Tuesday, February 21, 2006


VOLUNTEER NOW: 415-821-6545
Endorse March 18 Global Day of Action
Volunteer Now! To get involved, call 415-821-6545
or email answer@actionsf.org


Breast Cancer Delays Sentencing
of Lawyer [Lynne Stewart] Convicted in Terrorism Case

To learn more about Lynne Stewart's case go to:

More than a year has passed since Lynne F. Stewart, a defense lawyer
who proudly calls herself a radical, was convicted of aiding terrorists
in a high-profile federal trial in New York. But she still has not been

Debate has percolated about the Feb. 10, 2005, verdict against
Ms. Stewart, with civil libertarians saying it violated her rights
to represent a terrorist client and justice officials promoting
it as a blow against terrorism. But the court became strangely
quiet about the case, with Judge John G. Koeltl repeatedly
postponing the sentencing without explanation.

Yesterday, Ms. Stewart, who remains free on bail, clarified
the mystery when her lawyers filed a letter revealing that
she is recovering from surgery on Jan. 9 for breast cancer
and is about to start a program of radiation therapy.
She requested a new delay of her sentencing until after July 31.

Ms. Stewart said that she had alerted Judge Koeltl about
her cancer soon after her doctors saw signs of it in November,
but the judge agreed to keep any discussion of her illness
confidential until now.

"Talk about getting hit over the head with a sledgehammer,
oh me," said Ms. Stewart, recalling the day in early December
when her doctor, reading the results of a biopsy, confirmed
the tumor.

Ms. Stewart, 66, faces a maximum of 30 years in prison,
in effect a life sentence, after her conviction on five counts
of providing material aid to terrorism and lying to the
government. She was found guilty of conspiring with an
imprisoned terrorist client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman,
to defy special federal rules that barred him from
communicating with his militant Islamic followers in Egypt.

In May 2000 Ms. Stewart carried a message from the sheik
out of federal prison and later read it by telephone to
a Reuters reporter in Cairo. The sheik was convicted in
1995 and is serving a life sentence for conspiring in 1993
to bomb the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels and other
New York City landmarks.

Ms. Stewart said she had no illusion about much chance
of avoiding prison. Judge Koeltl, of Federal District Court
in Manhattan, denied her motions for a new trial in
a sternly worded Oct. 25 ruling.

In a telephone interview from a country home upstate where
she is recuperating, Ms. Stewart said, "The ultimate reality
is this sentencing is going to happen." She said she hoped
the judge would agree that she should recover from the
cancer before going to prison. Her message, she said,
is, "You may send me to jail for the rest of my life, but
at least I'll go in strong and resistant to whatever happens."

After a Feb. 24 sentencing date was postponed, she
was scheduled to be sentenced on March 10.

A letter from Ms. Stewart's oncologist, Dr. Michael L.
Grossbard, filed with the court yesterday, reported that
surgeons had removed a 2.4-centimeter "invasive ductal
carcinoma" from her left breast. Dr. Grossbard, the chief
of hematology and oncology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt
Hospital Center in Manhattan, said that Ms. Stewart would
require radiation treatments every weekday for about
six weeks, starting at the end of this month.

"Fatigue can be a severe side effect for some patients
and can limit their participation in usual daily activities,"
Dr. Grossbard wrote.

Ms. Stewart, who appeared sturdy and resolute throughout
the trial, said that dealing with illness in the wake of her
conviction had been difficult. "I have been totally consumed
by this," she said. "I'm fragile enough that I can't just sit
down and talk about this sentencing in the abstract."

Prosecutors in the case had no comment yesterday, noting
that most of the court record about Ms. Stewart's health
was still under seal.

For months after the trial Ms. Stewart, a cause célèbre in
leftist and civil liberties circles, traveled around the country,
speaking to groups of supporters. She stopped when the
cancer was diagnosed, she said. She also learned last year
that she had high blood pressure.

Ms. Stewart and her lawyers denied that she was seeking
any special dispensation from the court. "We're not asking
for anything out of the ordinary, beyond what is reasonable
for the therapy she is undergoing," said Jill R. Shellow-Lavine,
one of Ms. Stewart's lawyers. They are seeking a filing date
of July 31 for their sentencing motions, which could lead
to a sentencing date as late as September.

Two other defendants in the case are also awaiting sentencing.
They are Mohamed Yousry, 49, Ms. Stewart's Arabic translator,
and Ahmed Abdel Sattar, 46, a postal worker from Staten Island
who was a paralegal in the sheik's case. Mr. Yousry remains
free on bail, but Mr. Sattar, who was convicted of conspiring
to kidnap and kill in a foreign country, the most serious charge
in the trial, is now in maximum security solitary confinement
in the federal jail in Manhattan.

A lawyer for Mr. Sattar, Kenneth A. Paul, said his client had
been abruptly transferred recently to the most severe isolation
unit in the Metropolitan Correctional Center and placed under
the same type of restrictions, known as special administrative
measures, that were imposed on Mr. Abdel Rahman. Mr. Sattar
is confined to his cell 24 hours a day. The one-hour daily
recreation time that he had had since he was first incarcerated
four years ago has been canceled.

"He's in a complete shutdown right now," Mr. Paul said, "with
no phone calls and no visitation, and we don't know why."

Prosecutors declined to comment on Mr. Sattar's situation.



Dr. Monte Moses, Superintendent
Cherry Creek Schools


Teach vs. speech
How should public schools handle hot controversy in class?
A teacher's Comments on Bush stoke an ever-simmering debate
By Karen Rouse and Robert Sanchez
Denver Post Staff Writers
Article Launched: 3/03/2006 01:00 AM


Right-Wing Attack Dogs Go after a Colorado High School Teacher
by Michael D. Yates
March 3, 2006

And some of the "criminal" comments made by Jay Bennish:

"Among other things, Mr. Bennish asked his class which country
has the most weapons of mass destruction and answered the
United States.  He suggested that capitalism was inimical
to human rights and that the U.S. wants to create by military
force if necessary a world in its own image.  He suggested that
there were chilling similarities between Bush's words and those
of Hitler.  Right on the mark if you ask me!  Meanwhile, the
moronic Gunny Bob said that Bennish criticized capitalism
but was a capitalist himself (because he gets paid a wage?).
Finally, on March 3, the Denver Post noted that, near the end
of the recording, Mr. Bennish told his students, "You have
to figure this stuff out for yourselves. . . . I'm not in any way
implying that you should agree with me. . . . What I'm trying
to get you to do is think about these issues more in depth
and not just to take things from the surface."  And, "I'm glad
you [those students who challenged him] asked all of your
questions because they're all very good, legitimate questions." 
Sounds like a real brain washer to me!"

Dr. Monte Moses, Superintendent
Cherry Creek Schools
Phone: 720-554-4213
4700 South Yosemite Street
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Phone: 303-773-1184
Fax: 303-773-9884

Dear Dr. Moses,

I am appalled to read these articles and learn that geography
teacher, Jay Bennish, who teaches at Overland High School
in Aurora, Colorado is in trouble and out of work for things
he said in an honors geography class. What happened to
freedom of speech and for the right of students and teachers
to discuss freely the current events of the day. How can this
be avoided in a subject like geography?

Are our teachers to be given a script to read in the classroom
and the admonition to prohibit any discussion that deviates
from that script?

And, even more outrageous, is the School District going to
dance to the tune of right-wing radio announcers? Is this
what our educational system is going to come to? Is congress
ready to appoint Bill O'Reiley and Fox's Hannity and Colmes
to head the Department of Education?

This is an outrageous travesty of justice that won't be
tolerated and has already attracted the attention of
people throughout our country.

Put Jay Bennish back to work with all of his back pay
(if he has lost any) and keep right-wing radio out
of the classroom!

Teachers like Jay are beacons of light and should be
cherished! His comments as reprinted above show
that he is the voice of reason.


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War





Note: The meeting last evening, Tuesday, Feb. 28
did not take up the "Equal Access Resolution."

THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 7:00 P.M. (tentative)
This committee will hear the "Equal Access
for Recruiters" Board of Ed. Policy (62-14Sp1)

TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 7:00 P.M.
"Equal Access for Recruiters" (62-14Sp1)
could come before the board at this meeting
for final approval.

Meetings to take place at:

Irving G. Breyer Board Meeting Room
555 Franklin Street, First Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

If you wish to speak at the Regular Board meeting
Call: 241-6427 to get on the speakers list.
Monday between 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, between 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
(You do not need to get on the list ahead
of time for the Curriculum Committee meeting
to speak.)


The following resolution was introduced to the S.F.
Unified School District Board of Education meeting,
Thursday, Feb.23.


Text of Resolution No. 62-14Sp1 – Authorization to Approve Board
Policy Regarding Equal Access for Recruiters


Equal Access for Recruiters

Recruiters of all types (including but not limited to employment,
education, service opportunities, military or military alternatives)
shall be given equal access to San Francisco Unified School District
high schools. The principal at each school shall determine the
frequency with which recruiters may visit, but in order to be in
compliance with the equal access rule, each recruiter shall be
granted the opportunity to visit any single campus at least as
frequently as any other recruiter. For purposes of this policy,
each branch of the military is considered to be a separate
recruiting organization.

This recruitment policy must be posted throughout the year.
At a minimum, these rules shall be posted in the school’s
main office, counseling center, career center, and on the
District’s website.

All recruiters must comply with the following guidelines:

• Recruiters must obtain the written permission of the principal
or designee to be on campus. Such permission may be granted
for the full year;
• Recruiters must contact the principal or designee prior to
their visit to schedule specific times to be on campus, and
the monthly schedule for such visits must be posted at a
minimum in the school’s main office, counseling center,
and career center;
• All recruiters must sign in and sign out in the school’s
main office each time they visit the campus;
• Recruiters shall limit all recruiting activities to the specific
area designated by the principal or designee. This designated
area must be within a specific confined space on the campus
(such as a classroom or office); recruiters may not roam the
campus or grounds. Recruiters may not pursue or approach
students; recruiting activities may only be directed at students
who affirmatively approach the recruiter for information.
• The principal or designee may permit recruiters to leave
information in a designated area. Such information must be
dated and clearly identify a contact name and number that
students, staff or others may call if there are questions
about the information;
• If the principal or designee designates such an area for
recruiter information, the area must include a clearly visible
sign that states that SFUSD and the school do not endorse
or sponsor the materials;
• All recruiters must clearly identify the organization that
they are recruiting for: military recruiters must be in uniform,
and all other recruiters must wear identification that similarly
indicates the organization that they are recruiting for;
• Recruiters may not take students out of the designated
recruitment area or off campus;
• No more than two recruiters from each organization
may recruit on campus at one time.

Recruiters of all types are cautioned to remember that the
primary goal of the SFUSD high schools is to educate students.
Recruiting activities that are disruptive or that interfere with the
traditional activities of a given school day are not permitted.

Recruiters who harass students or staff, provide misleading
or untrue information, or who do not comply with applicable
state and federal laws or SFUSD rules or policies may have their
organization’s permission to recruit on campus revoked for the
remainder of the semester, or the semester following the infraction
if the infraction occurs after the fifteenth week of the semester.
The principal or designee, in his or her discretion, may provide
students with access to information to correct any misleading
or untrue information provided by such recruiter(s), if available.

The principal shall retain copies of the recruitment calendars and
sheets and provide such copies to the Assistant
Superintendent for High Schools by June 30th of each year.

San Francisco, California

Superintendent’s Proposal



That the Board of Education approves a new Board Policy regarding
Equal Access for Recruiters. This policy provides for equal access
to SFUSD high schools for all types of recruiters, including but not
limited to employment, education, service opportunities, military
or military alternatives. The policy also outlines the guidelines and
restrictions related to recruiting activities and access.


The claim was that since "No Child Left Behind" funds
(about $40 million for San Francisco Schools) requires that
the military have equal access to students whenever other
recruiters--Colleges and Universities--come to the schools
to talk to children about their future opportunities, the board
felt it was necessary to lay out guidelines for military visits to
ensure equality of access to the kids.

As the situation stands in S.F., students and their parents
have signed the "Opt In-Out" forms by over 98 percent and
very few of those "Opted In" to military contact and recruitment.
So, since the "opt out" forms have thwarted the military ghouls,
they are seeking yet another way to get to our kids. I guess
their $3 billion dollar recruitment advertising budget is not
producing the results they would like.

And, as it stood before this resolution, not all schools
invited the military to their "career days" even though
the colleges were represented. It was voluntary on the part
of the career counselors whether or not to invite them.
This resolution will make it mandatory for schools to have
the military present at all such events--even when new
scholarships are offered by particular schools of higher
learning. Yet it does not require that counter-recruiters
be present at the same time as the military. Instead, it leaves
it open whether to have counter-recruiters come at all or
perhaps, allow counter-recruiters on another day or to
just put up with us handing out counter-recruitment
material outside of school doors. (The distinction was
made that "counter recruiters" are not "recruiters" and
do not offer alternative career opportunities.)

The resolution will also spell out the terms of announcing
the military visits before hand which will require real
coordination on the part of the antiwar movement to
counter the military when they do invade our schools.
The wording in the resolution reads that any "recruiter"
can visit the school as often as "any other recruiter". And
each Military branch is to be considered separate from the
other. I.E. if SFSU comes to the school then someone from
the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard can
also come! A suggestion was made that this be amended
to allow only one military recruiter for all branches at
any one time.

With the passage of Prop. I, to stop military recruitment
in the schools, the Board of Education is mandated
to at least try to keep the military out of our schools.
What is disturbing is that even though it is clear that
the voters and residents of San Francisco are opposed
to the war and to military recruitment in the schools,
the board is not mounting a vigorous fight against
the No Child Left Behind Act which comes up for
renewal this year. They should be writing to other
Boards of Education throughout the country to oppose
the military holding our kids hostage in order to fund
the schools. What is most disgusting about the whole
thing is that the overwhelming majority of funds from
No Child Left Behind goes to K-8th grade and not to the
High Schools where the ghouls want to hunt! So the older
kids must sacrifice their lives for the education of their
younger siblings or schoolmates.

This is another issue that the antiwar movement must
address and fight and why it is so important for us to
unite our efforts.

(See announcement for Saturday, February 25 BROAD
ANTIWAR GROUP meeting notice below.)

For instance, with the world headquarters of Bechtel right here
in San Francisco, the Board, in cooperation with the antiwar
movement, could mount a campaign to get the $40 million
from them and other such multi-billion dollar corporations
headquartered or stationed in San Francisco so we can say
NO! to No Child Left Behind and fulfill the wishes of the
majority of San Francisco voters to get the military out
of our schools including JROTC.

The antiwar movement could mount a campaign to pull
any "breaks" offered to such corporations in our city until
they come up with the money our schools need to keep the
military out of our schools. The people of San
Francisco must demand that the money for our schools
take priority over military spending. And that those
corporations based in San Francisco who have profited
off the war should foot the bill for our schools. With a
budget the size of Bechtell's profits our schools could
bring back art, music, dance, swimming, new laboratories,
computers, nurses, etc. and, higher pay for teachers.

This resolution No. 62-14Sp1 will first be brought
to the Curriculum Committee tentatively scheduled for
March 9 then to the whole Board for a vote on March 28.
(These dates are tentative and will be posted to
the Board of Ed website for confirmation at:
We will announce the confirmed dates as well.)

