pistols on everyone in the

Police Commissioner Marshall, who is African American, wrote
a book, "Street Soldier," in which he described the deep-seated
antipathy black people hold for police. "There's not a black
person I know who doesn't see the police as an occupying force
in the community. At the same time, though, I'm convinced that
if black folks stopped blowing each other's brains out, they'd
be in a much better position to deal with police issues.''

However, there are African Americans who approve of the way
officers conduct themselves in their neighborhoods.

Al Harris, who lives in the Ingleside and works as an organizer
for the Safety Network group, which is funded by the Mayor's
Office of Criminal Justice, says police often have to confront a
"pretty rough world -- you go into neighborhoods and you're
hated. In some neighborhoods, it's instilled from when kids
are little that the police are the enemy.''

"I think the police are doing a pretty good job,'' Harris added.
"I know officers who do all kinds of good stuff for the kids,
participating in community events, giving toys at Christmas,
hundreds of turkeys at Thanksgiving.''

Asked about whether it appears that police are targeting black
people for arrest, Harris said: "Definitely not. There's no need
to target the African American kids. They're the ones out
on the streets selling the drugs.''

Earlier study

The numbers revealing the high arrest rate of black people
in the city are not the first statistical indication that African
Americans get special police attention.

In 2002 the American Civil Liberties Union issued a report,
"A Department in Denial: The San Francisco Police Department's
Failure To Address Racial Profiling,'' which found black motorists
were more than three times as likely to be searched as whites
after a traffic stop.

That year San Francisco police arrested black people for felonies
at the department's highest rate in the years reviewed by The
Chronicle -- 171 for every 1,000 African Americans in the city's

The next year, the department adopted a new general order
establishing its commitment to "unbiased policing'' and stating
officers "must be able to articulate specific facts and circumstances
that support reasonable suspicion or probable cause'' for detaining,
stopping, arresting and searching citizens or seizing their property.

The black arrest rate began to drop. In 2003 it was 150 per 1,000,
in 2004 it was 146, and in 2005 it was 145. Even in that last year,
though, the rate was three times higher than Los Angeles, San Jose,
Long Beach and San Diego and four times higher than Oakland.

Search for explanation

Looking at the 2000 U.S. census to try to find possible reasons
for the arrest rate, The Chronicle found some similarities and
some differences between San Francisco and the seven other cities.

Like black residents of those other cities, San Francisco African
Americans' median household income lags considerably behind
that of the city's total population, and their level of education
is also typically years behind that of the total population.

Police Commissioner Marshall says answers that might seem at
least part of the explanation -- such as poverty, lack of education
and the flight of large numbers of middle-class black residents
from the city in recent decades -- end up providing no real
guidance, because those patterns are found in other cities
where the arrest rates are far lower.

In two ways, though, San Francisco does stand out: During the
1990s, the city's African American population declined faster
than in any other major U.S. city, dropping by 23 percent,
according to 2000 census figures.

The black percentage of population also dropped in Oakland,
San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego. In Fresno, Long Beach
and Sacramento, it rose somewhat. Today San Francisco, which
is 7.8 percent African American, has the second smallest
proportion of black people among the state's eight biggest
cities. San Jose, with 3.5 percent, has the smallest, and Oakland,
with almost 36 percent, has the largest.

A second difference involved unemployment numbers. While
African Americans in all the cities had high unemployment
numbers, only in San Francisco was their unemployment rate --
6.2 percent -- more than double that of the rest of the population.

Need for investigation

Walker, the Nebraska criminal justice professor, said San Francisco's
high black arrest rate should be investigated by the U.S. Justice
Department and the state attorney general's office.

Fong said she did not feel the need for a state or U.S. Justice
Department investigation of San Francisco's black felony arrest
rate. Instead, she said she was consulting with outside experts
and plans a review of department policies to see if changes
are warranted.

She added that the department's efforts to analyze its arrest
record are made difficult by the fact its record keeping system
is being overhauled and she can't "go to a computer right now
and pull up arrest data with all this information you have spoken

Newsom said while he is convinced there is no "significant racial
profiling in our department,'' he cannot "in good conscience
defend the disparity'' between San Francisco and other cities'
black arrest rates. Referring to the arrest numbers, he said,
"On face value, they are outrageous.''

The mayor added that as he has worked to push programs tackling
concentrated poverty in the city, such as a tax credit for working
families, he has concluded "the issues of crime for me are
overwhelmingly correlated with issues of poverty.''

Newsom added that Fridell, the University of South Florida associate
professor of criminology selected by the city to review its arrest
data, was picked in part because she has special expertise
in the area of racial profiling.

One way or another, San Francisco has to discover why it is
arresting black citizens at a higher rate than the other California
cities, said Bobb, the Los Angeles police practices expert.

What is at stake is the concept of equal treatment under
the law, he said.

"The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution prohibits
selective enforcement of the law based on considerations such
as race,'' Bobb said. "Courts across the country have ruled
that using impermissible racial classifications in determining
whom to stop, detain and search violates the equal protection

Walker, the law enforcement expert who has consulted for the
Justice Department, says the San Francisco Police Department
"should be looking at its own operation to see if there's anything
it could be doing differently.''

The equal protection under law guarantee of the 14th Amendment
is "the bedrock of all civil rights laws in the United States and
a fundamental principle upon which our country is based,'' he said.

Jack Jacqua, who founded the Omega Boys Club with Marshall,
said the policing of black people in San Francisco is a problem
for the city and its leaders.

While he acknowledged that police have "the most dangerous,
difficult job in America,'' he said they "most times treat poor kids
from the hood differently than they do more affluent kids.''

Jacqua, who has devoted his life to working with at-risk youths,
added that many black youths come from "a population where
there is virtually no middle class because the middle class people
can't afford to live here, and many of these youngsters end
up in the criminal justice system.''

It works this way, Jacqua said: If a kid shoplifts in the Sunset
District, police are probably going to call Mom and Dad and
have them take their child home. "But if you shoplift downtown
and your address is in the Bayview, then they will take you to jail.''

As for the black community, he said much of it "is a mess -- it's
destroying itself. Not enough people are involved in standing
up and challenging these youngsters to take responsibility
for their lives. Where is the leadership?''

And what of the city's liberal political establishment that has
reigned for many years?

"The bottom line," said Jacqua, "is that poor blacks are in the
way of what this city wants to be, though the city won't admit
it because 'we're liberal and believe in diversity.' But the city
really doesn't want poor folks and especially poor black folks.''


5) About Face: Soldiers Call for Iraq Withdrawal
[posted online on December 16, 2006]

For the first time since Vietnam, an organized, robust movement
of active-duty US military personnel has publicly surfaced to oppose
a war in which they are serving. Those involved plan to petition
Congress to withdraw American troops from Iraq. (Note: A complete
version of this report will appear next week in the print and online
editions of The Nation.)

After appearing only seven weeks ago on the Internet, the Appeal
for Redress, brainchild of 29-year-old Navy seaman Jonathan Hutto,
has already been signed by nearly 1,000 US soldiers, sailors, Marines
and airmen, including dozens of officers--most of whom are
on active duty. Not since 1969, when some 1,300 active-duty
military personnel signed an open letter in the New York Times
opposing the war in Vietnam, has there been such a dramatic
barometer of rising military dissent.

Interviews with two dozen signers of the Appeal reveal a mix
of motives for opposing the war: ideological, practical, strategic
and moral. But all those interviewed agree that it is time to start
withdrawing the troops. Coming from an all-volunteer military,
the Appeal was called "unprecedented" by Eugene Fidell,
president of the National Institute of Military Justice.

The Nation spoke with rank-and-file personnel as well as high-
ranking officers--some on the Iraqi front lines, others at domestic
and offshore US military bases--who have signed the Appeal.
All of their names will be made available to Congress when the
Appeal is presented in mid-January. Signers have been assured
they are sending a communication to Congress protected under
the Military Whistleblower Protection Act. The Pentagon
is powerless to take official reprisals and has said that as long
as active-duty personnel are not in uniform or on duty, they
are free to express their views to Congress.

There are of course other, subtler risks involved. The military
command exercises enormous power through individual reviews,
promotions and assignments. But that hasn't kept a number
of signers from going public with their dissent.

Navy Lieut. Cmdr. Mark Dearden of San Diego, for example,
enlisted in 1997 and is still pondering the possibility of a lifetime
career. "So this was a very difficult decision for me to come to.
I don't take this decision lightly," he says. But after two "tough"
deployments in Iraq, Dearden says signing the Appeal was
not only the right thing to do but also gave him personal

"I'm expressing a right of people in the military to contact
their elected representatives, and I have done nothing illegal
or disrespectful," Dearden adds.

Other interviews with active-duty soldiers, sailors, Marines
and airmen who have signed the Appeal for Redress reveal
an array of motivations. Here are excerpts:

"Lisa"--20 years old, E-4, USAF, Stationed at Hickam Air
Force Base, Hawaii:

I joined up two weeks after I turned 17 because I wanted
to save American lives. I wanted to be a hero like any
American child.

I supported the war when I joined because I thought it was
justified. Only after my own research and the truth coming
out did I learn how wrong I was, how--for lack of a better
word--how brainwashed I was.

Now I know the war is illegal, unjustified and that our troops
have no reason for being there.

When I saw an article about the Appeal in the Air Force Times
I went online right away and signed it and have encouraged
others to do the same.

"Sgt. Gary"--21 years old. US Army. Deployed with 20th
Infantry Regiment, near Mosul, Iraq:

I joined up in 2001, still a junior in high school. I felt very
patriotic at the end of my US History class. My idea of the
Army was that you signed up, they gave you a rifle and you
ran off into battle like in some 1950s war movie. The whole
idea of boot camp never really entered my head.

I supported the war in the beginning. I bought everything Bush
said about how Saddam had WMDs, how he was working with
Al Qaeda, how he was a threat to America. Of course, this all
turned out to be false.

This is my second tour, and as of a few days ago it's half-over.
Before I deployed with my unit for the second time I already had
feelings of not wanting to go. When in late September a buddy
in my platoon died from a bullet in the head, I really took a long
hard look at this war, this Administration, and the reasons why.

After months of research on the Internet, I came to the conclusion
that this war was based on lies and deception. I started to break
free of all the propaganda that the Bush Administration and the
Army puts out on a daily basis.

So far in three years we have succeeded in toppling a dictator
and replacing him with puppets. Outlawing the old government
and its standing army and replacing them with an unreliable and
poorly trained crew of paycheck collectors. The well is so poisoned
by what we have done here that nothing can fix it.

"Lt. Smith"--24 years old, 1st Lieutenant, US Army. Deployed
near Baghdad:

I cannot, from Iraq, attend an antiwar protest. Nor could I attend
one in the States and represent myself as a soldier. What I can do
is send a protest communication to my Congressional delegate
outlining grievances I feel I have suffered. Appeal for Redress
gives me that outlet.

I am encouraged by the November elections, but still wary. We
rushed into the war on false assumptions, and now we might
rush out just as falsely. What troops need now is a light at the
end of the tunnel, not just for this deployment but for all
deployments. Bringing everyone out this summer is too fast
to be supported by our Army's infrastructure. We would
hemorrhage lives if we do so. But so would we if we stay
the course.

I am encouraged by politicians who call for a withdrawal
by the conclusion of President Bush's term in office. That seems
a realistic timetable for me.

Mark Mackoviak--24 years old. US Army. Recently returned
from Iraq. Stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina:

I joined the Army on September 23, 2001. I had been out
of school for a year when September 11 came around, and
I was supportive of our action in Afghanistan. I wound up
there a year later, and it was pretty eye-opening to see
how people live.

I was also in Iraq for about a year, deployed near the
International Airport, west of Baghdad. I was never that
supportive of the invasion. I thought the media coverage
of it was horrendous, really disgusting.

Just about everything I saw in Iraq reinforced my views that
it was wrong. The point that really hit me was when the Asmara
Mosque got blown up. I said, Wow, this is really a civil war.

I really enjoy being in the Army, enjoy the experience. I just
happen to not support this war. I'm very open about that.
My buddies either disagree with me or just pay no attention.
But I get absolutely no hostility. None.

"Rebecca"--26 years old. 101st Airborne, US Army. Just
returned from Iraq. Stationed at Fort Hood, Texas:

I joined in 2004. I was trying to go into the human rights field,
but it was very competitive. I was in need of health insurance,
and the Army seemed feasible. Now it looks like I will be
stop-lossed until 2010.

I had strong feelings about the war, against it, but I'm the type
of person that wants to fully understand both sides of the

My experience in Iraq confirmed my views, but it also gave
me a more multifaceted view of things. I did see some of the
good things being done, but it seemed like a Band-Aid on
a gushing wound. Mostly I saw the frivolity of the missions,
the lack of direction, the absurdity of the mission. You go out
in your Humvee, you drive around, and you wait to be blown
up and get killed by an IED.

About 40 percent of my unit were stop-lossed. Their first
mission was to take down Saddam and his regime, and they
seemed to understand that and agree with the mission to take
down a ruthless dictator. Now they can't seem to understand
why they are there, caught in the cross hairs of a civil war.

I think it is safe to say that the majority of soldiers are
wondering what this grand scheme is that we keep hearing
about from those above us but that is never translating
down to the ground level.

Some politicians are starting to see that not only a majority
of Americans oppose to this war. Now they see this very
powerful statement of soldiers who have already been
on the front line and who are still in uniform and are also
opposed. None of them have been where we have been,
none of them have seen what we have seen. It's time they do


6) Powell Says U.S. Forces Are Overstretched in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 — Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said
today that badly overstretched American forces in Iraq were losing the
war there, and that a temporary increase in troop levels probably
would not help.

But, he quickly added, “we haven’t lost.”

The situation could be reversed, General Powell said in one of his most
extensive commentaries on the Iraq war since leaving office. He urged
an intense effort to train and support Iraqi security forces and
strengthen the government in Baghdad.

General Powell was deeply skeptical about proposals to increase troop
levels in Iraq, an idea that appears to have gained ground as President
Bush reconsiders the United States’ strategy there.

“There really are no additional troops” to send, General Powell said,
adding that he agreed with those who say that the United States
Army is “about broken.”

General Powell said he was unsure that new troops could successfully
suppress sectarian violence or secure Baghdad.

He urged the United States to do everything possible to prepare
Iraqis to take over lead responsibility; the “baton pass,” he said,
should begin by mid-2007.

“We are losing — we haven’t lost — and this is the time, now, to start
to put in place the kinds of strategies that will turn this situation
around,” General Powell said on the CBS News program
“Face the Nation.”

