Tuesday, December 05, 2006



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

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

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

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

Clarification of who we are now:

We will also discuss BAUAW itself. BAUAW, when first organized,
was a viable coalition with meetings of 60 to 100 people on
a weekly basis. BAUAW was responsible for the unity agreement
that was made before the Iraq war began for the massive February 16,
2003 action that took place in San Francisco with over 500,000
people in attendance as part of the "World Says No to War"
international days of protests on February 15/16, 2003, across
the globe. That unity agreement and the formation of the
"liaison committee" united all the major antiwar groups
in the Bay Area which lead to the tremendous success of
February 16, 2003 here.

Immediately after that action and when the war finally began,
our attendance began to dwindle and the alliances that were made
behind the Feb. 15/16 demonstrations crumbled to the state we
are in today, with two major demonstrations called on the
fourth anniversary of the war, March 17, 2007. One by UFPJ and one
called by ANSWER and both poised for action in Washington, DC
in competition with each other.

BAUAW attendance has dwindled to a small handful of people
and, while we have played a very important role in the past--and today,
even as small as we are, played an especially important role
in the counter-recruitment and anti-JROTC movement that led
to this great victory of ridding our schools of JROTC--we can
hardly call ourselves an organization.

We are really little more than our newsletter and our website
and a tiny group of die-hards with like minds. I have been web-master and
newsletter moderator and will continue with this as long as people
are interested in receiving the newsletter and continue to view
the website.

The newsletter has a list of over 450 groups and individuals in the Bay
Area who regularly receive it so it is a very useful tool to disseminate
information. Our website gets at least 700 visits a day and over
2200 "hits" a day. Our yearly total for visits is over 206,716.

We plan on continuing to advocate for unity within the movement
by keeping these two tools up and running but we
want to be clear about who and what we are.

We are open for discussion and suggestions at the meeting about
these comments as well as a celebration of our work well done.

Please join our celebration.

Everyone welcome--please circulate

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein,


Saturday, December 9, 2006
6:00 pm Dinner and Program/7:30 pm Film showing
A benefit for the Cuban Five freedom struggle on the fifth anniversary
of their sentencing with an update on the case of the Cuban Five
political prisoners held in U.S. jails; readings from the heroic Five's
speeches at the sentencing (allocutions); update on Mumia Abu-
Jamal's struggle for freedom; buffet dinner and film showing:
A film by Estela Bravo, 91 minutes, 2001
Award-winning documentary spanning 40 years of the Cuban
Revolution and the life and work of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
$10-50 donation
Women's Building
3543-18th Street, San Francisco
Reserve seats now:
Sponsor: National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
For more info, call 415-821-6545 or visit: 
If you would like to make a donation go to:



A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
by Howard Zinn
Published by City Lights Books | Available now

296 pages | ISBN: 0-87286-475-7 | www.citylights.com


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


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


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.


Condi and George W. are A Love Story



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


"Punk Ass Crusade" antiwar Flash music video featuring new
music by The Coup


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





please circulate:

Leonard Peltier Court Hearing December 7, 2006
From: abeltranjurisdr @ aol.com
Subject: Dec 7th Peltier argument Second Circuit, Manhattan
Date: Nov 30, 2006 12:24 PM
To: Leonard Peltier Supporters

From: Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Subject: Court hearing on December 7, 2006

Location: U.S. Court of Appeals 500 Pearl Street, 9th Floor,
Ceremonial Courtroom, Manhattan.

On December 7, 2006 at 10:00 a.m., Buffalo attorney Michael Kuzma will
be arguing before a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit for the full release of all documents maintained
by the Buffalo field office of the FBI relating to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS.

As a result of this lawsuit, and a similar case brought against the FBI in
Minnesota under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we have learned
that the *FBI actually possesses 142,579 pages* of material pertaining
to Leonard Peltier and RESMURS. Although these documents are over
30 years old, the Government continues to block release of this
information on the basis that disclosure would, among other things,
hamper the "war on transnational terrorism" and reveal the identities
of confidential sources.

Come out on December 7, 2006 to show your solidarity and support
in our struggle to pry loose these secret FBI files and, in the process,
come one step closer to liberating Leonard from federal prison!

Thank you,

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee


Protest unionbusting Hornblower
Next Saturday morning, December 9, 10:00 A.M.,
there will be another show of public support at the
picket line at Pier 33, SF.

From: gata@infinex.com [mailto:gata@infinex.com]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 10:38 AM
To: perryadams@clearchannel.com; bobagnew@clearchannel.com
Subject: Letter to Quake Radio re Hornblower ads

Kudos for bringing back Mike Malloy, and for allowing Bob Linden to buy
airtime. Those two shows are the only reason I tune to your station anymore.
(If you were to bring back Marc Maron, I'd listen to that too). Shame on
you, though, for taking money from unionbusting Hornblower, who are defying
a federal court order to abide by the MMP/IBU's Service Contract negotiated
with Hornblower's predecessor.
See today's Chronicle story:


Next Saturday morning there will be another show of public support at the
picket line at Pier 33 at 10am (Dec. 9). Will you send someone from your
news dep't. to cover it? Have you already, or will you interview IBU
regional director Marina Secchitano about what Hornblower's refusal to abide
by the Contract means to those workers?
I urge you not to take anymore advertising from Hornblower, until they agree
to abide by the Contract completely.
I also am appalled that you carry advertising from Working Assets, who have
participated in a smear campaign against Cynthia McKinney, by publishing an
attack article on her from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by a rightwing
writer. After years of service with WA, I cancelled my account, and have
urged all my friends to do the same. I'm also urging them to write to you
and to not listen to your station anymore until you stop carrying Hornblower

I am sending this letter to my contacts and asking them to write and call
the station (advertising director Perry Adams: 415.972.1119; comments line

Janice Rothstein
AFSCME 3299; SF Chapter California Peace and Freedom Party


Please forward widely:

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

National Days of Action to:

SAT DEC. 9, 1pm

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

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

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

Also join us earlier for a

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Bay Area Events:

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

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

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

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


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

Hello All,

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

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

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

Lynne Stewart - her case and current legal status

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

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


Robert Meeropol
Executive Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children


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

Join Lynne Stewart and the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee in


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

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


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

Music by:

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

Great Food & Drink provided

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

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

Mobility Handicapped please enter through
Thompson Street entrance.

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


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


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


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


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

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


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!...bw]


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


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


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


Do You Want to Stop PREVENT War with Iran?

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through the LegWatch program

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

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


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


But more is needed, and we need your help!

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

2801 M St NW
Washington DC 20007

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

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

Trita Parsi
President of NIAC

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

Email: info@uslaboragainstwar.org

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

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


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


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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

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

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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

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

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

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

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

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Contact:  Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

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

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

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

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

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Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

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

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

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

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

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:



Mike Wright

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

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

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

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

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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.!
http://www.freethef ive.org/

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

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http://www.indybay. org

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

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

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

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"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata
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Join the Campaign to
Shut Down the Guantanamo Torture Center
Go to:
http://www.shutitdo wn.org/
to send a letter to Congress and the White House:
Shut Down Guantanamo and all torture centers and prisons.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
http://www.ANSWERco alition.org http://www.actionsf .org
sf@internationalans wer.org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

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

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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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http://www.10reason sbook.com/
Public Law print of PL 107-110, the No Child Left Behind
Act of 2001 [1.8 MB]
http://www.ed. gov/policy/ elsec/leg/ esea02/index. html
Also, the law is up before Congress again in 2007.
See this article from USA Today:
Bipartisan panel to study No Child Left Behind
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
February 13, 2006
http://www.usatoday .com/news/ education/ 2006-02-13- education- panel_x.htm

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

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


"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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Bay Arera Reporter
by Heather Cassell
Published November 30, 2006

2) 30,000 Union Workers Accept Buyouts at Ford
November 29, 2006

3) U.S. Troops Kill 5 Girls in Assault on Insurgents
November 29, 2006

4) From Norman Morrison to Malachi Ritscher
Self-Immolation as Anti-War Protest

5) Labor Speaks Against War on Iran

6) That Our Children May Have Peace
By Gregg Shotwell
Live Bait & Ammo #85, November 28, 2006

7) Bolivia enacts broad land-reform bill
Conservatives fear the leftist president is headed toward authoritarian rule.
By Patrick J. McDonnell
Times Staff Writer
November 30, 2006

8) Business Becomes a Big Casualty
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

[Col. Writ. 11/9/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

10) INB 12/1/06: Raids in Kentucky, Atlanta, NYC & NJ
Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 41 - December 1, 2006

11) Huge War Spending Bill to Test Democrats
The Associated Press
Friday 01 December 2006

12) "Conservative" Radio Host Punks his listeners
by Rock Strongo
Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 11:14:28 PM EST
http://www.dailykos .com/story/ 2006/12/1/ 225750/658

13) Full text of speech by Army General Raúl Castro
Speech by the Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party,
First Vice-President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Minister
of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Army General, Raúl Castro Ruz,
at the Political Ceremony, Military Review and March of the Combatant
People in Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Landing
of the Granma Yacht and the Day of the Revolutionary Armed Forces,
and in Celebration of the 80th Birthday of the Commander-in-Chief,
Fidel Castro Ruz, Given on December 2nd, 2006,
"Year of the Energy Revolution in Cuba"
2006-12-02 | 09:26:52 EST

14) Police Shooting Reunites Circle of Common Loss
December 2, 2006

15) Teens Frustrate Military Recruiter's ASVAB Scam
by Scott Horton
November 24, 2006

16) Venezuela’s Economic Boom Buoys Chávez
December 3, 2006

17) Homemade Memorial Is Stirring Passions on Iraq
December 3, 2006

18) Wal-Mart Says Thank You to Workers
Asked if absence for a family emergency, like a sick child, would
be authorized, Mr. Uselton recounted, the manager said, “No, it’s not.”
December 4, 2006

19) Chávez Landslide May Speed Venezuela Changes
Stronger Government Hand
Seen for Domestic Functions;
Why Cuban Model Not Likely
December 4, 2006; Page A3

20) It's Hard Being a Woman
*BAGHDAD, Dec. 5 (IPS) - Once one of the best countries for women's
rights in the Middle East, Iraq has now become a place where women fear
for their lives in an increasingly fundamentalist environment.*
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

21) Shias Too Lose Faith in Iraqi Govt
*BAGHDAD, Dec. 4 (IPS) - The noisy demonstration that greeted Iraqi
Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki on his visit to Sadr City last week was
more than just a protest. It meant that the leader of a Shia-dominated
government was being rejected by an angry and influential group of Shias.*
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

22) Judge grants preliminary gang injunction
by Mary Ratcliff
San Francisco Bay View News
To reach the Bay View, email editor@sfbayview.com

23) Water War Brewing along Mexican Border
By DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press Writer
Tue Dec 5, 9:19 AM ET


Bay Arera Reporter
by Heather Cassell
Published November 30, 2006

Mara Kubrin, the student who was pictured in the Bay Area Reporter
delivering a petition signed by more than 800 students in support of
phasing out the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and told the
Board of Education that many students were afraid to attend the meeting
on November 14, began receiving e-mail threats directly to her private
MySpace account three days later.

The board voted 4-2 earlier this month to phase out the JROTC program
in part because of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that
prohibits gays from serving openly.

Reportedly, students allegedly hacked into Kubrin's account posting her
personal information on a bulletin board on the Web with photos and a
disclaimer "by viewing this you agree to release said author from all
damages resulting from any physical or mental damages resulting from
violence as a result of this bulletin," according to Marc Norton, Kubrin's
mother's partner, and her father David Kubrin. The bulletin also
provided an easy link to post the information on other bulletin boards. Mara
Kubrin reported the incident to the police, but after three follow-up
phone calls to police the family hasn't received any information
regarding the progress of the investigation into the alleged threats, David
Kubrin told the B.A.R. Police didn't respond to a call from the B.A.R.
seeking comment.

Mara Kubrin brought the threats to the attention of Doug Bullard, the
JROTC instructor at Lowell High School. "Mara came to me at the end of
last week and showed me something that she had downloaded from her Web
site," Bullard said, but admitted that he hadn't alerted Amy Hanson,
principal of Lowell, nor had he informed Robert Powell, director of Army
instruction for the San Francisco Unified School District, as of Monday,
November 27.

"I wasn't sure it was a threat. I was trying to find out where it came
from and who might have sent something like that and I had asked
students in my program about it and none of them know anything about it,"
said Bullard, who said he assumed Mara Kubrin had taken it to school

When the B.A.R. asked Powell about the situation he was surprised and
stated that he would be shocked if any of the JROTC students were
involved. He repeatedly denied that JROTC instructors could take any
disciplinary actions to reprimand the students even within the program.

"We would inform the principal, just like any other disciplinary action
that occurs in high school. We don't have any authority to discipline
any kid other than the high school rules and regulations," Powell said.

Mark Sanchez, a commissioner on the school board who voted in favor of
phasing out the JROTC program, also received a threatening e-mail that
was forwarded to him by Commissioner Eric Mar. The e-mail message was
forwarded to the board's legal counsel. Sanchez mentioned that incoming
board member Jane Kim also received a harassing e-mail, but she was
unavailable for comment at press time.

Commissioner Dan Kelly, who voted to phase out JROTC and will be ending
his 16-year tenure on the board in January, said about the incident, "I
think that's very sad. The adults need to put the disappointment into
perspective for the kids and not in a platform for their own anger,
their own resentment, and that's hard to do. It's important for us adults
to say when a decision has been made, 'OK, we disagreed with the
decision, but now it's time to move on.'"

It is unknown if any other students have been harassed or received
threats. Mara Kubrin was unavailable for comment.


2) 30,000 Union Workers Accept Buyouts at Ford
November 29, 2006

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 29 — Thirty thousand Ford Motor Company
workers — nearly half of the automaker’s unionized work force —
have agreed to leave their jobs in exchange for a buyout or a
package of early retirement benefits, the company said this

All of the 75,000 Ford employees represented by the United
Automobile Workers union were offered eight different deals
worth as much as $140,000 in September, and had to decide
by Monday whether to accept.

In all, 38,000 U.A.W. workers at Ford have now agreed to take
buyouts this year, including 8,000 who accepted packages offered
at specific plants earlier in the year, before the company made
the deals available to its entire hourly work force.

The departures will leaves Ford with its smallest workforce
in decades.

Combined with almost 34,000 employees who took buyouts
over the summer — reducing G.M.’s hourly payroll by about
one-third — the Ford announcement brings tp 72,000 the number
of workers at Detroit’s automakers who have voluntarily agreed
to leave an industry that can no longer can guarantee them the
high wages and job security enjoyed by their parents and

The “take rate” at Ford surpassed the expectations both of
management and of Wall Street analysts, and will allow Ford
to reduce its costs faster than called for in the company’s
much-discussed overhaul plan, called the Way Forward. Ford
said earlier in the year that it needed to eliminate 25,000 to
30,000 jobs as it closes plants and sheds production capacity
left idle as the company’s market share in the United States declines.

Union leaders were apparently surprised by the high take rate
as well: before the Monday deadline, news reports said they
expected only about 15,000 workers to accept a buyout.

