Friday, November 03, 2006



Brad Will Presente!
See what the world has lost:
"I Really Like the Cops" a song by Brad Will




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

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


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

Caroline Lund-Sheppard
September 24, 1944-October 14, 2006
By Jennifer Biddle

It's my favorite photograph of Caroline: She's just a girl, standing
straight up, hands neatly folded in front of her, wearing a long,
white tunic, and an exuberantly silly grin. The minister from her
family's Lutheran church is standing right behind her, tall, grave,
and imposing above all the other boys and girls who are lined up
tidily in two rows to his left. In the center, looming overhead,
hangs a large, bare cross. It's Confirmation Day and all these boys
and girls have just accepted Jesus Christ as their everlasting
savior. Somehow, though, everything fades into the background and
it's only Caroline your eyes see. All the other girls are wearing
white shoes and have their hair set in the style of the day - short
with tight, little curls - so maybe it's Caroline's black shoes and
her long, straight and pulled-back hair that catch your eye. No, it's
her face. Everyone else is solemn and still, but Caroline is not -
her mouth and eyes are full of movement. She's giddy with the light
of the Lord, some might think. But I know the truth and the truth is
why I love this picture so much: Caroline, at fourteen, is already an atheist.

Caroline Jean Lund, born September 24, 1944, was the first of two
girls for Martha and O.P. Lund. Her Swedish-Norwegian upbringing in
Minneapolis, she liked to say, was a chapter right out of "A Prairie
Home Companion." Though her dad was a lawyer, and her mother a
librarian, and their economic circumstances better than most, from a
young age Caroline was aware of how randomly close to the margin of
working poverty everyone else was.

Caroline's mom instilled a love of books in her, and by the time
Caroline abandoned the notion of God, she was reading "The Grapes of
Wrath" and "Les Miserables." An idealist at 15, she knew she wanted
to dedicate her life to help end suffering in the world, but she
didn't know what to do.

When she graduated from high school her family pushed her to continue
her education, and in 1962, Caroline went off to Carlton College. It
was at Carlton, a small liberal arts college just south of
Minneapolis, where Caroline encountered socialist ideas. For
Caroline, socialism opened up a whole new way of looking at the world
and understanding it, and she began to get the answers she had been
searching for.

Carlton had a very active socialist discussion club, whose members
would later become part of the central leadership of the Socialist
Workers Party (SWP), the preeminent Trotskyist grouping in America at
the time. Mary Alice Waters, John Benson, Dan Styron, and Doug
Jenness could be counted among the members of this club. Jack Barnes,
who later became the National Secretary of the SWP, had graduated
from Carlton just a couple of years before Caroline was there. Barnes
and his wife Betsy Stone had founded the socialist club with others.
By her second year in college, Caroline had joined the youth wing of
the SWP, the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), and immersed herself in
the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky, and jumped into
political activity on and off campus.

Caroline's parents did not approve of her increasing involvement with
the socialist movement. They stopped supporting her and paying for
college. Drawn more to activism than academics, Caroline quit school,
worked as a waitress at a diner in Minneapolis, and married for the
first time, to Doug Jenness.

In spite of the fact that Caroline grew up and went to public schools
in Minneapolis, she knew nothing about the great Teamster strikes of
1934 until she joined the socialist club at Carlton. The 1934 strikes
made Minneapolis a union town and the Teamsters one of the most
powerful unions in the country.

The leaders of the strike built the Minneapolis SWP branch, and
several of them were still active members. People like Ray Dunne,
then in his 70s, recounted the days of the strike to younger members,
when there was virtually a civil war between workers and bosses. The
Minneapolis branch had a strong core of working class leaders like
Dunne, who were able to impart socialist politics and organizing
skills to new members like Caroline.

In 1965 Caroline and her husband Doug moved to New York City so he
could work fulltime for the Young Socialist Alliance. Caroline,
temporarily reconciled with her parents, enrolled at Columbia
University to continue her studies and do political work on campus.

In 1965, a junior at Columbia, she helped found the Columbia
Committee Against the War in Vietnam. She debated Michael T. Klare -
now a well-known intellectual - over whether the antiwar movement
should call for immediate troop withdrawal in Vietnam (which she was
for), or whether the U.S. should negotiate with the National
Liberation Front and North Vietnamese (which he was for).

