Saturday, October 28, 2006



A disgusting practice:

As Halloween creeps up, the holiday's signature critter could use
your help. Give bats a "treat" by urging eBay to stop allowing the
sale of their bodies as so-called art:

What's happening: Several companies are catching bats in the wild and
killing them for sale as "art" in glass frames. One small bat, also
known as the Short-nosed fruit bat, is a major target of this cruel
practice. The fruit bat is an important pollinator and seed
dispenser, and many species are classified by IUCN as "vulnerable."

Bats already face severe threats due to habitat loss. Killing
additional bats for personal collections only leads to further
decline of wild bat populations.

Fruit and nectar-eating bats are responsible for hundreds of
economically important products including foods, drinks, medicines,
timber, fibers, dyes and fuel. Wild varieties of many of the world’s
most economically valuable crop plants, such as bananas, rely on bats
for survival. Insect eating bat species are natural enemies of night-
flying pests that damage crops, reducing the need for chemical

Tell eBay to stop selling stuffed bat bodies unless eBay is sure 1)
the bats are not imperiled in the wild, and 2) the bats were
collected after they died naturally.<l=1162150506

Thanks for making a difference today,

Hilary S.
Care2 and

Thanks for getting Animals & Environment Alerts from Care2 and Please tell your friends about this petition!

[Let me just tell you a little story. Our family loves to go camping.
We used to camp by Letts Lake in Northern California. In the early
even the mosquitoes would begin to come out and so would the bats.
Within an hour or two, no more mosquitoes would bother us.
We loved sitting at dusk into night watching them dart all around
us silently as the stars appeared one by one. What beauty!]




Emergency Demo Mexican Consulate in SF Tuesday, October 31st at 5pm.
532 Folsom St @ 1st St. or 870 Market St at 4th and 5th St google shows both
NYC Indymedia volunteer Brad Will killed in attack by Paramilitaries in Oaxaca Now Fox is sending in planes with thousands of RIOT police.

Last photograph of Bradley Roland Will alive,
five seconds before he received two sniper's
shots in the stomach during the ongoing revolt
in Oaxaca. Brad was from New York, participated
in a housing occupation, sued the police for
arresting him, won a settlement and traveled
with the money around the world filming working
class uprisings and peasant revolts. He was
recently in Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina...
always covering class struggle. He was connected
with Indymedia NY.


The Middle East Children's Alliance, Speak Out,
Vanguard Public Foundation and KPFA 94.1FM present:
The Bay Area Premiere of Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's
Thursday, November 9, 2006 - 7:30 pm
Berkeley Community Theatre, 1930 Allston Way
Voices of a People's History of the United States
Dramatic Readings Celebrating the Enduring Spirit of Dissent

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Memorial Meeting for Caroline Lund

Saturday, November 11, 2:00 PM

Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland

Between Telegraph and Broadway

Wheelchair accessible from the entrance at 411 28th St.

Caroline fought for social justice for over forty years, in the socialist
movement, the labor movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement,
the women's movement, as a leader in the Socialist Workers Party,
fighting again the U.S. wars in the Middle East, publishing the rank
and file newsletter "Barking Dog" in the NUMMI auto plant where
she worked -- wherever people were struggling to better their
lives. She died of ALS on October 14.

Join with us to remember Caroline's life and work for social justice.


Malik Miah, editor, Against the Current

John Percy, Democratic Socialist Perspective, Australia

Open Mike

Claudette Begin, Chair

Messages from those unable to attend (which will be available
to be read at the meeting) should be sent to
Alex Chis
For more information, email Alex , or call at 510-489-8554.

There will also be a New York Area Memorial Meeting for Caroline
Saturday, November 18, 3:00 PM
Brecht Forum, 451 West St., New York
For more information on the NY meeting,
contact Gus Horowitz: 914-953-0212 or
ghorowitz@snet. net

Alex Chis & Claudette Begin
P.O. Box 2944
Fremont, CA 94536-0944
Phone: 510-489-8554


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

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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely yours,

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

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

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

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

Report Says JROTC Benefits Students; Calls for More Funding for Programs
By Julie Blair
September 29, 1999

JROTC is a Recruiting Program for Dead-End Military Jobs

Why Question the Military's JROTC Program?

JROTC Challenging Progressive Ideals of Youth Voice
by Peter Lauterborn, 2006-10-25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Army Junior ROTC Program
Mission Statement:

To Motivate Young People to Be Better Citizens

The JROTC program intends to teach cadets to:

Appreciate the ethical values and principles that
underlie good citizenship.

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

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

Appreciate the importance of physical fitness
in maintaining good health.

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

Develop mental management abilities.

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

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

Candidates sound off on JROTC
Board of Education race
by Roger Brigham

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

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

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

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

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

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Drums Across America for Peace is drumming for Peace
simultaneously across America on December 16, 2006
at 11am PST, 12noon MST, 1pm CST and 2pm EST.

Drumming for Peace includes Peace vs. crime in cities
and rural areas; Peace vs. domestic violence; Peace
vs. violence in schools and in the workplace; Peace
between ethnic groups; Peace among people with
different beliefs; Peace vs. war in Iraq and throughout
the rest of the world.

Drums Across America for Peace is a very simple, yet soul
stirring message that Americans from all walks of life
stand for Peace.

December 16 is a Saturday, when many people may be out
Christmas shopping, but not yet en route for the holidays.
It is a good time for lots of people to hear the drumming and
lots of people to get involved.

Drums Across America for Peace is an opportunity for
the rest of the world to see that thousands upon thousands
of Americans are making a stand for Peace.

The logistics necessary for each city involved are designating
a location or locations, getting a permit and spreading the
word to as many people as possible from all walks of life
to come and drum for 1/2 hour for Peace. This includes
Church groups, Unions, Universities, Hippies, Drum Groups,
anyone and everyone wanting to make a stand for Peace.

This is an action, not an organization, but I am a contact,
so please feel free to contact me at any time.

It is important to begin spreading the word now, so that as many
people as possible will have the opportunity to participate
in drumming for Peace.

Thank you for your assistance, and please feel free to use the text
of this message for any purpose of spreading info for this event.


Marilyn Sjaastad
Jade Screen Clinic


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

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


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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

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

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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


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


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

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

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Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Interested in furthering your knowledge about Palestine
and its people?

Want to help make the Palestinian Right to Return a reality?

Looking for ways to show your support for Palestine and
Palestinian refugees?

Why not shop for a donation at Al-Awda
http://al-awda. org/shop. html
and help support a great organization and cause!!

Al-Awda offers a variety of educational materials including interesting
and unique books on everything from oral histories, photo books
on Palestinian refugees, to autobiographies, narratives, political
analysis, and culture. We also have historical maps of Palestine
(in Arabic and English), educational films, flags of various sizes,
and colorful greeting cards created by Palestinian children.

You can also show your support for a Free Palestine, and wear with
pride, great looking T-shirts, pendants, and a variety of Palestine pins.

Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Visit http://al-awda. org/shop. html for these great items, and more!

The Educational Supplies Division
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
E-mail: info@al-awda. org
WWW: http://al-awda. org

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC), is a broad-
based, non-partisan, democratic, and charitable organization of
grassroots activists and students committed to comprehensive public
education about the rights of all Palestinian refugees to return to their
homes and lands of origin, and to full restitution for all their confiscated
and destroyed property in accordance with the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, International law and the numerous United Nations
Resolutions upholding such rights (see FactSheet). Al-Awda, PRRC
is a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3)
organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the
United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations
to Al-Awda, PRRC are tax-deductible.

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

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

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Stand in solidarity with all immigrants, documented and undocumented

The IAC urges you to support the case of Elvira Arellano. Elvira is
an undocumented worker who is taking a heroic stand against
deportations and fighting for her rights. She is a native of Michoacán,
Mexico who came to the U.S. like many of the other 12 million
undocumented in this country, in search of work and a better life.

In 2002, Elvira was detained by Homeland Security agents in an
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep at O'Hare Airport
in Chicago under the guise of allegedly looking for "terrorists" . She
was detained by the Department of Homeland Security for using
a false social security number on her job at O'Hare.

On August 18, 2006 Elvira Arellano and her seven year old son,
Saul who is a US citizen, took sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist
Church in Chicago instead of reporting for deportation, primarily
because Saul has health problems. She has pledged to live indefinitely
in the church until granted a reprieve.

Elvira is a well known activist, representing many families in
Congressional hearings and speaking on behalf of immigrant rights.
She worked to organize in July 2005 a march of 50,000 for immigrant
rights in Chicago, and went on a hunger strike to support workers who
were picked up by ICE prior to the historic May 1st boycott in 2006.
Arellano was a founder of both La Familia Latina Unida and the
Coalition of African Arab Asian European and Latino Immigrants
of Illinois (CAAAELII).

The case of Elvira Arellano is a just case

Elvira Arellano has become the symbol of resistance to the heartless
and callous deportations that are sweeping the country. Despite
a legislative standstill in Congress, not only are deportations
escalating, local officials around the nation are implementing
de facto immigration policy that amount to a witch-hunt against
immigrants. A case in point is the anti-immigrant ordinance that
passed in July in Hazelton, PA.

Due to her heroic stand, a group of Black ministers spoke last
week at Adalberto Methodist of the comparisons of Arellano
to Rosa Parks. Reverend Albert Tyson said he hopes "their
support would increase the bonds between Latinos and African-
Americans." At the meeting Arellano said, "I don't only speak
for me and my son, but for millions of families like mine."
Supporters from the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood
chanted, "Luchando mano y mano, Boriqua y Mexicano!"
("Fighting hand in hand, Puerto Rican and Mexican!")

Elvira Arellano is the perfect example that the anti-immigrant
hysteria sweeping the country is an inhumane situation that
has become intolerable. The human rights of immigrants are
being cruelly violated under the guise of fighting terrorism
or stopping "illegal" immigration. In fact, no human being
is illegal and whether in the U.S. documented or undocumented,
immigrants have a right to live in peace, without fear of evictions
from their homes or the country.

How you can help Elvira:

1. Write letters to Illinois Senators Richard Durbin and Barack
Obama as well as your own legislator urging them to prevent
her deportation.

For Senator Durbin visit: http://durbin. contact.cfm# contact
For Senator Obama: http://obama. contact/index. php

2. Send Letters to the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune
asking them to stop demonizing Elvira as well as all immigrants.
Their emails are letters@suntimes. com and ctc-tribletter@

3. Send letters of support directly to Elvira at the organization she works
with and who has been spearheading her support, Sin Fronteras
at Centro Sin Fronteras 2300 S. Blue Island Ave., Chicago IL 60608
or visit the website: www.legalizationyes .com .
For Spanish speakers visit:
www.legalizacionsi. com

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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For a great car magnet--a black ribbon with the words, "Bring
the troops home now!" written in red, and it also comes in a
lapel pin!--go to:
(Put out by A.N.S.W.E.R. )
https://secure2. pep/site/ Ecommerce? store_id= 1621

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Essential reading for understanding the development of Zionism
and Israel in the service of British and USA imperialism.
The full text of the book can be found for free at:
http://takingaim. info/hhz/ index.htm

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

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

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

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

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

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http://www.indybay. org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies uslawdocs/ declaration. html decind.html
http://www.usconsti declar.html
http://www.indybay. org/news/ 2006/02/1805195. php

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

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

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1) Govt. Death Squads Ravaging Baghdad
Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail
Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail website

2) A Shorter Path to Citizenship, but Not for All
October 23, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/23/nyregion/ 23citizen. html?ref= us

3) Gang injunction: SF Chronicle responds to SF Bay View
editor@sfbayview. com
http://sfgate. com/cgi-bin/ article.cgi? file=/c/a/ 2006/10/23/ MNGKSLU9MF1. DTL

4) Bush's Family Profits from 'No Child' Act
by Walter F. Roche Jr.
Published on Sunday, October 22, 2006 by the Los Angeles Times
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1022-02.htm

5) 'Flags of Our Fathers'
Clint Eastwood's war drama grippingly tells
the tale behind that photograph from Iwo Jima.
By Kenneth Turan
Times Staff Writer
October 20, 2006
http://www.calendar movies/reviews/ cl-et-flags20oct 20,0,595623. story?coll= cl-

6) Iraq and Your Wallet
Op-Ed Columnist
October 24, 2006

7) Israeli Premier Reaches Out to Far Right
October 24, 2006

8) Border Fence to Divide Three Native American Nations
By Rodrigo Paras; translated from Spanish by Elena Shore
October 6, 2006, New American Media

9) Preventing HIV/AIDS infection: condoms are not the only choice
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann
August 7, 2006

10) Some active-duty troops voice their dissent from U.S. policy in Iraq
By Drew Brown, McClatchy Newspapers
Knight Ridder Washington Bureau
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service
October 24, 2006 Tuesday
Washington Dateline

11) Exxon Reports $10.49 Billion Profit in Quarter
October 26, 2006

12) Draft Iran Resolution Would Restrict Students
The prohibition would ban any training and education of Iranian
citizens if it could eventually contribute to nuclear and ballistic
missile programs. But whether such a ban would extend to all
physics courses, or even to mathematics and other courses,
remained undetermined. [Banning knowledge?]
October 26, 2006

13) A Trojan Horse
Soldiers Of Solidarity, Shotwell
Live Bait & Ammo #83:

14) Bush Signs Bill Ordering Fence on Mexican Border
October 26, 2006

15) Candidates sound off on JROTC
Board of Education race
by Roger Brigham

16) Our friend, brother, and companero, Brad Will was killed today
by paramilitaries in Oxaca Mexico.
"Three people were killed in this assault: IndyMedia photographer Bradely Roland
Will from New York, Section 22 teacher Emilio Alonso Fabian and community
activist Esteban Ruiz. At least 23 others were seriously injured, and are
currently in the hospital. This brings to 14 the number of people who have been
killed on the APPO barricades."...Alan Benjamin

17) Misgivings on the Rise of the Dow
October 28, 2006

Online article at La Jornada:

[This is a member supported site not an official UAW site]
Proud to be Union!
The purpose of this site is to support and inform union members and
promote the overall cause of Unionism and organized labor. We advocate
involvement for the purpose of improving the condition of all working people
and promote the ideal of Unionism to the fullest possible extent.
We do not promote the cessation from any union but we believe that a labor
movement revival will take place through open communication and
membership involvement in the rank and file!
Members for CHANGE!
Popular Activist Sites
GM Gypsy, Future of the Union, Live Bait and Ammo by
Gregg Shotwell, Disgruntled Autoworker, Catholic Worker, Solidarity Now, The Barking Dog
And many others:

20) Businesses Seek New Protection From Litigation
October 29, 2006

21) GAO chief warns economic disaster looms
By MATT CRENSON, AP National Writer
Sat Oct 28, 6:54 PM ET

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1) Govt. Death Squads Ravaging Baghdad
Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail
Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches
Visit the Dahr Jamail website

BAGHDAD, Oct 19 (IPS) - Death squads from the Ministry of Interior
posing as Iraqi police are killing more people than ever in the capital,
emerging evidence shows.

The death toll is high - in all 1,536 bodies were brought to the Baghdad
morgue in September. The health ministry announced last month that it
will build two new morgues in Baghdad to take their capacity to 250
bodies a day.

Many fear a government hand in more killings to come. The U.S. military
has revealed that the 8th Iraqi Police Unit was responsible for the Oct.
1 kidnapping of 26 Sunni food factory workers in the Amil quarter in
southwest Baghdad. The bodies of ten of them were later found in Abu
Chir neighbourhood in the capital.

Minister for the Interior Jawad al-Bolani announced he is suspending the
police unit from official duties, and confining it to base until an
investigation is completed.

But sections of the ministry appear responsible for the abductions and
killing. Ministry of Interior vehicles were used for the kidnapping in
this case, and most men conducting the raid wore Iraqi police uniforms,
except for a few who wore black death squad 'uniforms', witnesses told IPS.

The leader of the police unit is under house arrest and faces
interrogation for this and other crimes, according to an official

"It is for sure that they did it," one of the victim's neighbours told
IPS on condition of anonymity. "The tortured bodies were found the
second day. They came in their official police cars; it is not the first
time that they did something like this. They do it all over Baghdad, and
we hope they will get proper punishment this time."

Men of the police unit meanwhile do not face imminent punishment. "They
are going to be rehabilitated and brought back to service,"
director-general of the Iraqi police Adnan Thabit told IPS.

The Iraqi Islamic Party, the largest Sunni party, blamed militias with
ties to the government and the U.S. military.

"The Iraqi Islamic Party asks how could 26 people, women among them,
have been transported from Amil to Abu Chir through all those Iraqi and
U.S. army checkpoints and patrols," it said in a statement.

The U.S. military has denied any involvement in the killings.

General Yassin al-Dulaimi, deputy minister for the interior, has said on
Iraqi television several times that death squads are composed mainly of
Iraqi police and army units. His comments reflect differing allegiance
and agendas even within the Shia bloc.

General Dulaimi has been trying for long to expose the organised
criminal gangs that have been controlling the ministry since its
formation - a formation that was overseen by U.S. authorities.

Dulaimi says he does not believe that the Shia Badr organisation, a
large, well-armed and funded militia, has complete control over his
ministry. But most residents of Baghdad believe that Badr has complete
control over the Baghdad Order Maintenance police force, and use this
force to carry out sectarian murders. This force is one of several
official security teams in Baghdad.

The force is led by Mehdi al-Gharrawi, who also led similar security
units during the U.S.- led attack on Fallujah in November 2004.

"All criminals who survived the Fallujah crisis after committing
genocide and other war crimes were granted higher ranks," Major Amir
Jassim from the ministry of defence told IPS. "I and many of my
colleagues were not rewarded because we disobeyed orders to set fire to
people's houses (in Fallujah) after others looted them."

Jassim said the looting and burning of homes in Fallujah during the
November siege was ordered from the ministries of interior and defence.

"Now they want to do the same things they did in Fallujah in all Sunni
areas so that they ignite a civil war in Iraq," said Jassim, referring
to the Shia-dominated ministries. "A civil war is the only guarantee for
them to stay in power, looting such incredible amounts of money."

Another official with the ministry of defence, Muntather al-Samarraii,
told IPS that both Iran and "collaborators" within the Ministry of
Interior are to blame for the widespread sectarian killings..

"I have lists of thousands of corruption cases from within my ministry,
and other files to expose to the world," he said, "But the world is not
listening. When it does, I am afraid it is going to be too late."

A police officer in Samarraii's office, speaking on condition of
anonymity, told IPS that he believed that murderers would not be
punished for their crimes.

"They will reward them, believe me, and give them higher ranks," he
said. "This is a country that will never stand back on its feet as long
as these killers are in power. And the Americans are supporting them by
allowing their convoys to move during curfew hours."

While there is little evidence of direct U.S. involvement, questions
have arisen over what the U.S. forces have done - or not done - to
encourage such killings.

A UN human rights report released September last year held interior
ministry forces responsible for an organised campaign of detentions,
torture and killings. It reported that special police commando units
accused of carrying out the killings were recruited from Shia Badr and
Mehdi militias, and trained by U.S. forces.

Retired Col. James Steele, who served as advisor on Iraqi security
forces to then U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte supervised the training
of these forces.

Steele was commander of the U.S. military advisor group in El Salvador
1984-86, while Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to nearby Honduras
1981-85. Negroponte was accused of widespread human rights violations by
the Honduras Commission on Human Rights in 1994. The Commission reported
the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers.

The violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by
operatives trained by the CIA, according to a CIA working group set up
in 1996 to look into the U.S. role in Honduras.