Investors reacted positively, bidding up Ford’s stock price by
about 20 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $8.35 a share in morning
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

“While I know that, in many cases, decisions to leave the company
were difficult for our employees, the acceptances received through
this voluntary effort will help Ford to become more competitive,”
Ford’s new chief executive, Alan Mulally, said in a statement.
“We’d also like to thank the U.A.W. for working closely with us
in developing packages that will help employees to move
productively into a new phase of their lives. It is clear that
we were successful in providing appropriate options; this,
in turn, is helping the company to meet its cost objectives.”

Ford said “just over half” of the workers who accepted
buyouts chose a package that gives them a lump-sum
payment, plus tuition reimbursement or scholarship money
for family members, but absolved the company from having
to pay them retirement benefits. Other packages included cash
payouts of up to $35,000 and allowed workers to receive health
insurance and other benefits as if they had retired in the usual

Workers will begin leaving Ford in January and must be gone
by September.

Ford lost $7 billion through the first nine months of this year,
and has said it does not expect to earn a profit in North America
until 2009 at the earliest. On Monday, Ford said it planned
to mortgage most of its assets in the United States, along with
its stock in Volvo and the Ford Motor Credit Company, in order t
o raise $18 billion to finance its overhaul. Never before in its
103-year history had Ford pledged major assets to raise money.

The automaker has not said how much it expects the buyout
program to cost. G.M. has pegged the price of its buyouts at
$3.8 billion, or roughly $100,000 for each worker.

Ford also intends to eliminate about 14,000 salaried positions
through buyouts. Those workers still have time to decide whether
to accept a package and leave.


3) U.S. Troops Kill 5 Girls in Assault on Insurgents
November 29, 2006

BAGHDAD, Nov. 28 — American troops killed five girls, including
at least one baby, and what the military described as either a boy
or a man, when the troops attacked a house Tuesday in volatile
Anbar Province after they suspected insurgents of firing at them
from the roof.

Another person, which the military described in a written statement
as either a girl or a young woman, was wounded in the attack and
refused treatment by the Americans.

The military said the killings occurred after the Americans spotted
two suspected insurgents before dawn near a roadside bomb
in the town of Hamaniyah, west of Baghdad. The men fled
to the roof of a nearby house. When the Americans began
defusing the bomb, the suspected insurgents began shooting,
the military said.

The military said the Americans returned fire with machine guns
and small arms and rounds from the main gun of one or more
tanks. After the firefight, the Americans discovered the six dead
Iraqis in the house.

It was unclear what happened to the suspected insurgents, but
the military said “it was reported” that one was wounded in the
fight and carried away by other insurgents.

“In a very tragic way, today reminds us that insurgents’ actions
throughout Iraq are felt by all,” Lt. Col. Bryan Salas, a Marine
spokesman, said in the statement. “Efforts are under way
to coordinate and offer available assistance to surviving family

Anbar Province, a vast swath of desert and Euphrates River
towns stretching from Baghdad to Iraq’s western border,
is the heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency, which is battling
to drive out the Americans and unseat the majority Shiites
from the Iraqi government.

American troops in Anbar are fighting a holding action, unable
to make any real headway against the insurgency while facing
a mostly hostile civilian population. The pressures have already
led to prominent incidents of civilian deaths — one unit
of Marines is being investigated for whether it wrongfully
killed 24 unarmed civilians in the town of Haditha last year.

In Baghdad, an Air Force spokesman, Brig. Gen. Stephen Hoog,
said the military was still recovering parts from an F-16 fighter
jet that crashed near the capital on Monday. It was unclear
whether the jet and its pilot had been attacked, he said. Using
an aerial drone, the military had observed insurgents in the
area of the crash site, the general said.

The military said a marine died on Monday in Anbar from
combat injuries.

Violence continued to roil Iraq a day before a scheduled meeting
between President Bush and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki
in Amman, Jordan. At least 30 bodies were discovered in Baghdad,
an Interior Ministry official said. Four people were killed
and 40 wounded when two car bombs exploded behind
the morgue at Yarmouk Hospital in western Baghdad. A barrage
of mortar rounds in the Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliya
hurt at least 20 people.

At least 19 people were killed or found dead in Diyala Province,
a police official said. In Kirkuk, at least one civilian was killed
and 22 wounded when a suicide belt bomber exploded near
a convoy carrying the governor of Tamim Province.


4) From Norman Morrison to Malachi Ritscher
Self-Immolation as Anti-War Protest
November 29, 2006

"When you own a big chunk of the bloody third world, dead babies just
come with the scenery"
- Chrissie Hynde, from "Middle of the Road", by The Pretenders

In November of 2005, the United States used white phosphorus
munitions against the people of Fallujah, Iraq. Jeff Englehart, a
former marine who spent two days in Fallujah during the battle, said
he heard the order go out over military communication that WP was to
be dropped. Mr Englehart, now an outspoken critic of the war, says:
"I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use
white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it's known as Willy
Pete ... Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the
way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and
children." (as reported by Andrew Buncombe and Solomon Hughes: 15
November 2005, The Independent)

On November 3, 2006, on an off-ramp during rush hour in Chicago,
Malachi Ritscher immolated himself. News reports have made much of
the fact that his death had no immediate impact, since he was not
identified for many days, and because the national news did not pick
it up for several weeks. He is characterized as a troubled man. These
are the words he left behind in his suicide note: "Here is the
statement I want to make: if I am required to pay for your barbaric
war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass
murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our
country... If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to
say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am
ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country."

In March of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized the use of
napalm against the people of Vietnam. Napalm is a burning gel that
sticks to the skin, and made flame throwers and incendiary explosives
a staple of the US arsenal against Vietnam. A Business Week article
(February 10, 1969) termed the chemical "the fiery essence of all
that is horrible about the war in Vietnam."

On November 2, 1965, Norman Morrison immolated himself within sight
of Robert McNamara's window at the Pentagon, to protest the war in
Vietnam. Norman did not leave a suicide note. His friend John Roemer
described his action as follows, "I don't know. I don't know. He
fought the war more and more deeply. I mean, when are you one of the
Germans?...You have to be mentally different to fly in the face of
received wisdom in this country. He played it out in his mind, I
think, in terms of being a moral witness", and, "In a society where
it is normal for human beings to drop bombs on human targets, where
it is normal to spend 50 percent of the individual's tax dollar on
war, where it is normal...to have twelve times overkill capacity,
Norman Morrison was not normal. He said, 'Let it stop' ".

The Vietnamese canonized Norman Morrison. Streets were named after
him, a postage stamp was printed with his image, poems were written
in his memory. The most quoted, by To Huu, includes this stanza:

Where are you hiding? In the graveyard
Of your five-cornered house
Each corner a continent.
You hide yourself
From the flaming world
As an ostrich hides its head in the
burning sand.

Norman was one of several people who chose to become a victim of the
fire of the Vietnam War. Others include Vietnamese Buddhist monks,
Quang Duc, June 1963, in Saigon; an unnamed monk in Phanthiet,
August, 1963; Thich Nu Thanh Quang, in Hue, 1966. Each death
galvanized opinion and resistance to the war within Vietnam. On March
16, 1965, Alice Herz, an 82 year old pacifist, immolated herself on a
Detroit street corner. She stated in her suicide note, that she was
protesting "the use of high office by our President, L.B.J., in
trying to wipe out small nations." And "I wanted to call attention to
this problem by choosing the illuminating death of a Buddhist." A
week after Norman Morrison's death, Roger LaPorte burned himself in
protest in front of the United Nations in New York. In May of 1970,
George Winne, Jr., burned himself in protest of the Vietnam War on
the University of California campus in San Diego. (See Frances
Farmer's Revenge.)

Coverage of the sacrifice of Malachi Ritscher has been obsessively
concerned with his sanity. The AP article on his death includes this
conclusion, "Mental health experts say virtually no suicides occur
without some kind of a diagnosable mental illness." Our government
and its experts expect that rational citizens living rational United
States lives understand that the burning of civilians is just part of
the scenery, a necessary element of foreign policy. A person who
actually takes responsibility for the purposes to which his/her tax
monies are being devoted is by definition insane. It is a world
turned upside down, in which torture, napalm and white phosphorus are
"legal", and peaceful protest criminal. It is no mystery to me that
there are human souls who cannot bear the light of truth, and choose
to join the victims of our culture's madness.

Joe DeRaymond lives in Freemansburg, PA. He can be reached at:


5) Labor Speaks Against War on Iran
Help build a movement to stop a war on Iran:
Sign the Petition
Tell a Friend
For updated news,see the Stop War on Iran
http://stopwaroniran.blogspot.com/ blog

The following resolution, opposing U.S. military action and threats
against Iran, was passed unanimously by the San Francisco
Labor Council.

This is an important victory for antiwar activists in the labor
movement. Let's keep the momentum going--We encourage
you to work to get similar resolutions passed in your unions,
Labor Councils, City Councils, churches, schools, student
governments, clergy associations, tenant organizations,
community groups, etc. Send us copies of the resolutions
you pass--ALL these resolutions will be posted on Stop War
on Iran web site. (Send them to resolutions @ stopwaroniran.org.)

San Francisco Labor Council Resolution - Adopted by
Unanimous Vote Nov. 27, 2006

Resolution on Threat of Military Action Against Iran

Whereas, no evidence has been offered that Iran possesses
weapons of mass destruction, even after many inspections
by the International Atomic Energy Agency; yet the Bush
administration continues to threaten aggressive measures
against Iran on the grounds that Iran may be developing
nuclear weapons; and

Whereas, the U.S. government seeks to impose U.N.
sanctions on Iran for continuing to develop its uranium
enrichment program, which Iran asserts is strictly for
non-military production of nuclear energy. At least ten
other nations enrich uranium in order to produce
nuclear energy, and the US is not threatening to
attack them; and

Whereas, Iran has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty
and was the first state to call for a Nuclear-Free Zone
in the Middle East; and

Whereas, Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, as well
as China, France, the U.S., Russia, and Great Britain --
all have nuclear weapons, with the U.S. possessing
a larger stockpile than of all the rest of the world
combined; and

Whereas, the U.S. government campaign against Iran's
development of enriched uranium appears to be much
like the misinformation campaign waged by the Bush
administration before the war on Iraq to justify its
unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq; now the
Bush administration once again seeks to stoke unjustified
fears to win public support for military action against Iran; and.

Whereas, the U.S. government has dispatched a Navy carrier
group to the Persian Gulf off Iran's western coast, as well
as ships capable of mining harbors, for naval exercises that
some observers believe could serve as the prelude to an
attack or other military action, such as mining Iran’s
harbors; and

Whereas, published reports of intelligence recently
gathered by U.S. Special Operations forces in Iran suggest
that the U.S. has identified hundreds of targets in Iran,
in preparation for a possible military attack on that country; and

Whereas, the U.S. government has a long history of
interference in the internal affairs of Iran, including the
well-documented CIA-engineered 1953 overthrow of Iran's
democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh,
who nationalized Iran's oil; and the US role in installing
and backing the brutal regime of the Shah of Iran;

Therefore be it resolved, that the San Francisco Labor
Council, AFL-CIO, hereby declares its opposition to U.S.
military action against Iran, and urges all organizations with
which it is affiliated to demand that Congress take measures
to prevent any such military assault, and rather, to promote
diplomatic non-military solutions to any disputes with Iran; and

Be it finally resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council
join with other antiwar forces to organize mass popular
opposition to any military assault on Iran, and to respond
rapidly should such an assault occur.


6) That Our Children May Have Peace
By Gregg Shotwell
Live Bait & Ammo #85, November 28, 2006

“In the progress of politics, as in the common occurrences of life,
we are not only apt to forget the ground we have traveled over,
but frequently neglect to gather up experience as we go.”
—Tom Paine

The bad news is, I have a long commute since I transferred back
to GM from Delphi. The good news is, I’m working the road to rule.
I drive slower than a mule with hot cargo and expired plates. Screw
the oil companies. I get forty miles to the gallon. I relax like
a poor man with a radio and nowhere to go. I lean like a lowrider
whose vehicle is the destination. I pause in motion with an unlikely
simile—a silo in a wind— knowing I’ve already arrived where I am.

I treat the highway of American industry and commerce like a place
of idleness and repose. This isn’t Zen, it’s revolt. My time is worth
more than money to me because I can’t earn any more of it…
I can only spend it wisely.

I work in a warehouse which is a place where goods are stashed
and money is made literally hand over fist. It’s all in the turn over.
We produce nothing. We add no value. We receive the goods and
we ship the goods and the mark up for the time between makes
the loan sharks on Shake St. look like Saint Vincent DePaul. But the
magnum of profit doesn’t halt the speed up. We can’t march fast
enough for the General. There’s only one solution: shoot
the drummer.

Is it maximum profit or minimum conscience that drives our
nation to compete for the lowest standard of living? Even children
are sideswiped in the race to the bottom line. Schools are turned
into sweatshops. Hospitals are managed like maquiladoras.
Homelessness is mental health therapy. Prison is substance
abuse treatment. Every program or agency whose purpose
is to serve the public interest is underfunded, abused, and
degraded. Our families suffer under the yoke of double wage
earners without disposable income or time to spend with their
children. Meanwhile Congress debates whether a minimum
wage which snorkels the poverty line will ruffle the feathers
and furs on Wall Street.

The madness of the method isn’t just about money. The vultures
already have all the money. They have plans for all the money you
and I will ever make in our lifetime. They have plans for our pensions,
our 401k’s, the money that falls through the hole in the doughnut
they call prescription drug coverage for seniors. They have plans
to profit off the deaths of our brothers and sisters in Iraq and
Afghanistan. It’s not just about the money. It’s about control.

When the debt comes due, when the dollar deflates, when property
values tank, and the market collapses, what will the wealthiest
of the wealthy do? Seize everything of value. Buy up the homes
of workers for a dime on the dollar; snap up utilities at bargain
basement prices; then jack up rents and rates in tandem. They’ll
commandeer all the hard assets, the natural resources, the oil and
the gold. Just thinking about it makes me drive slower.

And the slower I go the more the knowledge of where I’ve been
and where I’m going comes into focus. The more I listen to the
radio spin circles around my vehicle, the more I notice what’s
missing from our conversation about the common good, namely,
the working class. There is no “middle class” and “lower class”
in America. There are only workers who have decent jobs, and
workers who don’t have decent jobs. Those who do hold decent
jobs are only one catastrophic illness, one plant closing,
or one indefinite layoff from destitution. The victims of capital’s
creative destruction aren’t strangers. They are working-class
Americans made destitute by a system that requires unemployment
to hold down inflation.

Lou Dobbs is wrong about the growing demise of the middle
class in America. There is no middle class to demise. The mantle
of middle class status presumes a degree of security and upward
mobility which doesn’t exist. The notion of safety draped like
the boss’s arm around one’s shoulder is based on the premise
that hard work pays off and loyalty is rewarded. The middle class
dream is as dead as the deer I see splattered on the highway
everyday. There is no middle class for special workers. There
is only a working class, and we—however special we may feel—
all work in the same demoralized place, under the same relentless
pressure to sacrifice our lives for the success of a godless
corporation. Where will it end?

Despite expectations to make a billion dollars in net profit,
Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee demanded the union impose
a two-tier wage and benefit cut in order to secure “new” work.
Union members voted the double-cross down soundly. But union
leaders pursued a vigorous campaign to promote the competitive
ideal. On the second try the traitor’s deal was narrowly ratified.