Caroline also worked closely with radical members of Students for a
Democratic Society on the Columbia campus. Though their paths would
soon diverge, David Gilbert - who would later join the Weather
Underground and serve a life sentence in prison for his alleged part
in a robbery and murder - was the chairman of the campus antiwar
group when Caroline served as its secretary.

On several occasions at SWP forums Caroline had the privilege of
hearing Malcolm X speak in person. She remembered him to be very
humble and humorous, and said he spoke as if he were one with the
audience. "The thing about Malcolm X was you could tell he was
seeking the truth," she said. "He didn't presume to know everything.
He was not afraid to seek the truth, wherever it might lead him. He
was a revolutionary deep down, even before he knew a revolution was

It was around this time, in 1965, that Caroline met Barry Sheppard,
who was also a young leader in the SWP. They ended their previous
relationships, married the following year, and remained comrades and
companions for the rest of Caroline's life.

In 1967 Caroline became a fulltime staff person at the SWP
headquarters in New York City. She was the Secretary-Treasurer of the
Fred Halstead and Paul Boutelle SWP presidential campaign during the
1968 election. Later that year, Caroline and Barry went to Brussels,
Belgium to live and work as the SWP's and YSA's representatives to
the United Secretariat of the Fourth International. It was an
exciting time to be a revolutionary in Europe. Near revolution still
echoed from Paris where the May-June student-worker general strike
had a profound impact on the continent. The French Trotskyists played
a big role in the May-June events, and Caroline and Barry got to know
many of them and other socialists in Europe.

In 1970, Caroline and Barry returned to the U.S. to participate in
the student strike against the war that swept the country.

Caroline then worked as a staff writer for the SWP's newspaper, The
Militant. She was office-mates with Farrell Dobbs - probably the
best-known leader of the '34 Teamster strike and author of three
volumes on the subject. Dobbs loved his scotch, and on occasion
Caroline and Barry would join him for one after work.

The SWP was in its heyday - by 1976 it had several thousand members
spread across the country, and fully participated in the new
movements that blossomed in the wake of the civil rights struggles of
the previous decade. Caroline wrote voluminously about the issues
that fed the fire of these movements - from women's liberation and
abortion rights, the anti-Vietnam war movement, labor politics, and
third world struggles for independence. She covered international
events like the 1974 revolution in Portugal, and traveled in Spain to
report on the explosive mass movements that developed in the wake of
the death of the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco in 1975.

Caroline and Barry returned to Europe as members of the United
Secretariat, this time to live and work in Paris, from 1977 to 1980.
They were part of a new leadership team, together with younger
European leaders including Charles-Andre Udry and Charles Michaloux
from Switzerland and France, and Jim Percy and Nita Kieg from
Australia. From Paris, Caroline participated in the debates raging
among radicals over which way forward for the movements of the 1960s.

When Caroline returned to the States in early 1980, the SWP shifted
its political focus towards unionized workers. The SWP thought that
the 1978 miners' strike, the formation of Miners for Democracy, and
the Steelworkers Fight Back Campaign, signaled a new militancy in the
American working class.

Never one to sit on the sidelines, Caroline jumped in with both feet.
Though she had mainly done office work, Caroline took her first real
industrial job at a GM plant in North Tarrytown, New York in 1980.
She lost 10 pounds in two weeks she said, "sweating buckets, coming
home completely exhausted."

Just as she had thrown herself into books by Marx, Engels, Lenin, and
Trotsky as a Carlton student, Caroline immersed herself in all the
key struggles and strikes American workers were involved in the late
1970s and early 1980s. She did solidarity work for PATCO, Greyhound,
Eastern, and Hormel workers.

She also changed jobs frequently, working in seven different unions
from 1980 to 1988. Caroline was an autoworker, a garment worker, an
electrical worker, a telephone worker, an oil worker, and a steel
worker - and a member of the UAW, the ILGWU, the ACTU, the IUE, the
CWA, the OCAW, and the USW. Later she would come to think that the
SWP policy of moving people from job to job was a terrible mistake,
and prevented members from sinking roots in their factories and unions.