We urge everyone to come to the meetings
and speak against this resolution at every



There will be a protest rally at Oakland City Hall on
Tuesday March 7th at 4PM. The rally, initiated by the
Transport Workers Solidarity Committee and endorsed
by ILWU Local 10, the longshore union, will take place
while the City Council is meeting to take a final vote on
the settlements in the case of the bloody police attack
on April 7, 2003 against anti-war demonstrators and
longshore workers at terminal gates in the port. This
planned police deployment shortly after the start of the
war in Iraq used so-called "non-lethal" weapons to stop
peaceful anti-war demonstrators from protesting, war
profiteers, the maritime companies, American President
Lines and Stevedore Services of America. The attack was
condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission as one
of the most violent acts of government repression. Mayor
Jerry Brown and City Council President Ignacio de la Fuente,
who have backed the police attack, received protest
messages from the late Ossie Davis, Alice Walker, and trade
union organizations representing millions of workers
around the world.

It's necessary for all organizations that are concerned
about civil liberties, civil rights, trade union rights, police
brutality to mobilize your members to protest this police
attack and the government cover-up. Speakers at the rally
will include some of the victims of the police attack and
messages of solidarity. Paying financial settlements to
victims of police brutality does not solve the problem of
the continuous violation of our democratic rights. Only
by mobilizing in masses of working people can we defend
those rights for all.


TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2006, 7:00 P.M.
255 9th St., S.F.

1. End the War in Iraq! Bring the Troops Home Now!
2. No War at Home! Money for Human Needs, Jobs, Education,
Healthcare and Hurricane Disaster Relief, Not War!
3. No U.S. Wars and Occupations from Palestine to Haiti, from
Afghanistan to Cuba, from Iran to Venezuela!


International Women's Day
Wednesday, March 8th 2006 6:30-9pm
First Unitarian Church
685 14th Street
Oakland, California 94612
Breaking Rank: Women of Color Soldiers Speak Out
To celebrate International Women's Day, the Women of
Color Resource Center will host the premier screening
of "Fashion Resistance to Militarism," a fresh and
provocative documentary looking at the militarization
of U.S. society and culture and resistance to war by
communities in the U.S.
Following the screening will be a panel discussion
with Aimee Allison and Tina Garnanez, two leading
women of color veterans from the Gulf War and Iraq War
who now actively speak out against the war and
International Women's Day is an occasion marked by
women's groups around the world and commemorated by
the United Nations. It is a day for women on all
continents, often divided by national boundaries and
by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and
political differences, to come together to celebrate
their struggle for equality, justice, peace and
development. International Women's Day is the story of
ordinary women making herstory, and WCRC will
commemorate our day with this important documentary
and stories of resistance by leading peace activists.
For more information, visit our website at
-----code pink:

We will gather at the military recruiting station,
2116 Broadway @21st St, Oakland - 2 blocks north
of the 19th St BART, at 5:00 PM. From there, we will
march down Broadway (on the sidewalk, not the street)
to 14th Street, turning right on 14th street. We will stop
at the Frank Ogawa Plaza on 14th Street, long enough
to meet up with more folks, eat some snacks, (bring
your own and some to share) and possibly enjoy some
spontaneous singing, drumming, sharing of stories.
We will then proceed on to the First Unitarian Church,
665 14th St. for the event: "Breaking Silence: Women
of Color Soldiers Speak Out." The whole march route
is about 3/4 of a mile. If you are not able to walk that
distance, or cannot be at the recruiting station by 5:00 PM,
please meet us at the Frank Ogawa Plaza, adjacent
to City Hall, on the 14th street side. Wear pink, bring
a sign, and think of chants for the march.

Janet Rosen
"Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching."
--Satchel Paige


Planning Meeting for the Luis Primo
Speaking Event on March 25, 2006
7:00 PM, Thursday, March 9, 2006
Socialist Action Bookstore
298 Valencia Street
(corner of 14th Street), San Francisco

Primo has his passport in hand and his tickets have been
secured; the UNT is eager for him to visit the US and tell the
Venezuelan story! Let’s roll up our sleeves and make this happen!
Everyone is urged to attend this planning meeting. We will go
over all the many tasks and assignments in preparation for this
most important event.

If you have suggestions for where we can distribute fliers at
upcoming events, please make a suggestion.
There is one special task we need help on now:
Who can translate the flier into Spanish?
If you need leaflets to distribute, we will have them at the meeting!

Call Hands Off Venezuela 415-786-1680
for more information or email: sfbay@ushov.org


March for Peace: Latino Voices of Opposition to Iraq War!

On March 12, 2006 Fernando Suarez del Solar, Pablo Paredes,
Camilo Mejia and Aidan Delgado will lead a coalition of the
willing across a 241 mile quest for peace that aims at raising
Latino voice of opposition to the War in Iraq. The
March will run from Tijuana, Mexico all the way to
The Mission district of San Francisco making strategic, symbolic
and ceremonial stops along the way.

The 241 mile march is inspired by Gandhi’s 1930 Salt March
protesting British imperialism and will serve as a loud cry for
an end to the bloodshed in Iraq.

more info see


War resisters and conscientious objectors Pablo Paredes
and Aidan Delgado are coming to the Bay Area to speak
at about 20 events! including at least 9 public events,
from Sacramento to Watsonville, as well as Oakland,
San Francisco, Berkeley, Davis and San Rafael. 
Additional speaking events are scheduled at schools. 
The schedule for the public events of the speaking
tour and a high resolution flyer are now available at

Pablo Paredes will be in the Bay Area from Feb 27 – Mar 5,
and Aidan Delgado from Mar 2 – Mar 5. 
Please circulate widely, and we hope to see you
at least at one event!
Check out the online January '06 Objector -
Steve Morse
GI Rights Program Coordinator
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO)
405 14th St., Suite #205, Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 465-1617 or (888) 231-2226,
Fax: 510-465-2459 www.objector.org

For discharge information, visit: www.girights.org
GI Rights Hotline:  (800) 394-9544
General, your tank is a mighty vehicle. It shatters the
forest and crushes a hundred men. But it has one
defect: it needs drivers.

General, your bomber is awesome. It flies faster
than a hurricane and bears more than an elephant. 
But it has one defect: it needs a mechanic.

General, a man is quite expendable.  He can fly
and can kill.  But he has one defect: he can think.                  

Bertolt Brecht


The expanding U.S. War Drive & the forces resisting it
Sat, March 4, 1-4pm
San Francisco Women's Building
3543 18th St. (btwn Valencia & Guerrero)
near 16th St. BART station

Topics Include:
-Iraq, Iran and Syria: U.S. Strategy for Domination in the Middle East
-The Elections in Palestine and the Struggle for Self-Determination
-Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia: The Rising Tide in Latin America
and Danger of U.S. Intervention
-The War at Home, from New Orleans to Bayview-Hunter's Point
-Washington Global Strategy and What It Means for the
Anti-War Movement

Speakers include:
Mazda Majidi, ANSWER Coalition
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Palestine correspondent,
Pablo Serrano, progressive photo journalist and
Colombian human rights activist
Gloria La Riva, Coordinator, National Committee
to Free the Cuban Five
Richard Becker, Western Region Coordinator,
ANSWER Coalition
Pierre Labossiere, Haiti Action Committee
Representative, Free Palestine Alliance

Hear first-hand reports from Palestine, Venezuela, Iran,
Syria, Colombia and Haiti, and analysis of the growing U.S.
war drive and the forces resisting it. Time for discussion
will follow panel presentations.

$3-10 donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Wheelchair accessible. Call 415-821-6545 to reserve
free childcare.

Sponsored by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
(Act Now to Stop War & End Racism)

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

Make a tax-dedctible donation to A.N.S.W.E.R.
by credit card over a secure server, 
learn how to donate by check.

Postering for March 18 Anti-war Protest - Volunteer Now!
2489 Mission St. Room 24 (at 21st St.) SF,
near 24th St. BART
Now more than ever, the anti-war movement needs
to reach out to the thousands of people who are turning
against the war and occupation of Iraq. Your help is needed.
Call the ANSWER office for the schedule to go out in teams to poster
for an hour or two. Pick up flyers, posters and stickers
at the ANSWER office at 2489 Mission St. Room 30. Join us
for a political update on the recent election in Haiti and
developments in the Middle East. Also, an eyewitness report
back from the Atlanta appeal court hearing of the case
of the Cuban Five. After the meeting, we will team up and
go out postering for March 18. Your help is needed!
Call 415-821-6545 for hours.


TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 4:00 p.m.
Below please find an editorial by Willie Ratcliff,
publisher of SF Bay View, about a March 7 hearing
before Redevelopment Authority, which will seal the
fate of Bayview Hunter's Point. Many of us have been
saying for years that the Bayview will be the new
Fillmore. March 7 is, as Ratcliff says, an eviction
notice for the residents of Bayview Hunters Point. Not
long after coming into office, Mayor Gavin Newsom did
photo ops with young black men on a basketball court
in Bayview (he was lavished with praise by our
mindless media for that), but he knew damn well then
that their displacement was imminent. It's all part of
San Francisco's hypocrisy about racism and classism.
"Oh, we're a liberal city, we oppose racism and
classism..." people and politicians say, even as they
stand idly by while more and more poor, working-class
and people of color are pushed out of the city by
Ellis Act evictions for TICs for the upper middle
class and Redevelopment Authority's "negro removal,"
as it was called by black activists in the 60s.

Why is it that removing "urban blight" from our cities
means giving poor, working-class and people of color a
one-way ticket to another city? Why can't
Redevelopment work on building communities from within
(with no-interest business loans and subsidies to
homeowners and landlords to fix up their properties,)
instead of declaring "eminent domain" and stealing the
land from folks who have nothing else? If
Redevelopment wants to do some real cleaning of urban
blight why not confiscate the mansions in Pacific
Heights and do a little redistributing of the wealth!
But that's not the game in America. Redevelopment is a
tool of the real-estate interests that want to
gentrify all of our neighborhoods. It's about removing
poor folks so that middle-class and upper-class folks
can have their homes. It's a time-honored American
tradition. Native Americans were pushed from their
land as wagon trains of settlers, driven by manifest
destiny, spread westward. Similarly, the new Bayview
is not for the folks who live there now. As former
Mayor Willie Brown himself said before he left office,
the new Bayview will be market-rate condos with the
best views in town.

Your help is desperately needed.

Come to the hearing on March 7 at City Hall room 416,
4pm. It is imperative that we stand with the residents
of Bayview. It is imperative that people from all
communities and struggles come together to oppose the
annexing of 1300 acres of land next to the shipyard.
No more Fillmores! No eviction notice for Bayview! No
more gentrification! Redistribute the wealth, don't
steal our homes! The land does not belong to the
realtors or the rich! Nuestra tierra, nuestro mundo!
Our land, our world!

Estamos juntos en la lucha...we are together in the
struggle--or we all go down separately!

tommi avicolli mecca


Eviction notice served on Bayview Hunters Point
Editorial by Willie Ratcliff



Veterans For Peace (VFP), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW),
Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Military Families
Speak Out (MFSO), and Gold Star Families for Peace (GSFP),
at the call of the Mobile Veterans For Peace Chapter #130,
will conduct a march between Mobile, AL, and New Orleans,
LA, from March 14-19, 2006 -- the third anniversary of the
invasion and occupation of Iraq.

This historical event highlights the connections between the
economic and human cost of war in the Middle East and the
failure of our government to respond to human needs at
home, especially the needs of poor people and people of color.

The government's negligent and often hostile response to
hurricane survivors is mirrored by that same government's
continued commitment to an illegal, immoral war fought
at a staggering cost.

These are twin disasters, and the veterans of wars abroad
along with the survivors of Katrina and Rita are joining
together for this march and caravan to establish ties of
material solidarity between those who oppose the war abroad
and the social and economic costs for working people at home.

ADVISORY: Spring Break corresponds to the march.
If you plan to get plane tickets to Mobile and from
New Orleans, book them early.

Week of March 13-17
Students Say NO to War in Iraq!
College Not Combat, Troops Out Now!

(*Spring break alternative: Schools on spring
break during March 13-17
will hold events the week of March 20)

Student week of action coordinated by the
Campus Antiwar Network

Charles Jenks
Chair of Advisory Board and Web Manager
Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
fax 413-773-7507


Third Anniversary of "Shock and Awe"
Saturday, March 18, 2006, 11:00 a.m.
San Francisco

Monday, March 20, 2006
Youth and Student Day
of Resistance to Imperialism




New play by local writer Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Following on the heels of his critically acclaimed
one-man show last year, local author and activist
Tommi Avicolli Mecca is debuting his new work, "the
aching in god's heart," March 16-18, 8pm and March 19
at 5pm at Theatre St. Boniface, 175 Golden

The play takes a hard look at the meaning of love and
family. Sofia, a dutiful daughter who has given up
everything to take care of la famiglia, is suddenly
forced to face the truth about her life of devotion.
"The play really looks at the conflict that develops
between 'la via vecchia' (the old ways) of the
immigrant generation and those of the first generation
born here in America. It's the Italian/American story
we don't see on TV or in the movies," says author
Avicolli Mecca.

The cast includes Renee Saucedo, Diana Hartman,
Giancarlo Campagna and Avicolli Mecca.

The four performances of "aching" will benefit four
local nonprofits: Housing Rights Committee, Day
Laborers Program, St. Boniface Neighborhood Center and
the Family Link. Admission is $10 but no one will be
turned away for lack of funds. Bring a check for your
favorite nonprofit. To reserve tickets, call (415)


Workers on the Move

Luis Primo, Venezuelan Labor Leader to Speak in San Francisco

The U.S. Hands Off Venezuela Campaign invites you to hear
Luis Primo, a central leader of the Venezuelan National Union
of Workers (UNT), the new labor federation in Venezuela
which has replaced its corrupt predecessor which supported
the U.S.-backed attempted coup against President Chavez.
Luis Primo will address the antiwar rally on Saturday, March 18
and will speak at a public meeting on Saturday, March 25.

Currently, Primo is a Regional Coordinator for the UNT
(Caracas-Miranda), he heads the Union/Political Education
for the UNT on the national level, and works with the Ministry
of Labor on the Committee on the Recovered Factories.
Primo will be running for the National Leadership of the
UNT at its upcoming congress this spring.

Hands Off Venezuela has been organized around the
principle that the people of Venezuela should be able
to determine their own destiny, without the interference
of foreign governments, particularly the U.S. government.
We have organized numerous educational events to inform
people in this country about the important events unfolding
in Venezuela so that people here can have an informed position.
Without the truth, people are in no position to act.

We hope that Luis Primo's visit to California will be one
of many exchanges between Venezuelan and American
trade unionists. In addition to speaking in San Francisco, he will
be touring the West Coast where he will speak in a half-dozen
cities. To make this possible, Hands Off Venezuela Campaign
has launched a fund raising drive to cover the many expenses
of the tour. Volunteers are needed to help organize the event,
and donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
Donations can be sent to: HOV, 4579 18th St., San Francisco,
CA 94114. Letters of support or endorsements of the tour are
also appreciated and can be sent to sfbay@ushov.org.

When and Where:
7 pm, Saturday, March 25, 2006
ILWU Local 34 Hall, 4 Berry St., San Francisco
(Located next door to SBC Park.
Take MUNI N line toward SBC Park.)