The soul of a union leader who pushes two tier is darker than
the pupil of a well digger’s eye. Every union leader knows there’s
no water at the bottom of that hole. Two tier is not just about
money, it’s about control. Harley-Davidson’s extortion didn’t
stop at the doorstep of the union hall. The state of Wisconsin
agreed to provide help with infrastructure improvements, training
costs, and even capital. The assault on workers is state sponsored.
Health, education, and social programs get slashed while the
corporate blitzkrieg on the working class is subsidized. Mussolini
would be impressed, but Tom Paine would shoulder the musket
of conviction: "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day,
that my child may have peace."

Two tier is not just about the money, it’s about who owns whose
soul. The most effective way to break the spirit of the working
class is to compromise our moral code by forcing a choice between
fighting back or betraying what is most precious—our children.

We stand at the crossroad knowing full well where both roads
lead. One road to leads to dishonor and the other to the dignity
of struggle. One road points to the hope and courage of collective
action and the other to shame, despair, and isolation.

After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

Will reduced wages mean the work will be safer or more humane?
Will reduced benefits mean more security? Or will it simply
mean the collective power of workers will be harnessed to serve
our masters’ driving passion—maximum profit for minimum wage.
The corpos must think we are dumber than horses. The yoke never
lightens, the hardship never wanes, and the hope for retirement
in dignity fades like a dope smoker’s dream.

Last year while Delphi was making headlines with threats and
intimidation, Hastings Piston Ring, an auto supplier in northern
Michigan, quietly and with the blessing of the Federal court,
cut off pension and health care for retirees. Production of piston
rings didn’t miss a beat and the profit kept pumping like
a flathead eight on a straightaway.

Two tier for new hires and a kick down the stairs for retirees.
That’s the refrain. Verses in between change only the names
not the scheme.

Hastings Piston Ring, Harley-Davidson, and Delphi are not
isolated cases. The degradation of the working class is chronic
and contagious. We need collective action not more concessions.
We need to try our souls in the temper of our times that our
children may have peace.

Live Bait & Ammo #85, November 28, 2006


7) Bolivia enacts broad land-reform bill
Conservatives fear the leftist president is headed toward authoritarian rule.
By Patrick J. McDonnell
Times Staff Writer
November 30, 2006

LA PAZ, BOLIVIA — Allies of President Evo Morales on Wednesday
celebrated the surprising passage of an ambitious agrarian reform
bill, a cornerstone of Morales' provocative leftist agenda.

"The time of the humble ones has arrived," declared Sen. Felix Rojas
of Morales' Movement Toward Socialism party, known as MAS.
"They will inherit the land." But passage of the bill, signed into law
by an exuberant Morales near midnight Tuesday, also bared anew
the deep divides in South America's poorest nation.

Morales, a former leader of coca leaf cultivators, has presented
himself during his first year in office as a champion of the country's
impoverished indigenous masses, long beholden to an elite
of European and mixed-race ancestry.

Conservative forces fiercely opposed to Morales' socialist vision
vowed to continue efforts to block what they view as Morales'
proclivity toward authoritarian rule styled after Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez, Morales' political mentor.

"If the government continues in this manner, it is the beginning
of a dictatorship," said Fernando Messmer, opposition leader
in the Chamber of Deputies.

Incendiary political battles swirl around other Morales initiatives,
notably his efforts to exert control over autonomy-minded
provinces and his plan to dominate an assembly rewriting
Bolivia's Constitution. A general strike is planned for several
regions Friday to protest Morales' alleged power grab.

The sweeping reform bill could result in the redistribution
of 10,000 square miles of land. It was approved by the
Senate after thousands of Indians marched on the capital,
demanding 100 acres per family.

"We are suffering from hunger and misery, and many of
us must leave our homes for other countries," said Sofia
Martinez, 30, a mother of three from the southeast who
said she marched for several weeks to arrive at the capital.
"We are joining this fight, with our blood if necessary, to
recover our lands."

The march on La Paz appeared to turn the tide in the
contentious battle over the bill, which had been kept from
passage by a walkout of conservative lawmakers in the Senate.

The Morales-dominated lower house had approved the measure.

With the Senate stalled, Morales threatened to put the
law into effect via decree. But his party managed to
convince several opposition senators to vote for the bill,
ensuring its narrow passage.

"This is the struggle of our ancestors, the struggle for
power and land," Morales told a cheering midnight crowd
at the presidential palace as he signed the bill into law.
"The change is in our hands."

The land decree comes more than six months after
Morales nationalized Bolivia's fossil fuels sector,
including the lucrative natural gas industry.

The energy nationalization had overwhelming popular
support in Bolivia but was strongly opposed
by foreign investors.

Land reform has been a pillar of Morales' "socialist
revolution," though the government has sought to allay
landowners' fears by saying only nonproductive properties
would be seized. Determining whether lands are productive
is likely to be a process fraught with controversy.

Much of the land taken over is likely to come from the
relatively wealthy eastern portion of Bolivia, including
Santa Cruz province, where a potent autonomy movement
is underway.


Special correspondent Oscar Ordoñez in La Paz and Andrés
D'Alessandro of The Times' Buenos Aires Bureau
contributed to this report.


8) Business Becomes a Big Casualty
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Nov 29 (IPS) - "Iraq got the foreign investment rules long
sought by U.S. corporations," Antonia Juhasz, a visiting scholar at the
Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, and author of 'The Bush
Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time' told IPS earlier.*

Juhasz said the new laws, which were a part of the 100 'Bremer Orders'
instituted by former U.S. administrator Paul Bremer when he headed the
Coalition Provisional Authority during the first year of the occupation,
provided a flood of benefits for U.S. companies.

These included "100 percent repatriation of profits earned in Iraq by
foreign companies; 100 percent foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses,
including banks; privatisation of Iraq's state owned enterprises; 100
percent immunity for U.S. contractors and soldiers from Iraq's laws; and
'national treatment' which allowed for Iraqis to be all but excluded
from the reconstruction for years while the U.S. government paid 50
billion dollars to some 150 U.S. corporations for work in Iraq."

What followed was "a U.S. corporate invasion of Iraq," Juhasz said.
"Many companies had their sights set on privatisation in Iraq, also made
possible by Bremer, which helps explain their interest in 'major
overhauls' rather than getting the systems up and running."

In contrast, there was much state support for businesses under the
previous regime, which followed a socialist system under which the
government allowed Iraqis to establish their own factories and
workshops, and supported them in many ways.

Businesses were granted low interest loans and permission to transfer
foreign currency. They could get state-owned land to build on.
Administrative laws facilitated enterprise, and so small industry
business bloomed during the 1970s and 1980s.

Major industries in Iraq for oil products, phosphates and cement, along
with the military industry, were mostly state-run under the previous
regime. Foreign companies were allowed, under state supervision, to
build factories as Iraq moved towards increasing industrialisation.

This growth was reversed during the 1990's under the U.S-backed UN
economic sanctions. The sanctions crippled the Iraqi dinar and people's
ability to purchase goods and services.

The business situation worsened further during the U.S.-led invasion
when most factories ceased to function. Many were bombed, and for other
factories employees stayed at home. Following the invasion several were
looted, and were never able to start again.

Some private businesses held out, but eventually security problems, lack
of electricity and fuel, a staggering inflation rate (70 percent) and
lack of safe transportation led many of these too to close down.
Unemployment now stands at more than 50 percent û but most people
believe the real situation is far worse.

Thousands of business and factory owners sold what they could and fled
to neighbouring countries. Those who did not now wish they had.

"I used to employ more than 30 workers in my plastic products factory,
and business was good before the occupation," Abbas Ali told IPS in
Baghdad. "It is impossible to work now, and I had to go back to my old
job as school teacher. I was offered 200,000 dollars for the business,
but now it is not worth anything. I blame myself for not selling it to
flee, like some of my colleagues who live safely in Syria now."

And still, there are steel, textile, and other factories that continue
to produce what they can.

Kais al-Nazzal built a set of steel factories about 60km west of Baghdad
near Fallujah, and is fighting to keep them going. "We imported the best
quality steel manufacturing equipment and spent millions of dollars on
modern buildings to meet international standards," Kais al-Nazzal told IPS.

"We have been able to work through the occupation period, but we must
admit there are hardships under the recent domestic disturbances that
are causing us considerable losses."

Local studies have found 85 percent unemployment in the industry sector.
Many of the 15 percent who remain employed are registered at a few state
factories that pay their employees even if they produce nothing.

"We are trying to do some work here, but the whole situation is not
encouraging, so it seems that we will wait until a miracle takes place,"
a manager at a state-owned cement factory on the outskirts of Baghdad
told IPS.

The business and economic morass Iraq finds itself in today is evident
in the market places across the capital city.

About 80 percent of domestically manufactured goods were distributed
prior to the invasion and occupation through the Shorja market in the
centre of Baghdad. The wholesale market is a bazaar along narrow roads
where hundreds of small shop-owners display their merchandise.

"There is no Iraqi brand any more," plastic products distributor Johar
Aziz told IPS. "Iraqi products flourished during the quarter century
before occupation, but now we only sell imported products of the lowest
quality, and people have to buy them because there is no alternative."

Other markets in Baghdad are suffering a similar crisis, like the
Samarraii compound where tyres are sold, the Jamila market for fruits
and vegetables, and the Sinaa market for computers.

The main shopping centres like Saadoon Street and Rasheed Street, and
the once upmarket Mansour area and the Karrada district are now like
ghosts of what they once were.

"We used to open our shops for at least 16 hours a day, but now we only
open for a few hours because of the security threats," Duraid Abdullah,
an electrical appliances shop owner in Karrada told IPS. "We are facing
all kinds of threats starting from being abducted for money or sectarian
reasons, as well as being evicted from our shops by gangs supported by
government forces."

A businessman who once owned a small textile factory that has gone
bankrupt said he had not expected the coming in of a U.S. administration
to be bad for business.

"The picture of Japan after World War II dominated the minds of
businessmen in Iraq after occupation," he said. "Most of us thought the
American invasion of Iraq was bad for many things, but it must be good
for business in general and industry in particular. We were terribly
wrong. The Iraqi economy was meant to be destroyed for political reasons."

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail


[Col. Writ. 11/9/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Several weeks ago, a long, dusty trail of thousands winded their way
from the southern city of Oaxaca, to the capital of Mexico City, some
800 kilometers (or over 250 miles) to support democracy, and demand the
removal of the governor, who got there through a stolen, and deeply
corrupt election.

The marchers, a motley crew of teachers, students, farmers, vendors, and
the like, made their tortuous way over mountain and valleys, through
slashing rains, blistering heat, and numbing cold, marching for 19 days,
to take their complaints to the seat of government.

The group, calling itself the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca
(or APPO, the Spanish acronym for Asemblea Popular del Pueblo de
Oaxaca), has rocked Mexico with its strong, principled insistence that
elections be truly fair and free of corruption, and that the will of the
People be heard.

I've actually been reading about the events in Oaxaca for several weeks,
and every time I read about them, I thought of Americans, who quietly
accepted the corrupt elections of 2000, and of 2004, like lambs being
led to shishkabobs.

For, the stolen elections of 2000 in Florida, and later 2004 in Ohio,
have done unprecedented damage to the very notion of democracy, and
shattered the faith of millions in the electoral process.

The people of Oaxaca, braving not just the natural elements, but the
political ones as well, indeed, the terrorism of the 'instruments of the
state' (police and military violence), have proven by their march and
protests that true democracy is deeply important to the people.

The APPO, which has sparked resistance throughout Mexico City, and in
other parts of the country, has created a political crisis in the
nation, by its fervent demand for the removal of Oaxaca governor, Ulises
Ruiz, and the restoration of democracy.

The crisis arises from the fact that many of the country's political
parties are doing their damnedest to silence, derail, or intimidate the
people; for if they are successful (they fear) there will be two, three,
a dozen Oaxacas all across the country.

Oaxaca, although the poorest state in Mexico, and one with the largest
indigenous population, is inspiring people far and beyond its southern
Mexican borders.

The Oaxaca resistance was born in repression, when Governor Ruiz ordered
the police assault on the striking Oaxaca teachers' union in June. The
teachers fought back, and within days, over 300,000 people gathered in a
mass march to support the union. Out of that massive outpouring of
support came the APPO, the Popular Assembly. The continuing crisis in
Mexico may push social forces to join the radicalizing efforts of the
APPO, or may open the door to the threatened terror of the 'instruments
of the state.' To be frank, what began in repression may indeed end in
more repression; but that will not, nor could truly be the end.

That's because the forces that gave rise to APPO are still rumbling
barely beneath the surface, ready to emerge in another state, where
workers and the poor are struggling to resist the ravenous forces of

When the poor are treated poorly, when workers are poorly paid, the
conditions for resistance are already present.

And while the temptation of the State to use its brutal 'instruments'
may be strong, it's also very possible that it may spark more
resistance, deeper and broader.

Oaxaca is spreading like the wind, and the examples of popular and
indigenous resistance from Mexico, like the APPO, and the Zapatistas,
and various struggles from throughout Latin America, are spreading also.

The people of Oaxaca should be supported, not just with words, but with
similar organizing against flawed and corrupt elections, from folks all
over the world.

It should begin with the people of the U.S.

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal


10) INB 12/1/06: Raids in Kentucky, Atlanta, NYC & NJ
Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 41 - December 1, 2006

1. More Kentucky Construction Raids
2. Atlanta Airport Raid
3. More Raids in NYC, NJ

Immigration News Briefs is a weekly supplement to Weekly News Update on the
Americas, published by Nicaragua Solidarity Network. Contact nicajg@panix.com for info.

On Nov. 29, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents
arrested 32 suspected undocumented workers--including one woman--
in northern Kentucky. Thirteen of the workers were arrested at
two parking lots near a construction site in Covington, Kentucky,
just south of Cincinnati, Ohio. The other 19 were arrested in a
parking lot at the Home Depot store in Florence, in Boone County,
Kentucky, where they were waiting for transportation to the
Covington construction site. ICE spokesperson Gail Montenegro
said those arrested were taken to the Boone County jail. They
were to appear in US District Court in Covington on Nov. 30.