The CIA records document that his "special intelligence units," better
known as "death squads," comprised CIA-trained Honduran armed units
which kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of people suspected of
supporting leftist guerrillas.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail

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2) A Shorter Path to Citizenship, but Not for All
October 23, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/23/nyregion/ 23citizen. html?ref= us

Beverly Lindsay, a Jamaican-born practical nurse who has made
her home in New York for 26 years, filed for citizenship in June
with the help of her union, and prepared for a long wait. After all,
as recently as a year ago, the United States government
acknowledged a huge backlog in such applications, and
estimated that processing typically took almost a year and
a half in New York — triple the wait in San Antonio or Phoenix.

But a mere three months and 10 days after Ms. Lindsay applied,
she was sworn in as a citizen. "I'm proud, and I'm happy I'm
going to vote in November," said Ms. Lindsay, 49.

Her success, however, underscores the frustration of Sophia
McIntosh, another New Yorker from Jamaica who applied
for citizenship through the same health care workers union
program three years ago. Not only is she still waiting, but
her case is also now among at least 960,000 immigrant
applications pending nationwide that federal officials have
simply stopped counting as part of their backlog —
a backlog they had pledged to eliminate by this month.

"It's not fair," said Ms. McIntosh, 34, a nursing assistant
and mother of two, who has been a legal resident of the
United States since 1992. "I did all the right things.
I want to be able to have a voice in this country."

Until recently, the glut of pending cases was so large that
President Bush's vow in 2001 to cut the standard wait
to six months or less nationwide seemed unreachable.
Now immigration officials say they have more than met
that goal, shrinking the average wait to five months for
a citizenship decision. And no district shows more dramatic
improvement than New York, where the wait has officially
shrunk to 2.8 months.

But the numbers are not quite as rosy as they seem. To
accomplish their mission, officials at the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services explain, they identified
and stopped counting thousands of backlogged cases that
they now define as outside the agency's control, mostly
those delayed by unexplained lags in standard security
clearances by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The result is a two-tier system. More applicants than
ever are receiving a decision in record time, in part
because of an influx of temporary workers working for
the agency and new efficiencies. But others are still
falling into the system's black holes, joining thousands
who have been waiting for years, but are now off the
map. While praising the agency's improvements,
immigrant advocates contend that officials have
manipulated the figures to declare victory and made
it harder to seek redress.

Behind the clash over the agency's new math are anxieties
heightened by the immigration debate and looming
elections, advocates and officials said. Legal residents
who lack the security of citizenship feel more vulnerable
to deportation these days and deprived when they cannot
vote. And the immigration agency is under political
pressure to show that it can handle any new programs
without derailing old ones.

"Why should we be faulted for sitting on cases that we
aren't sitting on?" asked Emilio T. Gonzalez, director of
Citizenship and Immigration Services, which now takes
responsibility for fewer than 140,000 of the 1.1 million
immigrant applications that it identifies as pending for
more than six months.

Mr. Gonzalez added that he would soon seek "significant"
fee increases to cover the costs of processing applications.
The agency is losing many of the 1,200 temporary
employees who helped speed lagging cases under
a four-year Congressional grant that ended Sept. 30.

But to Laura Burdick, a national deputy director of Catholic
Legal Immigration Network, raising the fees would only
compound the inequity experienced by those who have
nothing to show for what they pay — for a citizenship
application, the cost is now almost $400. As for the
change in the way cases are counted, she added,
"It makes you just question the validity of any of the
information they're giving us."

Data supplied by the government to The New York
Times showed some unusual fluctuations. The New
York office, for example, has long had the largest
pending citizenship caseload in the nation, averaging
about 100,000 through much of 2004 and 2005. The
estimated wait for a decision was more than 16 months
in October 2005. But a month later, it dropped to nine
months, and 33,240 applications vanished from the
count of pending cases.

Christopher Bentley, a spokesman for Citizenship and
Immigration Services, said a physical inventory conducted
for the first time in three years had revealed that the
agency had overcounted its backlog by more than
33,000 cases. "The really good news is the vast majority
of those cases were cases that had already been completed,"
he said.

Temporary workers were deployed to help from as far
away as Texas and Nebraska, Mr. Bentley added, and
the remaining caseload in New York shrank to 33,017 by
July. New definitions deducted 10,663 more city cases as
being outside the agency's control, which cut the estimated
wait for the remaining 22,354 to less than three months.
Such calculations have puzzled Crystal Williams, deputy
director of programs for the American Immigration Lawyers

"I really don't understand why they're doing this," she said,
"because they have accurate good news to give: They have
improved enormously. But it's pretty obvious to anyone who
has observed this process for any amount of time that they
are playing with the numbers."

She added, "All these cases they aren't counting still have
to be adjudicated — it's not like they've gone away."

Thousands of applicants are being omitted from the backlog
for reasons other than security checks, usually because the
agency has asked for more information, the applicants are
awaiting a second interview or a local court has not yet
scheduled an oath of allegiance.

But delays in conducting security clearances are especially
frustrating for applicants. Lorenzo Zepeda, 38, who
immigrated from El Salvador at 18 and worked his way
up from pot washer to head chef at a nursing home in
Woodmere, N.Y., applied for citizenship almost three
years ago.

"We already write, like, 10 letters to them; we never get
no answer back," said Mr. Zepeda, who is married to an
American. The couple are expecting a child in April.
"I really love this country. I want to make decisions in
this country. And I'm paying my taxes like everybody else."

Also still waiting are a number of Iraqi Kurds who arrived
in the United States a decade ago as political refugees,
settled in Nashville and were interviewed by the F.B.I.
before the Iraq war as experts loyal to the United States.

One refugee, Hadi Gardi, 49, says he teaches Arabic and
Kurdish to American soldiers at an Army base in Georgia.
He passed background checks for that job, as he did for
earlier ones dating to his work as a translator for Americans
in Iraq. His wife gained citizenship last October. But though
he applied when she did, he is still waiting, told only that
the F.B.I. is checking his name.

"I lost so many opportunities, " he said, referring to
government jobs that were open only to citizens. He
added that he had made fruitless appeals to his

By law, applicants who are not given the citizenship oath
120 days after passing the interview can seek a court order
compelling government action. Such suits have pushed the
authorities to expedite some security name checks that had
been languishing, including cases of elderly and disabled
refugees who have to naturalize within seven years or lose
government aid.

But in May, citing national security concerns, Citizenship
and Immigration Services closed off that path by ordering
district offices not to hold interviews until clearances
were completed.

Last month, in court papers seeking the dismissal of
a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of stymied applicants
in New York, lawyers for the government provided a rare
window into the F.B.I.'s National Name Check Program,
giving insight on why the process can take so long.

The first step involves a computerized search of the F.B.I.'s
Universal Index of 94.6 million records for all mentions
of a name, a close date of birth and a Social Security
number. Different permutations of the name are tried,
like the first and middle name only. Nearly a third of
naturalization cases come back as having a potential match.

Most of those are cleared up within three months through
a search of computer databases. But in 10 percent of all
cases, the possible reference is in paper records created
before automation in October 1995 and in one of 265
possible locations. F.B.I. analysts must retrieve and
review records to see whether the information actually
pertains to the same individual and is derogatory.

"Common names (such as Mohammed, Singh, or Smith)
may result in hundreds of potential matches," government
lawyers wrote. "The sheer volume of the requests has also
resulted in delays."

Immigration name checks compete not only with those
needed for counterintelligence , but also with a growing
number sought by government agencies before they
bestow a privilege, like attendance at a White House
function. Demand has risen drastically, from 2.5 million
requests a year before Sept. 11, 2001, to more than 3.7
million in fiscal year 2005. Among those still unresolved
are more than 400,000 immigrant name checks dating
to December 2002.

Still, more recent applications are moving so fast that
the citizenship program at the health care workers union
has doubled the size of its annual celebration, said Celeste
Douglass, the coordinator. "People want the safe status
of a U.S. citizen," she added. "That six-month turnaround
is really starting to happen. Now, how do we get those
cases out of the backlog?"

Jo Craven McGinty contributed reporting.

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

3) Gang injunction: SF Chronicle responds to SF Bay View
editor@sfbayview. com
http://sfgate. com/cgi-bin/ article.cgi? file=/c/a/ 2006/10/23/ MNGKSLU9MF1. DTL

San Francisco City Hall is throwing its full weight against Bayview
Hunters Point, a proud though poor neighborhood that is 91
percent people of color. The same City Attorney who last month
threw out the signatures of over 33,000 San Franciscans on our
referendum petition to stop the Redevelopment Agency from
taking control of our neighborhood, now seeks to criminalize
an undetermined number - perhaps all - of the young Black
men in one of the neighborhood' s public housing developments.

Only two stories have appeared so far about City Attorney
Dennis Herrera's "gang injunction." The one on the front page
of this morning's Chronicle acknowledges that it was written
in response to a story that "a Bayview community activist wrote
about (the issue) late last week" - no doubt the story on the
front page of this week's Bay View. "Herrera said he had
planned to wait for the judge's ruling to make an
announcement, " the Chronicle reports. So much for
the public's right to know. Both stories are reprinted below.

The word in the community is that the young people
targeted by this "gang injunction" - the DA refers to them
as "urban terrorists" - are the neighborhood peacemakers,
who have been negotiating a truce among neighboring
groups. But because San Francisco is hellbent to
repeople Bayview Hunters Point, to sweep Blacks
and other people of color out of this neighborhood that
is blessed with the city's best views and sunniest climate,
City Hall is declaring war on peacemakers. An end to the
violence would slow down the repeopling process -
violence not only sends many away to prison or the
graveyard but it drives out families who fear for their safety.

Ironically, the day the City Attorney filed his "gang
injunction," Sept. 27, 2006, was 40 years to the day
from the outbreak of the 1966 Hunters Point Uprising
that brought National Guard troops and tanks down on
the neighborhood and alerted the world to police brutality
in Hunters Point. On that day, the SFPD fatally shot Matthew
Johnson, 16, in the back on Navy Road , pinning him against
the fence that still divides the Oakdale housing project
from the Hunters Point Shipyard - in exactly the zone
where the City Attorney now plans to criminalize young
Black men.

A strong movement is once again arising in Bayview
Hunters Point to fight back. We'll do our best to keep
you posted. For your part, please, before the hearing
on Oct. 30, contact City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera at City
Hall Room 234, San Francisco CA 94102 , (415) 554-4700,
fax (415) 554-4745, cityattorney@, site/cityattorne y_index.asp? id=455,
and tell him what you think.

Now, here are the two stories, first the Bay View's,
then the Chronicle's.

Alert! Gang injunction: 300 Black men targeted
by Damone Hale, Esq.

On Oct. 30, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera
will ask the San Francisco Superior Court to issue a civil
gang injunction prohibiting hundreds of young Black
men from engaging in a number of legal activities within
an area he describes as a "safety zone." Similar injunctions
have been implemented and others are being considered
by courts throughout the state and country.

On Sept. 29, Herrera quietly announced that his first
target for the injunction program would be alleged
members of the "Oakdale Mob." As many as 300 young
Black men could be impacted by this injunction. The
area covered by the proposed civil gang injunction
is bounded by Navy Road to the north, Palou to the
south, Griffith to the east and Ingalls to the west.

Recently, in Yolo County , southwest of Sacramento ,
the court issued an injunction without notice to the
people affected, except one member who lived out
of the county. The injunction targeted members of
a Hispanic gang called the "Broderick Boys." The
injunction prohibits the named members within
a three-mile "safety zone" from hanging out together,
wearing certain colors and clothing, being outside
after 10 p.m. – a lifetime curfew – and other activities.

Yolo County residents say their community has been
torn apart by the injunction. "Friends and family members
can no longer go to family barbecues or attend each
other's children's birthday parties," said community
activist Martha Garcia. "They can't go to the movies
together. They can't attend night school because
classes get out after the curfew. This injunction
harms the quality of life of our community."

Last Dec. 5, City Attorney Herrera announced the City's
intention to seek a civil gang injunction. One of the
criticisms in other counties – which Herrera presumably
has consulted – is the lack of community involvement
in the development of the injunction. In nearly 11 months,
Dennis Herrera, who received significant political support
from the impacted community, intentionally chose not
to include that community in the development
of the injunction.

This is particularly troubling because so many of our
respected residents, community leaders, organizations
and the faith community have been waging a war
on the causes of crime and violence and the barriers
to reducing it.

"Enough is enough," Mr. Herrera. We demand to be at
the table when the decisions are made. If our community
decides to support such a program, then we demand
to be at the table to decide the policy and procedures
for such a program.

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

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

Civil gang injunctions may give communities "short-term
relief," but the costs of such a program are potentially
astronomical – assuming the City is serious about its
implementation. In the first study of the impact of civil
gang injunctions, researchers at UC Irvine and the University
of Southern California reported that injunctions provide
short-term benefits, such as reducing residents' fear
of run-ins with gang members.

However, the study recognized that "more significant
changes in the community take root slowly over time,
and that additional efforts by officials and community
members in the wake of an injunction could significantly
increase the positive effects."

Another researcher, Jeffrey Grogger, a professor in
UCLA's Department of Policy Studies, published the
country's best-known and oft-quoted study on the
effectiveness of gang injunctions. Grogger's study,
which looked at 14 gang injunctions implemented
in Los Angeles , Pasadena and Long Beach between
1993 and 1998, determined that injunctions reduced
violent crime by an average of 5-10 percent in the
year after they were implemented.

A southern California newspaper reported that its
review of the impact of a local gang injunction showed
that nearly 80 percent of the gang members named
in that injunction had been convicted of at least one
crime since the injunctions were imposed. More
than half of those convicted committed crimes
in the injunctions' target neighborhoods, indicating
that gang members neither ended their criminal acts
nor moved away after being served with court orders
to do so.

What is the estimated cost to taxpayers for such
a program? Not just the cost for enforcement but
the cost for career planning, childcare, record
expungements, employment and job training, mental
health and substance abuse services, housing etc.
No cost-benefit analysis has been conducted by the
City Controller's office.

This injunction program should be vetted by our
entire City deliberative process. Supervisor Sophie
Maxwell has been holding meeting for months on
the topic of gang and gun violence. Such a potentially
widespread City policy should be reviewed and
endorsed at the very least by the affected communities,
police commission members, mayor and Board
of Supervisors.

Instead of an inclusive process, Herrera relied
on the SFPD and other law enforcement agencies
that have no credibility with our community. Herrera
chose to pursue a City policy that confers "second
class" status on hundreds of Black men without
involving the community in the development
of the gang injunction. Enough is enough.

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

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

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

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

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

Enough is enough.

Contact City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera at City
Hall Room 234, San Francisco CA 94102 ,
(415) 554-4700, fax (415) 554-4745,
cityattorney@, site/cityattorne y_index.asp? id=455.

Damone Hale, Esq., is a community attorney who
served nearly 15 years with the Community Defenders
Office in Bayview Hunters Point representing residents
in criminal, dependency and school hearings. Born
and raised in Compton, he moved up north to attend
college. While he has served for over 10 years on the
San Francisco Juvenile Probation Commission, his
greatest honor has been working with community
members to provide activities for hundreds of our
youth. He boasts of many hours working with parents
and community members to plan for cheer, basketball,
bowling and flag football competitions, taking kids on
trips to Hawaii, Texas, Massachusetts, New York and
Nevada and providing them with active and positive
adult role models. He holds three degrees and is
determined to throw his weight around for his
People and his Community. He can be reached
by email at Dhale2323@yahoo. com.

S.F. city attorney wants to create gang-free zone
Injunction would put 4 blocks of Hunters Point off limits
- Demian Bulwa, Carrie Sturrock, Chronicle Staff Writers
Monday, October 23, 2006

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is seeking
the city's first civil injunction against a street gang,
asserting that a court order is needed to protect
Bayview-Hunters Point residents from criminals
who commute there to sell drugs and kill rivals
and witnesses.

Herrera wants Oakdale Mob members, who
allegedly terrorize the public housing development
known as Oakdale, to face jail time if they're outside
after 10 p.m. or hang out together in public in
a four-block "safety zone."

The injunction also would bar them from committing
a variety of crimes such as trespassing, intimidating
witnesses, painting graffiti and stashing guns
in bushes and crawl spaces.

Similar injunctions have been used for more than
two decades in cities across the country, including
Los Angeles, San Jose and West Sacramento, where
they have fueled passionate debate between law
enforcement officials and civil rights advocates.
Herrera, who in December announced his intention
to seek gang injunctions, said Sunday that they are
an extension of his duty to stamp out public nuisances.
He said he was responding to a raft of complaints from
residents affected by recent surges of violence. There
were 96 homicides last year in San Francisco,
a 10-year high.

"The Oakdale Mob is a public menace that has terrorized
the community for too long with murders, carjackings,
robberies and drug dealing, and the community
is demanding a response," said Herrera, whose plan
was unanimously supported by the Board
of Supervisors in April.

Herrera sued the Oakdale Mob as a business -- albeit
one without a license -- on Sept. 27 and served legal
notice to three of 22 men he named in his complaint.
A hearing on his request for a temporary injunction
in the case is set for Oct. 30.

Michael Risher, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney,
said Sunday that his group may help fight the injunction,
though he said Herrera's request is "limited in scope."
In some cities, injunctions have covered wide geographic
areas and outlawed even the use of pagers.

Risher said proponents of such measures have not
proved them effective.

"If the authorities are convinced (the alleged gang members)
are committing crimes, they have every right to arrest them
for those crimes," Risher said. "That's the traditional way
we approach crime, and it does afford people a presumption
of innocence."

The key benefit of an injunction is that it can prevent
crime from happening at all, said Deputy City Attorney
Machaela Hoctor.

Critics of gang injunctions have said those named in court
orders have had difficulty removing their names, and have
had trouble getting jobs and turning their lives around.

The California Supreme Court upheld the use of gang
injunctions in 1997, ruling that San Jose could use the
tactic in the Rocksprings neighborhood.

Some studies have revealed modest success, at least in the
short term. A UCLA professor, for instance, found that
violent crime decreased from between 5 percent to
10 percent in the first year after gang injunctions were
imposed in 14 Los Angeles County locations targeted
between 1993 and 1998.

The "safety zone" outlined in the San Francisco complaint
is bounded by Navy Road, Griffith Street, Palou Avenue and
Ingalls Street. It includes, among other residences, the
133-unit Oakdale public housing development, three-
story cream buildings with blue trim.

In the neighborhood on Sunday, as kids played outside
and adults fixed cars or waited for the bus -- and police
cruisers frequently passed by -- 60-year-old Robert
Stokes said the injunction would be good for everyone.

"To put it mildly, they're junior gangsters," said Stokes,
who grew up in the neighborhood near the Oakdale
development. "When I see them coming I go the other
way. Anything the city can do would be good. ... Even
if you discourage one of them it's worth it."

At the same time, Stokes said, parents must take more
responsibility for raising children who avoid gangs.
He said city officials should play a role but cannot
go too far.

"You can't be sacrificing civil rights for the greater
good," he said.

Two streets over, Ron Newt, 60, had a different opinion.
The Oakdale Mob, he said, isn't a dangerous gang but
a bunch of kids who are 12 and 13 years old. If city
officials want to make the neighborhood safer, he
said, they should help people get jobs and create
more programs for kids.

"These are wannabes. This is a shell now," Newt said.
"These are not bad kids. ... This is a political move."

Herrera did not announce the case publicly until
a Bayview community activist wrote about it late
last week. Herrera said he had planned to wait for
the judge's ruling to make an announcement.

The alleged gang members missed a deadline
Wednesday to respond to the government action.
In some gang injunctions, the accused never show
up to defend themselves. And there is no legal
requirement that they be represented.

"I certainly hope that the court will appoint counsel
to represent not only the people who have been named,
but people they may name in the future," Risher said.

The lawsuit alleges the gang has about 50 members
who are suspects in at least 12 killings in the past three
years, Hoctor said. All but one lives outside the
neighborhood and commutes from Fairfield,
Vallejo and Daly City, where some have bought
homes, she said.

In the court papers, Hoctor included pages of allegations
against each accused member, including one who
allegedly brandished an assault weapon in a low-
budget documentary.