Military planners and White House budget analysts have been
asked to provide Mr. Bush with options for increasing American
forces in Baghdad by 20,000 or more, and there are signs that
the president is leaning in that direction.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the incoming Democratic majority
leader, said today that he would “go along with” an increase
in troops in Iraq if it were clearly intended to lead to an ultimate
troop withdrawal by early 2008.

Mr. Reid supported the proposal of the bipartisan Iraq Study
Group to undertake a broad regional effort to gain diplomatic
support for a peaceful Iraq.

General Powell endorsed a related study group idea: opening
talks with Syria and Iran.

The general has kept a low public profile since leaving office
in January 2005, but he has emerged at crucial points in the
growing debate over Iraq to weigh in, as when he said that
Iraq was now embroiled in civil war.

An increase in troop strength, he said today, “cannot be
sustained.” The thousands of additional American troops sent
into Baghdad since summer had been unable to stabilize the
city and more probably could not tip the balance, General
Powell said. The deployment of further troops would, moreover,
impose long-term costs on a badly stretched military.

While Mr. Reid suggested that he would support a troop
increase for only two or three months, Gen. Jack Keane, one
of five Iraq experts who met with Bush last Monday, called
that schedule “impossible.”

General Keane, a retired Army vice chief of staff, asserted
that Iraq could not be secured before mid-2008. “It will take
a couple of months just to get forces in,” he said on the
ABC News program “This Week.”

The president’s request to military planners and White House
budget officials to provide details of what a troop increase would
mean indicates that the option is gaining ground, senior
administration officials said.

Political, training and recruiting obstacles mean that an increase
larger than 20,000 to 30,000 troops would be prohibitive, the officials
said. The increase would probably be accomplished largely by
accelerating scheduled deployments while keeping some units
in Iraq longer than had been planned.

General Powell said this meant it would be “a surge that you’d
have to pay for later,” as replacement troops became even harder
to find.

The current strategy stresses stepping up the training of Iraqi
forces and handing off to them as soon as possible.

Senator Reid made clear that his support for a troop increase
depended on its being linked to an overall withdrawal plan.
“We have to change course in Iraq,” he said on the ABC News
program “This Week.” But in the meantime, Mr. Reid said,
Democrats would “give the military anything they want.”

General Powell, who as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff
helped lead an earlier American-led coalition that forced Iraqi
troops out of Kuwait in 1991, said that he was unsure this time
whether victory could be achieved.

“If victory means you have got rid of every insurgent, that you
have peace throughout the country, I don’t see that in the cards
right now,” he said. But it was possible to install a certain level
of order and security.

General Powell said the Iraq war had left Americans “a little
less safe” by curtailing the forces available should another major
crisis arise. But, he added, “I think that’s all recoverable.”

He supported the call for talks with Syria and Iran, although the
latter, he said, would be more difficult.

“I have no illusion that either Syria or Iran want to help us in Iraq,”
General Powell said. But there were times, he said, when difficult
contacts can be productive.

Before he visited Damascus as secretary of state, General Powell
said, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel asked him not to go.
But Mr. Sharon then added that it would be helpful if General
Powell should ask Syrian leaders to stop Hezbollah militants
in Lebanon from firing rockets into Israel.

“The rockets stopped,” General Powell said.


7) Brainstorming on Iraq
The Capital Awaits a Masterstroke on Iraq
December 17, 2006

SOMEONE in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office has gotten everybody
on this city’s holiday party circuit talking, simply by floating an unlikely
Iraq proposal that is worthy of a certain mid-19th century British
naturalist with a fascination for natural selection.

We shall call it the Darwin Principle.

The Darwin Principle, Beltway version, basically says that Washington
should stop trying to get Sunnis and Shiites to get along and instead
just back the Shiites, since there are more of them anyway and
they’re likely to win in a fight to the death. After all, the proposal
goes, Iraq is 65 percent Shiite and only 20 percent Sunni.

Sorry, Sunnis.

The Darwin Principle is radical, decisive and most likely not going
anywhere. But the fact that it has even been under discussion,
no matter how briefly, says a lot about the dearth of good options
facing the Bush administration and the yearning in this city for
some masterstroke to restore optimism about the war.

As President Bush and his deputies chew over whether there’s
a Hail Mary pass to salvage Iraq, it has become increasingly clear
that the president will probably throw the ball toward his
secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.

Make no mistake, the Rice way is a long shot as well. It’s a catchall
of a plan that has something for everyone. Its goal — if peace
and victory can’t be had — is at least to give a moderate Shiite
government the backbone necessary to stand up to radicals
like Moktada al-Sadr through new alliances with moderate
Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

In this plan, America’s Sunni Arab allies would press centrist
Iraqi Sunnis to support a moderate Shiite government. Outside
Baghdad, Sunni leaders would be left alone to run Sunni towns.
Radical Shiites, no longer needed for the coalition that keeps
the national government afloat, would be marginalized. So would
Iran and Syria. To buy off the Sunni Arab countries, the United
States would push forward on a comprehensive peace plan
in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The Rice plan seems diplomatic and reasoned. But it breaks no
molds. Which is why examining the Darwin Principle better
helps explain the mood of the capital right now.

“Deciding to side with the Shia is probably the most inflammatory
thing we could do right now,” says Wayne White, a member
of the Iraq Study Group who is now at the Middle East Institute,
a research center here. “It would be a multi-headed catastrophe.”

At first glance, the idea of siding with the Shiites doesn’t seem
that crazy. America has, after all, had more spectacular trouble
of late from Sunni extremists like Al Qaeda and the Taliban
than from Shiites, whose best-remembered attacks
on Americans were two decades ago, by hostage-takers
in Iran and truck bombers in Lebanon.

But Middle East experts can provide a long list of reasons why
a survival-of-the-fittest theory might not necessarily be the
best way to conduct American foreign policy in Iraq. First,
they say, it’s always dangerous to take sides in a civil war.
Second, siding with the Shiites in a Shiite-Sunni war is
particularly dangerous since most of the Arab world is Sunni
and America’s major Arab allies are Sunni. Besides Iraq, Shiites
form a large majority only in Iran, and, well, enough said there.

If America has problems now with Muslim extremists around
the world, those would likely worsen if the United States was
believed to have aided the uprooting or extermination
of Iraq’s Sunni population.

On Monday, a group of prominent Saudi clerics called on
Sunni Muslims everywhere to mobilize against Shiites in Iraq,
complaining that Sunnis were being murdered and
marginalized by Shiites.

So, where is the Darwin Principle coming from?

Well, there’s no proof Mr. Cheney really even backs it. Unnamed
government officials with knowledge in the matter say the
proposal comes from his office, but they stop short of saying
it comes from Mr. Cheney himself.

Other top officials say it is highly unlikely that the administration
would pursue such a radical course. (Of course, the radical nature
of the Darwin Principle is all the more reason to assume it comes
from Mr. Cheney himself.) But it is difficult to imagine the
administration actually publicly announcing such a course
even if it decided on it.

Can you just hear President Bush’s speech to the nation? “My Fellow
Americans, the United States has decided that there are more Shiites
than Sunnis in Iraq, so we are therefore going to side with the people
most likely to win a fight to the death. We’ll figure out how to deal
with the rest of the Arab world, where there are more Sunnis than
Shiites, later.”

Still, somewhere deep inside the Beltway, someone has laid out
the intellectual basis for the Shiite option. So some people with
knowledge of the thinking behind the proposal were asked to
explain it. None agreed to be identified, citing an administration
edict against talking about President Bush’s change-of-strategy
in Iraq before the president articulates exactly what that change
will be. But here’s what they said:

America abandoned the Shiites in 1991 and look where that
got us. Mr. Cheney has argued that America can’t repeat what
it did after the Persian Gulf war, when it called on the Shiites
to rise up against Saddam Hussein, then left them to be
slaughtered when they did. The result was 12 more years
of the Iraqi dictator’s iron-fisted rule, which ended up leading
to war anyway.

Reconciliation hasn’t worked. The logic of the past couple
of years has been that Iraq’s Constitution and election process
would bring together the Sunnis and the Shiites. Prime Minister
Nuri Kamal al-Maliki was eventually able to formulate
a so-called National Unity Government in which Sunnis,
Shiites and Kurds all hold key positions.

That government has proved itself to be “disappointing,” one
senior administration official acknowledged delicately.
And violence has continued to surge.

Maybe America can scare the Sunnis into behaving. That’s the
“stare into the abyss” strategy, another senior administration
official said. He said that for the past three years, Sunni
insurgent groups, and many Sunni politicians, have refused
to recognize that the demographics of Iraq are not in their
favor. Sunni insurgents can share the responsibility with Shiite
death squads for the violence in Iraq, but the Sunnis have the
most to lose in an all-out civil war, since they are outnumbered
three to one. So perhaps Darwin Principle proponents — whoever
they are — just want to scare Sunnis, including those in Saudi
Arabia, Jordan and other American allies, into trying harder
for reconciliation.

Ms. Rice “does not believe we should plainly take one side
over another,” said a State Department official, who said
he doesn’t support the Shiite option but sees the convoluted
logic of it. “But the demography of Iraq is a fact.”

The longer America tries to woo the Sunnis, the more it risks
alienating the Shiites and Kurds, and they’re the ones with
the oil. A handful of administration officials have argued
that Iraq is not going to hold to together and will splinter
along sectarian lines. If so, they say, American interests
dictate backing the groups who control the oil-rich areas.

Darwin? Try Machiavelli. An even more far-fetched offshoot
of the Darwin Principle is floating around, which some hawks
have tossed out in meetings, although not seriously, one
administration official said. It holds that America could
actually hurt Iran by backing Iraq’s Shiites; that could deepen
the Shiite-Sunni split and eventually lead to a regional Shiite-
Sunni war. And in that, the Shiites — and Iran — lose because,
while there are more Shiites than Sunnis in Iraq and Iran, there
are more Sunnis than Shiites almost everywhere else.



8) Mexico’s Federal Forces Pull Out of Oaxaca
December 17, 2006

OAXACA, Mexico, Dec. 16 (Reuters) — The federal riot police ended
their weeks-long occupation of the Mexican tourist city Oaxaca’s
center on Saturday, having weakened a protest movement trying
to oust a state governor.

Violent clashes between the masked activists and the riot police,
and a string of shootings of protesters, made Oaxaca one of
President Felipe Calderón’s top problems as he began his
term in office.

But the arrest of several protest leaders has weakened the
movement, and the frequency and size of demonstrations
has fallen.

The federal police boarded trucks and rolled out of the city
before dawn, handing security to the state police. The federal
agents were headed for a nearby air base where they would
remain until further notice, a state spokeswoman said.

The federal force stormed Oaxaca in October, fighting
leftist activists who had built barricades and closed
government buildings in a bid to topple Gov. Ulises Ruiz.

The police have snatched hundreds of protesters from the streets
in recent weeks, leading to accusations by rights groups
of illegal arrests and torture.


9) Abuse Claims Are Settled in Washington
"The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has agreed to pay
$1.3 million to 16 men who said they were sexually abused by eight
priests from 1962 to 1982."
December 17, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington
has agreed to pay $1.3 million to 16 men who said they were sexually
abused by eight priests from 1962 to 1982.

Although the men began pursuing the claims three years ago, in many
instances the statutes of limitation had expired in the jurisdictions
where they said the abuse had occurred, said Peter M. Gillon, a lawyer
for the group. In addition, two of the men had already lost legal claims
against the archdiocese.

“Our clients were in severe distress, emotionally, psychologically,
financially and spiritually, and felt that a settlement was appropriate
at this time,” Mr. Gillon said as the agreement was announced Friday.

All eight priests accused by the men have been removed from ministry;
seven were prosecuted and one was acquitted.

The settlement, first reported in Saturday’s editions of The Washington
Post, provides cash payments of $10,000 to $190,000 to each of the men.

The archdiocese includes more than 560,000 Roman Catholics
in 140 parishes in the District of Columbia and five Southern
Maryland counties.

The settlements will be covered by insurance reserves and not by other
church assets, operating funds or collections, said Susan Gibbs,
a spokeswoman for the archdiocese.

Also on Friday, lawyers representing 45 people who sued the
Archdiocese of Los Angeles, accusing clergy members of sexual
abuse, announced that a $60 million settlement had been finalized
and paid, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, leader of the archdiocese, had announced
the settlement Dec. 1 and said that $40 million of the payment would
come from the archdiocese’s operations fund and that the rest would
come from religious orders and insurance coverage.


10) Protesters Denounce Police Killing
December 17, 2006

A protest march cut a solemn swath through crowds of Christmas
shoppers and the joyous mood of the holiday season in Midtown
Manhattan yesterday in a rebuke to the police for the fatal shooting
of an unarmed black man in Queens on his wedding day last month.

Three weeks after Sean Bell was killed and two friends were wounded
in a hail of 50 police bullets, a coalition of civil rights groups, elected
officials, community leaders, clergymen and others marched down
Fifth Avenue and across 34th Street in a “silent” protest that sputtered
scattered chants, but was largely devoid of shrieks, speeches
and most of the usual sound-and-fury tactics of demonstrations.

Billed as a “Shopping for Justice” march and led by the Rev. Al Sharpton,
the army of protesters, many carrying placards, moved grim-faced
between hordes of holiday shoppers and tourists clogging
the sidewalks of two of the city’s busiest commercial arteries.

The police had set up metal barricades to confine the marchers
to a single traffic lane, but the throng quickly swelled beyond
expectations and the barricades were shifted to widen the line
of march to four of the five lanes on Fifth Avenue and five
of the six on 34th Street. Traffic on side streets leading
to the march was halted as the protesters swept on.

Here and there, marchers shouted “No shopping, no justice,”
or “Shot” and numbers from 1 to 50. Others carried signs
proclaiming: “Stop NYPD Racist Terror,” and “Justice for Sean
Bell.” But most stared straight ahead, ignoring those on the
other side of the barricades.

The size of the protest, strung out for 10 blocks, was anybody’s
guess. The organizers said thousands marched. The police,
as is customary, gave no estimate. In any case, there were no
confrontations, arrests or untoward incidents during the
march, the police said.

“We’re not coming to buy toys, we’re not coming to buy
trinkets — we’re coming to shop for justice,” Mr. Sharpton,
a man never at a loss for words, said at a morning rally in
Harlem, explaining what could not be said in a nonverbal
march. “Our presence is a bigger statement than anything
we could ever say with our mouths.”

In Midtown, shoppers gawked. Tourists snapped pictures
and wondered what it was all about. Salvation Army carolers
sang on, and the protesters, who had been admonished
repeatedly by organizers to remain silent, kept discipline
only in the front ranks, where members of Congress, the
Legislature, the City Council and other V.I.P.s marched
alongside a stone-faced Mr. Sharpton.