Partial List of Endorsers

Dolores Huerta
San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO)
South Bay Labor Council (AFL-CIO)
Contra Costa Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO)
Vanguard Public Foundation
San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper
Alan Benjamin, Executive Board, SF Labor Council, Co-coordinator Open
World Conference
Fred Hirsch, Vice President of Plumbers and Fitters Local 393, San Jose
Gloria LaRiva, President, Local 39521 Media Workers Sector/CWA*
Louie Rocha, President CWA Local 9423*
Global Exchange
Chris Gilbert and Karen Bennett, MATRIX Program*, UC Berkeley Art
Dorinda Moreno, Hitec Aztec Communications, Santa Maria, CA.
Cesar Chavez Lifetime Achievement Legacy Award, 2003
National Network on Cuba
Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives
Todd Chretien, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, California
Peace and Freedom Party

* for identification purposes only

Admission: $5, $3 seniors, unemployed, and students

For more information, call 415-786-1680 or email sfbay@ushov.org

labor donated


Power in Eden:
Emergence of Gender Hierarchies
in the Ancient World

With Bruce Lerro

4 Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 March 19th, 26th, April 2nd, April 9th
Marxist Library 6501 Telegraph (cross-street Alcatraz)

-How Relevant is Engels’ Origin of the Family,
Private Property and the State in the light of over one-hundred
years of anthropology and archeology?

-To what extent was “primitive communism” egalitarian
in terms of gender relations?

-When in history does individualism start? Is it a product
of capitalism or does it go back further?

-Agricultural State Civilizations (The Asiatic Mode
of Production) were the most oppressive to women in history.
Why was there no women’s movement in the ancient world?

Bruce Lerro has been teaching and writing about the origins
of class and gender inequalities for the past fifteen years.
He has lectured at New College of California and teaches
regularly at Golden Gate University, Dominican University,
John F. Kennedy University and Diablo Valley College.
He is the author of Power in Eden: Emergence of Gender
Hierarchies in the Ancient World, Trafford Press, 2005.

Initial Talk—broadly discussing all four questions

Part I—In Depth Reading and Discussion of each of the
Four Questions

Part II –Optional—In Depth Reading and Discussion of Other
Chapters in the text.

This will be determined by Bruce and the class participants


The initial talk will be a lecture with brief discussion
at the end of each question

For all four classes in part one there will be assigned
readings during the week and each class will be
a discussion of the readings. We will discuss clarification
as well as substantive questions each week.
There will be no lecture.

Required Reading: Power in Eden: Emergence
of Gender Hierarchies in the Ancient World

My Approach
I consider myself a Marxist-materialist and I believe
that the Marxian tradition must be informed and
enriched by over one hundred years of research.
I consider Marxism a method rather than a scholastic dogma.
What You May Learn
-The process of female subordination was a very gradual
and had super-structural and psychological components
as well as economic
-Engels was right about some things and wrong about others
-A provocative stage theory about how male dominance originated
-There are well-researched conditions under which women
will or will not be likely to rebel


Major Mobilization Set for April 29th

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce the kick-off for the organizing
of what promises to be a major national mobilization on
Saturday, April 29th. Today, each of the initiating groups
(see list below) is announcing this mobilization. Our
organizations have agreed to work together on this
project for several reasons:

The April 29th mobilization will highlight our call for an
immediate end to the war on Iraq. We are also raising
several other critical issues that are directly connected
to one another.

It is time for our constituencies to work more closely:
connecting the issues we work on by bringing diverse
communities into a common project.

It is important for our movements to help set the agenda
for the Congressional elections later in the year. Our
unified action in the streets is a vital part of that process.

Please share the April 29th call widely, and please use
the links at the end of the call to endorse this timely
mobilization and to sign up for email updates.

April 29th Initiating Organizations
United for Peace and Justice
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
National Organization for Women
Friends of the Earth
U.S. Labor Against the War
Climate Crisis Coalition
Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund
National Youth and Student Peace Coalition

A war based on lies
Spying, corruption and attacks on civil liberties
Katrina survivors abandoned by government


End the war in Iraq -
Bring all our troops home now!


Unite for change - let's turn our country around!

The times are urgent and we must act.

Too much is too wrong in this country. We have a foreign
policy that is foreign to our core values, and domestic
policies wreaking havoc at home. It's time for a change.

No more never-ending oil wars!
Protect our civil liberties & immigrant rights. End illegal
spying, government corruption and the subversion of
our democracy.

Rebuild our communities, starting with the Gulf Coast.
Stop corporate subsidies and tax cuts for the wealthy
while ignoring our basic needs.

Act quickly to address the climate crisis and the
accelerating destruction of our environment.

Our message to the White House and to Congress
is clear: either stand with us or stand aside!

We are coming together to march, to vote, to speak
out and to turn our country around!

Join us in New York City on Saturday, April 29th

Click here to endorse this mobilization:
Click here to sign up for email updates on plans for April 29th:

April 29th Initiating Organizations
United for Peace and Justice
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
National Organization for Women
Friends of the Earth
U.S. Labor Against the War
Climate Crisis Coalition
Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund
National Youth and Student Peace Coalition


ANSWER Coalition: All Out for April 29 in New York City!
End Occupation from Iraq to Palestine, to Haiti, and Everywhere!
Fight for workers rights, civil rights and civil liberties - unite
against racism!

300,000 Came to Washington on Sept. 24

In recent weeks the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition has been in the final
stages for planning a national demonstration in Washington DC on April
29, 2006. This action was to follow the local and regional
demonstrations for March 18-19 and youth and student actions scheduled
on March 20 on the 3rd anniversary of the criminal bombing, invasion
and occupation of Iraq.

On September 24, 2005 more than 300,000 people surrounded the White
House in the largest mobilization against the Iraq war and occupation
since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. This demonstration was
initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in May 2005 and we urged a
united front with other major anti-war coalitions and communities. We
marched demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Iraq. We
also stood in solidarity with the Palestinian and Haitian people and
others who are suffering under and resisting occupation. Coming as it
did following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we changed the demands of
the September 24 protest to include the slogan "From Iraq to New
Orleans, FundPeople's Needs not the War Machine."

During the past several years, and as demonstrated in a powerful
display on September 24, the anti-war movement has grown significantly
in its breadth and depth as the leadership has included the Arab and
Muslim community -- those who are among the primary targets of the
Bush Administration's current war at home and abroad.

The anti-war sentiment inside the United States is rapidly becoming a
significant obstacle to the Bush Administration's war in Iraq. The
anti-war movement has the potential to be a critical deterrent to the
U.S. government's aspirations for Empire. At this moment the White
House and Pentagon are issuing threats and making plans to move
against other sovereign countries. Iran and Syria are being targeted
as the U.S. seeks to consolidate power in the Middle East.

Simultaneously the Bush administration is working to undermine the
gains of the people of Latin America by working totopple the
democratically elected president of Venezuela and destroy the
revolutionary process for social change going on in that country.
Likewise it is intensifying the economic war and CIA subversions
against Cuba.

We believe that our movement must weld together the broadest, most
diverse coalition of various sectors and communities into an effective
force for change. This requires the inclusion of targeted communities
and political clarity. The war in Iraq is not simply an aberrational
policy of the Bush neo-conservatives. Iraq is emblematic of a larger
war for Empire. It is part of a multi-pronged attack against all those
countries that refuse to follow the economic, political and military
dictates of the Washington establishment and Wall Street.

This is the foundation of the political program upon which the
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition has organized mass demonstrations in the recent
years. The fact that many hundreds of thousands of people
havedemonstrated in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, New
York and other cities is a testament to the huge progress that has
been made in building a new movement on this principled basis.
The people of the United States have nothing to gain and everything to
lose from the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Haiti and
the threats of new wars and intervention in Syria, Iran, Venezuela,
Cuba, the Philippines, North Korea and elsewhere. It has been made
crystal clear in recent weeks that Washington is aggressively
prosecuting its strategy of total domination of the Middle East. U.S.
leaders are seeking to crush all resistance to their colonial agenda,
whether from states or popular movements in the region. The
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition andthe anti-war movement is raising the demand,
"U.S. Out of the Middle East."

At its core, the war for Empire is supported by the Republican Party
and Democratic Party alike, which constitute the twin parties of
militarism and war, and this quest for global domination will continue
regardless of the outcome of the 2006 election. In fact, leading
Democrats are attacking Bush for being "soft" on Iran and North Korea.
Real hope for turning the tide rests with building a powerful global
movement of resistance in which the people of the United States stand
with their sisters and brothers struggling against imperialism and the
new colonialism.

On the home front the Bush administration is involved in a
far-reaching assault against working class communities as most
glaringly evidenced by its criminal and racist negligence towards the
people of New Orleans and throughout the hurricane ravaged Gulf
States. While turning their backs on these communities in the moments
ofgreatest need, the U.S. government is now working with the banks and
developers who, like vultures, are exploiting mass suffering and
dislocation to carry out racist gentrification that only benefits the
wealthy. The administration is also working to eviscerate hard-fought
civil rights and civil liberties, engaging in a widespread campaign of
domestic spying and wiretapping against the people of the U.S. and
other assaults against the First and Fourth Amendments.

In early December 2005, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition filed for permits
for a national march in Washington DC on April 29, 2006. We were
preparing to announce the April 29 action but in recent days we have
heard from A.N.S.W.E.R. organizers in a number of unions that U.S.
Labor Against the War was seeking union endorsements for a call for an
anti-war demonstration on the same day in New York City. Having two
demonstrations on April 29 in both Washington D.C. and New York City
seems to us to be lessadvantageous than having the movement unite
behind one single mobilization. As such, we decided to hold back our
announcement. Subsequently, the New York City demonstration has been
announced by a number of organizations. Underscoring the need to have
the largest possible demonstration on April 29, the A.N.S.W.E.R.
Coalition has decided to fully mobilize, in all of its chapters and
organizing centers, to bring people to the New York City demonstration
on April 29. The banners and slogans of different coalitions may not
be the same, but it is in the interest of everyone to march
shoulder-to-shoulder against the criminal war in Iraq and the Bush
administration's War for Empire, including its racist, sexist and
anti-worker domestic program.

All out for a united, mass mobilization on April 29 in New York City!
Click here to become a transportation center in your city or town for
the April 29 demonstration.

Click here to receive updates on A.N.S.W.E.R.'s mobilization for the
April 29 NYC demonstration.
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 323-464-1636
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Click here to unsubscribe from the ANSWER e-mail list.


MONDAY, MAY 29, 2006
(Exact location to be announced.)

Welcome to the Official Push for Peace Site!

The Push For Peace movement is geared to combine the efforts of
able-bodied activists to those with special needs or challenges,
so that all people can participate and be counted.

The Push for Peace logo shows a Navy veteran in a wheelchair
with a peace sign on the wheel, with people marching behind
him. It can be seen at:


Just in case we don't get to modify the map before the weekend,
I'll just name our proposed stops. We start, of course with Golden
Gate Park, from there we head south to Los Angeles. Turning
east we move to Phoenix, then on to Albuquerque. Now it's
north to Denver, and east to St Louis. North again to Chicago,
and east to Detroit. Continue east to Cleveland, and then NYC
if all goes well Central Park (Imagine), culminating at the gates
of the White House on July 4, 2006

Push For Peace is a collective of veterans, progressive activists,
and everyday citizens working together through education,
motivation, and truth to bring America's troops home from the
war in Iraq and to help bring healing and peace to our nation.
The Push For Peace movement is geared to combine the efforts
of able-bodied activists to those with special needs or challenges,
so that all people can participate and be counted. The Push
For Peace effort will include organized rallies and marches,
as well as appearances and performances by high-profile
speakers and entertainers, to rally the American people and
show them we stand united with our fellow citizen and soldier.
It is our goal to grow the base of participants each day resulting
in a cross-country Push culminating at the gates of the White
House on July 4, 2006. Events will be scheduled across the
country leading up to the big Push in July. So keep checking
the Push calendar for events near you. Mapping it all out...
[Website shows map of stops in US en route to DC on July 4, 2006...bw]

This is a tentative and unfinished P4P route and is only a work in progress.
The Push is set to leave Golden Gate Park on Memorial Day 2006 (currently
working on permits) and then we will Push our way across the country
to arrive in DC across from the White House gathering at Lafayette Park
(currently working on permits) on July 4th, 2006. Golden Gate Park,
San Francisco, California Las Vegas Nevada Phoenix, Arizona Denver,
Colorado Crawford, Texas New Orleans, Louisiana more states pending...
Pushing real Democracy! http://www.pushforpeace.us/civic/index.php?q=


The Right To Return, a Basic Right Still Denied

Protests Planned Against Media War Coverage
By Danny Schechter
Source: MediaChannel.org


Please join the online campaign to
Send emails to President Bush, Vice President
Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, U.N. Secretary-
General Annan, Congressional leaders and
the media demanding NO WAR ON IRAN!


March 2006 National Immigrant
Solidarity Network Monthly Digest
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
URL: http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
e-mail: Info@ImmigrantSolidarity.org
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!


A film by Eugene Jarecki
[Check out the trailer about this new film.
This looks like a very powerful film.]


The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

Bill of Rights


[Col. Writ. 2/17/06] Copyright '06 Mumia Abu-Jamal

2) U.S. Is Reducing Safety Penalties for Mine Flaws
March 2, 2006
Before the January disaster at the Sago Mine near here, where
12 miners died, the operator had been cited 273 times since 2004.
None of the fines exceeded $460, roughly one-thousandth of
1 percent of the $110 million net profit reported last year by
the current owner of the mine, the International Coal Group.

3) An Open Letter to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) at:
By Bonnie Weinstein, Socialist Viewpoint
RE: U.S. Is Reducing Safety Penalties for Mine Flaws
March 2, 2006

[Col. Writ. 2/5/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

5) Prisons Often Shackle Pregnant Inmates in Labor
March 2, 2006

6) The Gospel vs. H.R. 4437
New York Times Editorial
March 3, 2006
If current efforts in Congress make it
a felony to shield or offer support to illegal immigrants, Cardinal
Mahony said, he will instruct his priests — and faithful lay
Catholics — to defy the law.

7) Sikorsky and Striking Workers Say They Are Dug In
March 3, 2006
"...pickets displayed fury when they learned of
recent shareholder filings showing how much Mr. David made
at a time that hourly workers were being asked to sacrifice for
the sake of global competitiveness.
In addition to $1.7 million in salary and $3.8 million in bonus
pay, Mr. David received $20.8 million in new stock option grants
last year and had $26.3 million in pretax gains from exercising
old options, the filings showed. He also has $167 million in
options he has yet to exercise. Mr. Finger's pay was not
included in the disclosures since he is not among United
Technologies' five highest-paid executives."

8) Being a Patient
Recourse Grows Slim for Immigrants Who Fall Ill
March 3, 2006
Mr. Zhao, 50, had been successfully treated for nasal
cancer in 2000 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, which
has served the immigrant poor since its founding in 1736.
But the rules there had changed, and knowing that he would
be asked for payment and that security guards would demand
an ID, he had concluded that he could not go back.

9) It's official: class matters
A major new study shows that social background determines pupils'
success. Does it mean that the government is heading in the wrong
direction? Matthew Taylor reports
Tuesday February 28, 2006
The Guardian

10) Negroponte's 'Serious Setback'
By Dahr Jamail
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Friday 03 March 2006
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website http://dahrjamailiraq.com

11) On the Contrary
Why Rules Can't Stop Executive Greed
March 5, 2006


[Col. Writ. 2/17/06] Copyright '06 Mumia Abu-Jamal

There comes a time in the life of a nation when lines are crossed, and,
once crossed, may never be re-crossed again.

In that root of all things Western that was Rome, it was Caesar crossing
the river Rubicon. In this New Rome, it is the path to war on a whim; on
a lark; on a lie.

It is a kind of imperial fever -- the fatal petulance of kings, for war
is the sport of kings.

It matters not why. The "reasons" announced to the world have faded like
old photographs in the summer sun; and we learn, years later, that
reasons *weren‚t* reasons. They weren‚t even good justifications, yet
they sufficed. They stoked emotions, fueled our ignorance, and ignited
the war machine -- the US *Wehrmacht* -- and unleashed the dogs of war.