If the court order is put in place and an alleged gang
member violates it, Hoctor said, that person could
be held in civil contempt and jailed for up to five
days for each violation, or charged with a misdemeanor
and sentenced to up to six months.

The alleged gang members include Deonte Bennett
and Daniel Dennard, who were indicted this year for
murder and attempted murder in a September 2005
Bayview district shooting that killed a man and
injured a bystander.

The bystander, Terrell Rollins, became the key witness
in the case but was later shot dead by masked men
in what authorities and family members fear was
retaliation for his cooperation. He was 22.

E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle. com.

Page A - 1

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4) Bush's Family Profits from 'No Child' Act
by Walter F. Roche Jr.
Published on Sunday, October 22, 2006 by the Los Angeles Times
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1022-02.htm

A company headed by President Bush's brother and partly owned
by his parents is benefiting from Republican connections and
federal dollars targeted for economically disadvantaged students
under the No Child Left Behind Act.
Published on Sunday, October 22, 2006 by the Los Angeles Times
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1022-02.htm

With investments from his parents, George H.W. and Barbara Bush,
and other backers, Neil Bush's company, Ignite! Learning, has placed
its products in 40 U.S. school districts and now plans to market

At least 13 U.S. school districts have used federal funds available
through the president's signature education reform, the No Child
Left Behind Act of 2001, to buy Ignite's portable learning centers
at $3,800 apiece.

The law provides federal funds to help school districts better
serve disadvantaged students and improve their performance,
especially in reading and math.

But Ignite does not offer reading instruction, and its math
program will not be available until next year.

The federal Department of Education does not monitor individual
school district expenditures under the No Child program, but sets
guidelines that the states are expected to enforce, spokesman
Chad Colby said.

Ignite executive Tom Deliganis said that "some districts seem
to feel OK" about using No Child money for the Ignite purchases,
"and others do not."

Neil Bush said in an e-mail to The Times that Ignite's program
had demonstrated success in improving the test scores
of economically disadvantaged children. He also said political
influence had not played a role in Ignite's rapid growth.

"As our business matures in the USA we have plans to expand
overseas and to work with many distinguished individuals
in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa," he wrote. "Not one
of these associates by the way has ever asked for any access
to either of my political brothers, not one White House tour,
not one autographed photo, and not one Lincoln bedroom
overnight stay."

Funding laws unclear

Interviews and a review of school district documents obtained
under the Freedom of Information Act found that educators
and legal experts were sharply divided over whether Ignite's
products were worth their cost or qualified under the No Child

The federal law requires schools to show they are meeting
educational standards, or risk losing critical funding. If students
fail to meet annual performance goals in reading and math tests,
schools must supplement their educational offerings with tutoring
and other special programs.

Leigh Manasevit, a Washington attorney who specializes in federal
education funding, said that districts using the No Child funds
to buy products like Ignite's would have to meet "very strict"
student eligibility requirements and ensure that the Ignite
services were supplemental to existing programs.

Known as COW, for Curriculum on Wheels (the portable learning
centers resemble cows on wheels), Ignite's product line is geared
toward middle school social studies, history and science. The company
says it has developed a social studies program that meets curriculum
requirements in seven states. Its science program meets requirements
in six states.

Most of Ignite's business has been obtained through sole-source
contracts without competitive bidding. Neil Bush has been directly
involved in marketing the product.

In addition to federal or state funds, foundations and corporations
have helped buy Ignite products. The Washington Times Foundation,
backed by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, head of the South Korea-based
Unification Church, has peppered classrooms throughout Virginia
with Ignite's COWs under a $1-million grant.

Oil companies and Middle East interests with long political ties to
the Bush family have made similar bequests. Aramco Services Co.,
an arm of the Saudi-owned oil company, has donated COWs to
schools, as have Apache Corp., BP and Shell Oil Co.

Neil Bush said he is a businessman who does not attempt to exert
political influence, and he called The Times' inquiries about his
venture — made just before the election — "entirely political."

Big supporters

Bush's parents joined Neil as Ignite investors in 1999, according
to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents. By 2003,
the records show, Neil Bush had raised about $23 million from
more than a dozen outside investors, including Mohammed
Al Saddah, the head of a Kuwaiti company, and Winston Wong,
the head of a Chinese computer firm.

Most recently he signed up Russian fugitive business tycoon
Boris A. Berezovsky and Berezovsky's partner Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Barbara Bush has enthusiastically supported Ignite. In January 2004,
she and Neil Bush were guests of honor at a $1,000-a-table fundraiser
in Oklahoma City organized by a foundation supporting the Western
Heights School District. Proceeds were earmarked for the purchase
of Ignite products.

Organizer Mary Blankenship Pointer said she planned the event
because district students were "utilizing Ignite courseware and
experiencing great results. Our students were thriving."

However, Western Heights school Supt. Joe Kitchens said the district
eventually dropped its use of Ignite because it disagreed with
changes Ignite had made in its products. "Our interest waned
in it," he said.

The former first lady spurred controversy recently when she
contributed to a Hurricane Katrina relief foundation for storm
victims who had relocated to Texas. Her donation carried one
stipulation: It had to be used by local schools for purchases
of COWs.

Texas accounts for 75% of Ignite's business, which is expanding
rapidly in other states, Deliganis said.

The company also has COWs deployed in North Carolina,
Virginia, Nevada, California, the District of Columbia, Georgia
and Florida, he said.

COWs recently showed up at Hill Classical Middle School
in California's Long Beach Unified School District. A San Jose
middle school also bought Ignite's products but has since closed.

Neil Bush said Ignite has more than 1,700 COWs in classrooms.

Shift in strategy

But Ignite's educational strategy has changed dramatically,
and some are critical of its new approach. Shortly after Ignite
was formed in Austin, Texas, in 1999, it bought the software
developed by another small Austin firm, Adaptive Learning

Adaptive Learning founder Mary Schenck-Ross said the
software's interactive lessons allowed teachers "to get away
from the mass-treatment approach" to education. When
a student typed in a response to a question, the software
was designed to react and provide a customized learning path.

"The original concept was to avoid 'one size fits all.' That
was the point," said Catherine Malloy, who worked on the
software development.

Two years ago, however, Ignite dropped the individualized
learning approach. Working with artists and illustrators,
it created a large purple COW that could be wheeled from
classroom to classroom and plugged in, offering lessons
that could be played to a roomful of students.

The COWs enticed students with catchy jingles and videos
featuring cartoon characters like Mr. Bighead and Norman
Einstein. On Ignite's website, a collection of teachers
endorsed the COW, saying that it eliminated the need
for lesson planning. The COW does it for them.

The developers of Adaptive Learning's software complain
that Ignite replaced individualized instruction with a gimmick.

"It breaks my heart what they have done. The concept was
totally perverted," Schenck-Ross said.

Nevertheless, Ignite found many receptive school districts.
In Texas, 30 districts use COWs.

In Houston, where Neil Bush and his parents live, the district
has used various funding sources to acquire $400,000
in Ignite products. An additional $240,000 in purchases
has been authorized in the last six months.

Correspondence obtained by The Times shows that Neil
Bush met with top Houston officials, sent e-mails and left
voice mail messages urging bigger and faster allocations.
An e-mail from a school procurement official to colleagues
said Bush had made it clear that he had a "good working
relationship" with a school board member.

Another Ignite official asked a Texas state education official
to endorse the company. In an e-mail, Neil Bush's partner
Ken Leonard asked Michelle Ungurait, state director
of social studies programs, to tell Houston officials her
"positive impressions of our content, system and approach."

Ungurait, identified in another Leonard e-mail as "our good
friend" at the state office, told her superiors in response
to The Times' inquiry that she never acted on Leonard's

Leonard said he did not ask Ungurait to do anything that
would be improper.

Houston school officials gave Ignite's products "high"
ratings in eight categories and recommended approval.

Some in Houston's schools question the expenditures,
however. Jon Dansby was teaching at Houston's Fleming
Middle School when Ignite products arrived.

"You can't even get basics like paper and scissors, and we
went out and bought them. I just see red," he said.

In Las Vegas, the schools have approved more than
$300,000 in Ignite purchases. Records show the board
recommended spending $150,000 in No Child funding
on Ignite products.

Sources familiar with the Las Vegas purchases said pressure
to buy Ignite products came from Sig Rogich, an influential
local figure and prominent Republican whose fundraising
of more than $200,000 for President Bush's 2004 reelection
campaign qualified him as a "Bush Ranger."

Rogich, who chairs a foundation that supports local schools,
said he applied no pressure but became interested in COWs
after Neil Bush contacted him. Rogich donated $6,000
to purchase two COWs for a middle school named after him.

Christy Falba, the former Clark County school official who
oversaw the contracts, said she and her husband attended
a dinner with Neil Bush to discuss the products. She said
Rogich encouraged the district "to look at the Ignite
program" but applied no pressure.

Mixed reviews

Few independent studies have been done to assess the
effectiveness of Ignite's teaching strategies. Neil Bush said
the company had gotten "great feedback" from educators
and planned to conduct a "major scientifically valid study"
to assess the COW's impact. The results should be in by
next summer, he said.

Though Ignite's products get generally rave reviews from
Texas educators, the opinion is not universal.

The Tornillo, Texas, Independent School District no longer
uses the Ignite programs it purchased several years ago
for $43,000.

"I wouldn't advise anyone else to use it," said Supt. Paul
Vranish. "Nobody wanted to use it, and the principal who
bought it is no longer here."

Ignite's website features glowing videotaped testimonials
from teachers, administrators, students and parents.

Many of the videos were shot at Del Valle Junior High School
near Austin, where school district officials allowed Ignite
to film facilities and students.

In the video, a student named India says: "I was feeling bad
about my grades. I didn't know what my teacher was talking
about." The COW changed everything, the girl's father says
on the video.

Lori, a woman identified as India's teacher, says the child
was not paying attention until the COW was brought in.

The woman, however, is not India's teacher, but Lori Anderson,
a former teacher and now Ignite's marketing director. Ignite
says Anderson was simply role-playing.

In return for use of its students and facilities, a district
spokeswoman said Ignite donated a free COW. Five others
were purchased with district funds.

District spokeswoman Celina Bley acknowledged that regulations
bar school officials from endorsing products. But she said that
restriction did not apply to the videos.

"It is illegal for individuals to make an endorsement, but this
was a districtwide endorsement, " Bley said in an e-mail.

© Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times

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

5) 'Flags of Our Fathers'
Clint Eastwood's war drama grippingly tells
the tale behind that photograph from Iwo Jima.
By Kenneth Turan
Times Staff Writer
October 20, 2006
http://www.calendar movies/reviews/ cl-et-flags20oct 20,0,595623. story?coll= cl-

[With public support for Washington's war invasion and occupation of
Iraq tanking, Clint Eastwood's new movie, to be followed by a parallel
film showing the same battle from the Japanese point of view, could
not be more timely and helpful. Far from being a propaganda product
aimed at demonstrating imperialism' s virtue, the picture illustrates, in
a sharp but non-didactic manner, the human cost of modern warfare.

It's a picture designed to make you think, not to rally round the flag
and rush off to sign up for the military. The iconic image of the U.S.
soldiers planting the United States flag on Japanese national soil is
one they wouldn't use today. The Japanese were overwhelmed by
massive U.S. firepower, but the decisive end was brought about by
the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Resistance
to the U.S. invasion and occupation soon collapsed. The image itself
was staged, as the movie shows, as it helps the viewer to understand
the political impact of such propaganda in a troubled nation.

What marks Eastwood's film as of such urgent importance at this very
moment is the way it demonstrates, with a modern understanding, the
way spin-doctoring was mobilized so effectively by Washington as the
Second World War drew to a close. The film tells us that the popular
support for that war was winding down, and funding was drying up at
that conjuncture. Today's audiences know more about the methods
used to manufacture consent, thought the process of manufacturing
it has continued to be effectively used by Washington, up until today.

Military resistance in Japan vanished, and the country was occupied
by the United States, which wrote its constitution and set up Japan's
political system. In today's Iraq, by contrast, armed resistance to the
U.S. occupation has steadily expanded and deepened, the opposite of
what happened in Japan. The same is happening in Afghanistan today.
Of course, that's exactly what Washington did to Cuba a century ago.

Perhaps it's because it's been sixty years since World War II, but it's
also because people in the United States don't have the confidence
they did at that time in such institutions as the media, the church
and the government itself in general. Can we imagine any director
TODAY trying to make a movie about Iraq, FROM THE VIEWPOINT
OF THE IRAQI RESISTANCE? That difference is what makes Clint
Eastwood's movie so timely, especially for United States audiences.

The crude racism expressed toward the Native American Ira Hayes
at various points in the film, which would not be used in a film about
present-day conflicts, is eloquently documented in Eastwood'd movie.
That will surely be written about separately.

This image itself, and many others which have been manipulated for
political purposes, is fiscussed in the fascinating book PHOTO FAKERY:
The History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation
by Dino A. Brugioni, a founder of the CIA's National Phograophic Inter-
pretation Center, published in 1999.

This conflict between the reality of the flag-raising and the image the
government insisted on projecting for its own needs (a conflict that
including refusing to correct a misidentification of one of the dead
flag-raisers) is the "Flags of Our Fathers" theme that resonates
most pointedly today.

It is interesting to note, in this age of the overblown Jessica Lynch
story and President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" aircraft carrier
speech, that the need to create media heroes and the determination
to use war for political/governmen tal purposes has hardly gone away.
The war in Iraq was likely not high on anyone's mind when this film
was conceptualized, but the echoes of the current conflict turn out
to be inescapable. ...
Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California
Walter Lippmann
walterlx@earthlink. net ]

'Flags of Our Fathers'
Clint Eastwood's war drama grippingly tells
the tale behind that photograph from Iwo Jima.
By Kenneth Turan
Times Staff Writer
October 20, 2006
http://www.calendar movies/reviews/ cl-et-flags20oct 20,0,595623. story?coll= cl-

"Flags of Our Fathers" is a story of extremes. It's the story of great
heroism on a tiny island, of a photograph taken in 1/400th of a second that wreaked
havoc with the lives of everyone in it and influenced the course of a war.

It's also a very American tale, set 60 years ago but startlingly relevant today,
which intertwines and often contrasts bravery and chicanery, idealism and disillusion,
war and propaganda, truth and national security. This sad true story wrings you
out emotionally because it's concerned with both the deaths of young men in
battle and what happens when the needs of those who survive clash with what society
expects and politics demands.

A narrative like this requires a measured, classical style to be most effective,
and it couldn't have found a better director than Clint Eastwood. After two
best picture Oscars, 26 films behind the camera and more than 50 years as an actor,
Clint Eastwood knows a gripping story and how to tell it. He found this one in James
Bradley's book about the celebrated Feb. 23, 1945, flag-raising on Iwo Jima,
a narrative that was nearly a year on the New York Times bestseller list and has
3 million copies in print.

Bradley (who co-wrote the book with Ron Powers) was not a disinterested World War
II historian. His father, Navy corpsman John "Doc" Bradley, was the only
non-Marine of the six men who raised the flag and figured in Joe Rosenthal's
iconic photograph.

Bradley was also one of the three who survived perhaps the most hellish battle of
the war only to be brought back to the U.S. and exhibited like a prize heifer in
a crucial war bonds tour, nicknamed the Mighty 7th, which saw the raising of an
unprecedented and much-needed $26.3 billion for the war effort. The author's
quest to understand how that unnerving combination of experiences whipsawed his
father and his comrades is the engine that powers both the book and this gripping,
emotional film.

Certainly everything about the Iwo Jima firestorm and its aftermath turned out to
be so much larger than life that it led to three previous films, a Johnny Cash song
and the 100-ton statue of the six men that dominates Arlington National Cemetery.

Twenty-seven Congressional Medals of Honor, the most ever for one battle, were earned
on Iwo Jima; one-third of all Marines who died in World War II were killed on that
7 1/2-square-mile island, as were 95% of its 22,000 Japanese defenders, whose story
Eastwood will tell in a parallel film, "Letters From Iwo Jima," to be
released in early 2007.

Making this carnage that much more poignant was the fact that most of it was happening
to boys/men in their teens and early 20s. Eastwood and his casting director, Phyllis
Huffman (who, like veteran production designer Henry Bumstead, died before the film
was released), tried hard to select actors who either were young or looked it. The
result is a strong ensemble that includes Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford and Adam
Beach as the three flag-raising survivors and Barry Pepper as their sergeant.

Written by William Broyles Jr. (himself a former Marine) and Paul Haggis ("Million
Dollar Baby," "Crash"), "Flags of Our Fathers" opts for
an opening that is structurally complex, touching lightly on most of the situations
and viewpoints the film will eventually flesh out.

The first shot is of a young soldier (Phillippe) alone in the devastated lunar landscape
that was Iwo Jima in combat (these sequences were shot in Iceland, which has similar
black sand beaches). This, we learn in seconds, is a recurring dream an elderly
Doc Bradley has of himself on Iwo, desperately looking for the close buddy, Ralph
"Iggy" Ignatowski (Jamie Bell), who he has unaccountably become separated

In addition to Bradley in combat and in retirement, we witness the fuss Rosenthal's
photo, considered perhaps the most reproduced shot in history, made from the moment
it was first seen. And we also get a glimpse of the surreal nature of the ensuing
bond tour; the first flag-raising we see is not the real thing but a garish re-creation
before 100,000 spectators at Chicago's Soldier Field.

We also hear photographer Rosenthal as he attempts to explain why his picture touched
a national nerve. "What we do in war, the cruelty is almost incomprehensible, "
he says. "But somehow we need to make sense of it. The right picture can win
or lose a war. I took a lot of other pictures that day, but none of them made a
difference. Looking it at, you could believe the sacrifice was not a waste."

It's at this point that the men who raised the flag are introduced softly, not
really differentiated from the others in their units. Though "Flags" eventually
shows us all six, it concentrates on experienced Sgt. Mike Strank (Pepper, a veteran
of "Saving Private Ryan") and the three men who will make it back alive.

First among equals is Bradley, the calm, centered undertaker-in- training whose character
is well served by Phillippe's naturally haunted air. Most problematic as a soldier
is handsome Rene Gagnon (Bradford), a.k.a. "our own Tyrone Power," who
literally joined the Marines because he liked the uniform.

Then there is Ira Hayes ("Smoke Signals' " Beach), a Native American
from the Pima tribe, a soldier whose grim experiences putting up with constant prejudicial
put-downs and surviving the most brutal hand-to-hand combat are the emotional heart
of the film. With the Japanese so entrenched in a system of underground bunkers
and tunnels that many Marines never saw an enemy soldier alive, the landing at Iwo
is portrayed, in the film's action centerpiece, as especially devastating in
the "Saving Private Ryan" tradition. As shot by Eastwood veteran Tom Stern,
the battle is pure, pitiless chaos, an unflinchingly graphic look at the split-second
randomness of who stays alive and who is savagely cut down.

Compared with this brutality, the two flag-raisings that took place on Iwo Jima's
Mt. Suribachi (the film is careful to explain this often misunderstood situation)
ended up being no big deal at all, mundane moments that were the equivalent, as
one of the survivors said, of "becoming a hero for putting up a pole."
But that is precisely what happened.

It happened because no one counted on the torrential impact of that photograph,
which, among other things, ended up on 150 million postage stamps. The trio of surviving
flag-raisers are air-lifted back to the States, in Hayes' case very much against
his will, and in effect press-ganged into an extensive public relations tour to
raise that much-needed money.

The bulk of "Flags of our Fathers" cuts back and forth between the tour
and the men's flashbacks to the hellacious combat on Iwo, detailing the reality
the survivors are haunted by, a reality that makes them powerfully uncomfortable
with being lionized for their connection to what they consider to be a misleading

This conflict between the reality of the flag-raising and the image the government
insisted on projecting for its own needs (a conflict that including refusing to
correct a misidentification of one of the dead flag-raisers) is the "Flags
of Our Fathers" theme that resonates most pointedly today.