“It’s New York, you always see crazy things,” Margaret
Rajnik, a nurse from Atlantic City, said at Rockefeller Center,
where mobs of shoppers jammed the plaza in front of the
skating rink, the giant Christmas tree and the golden

A sampling of shoppers found many against the protest.
“We just came here to go shopping at the American Girl
store and go see the Rockettes,” said Cherrie Ostigui, 38,
of Odenton, Md. “Now we can’t even cross the street to
get our lunch.”

Steve Diomopoulos, 22, a student from Livonia, Mich., called
it “a weird time to be doing this,” and added: “It’s an
inconvenience to people like myself who came from out
of town and want to get some Christmas shopping done.
It’s almost like a hostile atmosphere. I don’t think that’s
what people came here to see.”

But Seleah Bussey, 22, a Brooklyn College student, said,
“I think it’s good because it’s a tourist area and tourists
need to know what’s really happening.”

Mr. Sharpton, who called the Queens shooting a case of
excessive force, said the march was a moral appeal to the
city to change police policies.

Hours before he was to be married on Nov. 25, Mr. Bell
was killed and his friends, Joseph Guzman and Trent
Benefield, were wounded in a barrage of police bullets
as they left a bachelor party at a strip club. The police,
conducting an undercover operation at the club, said they
believed the victims were going to get a gun, and opened
fire when the men’s car hit an officer and an unmarked
police minivan.

Mr. Bell and his friends were black; the officers were white,
Hispanic and black. No guns were found among the victims,
and while the police say they are examining reports that
a fourth man who ran away may have had a gun, the case
has generated vigils and protests that culminated
in yesterday’s march.

Besides the complaints of annoyed shoppers, the march
generated two negative responses that were aimed
at Mr. Sharpton.

Before the march, Steven A. Pagones, a former assistant
prosecutor in Dutchess County who won a defamation suit
against Mr. Sharpton and two others in 1998, showed up near
the marchers’ rendezvous point to remind reporters that he
had been falsely accused of being one of a group of white men
who abducted and raped a black teenager, Tawana Brawley,
in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., in 1987. The case stirred racial
tensions nationally, but was investigated by a grand jury
and found to be a hoax.

“I want people to understand that for years he’s made reckless
allegations in furtherance of his own agenda,” Mr. Pagones
said of Mr. Sharpton.

Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment
Association, also cited Mr. Sharpton’s role in that matter.
“I think it’s all about credibility, something the Rev. Al had
forsaken a long time ago in the Tawana Brawley case,”
Mr. Palladino said. “He’s trying to deny our police officers their
civil rights and due process. But in the end, a grand jury will
hear the evidence and they’ll come to a decision.”

The protesters, many of whom arrived in buses from Queens,
Brooklyn and elsewhere, were joined by Representative Charles
B. Rangel, City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr., and other
politicians; by the singer Harry Belafonte; by leaders and
members of the N.A.A.C.P.; the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; Mr. Sharpton’s National Action
Network; and relatives and friends of Mr. Bell, Mr. Guzman
and Mr. Benefield.

The group included Mr. Bell’s fiancée, Nicole Paultre, who has
taken the surname Bell, and one of their two children, Jada, 4,
and Abner Louima, the Haitian immigrant sodomized with
a broomstick by a police officer in a station house nine years
ago. Mr. Benefield rode in a wheelchair, but Mr. Guzman,
shot numerous times, remained at a rehabilitation center.

There were chants and speeches from Mr. Sharpton and
others as the crowd assembled at 59th Street and Fifth
Avenue, but the exhortations ended as the protesters
stepped off in early afternoon, heading down a Fifth
Avenue decked out for the season.

The line of march led down a parade of elegant stores,
past St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center, where
a Salvation Army vocalist sang sweet carols. Giant illuminated
snowflakes graced the facade of Saks.

Lower down the avenue, the marchers encountered sparser
crowds shopping for sneakers and sweatshirts.

The march ended at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue,
outside Macy’s. There, Sonia Fatimah, 50, one of the
marchers, yelled at a black officer. “I hope they’re not
profiling your son right now, Sergeant,” she said.

Mr. Sharpton and members of the Bell family ducked into
the lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania nearby and waited for
the crowd to disperse. Many other protesters, perhaps
unaware the proceedings were over, tried to join them inside.
There was some pushing and a brief scuffle broke out between
some followers and news photographers, but it quickly subsided.

Later, about 150 followers of the radical New Black Panther
Party burned an American flag at 34th Street and Seventh
Avenue and heaped verbal abuse on a contingent of police
officers. But there were no clashes or arrests.

Reporting was contributed by Nicholas Confessore,
Cassi Feldman, Daryl Khan, Rachel Metz and Anthony Ramirez.


11) Goldman’s Season to Reward and Shock
December 17, 2006

IF you happened to see Page Six of The New York Post on Thursday,
you would have noticed a provocative cartoon: eight shady-looking
executives, wearing black eye masks and smoking cigarettes, were
holding a board meeting.

Their company? Goldman Sachs. The caption read: “What’s next on
our agenda? Oh yes, our end-of-the-year bonuses.”

You probably know by now that Goldman Sachs, Wall Street’s golden
child, is paying its employees what seems like a king’s ransom:
a total of $16.5 billion in compensation. That equates to $623,418
for every employee. Several top traders are said to have made
as much as $100 million.

To some, it seems almost criminal.

ABC News tallied up all the things that $100 million could buy.
“You could feed about 800,000 children for a year ($60 million),
recreate the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes and Brad Pitt-Jennifer
Aniston weddings four times over ($16 million), buy one
of Mel Gibson’s private islands ($15 million), and still remain
a millionaire nine times over,” ABC News reported.

In London, Goldman’s office cleaners threatened to strike.
“Whilst bankers at Goldman Sachs will be splashing out on
second homes, cars and polo ponies with their multimillion-
pound bonuses, cleaners at Goldman Sachs are being squeezed
by staff cutbacks,” Tony Woodley, general secretary of the
Transport & General Workers’ Union, which represents the
cleaners, told BBC News.

Driss Ben-Brahim, a top Goldman trader who according to
press reports collected $98 million, was stalked by paparazzi
outside his home in London. One of Goldman’s holiday parties
was mocked for its lavishness when it was reported that some
of its managing directors anted up $10,000 each to pay for it.

As the cleaners and others have vented their outrage, one
group has stayed largely silent on Goldman’s largess:
its shareholders.

And they ought to be up in arms.

What’s that, you say? What does a shareholder of Goldman
Sachs have to complain about? After all, its stock is
up 61 percent so far this year with dividends reinvested.
Goldman made a profit of $9.4 billion in its 2006 fiscal
year ended Nov. 24, nearly as much as it did in the last
two years combined.

And Goldman Sachs has taken great pains to tell investors
that as a percentage of revenue, the compensation costs for
its 26,467 full-time employees are actually lower than those
of many of its counterparts. This year, the firm spent 43.7
percent of its revenue on compensation and benefits,
compared with 46.6 percent last year. That’s lower than
Lehman Brothers, for example, which spent 50.1 percent
of its revenue this year on compensation. Last year, Merrill
Lynch spent about 49 percent of its revenue on compensation;
Morgan Stanley, on the other hand, devoted 41.8 percent
of its revenue to paying employees.

Using a different yardstick, however, Goldman’s pay seems
completely out of whack with its peers’.

Goldman’s compensation per employee, as mentioned earlier,
is about $623,418. That’s nearly double what the average
employee at rival firms earns. Lehman spent the equivalent
of about $314,000 for every employee, and Bear Stearns
spent about $320,000.

You could argue that Goldman Sachs makes its money more
efficiently, and it does. You could argue that Goldman Sachs
is in a different business than its rivals, and in some sense,
it is: its biggest profits come from trading, not from
investment banking.

But are its employees so much more talented than the rest
of Wall Street that they deserve a “Goldman premium”
of such huge proportions? That’s a tough case to make.

Yes, there is a competitive marketplace for talent, and the
proliferation of hedge funds has only intensified the fight
for top people. Some of Goldman’s superstars could quit,
either for a hedge fund or to start their own fund, and make
far more money.

But a vast majority — especially those who are being paid
at the mid- to top end — could not.

And for those Goldman employees who appear to be stars
within the firm, their stellar performances do not always travel
with them when they leave 85 Broad Street. Consider the example
of Eric Mindich, a star Goldman trader, who left in 2004 to found
Eton Park Capital Management. The firm raised an enormous
amount of money based on his track record, and now has
$5.5 billion, but its returns have proved to be a fraction
of the regular double-digit returns he made at Goldman.

If Goldman shaved its compensation costs just 6 percent, profits
would have been nearly $1 billion higher. The firm could then
have issued a special dividend, which would have benefited
all shareholders. Many of those shareholders are, of course,
Goldman employees.


12) Report on the Thursday, December 7, 2006 BAUAW meeting and
BAUAW Open Letter to the Board of Education
December 17, 2006

Hi folks,

We held a BAUAW meeting Thursday, Dec. 7th where we discussed
possible alternatives to JROTC and celebrated our victory. We got
a report from Pat Gerber about other proposals that are being
discussed by Mark Sanchez and others that can take the place

We felt that what was missing was the involvement of parents,
students, teachers, administrators and the whole school community
in making these decisions about alternatives.

We decided to send an open letter to the board asking them
to form committees in each school consisting of parents, students,
teachers, administrators and community representatives who will
come together over a period of six months (time frame is just
a suggestion) to discuss, research, decide on and make
recommendations to the Board regarding alternatives to JROTC
and the needs of the schools and our children.

We also decided to meet again to follow up on our letter
and prepare for the next School Board meeting, Tuesday,
January 23, 2007.

The Next BAUAW Meeting is:

Monday, January 15, 2007, 7:00 P.M.
Centro del Pueblo
474 Valencia Street (near 16th Street, SF)
(In the conference room--first floor, left and then
to the right at the end of the hall.)

All are welcome!




Dear Board Members:

We congratulate you for your historic decision to phase-out
the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program
by 2008 as per the wishes of the majority of voters in San
Francisco. But now we must fill the void of not enough
Physical Education classes and teachers for our students
and deteriorating conditions in our schools—an intolerable

At our BAUAW meeting on December 7, 2006 we discussed
many possible alternatives to JROTC. We discussed creating
a partnership with San Francisco State University and other
Universities and Colleges to allow college students working
toward a teaching credential, say, to get internship credit
to lead various classes that could fulfill the P.E. requirement
and even provide a variety of after-school programs that
could be available to all the children. (Art majors could
teach art classes; science majors could lead after- school
science programs; etc. we could set up tutoring centers
as well. High school students could provide similar services
for school credit to elementary schools in their community.
Students could volunteer at hospitals and senior centers
under the mentorship of a professional, etc.)

Community involvement essential

While this was just a few of many interesting and possible
alternatives that we discussed, it occurred to us that we were
neglecting the most important thing—getting the parents,
students and community involved in coming up with the
alternatives to JROTC that they feel they need.

We would like to suggest that a committee be set up consisting
of a delegation of parents, teachers, students, administrators
and community members from each school to come together
to research, discuss, and vote on recommendations
for alternative programs to JROTC.

We feel that proceeding in this manner will insure that whatever
alternative we finally choose will best fit the needs of the
community that the school district is trying to serve.
It could turn out that different schools have different needs.

What we do know, is that parent and community involvement
is desperately needed if we are to help are ailing schools and
our children. A strong school-community alliance will be
beneficial to all concerned. Any improvement to our schools
is an improvement in teaching conditions and a boost to morale.

Creative alternatives needed

Our children are faced with overwhelming challenges and
obstacles in today’s world. Almost half come from single-
parent households. Many of these parents must work more
than one job to make ends meet. This leaves little time left
for child and parent relationships—let alone getting homework
completed or household chores done. And, in this economy,
pressures will be even greater to keep up with the demands
of everyday life.

In order to meet these challenges we must get the community
and parents involved in the school-lives of the children. This is
a golden opportunity to begin the process. We believe there are
many low-cost alternatives to JROTC and low-cost, creative after-
school programs—programs that can really serve and benefit the
whole school community not just the students who might have
been in JROTC. The more who are involved in support of the
school community, the stronger our position will be to fulfill
the needs of our schools.

We have lobbied and begged and pleaded for money for our
schools—so that there are enough classes and teachers to go
around. These P.E. classes are required classes. Of course they
should be funded and provided to students, but so far, none
of the politicians have been able to do anything about it.

We now must take the next step and organize parents, teachers,
students, administrators and community members to fight for
these things that our children need to be successful in this world
and, hopefully, make our world a better place.

In short, we request that you set up a District-wide School-Needs
Committee with representative from each school community
(parents, students, teachers, administrators and community
members) and schedule meetings over the next six months
(this time frame is just a suggestion and should be decided
upon by the committees) to come up with recommendations
to the Board. That body could set up sub-committees to do
research on various proposals, etc., and report back to the
group as a whole.

Such a process will strengthen connections between the School
District and the community and can only be a positive step toward
solving the overwhelming and complex problems we will face
in the future as the budget cuts mount. We have no other choice
but to organize and fight back for the needs of our children—
our future depends on it.


13) Swift Raids
New York Times Editorial
December 18, 2006

When federal immigration officials raided six plants owned by Swift
& Company, the world’s second largest beef and pork processor, last
Tuesday, they brought Spanish translators. They knew exactly what
kind of worker is found in low-paying, strenuous jobs in this country:
recent Latino arrivals with limited skills and, in many cases, no legal
papers. Nearly 1,300 people — almost 10 percent of Swift’s work force —
were taken away in what the government said was the largest but
not the last assault on the underground immigrant economy.

The raids have led some people to heap scorn on Swift and, of
course, on the illegal immigrants, particularly the dozens
of detainees who have been charged with identity theft and
other crimes. But doing so misses the bigger picture. Swift and
its workers are merely Exhibit A in an immigration system that
is failing in all of its parts.

It is a system that rewards illegality and pays lip service to
lawfulness and order.

Swift insists that it is a model corporate citizen. It obeyed the
rules, which require it to check workers’ identity papers and
file so-called I-9 forms attesting to that. And it went further,
participating in the federal Basic Pilot program, a system of
checking Social Security numbers that President Bush has touted
as a way to crack down on immigration fraud. The company
says that prying any more aggressively into workers’ legal
status would leave it open to civil rights lawsuits.

The Swift raids are powerful evidence that I-9’s and Basic
Pilot are ineffective and disingenuous, a nod to by-the-books
technical lawfulness that allows a far vaster world of illegality
to flourish. Swift and other large-scale employers of immigrants,
like farms and hotels, may insist that they never knowingly hire
people illegally. But as long as the jobs they offer are the kinds
whose pay and conditions consistently fail to attract native-born
Americans, their protests will ring hollow. This system is brilliantly
efficient at bringing lots of cheap products and services to market,
which is great unless you mind its essential lawlessness, anonymity
and reliance on an enormous work force of silent, compliant,
frightened people whose bitter choice is to stay here illegally
or go home and be desperately poor.