Regimes have been changed; countries bombed; civilians slaughtered for
naught; and things are worse than ever; hatreds are deeper than ever. Oh
sure; puppets have been installed; even an occasional constitution has
been ghost-written. But if you think this is a portent of peace, just
remember the so-called 'president' of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, who is
protected today by a palace guard of armed Americans, so fearful is he
of his own countrymen.

While it‚s true that this mad war was forced upon the nation by a narrow
neoconservative cabal, it‚s also true that it couldn‚t have happened
without the connivance and subservience of the press.

They performed like cheerleaders and water boys of a big game, rather
than tribunes or truth-tellers.

And few have been as condemnatory as Robert Fisk, the intrepid
journalist writing for *The Independent* (London), who, in his recent
book, *The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East*
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), acidly noted:

"And all the while, the American media continued their servile support
for the Bush Administration. As I reported in my own paper on 26
January, we were now being deluged with yet more threats from Washington
about 'states that sponsor terror.'

"Take Eric Schmitt in *The New York Times* a week ago. He wrote a story
about America's decision to 'confront countries that sponsor terrorism.'
And his sources? 'Senior defence officials,' 'administration officials,'
'some American intelligence officials,' 'the officials,' 'officials,'
'military officials,' 'terrorist experts' and 'defence officials.' Why
not, I asked, 'just let the Pentagon write its own reports in *The New
York Times?'" [ p. 927, fn]

Fisk's tone, throughout the book, is a vast and deep rage, at despots,
tyrannies, unbridled power, and ignorance. He writes scathingly of the
dictatorships both installed by the West, and those imperial powers that
predated them. *The Great War for Civilisation* is, above all, an
intense work of history, which uses the expensive lessons of the past,
to illustrate the follies of the present. He quotes from the
Proclamation posted by the military commander of the Spring 1917
invasion of Iraq. Lieutenant General Stanley Maude's words to Baghdad
have a cynical and hollow echo in our present ears:

"...Our military operations have as their object the defeat of the enemy
and the driving of him from these territories. In order to complete this
task I am charged with absolute and supreme control of all regions in
which British troops operate; *but our armies do not come into your
cities as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators....*" [pp. 140-1]

Sound familiar?

And now, war, like a hungry leech, eats the nation's wealth, consumes a
constitution, and deadens the soul. It militarizes millions, appealing
to the blind, dumb instinct of obedience.

But also, as people learn of the lies that leads to war, it deepens
cynicism, and spreads the seeds of distrust far and wide.

War awakens us, and awakening can be the seedlings of a new social
movement that says no to war, and yes to reason, and Life.

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal


2) U.S. Is Reducing Safety Penalties for Mine Flaws
March 2, 2006
Before the January disaster at the Sago Mine near here, where
12 miners died, the operator had been cited 273 times since 2004.
None of the fines exceeded $460, roughly one-thousandth of
1 percent of the $110 million net profit reported last year by
the current owner of the mine, the International Coal Group.

CRAIGSVILLE, W.Va. — In its drive to foster a more cooperative
relationship with mining companies, the Bush administration has
decreased major fines for safety violations since 2001, and in
nearly half the cases, it has not collected the fines, according
to a data analysis by The New York Times.

Federal records also show that in the last two years the federal
mine safety agency has failed to hand over any delinquent cases
to the Treasury Department for further collection efforts,
as is supposed to occur after 180 days.

With the deaths of 24 miners in accidents in 2006, the enforcement
record of the Mine Safety and Health Administration has come
under sharp scrutiny, and the agency is likely to face tough
questions about its performance at a Senate oversight hearing
on Thursday.

"The Bush administration ushered in this desire to develop
cooperative ties between regulators and the mining industry,"
said Tony Oppegard, a top official at the agency in the Clinton
administration. "Safety has certainly suffered as a result."

A spokesman for the agency, Dirk Fillpot, defended its record,
pointing out that last year the coal industry had 22 fatalities,
the lowest number in its history.

"Safety is definitely improving," Mr. Fillpot said.

A spokeswoman for the National Mining Association,
Carol Raulston, agreed.

"The agency realized in recent years that you can't browbeat
operators into improved safety, and this general approach has
worked," Ms. Raulston said. "The tragic events of this year
have given everyone pause. But I don't think it means
we want to abandon what we have found works."

Federal records show that fatalities across all types of mining
have stayed relatively stable. In each of the last three years,
55 to 57 miners have died in all areas of mining. Experts say
a long-term decline in coal mine fatalities is in part a result
of growing mechanization.

Mr. Fillpot also said delinquent cases had not moved to the
Treasury Department since 2003 because of computer problems.
He could not say when the problems would be corrected. "Referrals
from M.S.H.A. to the Treasury Department have been impacted
by technical issues on both ends, which we are working to resolve
while maintaining an aggressive record on enforcement and
collections," he said.

Although the agency has recently trumpeted Congressional
plans to raise the maximum penalties, federal records indicate
that few major fines are issued at the maximum level. In 2004,
the number of major fines issued at maximum level was one in
10, down from one in 5 in 2003.

Since 2001, the median for penalties that exceed $10,000,
described as "major fines," has dropped 13 percent, to $21,800
from $25,000.

Also troubling, critics say, is that fines are regularly reduced in
negotiations between mine operators and the agency. From 2001
to 2003, more than two-thirds of all major fines were cut from
the original amount that the agency proposed. Most of the more
recent cases are enmeshed in appeals, so it is impossible to know
whether that trend has continued.

"The agency keeps talking about issuing more fines, but it doesn't
matter much," said Bruce Dial, a former inspector for the mine
safety agency. "The number of citations means nothing when the
citations are small, negotiable and most often uncollected."

Before the January disaster at the Sago Mine near here, where
12 miners died, the operator had been cited 273 times since 2004.
None of the fines exceeded $460, roughly one-thousandth of
1 percent of the $110 million net profit reported last year by
the current owner of the mine, the International Coal Group.

[At a House oversight hearing on Wednesday, agency officials
repeatedly cited the frequency of fines against Sago in the year
before the accident as proof of aggressive enforcement.
Exasperated, Representative Lynn Woolsey, Democrat of
California, replied that maybe those fines had little effect
because many were for $60. That point set off applause
from audience members.]

"Most fines are so small that they are seen not as deterrents
but as the cost of doing business," said Wes Addington,
a lawyer with the Appalachian Citizens Law Center in
Prestonsburg, Ky., which handles mine safety cases.
Using federal records, Mr. Addington released a study
in January indicating that since 1995 nearly a third of
the active underground mines in Kentucky had failed
to pay their fines.

"Operators know that it's cheaper to pay the fine than to
fix the problem," Mr. Addington said. "But they also know
the cheapest of all routes is to not pay at all. It's pretty galling."

Larry Williams, who now lives in Craigsville, 50 miles east
of Charleston, knows this frustration well. In 2002, he was
working with a fellow miner, Gary Martin, in a deep mine
near Rupert, 25 miles south of here, when the roof collapsed
on them. Mr. Martin died instantly, and Mr. Williams was
trapped for more than four hours under several thousand
pounds of rock that crushed his pelvis and both legs.

The men had been pillaring, or second mining, which involves
extracting the last remaining coal in tunnels by scraping
it from the coal pillars used to hold up the roof. This method
is considered extremely dangerous. Federal regulations aim
to reduce the risk.

In this case, federal investigators found that the regulations
were not followed. The operators were fined $165,000. Those
fines have not been paid, even though the mine owner, Midland
Trail Resources, which did not reply to requests for comment,
remains in business, according to state records.

"It makes me mad," said Mr. Williams, 50, who is paralyzed
through much of his right side. "One dead and another man's
life ruined, and they pay nothing? It just doesn't make sense."

On Feb. 14, Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania,
introduced a measure to raise the maximum penalty that the mine
safety agency can assess for failing to eliminate violations that
cause death or serious injury, to $500,000, from the current

The law would also prohibit administrative law judges from
reducing fines for violations deemed flagrant or habitual.

Ellen Smith, editor of Mine Safety and Health News, an
independent newsletter that covers the industry, said that
although the law was a positive step, one regulation that
continued to need attention allowed fines to be lowered for
smaller or financially troubled mines.

"The result of that provision is that it helps keep some habitual
offenders in business," Ms. Smith said.

Cecil E. Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America,
said changes in the law were vital but so were changes in the agency.
"If you don't have enforcement along with a strong law, then you
don't have a law," Mr. Roberts said. "The current agency mentality
is to cooperate with mine operators rather than watchdog them,
and safety suffers as a result."

Even when Congress passes strong safety laws, the agency can
write regulations that work around them. In 2004, for example,
after years of pressure from mine operators, regulators wrote
a rule that let mines use conveyor belts not just for moving coal
but also to draw in fresh air from outside. A law already existed
preventing such safety regulations because of concerns that
in the event of a fire, the belts would carry flames and deadly
gases directly to the work area or vital evacuation routes.

Though the investigation is not complete, many experts say this
is probably what occurred at the Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine
in Logan County, W.Va., where a fire left two miners dead on Jan 21.

Mr. Fillpot said his agency was revising the regulations on
imposing penalties. He also pointed to civil suits filed by the
agency in what he said was an increasing effort to force operators
to pay millions of dollars in unpaid penalties.

"You can expect to see more of these types of efforts from
us in the coming months," Mr. Fillpot said.

Mr. Williams, the miner who is partly paralyzed, remains skeptical.

"All I know is the roof collapsed only days after a federal inspector
looked right at those pillars and saw that the operator was having
us do illegal things," he said. "In these mines, laws don't matter."

Ian Urbina reported from Craigsville, W.Va.,
and Andrew W. Lehren from New York.


3) An Open Letter to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) at:
By Bonnie Weinstein, Socialist Viewpoint
March 2, 2006
RE: U.S. Is Reducing Safety Penalties for Mine Flaws
March 2, 2006

Dear UMWA,

I felt compelled to write this letter to you when I read
the front-page article in the New York Times listed above.

My mother was born and raised in Kentucky and I grew up
hearing about the courage of mine workers all my life. So,
I have been following the news stories about mine disasters.

I wrote an article for Socialist Viewpoint (I am on the Editorial
Board of the magazine) on the 2002 Quecreek mine disaster that,
fortunately, turned out much more positively than the recent
terrible outcomes. Here is a link to that article.

Down in the Quecreek Mines
By Bonnie Weinstein

In my opinion, in light of the NYTs article that exposes the lack
of enforcement against mine owners for their blatant disregard
for the safety of mine workers, the American labor movement
should look at these recent deaths as murder in the first degree
--and, along with mine owners, the entire U.S. government
should be charged with the crime for allowing this situation
to continue.

I am 61 years-old. I remember when San Francisco was
a "union town" and proud of it when I came here in 1966.
And, before that I was born and raised in Brooklyn,
New York--another "union town."

That meant that the pay was decent--even in non-union jobs!
See, when union workers get paid well, that forces the non-union
employers to have to compete a little more. It also has other
effects on the lives of workers. A town with a high percentage
of union workers tends to have lower rents or at least some
rent-control laws and more affordable housing. Such labor
communities also tend to have better schools, etc. because
bosses and landlords know that there is a force out there
that can unite and fight and be very effective!

That's the kind of competition we want to have occur
in the labor movement. Not a race to the bottom through
concession after concession! But to turn the tides and
begin a race to the top for all workers, victory after victory!

The NYT article shows that this government is in cooperation
only with the bosses and are waging a new offensive in their war
against workers.

It's time for the labor leaders of this country to stand up
in unison and say "enough is enough!" The refusal of the
mine owners to comply with the safety rules and the
Federal Government's blatant refusal to force the owners
to comply with these rules, or even to collect the fines against
the violation of these rules, will not be tolerated! We will
not send the children who want to follow in their father's
footsteps back down into the mines, to risk the same
danger their father's faced, for minimum wage and a deadly
work environment, while the mine owners and the government
that represents only them, gets away with murder, and as the
industry rakes in record profits off those very lives of the fallen?

Are we going to stand by and watch with sorry expressions
on our faces as more die in preventable disasters in all
workplaces; are we going to stand by while
tens of thousands of auto workers get thrown
to the wolves after years of dedication and hard work?
They are going to loose their lives as they knew it!

Are we going to force the top tiers to continue to devour
both their children just joining the work force and their retired
parents in order for "some" to keep their own jobs and
meager, if any, benefits?

We need to go back to the tactics that worked for workers
in the '30s. Some of the Auto Workers are talking about this
need quite eloquently. Here is a link to their sites:



Work to Rule

They have a concept of "Work to Rule" that could be very
effective in the mines. Simply, workers follow all
the safety rules, which builds confidence in the worker's
ability to have control, not only over their own safety on
the job, but, in their ability to act effectively in their
own defense on all fronts, throughout all industry,
through unity of purpose and solidarity in action.

I know that I'm nobody or worse, a socialist. But I was raised
to respect all those who toil to provide all the things that we
have--our cars, houses, the factories themselves--and to
respect workers--not the bosses, who contribute nothing
to production, except figuring out different ways to rob
workers and to increase profits.

Workers have both the knowledge and the knowhow to carry
out production all on their own--more safely and more
efficiently--if left to their own devices and for their
mutual benefit.

Something's got to give. It can't and won't stay as it is. Union
representation is a third of what it was in the 1950s in the
American work force.

We are going back to the dark ages!
It's time for the American labor movement
to see the light! Unite and Fight!

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

P.S. There is more information about "Work to Rule"
in our latest issue at: www.socialistviewpoint.org

We will continue our coverage of all worker's issues.
Contact us for a free sample of our magazine at:


[Col. Writ. 2/5/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

It is mind-boggling for us to be here, now, at this late hour, with
Leonard Peltier still in chains.

Books have been written; documentaries have been produced;
congresspeople have joined his freedom campaign -- all for naught. For
Leonard Peltier, a former leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM),
is still not free!

That, to anyone with a soul, is a damned shame.

Many Peltier supporters put their trust in a politician named Bill
Clinton, who told them that when he got elected he "wouldn‚t forget"
about the popular Native American leader.

Their trust (like that of so many others) was betrayed once Clinton
gained his office, and the FBI protested. In the waning days of his
presidency, he issued pardons to folks like Mark Rich, and other wealthy
campaign contributors. Leonard Peltier was left in his chains!

I won‚t re-state the obvious: Leonard‚s innocence; the blatantly unfair
trial; the crooked tricks that led to his extradition -- others may do

What is needed is more *support*, not from two-faced politicians; but
from the People -- the many, who, like you and I, know injustice when we
see it!

For those folks who know little about Leonard Peltier, check the
library. Or check out his recent book, *Prison Writings: My Life is My
Sun Dance: U.S.P. #89637-132* [Harvey Arden, ed.] (New York: St.
Martin's Press, 1999).

What the Movement needs isn't more books, but more Movement!

Join the movement to free Leonard "Gwarth-ee-lass" (or "He Who Leads the

In his book, Peltier tells us of the U.S. government's war against AIM,
and other radical groups. His writings, which predated the events of
9/11, shows us that repressive tactics didn't begin then:

"They hid behind their usual cloak of 'national security' to do their
dirty work. Their first tactic: forget the law, the law's for suckers,
subvert the law at will to get your man, however innocent he may be;
suborn the whole legal and judicial systems; lie whenever and wherever
you have to to keep the focus of inquiry on your victims, not on your
own crimes.