It is interesting to note, in this age of the overblown Jessica Lynch story and
President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" aircraft carrier speech, that
the need to create media heroes and the determination to use war for political/
purposes has hardly gone away. The war in Iraq was likely not high on anyone's
mind when this film was conceptualized, but the echoes of the current conflict turn
out to be inescapable.

Also inescapable is the wonderful appropriateness of having this thoughtful and
disturbing meditation on the qualities that make up heroism and the quixotic nature
of fame come from a man who made his considerable reputation playing clean-cut heroes.

http://www.calendar movies/reviews/ cl-et-flags20oct 20,0,595623. story?coll= cl-

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6) Iraq and Your Wallet
Op-Ed Columnist
October 24, 2006

For every additional second we stay in Iraq, we taxpayers will end up paying an additional $6,300.

So aside from the rising body counts and all the other good reasons
to adopt a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, here’s another: We are
spending vast sums there that would be better spent rescuing the
American health care system, developing alternative forms of energy
and making a serious effort to reduce global poverty.

In the run-up to the Iraq war, Donald Rumsfeld estimated that the
overall cost would be under $50 billion. Paul Wolfowitz argued that
Iraq could use its oil to “finance its own reconstruction.”

But now several careful studies have attempted to tote up various
costs, and they suggest that the tab will be more than $1 trillion —
perhaps more than $2 trillion. The higher sum would amount to
$6,600 per American man, woman and child.

“The total costs of the war, including the budgetary, social and
macroeconomic costs, are likely to exceed $2 trillion,” Joseph
Stiglitz, the Nobel-winning economist at Columbia, writes
in an updated new study with Linda Bilmes, a public finance
specialist at Harvard. Their report has just appeared in the Milken
Institute Review, as an update on a paper presented earlier this year.

Just to put that $2 trillion in perspective, it is four times the
additional cost needed to provide health insurance for all
uninsured Americans for the next decade. It is 1,600 times
Mr. Bush’s financing for his vaunted hydrogen energy project.

Another study, by two economists at the American Enterprise
Institute, used somewhat different assumptions and came
up with a lower figure — about $1 trillion. Those economists
set up a nifty Web site,,
where you can tinker with the underlying assumptions and
come up with your own personal estimates.

Of course, many of the costs are hidden and haven’t even
been spent yet. For example, more than 3,000 American veterans
have suffered severe head injuries in Iraq, and the U.S. government
will have to pay for round-the-clock care for many of them
for decades. The cost ranges from $600,000 to $5 million
per person.

Then there are disability payments that will continue for a half-
century. Among veterans of the first gulf war — in which ground
combat lasted only 100 hours — 40 percent ended up receiving
disability payments, still costing us $2 billion each year. We don’t
know how many of today’s veterans will claim such benefits, but
in the first quarter of this year more people sought care through
the Department of Veterans Affairs than the Bush administration
had budgeted for the entire year.

The war has also forced the military to offer re-enlistment bonuses
that in exceptional circumstances reach $150,000. Likewise, tanks,
helicopters and other battlefield equipment will have to be replaced
early, since the Pentagon says they are being worn out at up
to six times the peacetime rate.

The administration didn’t raise taxes to pay for the war, so we’re
financing it by borrowing from China and other countries. Those
borrowing costs are estimated to range from $264 billion to
$308 billion in interest.

Then there are economic costs to the nation as a whole. For example,
the price of oil was in the $20- to $30-a-barrel range early
in this decade but has now shot up to more than $50, partly
because of the drop in Iraq’s oil exports and partly because
of war-related instability in the Middle East. Professors Stiglitz
and Bilmes note that if just $10 of the increase is attributable
to the war, that amounts to a $450 billion drag on the economy
over six years.

The bottom line is that not only have we squandered 2,800
American lives and considerable American prestige in Iraq,
but we’re also paying $18,000 per household to do so.

We still face the choice of whether to remain in Iraq indefinitely
or to impose a timetable and withdraw U.S. troops. These studies
suggest that every additional year we keep our troops in Iraq
will add $200 billion to our tax bills.

My vote would be to spend a chunk of that sum instead fighting
malaria, AIDS and maternal mortality, bolstering American schools,
and assuring health care for all Americans. We’re spending
$380,000 for every extra minute we stay in Iraq, and we can
find better ways to spend that money.

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

7) Israeli Premier Reaches Out to Far Right
October 24, 2006

JERUSALEM, Oct. 23 — Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel reached
a deal on Monday to broaden his shaky coalition by adding a far-right
party that seeks to annex parts of the West Bank and to eventually
reduce Israel’s Arab population.

Mr. Olmert’s coalition has been struggling for months, and the latest
move was seen as an attempt to stabilize the faltering government.
But the new right-wing partner — Israel Beiteinu, or Israel Is Our
Home — strongly opposes concessions to the Palestinians.

The prime minister’s decision signals that he is now more concerned
with internal Israeli politics than with initiatives to deal
with the Palestinians.

The prime minister has already indicated that the central theme
of his election campaign, a withdrawal from some Jewish
settlements in the West Bank, has been put on indefinite hold.
The latest development further reinforces that notion.

Also on Monday, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians, at least
three of them militants, in clashes in the northern Gaza Strip,
Palestinian medical workers said. The area has been the scene
of repeated fighting in recent months.

Mr. Olmert overrode opposition from some liberal members
of his coalition to bring in Israel Beiteinu, a party led by Avigdor
Lieberman, 48, a Soviet immigrant who advocates annexing
Jewish settlements in the West Bank and transferring most
Arab citizens of Israel to a future Palestinian state.

The prime minister said he planned to make Mr. Lieberman
a deputy prime minister responsible for “strategic threats”
against Israel, a portfolio that would include monitoring Iran,
which Israel regards as its most dangerous enemy.

The alliance agreed to by Mr. Olmert and Mr. Lieberman
was expected to be formalized with cabinet and parliamentary
approval in the next several days, though it could still face
some opposition, particularly from the left-leaning Labor
Party. Mr. Lieberman reaffirmed his opposition to territorial
concessions, saying that the right has been in power
for most of the past three decades in Israel, but, “We
were unable to prevent withdrawals.”

Mr. Olmert’s centrist Kadima Party was elected just seven
months ago. His center-left coalition government has
not only been reeling since the summer’s inconclusive
war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, but also cannot point
to any significant achievements.

In announcing the deal with Mr. Lieberman, the prime
minister noted that since Israel was founded in 1948,
it has had 31 governments.

“In other words, the average term of office for an Israeli
government has, for a very long time, been less than two
years,” Mr. Olmert said. “Is this reasonable? Is this evidence
of stability? Does it promise continuity?”

While the existing coalition was not in imminent danger
of collapse, it would be tested in coming months
on issues like the approval of the 2007 budget. Budget
deliberations have led to coalition breakups in the past.

Mr. Olmert’s coalition has consisted recently of four
parties that hold 67 of the 120 seats in Parliament. While
this provides a working majority, it would evaporate if any
of the coalition partners left, something that happens
with regularity in Israel’s volatile politics.

Mr. Lieberman’s party holds 11 seats, which would give
the governing coalition 78 seats, or nearly two-thirds
of the Parliament. By bringing a far-right party on board,
Mr. Olmert also hopes to neutralize the other right-wing
factions that account for much of the opposition
in Parliament.

However, the expansion also means that Mr. Olmert’s
new government would span the ideological spectrum,
including liberal, centrist, right-wing and religious parties.
With such divergent factions in the government, Mr. Olmert
would have little or no chance of building consensus about
political solutions to the continuing struggles with the

The left-leaning Labor Party has expressed the strongest
opposition to Israel Beiteinu’s inclusion in the coalition.

Shelly Yacimovich, a Labor Party legislator, said her party
joined the government based on “the desire for a peace
process, the desire for a social-democratic agenda and
for a friendly and egalitarian relationship with Arab Israelis.”
Mr. Lieberman, she said, “represents the complete opposite
of all these things.”

But Isaac Herzog, a Labor lawmaker who serves in the cabinet,
told Israel Radio that his party had “no choice but to remain
in the government, because you have to allow government

In 2004, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dismissed Mr. Lieberman
from his post as transportation minister because he strongly
opposed Mr. Sharon’s plan to withdraw Israeli soldiers
and settlers from Gaza.

The burly Mr. Lieberman immigrated from Moldova in 1978
and was first elected to Parliament in 1999.

His party draws support from the Soviet immigrants who
account for roughly one million of Israel’s seven million
people, and it made a strong showing in the elections in March.

In recent weeks, Mr. Lieberman has pushed a proposal that
would change Israel’s government from a parliamentary
system to a presidential system, similar to that of the
United States.

In the Gaza violence on Monday, Israeli forces waged a gun
battle with a group of armed Palestinians and killed six,
including a man the Israeli military said was Ata Shinbari,
a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, a group
responsible for much of the recent rocket fire out of
northern Gaza.

Mr. Shinbari was among five men in his family in their late
teens or 20’s who were killed in the gun battle, in the town
of Beit Hanun, according to Palestinian medical workers.
Several Palestinians were also wounded.

Taghreed El-Khodary contributed reporting from Gaza.

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

8) Border Fence to Divide Three Native American Nations
By Rodrigo Paras; translated from Spanish by Elena Shore
October 6, 2006, New American Media

(this article originally appeared in Rumbo )

Criticism by Native Americans who Live along the Border

Three Native American nations and 23 tribes live in the

borderlands between the United States and Mexico. The

construction of the border separation fence approved by

Congress will divide in two the ancient history of these


"The land is the place God put us from time immemorial. I

can't imagine that now it will be difficult to visit my

family," because of the construction of the fence, said Louis

Gussac, chief of the Koumeyaay nation located on both sides of

the California border.

These sentences are repeated time and time again on the

reservations' international limits.

The tribes' situation has been difficult since 2001 as a

result of an increase in the Border Patrol, the presence of

National Guard troops in the last four months and narco-

traffic activities in some areas along the border.

O'odham, Cocopah and Kickapoo are the three Native American

nations that will see their culture and land divided by a

fence that is at least five feet tall and, according to

Congress, is expected to be completed in May 2008.

"Although the project is meant to stop the undocumented, it

affects our life," said Gussac.

Texas Has its own History Too

The Kickapoo nation resides in the Eagle Pass area. These

Native Americans see the fence that will be built there as a

tragic sign.

Congress approved a span of the fence that will go from five

miles northwest of Del Rio to five miles southeast of Eagle


"The territory of this reservation will be permanently divided

by the hand of man," said anthropologist and Kickapoo expert

Rebeca Brush.

Throughout history, the Kickapoo have had to change their

traditions. In the 17th century, they lived in the Great Lakes

region. A century later they were displaced to Kansas and


"It's one thing to change where you live, but it's something

else to have a fence separate the members of a nation," Brush


"It's truly a tragedy. The construction of the fence doesn't

make any sense," says Jose Aranda, a member of the Kickapoo

in Eagle Pass.

"This isn't the way to solve a problem that's more complicated

and needs a more intelligent solution," explained Jaime

Loiaono, the priest of a church in Eagle Pass.

"Fifty percent of the high school students on the reservation

are Black Rocks. What's going to happen to them?" the priest


The mayor of the city, Chad Foster, has expressed strong

criticism of the fence. "It's a cure that is worse than the

disease," he said before Congress approved the bill.

The Kickapoo, despite living in the United States for

centuries, were not recognized as a nation until 1983.

Two decades later, various miles of fence will divide the land

where they live, and the steel beams will be nailed like a

threat to the preservation of their unity, family and customs.

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9) Preventing HIV/AIDS infection: condoms are not the only choice
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann
August 7, 2006

[Cuba has the lowest HIV-AIDS rate on the planet, but the island's
authorities aren't taking anything for granted. Safer sex programs
are active all over Cuba. Their tone is a sex-positive, joyous and
completely non-judgemental one. Given the bad rap Cuba has gotten
for its treatment of gays in the past, the completely matter-of-
fact way men who have sex with other men are included among those
for home programs have been designed and carried out gives us yet
another way to measure the radical difference between the way the
AIDS crisis is dealt with in Cuba and in the United States where
such articles as this would not come out of the U.S. government.
Indeed, Washington tries to impose its fundamentalist Christian
world views on every other country where it's supposedly giving
assistance for programs against HIV-AIDS...WALTER LIPPMANN]

A campaign set in motion this summer by the Ministry of Public
Health's Center for Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
(STDs) and HIV/AIDS is focused on teenagers and young people immersed
in making the most of their vacation and leisure time in recreational
activities and thus bound to become more active in the sexual
relations department.

The moment is ripe for Center specialist Lic. Isabel "Chabela"' Duque
Santana to take a deeper look into the available means you can use to
avoid acquiring an STD and still enjoy the experience.

These months many young students and workers are taking time off from
their everyday obligations and spend time in recreational centers
where they make more friends and find more sexual partners. This year
our motto is Break the ice with your own hands, aimed at making
communication more fluent. You have to talk to your partner about
wearing a condom as a key preventive measure. Yet, that's by no means
the only way to prevent STDs and HIV/AIDS...


"Teenagers can resort to other, very effective methods, like
postponing your first experience of sex or practicing safe sex
(petting, mutual masturbation...), where no bodily fluids (semen or
vaginal secretions) are exchanged and infections are therefore
avoided. By so doing you can feel pleasure, give love, and prevent
infection for good measure.

"Given these choices, not having a condom at hand is not a reason to
get it on without protection. Look, a young man determined to go for
it in the crunch even if there's not a condom within his reach can
always choose safe sex as a strategy to ward off STDs".


The summer campaign topic bounces back, and "Chabela" insists that,
while on vacation, recreation and joy should never preclude taking
care of your health.

"Any step to keep STDs at bay is extremely important so that our
break can be truly free of risks and we go back to school or work as
healthy as we can be to go on life. Our purpose is making young
people aware of their need to protect themselves and know what to do
in certain situations to stay out of danger's way.

"During the summer campaigns, health experts and many other
volunteers from our Center go to great lengths to score a bull's-eye
on youth and people in general with our preventive messages.

"We have the Carrito por la Vida (Little Car For Life) which drops by
camping sites, beaches, night parties, the Malecón (Havana's seawall
avenue) and wherever young people hang around in great numbers.

"Women from our Center who are involved in the so-called
teenager-oriented S.COM project also take part by promoting a
responsible sexuality ("S" for sexuality and solidarity and "COM" for
communication and comprensión (understanding); there's the Café Salud
(Health Café) and the HSH projects (hombre-sexo-hombre), on men who
have sex with other men, to name a few.

"The promoters are by and large volunteer young men and women
organized in very strong and active task force engaged in this
significant work. With these projects we do our bit in every
health-prevention campaigns."

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

10) Some active-duty troops voice their dissent from U.S. policy in Iraq
By Drew Brown, McClatchy Newspapers
Knight Ridder Washington Bureau
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service
October 24, 2006 Tuesday
Washington Dateline

WASHINGTON _ Liam Madden opposed the war in Iraq even before he deployed
with his Marine unit in late 2004. But he came home convinced more than
ever that the war was wrong.

"The more informed I got, the more I opposed the war," said Madden, 22, a
Marine Corps sergeant in Quantico, Va. "The more people who died there, the
longer we stayed there, the more I opposed the war. The more I know, the
easier it is to support withdrawal."

Madden is one of about 118 members of the U.S. military who plan to
petition Congress asking that U.S. forces be withdrawn from Iraq and
brought home, said attorney J.E. McNeil. McNeil is advising the grassroots
group of active-duty service members, who organized the petition drive
through a Web site (

In a rare display of public dissent, Madden and another serviceman plan to
go public Wednesday with their disapproval. Members of the military are
more limited than civilians are in how they can express dissent.

Although a number of troops, including at least one officer, have been
brought up on charges for refusing to serve in Iraq, and dozens more have
deserted, this is the first time that serving members of the U.S. military
have publicly petitioned Congress to end the war. The action comes less
than two weeks before the Nov. 7 elections, in which the Iraq war is a
major issue.

President Bush says he plans no major changes in strategy, and top U.S.
officials in Baghdad said Tuesday that they are sticking to plans to hand
over most security responsibilities to the Iraqi government over the next
12 to 18 months.

Organizers are planning to deliver the petitions to Congress by the Martin
Luther King Jr. holiday in January.

"The long-term goal is to end the occupation of Iraq," Madden said. "The
short-term goal is to spread the word that service members who feel like we
do have a tool to have their voice heard, and it's their duty as a citizen
of a democratic society to participate in democracy."

The message that Madden and other troops are sending to their congressional
representatives is brief and to the point.

"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I
respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt
withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq," it says.
"Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for
U.S. troops to come home."

The grassroots movement of active-duty service members is based in Norfolk,
Va., and is sponsored by several anti-war groups, including Iraq Veterans
Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and Military Families Speak Out.
Service members can submit their appeals online, giving their names, duty
status and service branches.

McNeil, the attorney, said troops who speak out against the war are
exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.

Under military regulations, troops are free to speak their minds as long as
they're not on duty, not in uniform and aren't saying anything that's
disrespectful to their chain of command or the president, she said.

"They've got to be clear that they are speaking for themselves and not the
military," said McNeil, the executive director of the Center on Conscience
and War, based in Washington. The organization was formed by Quakers and
other church groups in 1940 to protect the rights of conscientious objectors.

The Military Whistleblower Protection Act of 1995 allows servicemen and
women to communicate grievances directly to Congress without the threat of
penalty or reprisal.

Eugene Fidell, a Washington attorney and president of the National
Institute for Military Justice, said the service members are within their
rights to speak out against the war to members of Congress. However, he
said they must be careful about what they say in public and the
circumstances under which they say it.

Eric A. Seitz, a Honolulu attorney who has handled military cases for more
than 40 years, said: "The kinds of resistance and opposition and outrage
that military people are now beginning to express has been simmering for
quite a while. But it's about to just burst out in huge waves."

Seitz is representing Lt. Ehren Watada, an Army lieutenant at Fort Lewis,
Wash., who's being prosecuted for refusing to serve in Iraq.

If dissent continues to build, more soldiers might refuse to fight, Seitz said.

Pentagon officials might "think they can continue to prosecute a war, but
when the troops stop fighting, that's it, they're out of luck," he said.


11) Exxon Reports $10.49 Billion Profit in Quarter
October 26, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)
Corp. said Thursday its third-quarter earnings rose to $10.49 billion,
the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly
traded U.S. company.

The report comes as high crude prices this year have fueled record
profits in the oil industry, triggering an outcry from consumers
who were being asked to pay about $3 a gallon for gasoline
in early August.

Although crude oil prices began to decline toward the end
of the third quarter, the average market price for crude held
at around $70 a barrel in the period after peaking above
$78 per barrel in July. Oil futures prices have recently traded
near $61 a barrel, and gasoline prices have dropped to an
average of about $2.43 a gallon.

The world's biggest public oil company said its net income
amounted to $1.77 per share for the July-September period,
up from $9.92 billion, or $1.58 per share, a year ago.

The results surpassed the expectations of Wall Street analysts.
On average, analysts expected the Irving, Texas-based company
to earn $1.59 per share in the quarter.

Revenue fell to $99.59 billion from $100.72 billion from a year
ago, which saw then-record oil prices because of hurricanes
Katrina and Rita.

High oil prices helped Exxon Mobil realize earnings from its oil
and gas drilling activities of $6.49 billion, up 13 percent from the
prior year. The company also saw stronger earnings from
its refining operations and gas stations, and profits at its
chemicals segment more than doubled.

The largest quarterly profit ever was Exxon Mobil's $10.71 billion
profit in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Its shares rose in premarket trading to $72.14 after closing
Wednesday at $71.01 on the New York Stock Exchange.