Swift, by its lights, was doing the right thing. The federal government
was doing the right thing, waking up, belatedly, to workplace
enforcement. And yet it’s impossible to see how this will work
over the long term. Immigration reform built on piecemeal
enforcement — factory raids and border walls — won’t solve
the problem of the 12 million illegal immigrants already here.
The American economy wouldn’t stand the shock if the Swift
raids were multiplied to levels beyond the merely symbolic.

The system needs what Mr. Bush and Congress have refused to
give it: a way to end the sham. Comprehensive immigration reform
is good for the economy, giving companies access to a secure and
stable work force. It is good for national security, allowing law
enforcement to go after real criminals and leave honest working
people alone. And it is good for the immigrant workers across
the country, terrorized by Tuesday’s raids, who just want to keep
doing their jobs, no matter how hard and distasteful.


14) Castro to Recover but Not Return, Cubans Say
December 18, 2006

Cuban officials told lawmakers from the United States House of
Representatives visiting Havana yesterday that President Fidel Castro
did not have cancer or any terminal illness and that he would be
making a public appearance shortly, according to Rep. William
Delahunt, one of the legislators.

But Mr. Delahunt, Democrat of Massachusetts, said he concluded
from the delegation’s discussions with senior Cuban officials and
diplomats that Mr. Castro would not return to running Cuba
on a day-to-day basis.

Mr. Delahunt said he understood that government administration
had been definitively passed to Mr. Castro’s brother, Raúl. “The Cubans
were emphatic, and I believe them, that Fidel does not have cancer,
and that the illness he does have is not terminal,” Mr. Delahunt said
in a telephone interview last night after he returned to Washington.

He said Cuban officials assured the delegation that Mr. Castro was
planning to re-emerge shortly. Mr. Castro, 80, who has controlled
Cuba since he took power after a revolution in 1959, has not been
seen in public since July 26, and Cuba has guarded the details
of his medical condition as a state secret. Cuban officials announced
that he underwent intestinal surgery in late July. He did not appear
at celebrations of his 80th birthday earlier this month, prompting
a new rush of rumors that he had died.

If Mr. Castro re-appears, “this will not be Fidel sitting at his desk,”
Mr. Delahunt said. “This will be Fidel Castro is alive and recovering.”
He said he anticipated that if Mr. Castro did resume a political role,
it would be setting broad policy. “The functioning of the government,
that transition has already occurred,” he said.

The bipartisan delegation of 10 representatives, which Mr. Delahunt
described as the largest Congressional delegation to visit Cuba
during Mr. Castro’s rule, arrived Friday and spent 48 hours in
Havana. It was led by Mr. Delahunt and Rep. Jeff Flake, Republican
of Arizona, the leaders of the Cuba Working Group in the House.

The lawmakers met with the foreign minister, Felipe Pérez Roque,
the National Assembly president, Ricardo Alarcón, and Yadira García,
an economic minister, among others.

They did not have any contact with Mr. Castro or meet with Raúl
Castro. The Communist Party newspaper reported Saturday that Fidel
Castro had telephoned several Cuban lawmakers on Friday. He has
also spoken recently to President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela,
Mr. Chávez has said.

The Cuban officials did not disclose what illness Mr. Castro had,
but they insisted he was recovering, and said he had avoided
public appearances to hasten his recuperation, Mr. Delahunt
said. Mr. Castro passed his political authority to his brother
before his surgery.

“It seems that the Cuban government may not be ready to say
that a new era has begun,” Mr. Flake said when asked why Raúl
Castro had not met with the lawmakers, The Associated Press
reported from Havana.


15) Engels Would Gasp, and Locals Gripe, at a Golden Mile
December 18, 2006

MOSCOW, Dec. 17 — The statue of Friedrich Engels that graces one
of central Moscow’s most prestigious neighborhoods has not been
of much use to any but pigeons in recent years. But Engels, the co-
author of “The Communist Manifesto,” was a handy rallying point
not long ago for some residents of that neighborhood, Ostozhenka,
who were protesting its transformation into a hotbed of luxury housing
thanks to the Russian capital’s oil-fueled real estate boom.

“Leave Us Alone,” read banners unfurled by the protesters in
September. That is the name of their movement, spurred by the
latest luxury housing project, slated for the site of an apartment
building in which some of them still live, at Khilkov Pereulok 3.
The gold domes of Christ the Savior Cathedral, a 19th-century
church destroyed by Stalin and rebuilt in the 1990s, just as the
district began to take off, overlook the area.

Ostozhenka (pronounced ahs-TO-zhen-ka), once home to many
artists and intellectuals, is now known in the parlance of real estate
agents and their wealthy clients as the Golden Mile. In the last five
years it has become a Kremlin-view Beverly Hills on the Moscow
River. Its winding lanes are now home to modern multimillion-dollar
penthouses, Ferraris, gourmet restaurants and bizarre crimes: last
year a celebrity plastic surgeon was stabbed by roller skaters, and
later died, in what appeared to be a roll-by contract killing.

The neighborhood’s rise is only one of many morality tales of money,
power and real estate now playing out across post-Soviet Russia.

In recent months, dramas included an elderly Moscow couple who
had been evicted from their home and were camping in the yard
of their old apartment building, which was slated for demolition
to make way for new construction, and villagers being pushed from
their homes on the edge of Moscow to make way for high rises.
In both cases, residents were infuriated by orders to move
to apartments in Yuzhnoye Butovo, a district that is near
a former Stalinist killing field and an hour from central Moscow
by subway. They are still fighting the orders.

The fight continues in Ostozhenka as well. “The Golden Mile
is the most brilliant business project in post-Soviet Russia,”
Denis Litoshik said in November at one of the neighborhood’s
Starbucks-like coffee shops.

Mr. Litoshik, 27, has a personal stake in its transformation:
he lived, until recently, at Khilkov Pereulok 3, and is a leader
of Leave Us Alone. As a journalist for the business newspaper
Vedomosti, he is awed by what he says is a reported $33,000
per square meter price tag on apartments going up next door
to his former home. “They’re not selling drugs, but they’re
making much more money,” he said of developers who have
converged on Ostozhenka.

But a few buildings, some ramshackle, some solidly middle
class, hinder a complete makeover.

One of those is Khilkov Pereulok 3. Mr. Litoshik lived there with
his wife and their baby until city authorities issued a decree in May
declaring the building subject to demolition to make way for
new construction even though the 19th-century building was
overhauled in the 1960s and renovated again in the past few years.
He and other residents were pressured by officials and developers
to leave. Fearing that the building could be burned down, as
sometimes happens across Russia when new construction has
been slated, he moved away and began to fight.

This month, the business daily Kommersant reported that the
federal antimonopoly watchdog had deemed the plans for Khilkov
Pereulok 3 illegal. But that ruling could yet be challenged and
may not halt the development. Sergei Tsoi, press secretary for
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, was quoted by Kommersant earlier this
year as calling the Ostozhenka protesters’ actions “egoism.”

Ostozhenka stood virtually untouched until the late 1990s,
frozen in time by a Soviet decree that called for the construction
of a vast Lenin-topped Palace of Soviets in place of the razed
Christ the Savior Cathedral. It was never built, but the plan was
never revoked; a swimming pool was instead built on the site.
And Ostozhenka figured in Mikhail Bulgakov’s surrealist novel,
“The Master and Margarita,” which gave the Russian language
its ultimate real estate catch phrase: “The housing problem has
corrupted them.”

Bulgakov depicted the early Soviet years, when aristocratic abodes
were forcibly transformed into communal apartments for the masses,
with shared bathrooms, kitchens and secrets. Now new money
is squeezing out the remaining “kommunalki,” as the communal
apartments were called.

Aleksandr Khosenkov, 56, lives in a friend’s communal flat.
“I live here, but all the streets have been renamed — I can’t find
the houses,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if a person has a Mercedes.
Their soul should matter, not their car.”

Georgy Dzagurov, the general director of Penny Lane Realty, which
offers properties in Ostozhenka, said, “Practically anyone who
is powerful has bought there.”

“One million dollars or $2 million is nothing for them,” he said
of his clients. In October, Morgan Stanley announced its purchase
of a stake in RGI International, owned by Boris Kuzinez,
a developer whose ultramodern buildings are credited with
transforming Ostozhenka into billionaires’ row. RGI’s Web
site, posted in time for its London Stock Exchange initial public
offering earlier this month, lists Khilkov 3 among its projects.

While describing his clients only as “mostly businessmen, bankers,
in oil and metals,” Mr. Kuzinez acknowledged an oligarch’s need f
or the right milieu. “It’s hard for oligarchs to live in a regular
building,” he said.

Maksim, a banker, though not an oligarch, declined to give his
last name but agreed to show his sleek two-bedroom apartment
in an a Kuzinez development. “There are guards everywhere,”
he said. “Filtered water, central air conditioning, good parking.
The main thing is it’s homogenous. This is a plus.”

Mr. Litoshik, wearied by battle, is accepting a buyout of over
$10,000 per square meter for his 80-square-meter (860-square
-foot) apartment. A victory, he said, because in Russia a fair price
is almost miraculous. A loss because “we never wanted to sell
our apartment.”

It is a story that has been familiar to generations of Russians, both
before and after the Soviet era. “Khilkov 3 is ‘The Cherry Orchard 2,’
” Mr. Litoshik said, referring to Chekhov’s play about — what else —
money, real estate and one class squeezing out another.


16) In Memory-Bank ‘Dialogue,’ the Brain Is Talking to Itself
December 18, 2006

New recordings of electrical activity in the brain may explain a major
part of its function, including how it consolidates daily memories,
why it needs to dream and how it constructs models of the world
to guide behavior.

The recordings capture dialogue between the hippocampus, where
initial memories of the day’s events are formed, and the neocortex,
the sheet of neurons on the outer surface of the brain that mediates
conscious thought and contains long-term memories.

Such a dialogue had been thought to exist, but no one had been
able to eavesdrop on it successfully. The new insight has emerged
from recordings of rat brains but is likely to occur in much the
same way in the human brain, which has analogous structures
and the same basic principles of operation.

The finding, reported on the Web site of the journal Nature
Neuroscience by Daoyun Ji and Matthew A. Wilson, researchers
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, showed that during
nondreaming sleep, the neurons of both the hippocampus and
the neocortex replayed memories — in repeated simultaneous
bursts of electrical activity — of a task the rat learned the
previous day.

The researchers could interpret the memories through electrodes
inserted into the rats’ brains, including into special neurons
in the hippocampus. These neurons are known as “place cells”
because each is activated when the rat passes a specific location,
as if they were part of a map in the brain. The activation is so
reliable that one can tell where a rat is in its cage by seeing
which of its place cells is firing.

Earlier this year Dr. Wilson reported that after running a maze,
rats would replay their route during idle moments, as if to
consolidate the memory, although the replay, surprisingly,
was in reverse order of travel. These fast rewinds lasted
a small fraction of the actual time spent on the journey.

In the findings reported today, the M.I.T. researchers say they
detected the same replays occurring in the neocortex as well
as in the hippocampus as the rats slept. The rewinds appeared
as components of repeated cycles of neural activity, each
of which lasted just under a second. Because the cycles
in the hippocampus and neocortex were synchronized,
they seemed to be part of a dialogue between the two regions.

The researchers recorded electrical activity only in the visual
neocortex, the region that handles input from the eyes, but
they assumed many other regions participated in the memory
replay activity. One reason is that there is no direct connection
between the visual neocortex and the hippocampus, suggesting
that a third brain region coordinates a general dialogue
between the hippocampus and all necessary components
of the neocortex.

Larry Squire, a neuroscientist who studies memory at the
University of California, San Diego, noted that the replay
system in the neocortex had not been seen before. The fact
that it occurred during sleep “would certainly provide one clue
that part of the function of sleep is to let us process and
stabilize the experiences we have during the day,”
Dr. Squire said.

Because the fast rewinds in the neocortex tended to occur
fractionally sooner than their counterparts in the hippocampus,
the dialogue is probably being initiated by the neocortex, and
reflects a querying of the hippocampus’s raw memory data,
Dr. Wilson said.

Brain researchers have long assumed that immediate memories
are laid down in the hippocampus and later transferred to the
neocortex for long-term storage. Dr. Wilson said the process
was not just a transfer of memory, however, but more probably
a sophisticated processing of data in which the neocortex
learned selective information from the hippocampus.

“The neocortex is essentially asking the hippocampus to
replay events that contain a certain image, place or sound,”
he said. “The neocortex is trying to make sense of what is
going on in the hippocampus and to build models of the
world, to understand how and why things happen.”

These models are presumably used to direct behavior,
Dr. Wilson said. They are able to generate expectations
about the world and plausibly fill in blanks in memory.

Though the neocortex learns from the hippocampus, the
raw memory traces, from childhood onward, are not
transferred and are probably retained in the hippocampus,
Dr. Wilson said. If so, the forgetfulness of age would arise
because of problems in accessing the hippocampus, not
because the data has vanished.

The subject matter of the neocortex-hippocampus dialogue
in rats seems mostly to concern recent events. This is
consistent with what people report when awoken from
nondreaming sleep — usually small snatches of information
about recent events. Dr. Wilson also said that the new findings,
by showing activity in the visual neocortex, confirmed that rats
had humanlike dreams with visual imagery, a possibility some
researchers had doubted.


17) It's Either Occupation or Education
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches

BAGHDAD, Dec 18 (IPS) - Two in three children in Iraq have simply
stopped going to school, according to a government report.*

Iraq's Ministry of Education says attendance rates for the new school
year, which started Sep. 20, are at an all-time low.

Statistics released by the ministry in October showed that a mere 30
percent of Iraq's 3.5 million students are currently attending classes.
This compares to roughly 75 percent of students who were attending
classes the previous year, according to the Britain-based NGO Save the

Just before the U.S.-led invasion in spring 2003, school attendance was
nearly 100 percent.

Iraqis are forgetting almost what a child needs. Dr. Ahmed Aaraji of the
Baghdad Societal Organisation, an Iraqi NGO which monitors the state of
Iraqi schools and families in an effort to assist families where
possible, is trying to remind everyone what that should be.

"To build a child's character, the home atmosphere should be
appropriate, parents should attend to children, the school environment
should be proper, and the whole society should function at the best
level," he told IPS. "But none of these factors seems to exist in Iraq
any more."