I have to admit, they succeeded brilliantly. In the name of Law, they
violated every law on the books, and, in their deliberate strategy of
putting me -- and how man other innocents? -- away in a cell or a grave,
they turned the Constitution of the United States into pulp fiction."
[pp. 95-6]

What Leonard needs is a renewed, revitalized, powerful people's movement
fighting for his freedom.

Build the Movement to Free Leonard Peltier!

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal


5) Prisons Often Shackle Pregnant Inmates in Labor
March 2, 2006

Shawanna Nelson, a prisoner at the McPherson Unit in Newport, Ark.,
had been in labor for more than 12 hours when she arrived at Newport
Hospital on Sept. 20, 2003. Ms. Nelson, whose legs were shackled
together and who had been given nothing stronger than Tylenol
all day, begged, according to court papers, to have the shackles

Though her doctor and two nurses joined in the request, her
lawsuit says, the guard in charge of her refused.

"She was shackled all through labor," said Ms. Nelson's lawyer,
Cathleen V. Compton. "The doctor who was delivering the baby
made them remove the shackles for the actual delivery
at the very end."

Despite sporadic complaints and occasional lawsuits, the
practice of shackling prisoners in labor continues to be
relatively common, state legislators and a human rights
group said. Only two states, California and Illinois, have
laws forbidding the practice.

The New York Legislature is considering a similar bill.
Ms. Nelson's suit, which seeks to ban the use of restraints
on Arkansas prisoners during labor and delivery, is to be
tried in Little Rock this spring.

The California law, which came into force in January, was
prompted by widespread problems, said Sally J. Lieber,
a Democratic assemblywoman from Mountain View.

"We found this was going on in some institutions in California
and all over the United States," Ms. Lieber said. "It presents
risks not only for the inmate giving birth, but also for the infant."

Corrections officials say they must strike a balance between
security and the well-being of the pregnant woman and
her child.

"Though these are pregnant women," said Dina Tyler, a
spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Corrections,
"they are still convicted felons, and sometimes violent in
nature. There have been instances when we've had a female
inmate try to hurt hospital staff during delivery."

Dee Ann Newell, who has taught classes in prenatal care and
parenting for female prisoners in Arkansas for 15 years, said
she found the practice of shackling women in labor appalling.

"If you have ever seen a woman have a baby," Ms. Newell said,
"you know we squirm. We move around."

Twenty-three state corrections departments, along with the
federal Bureau of Prisons, have policies that expressly allow
restraints during labor, according to a report by Amnesty
International U.S.A. on Wednesday.

The corrections departments of five states, including Connecticut,
and the District of Columbia, the report found, prohibit the
practice. The remaining states do not have laws or formal
policies, although some corrections departments told the
group that they did not use restraints as a matter of informal

Many states justify restraints because the prisoners remain
escape risks, though there have apparently been no instances
of escape attempts by women in labor.

"You can't convince me that it's ever really happened,"
Ms. Newell said. "You certainly wouldn't get far."

About 5 percent of female prisoners arrive pregnant, according
to a 1999 report by the Justice Department. The Sentencing Project,
a research and advocacy group, estimates that 40,000 women are
admitted to the nation's prisons each year, suggesting that 2,000
babies are born to American prisoners annually.

Illinois enacted the first law forbidding some restraints during
labor, in 2000. "Under no circumstances," it says, "may leg irons
or shackles or waist shackles be used on any pregnant female
prisoner who is in labor."

Before that, said Gail T. Smith, the executive director of Chicago
Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers, the standard practice was
to chain the prisoner to a hospital bed. "What was common,"
Ms. Smith said, "was one wrist and one ankle."

The California law prohibits shackling prisoners by the wrists
or ankles during labor, delivery and recovery. Until recently,
prisoners from the Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, Calif., were
routinely shackled to their beds after giving birth at the nearby
Madera Community Hospital.

"These women are mostly in for minor crimes and don't pose
a flight risk," said Ms. Lieber, who met with 120 pregnant women
at the prison in August. "Madera Community Hospital is in one
of the most remote parts of California. It's hard to walk to
a filling station, much less a bus stop."

Washington State has also forbidden the use of shackles during
labor, though as a matter of corrections department policy rather
than law. Pamela Simpson, a California nurse, described in an
e-mail message to Ms. Lieber the practice in Washington before
the policy was changed.

"Here this young woman was in active labor," Ms. Simpson wrote,
"handcuffed to the armed guard, wearing shackles, in her orange
outfit that was dripping wet with amniotic fluid. Her age: 15!"

Arkansas has resisted an outright ban on restraints, though
Ms. Nelson's case may change that.

Ms. Nelson was serving time for identity fraud and writing bad
checks when she gave birth at age 30. She weighed a little more
than 100 pounds, and her baby, it turned out, weighed nine and
a half pounds.

The experience of giving birth without anesthesia while largely
immobilized has left her with lasting back pain and damage to
her sciatic nerve, according to her lawsuit against prison officials
and a private company, Correctional Medical Services.

Ms. Nelson, now known as Shawanna Lumsey, and lawyers for the
defendants did not respond to requests for comment. In court
papers, the defendants denied that they had caused any harm
to Ms. Nelson.

Partly as a consequence of Ms. Nelson's suit, Arkansas has started
using softer, more flexible nylon restraints for prisoners deemed
to be security risks. They are removed, Ms. Tyler said, during the
actual delivery.

Ms. Newell considers that slight progress for the approximately
50 women in Arkansas prisons and jails who give birth each year.

"Childbirth should be a sacred event," said Ms. Newell, a senior
justice fellow at the Soros Foundation. "Just because they're
prisoners doesn't mean they shouldn't get the usual care."

Dawn H., an Arkansas prisoner who delivered a baby in custody
in 2002, said her guard wanted to shackle her to the bed.

"Fortunately," she said, "I had a very wonderful nurse who told the
guard I was in her care. I was her patient. And no one was going
to shackle me." (She asked that her full name not be used because
her employer did not know about her imprisonment for passing
bad checks.)

The Wisconsin Corrections Department has also recently changed
its approach, after a state newspaper, The Post-Crescent of Appleton,
reported on the issue in January. The department said it would
end the use of restraints during labor, delivery and recovery.

Merica Erato, serving time for negligent homicide after a car
accident, went through labor with chains around her ankles in
Fond du Lac, Wis., in May, her husband, Steve, said in an interview.

"It is unbelievable that in this day and age a child is born to
a woman in shackles," Mr. Erato said. "It sounds like something
from slavery 200 years ago."

In most cases, people who have studied the issue said, women
are shackled because prison rules are unthinkingly exported
to a hospital setting.

"This is the perfect example of rule-following at the expense
of common sense," said William F. Schulz, the executive director
of Amnesty International U.S.A. "It's almost as stupid as shackling
someone in a coma."


6) The Gospel vs. H.R. 4437
New York Times Editorial
If current efforts in Congress make it
a felony to shield or offer support to illegal immigrants, Cardinal
Mahony said, he will instruct his priests — and faithful lay
Catholics — to defy the law.
March 3, 2006

It has been a long time since this country heard a call to organized
lawbreaking on this big a scale. Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Roman
Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the nation's largest, urged
parishioners on Ash Wednesday to devote the 40 days of Lent
to fasting, prayer and reflection on the need for humane reform
of immigration laws. If current efforts in Congress make it
a felony to shield or offer support to illegal immigrants, Cardinal
Mahony said, he will instruct his priests — and faithful lay
Catholics — to defy the law.

The cardinal's focus of concern is H.R. 4437, a bill sponsored
by James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin and Peter King of New
York. This grab bag legislation, which was recently passed by
the House, would expand the definition of "alien smuggling"
in a way that could theoretically include working in a soup
kitchen, driving a friend to a bus stop or caring for a neighbor's
baby. Similar language appears in legislation being considered
by the Senate this week.

The enormous influx of illegal immigrants and the lack of
a coherent federal policy to handle it have prompted a jumble
of responses by state and local governments, stirred the
passions of the nativist fringe, and reinforced anxieties since
9/11. Cardinal Mahony's defiance adds a moral dimension
to what has largely been a debate about politics and economics.
"As his disciples, we are called to attend to the last, littlest,
lowest and least in society and in the church," he said.

The cardinal is right to argue that the government has no
place criminalizing the charitable impulses of private institutions
like his, whose mission is to help people with no questions asked.
The Los Angeles Archdiocese, like other religious organizations
across the country, runs a vast network of social service programs
offering food and emergency shelter, child care, aid to immigrants
and refugees, counseling services, and computer and job training.
Through Catholic Charities and local parishes, the church is
frequently the help of last resort for illegal immigrants in need.
It should not be made an arm of the immigration police as well.

Cardinal Mahony's declaration of solidarity with illegal immigrants,
for whom Lent is every day, is a startling call to civil disobedience,
as courageous as it is timely. We hope it forestalls the day when
works of mercy become a federal crime.


7) Sikorsky and Striking Workers Say They Are Dug In
March 3, 2006
"...pickets displayed fury when they learned of
recent shareholder filings showing how much Mr. David made
at a time that hourly workers were being asked to sacrifice for
the sake of global competitiveness.
In addition to $1.7 million in salary and $3.8 million in bonus
pay, Mr. David received $20.8 million in new stock option grants
last year and had $26.3 million in pretax gains from exercising
old options, the filings showed. He also has $167 million in
options he has yet to exercise. Mr. Finger's pay was not
included in the disclosures since he is not among United
Technologies' five highest-paid executives."

STRATFORD, Conn., March 2 — With a heavy snow pelting them,
a ring of pickets stood outside Sikorsky Aircraft's main plant here
today, as they have since a week ago Monday, and made it clear
that the company's managers were not the only ones digging
in for a long fight.

Roughly 3,600 teamsters from Local 1150, many of whom build
helicopters and other critical parts for the company's military and
commercial clients, walked off the job on Feb. 20 in a dispute
over the company's plan to charge them more for their health
care benefits.

Since then, both sides have warned that the fight could drag on.
On Tuesday, at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, George David,
the chief executive of Sikorsky's corporate parent, United
Technologies Corporation, told Wall Street analysts that the
company had "stood firm" in previous showdowns with employees
over escalating health-care costs and "we will stand firm on this one."

Company spokesmen have also expressed confidence that the
company can meet its commitments to clients by shifting work
away from the headquarters and four other plants hit with walkouts
— in West Haven, Bridgeport and Shelton, and in West Palm Beach, Fla.
— and using salaried personnel, which it is doing.

Meanwhile, a union Web site is already advertising a March 11
party at a nearby club in Ansonia called Snooker's to lift the
morale of those walking the line.

Pickets said they would rather be working the line than walking
it but felt they had little choice.

"This isn't only about us," said Bruce Peters, a flight technician
who works with his son, Brett, at the plant. Today, they were one
of several father-son teams sharing picket duty and umbrellas.
"This is a nationwide problem with medical care," said the elder
Mr. Peters.

Mr. Peters acknowledged that the timing could be better, given
the military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. "They do depend
on our aircraft," he said, "but it's not our fault that we're out here."

He said the company's management "was trying to pass all the
burden for health care on to the workers so people like George
David and the president of Sikorsky, Steve Finger, can reap
all the benefits."

He and his fellow pickets displayed fury when they learned of
recent shareholder filings showing how much Mr. David made
at a time that hourly workers were being asked to sacrifice for
the sake of global competitiveness.

In addition to $1.7 million in salary and $3.8 million in bonus
pay, Mr. David received $20.8 million in new stock option grants
last year and had $26.3 million in pretax gains from exercising
old options, the filings showed. He also has $167 million in
options he has yet to exercise. Mr. Finger's pay was not
included in the disclosures since he is not among United
Technologies' five highest-paid executives.

On Wednesday, Bud Grebey, a Sikorsky spokesman, said that
the company had made the teamsters "a very competitive offer
in totality," especially considering salary increases and other
incentives the company put on the table.

Under the company's plan, workers, who now make $18.59 to
$32.50 an hour, would receive annual raises of 3.5 percent.
That works out to be 11 percent with compound interest by
the end of the three-year contract, on top of a one-time
$2,000 ratification bonus.

But several workers said that that was not enough to compensate
them for having to accept higher weekly premiums, higher
co-payments and, for the first time, as much as 20 percent on
many doctor's bills that the union says are now covered by the
company. "All increases we get will be eaten up by the medical
costs," said the elder Mr. Peters.


8) Being a Patient
Recourse Grows Slim for Immigrants Who Fall Ill
March 3, 2006
Mr. Zhao, 50, had been successfully treated for nasal
cancer in 2000 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, which
has served the immigrant poor since its founding in 1736.
But the rules there had changed, and knowing that he would
be asked for payment and that security guards would demand
an ID, he had concluded that he could not go back...Special
concerns arise among different ethnic groups. Korean
parents in Staten Island mistakenly fear that their children will
forfeit future chances for a college loan, said Jinny J. Park,
a health specialist at Korean Community Services. And mothers
at the Latin American Integration Center in Queens worry
unnecessarily that free medical care will later mean their
children's military conscription. As one, Melosa, put it,
"Everything we receive from the government is like giving
my children away little by little" to the Army.

When Ming Qiang Zhao felt ill last summer, he lay awake nights
in the room he shared with other Chinese restaurant workers
in Brooklyn. Though he had worked in New York for years,
he had no doctor to call, no English to describe his growing

Mr. Zhao, 50, had been successfully treated for nasal cancer
in 2000 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, which has served
the immigrant poor since its founding in 1736. But the rules
there had changed, and knowing that he would be asked for
payment and that security guards would demand an ID, he
had concluded that he could not go back.

So Mr. Zhao went to an unlicensed healer in Manhattan's
Chinatown and came away with three bags of unlabeled
white pills.

A week later, his roommates, fellow illegal immigrants from
Fujian Province in China, heard him running to and from the
toilet all night. In the street the next day, July 6, he collapsed.

Immigrants have long been on the fringes of medical care.
But in the last decade, and especially since the terrorist attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001, steps to include them have faltered in
a political climate increasingly hostile to those who face
barriers of language, cost and fear of penalties like deportation,
say immigrant health experts, providers and patients. More
and more immigrants are delaying care or retreating into
a parallel universe of bootleg remedies and unlicensed

Last year, about 80 bills in 20 states sought to cut noncitizens'
access to health care or other services, or to require benefit
agencies to tell the authorities about applicants with
immigration violations. Arizona voters approved such
a requirement in 2004 with Proposition 200. Virginia has
barred adults without proof of citizenship or lawful presence
from state and local benefits. Maryland's governor excluded
lawful immigrant children and pregnant women from
a state medical program for which they had been eligible.

Most proposed measures were not adopted, but new versions
are expected. Ballot initiatives modeled on Arizona's
Proposition 200 are circulating in California and Colorado.
And in December, the United States House of Representatives
passed a sweeping bill that would make "unlawful presence"
in this country a felony and redefine "criminal alien smuggling"
to include helping any immigrant without legal status.

"We've seen a real rise in anti-immigration measures across
the country," said Tanya Broder, a public benefits lawyer in
Oakland, Calif., for the National Immigration Law Center,
"and it's engendered confusion and fear that prevent
immigrant families from getting the care they need."

Some who had been drawn into medical treatment by outreach
efforts have retreated, like Mr. Zhao, fearing the harder line toward
immigrants, especially those without money or proper papers.
Even legal immigrants and parents of children with legal status
are more skittish about their health care, scared that medical
bills and public medical insurance can hurt their chances for
citizenship, bar relatives from coming to the United States
or break up their families.