In the 1980s the SWP was floundering. Workers were losing key
battles, unions were capitulating to employers and the government,
and a conservative political shift occurred in the country reflected
by the election of Ronald Reagan - all of which the SWP leadership
failed to recognize. Both Caroline and Barry found themselves
increasingly at odds with the leadership of the SWP over the
direction of the group and in 1988 they both resigned.

Caroline and Barry moved from east to west and settled in the San
Francisco Bay Area where they could be near their old friend and
former SWP comrade Malik Miah, and do political work with Socialist
Action. Caroline found a job at an oil refinery for a short while,
and then at the NUMMI automobile plant in 1992. At NUMMI, Caroline
was a production worker until early 2006, when she went on disability
due to her illness.

From 1993 to the present Caroline was an independent socialist,
working with various groups, including Solidarity, the International
Socialist Organization, Socialist Action, and the Socialist Workers
Organization. She supported any effort for a just cause, marching in
antiwar demonstrations following the Bush Administration' s attack on
Iraq no matter who organized them.

Caroline focused much of her energy in her later years on her union
work in the UAW. She published one of the best rank and file plant
newsletters in the United States, the Barking Dog, for eight years.
She built up its readership and in the end distributed over 1,000
copies each print run to her coworkers. NUMMI workers loved it,
giving it a circulation closer to 5,000 by passing it around the plant.

The Barking Dog defended workers against the company's abuses and
criticized the union bureaucrats of the Administration Caucus when
they did not. Over time, as Caroline built support for the
newsletter, she gave other workers a platform to voice their opinions
on everything from speed-ups to contracting out to bureaucratic
excesses at union conventions.

The union establishment was not fond of Caroline. Once the President
and the Chairman of the Bargaining Committee of her union local
threatened her with a lawsuit for a criticism she made of them in the
Barking Dog. Caroline quickly hired a lawyer to defend her free
speech rights then exposed the President and the Chairman in the
Barking Dog. Workers were outraged that top union officials would
seek to silence a rank and file worker. Support for her in the plant
led to Caroline being elected Trustee for the union local, where she
oversaw union finances and sat on the Executive Committee. Through
her activism, Caroline developed a reputation in her plant for being
fearless, honest, and knowledgeable.

In the last year of its publication, the Barking Dog focused on a
struggle led by autoworkers at General Motors and the Delphi parts
plant. These autoworkers called themselves Soldiers of Solidarity
(SOS), and fought the use of bankruptcy to force contracts on workers
containing massive concessions. The Barking Dog carried statements by
SOS and reprinted news and comments from rank and file newsletters by
SOS members - like Live Bait and Ammo, the newsletter published by
SOS spokesman and Delphi worker Greg Shotwell.

Above all, Caroline believed in the ability of workers to run their
own unions and workplaces. "The rank and file are very ignorant about
what real unionism is because they've never seen it in action, like
the old-timers in the 1930s and 40s. But in many ways the rank and
file understand more than the union officials," she said. "Malcolm X
said that this society runs on money. The companies believe that for
most people you lay that money down, and your soul goes with it. This
is true in the short term. I don't think most of the existing unions
can be reformed. They are too steeped in the culture of 'cooperation'
with the companies, where the leadership thinks of the union as a
source of perks for themselves and their friends. New unions are
going to have to arise, from the bottom up, out of the ashes of the
old." Caroline also believed solidarity among workers would
eventually win over self-interest, and this would revive the labor
and socialist movements. It's a theme that runs through her
experiences in Cuba, a country Caroline and Barry visited together in
1997. What impressed Caroline most about Cuba were the ordinary
people. She loved the children who were so self-confident, healthy,
and good-natured. And she had an especially fond memory of a young
doctor at a maternity hospital she visited: He could have made many
times more his salary being a taxi driver for tourists, but chose
instead a career he felt more useful to others. "From what we saw,
the Cubans made progress in creating a new kind of human being," she
said. "Though there's a real question when Fidel dies: Has there been
enough growth of a new human mind set or human culture that will
continue to value human needs and progress over profits?"