Iraq was awarded The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (UNESCO) prize for eradicating illiteracy in 1982. At that
time, literacy rates for women were among the highest of all Islamic

Education today presents a quite different picture. An IPS correspondent
visited a primary school in the capital city, located in the volatile
al-Amiriyah district in western Baghdad not far from the airport, after
making his way through piles of garbage. And these piles grow bigger by
the day, residents say.

The two-storey building looks neat enough with a fresh coat of yellow
paint, but one step inside reveals years of neglect.

"During the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi schools suffered from the
poverty of the state due to the U.S.-backed UN sanctions," the
headmaster told IPS. "The main problem now is the corruption of
contractors and senior administration staff."

Contracts have been handed out for refurbishment, he said. But in
effect, "they just paint the walls and fix some cheap accessories to
collect their cash, and go."

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) declared as early as October
2004 that the education system in Iraq was "effectively denying children
a decent education, and the poor quality of the learning environment
delivers a major blow to children."

The study also confirmed that thousands of schools lacked the basic
facilities to provide children a decent education.

UNICEF representative Roger Wright said in the October 2004 report:
"Iraq used to have one of the finest school systems in the Middle East.
Now we have clear evidence of how far the system has deteriorated. Today
millions of children in Iraq are attending schools that lack even basic
water or sanitation facilities, have crumbling walls, broken windows and
leaking roofs. The system is overwhelmed."

Two years later, the situation has grown far worse. Now it is so bad
that international agencies are not around to survey it any more.

Still, several parents continue to send their children to school. "We
have to because what is the alternative," Um Abdulla told IPS at the
front gate of a school in Baghdad as she waited to collect her children.

Literacy is declining with school education. UNESCO estimates that the
literacy rate in Iraq as of Dec 11 is below 60 percent, meaning six
million illiterate adults. The average literacy rate in Iraq 2000-2003
was 74 percent, according to UNICEF in 2004.

In the rural areas illiteracy is worse. Only 37 percent of rural women
are literate, and only 30 percent of Iraqi girls of high school age are
even enrolled in school. That compares with about 42 percent of boys,
according to the UNESCO report this month.

Security is the prime concern, for parents and teachers.

"Roads are unsafe, with all the explosions and abductions that threaten
our children on their way to school," mother of three Um Suthir told IPS.

Mothers usually accompany their children to school and bring them back
home. With abductions on the rise, neither are safe.

Many schools in the capital have lowered their hours of classes to less
than four a day due to shortage of teachers and facilities, and lack of

In war-torn Fallujah, many of the schools destroyed in the November 2004
U.S.-led attack on the city have not been rebuilt. This has led to
reduced hours of classes being held in sometimes three shifts in
makeshift buildings.

Ali al-Ka'abi from the Ministry of Education said the problem is worse
in the capital and in cities in al-Anbar province to the west of
Baghdad, where up to 30 percent of school buildings are being used by
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. This province, that includes Fallujah and
Ramadi, has seen the fiercest resistance to U.S. occupation.

The collapsing economy is also keeping several children away from
school. Many children have had to leave school because of family poverty
or after the families were evicted from homes and hometowns for
sectarian reasons.

"We are now living in a factory building, and there is no school near
our shelter," a Baghdad resident told IPS. "I've had to ask for my
oldest boy to help cover expenses by working as a cleaner at a
mechanic's shop nearby."

The man said he used to own a small supermarket where he also lived; he
now works as a porter. And he has no hope his children can ever go to
school any more.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


18) Youths want no migration controls
December 4, 2006

Four out of five youngsters believe people should be able to live in
any country they choose, a BBC global survey of 15 to 17-year-olds

Two-thirds also say that they would emigrate to secure a better
future, and one in seven said they would risk their life to reach
another country.

The results come from a survey of 3,000 teenagers in 10 cities as part
of the BBC's Generation Next series.

The young people were quizzed on a range of contemporary political issues.

The key areas of questioning were immigration, climate change,
terrorism and war, crime, religion, education, global population and

The 10 key cities involved in the poll were New York, Nairobi, Cairo,
Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Baghdad, Delhi, Jakarta, Moscow and London -
though due to their sensitive nature, not all questions could be asked
in all areas.

On the question of immigration, 79% thought that people should be able
to live in whichever country they chose and 64% said that they would
emigrate to secure a better future.

The proportion of respondents that would emigrate to secure a better
future was highest in Nairobi (81%) and Delhi (81%).

An overwhelming majority said the so-called US war on terror was not
making the world a safer place

In Baghdad, 50% of the sample said they would not emigrate - the
biggest negative response of all 10 cities.

The results show the desire of young people to be highly mobile, with
very little difference between developed and developing countries.

Integration issue

But the sample was split about whether those who wanted to move to a
new country should keep apart to maintain their own beliefs and
culture - with 38% saying they should and 49% calling for immigrants
to integrate and adopt the culture of their new country.

In New York, 61% thought immigrants should integrate, with only 11%
saying they should keep apart. In Delhi, the figures were just 11% for
integration and 81% for keeping apart.

When asked which was the most important issue globally right now, 36%
of the respondents listed terrorism.

The issue caused most concern in New Delhi (66%), New York (63%) and
Baghdad (59%).

And an overwhelming majority, 71%, said that the so-called US war on
terror was not making the world a safer place. Just 14% of respondents

Ninety-eight percent of Baghdadi respondents said the war on terror
was not making the world a safer place.

This negative attitude was echoed in Rio de Janeiro where 92% felt the same.


19) What are they scared of?
by Kevin Cooper

An overseer told a visitor to his plantation: “Some Negroes are
determined never to let the white man whip them and will resist
you when you attempt it; of course you must kill them in that case.”*


The above statement was then, and will always be, indicative of the
mindset of the U.S. government when it comes to dealing
with strong Black people.


This is why, throughout the history of our being in this country,
certain Black men and women have been, and still are, targets
of the government. The government – and many white people
in general – fear the rise of the Black man. Especially a Black
man who is loved, respected and honored by his people.


In their minds the love and respect given to that Black man today
can lead to revolution and rebellion tomorrow. This mindset
is why they are truly scared of a “Black Messiah” – a great Black leader!


So whenever the government finds out about a Black man or woman
who “will not let the white man whip them,” he or she is targeted.


Not to let the white man whip you is more than just a metaphor.
It shows the determination and will of Black people, who survived
slavery and continue to struggle on amidst institutional
and economic slavery.


Strong Blacks will not let the white man whip them mentally,
emotionally, spiritually or psychologically, or otherwise
dehumanize them.

Whenever one of ours gains the respect and love of the
community and becomes a leader, the government does
what it has always done – tries to kill him.


Dec. 4, 1969, will live in infamy. On that day, the government
of the United States, with the help of a traitor, assassinated
Our Black Messiah, Our Great Leader, Our Teacher, Our Soldier,
Our Brother, Our Loved One – the Honorable Chairman
Fred Hampton Sr.


So powerful are his words, work and commitment to us – his
people – that 37 years after his murder, the city of Chicago
is trying to kill him all over again.


This time they are trying to kill his memory by refusing to name
a street after him. This in spite of the fact that they put the faces
of ex-slave owners on their most treasured items – the dollar bill.
But we will never forget Chairman Fred Hampton Sr.


It’s apparent that they still haven’t learned a very important lesson
about us. They can’t tell us who our heroes are, or should be!

But because Chairman Fred Hampton Sr. refused to be a slave –
refused to let the white man whip him – he was murdered,
and the collective memory of him is being obliterated.


We cannot and will not let this second murder happen. While we
could not stop what happened in 1969, we as a people can most
definitely stop his murder in 2006 by the city of Chicago.

We must get involved and see to it that the right thing is done
and Chairman Fred Hampton Way comes into existence.

They are lucky we are not asking for a neighborhood or the whole
city to be renamed after him, after what they did to him
and his family – and to us as a people.

As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without
a demand. It never did and it never will.”


We demand our respect and the naming of West Monroe
to Chairman Fred Hampton Way!

In struggle from death row at San Quentin Prison,

Kevin Cooper

*Taken from Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of The United States,”
Chapter 9, “Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation
Without Freedom,” Page 175.

Kevin Cooper is a renowned opponent of the death penalty who
has always maintained his innocence and fought for his own life
as well as the lives of all others sentenced to death. All who can
should pack the courtroom for a hearing on his case scheduled
for Jan. 9 (see the sidebar for details), and meanwhile your words
of encouragement to Kevin would be much appreciated. Write to:
Kevin Cooper, C-65304, 3-EB-82, San Quentin State Prison,
San Quentin CA 94974. Hear an interview with Kevin by Minister
of Information JR’s POCC: Block Report Radio on Flashpoints,
KPFA 94.1 fm, Thursday, Dec. 14, 5-6 p.m., or anytime at


Kevin Cooper at his preliminary hearing in 1983

Kevin Cooper granted hearing on appeals

by Rebecca Doran, Socialist Action Newspaper

In August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued
a decision that will allow a public hearing on all 10 appeals filed
by San Quentin Prison death-row inmate Kevin Cooper.
The hearings will be held on Jan. 9, 2007, at 1:30 p.m.
Supporters will gather at 1:00 outside the courthouse:
9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 95 Seventh St.,
San Francisco CA 94103.

Cooper supporters should fill the courtroom to let the justices
view for themselves the growing numbers of abolitionists
who are demanding an end to America’s vicious death machine.

Cooper, an African American, was sent to San Quentin’s
condemned row in 1985 on trumped-up charges that held
him responsible for what has become known as the 1983
Chino Hills, Calif., Massacre. Despite an expert’s opinion
that it would have been virtually impossible for one person
to commit this carnage and overwhelming evidence that the
murders were committed by three white men, Cooper was
tried and convicted in the midst of a racist San Diego circus.

The scene surrounding the courthouse included a toy gorilla
hung in effigy from a noose and signs that read, “Hang the
African troglodyte.” Nearby graffiti read, “Hang the nigger!”

News of the 9th Circuit’s decision to hear Cooper’s appeals
was well received by supporters, who have spent years
fighting for a hearing through which this racist police
frame-up could be exposed.

In February 2004, Cooper was scheduled to die by lethal
injection in San Quentin’s execution chamber, but a last-minute
emergency panel of 11 9th Circuit judges halted the execution
a mere three hours and 42 minutes before Cooper would have
been executed. Their order cited certain pieces of evidence that
would have to be tested before the court would feel comfortable
sending Cooper to the gurney.

No doubt, the independent, international mass movement that
rose up against the scheduled execution had weighed in on the
judges’ decision to halt the legal lynching.

The outcome of these hearings will rest heavily on the shoulders
of the movement. Kevin Cooper will either walk out of San Quentin
as a free man and much loved member of the struggle against
oppression, or he will be sent in shackles to the execution

The movement that grew around Stan Tookie Williams’ execution
put the state of California on the defensive, and Big Took’s
appalling fate only continues to seep into the collective attitude
of America’s working class towards the so-called justice system.

The time is now for that movement to swell and move back into the
streets with demands to free Kevin Cooper and end the racist death
penalty; it should strike while the iron is hot and force California’s
crumbling legal system off its deadly throne.

Free Kevin Cooper! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal! End the death penalty!

This story is excerpted and modified from a story
in the Socialist Action Newspaper, . For more information
on Kevin Cooper, contact
or the Campaign to End the Death Penalty at (510) 333-7966 or

To reach the Bay View, email


20) FBI: Recruiters caught in drug probe
December 17, 2006

A dozen Army and Marine recruiters who visited high schools were
among the personnel caught in a major FBI cocaine investigation,
and some were allowed to keep working while under suspicion,
a newspaper reported Sunday.

None of the recruiters was accused of providing drugs to students.

The recruiters, who worked in the Tucson area, were targets of
a federal sting called Operation Lively Green, which ran from 2001
to 2004 and was revealed last year. So far, 69 members of the military,
prison guards, law enforcement employees and other public employees
have been convicted of accepting bribes to help smuggle cocaine.

The Arizona Daily Star reviewed the investigation and court documents
and found that the FBI allowed many recruiters to stay on the job
even though they were targeted by the investigation. Some were
still recruiting three years after they were photographed running
drugs in uniform, the newspaper said.

Most of the recruiters pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in March.
Some honorably retired from the military.

The sting began after the FBI received tips that a former Army
National Guardsman was taking bribes to fix military aptitude
tests for recruits, FBI Special Agent Adam Radtke said.

Military officials say they kept the recruiters on the job because
the FBI told them to leave the suspects alone to avoid jeopardizing
the sting. The military said it also didn't know some recruiters were
under investigation, the newspaper reported.

Military officials say the criminal acts by recruiters were rare out
of the thousands of recruiters working across the country. "This
was an isolated incident," said Marine Corps recruiting
spokeswoman Janice Hagar.

A governing board member of the Tucson Unified School District,
Judy Burns, criticized the FBI for allowing the recruiters to stay o
n the job so long.

"It's ludicrous to me that the FBI would leave these people in place
and allow them onto our high school campuses," Burns said.

Special Agent Deb McCarley said the FBI generally performs risk
assessments before deciding to keep suspects who work in public
positions on the job during undercover investigations.


21) Offer to Invest in Delphi Adds to Pressure on Union
December 19, 2006

DETROIT, Dec. 18 — The United Automobile Workers union faces
a difficult choice: reach agreement on concessions with the Delphi
Corporation or risk seeing Delphi lose out on a deal that would
help it emerge from bankruptcy.

A group of private equity firms led by Appaloosa Management
and Cerberus Capital said on Monday that they were willing
to invest at least $1.4 billion and up to $3.4 billion when
Delphi emerges from Chapter 11.

But the offer hinges on Delphi’s reaching a new labor agreement
with its unions, led by the U.A.W., by Jan. 31.

Such an agreement has eluded Delphi since it filed for
bankruptcy protection in October 2005, saying that its
labor rates of about $27 an hour in the United States were
too high to allow it to compete with nonunion companies
who pay much less.

Union members at Delphi were paid essentially the same
wages and benefits as their counterparts at General Motors,
which owned Delphi until a spinoff in 1999.

But Delphi’s chief executive, Robert S. Miller, has proposed
terminating the union’s contract and imposing wages
as low as $12 an hour. The U.A.W. has fought the proposal;
meanwhile, 12,400 workers agreed to buyouts and retirement
incentives of up to $140,000 each this autumn.

On Monday, the U.A.W.’s president, Ron Gettelfinger, showed
no signs that he was in any rush.

Matters affecting Delphi workers “should be settled at the
negotiating table by consent of the parties concerned,
rather than by an order of the bankruptcy court,” Mr. Gettelfinger
said in a statement issued by the union. He added,
“Our membership will be heard.”

For months, U.A.W. members have been airing their displeasure
at Mr. Miller, setting up pickets outside his suburban Detroit
home. But he will not be in his current job much longer.