"I heard that if you go to the emergency room or go to the
doctor, they were going to deport you," said Alejandra,
a mother from Colombia living in Queens, referring to
a rule proposed in 2004 by the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services that would have made hospitals report
the immigration status of emergency-room patients in
exchange for more federal money. "So then my four children
are going to be without me because I don't have documents here."

The proposal did not pass, but like many of the proposed
rules immigrants hear about on television or from neighbors,
its chilling effects lasted.

Restrictive bills are part of what supporters describe as
a movement to end tolerance for the country's estimated
11 million illegal residents.

"It's certainly an effort to make them go back," said Dan Stein,
president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform,
a group calling for fewer immigrants and stricter enforcement
of immigration laws. "It will never be acceptable for people
to break our laws and then expect taxpayers to provide
health care."

Almost by definition, the most fearful immigrants are the
least likely to talk. The Colombian mother in Queens, however,
was among 75 immigrant parents, both legal and illegal, who
were interviewed in depth by researchers from the New York
Academy of Medicine for a study to be released later this year,
with the guarantee that their real names would be withheld.

What emerges from the transcripts, and from dozens of other
interviews conducted by The New York Times with patients,
health-care providers and experts on immigration, is a picture
not only of heightened anxiety but also of immigrants who
are primed to flee rather than fight for help from a system
that even the native-born often find baffling and rude.

For Nadege, pregnant and in pain when she sought treatment
at Queens Hospital Center, a public hospital, the defining
moment was a snub by a fellow Haitian who had been
summoned to interpret. "She said to me, 'Don't come here
saying that you have a bellyache: no one is going to stay
with you the entire day,' " Nadege recalled.

"I cried," she said. "I picked up my belongings and left.
Even if I was dying that day, I wouldn't go back."

Lard and Vodka, Not Doctors

No one is suggesting that hospitals and clinics are seeing
a decline in immigrant patients. On the contrary, as a decade
of record immigration continues at an estimated annual clip
of 1.2 million newcomers, the number of patients who speak
little or no English is growing everywhere. And some hospitals
and clinics are trying harder than ever to at least meet
language needs.

But even in New York, a gateway of immigration, a national
climate that makes immigrant patients more timid also
emboldens some front-line workers to bar the way.

"If you have one renegade public-benefits worker who
thinks they should be discouraging access because they
believe it's a drain on taxes, the word on the street is it's
too much of a hassle to apply," said Adam Gurvitch, director
of health advocacy for the New York Immigration Coalition,
an umbrella group for more than 150 immigrant organizations.

Problems getting insurance sometimes lead to risky decisions
about children's health care. A legal immigrant from Russia,
Oksana, confessed to academy researchers that she had delayed
her daughter's vaccinations for months, keeping her out of school
until she could borrow $300 to pay for them. Melosa, of Mexico,
had so many problems with state-subsidized insurance that when
her severely asthmatic son ran a high fever she resorted to rubs
of pig lard and carbonate, instead of taking him to a doctor.

Vera, a Brooklyn mother from Belarus, used vodka rubs and
borrowed medications when her daughter was delirious with
fever from the flu. "We couldn't go to the doctor without
medical insurance," she said.

In the end, immigrants often return to mainstream care in
dire need, only to have their chaotic medical histories
compounded by a beleaguered system whose costliest
medical technology is no substitute for timely treatment.
In Mr. Zhao's case, an ambulance took him, unconscious,
to a bankrupt hospital system where his life hung in the
balance for weeks, and where one of his roommates,
a 19-year-old waiter with uneven English, served as the

"No money, no ID, no good English," said the waiter, Hong
Chung. "What you going to do? Nobody pay attention to us."

Mr. Zhao was in a coma when his brother, Ming Tong, 49,
and Fujianese friends came to the hospital, clutching the
unlabeled pills, which had been described as herb-based
remedies for high blood sugar, high blood pressure
and insomnia.

Mr. Chung remembers pleading, "If you find out the name
of the ingredients, maybe he won't have to die." But he said
doctors told him that the hospital was unable to do such
an analysis. The hospital, St. Mary's in Brooklyn, was scheduled
to close after more than a century serving the immigrant poor.
St. John's in Queens, where Mr. Zhao was transferred for more
tests 12 days later, was up for sale. Their parent organization,
St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers, the largest Roman Catholic
hospital system in New York State, had just filed for bankruptcy

At struggling hospitals, interpretation can seem like a luxury,
despite longstanding federal and state laws requiring equal
language access and studies showing that it cuts cost by
improving quality. Few hospitals have laboratories capable
of analyzing underground remedies.

"With regular drugs, we know what the side effects and
interactions are," said Dr. Sarvesh Parikh, a resident at St. John's,
who wrote a note in Mr. Zhao's chart about his roommates'
account of the pills. "About these kinds of pills, we don't
know anything."

The larger mystery was why Mr. Zhao, a thin, quiet, frugal
man, had gone without medical care instead of returning to
Bellevue. In 2000, seven years after he and his brother arrived
on American shores, jammed into the fetid hold of a smuggling
ship, Bellevue doctors had diagnosed and eradicated his nasal

But even when treatment is a medical triumph, without sick
pay or a safety net it can be personally devastating. In
Mr. Zhao's case, the effects of surgery, radiation and
chemotherapy left him unable to work. His wife and son
in China had counted on his income, and without it, she
divorced him to marry another man. Then staggering
medical bills arrived at the apartment that he and his
brother shared with six roommates.

Medicaid reimburses hospitals for emergency care of the
poor, regardless of immigration status. Outside of emergency
care, however, illegal immigrants like Mr. Zhao are ineligible
for Medicaid; in two-thirds of states, so are most legal
noncitizens, no matter how indigent.

James Saunders, a spokesman for Bellevue, like Debby Cohen,
a spokeswoman for St. John's, said confidentiality laws
barred discussion of Mr. Zhao's case. But Mr. Saunders
emphasized that Bellevue has a mandate not to turn anyone
away because of immigration status or lack of money, "and
an obligation to the federal government to collect what we can."

After the Sept. 11 attacks, about the same time Bellevue security
guards began demanding ID cards, clerks started collecting
sliding-scale fees from the uninsured. Mr. Zhao was charged
$20 per visit, then $150 for a CAT scan. Destitute, intimidated,
unable to keep borrowing such sums, and unaware that the
fees could be waived, his brother said, Mr. Zhao gave up on
Bellevue in 2002.

"The doctor said that he was supposed to come back every
two months, every three months, every six months, until the
end of his life," Ming Tong Zhao recalled through an interpreter.
"But he couldn't go back, because he couldn't pay."

By the time Mr. Zhao again ended up in a hospital, he was
in a coma; just his intensive care bed, at St. Mary's and then
at St. John's, cost Medicaid $5,400 a day. For more than
a month, a parade of doctors did spinal taps, EKG's, CAT
scans and an M.R.I.; infused him with antibiotics,
anticonvulsants and blood thinners; and placed him
on a ventilator. Tests showed diabetes and high blood
pressure, though their role in his collapse was uncertain.

Ming Tong, visiting between his work renovating kitchens
in Manhattan, could not get a clear answer about what was
wrong with his brother and was afraid to press. "You understand,"
he said, "people in the United States without legal status don't
want to cause too much trouble."

Afraid to Seek Help

Whether legal or illegal — and many immigrant families include
members in both categories — noncitizens are fearful of asking
for too much. Many echo Catalina, a Queens woman from Colombia
who hesitated to sign her toddler up for the free speech therapy
urged by his pediatrician because she and her husband had
a pending application for a green card. "It scared us," the
woman said, "because if you are asking for residency, you have
to show you are capable of living here without any help."

Noncitizens are two to three times more likely to lack health
insurance than citizens, studies show, and the gap has widened,
even for children. Even legal immigrants qualified for government
medical coverage often think twice about accepting it.

Special concerns arise among different ethnic groups. Korean
parents in Staten Island mistakenly fear that their children will
forfeit future chances for a college loan, said Jinny J. Park,
a health specialist at Korean Community Services. And mothers
at the Latin American Integration Center in Queens worry
unnecessarily that free medical care will later mean their
children's military conscription. As one, Melosa, put it,
"Everything we receive from the government is like giving
my children away little by little" to the Army.

The changing political climate makes it hard to separate myth
from reality. Laws codify disapproval of government aid for
noncitizens. An immigrant deemed "likely to become a public
charge," for example, is to be denied a green card as undesirable.
The 1996 welfare overhaul barred most legal immigrants who
arrived after August of that year from receiving federal Medicaid
until they become citizens, and the state-by-state patchwork
of exceptions is confusing.

Even New York, which extends Medicaid to lawful immigrants
and to low-income children regardless of status, reserves the
right to sue their sponsoring relatives for reimbursement,
though it is not doing so.

Those who do apply for public insurance discover a stark gap
between the enthusiastic multilingual marketing of H.M.O.'s
and the Kafkaesque task of getting and keeping an insurance
card that works. They tell of learning only in the doctor's office
that a sick child's card is not valid and then being turned away
for lack of money.

The public health implications alarm James R. Tallon, president
of the United Hospital Fund, a nonprofit policy group in New York.
"Anything that keeps anyone away from the health system makes
no sense at all," Mr. Tallon said, noting that early detection
is crucial in case of Avian flu or bioterrorism. "It takes one
epidemic to change everyone's attitudes about this."

In some cases, the change in attitude comes instead from
immigrants who arrived with high expectations of American
medicine and now yearn for the kind they left back home.
Yelena Deykin, a legal refugee who came from Ukraine in
2000, said that if she had the money, she would take her
son back there for treatment of his thyroid ailment.
"Our doctor not like your doctor," she said. "Altruism —
not business."

In Mr. Zhao's hospital room, visitors began to hope for his
recovery. After three weeks, he seemed responsive when
they called his name. So it came as a shock when Mr. Chung,
the waiter acting as a translator, relayed a new request from
a doctor: Would they agree to let Mr. Zhao die?

Mr. Chung, who would soon return to work at an Asian
restaurant in South Charleston, W.Va., translated the request
for a "do not resuscitate" order as best he could, and drew his
own conclusions. "Maybe some people don't like Chinese," he said.

Ming Tong refused to sign the order, then telephoned his
brother's son, in China, and asked him to decide. The son
wept. Now 23, he had been a child of 9 when he last saw his
father. As they discussed it again on Aug. 9, Mr. Zhao grew
agitated. He tried to pull free of his tubes and his oxygen mask,
as though he wanted to speak. Instead, despite resuscitation
efforts, he died without a word.

In the End, No Answers

"The one thing that he wanted the most in his life was to see
his son again, and he didn't even get that chance," Ming Tong
said. "Why did he die? I asked the doctors. They didn't know.
They didn't answer me."

For immigrants, the divide of language and culture often deepens
after death. In this case, doctors requested an autopsy. Ming Tong
refused, in keeping with Chinese tradition. Doctors certified the
death as natural, not mentioning the pills. The official cause of
death was lobar pneumonia and sepsis, secondary to diabetes
and hypertension — acute lung and blood infections, that can
attack patients on ventilators, but whose origins in this case are
unknown, and chronic conditions that weaken the system.

On Aug. 13, The World Journal, a Chinese-language newspaper
circulating to 300,000 in North America, described Mr. Zhao's
death as part of a pattern of fatal misdiagnoses and wrong
medications given by unlicensed practitioners on East Broadway,
the thoroughfare of Fujianese Chinatown.

But at the Medical Examiner's Office, where an inquiry could
have been ordered, no one reads Chinese and no one was
aware of questions about the case. Permission for cremation
was granted the next day.

Most of Mr. Zhao's possessions fit into his coffin. The rest,
including the pills, were discarded. But a woman going to
his funeral called The New York Times and accused an
unlicensed practitioner on East Broadway of mishandling
Mr. Zhao's case.

A decade ago, the Chinese American Medical Society helped
spur a short-lived state crackdown on a Chinatown subculture
of fake doctors. But "there are more illegal doctors than ever
now," said Dr. Peter Fong, an ophthalmologist and a former
vice president of the society. They are not just offering herbal
supplements, for which no license is required, he said, but
practicing medicine without a license — a crime.

To John C. Liu, the first Asian-American elected to the New
York City Council, the reason is obvious: "What empowers the
quacks is lack of access to health care."

Chinese workers scattered in jobs throughout New York and
across the country periodically return to East Broadway, the
hub of Fujianese life in the United States, to find health care
— of a sort.

No. 52, where Mr. Chung says he accompanied Mr. Zhao last
summer and saw the dispensing of the pills, is stacked with
self-styled clinics. One thrives at the back of a basement
computer store; another features $30 pregnancy sonograms
and a crookedly lettered sign for "precise dental art."

The establishment of Yu Yuan Zhang, 50, where Mr. Chung
said he and Mr. Zhao went, has operated for 11 years. Near
drawers of Chinese herbs hangs a New York State medical
license — in someone else's name. Visibly nervous, Mr. Zhang
denied that any pills he dispensed could cause harm. "They're
made in China," he said, "available all over, in the street."

By then, the only evidence left of Mr. Zhao's 12 years in the
United States were bills, ashes and a death certificate that
his brother could not read. Pressed about the case, the
practitioner did not hesitate.

"There is no such person," he said. "There is no Ming Qiang Zhao."


9) It's official: class matters
A major new study shows that social background determines pupils'
success. Does it mean that the government is heading in the wrong
direction? Matthew Taylor reports
Tuesday February 28, 2006
The Guardian

It is a familiar scene: mum and dad hunched at the kitchen table,
poring over Ofsted reports and brochures, trying to fathom which
is the best school for their child. But a new report, obtained by
Education Guardian, suggests that these well-meaning parents,
and thousands like them, are looking in the wrong place. Instead
of trying to decode inspectors' reports or work out whether
academies are better than voluntary-aided schools or trusts
superior to community comprehensives, they need look no
further than the average earnings among parents.

A study by academics at University College London (UCL) and
Kings College London has given statistical backbone to the view
that the overwhelming factor in how well children do is not what
type of school they attend- but social class. It appears to show
what has often been said but never proved: that the current
league tables measure not the best, but the most middle-class
schools; and that even the government's "value-added" tables
fail to take account of the most crucial factor in educational
outcomes - a pupil's address.

The report, which uses previously unreleased information
from the Department for Education and Skills, matches
almost 1 million pupils with their individual postcode
and exam scores at 11 and 15.

This unprecedented project has revealed that a child's social
background is the crucial factor in academic performance,
and that a school's success is based not on its teachers,
the way it is run, or what type of school it is, but,
overwhelmingly, on the class background of its pupils.

"These are very important findings, which should change
the way parents, pupils and politicians think about schools,"
says Richard Webber, professor at UCL. "This is the first time
we have been able to measure the precise impact of a child's
social background on their educational performance, as
well as the importance of a school's intake on its standing
in the league tables."

The findings come at a pivotal time in education with the
government determined to push through its education reforms
in a new schools bill, expected to be published today. If it is
successful, all primary and secondary schools will be
encouraged to become independent trusts with control
over their own admissions. But many critics have argued
that the government should be introducing more rigorous
controls over admissions - to ensure as many schools as
possible have a balanced intake of middle- and working-
class children.

The study found that, whatever their background, children
do better the more "middle-class" the school they attend,
and also that more than 50% of a school's performance is
accounted for by the social make-up of its pupils.

In affluent areas, such as Dukes Avenue, Muswell Hill, in
north London, and Lammas Park Road, Ealing, west London,
the study would expect 67% of 11-year-olds to achieve level 5
in the national English tests and 94% of 15-yearolds to get
five or more passes at GCSE at grade C and above.