12) Draft Iran Resolution Would Restrict Students
October 26, 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 — The United States and three European allies
have given Russia and China a draft text for a Security Council
resolution against Iran’s nuclear program. The proposal includes
the extraordinary step of preventing Iranian students from studying
nuclear physics at foreign universities and colleges.

The draft resolution would also prohibit any technical or financial
assistance that could benefit Iran’s nuclear program, and would
impose a visa ban on any Iranians involved in nuclear activities,
according to European diplomats involved in the negotiations.

Bush administration officials and their European counterparts
have been squabbling over details of the draft resolution for
the past week, and the horse-trading will probably increase
now that the Russians and the Chinese have been given the draft.

United Nations ambassadors from the six countries — the five
permanent members of the Security Council and Germany —
are scheduled to meet Thursday to debate the resolution,
officials said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Security Council
to move rapidly to adopt the resolution, saying the authority
and standing of the international community were at stake.

“For the international community to be credible, it must pass
a resolution now that holds Iran accountable for its defiance,”
Ms. Rice said during a speech on Asia policy at the Heritage
Foundation, a conservative Washington policy research

She said that Iran and North Korea had challenged international
attempts to halt the proliferation of unconventional weapons,
and cautioned that the Iranian leadership was assessing how
strictly the world community would enforce recent United
Nations sanctions on North Korea.

“The Iranian regime is watching how the world responds to
North Korea’s behavior, and it can now see that the international
community will confront this threat,” she said. “Iran can see
that the path North Korea is choosing is not leading to more
prestige and more prosperity or more security; it’s leading
to just the opposite.”

But after five months of missed deadlines, counterproposals
and diplomatic overtures on Iran, few officials from any of the
six countries involved were willing to predict when a final
sanctions resolution might pass the Security Council.
“A matter of weeks,” one senior Bush administration
official said. “Maybe.”

“Will it be the resolution that we would have if we had written
it by ourselves? Probably not, but that’s part of multilateral
diplomacy,” Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman,
said. “We fully support this draft, and we look forward
to its adoption.”

As is customary in diplomatic negotiations, officials who were
most up to date on the talks would not allow themselves to be
publicly identified by name or nationality. Those who discussed
it on background came from several nations involved in the talks.

It was unclear just how far-reaching the proposed ban against
nuclear education for Iranian students abroad would be, and
the diplomats involved in the negotiations did not seem to have
resolved that issue.

The prohibition would ban any training and education of Iranian
citizens if it could eventually contribute to nuclear and ballistic
missile programs. But whether such a ban would extend to all
physics courses, or even to mathematics and other courses,
remained undetermined.

The bickering of late has largely been tactical, with the United
States on one side and Europe on the other, with both sides
trying to decide how best to get the Russians and Chinese
to sign on to tough sanctions.

The American ambassador to the United Nations, John R. Bolton,
for instance demanded that the draft resolution bar Russia from
continuing to build Iran’s first nuclear power plant — at Bushehr,
in the southwest of the country — American and European
negotiators said. While some American officials acknowledged
that a provision against all work on Bushehr was unrealistic,
Mr. Bolton wanted to put it on the table as a bargaining chip
to get other Russian concessions, European diplomats said.

The French and British, however, disagreed with that approach,
arguing that Bushehr was a “red line” for the Russian foreign
minister, Sergey Lavrov, and there was no point in putting
something in the draft that would come out anyway.

“It’s like a flea market,” said one European diplomat. “The
Americans say, ‘We have to make the text even stronger because
we know the Russians will water it down.’ But that’s not
a productive way of thinking.”

The draft resolution states that sanctions would apply to fuel
at Bushehr but not construction, diplomats said.

Elaine Sciolino contributed reporting from Paris.


13) A Trojan Horse
Soldiers Of Solidarity, Shotwell
Live Bait & Ammo #83:

   In regard to concessions Gettelfinger keeps repeating the phrase,
"We stepped up to the plate." As if to say, we met our responsibility.
But when wood doesn't meet leather, the metaphor strikes out.
Gettelfinger's first responsibility is to the membership, not the

   The Concession Caucus gives up jobs, benefits, wages, work
rules, anything the corpos demand. But what do we gain in return?
A promise of "new" work. That's not collective bargaining,
it's racketeering.

   Bob King, UAW VP and designated emcee in the never ending
concession pageant, hyperventilates about "cooperation" as if we
haven't been hearing this crap for twenty-five years. Someone
needs to tell breathless Bob the evidence is in: cooperation
is killing us. The UAW lost 900,000 members under the
cooperation banner.

   "Continuous improvement" means speedup/cut jobs.
"Work smart" means speedup/cut jobs.  "Teamwork" means
speedup/cut jobs. "Take the waste out" means speedup/cut jobs. 
All company/union slogans point to one end —
gut the membership.

   At Delphi the Con Caucus gave up everything including the
power to strike and we won nothing in return. The Con Caucus
turned their backs and ran away from 24,000 jobs without
throwing a snowball. Now they're running the same extortion
game at Ford/Visteon. It's not a collective bargaining agreement,
it's a shakedown. Want to know what to expect? Study history,
it repeats itself.

   The war on workers doesn't end, it moves on. And it's not
a war you can retire from. There's nowhere to hide and nowhere
to run. The corpos want the pension fund.

   The UAW hasn't won a collective bargaining agreement with
Delphi, but Miller has a temporary workforce in place. Not only
do temps make half the wages, they don't receive benefits, they
don't acquire seniority, and elections for replacement of retiring
union officials have been waived in favor of  appointments.
Temporary workers are essentially non union. The only difference
is they have to pay union dues. How long before temps at Delphi
decertify the UAW?

   Con Caucus supporters argue the contract has not been broken,
but the predominance of temps belies the contention. Delphi
has replaced 80% of the workforce and by year's end there
won't be a trace of the old guard left. Not enough to count
anyway. Con Caucus supporters argue they won UAW members
an early retirement from a bankrupt company with
an underfunded pension. What the hell is that worth?

   Gettelfinger said that the SAP [Special Attrition Program] helped
to get Delphi "where they need to be." But what about where
we need to be? Miller hasn't given the UAW anything. Gettelfinger
blames it on "greed." Where has the Finger been for the last
twenty-five years? Did he expect cooperation? He gave GM
and Ford health care concessions and they responded with
plant closings. The Con Caucus conceded hard won work rules
at several Daimler-Chrysler Locals but the company stated
bluntly the unorganized Mercedes plant in Alabama isn't
interested in "neutrality". The message is clear: corporations
are in no mood for cooperation, they are on the offensive.    

   What does the Con Caucus ever get in return for concessions?     
Buy offs. Plant closings. Downsizing.

   In each Local where the Con Caucus whipsawed concessions
on work rules the trade off was the promise of "new" work.
The biggest concession is license for non union workers
to enter the plant and perform jobs that formerly belonged
to the bargaining unit. The Con Caucus has essentially traded
the closed shop for an open shop on the promise of "new" work.
There's nothing new about the corporate agenda. I can lay
it out in three words. Break the union.

             How many more cuts can we take?

   The word decimate derives from the Latin word decimare
which means to select by lot and kill every tenth soldier
in the legion. Romans used the practice to quell rebellion.
Competitive Operating Agreements adopt a similar style
of decimation, less bloody per se, but more efficient as
the unlucky ten percenters are replaced with non union
labor. The Con Caucus supports this policy of terror as
a method of keeping the troops in order. But the program
doesn't work on everyone.

   Squeamish obeisance is for people who are afraid of hell.
Organized resistance is for people who have already been
there. Thousands of Delphi workers are transferring into
GM plants and they are loaded for bear. GM dumped all
our pension credits into Delphi and then bankrupted the
company by forcing them to sell parts below cost.
We have anger to spare.

   The Delphi transfers at the new GM assembly plant in
Lansing, Michigan aren't impressed with the non expiring
living agreement that passes for a contract in the era of
Continuous Concessions. They're expected to be team
members first and union members second. Their seniority
is worthless. They cannot exercise shift preference
or transfer rights for sixteen months. They're treated
like temps. All the best jobs and appointments were
assigned to homies, many of whom have lower seniority.
Team leaders, a peculiar species who go both ways, are
selected by management to monitor fellow workers, give
directions, and report back to management.  A new NLRB
ruling defines such operatives as supervisors. Transfers
can't even run for union office for a year per Local By-Law.
The divide and conquer tactics of the UAW Cooperation
Team aren't restricted to relations between transfers
and homies.

   Transfers to Lansing from the Delphi plants in Saginaw
were given relocation allowance, but transfers from
Coopersville, Grand Rapids, and Flint were arbitrarily
denied relocation allowance. Coopersville is further from
Lansing than Saginaw. Why weren't they all eligible for
relocation allowance?  Because the Con Caucus wanted
to help the company more than the dislocated workers.

   Unequal treatment without reasonable cause constitutes
discrimination and members are justifiably upset.  In typical
Con Caucus fashion, the Bargaining Chair, Steve Bramos,
threw gasoline on the fire. He told them they're lucky
to have a job — a good indication of the sort
of representation they can expect.

   I transferred to a GM SPO [Special Parts Operation] in Lansing.
In orientation we Delphi transfers were informed of how
cooperative union and management were in Lansing. The
first day on the shopfloor our supervisor introduced herself
by saying, "I'm a bitch. You don't have to like me, but you will
respect me." Her lack of self respect is her own business, but
I have to wonder if this bald attempt at intimidation is what
passes for union/management cooperation in Lansing.

             Can the trend be halted in  2007?

   The Concession train stopped dead in its tracks at Chrysler
not because Gettelfinger didn't want to give Chrysler concessions
on health care, but because he knew the rank & file wouldn't
ratify it. Health care concessions were ratified by less than one
percent at Ford and Gettelfinger knew it wouldn't pass at Chrysler.
Daimler/Chrysler CEO, Dieter Zetsche, contends the UAW's
resistance is "irrational" but workers in Germany have national
health care. Why doesn't Zetsche state the obvious? Health care
policy in the US is "irrational" and that coupled with
a counterproductive trade policy is costing us jobs.

   2007 contract negotiations at the Big Three are already underway.
The corpos are mounting their campaign and SOS would be wise
to do the same.   

According to Bloomberg News, "Troy Clarke, head of GM's North
America, said in an interview last week that he's already begun
preliminary talks with the UAW on the new contract. GM's higher
costs, he said, don't mean that labor strife is inevitable in 2007.
'We got where we are together and we'll get to the future together,'
Clarke said. 'That's the spirit we enter into this with.'" [Japanese
Earned $2,400 More Per Car Than U.S. Rivals: Bloomberg
News, 10-2-06]  

   The study cited in the Bloomberg article is to meant to
convince us that concessions are inevitable, but Sam Gindin,
a Canadian economist and union advocate, pointed out in
an e-mail that the study indicates the Japanese advantage
of $2,400 includes $1,400 in healthcare and $1,054 per
the exchange rate (45% of Toyota vehicles sold in the US
are imports).  In other words, a rational health care policy
and a reasonable exchange rate would level the playing field.
No amount of concessions by labor will ever resolve the health
care crisis or the trade imbalance. The game is rigged.

   Each concession we make helps to prop up and perpetuate
the irrational system. Every time Gettelfinger backs away
from another showdown we're that much deeper in the hole.
Cooperation with management and competition with other
workers is nonsense from a true union perspective.

   Competition between workers will decimate,
not solidify our ranks.

A Competitive Operating Agreement is a Trojan horse loaded
with three lethal concessions:

        (1) the expanded utilization of temps which
is in effect two tier;

        (2) the importation of non union labor into the plants;

        (3) the manipulation of union members as "team leaders"
in supervisory roles.

   The Concession Caucus believes its primary goal is to help
the companies be more competitive, but the strategy condemns
us to a race to the bottom. We can't inspire workers to organize
by siding with management and selling out union members.

It's not enough to boast, "We stepped up to the plate." We have
to get some wood on the ball and back up the chatter
with Runs Batted In.

The rank & file derailed concessions at Chrysler and we can
brake the Concession Train in 2007.

(sos, shotwell)


14) Bush Signs Bill Ordering Fence on Mexican Border
October 26, 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 — President Bush today signed into law
a bill providing for construction of a 700-mile fence along the
country’s southwestern border. But he repeated his call for
a far more extensive revamping of immigration laws.

“It is an important step toward immigration reform,” Mr. Bush
said at the signing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
The bill is what most House Republicans wanted, but it is not
what Senate Republicans, or the president, originally envisioned.

House Republicans, fearing a sharp backlash from voters worried
about illegal immigrants, successfully resisted a broader
immigration bill that was approved by the Senate last spring.
That bill provided for a guest-worker program and eventual
citizenship for immigrants, as well as border security.

But House Republicans disliked anything that smacked
of “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, and they saw the Senate
bill as embracing just that, no matter what its Senate backers
and Mr. Bush said to the contrary.

Eventually, Mr. Bush realized that his desire for “comprehensive”
immigration reform was dead, at least for this election year,
so he bowed to political reality and embraced the border-
security concept, at least for the time being. On Sept. 29,
just before its members headed home to campaign,
the Senate approved construction of 700 miles of fence.
The House had passed the bill earlier in September.

“I want to thank the members of Congress for their work
on this important piece of legislation,” Mr. Bush said today,
greeting several lawmakers by name. “Ours is a nation
of immigrants. We’re also a nation of law. Unfortunately,
the United States has not been in complete control of its
borders for decades, and therefore illegal immigration
has been on the rise.”

In addition to the fence, the bill Mr. Bush signed today
provides for more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and advance
technology to better secure the border with Mexico.
But some of the bill’s critics have wondered aloud whether
the fence will really keep out people desperate to cross.

A separate homeland-security spending bill provided
$1.2 billion for the fence and accompanying technology

As he signed the fence legislation, Mr. Bush repeated
his call for an overhaul of immigration policy.

“We must reduce pressure on our border by creating
a temporary worker plan,” he said. “Willing workers ought
to be matched with willing employers to do jobs Americans
are not doing for a temporary - on a temporary - basis.
We must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants
are already here. They should not be given an automatic
path to citizenship. That is amnesty. I oppose amnesty.

“There is a rational middle ground between granting
an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant
and a program of mass deportation, and I look forward
to working with Congress to find that middle ground,”
Mr. Bush said.

But Mr. Bush will almost surely have to work with a new
Congress, a perhaps a changed political landscape,
if he still wants “comprehensive” immigration reform.


15) Candidates sound off on JROTC
Board of Education race
by Roger Brigham

The 15 candidates running for three seats on the San Francisco
school board this November all agree the city's schools desperately
need improvement, but they disagree on the role to be played
by existing Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs.
Those disagreements include differing views on the effectiveness
of the program, the value it provides to the community, and the
resources it requires, as well as the propriety of military recruiters
on school campuses, whether an alternative program could
be established, and the debate over the U.S. military's "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay people serving in the
armed forces.

There are reportedly more than 400,000 students enrolled
in JROTC programs in more than 3,300 schools around the
country, with a waiting list of 700 schools. Last year, there
were 1,625 JROTC students enrolled in seven public high
schools in San Francisco: Balboa, Burton, Galileo, Lincoln,
Lowell, Mission, and Washington.

JROTC programs receive federal funding, allow students
to earn credit for physical education, and train them in such
disciplines as marching, drills, and chains-of-command,
as well as community service and military history.

This year, openly gay school board member Mark Sanchez
introduced a resolution to give the military-style program
the boot in favor of developing a non-military replacement
program, arguing that because the federal government
does not allow LGBT people to openly serve in the military,
the school district should not offer a training ground for
opportunities that would not be granted to LGBT students
after graduation. Opponents of dropping JROTC argue the
district has no equivalent replacement program, that the
program has broad community support with minority
and low-income populations, and that the school board
does not have the resources to hire the number of gym
teachers it would take to replace the program.

A resolution to drop JROTC in 1996 failed by a single vote.
The board has not acted on the current resolution.

"My stand is that is that if that's our public school policy
[to have JROTC], that's what we have to honor," said Kim-
Shree Maufas. "My daughter was in that and she loved it.
I loved the community that it has. But I can't stand the
military and the access they have to my daughter. We are
a country at war. College is not the first stop for [JROTC
graduates]. They did not talk honestly about that with me."

Maufas added, "Immigrant students are being taken care
of, but I'm very disappointed in what's happening in the
JROTC. What I'd like to see is for the school board to be
working on a replacement program right now. It needs
to be a seamless program. Maybe they can keep some
of the JROTC instructors."

Roger Schulke said he favored retaining JROTC. "I believe
people have freedom of choice," Schulke said. "As long
as there's interest in it, you should offer it. There are
quite a few people who like that program and it gives
them something to build on."

The only incumbent running, Dan Kelly, said, "I have been
a principal sponsor of several anti-JROTC resolutions,
including the one now before the board. I think it's important
to keep a sharp line between civilian life and the military.
I don't think it's a very good program in terms of development.
It builds a sense of identity as an extension of group identity,
which I don't think is good for young people. I don't think
it teaches leadership; I think it teaches follower-ship. And
because of DADT, they still can't hire a gay teacher and
they can't give the same [enlistment] benefits to gay
students that they can to straight students."

James Calloway said, "The problem is not with JROTC. It's
with the federal government. I think the students in JROTC
learn a lot. Personally, I'm not for banishing it. I'm against
discrimination against anyone and they should do away
with that [DADT] policy. But students should not be
punished for what adults have done. They learn a lot
of valuable things in the program including discipline.
I've seen a lot of young people in the program get
scholarships and move on to better things."

Jane Kim she thought the JROTC appealed to many students
because the curriculum offered valuable training in such areas
as group management, discipline, and public speaking. "Those
don't necessarily need to be taught in a military environment,"
Kim said. "I think providing an alternative program that isn't
discriminatory would be appropriate, particularly in a city
such as San Francisco."

Boots Whitmer said she supported the program. "We have
a number of kids, particularly certain ethnic groups, who
have a very proud tradition in it," Whitmer said. "The funding
is from the federal government. It stands as a phys ed credit.
There's a wide diversity of political viewpoints here, but this
is not a hill we need to die on."

Bayard Fong said he was impressed with the JROTC program
and thought it would be difficult to replace. "Actually,
on that issue I think JROTC was a good alternative
to physical education when I was in high school," Fong
said. "Leadership, citizenship, responsibility – those parts
of it are a plus. Perhaps we could replace it with a different
funding source in the government. But I'm not sure where
they could come up with the money from in tight times."

Kim Knox said, "I would support the resolution [to drop JROTC],
but I think there are key issues that are more pressing
at this time, such as the scoring gap in classroom achievement.
We need to make sure everyone is getting quality education,
but the scores of our African American students and lower
than Fresno, Oakland, and Los Angeles."

"I actually admire the JROTC program," said Hydra Mendoza.
"The unfortunate thing is that it is attached to the military.
I would be fine with letting the program go as long as we
have a program that takes its place. The discipline the
program teaches is very key to [the students'] participation
in life. There are some well-known discrimination issues
related to the military. I'm very much opposed to having
military recruiters in our schools and I'm very opposed
to the war. But I also appreciate the benefit the kids have had.

"The problem will be finding an alternative. I would still want
to really advocate hard to replace it. In as much as I don't
believe in the philosophy of the military program, I don't
want to let go of a program that works."

Wilma Pang said she supports the JROTC program but
disapproves of the military's ban on gay servicemembers.
"I'm for the JROTC because many minorities enroll in the
program and it gives them a chance to be leaders," she
said. "I don't see why they should not accept gay people.
Anybody should be able to serve in the military."

"I've met with two different camps on that, Tom
Ammiano and JROTC folks," said Bob Twomey. "In
a society where we are always trying to find programs
for kids, it's great we find a program like that, but
JROTC conflicts with my values. I'm all for looking
for an alternative program, but I want to make sure
we don't shoot ourselves in the foot."