Delphi said Monday it had named Rodney O’Neal as chief executive,
effective Jan. 1, meaning that he will be overseeing talks with
the U.A.W. Mr. O’Neal is Delphi’s chief operating officer.

Mr. Miller will remain as executive chairman until Delphi
emerges from bankruptcy protection and a new board is formed.

A United States bankruptcy court judge will consider
the investment proposal on Jan. 5.

Five investors, Appaloosa Management, Cerberus Capital,
Harbinger Capital, Merrill Lynch and UBS Securities, would
invest an initial $1.2 billion and purchase $200 million in new
Delphi shares, giving them a 30 percent stake in the auto
parts company when it leaves bankruptcy.

They could spend up to $2 billion more if shareholders
do not participate in a planned rights offering
for 57 million shares.

A full $3.4 billion investment would give the investors 70 percent
of the company. But a Delphi spokeswoman, Claudia Piccinin,
said the company expected at least some of the offering
to be bought by other shareholders.

Delphi also said it had reached agreements with J. P. Morgan
Chase and other lenders to refinance its debtor-in-possession
financing, which it has used to operate while under bankruptcy.

The agreement had been expected. Appaloosa Management,
a $4.5 billion hedge fund led by David Tepper, is Delphi’s
biggest shareholder.

It has been one of the most active players in Delphi’s bankruptcy
case, heading an equity committee. There is also a creditors’
committee established by the bankruptcy court in the case.

Another investor, Cerberus, led a group that recently purchased
a 51 percent stake in the General Motors Acceptance Corporation,
the automaker’s financing arm.

This month, the chief executive of G.M., Rick Wagoner, said he did
not think a deal would be reached among his company, Delphi
and the U.A.W. by the end of the month. Mr. Gettelfinger told
workers last week that there had been little movement in the talks.

The U.A.W.’s contracts with Delphi and the Detroit auto companies
expire next fall and some analysts have speculated that the union
might try to avoid an agreement with Delphi until then. But the
Jan. 31 deadline set by investors could make that strategy
difficult to achieve.


22) Suit filed to reinstate referendum against Redevelopment Plan
for Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco
SF Bay View

What a thrilling surprise! While we searched high and low for a lawyer
willing and able to sue the City for throwing out the over 33,000
signatures on our referendum petition against the Bayview Hunters
Point Redevelopment Plan, Brian O'Flynn quietly hired an attorney
and, on Friday, filed the suit. Brian had joined our cause during
the hearings on the Redevelopment Plan because he had lost
property to the City's power of eminent domain and couldn't bear
to see a whole community suffer that agony. His support has
been and continues to be indispensable.

He's calling a press conference for today, Tuesday, Dec. 19 (exactly
three months since the City Attorney threw out our petitions,
infuriating many more San Franciscans than the 33,056 who
had signed them). It's at noon on the steps of San Francisco
City Hall. Despite this last minute notice, let's have a strong

release follows, and the lawsuit is about to be sent as a separate
email. (The pdf is evidently too large to send with this message
and has been repeatedly rejected - oh well.)

Attention, all who were poised to grab our land and repeople

For more info:
Willie Ratcliff, (415) 671-0789 or cell (415) 571-1722
Brian O'Flynn, (415)  867-4370


23) Perpetual War for Peace?
…Iraq…Iran…& the Corporate Agenda

This feature length television program  - with  internationally known
experts Antonia Juhasz, Rostam Pourzal, and Raed Jarrar- is now
available for online viewing at

Traprock Peace Center produced this program  (also available as a DVD)
on  November 3, 2006, featuring speakers with the Just Foreign Policy
tour -

Sunny Miller served as Moderator and Executive Producer. See 
speaker biographies below. This 1 hour and 45 minute program
includes audience discussion.

If you would like a DVD of this entire program, contact Traprock
Peace Center at 413-773-7427.

“Perpetual War for Peace?” …Iraq…Iran…& the Corporate Agenda" 
also featured an exhibit of 15 photographs of Iraq, Iran and
Lebanon by photojournalists.

These remarkable speakers and the photo display toured
throughout the Northeast, Nov. 1-12.

Speaker Biographies

Antonia Juhasz, activist, author, and policy-analyst

Antonia Juhasz is a visiting scholar at the Washington, DC-based
Institute for Policy Studies and author of The Bush Agenda: Invading
the World, One Economy at a Time (REGAN, HarperCollins, 2006).
The Bush Agenda has been described as “a resounding call to action,”
by John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
The Organizer, one of India’s largest newspapers, called it “A meticulous
expose of corporate America’s intentions in the Gulf.” Juhasz reveals
the “oil time-line” now driving the end of the war and the corporate
globalization agenda in Iraq and throughout the Middle East while
offering specific actions we can take today to change the course
of history.

Juhasz served previously as the project director of the International
Forum on Globalization and as a legislative assistant to two United
States Members of Congress. A frequent media commentator and
award-winning writer, her work has appeared in dozens of newspapers
and publications including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post,
and New York Times. She is a contributing author to Alternatives
to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible (Berrett-Koehler,
2004) and the forthcoming book, A Game as Old as Empire
(Berrett-Koehler, 2007). She lives in San Francisco.

Rostam Pourzal, President of the U.S. branch of the Campaign
Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran

Rostam Pourzal is an independent researcher and organizer for
human rights and is the president of the US branch of the Campaign
Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. He advocates
direct and sustained dialog without pre-conditions between Iran
and the United States. Mr. Pourzal visits Iran regularly and has
served on the boards of several Iranian-American organizations.
He has been interviewed on dozens of well-known broadcasts,
including CNN International, Pacifica Radio, Aljazeera, and MSNBC.
In 2004, he worked with the Fellowship of Reconciliation to send
two goodwill delegations (three dozen American citizens) to Iran.
That ground-breaking initiative was widely reported on BBC,
CNN, and other world media.

Raed Jarrar, Iraq Project Director at Global Exchange, architect

Raed Jarrar was in Iraq during and after the 2003 invasion, and
took part in a number of humanitarian and political projects there
including two first-hand experiences in establishing and leading
volunteer grassroots organizations and NGOs based in Iraq. Raed
Jarrar was the Country Director of CIVIC Worldwide, the only door
to-door casualty survey in Iraq after the US invasion in 2003.
He also established an NGO called “Emaar” that carried out work
in Baghdad and the nine cities of the south, coordinating with local
authorities, community leaders and other NGOs. He maintains
a popular web-log that includes analysis and news summaries
regarding Iraq and the Middle East. In addition, Raed promotes
The Iraq Reconciliation Plan, proposed by the Iraqi Parliament
in June 2006. Raed Jarrar most recently was part of a Global Exchange
delegation that brought together citizen activists from the US
and current Iraqi Parliamentarians in Jordan to share information
and strategies for ending the war. Find more at:

Photo Exhibit by Award Winning Photo Journalists
(For permission to use photographs, please contact Just
Foreign Policy, 202 448-2898. When permission is granted,
please attribute appropriately.)

Lynsey Addario

Photojournalist from the United States sharing images from
Iraq. Addario’s work has been featured in the New York Times,
Associated Press, Time Magazine, Newsweek, among others.
Addario’s photo essays from Iraq, Darfur, India, Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Mexico have won her accolades around the globe.
Now based in Istanbul, Turkey, Addario is documenting conflict,
human interest stories, and people throughout the Middle
East and Africa.

Mohammad Kheirkhah

Photojournalist from Iran sharing images from Iran. Kheirkhah
is a freelance photographer working for United Press International
in Tehran. He is also a contributor photographer to document
IRAN Images.

Andrew Stern

Photojournalist based in New York City sharing recent images
of the war in Lebanon. Stern has photographed in over 20 countries
and his award winning work has appeared in The Guardian Weekend
Magazine, Readers Digest, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times,
Internazionale, and many other publications domestically and
internationally. Stern is committed to documenting critical social
and political issues and is co-author of We Are Everywhere:
The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism Verso 2003.

Ramin Talaie

Photojournalist born in Iran now based in Brooklyn, New York
sharing images from Iran. Talaie has been published in The Guardian,
the New York Times, among others.

Copyright notice: This video is © 2006 Traprock Peace Center; all rights
reserved. Permission granted to copy in full only, without changes
and with attributions, for free distribution only, and notice that it is
used with permission of Traprock Peace Center, all rights reserved.
Such use does not require prior permission, but does require notice
to Traprock so we may gauge the reach of our programs. For notice,
questions or permissions, including requests for a DVD of this program,
contact: or call Traprock at 413-773-7427.

Charles Jenks
Chair of Advisory Board
Traprock Peace Center
103 Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342


24) Indict, Convict, & Jail the Killer Cops!
Stop the Raids and Intimidation Against the Community!
Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation!
No more Stolen Lives!
[This is only one of at least four demonstrations scheduled this week
throughout New York. Too many have suffered at the hands of the
NYPD. I hope these demonstrations are]
The October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the
Criminalization of a Generation calls on you to join in a
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 6pm
Corner of Archer Avenue & Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, Queens
(E/J/Z train to Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue)

Sean Bell ˆ a 23-year-old Black man executed in a hail of 50 police bullets
hours before his wedding in Jamaica, Queens; 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston,
shot and killed by Atlanta police who broke down her door and invaded
her home on a bogus drug bust -- The list of Stolen Lives, killed by law
enforcement agents nationwide, has been growing at an alarming rate.

These cases do not represent just "a few bad apples" or some isolated
incidents. It's a nationwide epidemic of police brutality and murder.
THIS MUST STOP. And it's only the people that can stop it ˆ through
massive, determined protest in the streets and other actions.

Family members of the long line of victims of police murder will expose
the crimes of the police and prosecutors and demand justice for
Sean Bell and all other victims of police brutality. As Nicholas Heyward,
Sr., whose 13-year-old son Nicholas Jr. was murdered by the NYPD in
1994, said, "I have no faith in a system that has allowed the cops who
murdered my son and so many others to escape prosecution. The only
way to stop police brutality is to expose the horrors of the system
and build resistance against a system that continues to exonerate
killer cops, regardless of how the clear the evidence against them is.
Come out and be part of this massive protest to demand justice
for Sean Bell."

Add your voice to this struggle for justice.
Phone (toll free): 866-235-7814


25) Why we stand for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq
Chomsky, Zinn et al: US Out of Iraq Now!
please sign and circulate widely

THE U.S. occupation of Iraq has not liberated the
Iraqi people, but has made life worse for most Iraqis.

Tens of thousands of U.S. service people have been
killed or maimed, and hundreds of thousands of
innocent Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of
the U.S. invasion in 2003, the ongoing occupation, and
the violence unleashed by them.

Iraq’s infrastructure has been destroyed, and U.S.
plans for reconstruction abandoned. There is less
electricity, less clean drinking water, and more
unemployment today than before the U.S. invasion.

All of the justifications initially provided by the
U.S. for waging war on Iraq have been exposed as lies;
the real reasons for the invasion — to control Iraq’s
oil reserves and to increase U.S. strategic influence
in the region — now stand revealed.

The Bush administration has insisted again and again
that stability, democracy, and prosperity are around
the next bend in the road. But with each day that the
U.S. stays, the violence and lack of security facing
Iraqis worsen. The U.S. says that it cannot withdraw
its military because Iraq will collapse into civil war
if it does. But the U.S. has deliberately stoked
sectarian divisions in its ongoing attempt to install
a U.S.-friendly regime, thus driving Iraq towards
civil war.

The November elections in the United States sent a
clear message that voters reject the Iraq war, and
opinion polls show that seven in 10 Iraqis want the
U.S. to leave sooner rather than later. Even most U.S.
military and political leaders agree that staying the
course in Iraq is a policy that is bound to fail.

Yet all the various alternative plans for Iraq now
being discussed in Washington, including those
proposed by House and Senate Democrats, aren’t about
withdrawing the U.S. military from Iraq. Rather, these
strategies are about continuing the pursuit of U.S.
goals in Iraq and the larger Middle East using
different means.

Even the proposal to redeploy U.S. troops outside of
Iraq, a plan favored by many Democratic Party leaders,
envisions continued U.S. intervention inside Iraq.

With former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
insisting that a military victory in Iraq is no longer
possible and (Ret.) Lt. Gen. William Odom calling for
“complete withdrawal” of all U.S. troops, the antiwar
movement should demand no less than the immediate
withdrawal of the U.S. military — as well as
reparations to the Iraqi people, so they can rebuild
their own society and genuinely determine their own

We call on the U.S. to get out of Iraq — not in six
months, not in a year, but now.

Ali Abunimah

Gilbert Achcar
Author - Clash of Barbarisms

Michael Albert

Tariq Ali
Author - Bush in Babylon

Anthony Arnove
Author - Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal

Noam Chomsky
Author - Hegemony or Survival

Kelly Dougherty
Executive Director - Iraq Veterans Against the War*

Eve Ensler
Playwright - The Vagina Monologues

Eduardo Galeano
Author - The Open Veins of Latin America

Rashid Khalidi
Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies
Columbia University

Camilo Mejía
First Iraq War resister to refuse deployment

Arundhati Roy
Author - God of Small Things

Howard Zinn
Author - A People’s History of the United States


26) Only the Jailers Are Safe
New York Times Editorial
December 20, 2006

Ever since the world learned of the lawless state of American military
prisons in Iraq, the administration has hidden behind the claim that
only a few bad apples were brutalizing prisoners. President Bush also
has dodged the full force of public outrage because the victims were
foreigners, mostly Muslims, captured in what he has painted as a war
against Islamic terrorists bent on destroying America.

This week, The Times published two articles that reminded us again
that the American military prisons are profoundly and systemically
broken and that no one is safe from the summary judgment and
harsh treatment institutionalized by the White House and the
Pentagon after 9/11.

On Monday, Michael Moss wrote about a U.S. contractor who was
swept up in a military raid and dumped into a system where everyone
is presumed guilty and denied any chance to prove otherwise.

Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago, was
a whistle-blower who prompted the raid by tipping off the F.B.I.
to suspicious activity at the company where he worked, including
possible weapons trafficking. He was arrested and held for 97 days
— shackled and blindfolded, prevented from sleeping by blaring
music and round-the-clock lights. In other words, he was subjected
to the same mistreatment that thousands of non-Americans have
been subjected to since the 2003 invasion.

Even after the military learned who Mr. Vance was, they continued
to hold him in these abusive conditions for weeks more. He was
not allowed to defend himself at the Potemkin hearing held to
justify his detention. And that was special treatment. As an
American citizen, he was at least allowed to attend his hearing.
An Iraqi, or an Afghani, or any other foreigner, would have been
barred from the room.

This is not the handiwork of a few out-of-control sadists at Abu
Ghraib. This is a system that was created and operated outside
American law and American standards of decency. Except for
the few low-ranking soldiers periodically punished for abusing
prisoners, it is a system without any accountability.