Meanwhile, of the children growing up in more deprived areas,
such as Hillside Road, Dudley, or Laurel Road, Tipton (both
in the West Midlands), just 13% are likely to get the top level 5
in the national English tests for 11-year-olds, while only 24%
of 15-year-olds will be reckoned to achieve the benchmark
do. The more middle-class children there are at the school,
the better it does. It is proof that class still rules the classroom.

"The results show that the position of a school in published
league tables, the criterion typically used by parents to select
successful schools, depends more on the social profile of its
pupils than the quality of the teachers," says Webber, who,
along with Professor Tim Butler from Kings, has devised
new school league tables from the data that take the social
background of each pupil into account. "

As it stands, parents who want to do the best for their children
should choose a school according to how middle-class its intake
is, rather than on the type of school or the quality of the teaching.

"For schools the message is clear. Selecting children whose homes
are in high-status neighbourhoods is one of the most effective
ways of retaining a high position in the league table. For statisticians,
meanwhile, it proves that the existing tables, which ignore the
types of home from which a school draws its pupils, are necessarily
an unfair and imprecise means of judging a school's achievements."

The study looked at 476,000 11-year olds and 482,000 15-year-olds.
The data was analysed through Mosaic, a programme devised by the
information company Experian, which divides the UK population by
postcode into 11 main groups and 61 types, providing detailed insight
into the socio-demographics, lifestyles, culture and behaviour of
UK citizens. It is being used in key policy areas, such as health and
crime, but this is the first time it has been used to assess the link
between education performance and social class.

The study revealed how pupils from each of the 61 socio-economic
groups performed given their background, allowing statisticians to
set a benchmark score and measure each school's performance
against that, in light of its intake. For this research Mosaic was linked
to the Pupil Level Annual Statistics Data (National Pupil Database),
provided by the DfES, to enable more accurate and context-based
benchmarking of educational attainment.

The full report, which has yet to be given a title, will be published
later this year and will be available from UCL.

Moving to a segregated system

Webber and Butler warn that introducing further freedoms for
schools, as the government is, may allow middle-class parents
and schools to choose each other, leaving those from poorer
backgrounds stranded in an increasingly segregated system.

"Given the chance, a school will do as well as it can, and, as this
research shows, that means attracting as many middleclass pupils
as possible. Parentscan see that their children will do better in the
most middle-class schools, so they will strive to work the system
to get in. So, by giving schools more independence and creating
a market in education, you run the serious risk of polarising pupils
along class lines," says Webber.

He insists the government's attempts to introduce a market in
education are also economically flawed: "The beneficial peer
group effects caused by the children of highly educated parents
means a market will not operate in the usual way. The best
educational achievement for the largest number of pupils will
be achieved by having a broad social mix of pupils in as many
schools as possible. Some schools that currently draw their pupils
from privileged social strata would lose out, but education standards
would increase overall."

Ministers who have gone cold on the idea of banding school
admissions by ability in last year's white paper are unlikely
to take much heed of the authors' concerns, but the new school
league tables created by Webber and Butler are likely to raise further
questions about the validity of the existing criteria for measuring

The tables, which work out how well schools should do in light
of the social background of their intake, throw up differences with
the scores produced by the DfES. In the primary school table, many
previously middling schools come near the top of the pile. For
secondary schools, the differences between the DfES's value-added
figures and the alternative table are less pronounced. "For the first
time, we can see exactly how well schools are doing, taking into
account the really crucial factor - the social background of their pupils,"
said Webber. "Previously even the value-added tables have failed to
recognise the success of schools that serve very deprived communities.
Conversely, some of the schools that are usually near the top
in traditional tables are shown to be not quite as successful when
you realise just how privileged their intake is."

This is a view echoed - unsurprisingly - by Christine Haddock,
headteacher at Larkspur community school in Gateshead -the most
successful primary in the country according to the new league table.

"This is fantastic news," Haddock told Education Guardian. "We have
always known that we are doing a good job for the children here,
but the usual league tables rarely reflect that feeling.

"We serve a deprived area. In the last three years 46%-59% of our
children have been eligible for free school meals [the standard
indicator of deprivation]. But these findings reflect what we have
always known: that this is a good school that looks after its pupils
as well as it possibly can. Many of them are at quite a low level
when they arrive, but they make massive strides before they leave.

"In the end, it's not about where you come in tables, it's about the
difference that we can make to children's lives round here, but this
will be a real boost to all the people who work so hard at the school."

Another primary headteacher who welcomed the new league tables
was Simon O'Keefe, headteacher of The Powell School in Dover,
Kent, which came second in the country after not making the top
250 schools in the value-added rankings produced by the
Guardian from the DfES performance tables.

"It is only in recent years that we are starting to feel we are
getting recognition, but nothing like this," says O'Keefe. "It is
obviously nice to feel we are successful in what we are trying to
do here, but there is always room for improvement and, in the
end, league tables are nice, but it is about teaching children to
the best of our abilities so that they can reach their potential."

The school has around 33% of pupils eligible for free school meals
and a similar proportion with special educational needs. "All our
children, with perhaps one or two exceptions, come from the local
council estate and from a fairly deprived background, but we have
high expectations for them. We have high expectations of what they
can achieve and of their behaviour. That, along with excellent teaching,
is our fairly obvious secret."

Questions for parents and schools

Among secondary schools, although many community schools with
more socially deprived intakes make it into the top 200, some of the
more traditional table-toppers still do well, particularly those from
the grammar school sector.

Webber says this is because there is more selection at secondary schools,
so they often cream off the more able pupils from disadvantaged areas
while maintaining high results.

He adds that the research, including the new league tables, should be
seen as the start rather than the end of an ongoing discussion.

"There are endless questions that this research throws up for parents
and schools and, perhaps most crucially of all, for those making the
decisions on where we go from here. Hopefully, this will begin a debate
that will lead to a greater understanding of what is actually working in
our schools and how best we can help children from all backgrounds
achieve their potential."


10) Negroponte's 'Serious Setback'
By Dahr Jamail
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
Friday 03 March 2006
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website http://dahrjamailiraq.com

John Negroponte, the US National Intelligence Director, provided
testimony on Tuesday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on
"global threats."

Negroponte, who was the US ambassador to Iraq from June 2004 to April
2005, was immediately promoted to his current position after his
presence in Iraq. Ironically, he warned the committee on Tuesday, "If
chaos were to descend upon Iraq or the forces of democracy were to be
defeated in that country ... this would have implications for the rest
of the Middle East region and, indeed, the world."

Warning of the outcome of a possible civil war in Iraq, Negroponte said
sectarian civil war in Iraq would be a "serious setback" to the global
war on terror. Note - he did not say it would be a "serious setback" to
the Iraqi people, over 1,400 of whom have been slaughtered in sectarian
violence touched off by the bombing of the Golden Mosque last week in

No, the violence and instability in Iraq would be a "serious setback" to
the global "war on terror."

But it's interesting for him to continue, "The consequences for the
people of Iraq would be catastrophic," whilst feigning his concern.
Because generating catastrophic consequences for civilian populations
just happens to be his specialty.

If we briefly review the political history of John Negroponte, we find a
man who has had a career bent toward generating civilian death and
widespread human rights abuses, and promoting sectarian and ethnic violence.

Remember when Negroponte was the US ambassador to Honduras, from 1981 to
1985? While there he earned the distinction of being accused of
widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human
Rights while he worked as "a tough cold warrior who enthusiastically
carried out President Ronald Reagan's strategy," according to cables
sent between Negroponte and Washington during his tenure there.

The human rights violations carried out by Negroponte were described as

These violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by
operatives trained by the CIA. Records document his "special
intelligence units," better known as "death squads," comprised of
CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured and killed
hundreds of people. Victims also included US missionaries (similar to
Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq) who happened to witness many of the

Negroponte had full knowledge of these activities, while he made sure US
military aid to Honduras increased from $4 million to $77.4 million a
year during his tenure, and the tiny country became so jammed with US
soldiers it was dubbed the "USS Honduras."

It is also important to remember that Negroponte oversaw construction of
the air base where Nicaraguan Contras were trained by the US. This air
base, El Aguacate, was also used as a secret detention and torture
center during his time in Honduras.

While Negroponte was the US ambassador to Honduras, civilian deaths
sky-rocketed into the tens of thousands. During his first full year, the
local newspapers carried no less than 318 stories of extra-judicial
attacks by the military.

He has been described as an "old fashioned imperialist" and got his
start during the Vietnam War in the CIA's Phoenix program, which
assassinated some 40,000 Vietnamese "subversives."

Negroponte's death squads used electric shock and suffocation devices in
interrogations, kept their prisoners naked, and when a prisoner was no
longer useful he was brutally executed.

Outraged at the human rights abuses by the Reagan-Bush administration,
in 1984 Nicaragua took its case to the World Court in The Hague. The
decision of the court was for the Reagan-Bush administration to
terminate its "unlawful use of force" in international terrorism and pay
substantial reparations to the victims. The White House responded by
brushing off the court's findings and vetoed two UN Security Council
resolutions that affirmed the judgment that all states must observe
international law.

In the middle of Negroponte's tenure in Iraq, the Pentagon (read Donald
Rumsfeld) openly considered using assassination and kidnapping teams
there, led by the Special Forces.

Referred to not-so-subtly as "the Salvador option," the January 2005
rhetoric from the Pentagon publicized a proposal that would send Special
Forces teams to "advise, support and possibly train" Iraqi "squads."
Members of these squads would be hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga militia
and Shia Badr militiamen used to target Sunni resistance fighters and
their sympathizers.

What better man to make this happen than John Negroponte? His experience
made him the perfect guy for the job. What a nice coincidence that he
just happened to be in Baghdad when the Pentagon/Rumsfeld were
discussing "the Salvador option."

Fast forward to present day Iraq, which is a situation described by the
Washington Post in this way: "Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the
morgue at midday Monday - blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed,
garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their
heads. Many of the bodies were sprawled with their hands still bound."

The Independent newspaper from London recently reports that hundreds of
Iraqis each month are tortured to death or executed by death squads
working out of the Shia-run Ministry of Interior.

During the aforementioned committee hearing, Negroponte said that the US
is concerned about the purchasing of arms by Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez. Negroponte accused Chavez of using funds generated from the sale
of oil to purchase weaponry, saying, "It's clear that he is spending
hundreds of millions, if not more, for his very extravagant foreign
policy at the expense of the impoverished Venezuelan population."

Coincidentally, on the exact same day he said this, the US State
Department announced that the only new rebuilding money in its latest
budget request for Iraq is for prisons.

With no other big building projects scheduled for Iraq in the next year,
the State Department coordinator for Iraq is asking Congress for $100
million for prisons, while the Iraqi people languish with 3.2 hours of
electricity daily in the average home, staggering unemployment and
horrendous security, with most still dependent upon a monthly food ration.

Meanwhile John Pace, the Human Rights Chief for the UN Assistance
Mission in Iraq until last month, recently stated that he believes the
US has violated the Geneva Conventions in Iraq and is fueling the
violence via raiding Iraqi homes and detaining thousands of innocent
Iraqis. Pace estimates that between 80-90% of Iraqi detainees are innocent.

During an interview on Democracy Now!, when asked to described the role
of the militias in Iraq, Pace said "they first started as a kind of
militia, sort of organized armed groups, which were the military wing of
various factions. And they have - they had a considerable role to play
in the [security] vacuum that was created by the invasion."

He went on to describe their actions: "So you have these militias now
with police gear and under police insignia basically carrying out an
agenda which really is not in the interest of the country as a whole.
They have roadblocks in Baghdad and other areas, they would kidnap other
people. They have been very closely linked with numerous mass executions

Pace, when asked if there were death squads in Iraq, replied, "I would
say yes, there are death squads," and "my observations would confirm
that at least at a certain point last year and in 2005, we saw numerous
instances where the behavior of death squads was very similar, uncannily
similar to that we had observed in other countries, including El Salvador."

What we're witnessing in Iraq now with these death squads and escalating
sectarian violence is the product of policies implemented by Negroponte
when he was the US Ambassador in Iraq.

But let us remove the covert operations factor for a moment.

For over a year now, Shia death squads have been killing Sunni en masse.

Thus, at first glance, the bombing of the Golden Mosque last week as
Sunni retaliation makes sense.

However, what doesn't make sense is the immediate showing of solidarity
between Shia and Sunni clerics following the bombing.

Let us now reinsert the covert operations factor into this equation.

Along with the showing of religious solidarity, there is widespread
belief by Shiite religious clerics both in and outside Iraq, as well as
belief in the Arab media, that US covert operations were behind the bombing:

* Shiite Cleric Muqtada Al Sadr blamed the United States occupation for
the current violence. He recently stated, "My message to the Iraqi
people is to stand united and bonded, and not to fall into the Western
trap. The West is trying to divide the Iraqi people. As God is my
witness, I hereby demand an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of
the occupation forces from Iraq."

* In another interview, Sadr stated, "We say that the occupiers are
responsible for such crisis [Golden Mosque bombing] ... there is only
one enemy. The occupier."

* Adel Abdul Mehdi, the Iraqi Vice President, held the American
Ambassador [Zalmay Khalilzad] responsible for the bombing of the Golden
Mosque, "especially since occupation forces did not comply with curfew
orders imposed by the Iraqi government."

He added, "Evidence indicates that the occupation may be trying to
undermine and weaken the Iraqi government."
* At a major demonstration in Beirut, prominent Lebanese Shiite cleric
and Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said America and
Israel are to blame for the sectarian divisions in Iraq, claiming that
the violence will offer further justifications for maintaining the
occupation of Iraq.

* According to the Saudi-based Arab News editorial, a civil-war scenario
may serve the interests of the Bush administration: "This may in the end
be what Washington wants, because if Iraq plunges into chaos, it could
be the Bush ticket out of the Iraq debacle, albeit paid for in rivers of
Iraqi blood as well the utter humiliation of the president's
administration and its neo-con agenda."

* Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, urged Iraqi Shia
not to seek revenge against Sunni Muslims, saying there were definite
plots "to force the Shia to attack the mosques and other properties
respected by the Sunni," and blamed the intelligence services of the US
and Israel for being responsible for the bombing of the Golden Mosque.

* Hoseyn Shari'atmadarit wrote in the Keyhan newspaper of Iran on
February 25 of several instances of documented covert operations carried
out by occupation forces in Iraq, including: "In Shahrivar two British
intelligence officers were arrested [in September 2005] at an inspection
post while carrying a considerable amount of explosives, detonators and
other equipment necessary to build a bomb. This event certainly shows
the direct involvement of the English intelligence service in the
bombings in Iraq ... The commander of the English military deployed in
Basra [then] issued an order to attack the police centre and release two
English saboteurs."

In the recent committee meeting, Negroponte told US senators he was
seeing progress in Iraq. He said, "And if we continue to make that kind
of progress, yes, we can win in Iraq."

Evidently the kind of progress John Negroponte sees in Iraq is not the
kind that benefits the Iraqi people. Because the only progress in Iraq,
apart from building prisons, is for the situation to continue growing
progressively worse by deepening sectarian divides, despite the best
efforts of religious leaders to create peace and unity.

Would civil war in Iraq be a "serious setback" for John Negroponte?
Because the sectarian violence happening in Iraq right now is already a
"serious setback" for the Iraqi people.

Thus, does Negroponte really care if there is civil war? Does he really
concern himself with the wellbeing of the Iraqi people? Or is his main
concern creating the catastrophe which keeps them divided?


(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.