Richard Van Loon said he opposed eliminating JROTC.
"They provide very important character education
for students, they bring in a lot of money, and it would
be hard to duplicate the quality of the instructors,"
Van Loon said. "I think if they do that, it will probably
cause more families to pull out of the school system.
It would cause more family flight from the district."

Mauricio Vela said, "I wouldn't want my kids in it. I'm
anti-military and I'd vote to get rid of it, but first we have
to get a program to replace it that is attractive to the kids
that are currently enrolled in Junior ROTC. It isn't about
the school board's ideology; it's about educating the kids."

Omar Khalif said, "I am pretty much neutral, neither for
or against, because I believe everyone should have the
right to choose what they want."

Candidate Joel Britton, a former meat packer and oil
refinery worker, declined repeated requests to speak
with the Bay Area Reporter.



16) Our friend, brother, and companero, Brad Will was killed today
by paramilitaries in Oxaca Mexico.
"Three people were killed in this assault: IndyMedia photographer Bradely Roland
Will from New York, Section 22 teacher Emilio Alonso Fabian and community
activist Esteban Ruiz. At least 23 others were seriously injured, and are
currently in the hospital. This brings to 14 the number of people who have been
killed on the APPO barricades."...Alan Benjamin

Brad has been an inspiring and passionate militant, joining struggles
all over the world, from land occupations in the Pacific North West
of the US, to direct actions against global capital, to rebellions in
Argentina, land occupations in Brazil, and anti-privatization struggles
in Bolivia. Brad was always a part of whatever he was in. He was
always with people, not organizing them. He taught me, and
so many others so much through example. He will be missed
in so many ways.

Brad was a part of our communities. We should remember him
with the love and affection that he showed, and we feel. We should
also carry on with direct action to stop those that are trying
to stop social creation, in the US, Mexico, Argentina, and the globe.

brad Presente!
brad presente!
brad Presente!

Brad's last email dispatch ...

early dawn, oct16
yesterday i went for a walk with the good people of oaxaca -- was walking
all day really -- in the afternoon they showed me where the bullets hit the
wall -- they numbered the ones they could reach -- it reminded me of the
doorway of amadou diallos home -- but here the grafitti was there before the
shooting began -- one bullet they didnt number was still in his head -- he
was 41 years old -- alejandro garcia hernandez -- at the neighborhood
barricade every night -- that night he came out to join his wife and sons to
let an ambulance through -- then a pickup tried to follow -- he took their
bullet when he told them they could not pass -- they never did -- these
military men in civilian dress shot their way out of there

a young man who wanted to only be called marco was with them when the
shooting happened -- a bullet passed through his shoulder -- he was clearly
in shock when we met -- 19 years old -- said he hadnt told his parents yet
-- said he had been at the barricade every night -- said he was going back
as soon as the wound closed -- absolutely

just days before there was a delegation of senators visiting to determine
the ungovernability of the state -- they got a taste -- the call went out to
shut down the rest of the government -- dozens went walking out of the
zocalo city center with big sticks and a box full of spray paint -- they
took control of 3 city buses and went around the city all morning visiting
local government buildings and informing them that that they were closed --
and we appreciate your voluntary cooperation -- and they filed out preturbed
but still getting paid -- shut -- as they pulled away from the last stop 3
gunmen came out and started shooting -- 2 buses had already pulled away --
mayhem -- 10 minute battle with stones and slingshots and screaming -- one
headwound -- another through the leg -- made their way to the hospital while
the fighting continued -- shout out on the radio and people came from all
parts -- the gunmen were around the side of the building -- they got away --
they were inside -- no one sure -- watchful -- undercover police were
reported lurking around the hospital and folks went running to stand watch
over the wounded

what can you say about this movement -- this revolutionary moment -- you
know it is building, growing, shaping -- you can feel it -- trying
desperately for a direct democracy -- in november appo will have a state
wide conference for the formation of a state wide assemblea estatal del
pueblo de oaxaca (aepo) -- now there are 11 of 33 states in mexico that have
declared formation of assemblea populares like appo -- and on la otra lado
in the usa a few -- the marines have returned to sea even though the federal
police who ravaged atenco remain close by -- the new encampment in mexico
has begun a hunger strike -- the senate can expell URO -- whats next
nobodies sure -- it is a point of light pressed through glass -- ready to
burn or show the way -- it is clear that this is more than a strike, more
than expulsion of a governor, more than a blockade, more than a coalition of
fragments -- it is a genuine peoples revolt -- and after decades of pri rule
by bribe, fraud, and bullet the people are tired -- they call him the tyrant
-- they talk of destroying this authoritarianism -- you cannot mistake the
whisper of the lancandon jungle in the streets -- in every street corner
deciding together to hold -- you see it their faces -- indigenous, women,
children -- so brave -- watchful at night -- proud and resolute

went walking back from alejandros barricade with a group of supporters who
came from an outlying district a half hour away -- went walking with angry
folk on their way to the morgue -- went inside and saw him -- havent seen
too many bodies in my life -- eats you up -- a stack of nameless corpes in
the corner -- about the number who had died -- no refrigeration -- the smell
-- they had to open his skull to pull the bullet out -- walked back with him
and his people

and now alejandro waits in the zocalo -- like the others at their plantones
-- hes waiting for an impasse, a change, an exit, a way forward, a way out,
a solution -- waiting for the earth to shift and open -- waiting for
november when he can sit with his loved ones on the day of the dead and
share food and drink and a song -- waiting for the plaza to turn itself over
to him and burst -- he will only wait until morning but tonight he is
waiting for the governor and his lot to never come back -- one more death --
one more martyr in a dirty war -- one more time to cry and hurt -- one more
time to know power and its ugly head -- one more bullet cracks the night --
one more night at the barricades -- some keep the fires -- others curl up
and sleep -- but all of them are with him as he rests one last night at his

uro= Ulises Ruiz Ortiz "governor" of the state of oaxaca
plantonfiltered= sit in, vigil, encampment
zocalo= central plaza

more info:

'In sum, we are an army of dreamers, and therefore invincible. How can we
fail to win, with this imagination overturning everything. Or rather, we do
not deserve to lose.'
- Subcomandante Marcos
Seamos realistas, hagamos lo imposible ~ che


Please view these devastating photos at:
[These photos will forever be imprinted upon
Leslie Kauffman

Dear Jennifer and all:

Brad was shot in the chest at close range by a plainclothes
paramilitary while filming the popular uprising in Oaxaca.

There's lots of information at

Also see:

Also lots of coverage in the corporate media, including this profile:

I'm completely heartbroken -- Brad was such an extraordinary man.
There will be a call issued soon for solidarity actions.


Jennifer Van Bergen wrote:

This letter does not say how Brad was "murdered." 
Can anyone supply that information, please?  JVB

from Camilo

Report from Alan Benjamin:
Mexico City- October 28, 2006

Dear Supporter of the teachers‚ and popular movement in Oaxaca:

Yesterday afternoon (Friday, October 27) I was at the Planton (encampment) in
Mexico City with the 21 hunger strikers and the 400 remaining teachers and
activists from Oaxaca who arrived here October 9 following their 500-kilometer

Just moments after the riot police (granaderos) charged the encampment to
dislodge us from in front of the Hemiciclio a Juarez building, we learned that
in the city of Oaxaca, armed goons--under direct orders from PRI Governor
Ulises Ruiz Ortiz--had charged the barricades in a major operation to remove
all the Section 22 teachers and APPO supporters from the downtown section of
the city, which has been occupied by the movement since June 14.

The teachers‚ union and APPO had called on their supporters to join them in a
major mobilization on Friday to demand the immediate resignation of Ruiz Ortiz.

Three people were killed in this assault: IndyMedia photographer Bradely Roland
Will from New York, Section 22 teacher Emilio Alonso Fabian and community
activist Esteban Ruiz. At least 23 others were seriously injured, and are
currently in the hospital. This brings to 14 the number of people who have been
killed on the APPO barricades.

We later learned that in the neighboring municipality of Santa Maria Coyotepec,
20 striking teachers were arrested by the police and carted off to jail.

Thirteen of them had gunshot wounds. The teachers and their supporters had
organized a protest and encampment in front of the Municipal Building to demand
the ouster of Ruiz Ortiz.

The Mexican newspaper La Jornada also reports this morning (October 28) that as
many 50 teachers who were on picket duty in front of the office of Ruiz Ortiz in
the city of Oaxaca have been disappeared. At this writing, their whereabouts are
still unknown.

In a statement issued Friday night, leaders of Section 22 and APPO said this
operation was masterminded by Ruiz Ortiz and Elpidio Concha Arellando, state
president of the PRI-controlled CNC peasant federation, and was carried out
both by plain-clothes cops and members of the CNC and PRI. The movement leaders
also said the Friday assault was the first stage of a two-day effort to destroy
the movement. They warned that a major police operation could take place today
in Oaxaca against the teachers and APPO activists.

Both Ruiz Ortiz and Concha Arellanado had made public statements during the
past 10 days warning that the Section 22-APPO downtown encampment would no
longer be standing after October 28. Concha Arellanado was the most explicit,
stating on October 16 that "we, the PRI activist, will take matters into our
own hands in the event the federal government fails to put a halt by next
Saturday to the continued occupation and vandalism of our state by these
radical elements; we will carry out any and all actions necessary to restore
order, the rule of law and social peace."

Indeed, the federal government had hoped the barricades would be torn down and
the teachers would be back to work by now. Interior Minister Carlos Abascal
Carranza, wielding both a carrot and a stick, had been pressing the leadership
of the teachers‚ union over the past 10 days to agree to the negotiated
settlement worked out in common on October 10 in Mexico City.

The carrot was the creation of a Senate Commission to see if there was a basis
for impeaching Ruiz Ortiz and a pledge to address some of the teachers‚ wage
and workplace demands. The stick was the deployment to Oaxaca of more than
3,000 Army and Marine troops poised to enter the city of Oaxaca on a moment's
notice to smash the strike and the mass movement that was generated to support
the teachers.

Abascal Carranza has had a willing partner in this effort to ram through the
government's proposed settlement: Enrique Rueda Pacheco, the general secretary
of Section 22 of the teachers' union.

The main problem for the government is that Rueda Pacheco has not been
successful to date in getting the teachers to end their strike and return to
the classrooms. The main problem was that the Senate Commission, as expected,
ruled that there was no basis for impeaching Ruiz Ortiz. A full vote by the
Mexican Senate ratified the Commission‚s findings. The teachers ˆ like the rest
of the indigenous and community activists in APPO -- are steadfast in their
commitment to get rid of Ruiz Ortiz, who represents the worst of the corrupt
and repressive holdovers of the 70-year PRI regime that ruled Mexico with an
iron fist. They don‚t believe it will be safe for them to return to work as
long as Ruiz Ortiz is governor. They fear individual and collective retaliation
by the governor and his death squads.

One week ago, Rueda Pacheco succeeded in getting his union leadership to send
out a ballot to all the state‚s 70,000 teachers that effectively would have
ended the strike. But an angry 10-hour session of the Section 22 Delegates‚
Assembly, the union‚s highest leadership body, on October 21 repudiated this
maneuver by Rueda Pacheco and his clique. The Assembly called for a new ballot
on ending the strike and a new „consultation‰ of the members on October 23-24.

The results of that balloting were made public on Thursday, October 27: The
Delegates Assembly, held the previous day, certified that 31,078 teachers voted
to return to work this coming week, while 20,387 voted to continue the strike.
This vote reflected the exhaustion and desperate situation facing teachers
after a bitter five-month strike. For the past two months, the teachers have
not received their wages or any funding from their union. Many have lost their
homes and cars. Countless families have been broken up.

The Delegates Assembly on October 26 took note of this membership consultation,
but it did not vote to return to work on Monday, October 30 ˆ as Abascal
Carranza and Ruiz Ortiz had hoped. The Assembly said the teachers would return
to work ONLY if certain conditions and guarantees were met: the safety of all
the teachers had to be guaranteed, all wages lost during the strike had to be
repaid, all the political prisoners held in the state of Oaxaca had to be
freed, and a government fund had to be set up to cover the long-term expenses
of the families of the 11 teachers and activists killed during the strike.

And the Delegates Assembly took another equally important decision. It voted to
reject the government‚s demand to end the encampment and tear down the
barricades. The Delegates Assembly stated they would not drop their commitment
to remove Ruiz Ortiz from office, even if they were compelled to return to
work. They said they remained committed to APPO and would send teachers every
day, on a rotating basis, to staff the barricades and encampment.
This last decision by the Delegates Assembly infuriated Ruiz Ortiz and his
supporters, who expected that a decision to return to work would be accompanied
by an end to APPO and to the downtown occupation and encampment.

A meeting was scheduled in Mexico City between the Section 22 leadership and
Abascal Carranza for today (October 28) in which the government was to give
their response to the teachers‚ conditions.

In the interim, however, the violence instigated by Ruiz Ortiz on October 27
has disrupted this attempt to work out the final details of a settlement.

I spoke late last night over the phone with Augusto Reyes Medina, a member of
the Executive Committee of Section 22. He said the union leadership was holding
an emergency Delegates Assembly today (October 28) to discuss what to do next in
light of the new killings and the fact a climate of peace does not exist for the
teachers to return to work.
Reyes Medina told me he had met earlier in the evening with dozens of general
secretaries of local chapters of the union from across the state. He and these
delegates to the Assembly, he said, had drafted a letter to the Delegates
Assembly and to all the teachers in Oaxaca in which they state that the
conditions for returning to work stipulated by the October 26 Delegates
Assembly do not exist.

"No matter what Abascal Carranza tells our Section 22 delegation about ensuring
the safety and protection of our teachers,‰ Reyes Medina said, „the fact is that
he does not call the shots in Oaxaca. Nor has he lifted a finger thus far to
rein in Ruiz Ortiz, much less get rid of him. As everyone knows, there is an
open alliance between the PAN and the PRI on this issue today. ∑ As long as the
assassins of our 14 teachers and supporters remain unpunished, as long as the
No. 1 assassin, Ruiz Ortiz, remains at the helm of the state, we will be gunned
down one by one, or in clusters, by the governor and his goons. Of this we can
be sure. This is how Ruiz Ortiz functions.‰

Reyes Medina said he and a large wing of the local leaders of the union would
call on the Delegates Assembly to put the decision to return to work on hold
until the only real guarantee to ensure the safe return to the classrooms is
enacted: the punishment of those responsible for the killings and the removal
from office of Ruiz Ortiz.

I will keep you posted later today on the decisions of today‚s Delegates

In the meantime, I believe it is urgent that all supporters of the teachers‚
and popular movement in Oaxaca organize this coming week emergency protest
actions in front of Mexican embassies and consulates to demand an end to the
repression in Oaxaca and the arrest and punishment of all those responsible for
the violence against the teachers and the APPO activists. The earlier these
emergency protests, the better.
In solidarity,
Alan Benjamin


17) Misgivings on the Rise of the Dow
October 28, 2006

TWO cheers for the Dow. The world’s most famous stock indicator
just reached a record high, yet market strategists and editors
of investment newsletters are urging caution and warning that
there is a lot of room for the Dow to fall and good reasons
to think it might.

They are especially concerned by the lack of company. While
the Nasdaq and Standard & Poor’s 500-stock indexes are at
or near multiyear peaks, no other major indicator joined the
Dow Jones industrial average in setting a record. And market
breadth — the difference between the number of stocks that
rise and fall each day — is unimpressive. The way they see it,
the Dow’s strength conceals a multitude of mediocrity.

“The popular indexes are not accurately representing the
condition of the broad market,” Mary Ann Bartels, a technical
analyst at Merrill Lynch, states in a recent research report.
“These divergences are arguably more significant in terms
of both number and quality than at any time since the bull
market began in 2002.”

She expects stocks to peak soon and to fall as much as
20 percent, even more for the Nasdaq. Declines below
11,475 in the Dow and 1,310 in the S.& P. 500 would
signal that a large correction is under way, she said.

Mark Newton, a technical analyst at Morgan Stanley,
is also dismayed by the divergences. He worries that
the Dow is making a “false breakout.” Noting the sluggish
growth of more broadly based indexes, he warned the bank’s
clients that “the gradual stalling out as of late suggests
that the rally might have run its course.”

The situation today has a familiar feel to James Stack,
editor of InvesTech Market Analyst.

“When thinking about these kinds of divergences,
several comparable periods immediately come to mind,”
he told subscribers in a recent issue. “One, of course,
was 1999 — the final year of the high-tech bubble —
and another was 1972, just prior to an 18-month bear
market, the worst since the Great Depression.” But other
indicators that he follows do not suggest that the market
is heading for a similar outcome.

OTHER analysts do not share these misgivings. Louise
Yamada, head of Louise Yamada Technical Research
Advisors, said recent market action suggested that enough
demand for stocks existed to keep pushing prices higher.

She noted that the broadly based but not broadly followed
New York Stock Exchange composite index joined in a new
high. And where others see myriad indexes failing to confirm
the Dow’s record, her take on recent market action is that
“it’s the Dow confirming the other indexes’ behavior
of the past year-plus.”

Mike Williams, a strategist at Tocqueville Asset Management,
uses valuation and sentiment measures to make a bullish case.
He points out that the stock market is much more attractively
priced than when the Dow peaked in 2000. Earnings have
risen substantially since then, lowering price-earnings ratios —
a “bear market in P.E.’s,” he called it.

Investors are failing to acknowledge that a bull market was
born after the Sept. 11 attacks and the recession that occurred
around the same time, he said. He predicts that stocks will
continue rising until rampant bullishness develops
and sucks in many of the dollars sitting in bonds
and money market funds.

It is true that the market is much cheaper than it was earlier
in the decade, but it was more expensive then, by a long way,
than at any other time in history. At its peak valuation in 2001,
the S.& P. traded at more than 45 times earnings, roughly
triple the long-term average. At more than 17 times earnings
today, it is a stretch to say that stocks are bargains. Mr. Williams
is also right that the euphoria palpable in 2000, expressed
in talk of a new economy and a new investment era
to go with it, is absent today.

Not every moment is momentous; this may be just an ordinary
time for the stock market. The extremes in sentiment and
valuation that signal major turns may be absent, but after
four years of rising prices, it seems sensible to share the
investment advisers’ wariness.

If there are doubts about the market, why not wait until
they dissipate? That is Mr. Stack’s advice.

“Patiently wait for the divergences and warning flags
to subside, or for confirmation of another sustainable
bull market leg,” he suggested. “In short, don’t underestimate
the downside risk until storm clouds clear.”


Online article at La Jornada:


Sovereign Chicano Nation Recognized. Esteban Zul named
Ambassador of Aztlan to Cuba

Public roundtable at 4PM on October 27 on 90.7 FM, KPFK

Friday, October 23, 2006-The Cuban Ambassador to Mexico,
Jorge A. Bolaños Suárez, announced that the government
of Cuba officially recognized Aztlan as a sovereign Chicano
nation. The announcement was made at the Cuban Ambassador's
residence in Mexico City where the dignitary was hosting
a visiting entourage of invited Chicano artists, musicians,
and writers from Los Angeles.

The Cuban Ambassador declared Esteban Zul, a member
of the California rap group Aztlan Nation and co-host of the
popular Los Angeles talk radio show, "The Pocho Hour of Power"
on KPFK 90.7 FM, as the official Ambassador of Aztlan to Cuba.

Also present at the announcement were officials from the
Mexican government, including the Chief of Government
of Mexico D.F., Alejandro Encinas and the Secretary of Culture
of Mexico D.F. Raquel Sosa who also acknowledged Esteban Zul
as official Ambassador of Aztlan.

As a newly recognized sovereignty, the Chicano emissaries
quickly selected a cabinet of ministers and convened later that
evening to discuss their national agenda and other important
matters of state.

A public forum to address state issues is to take place
on live radio on October 27th from 4 to 5pm on 90.7 FM KPFK.
Panelists will include artist Harry Gamboa Jr., Professor Mariana
Botey, L.A. Weekly writer Daniel Hernandez, syndicated
La Cucaracha cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and satirist / actor Paul Vato.