Yesterday, David Johnston reported that nearly 20 cases in which
civilian contractors were accused of abusing detainees have been
sent to the Justice Department. So far, the record is perfect:
not a single indictment.

Administration officials said that prosecutors were hobbled by
a lack of evidence and witnesses, or that the military’s cases were
simply shoddy. This sounds like another excuse from an administration
that has papered over prisoner abuse and denied there is any connection
between Mr. Bush’s decision to flout the Geneva Conventions and the
repeated cases of abuse and torture. We hope the new Congress will
be more aggressive on this issue than the last one, which was more
bent on preserving the Republican majority than preserving American
values and rights. The lawless nature of Mr. Bush’s war on terror
has already cost the nation dearly in terms of global prestige,
while increasing the risks facing every American serving in the military.


27) Bush Concedes Iraq War More Difficult Than He Expected
December 20, 2006

President Bush acknowledged today that the war in Iraq has been
more difficult than he anticipated, but insisted that it could still
be won. He said the “extremists and radicals” behind the bombing
and attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq “can’t run us out
of the Middle East.”

Speaking at a White House news conference, Mr. Bush said he
would await the results of a review of the administration’s policy
on Iraq before announcing a new strategy for the “war on terrorism.”

But he said he would support a measure to send a surge of fresh
troops to the country, as long as there was “a specific mission”
for the additional forces. He also said it was essential to “adjust
tactics” in Iraq and have Iraqis “do more soon.”

The president also said he had asked his new defense secretary,
Robert M. Gates, to explore increasing the “permanent size”
of the United States Army and the Marine Corps.

“We have an obligation to ensure our military has the capacity
to sustain this war over the long haul,” the president said.

He acknowledged that his hand might be forced by the
Democratic-controlled Congress when it convenes in January.
“People in Congress are interested in this issue,” he said.

Although his tone was restrained, Mr. Bush did express confidence
in the ultimate outcome in Iraq. Responding to a question about
a remark he made in an interview with The Washington Post that
America is not winning, he said, “I believe we are going to win.
I believe that — and, by the way, if I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t
have our troops there. That’s what you got to know. We’re going
to succeed.”

On the domestic front, Mr. Bush said he would support a $2.10 increase
in the minimum wage, a top Democratic issue, over two years, as long
as it was coupled with tax and regulatory relief for small business.

On Iraq, Mr. Bush said he would not make predictions about 2007
other than to say that the war “would require difficult choices and
additional sacrifices because the enemy is merciless and violent.”

The president said he was willing to talk to Iran and Syria, as advocated
recently by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, but only with conditions.
He said Iran would have to stop its program to enrich uranium, which
could allow it to develop nuclear weapons, before discussions could begin.

Syria, he said, would have to stop sending funds to insurgents in Iraq
and stop interfering in neighboring Lebanon.

Mr. Bush said he was willing to study what went wrong in Iraq as part
of the effort to adjust tactics in the country. The “sectarian violence
is brutal” between the country’s Islamic sects, he said.

The president is expected to announce the specifics of the
administration’s new plan for Iraq early next year.

As the president spoke, his new defense secretary was in Baghdad,
where he planned to meet with military leaders and Iraqi officials
to assess the situation as the administration considers new strategies.

Mr. Gates has warned that an American failure in Iraq could lead
to a wider regional conflict in the Middle East.


28) Why Unions Must Support The Immigrant Rights Movement
By Karega Hart
Guest Commentator

"The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement
has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected,
the downtrodden, the poor."
- A. Philip Randolph

When A. Phillip Randolph spoke the above words during the
20th century, he was the leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping
Car Porters. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was a union
mainly of African American workers. Other unions refused to
organize African American workers and accused African
Americans of taking jobs, lowering wages and strikebreaking.

Today’s labor movement is faced with some of the same
challenges, should we organize the dispossessed, the neglected,
downtrodden and the poor? Should we organize undocumented
immigrant workers? Should we continue to organize African
American workers? The U.S. Labor Movement can not survive
unless we are willing to organize undocumented immigrant
workers, African American workers, Latinos and women
throughout the South and the Southwest, everywhere. Union
density will continue to decline, unless organizing is escalated
and combined with a broad new social and economic justice
vision and agenda.

In 1955, organized labor was 35% of the workforce, today it
is only 12.5% of the workforce. Technological changes, combined
with the moving of work abroad and other factors has contributed
to the decimation of union density. High wages and benefits cannot
be sustained for any union as long as undocumented immigrant
workers, African Americans, Latinos and the poor remain outside
the organized labor movement. Union members should be tireless
supporters of the immigrant rights movement and advocate support
for civil and human rights struggles. Standing along side undocumented
workers, for civil and human rights should be seen as a badge of honor
in unions and not issues that organized workers reluctantly support.
But this will not happen unless discussion, debate and education
takes place at the deepest roots of the Labor Movement. Avoiding
discussions and debates on immigrant rights, and organizing the
poor and workers of color, will only lead the Labor Movement
further and further into self-centeredness and decline.

While expanding union-worker membership is important, we must
stand firmly on the side of those in the fight for social and economic
justice, concretely this means supporting the rights of undocumented
immigrant workers, African American workers, Latinos, women,
and the poor. The organized Labor Movement must do more than
fight for the rights of union members. Masses of people, most are
workers, many are women and workers of color, all are being forced
into poverty. Organized labor cannot win in a fight with Global
Corporations without allies from other exploited and oppressed
classes and communities.

Does The Organized Labor Movement Have Enemies?

Many union members have been educated to believe that the system
of Global capitalism supports the existence of trade unionism
and will assist hard working American workers. Workers have been
taught that problems in the organized labor movement exist
because we just have some bad employers.

Today’s Global Capitalist and neo-liberals see unionism as their
class enemy and are committed to putting the nails in the coffin
of organized labor. Shallow discussions among union members
about bad employers will not raise the level of awareness
of workers concerning the true nature of the problems that
workers and the oppressed are facing.

Intense, deep and substantive discussions need to be held
at work sites, schools and communities about immigration
reform and rights. Avoiding the discussion on immigration
reform will only contribute to further weakening of the organized
labor movement, the attacks on immigrants and the erosion
of worker/civil and human rights. The real enemy of organized
labor is not immigrants, it is Global Capitalism. Global Capitalism
continually drives workers from poorer countries abroad,
displaces more workers and forces them into deeper and
deeper poverty.

Immigrant Rights Are Workers' Rights

Immigrants are fighting for basic rights, such as the right to
organize, equal wages and benefits and a path to citizenship
without obstacles and more. Immigrant bashing, violence,
exclusion and discrimination is as deadly as White Supremacy.
Make no mistake, these attacks are meant to crush the spirit and
subjugate and neutralize union and unorganized workers. The Labor
Movement has an opportunity to rise up and play a leading role
in the fight for the rights of immigrants. And, the Labor Movement
should never forget the unfinished business of organizing and
fighting for the rights of the millions of African American workers
and Latino workers in the South and Southwest.

Karega Hart is a member of the Bay Area Black Radical Congress
and a Labor Activist in the Oakland/San- Francisco, California
area. Click here
to contact Mr. Hart.


29) Troops Out Now Coalition
The Decisive Battle this Spring -
The Challenge for the Antiwar Movement
March on Washington
On Jan. 27 and March 17 (the 4th Anniversary of the War)
How You Can Help:
Endorse the call for unity for March 17
Become an OrganizingCenter


And we can if we move from symbolic protest to mass resistance
Not One MoreDollar for War and Occupation!
Bring ALL theTroops Home Now!

Forcing Congress to vote to cut off further war funding is the
defining issue for the antiwar movement this spring and it is
a struggle that we can win if we are bold enough to take
it seriously.

The Troops Out Now Coalition
calls on everyone to join the antiwar march on January 27...and
come back on March 17...and come ready to STAY in DC!


An Appeal for Unity in the Antiwar Movement

Our chance of winning are greater if the antiwar coalitions unite!

A crucial factor in our ability as a movement to rise to this challenge
is the willingness for all antiwar forces nationwide--especially the
national coalitions--to renew a commitment to work for unity with
each other. We appeal to all antiwar forces to take the high road
and work together this Spring. The time has come for us to
coordinate our efforts, and avoid competing dates and plans.

If we work and plan together--our chances of success will
be greater.

More than at any time since the start of war, the antiwar movement
is in a position to force congress to vote no on war funding.
The people are on our side, the momentum is on our side, the
whole world is on our side; the only question is whether we have
the conviction and the courage to take our struggle against the
war from the level of symbolic protest to real mass resistance.

Some time between now and early February, Bush is going to ask
Congress to approve between $130 to $200 billion more dollars
to finance the war to add to the close to a half a trillion dollars
in war funding Congress has approved in a series of votes over
the past three and a half years.

Sometime between February and May 2007, Congress will vote
nay or yea to this request. This vote will be the most important
war vote in Congress since a majority of both Republican and
Democratic Party members of Congress voted to authorize
the war in

Clearly, Congress has the authority to cut off spending for the
war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and effectively make it impossible
for the criminal carnage to continue. What makes the next war
funding vote different from all the previous ones is that on
Nov. 7, people voted to end the war.

As a result of the massive antiwar vote, Democratic Party
politicians will take control of both houses of Congress on
January 4. When that happens, the authority to either carry
out the mandate of the elections to end the war and occupation
of Iraq by completely cutting off all war funding or to betray
the people by approving more funds to continue it, will shift
to the leadership of the Democratic party.

The top Democratic Party leaders in Congress have already
indicated that they are preparing to betray the antiwar mandate.
Some members of Congress say they will support resolutions
introduced in Congress that call for a phased redeployment of
troops from Iraq or a time table for withdrawing most troops.
But such resolutions are little more than symbolic, half- measures
that won’t end the war. However, the real fight is the war funding
vote and we must force Congress to vote NO.

In the past, members of Congress who claimed to be opposed
to the war have justified their votes for war funding by claiming
they had to keep up the funding to “support the troops”. It’s
time for us to reject all excuses and rationalizations for voting
for war funding. A vote for war funding is a VOTE FOR WAR.
Moreover, voting to approve more funds for war will only ensure
that more U.S. troops and many more Iraqis will be killed
and maimed.


We will be in Washington on January 27 and we will come back
on March 17. And when we come back in March, this time we
must be prepared to stay there in the thousands to force Congress
to vote NO on more war funding. If Congress tries to rush a vote
on war funding before March 17, this time we must be prepared
to come to Washington in mass to make sure that the war
funding is voted down.


We are asking people to bring their medical, rent, heating and
utility bills; student loan bills; credit card bills, and food bills that
they can’t afford to pay as well as shut-off notices, mortgage
foreclosures, eviction notices to the march on Washington. It must
be made clear to Congress that feeding more money to the war while
more and more people cannot pay for their basic living expenses
is a crime. The cost of the war is not the only reason why we oppose
the war. We oppose the war because it is an imperialist war for
colonial conquest and plunder. Yet the cost of the war is important
because it’s paid for by money stolen from providing social needs.
The money that has paid for death and destruction in Iraq could
have gone towards reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf
Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

In his famous speech declaring his opposition to the Vietnam war
almost 40 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “It is disgraceful
that a Congress that can vote upwards of $35 billion a year for
a senseless immoral war in Vietnam cannot vote a weak $2 billion
dollars to carry on our all too feeble efforts to bind up the wound
of our nation’s 35 million poor. This is nothing short of a Congress
engaging in political guerilla warfare against the defenseless poor
of our nation…”


As we march to end the war abroad, we must also demand an end
to the war at home. We must demand an end to the raids on
immigrant workers like the recent massive military raid carried
out by thousands of Homeland Security/Immigration and Custom
Enforcement police on mostly Latin@ workers at six Swift and Co.
meat processing plants. We must demand an end to the racist police
brutality and terror that recently killed 23 year-old unarmed Sean
Bell in New York City and 93 year-old Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta,
both of them African American.

Immediate, Unconditional and Complete Withdrawal from Iraq--Out Now!
End Colonial Occupation and Imperialist Aggression from Africa
to Asia, from Iraqto Palestine, to Afghanistan, to Haiti, to the
Philippines, to Puerto Rico
No New WarsAgainst Iran, Syria, North Korea
Hands Off Cuba,Venezuela, Bolivia, & Lebanon
Solidarity withImmigrant Workers and Katrina Survivors
Stop the War atHome -- Stop Racist Police Terror -- Stop ICE raids
MilitaryRecruiters Out of Our Schools and Communities -- No Draft
--Education, Not War



Chavez Landslide Tops All In US History
by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 20 December 2006

URGENT Support is requested from Dine Elders and Youth!
Sithe Global & DPA are proposing to build the Desert Rock
power plant, a 1,500 MW Coal Fired plant in the Four Corners
area on the Navajo Reservation. This is an area already polluted
by 2 other major coal power plants. Local Navajo residence and
community members oppose this project for many harmful
reasons!! This Desert Rock power plant is still in the environmental
review process and has NOT yet been permitted.