The immigrants had been contracted to do commercial drywall work
for the Spectrum Interiors firm. Dugan and Meyers is the main
contractor on the Covington construction site, where a $55
million, 21-story condominium project--the "Ascent at Roebling's
Bridge"--is being built. "Home Depot was a pickup location where
they all got in a van and went to Covington," explained Tom
Scheben of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

Scheben said the ICE agents are "not trying to pick up one or two
here or there. They're trying to get large numbers and they're
trying to get the people who are employing them." The arrests
followed a coordinated investigation by ICE, the Internal Revenue
Service's Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of
Labor, and the US Marshals Service. ICE was also assisted in the
investigation by the Florence, Covington and Lexington police
departments, the Boone County Sheriff's Office, the Kenton County
Sheriff's Office and Boone County Jail. [WCPO.com 11/29/06;
Cincinnati Enquirer 11/30/06; Cincinnati Post 11/30/06; ICE News
Release 11/29/06]

Between May 9 and June 2, ICE arrested at least 89 people in the
same area of northern Kentucky in a raid targeting immigrants
employed by subcontractors for the Fischer Homes construction
firm [see INB 5/14/06, 5/21/06, 6/18/06]. Five Fischer Homes
supervisors were indicted on federal charges in connection with
the arrests, but on Nov. 15 US District Court Judge David Bunning
dismissed the charges because a key witness, subcontractor Nelson
Trejo, could not be found. Trejo had said he would cooperate with
federal prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence. Two other
subcontractors who made similar deals are still facing charges.
Fischer Homes as a corporation was not implicated or charged in
the case. [WCPO.com 11/29/06; Cincinnati Enquirer 11/16/06]

On Nov. 29, ICE agents arrested six undocumented Mexican
immigrants who worked installing drywall at the Hartsfield-
Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. They worked
for T.C. Drywall, Inc. of Alpharetta, according to ICE. The
workers had security badges that gave them access to restricted
areas of the airport, including the tarmac. None of the men was
considered a security threat. They were arrested in Hartsfield's
south terminal as they arrived for work in the morning. [Atlanta
Journal-Constitution 11/29/06] The operation was conducted with
the assistance of the Hartsfield Department of Aviation and the
Atlanta Police Department and coordinated with the Department of
Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration. [ICE
News Release 11/29/06]

In a seven- or eight-month investigation ending Nov. 30, ICE
agents joined with officers of the New York City Department of
Probation in arresting 81 immigrants with prior criminal records
in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. The raids were part
of "Operation Retract," an ongoing effort by ICE's New York
office to arrest immigrants on probation for prior misdemeanor or
felony convictions and place them in removal proceedings. Of the
total number arrested, 45 were legal permanent residents and 36
were out of status. All but nine of the arrested immigrants were
from either Latin America (52) or the English-speaking Caribbean
(20). They came from the Dominican Republic (28), Mexico (13),
Jamaica (10), China (5), Trinidad (4), Colombia (4), Guyana (3),
Ecuador (3), El Salvador (3), Korea (2), Antigua (1), Barbados
(1), India (1), Grenada (1), Honduras (1) and the United Kingdom
(1). ICE agents transported the immigrants to detention
facilities where they will be held during removal proceedings.
[ICE News Release 11/30/06]

On Nov. 29, ICE arrested 45 immigrants in Brooklyn, Queens, the
Bronx and Manhattan who according to ICE are "child predators and
criminal alien sex offenders." The arrests were made under ICE's
"Operation Predator" and were separate from those made under
"Operation Retract," although the arrested immigrants were also
on probation in New York City for prior misdemeanor or felony
convictions. Those arrested were citizens of Bangladesh, Bosnia,
Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana,
Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico,
Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Romania and Trinidad. [ICE News Release

Another 137 people were arrested in New Jersey between Nov. 13
and 18 in "Return to Sender" raids, which target people with
prior removal orders. ICE said 54 of those arrested had been
ordered removed by an immigration judge; the other 83 were simply
without status. Only 17 of the 137 had criminal records. Those
arrested came from 21 countries, including Poland, Mexico,
Honduras, Guatemala, Pakistan, Egypt, India, Slovakia, Costa
Rica, Albania, Macedonia and the United Kingdom. [Press of
Atlantic City 11/21/06; ICE News Release 11/20/06]

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


11) Huge War Spending Bill to Test Democrats
The Associated Press
Friday 01 December 2006

The Pentagon increasingly is using war spending bills for costs not
directly related to Iraq and Afghanistan. Last month, Deputy Defense
Secretary Gordon England said the four military services could add
projects connected to the broader fight against terrorism, which
critics said could be interpreted to cover almost anything.

Washington - The Bush administration is working on its largest-
ever appeal for more Iraq war funds - a record $100 billion, at least,
and that figure reflects cuts from wish lists originally circulating
around the Pentagon.

The measure will give Democrats, who take control of Congress
next year, an early chance to try changing the conduct of the war.
But they are limited and do not want to be cast as unsympathetic
to U.S. troops.

"We're not going to do anything to limit funding or cut off funds,"
says Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

$200 Billion Iraq-Afghanistan War Budget

Senior Pentagon officials have trimmed initial requests from
the Army and Air Force. But with $70 billion already approved
for the budget year that began Oct. 1, and more money needed
to replace lost or worn- out equipment, spending levels for 2007
easily will be at the highest since the Iraq war began in 2003.

Precise figures have not been set by either the Pentagon
or the White House. The requests in February for Iraq and
Afghanistan probably will be about $100 billion, but could
climb as high as $128 billion if the services get their way,
said Jim McAleese, a Virginia lawyer who specializes in national
security law.

Including the money already approved, the cost of the total
military spending for Iraq and Afghanistan could come close
to $200 billion in 2007. About $120 billion was spent in the
2006 budget year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Despite widespread discontent over the Iraq war and
President Bush's handling of it, Democrats are expected
to grant the vast majority of the request. Yet evidence
is accumulating that the figure the White House sends
to Capitol Hill will not be limited to dollars critically
needed for troops and war-fighting.

Dems Promise Greater War Budget Scrutiny

There is much sentiment among Democrats to protect
troops and fear about being portrayed as unsympathetic
to men and women in uniform. These factors probably would
overwhelm any efforts by anti-war Democrats to use the
debate over the Iraq money to take on Bush's conduct of the war.

"Although the Democrats are very uncomfortable with
the way the Iraq policy is being executed, they are at pains
not to appear that they are shortchanging troops in the field,"
said Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington
Institute, a Washington-area think tank.

"This is their opportunity to show that they, too, are pro-
defense," Thompson said.

Democrats are promising to give the upcoming request
greater scrutiny than Republicans did when considering
Bush's previous requests.

"It won't just be a rubber stamp on what they give us," said
Kirstin Brost, spokeswoman for the incoming chairman
of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. David Obey, D-Wis.

Deteriorating Security, Harsh Conditions Increase Costs

There is increasing concern about the cost of the war and
the fact that Iraq spending is kept on a set of ledgers separate
from the rest of government operations.

It is possible that the recommendations of the Iraq Study
Group could affect the spending request.

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress has approved
about $500 billion for Iraq, Afghanistan and other terrorism-
fighting efforts.

The Vietnam War cost an inflation-adjusted $121 billion
at its height in 1968, according to the Congressional Research
Service. The overall tally for Vietnam is $663 billion, adjusted
for inflation, while Iraq so far come to about $350 billion.

The cost of the war has risen dramatically as the security
situation has deteriorated and more equipment is destroyed
or worn out in harsh conditions.

Broad-Ranging "War" Projects

The Pentagon increasingly is using war spending bills for
costs not directly related to Iraq and Afghanistan. Last month,
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said the four military
services could add projects connected to the broader fight
against terrorism, which critics said could be interpreted
to cover almost anything.

"He was telling the services to put any damn thing they
wanted into the supplemental," said Winslow Wheeler of the
Center for Defense Information, a think tank policy group,
in Washington. Such costs include buying cargo planes and
restructuring Army outfits into smaller, more nimble fighting

England's memo led to inflated requests that are now being
"scrubbed" by higher-ups at the Pentagon. While that could
lower the price for the February request, Wheeler said, the
services are likely to try again in future bills.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman had no comment
on the upcoming request for money.

Democrats have not been shy about adding money not
sought by the president to war bills. Most notably, the Senate
in August included $13 billion for Army and Marine Corps
combat readiness in a Pentagon budget measure that had
$70 billion in Iraq.

Farm-state lawmakers such as Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.,
may try to use the Iraq debate to push billions of dollars
in agricultural disaster aid.


12) "Conservative" Radio Host Punks his listeners
by Rock Strongo
Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 11:14:28 PM EST
http://www.dailykos .com/story/ 2006/12/1/ 225750/658

Even though this story took place almost a week ago, I couldn't find
a diary about it. if it is actually out there, please let me know
and I will delete this.

Rock Strongo's diary

On Sunday afternoon, Washington, DC radio host Jerry Klein
of WMAL was commenting on the Muslim Imams kicked off
a flight. Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States
should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive
arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly.

Among the callers:

"Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead
but you ship them out of this country ... they are here to kill us."


Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying
markers such as crescent marks on driver's licenses, passports
and birth certificates did not go far enough. "What good
is identifying them?" he asked. "You have to set up
encampments like during World War Two with the
Japanese and Germans."

Finally a half hour into his show, Klien revealed the game:

"I can't believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed
for one second with anything I said. For me to suggest
to tattoo marks on people's bodies, have them wear
armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver's license
on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting.
It's beyond disgusting.

Because basically what you just did was show me how
the German people allowed what happened to the Jews
to happen ... We need to separate them, we need to tattoo
their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow
Star of David, we need to put them in concentration
camps, we basically just need to kill them all because
they are dangerous."

This story actually led off the 11pm news on the
Washington DC CBS affiliate WUSA the night it happened.

They have the video here:
Radio Spoof Draws Support From Muslim Activists

A Reuters story came out today that refered to the hoax:

In U.S., fear and distrust of Muslims runs deep
By Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent Fri Dec 1, 9:05 AM ET

Both stories were used in this diary.

But there was no other reporting on this from what I can tell.
Even though it was quite an eye opener on how some view
muslims in this country.

One other note, WMAL is the talk radio station that had
a controversy last year when one of their show hosts linked
Islam and terorism. That host, Michael Graham was offered
the opportunity to apologize by management, and when
he refused he was fired.


13) Full text of speech by Army General Raúl Castro
Speech by the Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party,
First Vice-President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Minister
of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Army General, Raúl Castro Ruz,
at the Political Ceremony, Military Review and March of the Combatant
People in Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Landing
of the Granma Yacht and the Day of the Revolutionary Armed Forces,
and in Celebration of the 80th Birthday of the Commander-in-Chief,
Fidel Castro Ruz, Given on December 2nd, 2006,
"Year of the Energy Revolution in Cuba"
2006-12-02 | 09:26:52 EST


Past, present and future combatants:

We welcome good friends of the Cuban Revolution who have
offered their essential support and solidarity over these last
50 years of prolonged battle for sovereignty and freedom.
Among them I would like to mention the Guayasamín Foundation
and the relatives of this great Ecuadorian friend and painter,
who conceived this noble gesture of paying homage to comrade
Fidel on his 80th birthday, an occasion which has brought
to Havana Heads of State or Government, as well as other
dignitaries and senior personalities from the political and
cultural scenes of various countries. On behalf of our people
we thank them for honoring us with their presence at this forum.

Another reason why we are gathered here today is to celebrate
the anniversary of a momentous event in our history. We are
here to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing
of the Granma yacht on December 2, 1956, a date which
marks the birth of the Rebel Army and of its true successors:
the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

It is to the combatant people, heroic protagonist and legitimate
pillar of the Armed Forces, and to their founder and Commander-
in-Chief that this Military Parade is dedicated. This is divided
into sections representing the beautiful history of 138 years
of struggle by the Cuban people for their final independence.
Firstly, the Liberation Army that fought the colonial yoke, then
the rebel army against neo-colonial tyranny followed by the
Revolutionary Armed Forces that defend the Homeland,
the Revolution and Socialism; One army of the people
in three different stages of history.

This is a perfect time to reaffirm the full validity of the words
spoken by comrade Fidel in his Central Report to the First
Congress of the Communist Party, 31 years ago, as he said:

"The Rebel Army was the soul of the Revolution. Its victorious
arms opened the way for a new free, beautiful, striving
and invincible new homeland. Its soldiers vindicated the
blood generously shed in all the struggles for independence
and with their own blood laid the foundations of Cuba’s
socialist present. They gave to the people the weapons
wrested from the oppressor in an epic struggle, and merged
with the people to become forever onward the armed people”.

When “...there was not yet (...) the Party which would emerge
later on, the Army was the factor of cohesion and unity
of the entire people and the same that guaranteed power
for the working people and the existence of the Revolution ...”

And “... upon the foundation of our Party, the vanguard
of our working class, the symbol and synthesis of the ideals,
aspirations and history of the Cuban Revolution from the
glorious days of La Demajagua until now, and follower
of the work of Marti's Revolutionary Party and of the
courageous founders of the first Marxist-Leninist party
of Cuba, our army, heir to the heroism and patriotic honor
of the Liberation Army, that has victoriously carried on its
struggles, placed in the hands of the Party the banners
of the Revolution and has ever since and forever been its
most loyal, disciplined, humble and staunch follower”.
This is what Fidel said.

Also, in the context of the 50th anniversary of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces (the FAR), it is fitting to ratify
the monolithic unity between the People, the Army and
the Party; this unity has been deeply rooted over the years
following the triumph of the Revolution on January 1st, 1959;
this unity is our main strategic weapon, which has made
it possible for this small island to resist and overcome so
many aggressions from imperialism and its allies; this
unity provides a basis for the internationalist work of the
Cuban people and is the reason for the heroic deeds
of its children in other countries around the world,
following Marti's maxim that "Homeland is Humanity".

We are experiencing an exceptional moment in history.
Many thought that the demise of the socialist block and
the collapse of the Soviet Union would spell the end for
the international revolutionary movement. Some even
suggested that we abandon the ideals to which entire
generations of Cubans had dedicated their lives, while
over the last few years the US government, in the
opportunistic manner characteristic of them, have
stepped up their hostility and aggressiveness against
Cuba to an unprecedented high, in the hope of economically
suffocating the country and overthrowing the Revolution
by intensifying their subversive acts. In this regard,
the surprise and frustration of our enemies was great,
and the admiration of the oppressed masses even greater,
when they witnessed the perseverance, equanimity, maturity
and self-confidence that our people have shown
over these last four months.

Despite the maneuvers and pressure of the United States
and its allies, the prestige enjoyed by Cuba around the world
has strengthened. An example of this was the 14th Non-Aligned
Summit successfully held in our capital last September,
and more recently the unprecedented support given in the
United Nations General Assembly to the resolution condemning
the US blockade on our country.

In Latin America, the application the neoliberal formula
imposed by the United States and their European buddies
has led the continent into the sad situation of being the
region in the planet where the opulence of the oligarchy
with close links to foreign capital is the most insulting
and obnoxious when compared to the poverty, insalubrities
and ignorance in which the majority of the population lives.
Over recent years, the peoples of Latin America have been
progressively expressing their feelings of indignation and
repudiation towards the treacherous and submissive policies
adopted by traditional governments and parties. Popular
and revolutionary movements are getting stronger and
despite Washington’s multimillion-dollar campaigns
of disinformation, the blackmail and brazen interference,
new and experienced leaders are assuming the leadership
of their nations.

The attempt by the United States to economically annex
Latin America by way of the FTAA was thwarted while
a project of integration known as the Bolivarian Alternative
for the Americas, ALBA, is taking its place following a proposal
by President and brother, Hugo Chávez, to benefit the
dispossessed masses.

Recent events in the international arena bear witness to the
failure of the adventurous policies of the current US
administration. On November 7, the people of that country
showed in the ballot box their rejection of the strategic
concept of pre-emptive war, the use of lies to justify military
interventions, kidnappings and secret prisons, and the
despicable legalization of torture in the so-called war
on terrorism.

Three years and seven months after President Bush euphorically
and precipitately declared on board an aircraft carrier “mission
accomplished” with regards to the war in Iraq, the bodies
of young American soldiers killed in a war spurred by the
desire to control the region’s energy resources continue
to be sent back to the United States. Nobody dares anymore
to predict when it will end. The US government is at a dead-end:
on the one hand, it realizes that it cannot prolong occupation
in Iraq, while on the other it admits that it doesn’t have the
minimum conditions needed to pull out without damaging
their interests. Meanwhile, the number of deaths and mutilations
continues to mount among civilians subjected to an internecine
war the result of the anarchy and chaos created by the US invasion.
Some in the United States are now suggesting that they simply
withdraw from the chaos that they themselves created.
We don’t know what they will do in this case with the NATO,
left high and dry by its American buddies in the conflict
in Afghanistan, which is also becoming increasingly
unmanageable and dangerous.