11) On the Contrary
Why Rules Can't Stop Executive Greed
March 5, 2006

IN the arena of executive compensation, two recent developments
stand out against the backdrop of continuing looting. First, the
Securities and Exchange Commission announced plans to make
corporations more fully disclose executive pay. Second, a study
by Mercer Human Resource Consulting found that more companies
were imposing performance targets on the stock and options they
granted to C.E.O.'s.

To the uninitiated, these events may suggest that some moderation
is in the offing, but ultimately neither will help much. Any benefit
from shining the cleansing light of day on executive greed will
probably be outweighed by the inflationary effect of additional
disclosure, which will provide more ammunition for executives
and consultants seeking to justify additional increases. They
have to keep up with the Joneses, they'll say.

Tying pay more firmly to performance won't help, either. Boards
will find ways around the requirements if performance isn't up
to snuff, and they will continue to bid irrationally for unduly
coveted executives.

As Rakesh Khurana showed in his insightful book, "Searching
for a Corporate Savior: The Irrational Quest for Charismatic
C.E.O.'s" (Princeton University Press, 2002), there is a much
wider pool of potential chief executives than soaring pay levels
would seem to imply. But companies insist on bidding for
a savior, not a capable leader who knows the business at hand,
which may be why typical C.E.O. tenures are now so short.
Even in the boardroom, charisma carries you only so far.

Indeed, linking pay to stock prices is liable to do more harm
than good. A stock price isn't much of a measure of executive
performance, anyway. A huge part of that price reflects industry
conditions; energy companies soared not because they were
run by paragons of diligence or insight, but because of world
events beyond any executive's control. In hard times, moreover,
a company's stock may take a hit, but those are precisely the
times when good leadership is most difficult — and valuable.

Other performance metrics can be equally troublesome,
encouraging executives to massage earnings, sacrifice long-
term strength for higher short-term sales and profits and
otherwise act in ways detrimental to everyone but the C.E.O.,
his family and a few lucky divorce lawyers.

Perverse incentives notwithstanding, this focus on metrics
is a sad acknowledgment by corporate directors that they
cannot control themselves or the pay they hand over to their
top five executives. In one study, two professors, Lucian A.
Bebchuk of Harvard and Yaniv Grinstein of Cornell, found
that from 2001 to 2003, such pay totaled roughly 10 percent
of corporate profits at public companies. It's a bizarre twist
on the tradition of tithing, one that benefits the rich instead
of the needy and conscripts America's shareholders as
involuntary donors.

Although more disclosure and pay-for-performance requirements
won't dampen runaway C.E.O. compensation, both are useful for
illustrating a larger lesson: that it's naïve to place too much faith
in the power of rules to limit human behavior. Indeed, the
problem of C.E.O. compensation suggests that, as in many
aspects of modern life, few mechanisms of constraint are as
effective as one on which we relied so often in the past.
That mechanism was shame.

You'd think that more disclosure would produce more shame,
and thus less pay, for C.E.O.'s and other top executives.
Unfortunately, disclosure of a few more million here and there
won't fundamentally change a hiring system that actively recruits
the most grasping and hubristic candidates. Consider the
incentives: by offering lavish pay and perks that would make
royalty blush, corporate directors today are perhaps unwittingly
selecting C.E.O.'s for shamelessness and egotism rather than

HISTORY teaches that there is no ultimate solution to the so-
called agency problem, or the tendency of those who merely
work in an enterprise to act in their own interest rather than
that of the owners. Rules and incentives can help, of course,
but they cannot take the place of an honest sense of obligation,
duty and loyalty — values that ought to run in all directions in
any decent corporate culture.

This web of mutual obligation is an invisible social safety net —
a form of corporate social capital — which we've unfortunately
allowed to fray. Rapidly rising income inequality is a sign of the
resulting imbalance.

Corporate chieftains may continue to enjoy unearned bounty,
but they should not be surprised if someday they — and the
hapless investors who employ them — reap the same brand
of cynicism they are sowing. If that happens, we'll all be poorer
for it.

Daniel Akst is a journalist and novelist who writes often about
business. E-mail: culmoney@nytimes.com.


The Search for Illegal Immigrants Stops at the Workplace
March 5, 2006

Army Ordered to Look Again at Battle Death
March 5, 2006

Venezuela aims for biggest military reserve in Americas
Greg Morsbach in Caracas
Saturday March 4, 2006

Midwest Oil fined for selling gas too cheaply
The state imposed a $140,000 penalty for what it called "willful,
continuing, and egregious" violations of the price law.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
By Tom Ford
February 24, 2006

The Mansion the War Bought
The Palazzo Feinstein
February 28, 2006

Pilots Agree to Pay Cut at Northwest
March 4, 2006

Looks like Toussaint won't be jailbird
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

FinalCall.com News Announces Exclusive Preview
of Upcoming Hurricane Katrina Documentary

By Guy Dinmore
Financial Times (UK)
March 2, 2006

From the Los Angeles Times
Antarctica Cannot Replace Ice Loss
Study finds continent is shrinking faster than it can grow.
Experts say changes to the global water cycle could hasten
the pace of sea-level rise.
By Robert Lee Hotz
Times Staff Writer
March 3, 2006

Pentagon Intelligence Agency Reviewed for Corruption
Federal investigators are looking into contracts awarded by the
Pentagon's newest and fastest-growing intelligence agency, the
Counterintelligence Field Activity, which has spent more than
$1 billion, mostly for outsourced services, since its establishment
in late 2002, according to administration and congressional sources.

Medicare Says It Will Pay, but Patients Say 'No Thanks'
March 3, 2006

F.B.I., in Bid-Rigging Inquiry, Raids Offices of Labor Leader
March 3, 2006

Senate Passes Legislation to Renew Patriot Act
WASHINGTON, March 2 — The Senate overwhelmingly passed
legislation renewing the sweeping antiterror law known as the
USA Patriot Act on Thursday, ending a months-long impasse
on Capitol Hill and virtually guaranteeing that the measure
will go to President Bush to be signed.
The vote of 89 to 10, followed an agreement last month by
the White House to add more protections for individual
privacy. That deal mollified four Senate Republicans, who
had joined with Democrats last year in blocking the bill,
an extension of a law enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
March 3, 2006

Suit Accuses a Police Chief of Blocking CPR
Billy Snead was furiously trying to save the life of a friend having
a heart attack on a West Virginia roadside in June when the police
chief arrived. The chief, Mr. Snead recalled yesterday, ordered
him to stop.
The chief, Robert K. Bowman of the small town of Welch, told
Mr. Snead that his friend, red-faced and gasping for breath, had
the virus that causes AIDS, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday.
Chief Bowman grabbed Mr. Snead's shoulder, the suit says, pulling
him away from his friend, Claude Green Jr.
March 3, 2006

For Thirsty Farmers, Old Friends at Interior Dept.
FRESNO, Calif. — For more than 10 years, Jason Peltier was a paid
advocate for the irrigation-dependent farmers here in the Central
Valley of California, several hundred landowners who each year
consume more water than the city of Los Angeles does.
Now Mr. Peltier works for the Bush administration, and he helps
oversee the awarding of new water contracts for the people
he used to represent as head of the Central Valley Project
Water Users Association.
March 3, 2006

Archivist Urges U.S. to Reopen Classified Files
WASHINGTON, March 2 — After complaints from historians, the
National Archives directed intelligence agencies on Thursday to
stop removing previously declassified historical documents from
public access and urged them to return to the shelves as quickly
as possible many of the records they had already pulled.
March 3, 2006

By Arundhati Roy
March 13, 2006 (posted Mar. 1)

Road to Nowhere
The FBI probes links between state Senator Don Perata and
a $40 million roadway project designed to enrich Alameda
developer Ron Cowan.
By Robert Gammon and Will Harper

Let 'em vote, says MTA official

New Civil Rights pictures published--for first time!

Dear Mr Blair, why are you afraid to meet us?
As two more British soldiers die in Iraq, The Independent publishes
an open letter from bereaved relatives to the Prime Minister
Published: 01 March 2006

Veterans Report Mental Distress
About a Third Returning From Iraq Seek Help
By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 1, 2006; Page A01

Mississippi Bill to Ban Most Abortions Advances
Filed at 12:49 p.m. ET
March 1, 2006

Legalities of Corporate Tax Incentives Before Court
The Supreme Court takes up a major case today about the legality
of tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks that states and local
governments award businesses each year to build new factories
or offices, or just to stay put.
March 1, 2006

Senate Approves Curbs on Some Patriot Act Powers
March 1, 2006

Storm's Missing: Lives Not Lost but Disconnected
March 1, 2006

Zogby Poll: 72% of US Troops in Iraq Say End War in 2006

Armed Forces Are Put on Standby to Tackle Threat of Wars over Water

Seven Arrested at White House Protest against Iraq War

Incomes Fall, Hunger Worsens as Bush Says 'We're Doing Fine'

Byrd Says He Regrets Voting For Patriot Act

Worldwide Poll Shows 60% Fear Terror Threat is Worse after War
Report on Mexican 'Dirty War' Details Abuse by Military
MEXICO CITY, Feb. 26 — A secret report prepared by a special
prosecutor's office says the Mexican military carried out a "genocide
plan" of kidnapping, torturing and killing hundreds of suspected
subversives in the southern state of Guerrero during the so-called
dirty war, from the late 1960's to the early 1980's.

DELPHI NEGOTIATIONS Workers rally for support
Youngstown Vindicator - Youngstown,OH,USA
... Steve Miller, Delphi chairman and chief executive, first proposed cutting
production workers' hourly wages from $27 to $9.50 and later revised that
offer to $12 ...

DELPHI Workers at Ohio Plant OK Strike
Local 755 represents 1050 workers at a Delphi suspension parts plant in
Kettering,  Ohio. ... The United Steelworkers, which represents 1000 Delphi
workers, ...

AL.COM: NewsFlash - Delphi workers at Ohio plant authorize strike
Local 755 represents 1050 workers at a Delphi suspension parts plant in
Kettering,  Ohio. "It's the first time the membership as a whole was heard,

DELPHI workers OK potential strike - 2006-02-24
American City Business Journals Inc. is the nation's largest publisher
of  metropolitan business newspapers, serving 41 of the country's most
vibrant ...

UNION officials work on a future for the GM Moraine Assembly plant
Dayton Daily News (subscription) - Dayton,OH,USA
... not guaranteed work beyond that span and must compete with other plants
to win the company's approval for future work. GM has asked Moraine's
union to consider ...

To e-mail Community Labor News: clnews@lists.clnews.org

Cat in Germany Has Bird Flu
Filed at 12:35 p.m. ET
February 28, 2006

Supreme Court Backs Abortion Protesters in Unanimous Ruling
Filed at 12:00 p.m. ET
February 28, 2006

Army to Pay Halliburton Unit Most Costs Disputed by Audit
The Army has decided to reimburse a Halliburton subsidiary for
nearly all of its disputed costs on a $2.41 billion no-bid contract
to deliver fuel and repair oil equipment in Iraq, even though the
Pentagon's own auditors had identified more than $250 million in
charges as potentially excessive or unjustified.
The Army said in response to questions on Friday that questionable
business practices by the subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, had
in some cases driven up the company's costs. But in the haste and
peril of war, it had largely done as well as could be expected, the
Army said, and aside from a few penalties, the government was
compelled to reimburse the company for its costs.
February 27, 2006

Commentary: The Old Cliche’s True – The Rich are Getting Richer,
The Poor Getting Poorer
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2006
By: Judge Greg Mathis, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com

FOCUS | Paul Krugman: Graduates versus Oligarchs
According to Paul Krugman, it may take some time before we muster the
political will to counter inequality. But the first step toward doing
something about inequality is to abandon the 80-20 fallacy. It's time to
face up to the fact that rising inequality is driven by the giant
income gains of a tiny elite, not the modest gains of college graduates.

Two Tiers, Slipping Into One
[This is an important article for those who want to understand
what's happening to working people here in the USA...bw]
February 26, 2006

Rumsfeld Zeros in on the Internet
By Mike Whitney

What Civil War Could Look Like
February 26, 2006

Abortion Returns to Center Stage
February 25, 2006

Amid Revelry, Evidence of City's Cruel Transformation
February 25, 2006

I.R.S. Finds Sharp Increase in Illegal Political Activity
February 25, 2006

Schools Where the Only Real Test Is Basketball
February 25, 2006

Taking Spying to Higher Level, Agencies Look
for More Ways to Mine Data
But by fundamentally changing the nature of surveillance,
high-tech data mining raises privacy concerns that are only
beginning to be debated widely. That is because to find illicit
activities it is necessary to turn loose software sentinels
to examine all digital behavior whether it is innocent or not.
February 25, 2006

Swami Beyondananda's 2006 State of the Universe Address
Swami Calls for an Up-Wising
Wise Up, Everybody ...
The Evolution Has Begun!
By Swami Beyondananda

FOCUS | Paul Krugman: Osama, Saddam and the Ports
Paul Krugman writes that Mr. Bush assures us that "people don't
need to worry about security." But after all those declarations that
we're engaged in a global war on terrorism, after all the terror alerts
declared whenever the national political debate seemed to be
shifting to questions of cronyism, corruption and incompetence,
the administration can't suddenly change its theme song to
"Don't Worry, Be Happy."

Bill Outlawing Nearly All Abortions Passes in South Dakota
South Dakota lawmakers yesterday approved the nation's most
far-reaching ban on abortion, setting the stage for new legal
challenges that its supporters say they hope lead to an overturning
of Roe v. Wade. The bill makes no exceptions for rape, incest
or the health of the woman.

Bill Quigley | Six Months after Katrina: Who Was Left Behind
The people left behind in the evacuation of New Orleans after Katrina
are the same people left behind in rebuilding of New Orleans -
the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled and children -
mostly African-American.

From the Gulf Coast to the Persian Gulf
Military families and veterans of Iraq, Vietnam and other military
ventures, together with hurricane survivors, intend to make the
connection between the war and the response to Katrina crystal clear
on an epic march down Gulf Coast Highway 90, heading into the heart
of New Orleans on the third anniversary of the war.

The revolution is at hand
Stay in the streets: the Black masses are on the march for jobs and freedom

FOCUS | Pablo Paredes: The Spirit of Gandhi
On March 12, the seventy-sixth anniversary of "The Salt March,"
Fernando Suarez Del Solar will begin a 241 mile march that will trace the life
and passion of his son Jesus from Tijuana to Camp Pendleton. From there
Fernando will continue where his son left off and walk in the footsteps
of sections of the great Cesar Chavez-led march from Delano to
Sacramento. The march will end on the anniversary of the death of Jesus, March
27, in San Francisco, where Fernando plans to lead a large scale blood
drive for those in need in Iraq by being the first to give his blood.

US Prison Can't Find Doctor Willing to Execute Convict
Agence France-Presse
Wednesday 22 February 2006

Nearly 100 Dead in US Custody in Iraq, Afghanistan: Rights Group

Dubai Company Set to Run U.S. Ports Has Ties to Administration

Watchdogs Urge Full Probe of Bush Propaganda Spending

Shi'ite Shrine Attack Fans Sectarian Flames in Iraq

U.S. Concedes to Force-Feeding Detainees

How Neo-Cons Sabotaged Iran's Help on al Qaeda

For Minorities, Signs of Trouble in Foreclosures
February 22, 2006

Questions Over Method Lead to Delay of Execution
February 22, 2006

Vote Due on South Dakota Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions
February 22, 2006

Union: Comair will file to void contract today
February 21, 2006

States Curbing Right to Seize Private Homes
February 21, 2006

U.S. Reclassifies Many Documents in Secret Review
February 21, 2006

Supreme Court Reopens Abortion Issue on Alito's First Day
February 21, 2006