Bush "Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons"

Climate Change vs Mother Nature: Scientists reveal that bears
have stopped hibernating
Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain,
scientists revealed yesterday, in what may be one of the strongest
signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world.
December 21, 2006

Raising the Floor on Pay
December 20, 2006

Goldman CEO's $53.4M Bonus Breaks Record
December 20, 2006

Goldman Chairman Gets a Bonus of $53.4 Million
December 20, 2006

Fear and Hope in Immigrant’s Furtive Existence
December 20, 2006

Woman beaten on Jerusalem bus for refusing to move to rear seat
By Daphna Berman
A woman who reported a vicious attack by an ad-hoc "modesty patrol"
on a Jerusalem bus last month is now lining up support for her case
and may be included in a petition to the High Court of Justice over
the legality of sex-segregated buses.
Wed., December 20, 2006 Kislev 29, 5767

"Crossing Arizona" DVD Available:
[This is an excellent]
Dear Family, Friends & Colleagues,
This year I've had the opportunity to see many of you while traveling in
association with the documentary film, Crossing Arizona. I am proud to
report that the effort to distribute the film is alive and well.
Crossing Arizona is finding its way into classrooms with the help of
our educational distributor, The Cinema Guild. The film continues to
air nationally on the Sundance Channel and is also finding an audience
overseas with APT Worldwide as our international sales rep. Japan and
Israel will be among the first to tune in. We've got some other things
in the works and you'll be among the first to know.
I write now, however, to let you in on a little secret:) For a limited
time, Crossing Arizona is available for purchase. Please share the news
and this film with others in your life. Simply follow the link below.
The filmmakers of CROSSING ARIZONA thank you for your support !!!
Dan DeVivo
Director/Producer, Crossing Arizona

Manhattan: Limit on Juvenile Restraints
Less than a month after a 15-year-old Bronx boy died after being
physically restrained by employees in a Fulton County detention
center, state officials announced plans yesterday to limit such
restraints. The recommendations, disclosed at a State Assembly
hearing in Manhattan, would end the use of physical restraints
for youths who disobey orders or harm property, but would allow
the restraints when youths are fleeing, causing serious disruptions
or at risk of hurting themselves or others. Larry Brown, executive
deputy commissioner of the State Office of Children and Family
Services, which oversees juvenile detention facilities, said he
expected the rule change to be enacted this month. The death,
which remains under investigation, followed a damaging report
in September by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil
Liberties Union, which described abuse by employees at two
girls’ detention centers.
December 19, 2006

Costly Promises
Paying Health Care From Pensions Proves Costly
December 19, 2006

Italy: Hundreds of Migrants Intercepted Off Sicily
As many as 500 people aboard a migrant ship were intercepted
by the Italian Coast Guard off the coast of Sicily, the ANSA news
agency reported. Their ship had been spotted in the afternoon
by fishermen, and the authorities dispatched a dozen ships
to intercept it. Numbering 400 to 500, according to ANSA, the
migrants, whose origin was not immediately known, were taken
to migrant centers on Sicily to determine their identities. Boats
carrying immigrants usually carry no more than 200 people.
On Saturday, 102 people trying to reach the Canary Islands
went missing off the Senegalese coast after their migrants
ship capsized. Just 25 people survived that shipwreck.
December 19, 2006

Manhattan: Police Policy Found Unconstitutional
A jury in Federal District Court found yesterday that a police
policy applied to demonstrators arrested for minor offenses
between May 1 and mid-July 2001 was unconstitutional.
In a case presented by some 360 plaintiffs, the jury agreed
with lawyers who argued that senior police officials had
issued orders for demonstrators arrested on minor charges
to be put through a long processing, including a night in jail.
The jury found that the police treated the demonstrators
more harshly than they did nondemonstrators arrested
on the same kind of charges, but rejected a claim that
about 300 had been unfairly treated under an unwritten
practice dating from 1999. Alan Levine, a plaintiffs’ lawyer,
said negotiations on behalf of about 30 clients eligible
for damages under the verdict would begin soon.
December 19, 2006

France: Teachers Strike Over Longer Hours
Up to half of France’s schoolteachers went on strike to protest
a government plan to increase the number of hours they spend
in the classroom. Several thousand gathered in Paris to march
on the Education Ministry in a demonstration of their anger
at the measure, which is to be signed next month. The ministry
is seeking to add one to three hours a week to some teachers’
rosters in an attempt to reduce the state teaching payroll
by up to 2,800 posts.
December 19, 2006

Making a Life in the U.S., but Feeling Mexico’s Tug
December 19, 2006

Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn
March 20, 2006

PVL: New strain of superbug targets the young,
and its latest victim is an NHS nurse
By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Published: 18 December 2006

Terrorism, Security Business and Britain
By Sherry Shamsi (Edinburgh)
Monday, 18 December 2006

Former U.S. Detainee in Iraq Recalls Torment
December 18, 2006

Ain't Going Back Again - Peace Machine
has been holding tight, now at #33....thank you all who have
helped to keep it at the front....
and click on #33 and support the resistance.....currently
thousands of US troops are refusing to LIVE WITH WAR,
and will not deploy. This is also known as a mutiny.
Please forward this link on, and let's see if we can
get the resistance into the top ten...
please visit

Diplomat's suppressed document lays bare the lies behind Iraq war
By Colin Brown and Andy McSmith
Published: 15 December 2006

Eli Lilly Said to Play Down Risk of Top Pill
December 17, 2006

The unknown disheartens family, friends
Published December 14, 2006

Mission to locate nursing mother fails
A priest and nun looking for the woman at Camp Dodge say
an immigration official ‘wouldn’t tell us anything about anybody.’
December 14, 2006
Photo gallery of the raids:




FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2007, 4:00 - 7:00 P.M.


All human beings have basic, inalienable human rights to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. If your family is starving and you
can not find work, you have the right to find someplace where you can
feed, clothe and house your family.

If capital can go all over the world exploiting workers, then workers
have the right to move to find work for their family's basic survival.


From South America, Latin America, China, Africa, India--in countries
all over the world, not to speak of the war in Iraq--a war of blood
for oil--U.S. businesses are raking in huge profits off the backs of workers
who earn slave wages and work under the most dangerous working conditions
at best, and under a state of war at worse.

Meanwhile, here at home, they are laying off workers, closing factories, doing
away with benefits and working conditions won by worker's struggles
in the past--installing two, three, many-tiered pay scales--driving down
wages to below the scale parents are earning--leaving our children
with the heritage of a guaranteed life of poverty without union


And now they launch an all-out war against the most vulnerable workers
--who are driven to work in these meatpacking plants. Whether
documented or not, this is brutal, dangerous and difficult work.

And not so coincidentally, these same workers just happen
to be in the midst of a fight to win union recognition!


These mass arrests are terrorist tactics designed as a warning
to all workers that if they struggle for a better life and better
working conditions, they will be persecuted in every way

This is an all-out assault on every worker and it is being
executed by a terrorist government--the U.S. Government--
who uses pre-emptive war based upon outright lies to further
their oil profits; who will stop at nothing to increase their
rate of profit.

The ultimate goal of the U.S. Government is for American big
business to continue to accumulate unimaginable wealth
at the expense of the hardworking majority all over the
world--nothing is off-limits to them in this, their fundamental


An injury to one is an injury to all! We are only as strong as our
weakest link. If we allow these terrorists from ICE to continue
to carry out these assaults against the basic human rights
of any of us--no matter what our immigration status--they
will not hesitate one second to use these same tactics of mass
firings, arrest, etc. against all of us who dare to struggle
in our own defense and in our own, basic human interests and
for our own basic rights as workers and human beings!

It's up to us to organize and fight back! If we are united, we cannot loose!


For more information contact:

Barrio Unido por una Amnistia
General e Incondicional
Cristina Gutierrez,

Bonnie Weinstein,


Washington, D.C.
VOLUNTEER Live in NYC or DC? We need your help
before and during the protest. Call 212-868-5545
updated information and to sign up for our action alerts
DONATE Whether you can contribute $10, $100, or
$1000, we need your support to help end the war!
Call 212-866-5545 or visit
Join us for a massive
march on Washington
to tell the new Congress:
unitedforpeace&justice (212)868-5545
On Election Day the voters delivered a dramatic,
unmistakable mandate for peace. Now it's time for action.
On Jan. 27, 2007, help send a strong, clear message to
Congress and the Bush Administration:
Bring the troops home now!


From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund the People's Needs NOT THE
WAR MACHINE! End Colonial Occupation: Iraq, Palestine, Haiti and
everywhere! Shut Down Guantanamo


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


FEBRUARY 23-25 (Lynne and her husband Ralph will
stay on several more days. Stay tuned for complete
schedule of events.)
Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
I am pleased to announce that Lynne Stewart and Michael Ratner have
just accepted our invitation to tour the Bay Area. The confirmed
dates are February 23-25, 2007. Lynne, accompanied by her husband
Ralph Poynter, will stay on several more days for additional meetings.
In solidarity,
Jeff Mackler,
West Coast Coordinator, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Co-Coordinator, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
O: 415-255-1080
Cell: 510-387-7714
H: 510-268-9429


May Day 2007
National Mobilization to Support Immigrant Workers!
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
New York: (212)330-8172
Los Angeles: (213)403-0131
Washington D.C.: (202)595-8990



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


You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


Call for action to save Iraq's Academics
A little known aspect of the tragedy engulfing Iraq is the systematic
liquidation of the country's academics. Even according to conservative
estimates, over 250 educators have been assassinated, and many
hundreds more have disappeared. With thousands fleeing the country
in fear for their lives, not only is Iraq undergoing a major brain drain,
the secular middle class - which has refused to be co-opted by the
US occupation - is being decimated, with far-reaching consequences
for the future of Iraq.


Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.


March 17-18, 2007

Please circulate widely


Sand Creek Massacre
Hello, Everyone,
On November 29, 1864, 700 Colorado troops savagely slaughtered
over 450 Cheyenne children, disabled, elders, and women in the
southeastern Colorado Territory under its protection. This act
became known as the Sand Creek Massacre. This film project
("The Sand Creek Massacre" documentary film project) is an
examination of an open wound in the souls of the Cheyenne
people as told from their perspective. This project chronicles
that horrific 19th century event and its affect on the 21st century
struggle for respectful coexistence between white and native
plains cultures in the United States of America.

Listed below are links on which you can click to get the latest news,
products, and view, free, "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" award-
winning documentary short. In order to create more native
awareness, particularly to save the roots of America's history,
please read the following:

Some people in America are trying to save the world. Bless
them. In the meantime, the roots of America are dying.
What happens to a plant when the roots die? The plant dies
according to my biology teacher in high school. American's
roots are its native people. Many of America's native people
are dying from drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, hunger,
and disease, which was introduced to them by the Caucasian
male. Tribal elders are dying. When they die, their oral
histories go with them. Our native's oral histories are the
essence of the roots of America, what took place before
our ancestors came over to America, what is taking place,
and what will be taking place. It is time we replenish
America's roots with native awareness, else America
continues its decaying, and ultimately, its death.

READY FOR PURCHASE! (pass the word about this powerful
educational tool to friends, family, schools, parents, teachers,
and other related people and organizations to contact
me (, 303-903-2103) for information
about how they can purchase the DVD and have me come
to their children's school to show the film and to interact
in a questions and answers discussion about the Sand
Creek Massacre.

Happy Holidays!

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC,+Don

(scroll down when you get there])



NOW's Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes us inside the
world's largest pork processing plant, located in Tar Heel, North
Carolina. As the first TV journalist ever allowed to film inside the
plant, owned by The Smithfield Packing Company, Hinojosa gives
us an insider's view of what conditions are like in a plant that
slaughters over 33,000 hogs per day.


Rights activist held in Oaxaca prison
Three students arrested and held incommunicado in Oaxaca



The following quote is from the 1918 anti-war speech delivered
in Canton, Ohio, by Eugene Debs. The address, protesting World War I,
resulted in Debs being arrested and imprisoned on charges of espionage.
The speech remains one of the great expressions of the militancy and
internationalism of the US working class.

His appeal, before sentencing, included one of his best-known quotes:
"...while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal
element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Read the complete speech at:


My Name is Roland Sheppard
This Is My `Blog'
I am is a retired Business Representative of Painters District
Council #8 in San Francisco. I have been a life long social activist
and socialist. Roland Sheppard is a retired Business Representative
of Painters District Council #8 in San Francisco. I have been
a life long social activist and socialist.
Prior to my being elected as a union official, I had worked
for 31 years as a house painter and have been a lifelong socialist.
I have led a unique life. In my retire age, I am interested in writing
about my experiences as a socialist, as a participant in the Black
Liberation Movement, the Union Movement, and almost all social
I became especially interested in the environment when I was
diagnosed with cancer due to my work environment. I learned
how to write essays, when I first got a computer in order to put
together all the medical legal arguments on my breakthrough
workers' compensation case in California, proving that my work
environment as a painter had caused my cancer. After a five-year
struggle, I won a $300,000 settlement on his case.
The following essays are based upon my involvement in the
struggle for freedom for all humanity. I hope the history
of my life's experiences will help future generations
of Freedom Fighters.
For this purpose, this website is dedicated.


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




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


Asylum Street Spankers-Magnetic Yellow Ribbon com/watch? v=bfMgRHRJ- tc


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


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


Do You Want to Stop PREVENT War with Iran?

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through our US-Iran Media Resource Program , we help
the media ask the right questions and bring attention to the human side
of this issue.

Through the LegWatch program ,

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

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

But more is needed, and we need your help!

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

2801 M St NW
Washington DC 20007

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

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

Trita Parsi
President of NIAC

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

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


Immigration video:


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


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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

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

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howard Keylor
For the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Asylum Street Spankers-Magnetic Yellow Ribbon com/watch? v=bfMgRHRJ- tc


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

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


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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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

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

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

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. vzeo9ewi/ idrissstelleyfou ndation/
http://groups. group/isf23/
Report Police Brutality
24HR Bilingual hotline
(415) 595-8251
http://groups. group/Justice4As a/

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Appeal for funds:
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website http://dahrjamailir
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/

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


Contact: Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

Howard Zinn joins Kathy Kelly, Dahr Jamail, Ann Wright and Neil MacKay in
endorsing "War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and
Mechanisms for Accountability."

The report was published internationally by 10 organizations in October.

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

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

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Today in Palestine!
For up to date information on Israeli's brutal attack on
human rights and freedom in Palestine and Lebanon go to:

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

Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

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

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

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

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

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:


Mike Wright

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

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Taking Aim with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone has a new Internet

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

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

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Visit the Traprock Peace Center Video Archive at:
Visit the Traprock Peace Center
Deerfield, MA

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

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

Free The Cuban Five Held Unjustly In The U.S.!

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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:
http://www.mexico. indymedia. org/oaxaca

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http://www.indybay. org

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

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The Cost of War
[Over three-hundred- billion so]
http://nationalprio 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:
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 http://www.actionsf .org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

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“It is reasonable and honorable to abhor violence and preach
against it while there is a visible and rational means of obtaining,
without violence, the indispensable justice for the welfare of man.
But, if convinced by the inevitable differences of character, by the
irreconcilable and different interests, because of the deep diversity
in the sea of the political mind and aspirations, there is not a peaceful
way to obtain the minimum rights of a people (…) or it is the blind
who against the boiling truth sustain peaceful means, or it is those
who doesn’t see and insist on proclaiming it that are untrue
to their people.”[2]
[2] José Martí “ Ciegos y desleales Obras Escogidas in III volumes;
Editorial Política 1981 Volume III p182

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 uslawdocs/ declaration. html decind.html
http://www.usconsti declar.html
http://www.indybay. org/news/ 2006/02/1805195. php

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


"The International"
Lots of good information over at Wikipedia, as often the case:

What I've always found fascinating is the wide variety of translations (or
perhaps it would be better to call them "interpretations" or "variations")
that exist, even in English. It's also fascinating to read all the different
verses of the song.

One thing I learned at Wikipedia is that the original intention was that the
song would be sung to the tune of the Marseillaise, but that shortly
thereafter different music was written. Good thing, in my opinion, I'd hate
to see the identities of two stirring songs be confused. Each deserves their
own place in history.

Lyrics to the Marseillaise are here - pretty stirring in their own right. As
with the Internationale, all sorts of unknown verses:

Eli Stephens
Left I on the News


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