In the eyes of the world, the so-called “crusade on terrorism”
is unavoidably heading down the path to a humiliating defeat.
The American people, just as in the case of Vietnam, will put
an end to these unjust and criminal wars. We hope that the
US authorities will learn that war is not the solution to the
growing problems afflicting the planet; that proclaiming their
right to irresponsibly attack “sixty or more dark corners”
of the world, even when they are already stuck in two of them,
makes their differences with other countries more complex
and profound; that power based on intimidation and terror
will never be anything more than a passing illusion and that
the terrible consequences of this on the peoples of the world,
including the American, are clear to see.

We feel certain that the way to resolve the pressing conflicts
afflicting mankind is not through war, but rather political
solutions. We take this opportunity to once again state that
we are willing to resolve at the negotiating table the longstanding
dispute between the United States and Cuba, of course, provided
they accept, as we have previously said, our condition
as a country that will not tolerate any blemishes on its
independence, and as long as said resolution is based
on the principles of equality, reciprocity, non-interference
and mutual respect.

In the meantime, after almost half a century, we are willing
to wait patiently until the moment when common sense
prevails in the Washington power circles.

Regardless of this, we shall continue to consolidate our nation’s
military invulnerability based on the strategic concept of the War
of All the People which we planned and began introducing
25 years ago. This type of popular war, as repeatedly proven
throughout modern history, is simply invincible.

We will continue to improve the preparation and combative
cohesion of the regular troops and their reserves, the Territorial
Militia, the Production and Defense Brigades and other elements
of the territorial defense corps, including all levels of the party,
state and government structures. We will continue to prepare
the Theatre of Military Operations while developing communications
and the modernization of combat resources in order to improve
combative skills and adapt them to their envisaged use
in the event of an attack.

We will also continue to strengthen the important work carried
out on all fronts by the dedicated combatants of the Ministry
of the Interior.

We will preserve the freedom of the Cuban people and the
independence and sovereignty of the Homeland at all costs.
With the strength derived from hundreds of years of struggle
and the patriotic energy characteristic of our people, so noble
and heroic, let us raise our voices in harmony to proclaim:
Long Live Fidel!
Long Live Free Cuba


14) Police Shooting Reunites Circle of Common Loss
December 2, 2006

The bus from Miami rolled into the Port Authority station at 6:25 p.m. Thursday, 28 hours after Marie Rose Dorismond set out for New York City, alone on her grim pilgrimage.

It was not the first time she had returned to the place she fled after
her only son, Patrick M. Dorismond, was killed at age 26 by the police
in 2000; she comes back every Feb. 28, on his birthday, and stays
through March 16, the day he was shot in a scuffle with undercover
detectives only a few blocks from the bus station. He is buried in Queens.

This time, clutching a rolling suitcase and three sets of neatly
pressed dress clothes on hangers, Mrs. Dorismond was returning
for the funeral of Sean Bell, the 23-year-old bridegroom who died
in Queens on Saturday in a storm of 50 police bullets.

And in doing so, she returned to join again what amounts to an
anguished club: the widening circle of unintended friends made
up of the relatives of those killed by the police in the city’s streets.

She was here to make herself available to the Bell family, people she
had never met but who felt to her like instant sisters and brothers.
And when she could not find a flight that would get her to New York
on time, Mrs. Dorismond, 59, traveling alone for the first time,
decided to take a Greyhound bus.

“I don’t know what I would have done without them,” Mrs. Dorismond,
a Haitian immigrant who came to New York at 18 to study nursing,
said of the relatives of Amadou Diallo and others who died
in encounters with the police. “Nobody can understand that
pain but me, Mrs. Diallo and the others. When it was my turn,
everybody came.”

They had come and been there for her, rushing to her side to
introduce themselves — at her son’s wake, at his funeral, at the
protests on the streets. Amadou Diallo’s mother, Malcolm Ferguson’s
mother, Nicholas Heyward Jr.’s father, Abner Louima himself.

At Sean Bell’s wake yesterday, in a crowded church in Jamaica,
Queens, Mrs. Dorismond was weeping in the second row of pews,
only a few feet from the open coffin, when Amadou Diallo’s
mother, Kadiatou, arrived. Mrs. Dorismond rushed to her friend,
the two hugged for several minutes, and Mrs. Dorismond
shouted: “Again? Again? Again?”

As hundreds of people passed through the church to view
the coffin, a crowd of protesters ebbed and flowed on the streets
outside, swelling to about 500 people by the time the funeral was
over and Mr. Bell’s coffin was carried out of the church at 8:30 p.m.
Many held signs that said, “Justice for Sean Bell,” and demonstrators
denounced police brutality over loudspeakers, but the event
was largely peaceful.

It was Mrs. Dorismond’s first such funeral since her son was killed,
but others, like Nicholas Heyward, whose son was killed in 1994,
could count off half a dozen.

In addition to his son, 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr., who
was playing with a toy gun when he was killed by a housing
officer in Brooklyn, recent victims of violent encounters with
the police included Amadou Diallo, killed in a hail of 41 bullets
in the Bronx; Malcolm Ferguson, a drug suspect whose death
came only five days after officers were acquitted in Mr. Diallo’s
death; Gidone Busch, a mentally ill man killed by the police
in Brooklyn; Patrick Dorismond, killed by an undercover
narcotics detective in Manhattan; and Sean Bell, killed
in Queens when five undercover detectives opened
fire on his car.

In the days before Mr. Bell’s funeral, the anguished club’s
grapevine was in full operation: Mrs. Dorismond heard, but
was not positive, that Mrs. Diallo, whose son was killed
in 1999, would come from Maryland.

Mrs. Diallo, meanwhile, was in close contact with the mothers
of Gidone Busch, whom she speaks to every month, and
Timothy Stansbury Jr., an unarmed man killed in 2004,
but neither was able to attend the Bell funeral.

Mr. Heyward had said he was going and was pleased to hear
that Mrs. Dorismond was coming. Juanita Young, whose son
Malcolm Ferguson was killed in 2000, told Mr. Heyward, now
a very close friend, that she really wanted to go, but he talked
her out of it because she had just been released from the hospital.

“I know what the families are going through right now,”
Mr. Heyward had said before the funeral. “It’s really, really tough
right now. Right now they are completely lost. Sometimes
you may think they are all right, but they are completely lost.”

Mrs. Dorismond recalled feeling exactly that way in the chaotic
and surreal days after her son’s death, which a grand jury found
to be unintentional and which resulted in no charges against
the officer.

There was also the overlaying public spectacle, with protests
at her son’s funeral erupting in violence and dozens of people
being arrested. There were marches, with the Rev. Al Sharpton
by Mrs. Dorismond’s side, the constant glare of television
cameras, a public battle between the Dorismonds and Mayor
Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Mrs. Dorismond’s and Mrs. Diallo’s
meeting with Gov. George E. Pataki.

Two weeks after her son died, Mrs. Dorismond, a retired pediatric
nurse, said she was looking out the window of her fourth-floor
apartment in East Flatbush, where she had lived for 30 years,
and saw a dead body on the building’s steps. Mrs. Dorismond
and her husband, André, a well-known singer among Haitians
whom fans called the “Haitian Frank Sinatra,” had already decided
to move to Florida, where they were building a house.

The body, appearing so soon after their son’s death, persuaded
them to leave New York as quickly as possible, and they settled
in the quiet town of Port St. Lucie with their daughter, Marie, 35,
and one of Patrick Dorismond’s two daughters, Infinity, now 11.

As she made her way from the bus terminal to a friend’s car
on Thursday and rode to Brooklyn, where she is staying with
a brother in East Flatbush, Mrs. Dorismond’s anger boiled up.
With every passing police car, every sound of a siren, she fumed.

“You might as well stay away,” Mrs. Dorismond said. “You
cannot live with Satan. New York City is like a jungle place.”

Mr. Dorismond’s other daughter, Destiny, 7, is living with
her mother in New York. The city settled a civil lawsuit in the
case and paid the family $2.25 million. Mrs. Dorismond said
all the money was in a trust fund for her son’s daughters,
who will be allowed access to what she estimated would
grow to $10 million only after they turn 25.

Mrs. Dorismond, who spent yesterday morning on Flatbush
Avenue having her nails and hair done for the Sean Bell
funeral, said that both of the girls talked about wanting
to become police officers, “so they can find out what really

Infinity seems especially focused on what happened to
her father, writing songs that she sings aloud to him, asking
her aunt and grandmother all kinds of questions.

“I am young and I don’t know,” begins one of Infinity’s songs.
“I’m going to be a police, I want to know how they killed you.”

For a while, her aunt said, Infinity worried about what her
father was wearing when he was buried.

“Did my daddy have shoes on his feet when he was in the
box?” she asked her aunt.

“No shoes, I don’t think so,” Ms. Dorismond replied. “But
he was buried in a cream suit.”

Sean Bell was buried in a pinstriped suit, and yesterday
Mrs. Dorismond and Mrs. Diallo spent four hours sitting
next to each other, catching up — Mrs. Diallo is now the
grandmother of triplets; Mrs. Dorismond has retired —
and watching mourners file by the coffin.

When Mr. Bell’s mother, Valerie, approached her son’s
body, Mrs. Dorismond burst into tears and laid her head
on Mrs. Diallo’s shoulder.

A few minutes later Mrs. Dorismond and Mrs. Diallo walked
over to the next pew, introduced themselves to Ms. Bell and
said they were sorry. The three of them hugged, and Ms. Bell
told the two other mothers she was sorry, too, for their losses.

When they returned to their seats, Mrs. Diallo said, “She’s

Mrs. Dorismond said, “I know.”


15) Teens Frustrate Military Recruiter's ASVAB Scam
by Scott Horton
November 24, 2006

With MySpace.com bulletins and a handful of homemade flyers, two
teens have struck a blow against the American Warfare State,
Lindale, Georgia Division.

On a Friday afternoon the 17th of November, 17-year-old high school
seniors Robert Day and Samuel Parker decided to act after Day overheard
some teachers at Pepperell High School saying that first thing Monday
morning the school's juniors would be made to take the ASVAB military
aptitude test.

Often administered under the guise of a career aptitude test, the
ASVAB's purpose is to better equip the State to prey on young people
tricked or pressured into taking the test. According to Debbie Hopper
of Mothers Against the Draft, it is often given under the pretext
of being a "career placement" test. (In some cases it has in fact been
used that way, no doubt in an attempt to legitimize what many
Americans regard as not legitimate: the use of government schools
as military recruiting grounds.)

The school board answered a concerned email from Parker's mother
with a suggestion that the test is not mandatory but "customary."
Sane Americans might ask, "Where, in Prussia?"

As a senior, he would not be made to take the test, but Day confronted
the high school principal, Phil Ray, in defense of students younger
than himself, and was told that the test was mandated by federal law.
Day says he already believed that to be false, since he remembered
the test being given only to the kids actually trying to join the military
the year before. Regardless, the principal dismissed his objections.
The juniors who were to be tested for their military "aptitude" were
not to be told before the weekend.

Principal Ray did not return repeated calls to his office.

Not easily deterred, Day and Parker decided they would do what they
could to "warn" the juniors themselves. They talked to a few kids
at the end of school Friday afternoon, and over the weekend sent
out more than 20 messages to MySpace bulletin boards discouraging
cooperation. Arriving early Monday morning, Day and Parker picked
out spots soon to be populated with kids waiting for the bell to ring,
and with the help of some others who quickly volunteered, rapidly
distributed their 200 homemade fliers to some and also spoke
to many others, encouraging all to refuse to report to the cafeteria
or to sabotage the test – either by ripping it up or filling in false

One of the military recruiters present attempted to snub their efforts,
claiming the No Child Left Behind Act allows access to all of their
information anyway, and so they might as well take the test.

Journalist and author James Bovard says the NCLB does indeed
"roll out a red carpet" in terms of empowering the military to
demand school records, but says that the ASVAB is far beyond
what even it allows. The pushing of this military aptitude test,
Bovard says, is "typical of how government guides kids –
to an early funeral."

Despite the recruiter's interruption, Parker says that he, Day
and their volunteers made sure every junior who may not
have wanted to take the test had a chance to hear them
explain its purpose and to understand that it was not

They estimate that about half of the school's juniors refused
to even leave their regular classes to report to the testing site
in the school's cafeteria. Some of the teachers, apparently
learning about this at the last minute like most everyone else,
and confused as to the nature of the proceedings, insisted
that their students at least go to the cafeteria even if they
did not mean to cooperate with the military. Once they were
there, the kids were informed that anyone who showed
up in the cafeteria would be made to take the test.

The old lunch room Catch-22.

Some of the students decided to deliberately fill in faulty
information. Perhaps that will go on their permanent record
instead. "Listen kid, we're looking for test-refusers just like
yourself. Do you have what it takes?"

The soldiers told the students that if anyone ripped up their
test, then all the tests, including those belonging to the
one-third or so of the kids who actually wanted to take
it and receive their scores, would be thrown out. This bit
of blackmail apparently worked on the kids who had
reluctantly taken it, as no one physically destroyed their
tests. Day and Parker estimate that less than a third
of Pepperell's juniors went along with their government's

The high school counselor, Ms. Nixon, made it clear to the
juniors that she was very disappointed in them for
embarrassing principal Ray, but so far, no punishments
have been handed down.

All in all, Parker and Day said they were pleasantly surprised
by the help and encouragement of kids who they thought
would not have cared at all.

We could all learn from their example.


16) Venezuela’s Economic Boom Buoys Chávez
December 3, 2006

CARACAS, Venezuela, Dec. 2 — To understand why Hugo Chávez
seems set for victory in Sunday’s presidential election and
a strengthened mandate for what he calls a socialist revolution,
consider the vigor here of that most capitalist of institutions:
the stock exchange.

Housed in El Rosal, an upscale district with new skyscrapers and
hotels, the 59-year-old Caracas stock exchange was the site
of frenzied trading this week. Its main index climbed to a record
high of 46,741, topping off a 129.2 percent rise this year that
has made it one of the best performing markets in the world.
On Friday, the index climbed 8 percent for its biggest daily
gain in four years.

“For all of Chávez’s faults, his government has been extremely
pragmatic in economic terms,” said José Guerra, a former chief
of economic research at Venezuela’s central bank. “State-
supported capitalism isn’t just surviving under Chávez,”
he said. “It is thriving.”

Often lost in the campaigning between Mr. Chávez and his
electoral challenger, Manuel Rosales, is that Venezuela, with
the largest conventional petroleum reserves outside the Middle
East, is having one of the most significant oil booms in its history.
Economic growth this year is set to pass 10 percent, making
Venezuela the fastest-growing economy in the Americas.

The Chávez government, while wrapping itself in socialist
imagery — like red clothing — and deepening its alliance with
Fidel Castro’s Cuba, has made this expansion possible by quietly
working with Venezuela’s banking system. The rush of
petrodollars into the economy has led bank deposits to
climb 84 percent in the past 12 months, according to Softline
Consultores, a financial consulting business here.