This public roundtable is intended to provide public access
and input to the direction and agendas involved in the
foundation of a new republic. In light of the historic
recognition of the national sovereignty of Aztlan by Another
nation, the new representatives of Aztlan believe that
open participation is the best way to form a more perfect union.

Aztlan new government roundtable
4PM-5PM (PST) on 90.7 FM KPFK Los Angeles CA
Also webcast live on the internet at:

Contact: Gabriel Tenorio (323) 273-0588


[This is a member supported site not an official UAW site]
Proud to be Union!
The purpose of this site is to support and inform union members and
promote the overall cause of Unionism and organized labor. We advocate
involvement for the purpose of improving the condition of all working people
and promote the ideal of Unionism to the fullest possible extent.
We do not promote the cessation from any union but we believe that a labor
movement revival will take place through open communication and
membership involvement in the rank and file!
Members for CHANGE!
Popular Activist Sites
GM Gypsy, Future of the Union, Live Bait and Ammo by
Gregg Shotwell, Disgruntled Autoworker, Catholic Worker,
Solidarity Now, The Barking Dog
And many others. To view complete list go to:

Our position on some of the issues

. We believe power at the bargaining table comes from a united,
mobilized, and empowered membership and community support.

. We support equal pay for equal work NO two tiered wage systems.

. We support one week between informational meeting
and ratification votes to allow members to fully understand
details prior to voting.

. We support full disclosure of all contract changes prior to voting.

. Restoration of profit sharing (incentive compensation pay)
and employer _provided benefits.

. Workers have the right to dignity and justice in the shop
and in retirement.

. Negotiations concluded before ratification no hidden negotiations
and one member one vote for International Officers.

. We believe in more rank and file direct democracy within the Union
and more representative leadership.

"It is time for new visionary leadership patterned after the best
traditions, and time honored values of Solidarity and

References on the site:

Walter P. Reuther president of UAW
International from 1946-1970. Read
the Time Magazine article by clicking
the link below
Time Magazine: Walter P. Reuther

"Building a Spirit of Mutuality"

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Fought for civil rights and economic
justice during the 1960's
Martin Luther King and The War on







20) Businesses Seek New Protection From Litigation
October 29, 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 — Frustrated with laws and regulations that
have made companies and accounting firms more open to lawsuits
from investors and the government, corporate America — with the
encouragement of the Bush administration — is preparing to fight back.

Now that corruption cases like Enron and WorldCom are falling out
of the news, two influential industry groups with close ties to
administration officials are hoping to swing the regulatory
pendulum in the opposite direction. The groups are drafting
proposals to provide broad new protections to corporations and
accounting firms from criminal cases brought by federal and
state prosecutors as well as a stronger shield against civil
lawsuits from investors.

Although the details are still being worked out, the groups’
proposals aim to limit the liability of accounting firms for the
work they do on behalf of clients, to force prosecutors to target
individual wrongdoers rather than entire companies, and
to scale back shareholder lawsuits.

The groups hope to reduce what they see as some burdens
imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, landmark post-Enron
legislation adopted in 2002. The law, which placed significant
new auditing and governance requirements on companies, gave
broad discretion for interpretation to the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The groups are also interested in rolling back
rules and policies that have been on the books for decades.

To alleviate concerns that the new Congress may not adopt
the proposals — regardless of which party holds power in the
legislative branch next year — many are being tailored so that
they could be adopted through rulemaking by the S.E.C. and
enforcement policy changes at the Justice Department.

The proposals will begin to be laid out in public shortly after
Election Day, members of the groups said in recent interviews.
One of the committees was formed by the United States Chamber
of Commerce and until recently was headed by Robert K. Steel.

Mr. Steel was sworn in last Friday as the new Treasury
undersecretary for domestic finance, and he is the senior
official in the department who will be formulating the
Treasury’s views on the issues being studied by the two groups.

The second committee was formed by the Harvard Law
professor Hal S. Scott, along with R. Glenn Hubbard,
a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for
President Bush, and John L. Thornton, a former president of
Goldman Sachs, where he worked with Treasury Secretary
Henry M. Paulson Jr.

That group has colloquially become known around Washington
as the Paulson Committee because the relatively new Treasury
secretary issued an encouraging statement when it was formed
last month. But administration officials said Friday that he was
not playing a role in the group’s deliberations.

Its members include Donald L. Evans, a former commerce secretary
who remains a close friend of President Bush; Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr.,
chief executive of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting giant;
Robert R. Glauber, former chairman and chief executive of the
National Association of Securities Dealers, the private group that
oversees the securities industry; and the chief executives of
DuPont, Office Depot and the CIT Group.

Jennifer Zuccarelli, a spokeswoman at the Treasury Department,
said on Friday that no decision had been made about which
recommendations would be supported by the administration.

“While the department always wants to hear new ideas from
academic and industry thought leaders, especially to encourage
the strength of the U.S. capital markets, Treasury is not a member
of these committees and is not collaborating on any findings,”
Ms. Zuccarelli said.

But another official and committee members noted that Mr. Paulson
had recently pressed the groups in private discussions to complete
their work so it could be rolled out quickly after the November elections.

Moreover, committee members say that they expect many of their
recommendations will be used as part of an overall administration
effort to limit what they see as overzealous state prosecutions
by such figures as the New York State attorney general Elliot Spitzer
and abusive class action lawsuits by investors. The groups will also
attempt to lower what they see as the excessive costs associated
with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Their critics, however, see the effort as part of a plan to cater to the
most well-heeled constituents of the administration and insulate
politically connected companies from prosecution at the expense
of investors.

One consideration in drafting the proposals has been the chain of
events at Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm that was convicted
in 2002 of obstruction of justice for shredding Enron-related documents;
the conviction was overturned in 2005 by the Supreme Court.
The proposals being drafted would aim to limit the liability of
auditing firms and include a policy shift to make it harder for
prosecutors to bring cases against individuals and companies.

Even though Arthur Andersen played a prominent role in various
corporate scandals, some business and legal experts have criticized
the decision by the Bush administration to bring a criminal case that
had the effect of shutting the firm down.

The proposed policies would emphasize the prosecution of culpable
individuals rather than corporations and auditing firms. That shift
could prove difficult for prosecutors because it is often harder
to find sufficient evidence to show that specific people at a company
were the ones who knowingly violated a law.

One proposal would recommend that the Justice Department sharply
curtail its policy of forcing companies under investigation to withhold
paying the legal fees of executives suspected of violating the law.
Another one would require some investor lawsuits to be handled
by arbitration panels, which are traditionally friendlier to defendants.

In an interview last week with Bloomberg News, Mr. Paulson
repeated his criticism of the Sarbanes-Oxley law. While it had
done some good, he said, it had contributed to “an atmosphere
that has made it more burdensome for companies to operate.”

Mr. Paulson also repeated a line from his first speech, given
at Columbia Business School last August, where he said, “Often
the pendulum swings too far and we need to go through a period
of readjustment.”

Some experts see Mr. Paulson’s complaint as a step backward.

“This is an escalation of the culture war against regulation,” said
James D. Cox, a securities and corporate law professor at Duke
Law School. He said many of the proposals, if adopted, “would
be a dark day for investors.”

Professor Cox, who has studied 600 class action lawsuits over
the last decade, said it was difficult to find “abusive or malicious”
cases, particularly in light of new laws and court decisions that
had made it more difficult to file such suits.

The number of securities class action lawsuits has dropped
substantially in each of the last two years, he noted, arguing
that the impact of the proposals from the business groups would
be that “very few people would be prosecuted.”

People involved in the committees said that the timing of the
proposals was being dictated by the political calendar: closely
following Election Day and as far away as possible from the 2008

Mr. Hubbard, who is now dean of Columbia Business School, said
the committee he helps lead would focus on the lack of proper
economic foundation for a number of regulations. Most changes
will be proposed through regulation, he said, because “the current
political environment is simply not ripe for legislation.”

Other people involved in the work said that their objective was to
improve the attractiveness of American capital-raising markets
by scaling back rules whose costs outweigh their benefits.

“We think the legal liability issues are the most serious ones,” said
Professor Scott, the director of the committee singled out by
Mr. Paulson. “Companies don’t want to use our markets because
of what they see is the substantial, and in their view excessive, liability.”

Committee officials disputed the notion that they were simply
catering to powerful business interests seeking to benefit from
loosening regulations that could wind up hurting investors.

“It’s unfortunate to the extent that this has been politicized,” said
Robert E. Litan, a former Justice Department official and senior
fellow at the Brookings Institution who is overseeing the committee’s
legal liability subgroup. “The objectives are clearly not to gut such
reforms as Sarbanes-Oxley. I’m for cost-effective regulation.”

The main Sarbanes-Oxley provision that both committees are
focusing on is a part that is commonly called Section 404, which
requires audits of companies’ internal financial controls. Some
business experts praise this section as having made companies
more transparent and better managed, but many smaller companies
call the section too costly and unnecessary.

Members of the two committees said that they had reached
a consensus that Section 404, along with greater threat of investor
lawsuits and government prosecutions, had discouraged foreign
companies from issuing new stock on exchanges in the United States
in recent months.

The committee members said that an increase in stock offerings
abroad was evidence that the American liability system and tougher
auditing standards were taking a toll on the competitiveness of American
markets. But others see different reasons for the trend and few links
to liability and accounting rules.

Bill Daley, a former commerce secretary in the Clinton administration
who is the co-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce group, expects
proposed changes to liability standards for accounting firms and
corporations to draw the most flak. But he said that the changes
affecting accounting firms are of paramount importance to prevent
the further decline in competition. Only four major firms were left
after Andersen’s collapse.

Another contentious issue concerns a proposal to eliminate the
use of a broadly written and long-established anti-fraud rule,
known as Rule 10b-5, that allows shareholders to sue companies
for fraud. The change could be accomplished by a vote of the S.E.C.

John C. Coffee, a professor of securities law at Columbia Law
School and an adviser to the Paulson Committee, said that he
had recommended that the S.E.C. adopt the exception to
Rule 10b-5 so that only the commission could bring such
lawsuits against corporations.

But other securities law experts warned that such a move would
extinguish a fundamental check on corporate malfeasance.

“It would be a shocking turning back to say only the commission
can bring fraud cases,” said Harvey J. Goldschmid, a former S.E.C.
commissioner and law professor at Columbia University. “Private
enforcement is a necessary supplement to the work that the S.E.C.
does. It is also a safety valve against the potential capture of the
agency by industry.


21) GAO chief warns economic disaster looms
By MATT CRENSON, AP National Writer
Sat Oct 28, 6:54 PM ET

David M. Walker sure talks like he's running for office. "This is about
the future of our country, our kids and grandkids," the comptroller
general of the United States warns a packed hall at Austin's historic
Driskill Hotel. "We the people have to rise up to make sure things
get changed."

But Walker doesn't want, or need, your vote this November. He already
has a job as head of the Government Accountability Office,
an investigative arm of Congress that audits and evaluates
the performance of the federal government.

Basically, that makes Walker the nation's accountant-in-chief. And
the accountant-in-chief's professional opinion is that the American
public needs to tell Washington it's time to steer the nation off the
path to financial ruin.

From the hustings and the airwaves this campaign season, America's
political class can be heard debating Capitol Hill sex scandals, the
wisdom of the war in Iraq and which party is tougher on terror.
Democrats and Republicans talk of cutting taxes to make life
easier for the American people.

What they don't talk about is a dirty little secret everyone in Washington
knows, or at least should. The vast majority of economists and budget
analysts agree: The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and
will founder on the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done
to correct it.

There's a good reason politicians don't like to talk about
the nation's long-term fiscal prospects. The subject is short
on political theatrics and long on complicated economics, scary
graphs and very big numbers. It reveals serious problems and
offers no easy solutions. Anybody who wanted to deal with
it seriously would have to talk about raising taxes and cutting
benefits, nasty nostrums that might doom any candidate who
prescribed them.

"There's no sexiness to it," laments Leita Hart-Fanta, an accountant
who has just heard Walker's pitch. She suggests recruiting a trusted
celebrity — maybe Oprah — to sell fiscal responsibility to the
American people.

Walker doesn't want to make balancing the federal government's
books sexy — he just wants to make it politically palatable.
He has committed to touring the nation through the 2008 elections,
talking to anybody who will listen about the fiscal black hole
Washington has dug itself, the "demographic tsunami" that
will come when the baby boom generation begins retiring
and the recklessness of borrowing money from foreign lenders
to pay for the operation of the U.S. government.

"He can speak forthrightly and independently because his job
is not in jeopardy if he tells the truth," said Isabel V. Sawhill,
a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution.

Walker can talk in public about the nation's impending fiscal
crisis because he has one of the most secure jobs in Washington.
As comptroller general of the United States — basically,
the government's chief accountant — he is serving a 15-year
term that runs through 2013.

This year Walker has spoken to the Union League Club of Chicago
and the Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Sons of the American Revolution
and the World Future Society. But the backbone of his campaign
has been the Fiscal Wake-up Tour, a traveling roadshow
of economists and budget analysts who share Walker's concern
for the nation's budgetary future.

"You can't solve a problem until the majority of the people
believe you have a problem that needs to be solved," Walker says.

Polls suggest that Americans have only a vague sense of their
government's long-term fiscal prospects. When pollsters
ask Americans to name the most important problem facing
America today — as a CBS News/New York Times poll of 1,131
Americans did in September — issues such as the war in Iraq,
terrorism, jobs and the economy are most frequently mentioned.
The deficit doesn't even crack the top 10.

Yet on the rare occasions that pollsters ask directly about the
deficit, at least some people appear to recognize it as a problem.
In a survey of 807 Americans last year by the Pew Center for the
People and the Press, 42 percent of respondents said reducing
the deficit should be a top priority; another 38 percent said
it was important but a lower priority.

So the majority of the public appears to agree with Walker that
the deficit is a serious problem, but only when they're made
to think about it. Walker's challenge is to get people not just
to think about it, but to pressure politicians to make the hard
choices that are needed to keep the situation from spiraling
out of control.

To show that the looming fiscal crisis is not a partisan issue,
he brings along economists and budget analysts from across
the political spectrum. In Austin, he's accompanied by Diane
Lim Rogers, a liberal economist from the Brookings Institution,
and Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic
Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

"We all agree on what the choices are and what the numbers are,"
Fraser says.

Their basic message is this: If the United States government
conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national
debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more,
adjusted for inflation. That's almost as much as the total net worth
of every person in America — Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and those
Google guys included.

A hole that big could paralyze the U.S. economy; according to some
projections, just the interest payments on a debt that big would
be as much as all the taxes the government collects today.

And every year that nothing is done about it, Walker says,
the problem grows by $2 trillion to $3 trillion.

People who remember Ross Perot's rants in the 1992 presidential
election may think of the federal debt as a problem of the past.
But it never really went away after Perot made it an issue, it only
took a breather. The federal government actually produced
a surplus for a few years during the 1990s, thanks to a booming
economy and fiscal restraint imposed by laws that were passed
early in the decade. And though the federal debt has grown
in dollar terms since 2001, it hasn't grown dramatically
relative to the size of the economy.

But that's about to change, thanks to the country's three big
entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicaid and especially
Medicare. Medicaid and Medicare have grown progressively more
expensive as the cost of health care has dramatically outpaced
inflation over the past 30 years, a trend that is expected
to continue for at least another decade or two.

And with the first baby boomers becoming eligible for Social
Security in 2008 and for Medicare in 2011, the expenses
of those two programs are about to increase dramatically
due to demographic pressures. People are also living longer,
which makes any program that provides benefits to retirees
more expensive.

Medicare already costs four times as much as it did in 1970,
measured as a percentage of the nation's gross domestic
product. It currently comprises 13 percent of federal spending;
by 2030, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will
consume nearly a quarter of the budget.

Economists Jagadeesh Gokhale of the American Enterprise
Institute and Kent Smetters of the University of Pennsylvania
have an even scarier way of looking at Medicare. Their method
calculates the program's long-term fiscal shortfall — the
annual difference between its dedicated revenues and costs
— over time.

By 2030 they calculate Medicare will be about $5 trillion
in the hole, measured in 2004 dollars. By 2080, the fiscal
imbalance will have risen to $25 trillion. And when you project
the gap out to an infinite time horizon, it reaches $60 trillion.

Medicare so dominates the nation's fiscal future that some
economists believe health care reform, rather than budget
measures, is the best way to attack the problem.

"Obviously health care is a mess," says Dean Baker, a liberal
economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research,
a Washington think tank. "No one's been willing to touch it,
but that's what I see as front and center."

Social Security is a much less serious problem. The program
currently pays for itself with a 12.4 percent payroll tax, and
even produces a surplus that the government raids every year
to pay other bills. But Social Security will begin to run deficits
during the next century, and ultimately would need an infusion
of $8 trillion if the government planned to keep its promises
to every beneficiary.

Calculations by Boston University economist Lawrence Kotlikoff
indicate that closing those gaps — $8 trillion for Social Security,
many times that for Medicare — and paying off the existing
deficit would require either an immediate doubling of personal
and corporate income taxes, a two-thirds cut in Social Security
and Medicare benefits, or some combination of the two.

Why is America so fiscally unprepared for the next century? Like
many of its citizens, the United States has spent the last few
years racking up debt instead of saving for the future. Foreign
lenders — primarily the central banks of China, Japan and other
big U.S. trading partners — have been eager to lend the
government money at low interest rates, making the current
$8.5-trillion deficit about as painful as a big balance on
a zero-percent credit card.

In her part of the fiscal wake-up tour presentation, Rogers
tries to explain why that's a bad thing. For one thing, even
when rates are low a bigger deficit means a greater portion
of each tax dollar goes to interest payments rather than
useful programs. And because foreigners now hold so much
of the federal government's debt, those interest payments
increasingly go overseas rather than to U.S. investors.

More serious is the possibility that foreign lenders might
lose their enthusiasm for lending money to the United States.
Because treasury bills are sold at auction, that would mean
paying higher interest rates in the future. And it wouldn't just
be the government's problem. All interest rates would rise,
making mortgages, car payments and student loans costlier, too.

A modest rise in interest rates wouldn't necessarily be a bad
thing, Rogers said. America's consumers have as much of
a borrowing problem as their government does, so higher rates
could moderate overconsumption and encourage consumer
saving. But a big jump in interest rates could cause economic
catastrophe. Some economists even predict the government
would resort to printing money to pay off its debt, a risky
strategy that could lead to runaway inflation.

Macroeconomic meltdown is probably preventable, says Anjan
Thakor, a professor of finance at Washington University in St. Louis.
But to keep it at bay, he said, the government is essentially going
to have to renegotiate some of the promises it has made to its
citizens, probably by some combination of tax increases and
benefit cuts.

But there's no way to avoid what Rogers considers the worst result
of racking up a big deficit — the outrage of making our children
and grandchildren repay the debts of their elders.

"It's an unfair burden for future generations," she says.

You'd think young people would be riled up over this issue,
since they're the ones who will foot the bill when they're out
in the working world. But students take more interest in issues
like the Iraq war and gay marriage than the federal government's
finances, says Emma Vernon, a member of the University
of Texas Young Democrats.

"It's not something that can fire people up," she says.

The current political climate doesn't help. Washington tends
to keep its fiscal house in better order when one party controls
Congress and the other is in the White House, says Sawhill.

"It's kind of a paradoxical result. Your commonsense logic would
tell you if one party is in control of everything they should
be able to take action," Sawhill says.

But the last six years of Republican rule have produced tax cuts,
record spending increases and a Medicare prescription drug plan
that has been widely criticized as fiscally unsound. When
President Clinton faced a Republican Congress during the
1990s, spending limits and other legislative tools helped
produce a surplus.

So maybe a solution is at hand.