The boom is evident in an economy that has put financial
speculation and conspicuous consumption ahead of domestic
manufacturing. For instance, foreign automobile companies
Ford and General Motors will sell 300,000 cars in the country
this year. Economists describe Venezuela as a “harbor economy”
because of its lust for imported goods.

“Many people say we’re in a profound political and social crisis,”
said Michael Penfold-Becerra, an economist at the Institute
of Higher Administrative Studies, a Caracas business school.
“On the contrary, we’ve returned to a temporary period of
harmony. Oil is buying us a certain social peace and stability.”

Neither candidate in Sunday’s election seems to acknowledge
the growing consumerism in rich and poor households as one
of the main reasons Mr. Chávez has resilient popularity ratings
after eight years as president. Most opinion polls give him
a double-digit lead over Mr. Rosales, governor of the oil-
producing Zulia State in the west.

Mr. Chávez makes frequent exhortations in favor of socialism,
sometimes describing Jesus Christ as the first socialist and Judas
as the first capitalist. Mr. Rosales said in an interview that
Mr. Chávez, who has deepened ties with Cuba by bringing
thousands of Cuban doctors to Venezuela in exchange for
subsidized oil, was “implementing a Castro-style system
of autocratic rule in Venezuela.”

While Mr. Chávez promises socialism, historians say that
in effect he is delivering old-fashioned populism. He is often
compared to Carlos Andrés Pérez, the populist president who
oversaw economic expansion in the 1970s when Venezuela
also benefited from higher oil prices.

“Chávez has a problem in that what he calls his socialist
revolution never involved the overthrow of a dictator like
Batista or Somoza,” said Alberto Barrera Tyszka, who co-wrote
an acclaimed biography of Mr. Chávez. “He’s redefining socialism
as a concept that could exist only in Venezuela, where
it is characterized by hatred of George Bush and an excess
of BMWs and Audis.”

Some Chávez economic policies draw inspiration from formulas
used with mixed results by countries in the developing
and industrialized worlds the 1960s and 1970s. These
include price controls for food and gasoline, strict limits
on buying and selling foreign currency and caps on everything
from lending rates at banks to hourly fees at parking lots.

At the same time, the government has channeled billions
of dollars in oil revenues into social welfare programs and
small cooperatives intended to produce goods to replace
imports on the domestic market. The government says these
efforts are moving Venezuela toward a vaguely defined
“21st-century socialism.”

Oil is at the heart of this development model. Venezuela,
in contrast to oil-exporting countries like Mexico or Saudi
Arabia that tightly circumscribe the operations of foreign oil
companies, still produces oil in ventures with some of the
largest private energy companies, including Chevron and
Royal Dutch Shell. And the government works closely with
Venezuelan and foreign banks to maintain economic stability.

Unlike Rafael Correa, the newly elected president of Ecuador,
who plans to renegotiate the foreign debt, Mr. Chávez has
made every effort to meet Venezuela’s obligations with
foreign lenders. As a result, markets still consider Venezuelan
bonds about as safe an investment as bonds issued by Brazil,
a neighboring industrial powerhouse.

The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, has tolerated loopholes
for the moneyed classes to circumvent foreign exchange
controls by allowing them to buy stocks and bonds that
can be exchanged for securities denominated in dollars.
Critics of this system say it has allowed a new elite to
emerge through opaque dealings with the government.

Fernando Coronil, a Venezuelan historian at the University
of Michigan, said Mr. Chávez’s policies were reminiscent
of the heady years after World War II when Democratic
Action, a social democratic party, swept into power on
a platform that emphasized distributing oil wealth to the
poor. Leaders even called their movement the October Revolution,
though populist rule in Venezuela eventually became characterized
by a lack of transparency in the distribution of favors
through the state.

While earlier booms revolved around huge investments
in industrial projects like aluminum smelters, analysts say
the latest expansion is especially risky because it focuses
mainly on consumption.

Despite boasting of some of South America’s most fertile land
in an area the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined, Venezuela
still imports more than half its food, largely from the United States
and Colombia. An overvalued currency, meanwhile, has been
disastrous for Venezuelan industry with the number of manufacturing
companies falling to about 8,000 today from 17,000 in 1998,
according to Mr. Guerra, the former economist at the central bank.

Chávez Wins Easily in Venezuela
December 4, 2006


17) Homemade Memorial Is Stirring Passions on Iraq
December 3, 2006

LAFAYETTE, Calif., Nov. 30 — The tranquil suburb of Lafayette hardly
seems the most likely place in the Bay Area for a battle over the First
Amendment and the war in Iraq. Liberal Berkeley is just over the hill,
after all, and nearby San Francisco is always spoiling for a fight.

But over the last few weeks, it is Lafayette — an affluent bedroom
community 20 miles east of downtown San Francisco — that has
become the scene of a passionate debate over the place of political
speech in suburbia.

At issue is a hillside memorial, made up of some 450 small white
crosses and a 5-by-16-foot sign that reads: “In Memory of 2,867 U.S.
Troops Killed in Iraq.” The memorial was created by Jeff Heaton,
a building contractor and antiwar activist, who said it was meant
“to get people involved on a local level” and talking about Iraq.

Sure enough, people here have become involved, including more
than 200 people and a half-dozen television news crews and reporters
who crammed into the usually sparsely attended City Council meeting
last week to voice their opinions about the memorial. And while many
there said they found the crosses deeply moving, others called the
memorial unpatriotic, disrespectful or just plain ugly.

That camp included Jean Bonadio, a former Marine sergeant who
said she was so offended that she stopped her car and climbed
the hill to dismantle the sign, which sits with the crosses on private
property of a fellow advocate just north of Highway 24, a major
Bay Area thoroughfare, and the Lafayette light-rail station.

“My first reaction was, ‘What a disgrace to those who have sacrificed,’
” said Ms. Bonadio, 53, a dog trainer. “I had no tools with me,
so I removed it with my bare hands and feet.”

The sign was repaired, but Ms. Bonadio is not the only one trying
to take down the sign. Shortly after the memorial was erected, the
city government called on Mr. Heaton to remove the accompanying
sign, citing a municipal code forbidding anything larger than four
square feet to be posted on private property.

That, however, prompted some supporters of the memorial
to suggest that the city was engaging in censorship, accusations
Mayor Ivor Samson denied. “The content of the sign is not an issue,”
Mr. Samson said. “If the sign was that size and said ‘I love my mom,’
it would still be in violation.”

Mr. Samson also said that the memorial had drawn attention here
precisely because Lafayette, where the median cost of a home
is over $1 million, was traditionally apolitical. “I think had this
been in Berkeley or Santa Cruz, a community with a greater history
of political activism, this wouldn’t be news,” he said.

No action was taken at Monday’s meeting, after the city’s attorney
said he needed more time to study the issue. But Louise Clark,
who owns the property the memorial sits on, said that if the sign
had to go, the meaning would be lost.

“If it’s just crosses, it’s a cemetery,” said Ms. Clark, 81. “It’s not
a cemetery, nobody is buried there. It’s a memorial.”

But some Lafayette residents question whether the memorial
actually meant to remember the dead troops. “There’s no American
flag flying, it’s just very stark and shock value,” said Lyn Zusman, 53,
whose son is a marine just back from Iraq. “If you want to make it
a memorial, you personalize it. But if it’s a protest, call it that.
That’s why we live in America, so we can spout our views off.”

This is not the first time Mr. Heaton, a longtime Lafayette resident,
has tried to erect a memorial in his hometown. Three years ago,
he tried to mount a smaller display of crosses on the same hillside.
The night after he planted them, however, someone stole them.
The next day, he planted the crosses again, and the next night,
they disappeared again.

But this time, Mr. Heaton says he feels that the mood about the
war has shifted, both nationwide and in Lafayette.

“There’s been a real change in the tide of feeling about the war,”
said Mr. Heaton, 53, who said the inspiration for the crosses came
from a visit to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. “It is much more
acceptable now to question the reasons for the war.”

He added that Lafayette would be a good place to make a statement
because “it is pretty sleepy and conservative and not that much
happens there.”

City officials in Lafayette also say their city has been slowly changing,
with an influx of former Berkeley and San Francisco residents looking
for a place with good public schools for their children. Lafayette,
Mr. Samson said, now has “people who are very interested in the
larger world.”

The Lafayette crosses are not the only grass-roots remembrance
around, or the only one to stir controversy. Veterans for Peace,
a nonprofit antiwar group based in St. Louis, has regularly planted
similar arrays of crosses on beaches in Santa Monica and Santa
Barbara. Since 2004, the American Friends Service Committee,
a Quaker group based in Philadelphia, has sponsored a traveling
exhibit called Eyes Wide Open, which features a pair of empty
boots for every American solider killed in Iraq.

Michael T. McPhearson, executive director of Veterans for Peace,
which also has fields of crosses planted in four other cities,
admitted that the displays sometimes provoked angry reactions.
“They say we’re not supporting the troops, and they say we
shouldn’t be doing these vigils,” said Mr. McPhearson, 42, who
served in the first gulf war. “But we feel that especially because
we’re veterans and we’ve served, we have the right.”

Mr. Samson said he did not know when the city attorney would
rule on whether the sign in Lafayette had to go. In the meantime,
however, Mr. Heaton and Ms. Clark say they will continue
to add crosses — and update the numbers on the sign.

“It’s overwhelming just looking at that small number, and that’s
nowhere near the number of the ones we lost,” said Ms. Clark,
speaking of the dead in Iraq. “When we get all those crosses
up there, everybody will gasp.”


18) Wal-Mart Says Thank You to Workers
Asked if absence for a family emergency, like a sick child, would
be authorized, Mr. Uselton recounted, the manager said, “No, it’s not.”
December 4, 2006

Faced with public demonstrations of discontent by its employees,
Wal-Mart Stores has developed a wide-ranging new program intended
to show that it appreciates its 1.3 million workers in the United States
and to encourage them to air their grievances.

As part of the effort, Wal-Mart managers at 4,000 stores will meet
with 10 rank-and-file workers every week and extend an additional
10 percent discount on a single item during the holidays to all its
employees, beyond the normal 10 percent employee discount.

The program, described in an internal company document, was
created during a volatile six months period, starting when the
company instituted a set of sweeping changes in how it managed
its workers.

Over that time, Wal-Mart has sought to create a cheaper, more
flexible labor force by capping wages, using more part-time
employees, scheduling more workers at nights and weekends,
and cracking down on unexcused days off.

The policies angered many long-time employees, who complained
that the changes would reduce their pay and disrupt their families’
lives. Workers even staged small rallies in Nitro, W. Va., and
Hialeah Gardens, Fla., the only such protests in recent memory.

The portion of the new outreach program called “Associates
Out in Front” is described in company documents as a way for
Wal-Mart to show workers “that we do appreciate you and that
we have an ongoing commitment to listening to and addressing
your concerns.”

The documents were provided to The New York Times by WakeUp
WalMart.com, a group funded by the United Food and Commercial
Workers union, which fears that Wal-Mart will undermine
unionized stores.

The program includes several new perks “as a way of saying thank
you” to workers, like a special polo shirt after 20 years of service
and a “premium holiday,” when Wal-Mart pays a portion of health
insurance premiums for covered employees. Sarah Clark,
a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said the program was a “a more
formalized, contemporary approach” to communicating with and
collecting feedback from its fast-growing work force.

But she said it was not a response to workers’ concerns about
new company policies. The Associates Out in Front program,
much of which is not described in the documents, she said,
“is about building on something that is already very good.”

In interviews, half a dozen Wal-Mart workers said there was
a growing perception within the company that managers did
not respond to employees’ ideas and complaints.

Kory Uselton, a 35-year-old overnight floor cleaner at a Wal-
Mart in Tyler, Tex., said his store manager offered “robotic”
company-approved responses during a recent meeting when
workers questioned the new attendance policy, which originally
called for disciplinary action after three unauthorized absences
(although it was later revised to four unexcused absences).

Asked if absence for a family emergency, like a sick child,
would be authorized, Mr. Uselton recounted, the manager
said, “No, it’s not.”

“Many of the associates were very upset,” Mr. Uselton said.
“Management is just not listening anymore.” Some Wal-Mart
employees said workers might be afraid to speak up because
they have seen coworkers retaliated against — for instance,
transferred to worse shifts when they voiced their complaints.

Ms. Clark said Wal-Mart already had several systems in place
that allowed employees to criticize company practices. Among
other things, she said, there was a toll-free hotline workers
could call to report ethical lapses, a Web site on which chief
executive H. Lee Scott Jr. answered questions and a policy,
known as the “open door,” that permitted anyone to bring
complaints to officers at the highest level of the company.

Industry analysts and labor experts generally praised Wal-
Mart’s new employee outreach effort, which they said appeared
to imitate practices from companies known for cultivating
a healthy relationship between managers and employees.

“When you look at the list of best employers,” said Richard W.
Hurd, a professor of industrial and labor relations at Cornell
University, “you will find programs that look something like this.”

The question, he said, “is how sincere the effort is and how
much change you see in workers’ lives.”

But he said the perks, like the 10 percent discount and the
shirt for long-time workers, are “a very token, modest form
of appreciation. It is not sufficient.”

Adrianne Shapira, a retail analyst at Goldman Sachs who tracks
Wal-Mart, cautioned that, whatever the reasons for the new
program, the pace of change at the company carried its
own hazards.

“I think they are asking a lot of their people right now,” she
said. “It’s a lot of change in a short period of time at an already
hectic time of year. It has to be pretty challenging for workers.”

The Associates Out in Front program, which Wal-Mart is introducing
over the holiday season, was developed by company executives
about seven months ago, Ms. Clark said. It is, in part, the result
of recommendations from a group called the Care Council,
700 Wal-Mart workers who advise executives on ways to improve
working conditions.

Under the program, store managers are to meet each week with
10 employees who sign up to discuss concerns, suggestions and
ideas for improving operations. The program also requires regional
general managers to conduct monthly town-hall meetings that are
open to every worker in the area.

A new management training program, called “Leaders Out
in Front,” is intended to encourage hourly workers to advance
their careers and help existing managers become “better
ambassadors and mentors,” according to the memo.

Not all of these perks are new. During previous holiday
seasons, Wal-Mart has paid health care premiums and
offered an additional 10 percent discount. But they were
sporadic or at store managers’ discretion, rather than
offered annually across the chain, said Ms. Clark, the

Other perks, like a shirt that states length of employment
in five-year increments starting with 20 years of service,
appear designed to build morale, but might do the opposite.

Cleo Forward, a 37-year-old support manager at a Wal-Mart
in Dallas, said the new program was promising, but that it fell
short in recognizing long-time workers who felt unappreciated
by the changes.

“They are going to spend $15 on a Polo for you after 20 years?
Give me a break,” he said. “We would rather they lift the wage caps.”

Still, Mr. Forward said, he would like to be able to resolve his
problems inside the company — and viewed Associates Out in
Front as step in the right direction. “Maybe the company is willing
to listen,” he said. “If that is so, I am happy. I want to be part
of that process.”


19) Chávez Landslide May Speed Venezuela Changes
Stronger Government Hand
Seen for Domestic Functions;
Why Cuban Model Not Likely
December 4, 2006; Page A3

CARACAS, Venezuela -- President Hugo Chávez won a landslide election
to a new six-year term, sparking fears among foes that he will
accelerate his quest to install what he calls "21st-century
socialism" in the world's fifth-largest oil exporter.

With 78% of the vote counted, Mr. Chávez, who has built a massive
base of support by spending billions on subsidized health, education
and other social programs benefiting poor Venezuelans, won 61% of the
vote to opposition candidate's 38%. His victory stoked concern among
his opponents that Mr. Chávez, an admirer of Cuban leader Fidel
Castro, would press the accelerator on what his opponents fear is his
attempt to remake Venezuela along the lines of communist Cuba.

"Long live the socialist revolution," cried Mr. Chávez after singing
the Venezuelan national anthem from a window in the presidential
palace as a crowd below shouted "Uh, Ah, Hugo no se va," or "Uh, Ah,
Hugo's not leaving."

Teodoro Petkoff, a top official in the campaign of opposition
candidate Manuel Rosales, said while there had been scattered
"incidents," the election had "developed in a satisfactory way."
Mr. Rosales conceded late last night.

Encouraged by his victory, Mr. Chávez will no doubt redouble efforts
to create an anti-American and anti-free-trade bloc in the
hemisphere, while lending diplomatic support to other anti-U.S.
countries such as Iran. Last week, Rafael Correa, a Chavez ally, won
Ecuador's presidential election. But most analysts believe that Mr.
Chávez's populist "Bolivarian" revolution, which relies on his free
spending of billions in oil income, isn't easily exportable.

Mr. Rosales, a tough and experienced politician, managed to unite a
fractured and inept opposition and mount a feisty campaign against
Mr. Chávez, who had enormous state resources. It was unclear whether
Mr. Rosales, who took a leave of absence as governor of Zulia,
Venezuela's second-most-important state, to run for the presidency,
would try to mount a national opposition movement to Mr. Chávez or
return to Zulia, where he retains a regional power base.

Opponents fear Mr. Chávez's landslide could consolidate his power for
years. Already Mr. Chávez, who has repeatedly said he will stay in
power until 2021, controls all 167 seats in Venezuela's National
Assembly, as well as Venezuela's judicial branch. With the political
wind at their backs, Mr. Chávez, 52, and his congressional allies are
expected to push through a constitutional overhaul abolishing term
limits, permitting the fiery populist to run repeatedly for

Mr. Chávez may also move to increase state control over private
education, and further extend control over Venezuela's highly
centralized economy by promoting noncapitalist forms of production
and exchange such as cooperatives. Quirkily, Mr. Chávez last month
called for the introduction of barter in the country's rural economy.
The Venezuelan government already has in place extensive
foreign-exchange controls, while Mr. Chávez exerts control over the
state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, which is the
motor of this oil-dependent economy.

Mr. Chávez has also said he favors forging a single government party
from the handful of parties that now support him. Analysts believe
Mr. Chávez would also increase the already prominent role of
Venezuela's armed forces in the government.

The landslide was a not-unexpected triumph for Mr. Chávez, who has
dominated and convulsed Venezuelan politics for more than a decade.
He first erupted on the scene as one of the ringleaders of a failed
coup in 1992. He served two years in prison but was released as part
of an amnesty in 1994.

Four years later, capitalizing on a general sense of disgust with
Venezuela's political parties, widely seen as corrupt, Mr. Chávez won
the presidency with 56% of the vote. He then redrew Venezuela's
constitution, giving him much wider powers. In 2000 he again was
elected president. But his fiery rhetoric directed against
Venezuela's middle and upper classes, which he labeled "oligarchs,"
his confrontational stance with the U.S., and his closeness with Mr.
Castro violently split the country.

Mr. Chávez is expected to continue Venezuela's bankrolling of Cuba's
hard-pressed economy. Analysts say Venezuela's aid to the island,
which includes about 103,000 barrels per day of petroleum products,
could be as much as $3 billion a year. In turn, Cuba provides the
services of more than 20,000 doctors as well as an untold number of
security agents. While Mr. Chávez already exerts almost total control
over Venezuela's government institutions, he could well face
resistance if he tries to mold Venezuela's chaotic, consumerist
and largely nonideological society along austere Cuban lines.

"In Cuba if you have two televisions, you have to give one to the
government. You can't do that because we are free," says Yelitza
Ojeda, 33, a maid at a luxury Caracas hotel whose 15-member family
all voted for Mr. Chávez. "The same way we put him in power, we can
knock him out of power, but I don't think he wants to do a
Cuban-style government here."

Another likely restraint on Mr. Chávez' radical ambitions is the
widespread corruption that has flourished under his government.
A newly rich class of government officials, military officers
and businessmen with close links to the government, known as
Boliburgeses, or Bolivarian bourgeoisie, has sprung up in the last
few years. These wealthy and powerful barons now have foreign bank
accounts, apartments in Miami and private jets they are loath to
lose. "The powers in the Chavista movement-the military, mayors,
government ministers, and top managers of state companies -- are all
capitalists," says Juan Carlos Zapata, a political analyst here.
"They are nervous about where the system is going and where Chávez is


20) It's Hard Being a Woman
*BAGHDAD, Dec. 5 (IPS) - Once one of the best countries for women's
rights in the Middle East, Iraq has now become a place where women fear
for their lives in an increasingly fundamentalist environment.*
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec. 5 (IPS) - Once one of the best countries for women's
rights in the Middle East, Iraq has now become a place where women fear
for their lives in an increasingly fundamentalist environment.*

Prior to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, Iraqi women
enjoyed rights under the Personal Status Law since Jul. 14, 1958, the
day Iraqis overthrew the British-installed monarchy.

Under this law they were able to settle civil suits in courts,
unfettered by religious influences. Iraqi women had many of the rights
enjoyed by women in western countries.

The end of monarchy brought a regime in which women began to work as
professors, doctors and other professionals. They took government and
ministerial positions and enjoyed growing rights even through the
dictatorial reign of Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath Party.

"Our rights had been hard to obtain in a country with a tradition of
firm male control," Dr. Iman Robeii, professor of psychology from
Fallujah told IPS in Baghdad. Iraqi women have traditionally done all
the housework, and assisted children with school work, she said. On top
of that about 30 percent of women had been engaged in social activities.

"But a tragic collapse took place after the U.S. invasion of Iraq and
the so-called Islamists seized power to place new obstacles in the way
of women's march towards improvement," she said.

A significant event was the Dec. 29, 2003 decision by the U.S.-installed
Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) to pass a bill which almost cancelled the
Personal Status Law, 45 years after it had been passed.

Under Resolution 137 Iraqi women would rely on religious institutions
for personal matters such as marriage and divorce, as opposed to
recourse to civilian courts that they could access before the invasion.

Women across Iraq saw the IGC move as one of the first hazardous steps
towards implementation of a fundamentalist Islamic law. The bill did not
pass, but the slide into Sharia (Islamic law) had already taken root
through much of Shia-dominated southern Iraq and also some
Sunni-dominated areas of central Iraq.

Resolution 137 was defeated in March 2004. A new Iraqi constitution has
been introduced, but the adoption of the constitution has not helped
protect women's rights.

Yanar Mohammed, one of Iraq's staunchest women's rights advocates,
believes the constitution neither protects women nor ensures their basic
rights. She blames the United States for abdicating its responsibility
to help develop a pluralistic democracy in Iraq.

"The U.S. occupation has decided to let go of women's rights," Mohammed
told reporters. "Political Islamic groups have taken southern Iraq, are
fully in power there, and are using the financial support of Iran to
recruit troops and allies. The financial and political support from Iran
is why the Iraqis in the south accept this, not because the Iraqi people
want Islamic law."

Mohammed believes the drafting of the Iraqi constitution was "not for
the interest of the Iraqi people" and instead was based on concessions
to ethnic and sectarian groups.

"The Kurds want Kirkuk (an oil-rich city they consider the capital of
Iraqi Kurdistan), and the Shias want the Islamic Republic of Iraq, just
like Iran's," she said. "The genie is out of the bottle in terms of
political Islam (by Shias) and the resistance (by Sunnis). America will
tolerate any conclusion so they can leave, even if it means destroying
women's rights and civil liberties.They have left us a regime like the

A woman judge told IPS that she and her female colleagues could not go
to work any more because the current system does not allow for a female

Iraqi NGO activists have also criticised the new constitution for
depriving women of leadership posts in the country. "The constitution
mentions some rights for women, but those in power laugh when they are
asked to put it to practice," she said. Like the woman judge, she too
did not want to be named.

The key element in the Iraqi constitution that is dangerous for women's
rights is Article 2 which states "Islam is the official religion of the
state and is a basic source of legislation." Subheading A under Article
2 states that "No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed
rules of Islam."

Under Article 2 the interpretation of women's rights is left to
religious leaders, and it provides for implementation of Sharia law
which can turn the clock back on women's rights in Iraq.

The social environment in Iraq has become acutely difficult for women
already. Many women now fear leaving their homes.

"I try to avoid leaving my home, and when I do, I always cover my face,"
Suthir Ayad told IPS at her house in Baghdad. "Several of my friends
have been threatened or beaten by these Shia militias who insist we stay
home and never show our faces."

In southern Iraq, the situation seems even worse.

"My cousin in Basra was beaten savagely by some of the Mehdi Army (the
militia of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr) because she tried to attend
university," said a woman who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Now she
never leaves her home unless fully covered, and then only to shop for food."

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


21) Shias Too Lose Faith in Iraqi Govt
*BAGHDAD, Dec. 4 (IPS) - The noisy demonstration that greeted Iraqi
Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki on his visit to Sadr City last week was
more than just a protest. It meant that the leader of a Shia-dominated
government was being rejected by an angry and influential group of Shias.*
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec. 4 (IPS) - The noisy demonstration that greeted Iraqi
Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki on his visit to Sadr City last week was
more than just a protest. It meant that the leader of a Shia-dominated
government was being rejected by an angry and influential group of Shias.*

Maliki's heavily guarded convoy was pelted with stones and with shoes --
a grave insult in Iraq. And this happened in a Shia area.

About 60 percent of the 25 million population of Iraq is Shia, and Shia
leaders now dominate government. The government faces increasingly more
aggressive opposition from Sunni groups who feel persecuted.

Sunnis, an estimated five million, were the dominant group earlier under
the regime of Saddam Hussein. The rest of the Iraqi population is
Kurdish in the north. Kurds include both Shias and Sunnis, but stand
apart ethnically as Kurds.

Iraq is now a deeply divided Muslim world. Sectarian clashes between
Shia and Sunni groups have been growing by the day. Shias are a Muslim
group who believe - unlike the Sunnis -- that Prophet Muhammad
designated his nephew Imam Ali to lead the Islamic community after his
death. That old schism is now deepening.

Sunni insurgents are suspected in the bomb blasts that killed more than
200 in Sadr City. Noori al-Maliki had gone there to pay condolences to
the families of the car bomb victims. But he was abused as a traitor to
the cause of Shias.

"He and other Dawa party leaders did not keep the promises made to the
Sadr movement before the elections," a leader of Shia cleric Muqtada
al-Sadr's movement told IPS in Baghdad. Noori al-Maliki is from the Shia
Dawa party, but the Sadr group is far more influential among Shias in
this area.

"People are complaining that this government is not paying any attention
to them and their ruined city despite the huge contracts signed for
reconstruction," the Sadr leader said. "We believe that this government
is not suitable for leading the country, and we might withdraw support
to it if no major change is conducted."

Differences also arose between Maliki and the Sadr movement, on which he
depends heavily for political support, over his meeting with U.S.
President George W. Bush in Amman last week.

The Sadr movement has 30 MPs in the Iraqi government, and a withdrawal
could damage a government with little popular support.

The Mehdi Army, the armed wing of the Sadr group, has issued stern
warnings over the government's relations with the United States.
"America is our enemy, and Bush wants to save his chair and party at our
expense," Hussein al-Bahadly of the Mehdi Army told IPS. "The Amman
meeting was a conspiracy against the Shias, especially that King
Abdullah of Jordan was its godfather."

Both Iraqi and Iranian Shias consider King Abdullah of Jordan an enemy
because his father, King Hussein, supported Sunni-administered Iraq
during the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s.

Disquiet is arising all around because the present Iraqi government is
losing support and so is the United States in its occupation of Iraq.
Recent news that Britain expects to withdraw its 7,000 troops from
southern Iraq by the end of next year is likely to bring further
frustration to the Iraqi government and the embattled Bush Administration.

Italy and Poland have already announced withdrawal of their remaining

These forces in the south are likely to be replaced by U.S. troops, who
are then likely to face increased attacks from the Mehdi Army, which has
already launched an uprising twice against occupation forces.

Further frustrating Washington is the recent visit to Tehran by Iraqi
President Jalal Talabani. Talabani is seeking help from Iran for
preventing Iraq's extreme violence from sliding into all-out civil war.

Much of western media already calls the violence in Iraq a civil war,
but many within the country remain reluctant to do so.

"Civil war as the media expresses is not yet a solid fact," professor of
political science at Baghdad University Zahiu Yassen told IPS. "The
violence is still within the limits of political conflict between ruling
parties, and all the killings are conducted by gangs hired by
politicians. No Iraqi has killed his neighbour for being Sunni or Shia,
but how long would people keep reason and patience?"

Shia death squads composed of members of the Mehdi Army and the Badr
Army, the armed wing of the Iran-backed Supreme Council for Islamic
Revolution in Iraq are responsible for much of the recent bloodshed in
the country. Sunni insurgents too have been hitting back.

It is widely believed that Shia militia groups are backed by senior Shia
leaders in the government and parliament.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail


22) Judge grants preliminary gang injunction
by Mary Ratcliff
[By the way, if you Google "gang injunction" you will come across a
long list of cities doing just what San Francisco is doing. It is a
nationwide policy to turn our communities into "prisons in place."..BW]
San Francisco Bay View News
To reach the Bay View, email editor@sfbayview.com.

San Francisco – Hunters Point turned out in force for the court hearing
Wednesday, Nov. 22, filling the courtroom and the hallway outside.
Although Judge Peter Busch granted City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s
request for a so-called “gang injunction” that labels young Black
men from the Oakdale public housing development a public
nuisance, the judge refused to grant two of the harsher restrictions
Herrera requested.

Community residents note it was Herrera who, in September, threw
out the verified signatures of over 33,000 San Francisco voters on
a referendum petition challenging the Bayview Hunters Point
Redevelopment Plan, which is viewed as an ethnic cleansing effort
in a neighborhood that is 91 percent people of color. Developers
planning to spend hundreds of millions on upscale housing and
other facilities from Candlestick to Mission Bay fear they’ll find
no buyers unless Bayview Hunters Point is “repeopled.”

Zeroing in on Oakdale public housing, which is separated by
nothing but a fence from the Hunters Point Shipyard site where
homebuilder Lennar is preparing to build 1,600 new homes,
is seen as a means of pushing out the mainly Black and poor
residents before Lennar’s new homes are put on the market.

Herrera had initially hoped for court approval of a permanent
injunction against the young men he calls the “Oakdale Mob”
before the community could find out about his plan and oppose
it. “The City appears to have intended to keep this case essentially
secret from the public, the community affected and from almost
all of the individuals targeted by this injunction until after the
Court had acted,” said Alan Schlosser, legal director of the ACLU
for Northern California.