"We're likely to have at least partially divided government again,"
Sawhill said, referring to predictions that the Democrats will
capture the House, and possibly the Senate, in next month's

But Walker isn't optimistic that the government will be able
to tackle its fiscal challenges so soon.

"Realistically what we hope to accomplish through the fiscal
wake-up tour is ensure that any serious candidate for the presidency
in 2008 will be forced to deal with the issue," he says. "The best we're
going to get in the next couple of years is to slow the bleeding."


Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
Frank Morales
October 26, 2006 or

Yahoo! on NSA Surveillance: No Comment
By Declan McCullagh, CNET
Published on ZDNet News: February 15, 2006, 1:55 PM PT
Under cross-examination during a congressional hearing, Yahoo's top
lawyer refused on Wednesday to say whether the company opens
its records for government surveillance without a court order.

Fmr. Israeli soldier exposes abuse of Palestinians
This is an interview Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman carried out
with Yehuda Shaul, a former Israeli soldier, and the co-founder
of Breaking the Silence, a group comprised of former Israeli
soldiers who seek exposing human rights abuses by the
Israeli military.
10/28/2006 7:00:00 PM GMT

FOCUS | Report Says Iraq Contractor Is Hiding Data From US
A Halliburton subsidiary that has been subjected to numerous
investigations for billions of dollars of contracts it has received
for work in Iraq has systematically misused federal rules
to withhold basic information on its practices from American
officials, a federal oversight agency said yesterday. Although
KBR has been subjected to a growing number of specific
investigations and paid substantial fines, this marks
the first time the federal government has weighed
in and accused it of systematically engaging in a practice
aimed at veiling its business practices in Iraq.

Mexico: American Among Dead in Oaxaca
A New York journalist and three other people were shot and killed
during protests in the southern city of Oaxaca as left-wing groups
seeking to oust Gov. Ulises Ruiz tried to strangle the city with
blockades and encountered resistance from the police and ordinary
citizens. The violence came as the movement to force Mr. Ruiz
to resign seemed to be splintering, with a teachers union whose
walkout set off the civil unrest five months ago was close to an
agreement with the government to return to classes. The American
journalist, Bradley Roland Will, 36, was working with a left-wing
Web site called NYC Indymedia and had been in Mexico for several
weeks. He was shot while trying to film some men in plainclothes
who opened fire on protesters at a roadblock on the outskirts
of the city.
October 28, 2006

Taking On a Coal Mining Practice as a Matter of Faith
October 28, 2006

The Horrors of Extraordinary Rendition
A Personal Account
October 27 / 29, 2006

Robert Fisk: Mystery of Israel's secret uranium bomb
Alarm over radioactive legacy left by attack on Lebanon
Published: 28 October 2006

Jason Leopold | Administration Officials Billed Taxpayers $1.5 Million
for Private Air Travel

From Monsters and
Smallscreen News
`Simpsons` episode parodies Iraq war
LOS ANGELES, CA, United States (UPI) -- A Halloween episode
of 'The Simpsons' will air just days before November`s midterm
elections with a politically sensitive parody of the war in Iraq.
With polls showing a majority in the United States now believing
the Republican Bush administration`s invasion was a mistake,
ABC News said the sarcastic justifications by two green aliens
attacking Earth had the possibility to sway voters.
The characters, Kang and Kodos, have exchanges amid the ensuing
destruction, including one justifying the invasion, because humans
have 'weapons of mass disintegration.'
'I`m starting to think `Operation Enduring Occupation` was a bad
idea,' one character says, to which the other replies 'We still have
the people`s hearts and minds,' as he holds up a heart and brain.
The show`s executive producer, Al Jean, denied there was any
attempt to affect the election.
'I`d like to take credit for being adventuresome, but I think we`re
expressing a viewpoint 69 percent of the country agrees with,' he said.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Oct 25, 2006, 19:00 GMT

Roundup: Afghan official, witness say
85 civilians killed by NATO air strike
At least 85 civilians were killed by a NATO
air strike in a village of the southern Kandahar
province of Afghanistan, an Afghan official
and a witness told Xinhua on Thursday.

Cheney endorses simulated drowning
Mark Tran
Friday October 27, 2006,,1933315,00.html

Economic Growth Held Back by Deflating Housing Market
October 27, 2006

New-Home Prices Fall Sharply
October 27, 2006

Mourners Mark Anniversary of Deaths in Paris Suburb
Filed at 10:26 a.m. ET
October 27, 2006

Nicaragua Passes Total Ban on Abortion
October 27, 2006

Democrats Fear Disillusionment in Black Voters
October 27, 2006

Cheney Confirms That Detainees Were Subjected to Water-Boarding
Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that US interrogators
subjected captured senior al-Qaeda suspects to a controversial
interrogation technique called "water-boarding," which creates
a sensation of drowning.

Active-Duty Troops Voice Their Dissent from US Policy in Iraq

Iraqis Were Better Off Under Saddam, Says Former Weapons Inspector

Daimler Minus Chrysler = Pure Speculation
October 26, 2006

As Anniversary of Riots Nears, Youths Torch Buses Around Paris
Filed at 11:53 a.m. ET
October 26, 2006

Home Price Drop Is Largest in 35 Years
Filed at 11:16 a.m. ET
October 26, 2006

Chrysler Announces $1.5 Billion Loss
October 25, 2006

New Jersey Court Backs Rights for Same-Sex Unions
The State Supreme Court in New Jersey said today that same-sex
couples are entitled to “the same rights and benefits enjoyed
by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”
October 25, 2006

Oaxaca Teachers Refuse to Budge, Reject Order from their
Own Union Leadership to Return to Classes
By Nancy Davies,
Posted on Tue Oct 24th, 2006 at 01:13:03 AM EST
Oaxaca Teachers Refuse to Budge, Reject Order from their Own
Union Leadership to Return to Classes
National Senate Refuses to Resolve Oaxaca Stand-Off:
APPO Must Find its Own Solutions
Commentary by Nancy Davies
Reporting from Oaxaca
Oaxaca, October 22, 2006

Collapse of ecosystems likely if plunder continues
John Vidal, environment editor
Wednesday October 25, 2006

Rising tide of global warming threatens Pacific island states
By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent
Published: 25 October 2006

US in Iraq: We're out of here
America signals dramatic shift in strategy, saying Iraq will assume
responsibility for security in '12 to 18 months'
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington and Colin Brown
Published: 25 October 2006

The Silence at Home, as America Eats Her Young
From Kofi Annan to Woody Hayes
October 24, 2006

DuPont Back to Profit
WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 24 (AP) — The E. I. du Pont de Nemours
& Company, the chemical maker, said on Tuesday that it swung
to a profit in the third quarter on higher sales and lower fixed
costs, despite higher expenses for raw materials.
DuPont reported earnings of $485 million, or 52 cents a share,
in contrast to a loss of $82 million, or 9 cents a share, for the
third quarter of last year, when it took a $146 million pretax
charge for hurricane-related items.
Excluding special items in both periods, earnings per share
rose to 49 cents from 33 cents a year earlier. Revenue grew
7 percent, to $6.31 billion from $5.87 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected a profit
of 45 cents a share and revenue of $6.13 billion.
Stock in DuPont, which is based in Wilmington, Del., rose
55 cents, to $46 a share in trading yesterday.
October 25, 2006

California: Police Investigate Dumping of Homeless
The Los Angeles police have begun an investigation into accusations
that homeless people were being dumped in a rundown area in the
city after ambulances were spotted dropping off discharged hospital
patients there. The police released pictures and videotape of five
patients being left at a rescue center in the downtown area known
as skid row. The police said the five people they documented
on Sunday were left there against their wills. One 62-year-old
man, released from the hospital after treatment on his knee,
told the police he had asked to be taken to his son’s home.
Los Angeles Metropolitan hospital, which was involved in all
five cases, said the patients had asked to go to the center.
October 25, 2006

Court Again Rejects Part of Canada’s Antiterror Laws
October 25, 2006

Afghanistan: NATO Mortar Kills Child
An Afghan girl was killed and two other children were
wounded when a NATO mortar fell short of its target
in eastern Kunar Province and hit a house, a NATO
spokesman said. The mortar was one of five rounds
that NATO troops had fired toward a site where they
had been attacked before. The spokesman said the
wounded children, 7-year-old girls, were taken to
Bagram Air Base, where they were described as stable.
Earlier this month, after NATO forces killed up to
20 civilians during operations in the southern provinces
of Kandahar and Helmand, President Hamid Karzai
said civil casualties were “not acceptable to us” and
urged NATO forces “to take maximum caution.”
October 25, 2006

Idle Contractors Add Millions to Iraq Rebuilding
October 25, 2006

Hospitals Try Free Basic Care for Uninsured
October 25, 2006

Venezuelan Workers Seize and Blockade Coca-Cola Plants
Across the Country
By: Steven Mather -
Monday, Oct 23, 2006

"About That Trip to Cuba ... "
When the Came FBI Calling
October 24, 2006

The choice before Humanity
By Alan Woods
From 11 to 13 October in the FAO building in Rome the Fourth
Gathering of Intellectuals and Artists in Defence of Humanity took
place. We publish today the text of a paper presented by Alan Woods
to that conference.
Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Ford Posts Loss of $5.8 Billion, Worst Since ’92
October 24, 2006

Medical Views of 9/11’s Dust Show Big Gaps
October 24, 2006

Texas: Janitors Rally for Wage Increase
Hundreds of workers who clean Houston’s office buildings did not
report for the night shift and rallied downtown after talks collapsed
with five private contractors. The city’s 5,300 janitors, who formed
a union last year with the Service Employees International Union,
earn an average of $5.30 an hour, or about $20 a day part-time,
with no health insurance or other benefits. They are seeking a raise
over three years to $8.50 an hour with benefits. The cleaning
companies — ABM, OneSource, GCA, Sanitors, and Pritchard —
have not responded to calls for comment.
October 24, 2006

Pennsylvania: Coal Miner Dies
An explosion in a coal mine killed a miner in Tremont, about
80 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The victim was identified
as Dale Reightler, 43. Five other miners who were underground
at the time were able to get out, said Kate Dugan, a spokeswoman
for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Regulators ordered the mine closed pending an investigation.
The anthracite mine is operated by the R&D Coal Company.
So far this year, there have been 41 other deaths in American
coal-mine accidents, none in Pennsylvania.
October 24, 2006

Brother of N.F.L. Star Posts Antiwar Essay
October 24, 2006

"After Pat’s Birthday"
By Kevin Tillman
Posted on Oct 19, 2006

Overhead Costs Consume Budget for Iraq Reconstruction
October 24, 2006

General May Increase U.S. Troop Levels in Baghdad
October 24, 2006

Trying to Contain the Iraq Disaster
New York Times Editorial
October 24, 2006

The Exodus: 1.6m Iraqis have Fled Their Country Since the War
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1023-03.htm

Israel Admits Phosphorous Bombs Used in Lebanon
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1023-02.htm

How Iraq Came Home to Haunt America
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1022-05.htm

Top US Diplomat: We have Shown 'Stupidity' and 'Arrogance' in Iraq
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1022-01.htm

US Public at Risk from Radiation: Scientists
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1021-02.htm

Global Warming Study Predicts Wild Ride
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1021-01.htm

Iraq: A Consensus Develops: Leave the Course
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1021-04.htm

Active troops ask congress to end Iraqi occupation
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sixty five active duty service members
are officially asking Congress to end the war in Iraq -- the first
time active troops have done so since U.S. invasion began in 2003.
Three of the service members will hold a press conference Wednesday
explaining their decision to send "Appeals for Redress" under the
Military Whistleblower Protection Act to their members of Congress.
Under the act, National Guard and Reservists can send communications
about any subject to their member of Congress without punishment.
Monday, October 23, 2006
http://www.cnn. com/POLITICS/ blogs/politicalt icker/2006/ 10/active- troops-ask-
congress-to- end.html

Police and Youths Clash Near Paris
PARIS, Oct. 22 (Reuters) — The French police and youths clashed
in a Paris suburb on Sunday as tensions mounted ahead of the
anniversary of riots last year that shocked the country and provoked
renewed debate about the integration of immigrants into French
A police spokesman said 30 to 50 individuals were involved in the
clashes, in Grigny, south of Paris. He said youths had set several
cars on fire and had ordered passengers off a bus and set it on
fire, leading to the clash with the police. "There are still some
sporadic incidents, mostly stone throwing," he said.
In a statement, the police union urged the government to deploy
"a visible and large number" of riot police officers to discourage
youths from attacking patrols. Recently, patrols in a number
of towns across the country have been hit by gasoline bombs.
"This latest clash marks the progressive start of a repeat of the
riots of November 2005," the statement said, referring to the
incident in Grigny.
October 23, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/23/world/ europe/23france. html

At Guantanamo, a Cross-the-Fence Chat
U.S. and Cuban military and civilian officials meet each month
at the naval base's border. They discuss local matters -- and baseball.
By Carol J. Williams
October 20, 2006
http://www.latimes. com/news/ nationworld/ world/la- fg-
cubaties20oct20, 1,5411056. story

Some 10,500 Palestinians in Israel prisons
GAZA, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Israel is detaining as many as 10,500
Palestinian prisoners, a number of whom Hamas is seeking
to exchange for abducted Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
http://www.upi. com/Internationa lIntelligence/ view.php?
StoryID=20061020- 081623-3243r

Teachers OK Pact in Oaxaca
Mexican officials hope a deal to end the strike will halt
civil unrest. Others are skeptical.
By Sam Enriquez, Times Staff Writer
October 21, 2006
http://www.latimes. com/news/ nationworld/ world/la- fg-oaxaca21oct21 ,1,3386286. story?
coll=la-headlines- world

When Ford Pushed, a Supplier Pushed Back
October 21, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/21/business/ 21place.html? ref=business

Lawyer Convicted in Terror Case Lied on the Stand, a Juror Says
[Other juror, juror 9 says case should have been dismissed... bw]
October 21, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/21/nyregion/ 21stewart. html?ref= nyregion

Turmoil at College for Deaf Reflects Broader Debate
October 21, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/21/education/ 21gallaudet. html?ref= us

Flexing Our Muscles in Space
New York Times Editorial
October 21, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/21/opinion/ 21sat1.html? hp

The Real Reasons Behind the So-called
`War on Terrorism'
By Nat Weinstein
http://www.socialis tviewpoint. org/

Iraqi Dead May Total 600,000, Study Says
October 11, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/11/world/ middleeast/ 11casualties. html?

Ex - Gitmo Detainees Arrive in Afghanistan
Filed at 8:43 p.m. ET
October 12, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/aponline/ world/AP- Afghan-Guantanam o-Prisoners. html

8 Palestinians Die as Israeli Raids and Airstrikes Intensify
[Photo shows a relative greiving for Sohaib Kadiah, a 13-year-old
boy who died in an airstrike that Israel officials said killed four
Hamas militants. It looks like the child's face was blown off. His
father, a civilian, was also killed. Over all, more than 200 Palestinians,
including militants and civilians, have been killed in the Gaza
fighting since late June. Two Israeli soldiers have also lost
October 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/13/world/ middleeast/ 13mideast. html

A Soldier Hoped to Do Good, but Was Changed by War
October 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/13/us/ 13awol.html? ref=us

Protests Shut University for Deaf a 2nd Day
[I believe this story is important because it raises the question
of whether students and faculty can have a democratic say
in the issues that they face on a daily basis or does the
Administration have dictatorial rule over all? If the latter is
true, why should we tolerate it? All power to the students and
faculty at Gallaudet University! To support the students send
an email to the school president:
I. King Jordan
October 13, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/13/education/ 13galludet. html?ref= us

Ann Wright joins endorsers of War Crimes Report
International Anti-Occupation Network and Stop the War
Coalition (UK) join report publishers
October 12, 2006
CONTACT: Consumers for Peace,
http://www.consumer sforpeace. org
Nick Mottern nickmottern@ earthlink. net

Cuba and her Permanent Revolution
By Carol Cossitore
Prensa Latina
...with apologies to Trotsky, Bukharin, Marx,
[undated, but downloaded October 9, 2006]
http://www.plenglis article.asp? ID={FF33D287-B4AD- 45AD-
B29D-9FE01B76A379} &language= EN

Resistance Growing Up at School
Ali Al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail

Havana Book Fair: A Report
http://www.marxist. com/trotsky- havana-book- fair230206. htm

Former pesticide executive to head EPA office
Dow Chemical was among employers, environmental group wary
The Associated Press
Updated: 11:48 a.m. ET Oct 10, 2006
http://www.msnbc. 15208048/

Cuba Alerts World Tension over Korean N-Test
Prensa Latina, Havana

EEOC: Graffiti, Noose Left for Black Workers at Firm
Chicago Sun-Times
By: Steve Warmbir
http://www.suntimes .com/news/ metro/47274, CST-NWS-noose07. article

U.S. Firing Plans for Great Lakes Raise Concerns
October 16, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/16/us/ 16lakes.html? ref=us

Lawyer Is Due for Sentencing in Terror Case
October 16, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/16/nyregion/ 16stewart. html?ref= nyregion

Medical Marijuana Advocate Faces New U.S. Indictment
October 14, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/14/washington /14pot.html? ref=health

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

A new revolution in Grimethorpe:
Cuban-style socialist health care
By Matthew
Beard Published: 16 October 2006
http://news. independent. health_medical/ article1876666. ece

Sami's Shame, and Ours
October 17, 2006
http://select. 2006/10/17/ opinion/17kristo f.html?hp

Bush Signs Terror Interrogation Law
Filed at 11:08 a.m. ET
October 17, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/aponline/ us/AP-Bush- Terrorism. html?
hp&ex=1161144000& en=254af53b6a9b2 151&ei=5094& partner=homepage

Lawyer, Facing 30 Years, Gets 28 Months, to Dismay of U.S.
October 17, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/17/nyregion/ 17stewart. html?ref= us

California Letter Investigated for Warning to Immigrants
October 18, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/18/us/ politics/ 18hispanic. html

Behind the Veil
New York Times Editorial
October 19, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/19/opinion/ 19thu4.html? _r=1&hp&oref= slogin

Morning Star interviews Celia Hart
By Andrew Kennedy and Charley Allan - Morning Star
Thursday, 19 October 2006
Rich Opportunity (Morning Star Tuesday 17 October 2006)
http://www.marxist. com/morning- star-interviews- celia-hart191006 .htm

Bush issues doctrine for US control of space
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Thursday October 19, 2006
Guardian onal/story/ 0,,1925756, 00.html

Trial Begins for 2 Charged With Aiding Terror Group
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/20/us/ 20trial.html? ref=us

U.N. Says Iraq Seals Data on the Civilian Toll
October 21, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/21/world/ middleeast/ 21statistics. html?

Anger Festering in French Areas Scarred in Riots
October 21, 2006
http://www.nytimes. com/2006/ 10/21/world/ europe/21france. html?
hp&ex=1161489600& en=64d3fb6fee784 0ce&ei=5094& partner=homepage

After Pat's Birthday
By Kevin Tillman
Editor's note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat
in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who
was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read
Posted on Oct 19, 2006
http://www.truthdig .com/report/ item/200601019_ after_pats_ birthday/
http://www.counterp zirin10202006. html

Ancient fish fossil provides missing link in evolution of land animals
By Kathy Marks in Sydney
Published: 20 October 2006
19 October 2006 20:45
http://news. independent. australasia/ article1904967. ece

Medics beg for help as Iraqis die needlessly
Half of all deaths preventable, say country's medics
Reconstruction seen as disaster
More than 2,000 doctors and nurses are killed
18,000 more leave the nation
Even the most basic treatments are lacking
By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Published: 20 October 2006
http://news. independent. middle_east/ article1904962. ece

Gaza Doctors Say Patients Suffering Mystery Injuries After Israeli Attacks
http://www.commondr headlines06/ 1018-05.htm