Only three of the 22 young men named in Herrera’s complaint
had been served with it prior to the first hearing Oct. 30. Instead
of keeping the bad news to themselves, they reached out to
community leaders, especially Minister Christopher Muhammad
of the Nation of Islam. Young attorney Damone Hale, known
as the people’s lawyer, who is now representing one of the young
men named, broke the story in the Oct. 18 Bay View.

Hale wrote that Herrera had hinted as long ago as Dec. 5 of last
year that he’d be seeking a gang injunction, but in all that time
“intentionally chose not to include that community” in the discussion.
“‘Enough is enough,’ Mr. Herrera. We demand to be at the table when
the decisions are made,” wrote attorney Hale.

“There is absolutely no justification for excluding the community.
Deep distrust of San Francisco police officers and the department
is widespread. We have experienced brutality by officers firsthand
too many times. We have been victims of their lies and deception
to incriminate us too many times.

“We have been promised police department reform and have
been let down too many times. Dennis Herrera, the discretion
you want to empower these officers will be abused too many
times. Enough is enough.”

Hale’s arguments on Wednesday convinced the judge to reject
the City’s request for a 10 p.m. curfew, though he did prohibit
“loitering” from midnight to 5:30 a.m.

“Given the limits on association, the limits on illegal conduct,
the limits on loitering and trespassing, what’s left to be addressed
by the curfew is not really gang activity but the individual’s private
activity,” Judge Busch said. “It seems to me it goes farther
than necessary.”

The judge also rejected the terms of the City Attorney’s “do not
associate” restriction prohibiting the young men of Oakdale from
publicly gathering in groups of two or more except for church
or school, saying, “It may exclude potentially other worthy activities.”
He asked the attorneys for both sides to submit suggestions
by Nov. 28 of other activities the young men should be allowed
to pursue together. Hale’s list includes work, political gatherings
and community meetings.

The ACLU challenges gang injunctions, which have been imposed
on innercity neighborhoods in Los Angeles, San Jose and elsewhere
in the country but never before in San Francisco, on the grounds
that they take away people’s rights without proof that a crime
has been committed. The young men of Oakdale are now
prohibited from “trespassing” on Housing Authority property
unless they have the permission of the manager or a legal
resident and from carrying tools that could be used for graffiti
writing as well as from illegal activities.

Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth is another organization
critical of gang injunctions, concerned that they threaten young
people’s aspirations and family and community cohesion.
Moreover, Coleman’s weekly newsletter warned Monday,
“Attorneys familiar with these cases say this is a test case,
and once finalized will likely be applied to areas across the city.”

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice has issued a fact
sheet to educate the community about gang injunctions. CJCJ’s
concern is that a gang injunction severely impacts an entire
community, yet only the individuals named and not the
community can challenge it in court.

Under the section called “What does it mean?” CJCJ explains that
for everyone named: “A violation of the injunction would result
in being in contempt of a court order. Anyone seen doing any
of the prohibited activities may be picked up by the police on
contempt and held for five days per violation or could be charged
criminally and placed in jail for six months.

“The injunction would show up on employment background checks
for those individuals named, and clearing a name from the injunction
may be difficult.”

Major excerpts from the rest of the fact sheet follow:

“What are the problems?

“Gang injunctions present many problems due to the severe
limitations they can impose on individual rights. One of the most
commonly discussed issues is that they are overbroad, or include
too many people who may not be causing problems in a community.
Often, it is the restrictions themselves that may be too broad. In 1999,
the U.S. Supreme Court found that police could not be given unchecked
authority to arrest citizens, even when they are presumed to be gang
members. Thus, injunctions must be targeted and narrow, naming
only people known to create a public nuisance in a certain
geographic area.

“Perhaps the greatest concern to a community threatened by
a gang injunction is an injunction’s disregard for the criminal
process. Once identified by the city as a member or associate in
the alleged Oakdale Mob, and notified of an injunction, men and
women who are present in the four-block area surrounding Oakdale
Avenue and Baldwin Court may be picked up by the police for generally
non-criminal conduct, like talking to a friend or standing still. Should
a police officer believe the friend to be another gang member,
or that the individual is loitering with an intent to purchase or sell
drugs, the individual can be arrested and held in contempt of court.

“In San Jose, individuals named in a gang injunction were prohibited
from climbing trees, talking to someone in a car, making loud noises
or carrying marbles. These activities would not result in police action
were it not for the injunction, and without a very clear understanding
of all the terms of the injunction, people identified as gang members
became vulnerable to arrest anytime they were present in the
designated area. …

“Will it work?

“Residents exposed to ongoing criminal activity have every right
to demand remedial action by their city. The San Francisco City Attorney
calls the injunction a law enforcement tool that will aid the residents
to reclaim their neighborhood and parks. What the city may be missing,
however, is the detrimental impact the injunction will have on the
community itself, and the inability of an injunction to promote positive
programs in the neighborhood affected. According to a former ACLU
attorney who successfully fought a gang injunction in Oakland in 1994,
‘Whether they work in reducing crime or not, they flagrantly violate the
rights of groups targeted specifically because of their age, ethnicity
and relationships.

“Given the probation-like restrictions that will be imposed on individuals,
it is important to understand the likelihood of increased vulnerability
to the criminal justice system that will result for individuals who live
in or near the proposed four-block vicinity in Bayview. Juveniles and
young adults may become targets of police attention based on
incorrect information or presumptions due to appearances. Further,
individuals may be restricted from attending family gatherings, working
in community programs or participating in civic events because of the
injunction’s broad prohibition against association between two or more
people thought to be members or associates of Oakdale Mob. …

“In San Francisco, it became obvious after the hearing on October 30
that the gang injunction could potentially disrupt the efforts of a county
funded program that recruits former or current gang members into
community restorative employment.”

When he broke the story about the gang injunction in the Bay View
Oct. 18, attorney Damone Hale wrote:

“Stop the injunction process now. Engage the impacted community.
Mr. Herrera, you owe us better than this ‘quick-fix’ police harassment
tool. If you just have to enjoin someone or something, try this on for size:

· Prohibit the San Francisco School Board members and top leadership
from leaving their offices or boardroom until our kids have quality
schools and teachers and staff are paid “decent” salaries;

· Prohibit the Recreation Commission members and top leadership
from leaving their meeting room and offices until all of our recreation
centers are fully operational, staffed and have sufficient resources
and equipment;

· Prohibit everyone connected with economic development from leaving
their well-paying jobs until the unemployment rate for any particular
ethnic group reflects their proportion in the general population;

· Prohibit the mayor from being a candidate for re-election because
his failed criminal justice policy has resulted in kids dying and in our
City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera trying this desperate last ditch experiment.

“Enough is enough.”

To express your opinion to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, contact him at
City Hall Room 234, San Francisco CA 94102, (415) 554-4700,
fax (415) 554-4745 or cityattorney@sfgov.org . For more information from
the organizations cited above, contact Megan Corcoran at the Center
on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, (415) 621-5661, ext. 309, or www.cjcj.org ;
N’Tanya Lee at Coleman Advocates, (415) 239-0161 or www.colemanadvocates.org ;
and Alan Schlosser at the ACLU, (415) 621-2493 or www.aclunc.org .

To subscribe to this list, email sfbayview-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.
[since a hacker destroyed their website, this is the only way to get the
very important articles published by Bay View News over the web...bw]


23) Water War Brewing along Mexican Border
By DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press Writer
Tue Dec 5, 9:19 AM ET

The Bush administration is urging a federal appeals court to allow
part of a canal separating California and Mexico to be lined with
concrete to stop millions of gallons of water from seeping south
of the border.

A lawsuit seeking to block the project argues that shutting off that
seepage would be detrimental to farmers and others in Mexico.

The lining is proposed along a portion of the 82-mile All-American
Canal that delivers Colorado River water to crop land on both
sides of the border about 100 miles east of San Diego.

The U.S. government says Mexico already gets 489 billion gallons
of Colorado River water legitimately each year under a 1944 treaty
and isn't entitled to the seepage, which provides a farming
lifeline in Mexico.

A Justice Department attorney told a panel of three appellate
judges on Monday that Mexicans have no right to the water,
which is also the lifeblood for 500,000 acres of U.S. farmland.

The lining project will provide enough water for 135,000 new
homes in the San Diego area.

All three judges suggested during oral arguments in the case
Monday that people in Mexico might not have legal standing
to assert a claim for the water in U.S. courts.

"How does a constitutional barrier against takings of property
in the United States apply to somebody's property in Mexico?"
Judge John Noonan asked.

The San Francisco-based appeals court temporarily blocked
construction of the $210 million, 23-mile-long lining in
August after Mexican business interests and U.S.
environmental groups sued.

The lawsuit claims there would be significant job losses
on the Mexican side of the border as thousands of acres
of crops would turn to dust, that Mexican wells would become
polluted without the seepage and migratory birds would
be threatened if wetlands disappeared.

R. Gaylord Smith, an attorney for Consejo de Desarrollo
Economico de Mexicali, a Mexican business group, argued
that the U.S. has abandoned rights to the water.

Judge Sidney Thomas said the U.S. might have abandoned
the water, but that doesn't mean "somebody else acquires it."

Malissa Hathaway, another attorney for the business group,
argued the canal project would be detrimental to both
sides of the border.

"No one has looked at the economic effects of taking land
out of production," she said.

Water consumption spurred by breakneck growth in Southern
California prompted Western states to complain they weren't
getting their share of Colorado River water. The dispute
resulted in a water redistribution deal that included the
lining project as California settled for less water.

Colorado River water first flowed to California's arid southeast
in 1901 on the Alamo Canal, which dipped into Mexico.
California farmers soon decided they needed a canal
completely within the United States, leading to completion
of the All-American in 1942.

Critics of the project say migrants might die crossing a lined
canal because concrete will deprive desperate swimmers
of tall grasses to grab. While the canal appears calm,
migrants who cram onto inflatable rafts could be swept
away by a fierce undercurrent.

The appeals court did not indicate when it would rule.

The Mexican government is not a party to the case,
but disapproved of the lining in court briefs.



Near-Total Isolation Sought for Guantanamo Detainees

Nonstick Chemicals Likely Cancer-Causing Agent

Extra Checks on Voting Machines Rejected

US Predicts Bumper Year in Arms Sales

War Protestor Will be Retried

Nearly as Many Contractors as Soldiers in Iraq
There are about 100,000 government contractors operating
in Iraq, not counting subcontractors, a total that is
approaching the size of the US military force there,
according to the military's first census of the growing
population of civilians operating in the battlefield.

The New York Times | Losing the Good War
The editors of the New York Times write: "Afghanistan was
supposed to be the good war - and the war America was
winning. But because of the Bush administration's
inattention and mismanagement, even the good war
is going wrong."

Old forest sucks up greenhouse gas, study says
By Jeff Barnard AP Environmental Writer
GRANTS PASS - Researchers have found soils in an old-growth
forest in southern China are storing carbon at a rapid rate.
Friday, December 1, 2006 1:44 PM PST

Brad Will's Alleged Killers Released from Jail
By Sarah Ferguson | December 1, 2006

The House of Death
When 12 bodies were found buried in the garden of a Mexican house,
it seemed like a case of drug-linked killings. But the trail led
to Washington and a cover-up that went right to the top.
David Rose reports from El Paso
David Rose
Sunday December 3, 2006

Pediatricians Urge Restrictions on Ads for Sex-Related Products
December 5, 2006
CHICAGO, Dec. 4 ( Reuters) — Children should be exposed to fewer
television ads for anti-impotence drugs and more for birth control,
and need to be shielded from an advertising onslaught in general,
the leading United States pediatricians’ group said on Monday.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a new policy statement,
also urged limits to children’s television viewing and access to the
Internet, as well as restrictions on how alcoholic beverage makers
promote their products.
“If we taught kids media literacy, you can essentially immunize
kids against advertising,” said Dr. Victor C. Strasburger,
a pediatrician at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque
and the lead author of the statement.
The pediatricians group urged that erectile dysfunction drug
ads not be shown until after 10 p.m., when fewer children
are watching television.
Children who watch more television — presumably exposing
them to ads for fast food, snacks, soft drinks and candy —
are more likely to be obese, although no studies show
a direct correlation between advertising and obesity, he said.
Jim Davidson, a spokesman for the Advertising Coalition,
said that food companies and advertisers had already
responded to the obesity epidemic by promoting healthier
products and by following recently revised guidelines
for commercials directed at children.
Makers of tobacco and hard liquor have long been restricted
from advertising on television, and Mr. Davidson noted that
brewers had pledged not to advertise on TV shows where
children make up more than half of viewers.
The statement, published in the academy’s journal, Pediatrics,
also sought to limit televised ads for alcoholic beverages
to show just the product and not bikini-clad women
or cartoon characters, and to ban tobacco advertising of any kind.

As Auto Prosperity Shifts South, Two Towns Offer a Study in Contrasts
[There is a map at the site of this link in the Times online. It shows
four things: auto plant employees; auto plants built before 1986;
auto plants built after 1986; and the change in employment figures.
The map shows the change in auto manufacturing from a concentration
of plants within a geographical area of the country—Michigan and
surrounding states—manufacturing primarily domestic automobiles.
To a predominance of foreign car manufacturing, and both domestic
and foreign, spread out geographically across the country. It also
shows a one-quarter to over one-half decrease of automotive
manufacturing jobs in the Detroit and surrounding states region,
leaving huge increase in unemployment, under-employmentand crime
rates in its wake….bw]
December 5, 2006

Comedy on the Hot Seat
Mr. [Dick] Gregory said his son told him a joke the other day: “What
is worse than a white man calling a black man a nigger?” Mr. Gregory
said, quoting his son. “Calling a white man Michael Richards.”
December 3, 2006

Bridegroom’s Legacy Remembered at His Funeral
December 2, 2006

After a Shooting, a Rapper Stages a Protest in Rhyme
December 2, 2006


Foe of Birth Control to Head US Family Planning Department

FOCUS | Widespread Corruption in Iraq Costs Taxpayers $4 Billion a Year
The Iraqi government is in danger of being brought down by the
wholesale smuggling of the nation's oil and other forms of corruption that
together represent a "second insurgency", according to a senior US
official. Stuart Bowen, who has been in charge of auditing Iraq's faltering
reconstruction since 2004, said corruption had reached such levels that it
threatened the survival of the state.

Would HRW Have Attacked Martin Luther King, Too?
Palestinians Are Being Denied the Right of Non-Violent Resistance?
in Nazareth
November 30, 2006

An Ancient Computer Surprises Scientists
November 29, 2006

California: Toddler’s Shooting Called Accident
The district attorney’s office in Los Angeles will not file charges
against 11 police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a toddler
during a gun battle with her father last year. The toddler,
19-month-old Suzie Pena, was being used as a human shield
by her father, District Attorney Steve Cooley said in a memorandum.
Prosecutors found the SWAT officers were trying to defend themselves
and others when they accidentally killed the child, Mr. Cooley said.
The father, Jose Raul Pena, exchanged gunfire with the police during
the hourslong July 2005 standoff before he was fatally shot. There
were illegal drugs in his system and traces of cocaine in the toddler’s
system, officials said.
November 29, 2006

Nurse and 7 Guards Are Charged in Teenager’s Death at Boot Camp
November 29, 2006

Ruling Lets Women Share Rights Custody Fight
November 29, 2006

Anger Spills Over in Atlanta at Killing of Aged Woman
November 29, 2006


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