Put simply Caroline was a truth-seeker. In all the ups and downs of
her career as a socialist, she never once wavered from the truth she
sought in her politics or in the idealism that fueled her passions.
She was also just a great human being - compassionate, pragmatic,
courageous, smart, and genuine to the core. I'll never forget her
admonishing me several years ago for worrying that my Pentecostal
fundamentalist in-laws were surreptitiously taking my impressionable
six-year-old to church with them: "For crying out loud Jennifer, your
son should see the inside of a church!"

[Caroline Lund, a long time socialist and union activist, died on
October 14, 2006 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's
Disease. She was 62-years-old. Jennifer Biddle met Caroline in 1995
when they did solidarity work together in San Francisco for striking
Staley workers. They remained good friends and comrades since.]


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

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

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

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

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

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

- Stop Gender Discrimination Against Korean Women Workers

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.

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


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


$5 per film or $40 all weekend pass - Students and activists
$10 per film or $75 all weekend pass - General admission
Your ticket price is a donation to cover our costs.

Films such as Century of the Self and The Corporation will
be shown, complemented by new cutting-edge films about
corporate power such as The Forest for the Trees, a documentary
about the legal case of Judy Bari made by the daughter of Bari's
attorney. The final program will be announced in November.

Speakers on Saturday night will begin at 7:00 pm and offer
further insight into the films, corporations, and the structure
of our economy as a whole. In addition, there will be a festival
after-party on the evening of Sunday, December 3 with
refreshments and entertainment.

CounterCorp is an anti-corporate nonprofit organization
accepting no corporate donations. All of your donations
go to exposing the truth about corporations and finding
Alternatives to corporate ownership of our communities.
If you would like to support us, please visit
and click on "Donate Now." Every little bit helps. Thank you!

Built in 1908 as a vaudeville house, the 500-seat Victoria
Theatre is the oldest theater currently operation in San Francisco.
We thought this would be a perfect setting to begin to dream
beyond the memes of timed obsolescence and creative destruction
that corporations have injected into our societies, to a time before
the corporate agenda prevailed above all else. For directions
and info, please visit

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Volunteering both before and/or during
the festival will earn you a FREE PASS to all films and parties!
Please contact! -for more info!


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


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

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

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




Do You Want to Stop PREVENT War with Iran?

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through the LegWatch program ,

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

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

But more is needed, and we need your help!

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

2801 M St NW
Washington DC 20007

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

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

Trita Parsi
President of NIAC

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

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

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


Enforce the Roadless Rule for National Forests
Target: Michael Johanns, Secretary, USDA
Sponsor: Earthjustice
We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:
This past September, Earthjustice scored a huge victory for our roadless
national forests when a federal district court ordered the reinstatement
of the Roadless Rule.
The Roadless Rule protects roadless forest areas from road-building
and most logging. This is bad news for the timber, mining, and oil
& gas industries ... And so they're putting pressure on their friends
in the Bush Administration to challenge the victory.
Roadless area logging tends to target irreplaceable old growth forests.
Many of these majestic trees have stood for hundreds of years.
By targeting old-growth, the timber companies are destroying
natural treasures that cannot be replaced in our lifetime.
The future of nearly 50 million acres of wild, national forests
and grasslands hangs in the balance. Tell the secretary of the
USDA, Michael Johanns, to protect our roadless areas by enforcing
the Roadless Rule. The minute a road is cut through a forest, that
forest is precluded from being considered a "wilderness area," and
thus will not be covered by any of the Wilderness Area protections
afforded by Congress.<l=1162406255


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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

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

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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

Antiwar Web Site Created by Troops
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

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

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

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

Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Interested in furthering your knowledge about Palestine
and its people?

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

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

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

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

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

Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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/

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

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

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

Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

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

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

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

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

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:


Mike Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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.!

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

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

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

http://www.indybay. org

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

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

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

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

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

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

---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -
"It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."
- Emilano Zapata
---------*-- -------*- --------* --------- *-------- -*------- -

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

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

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

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


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.

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

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."

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


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

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

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

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

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

1) Mexican Protesters Regroup in Oaxaca
Filed at 12:10 p.m. ET
October 30, 2006

2) AWOL Soldier to Surrender at Fort Knox
Filed at 2:00 p.m. ET
October 31, 2006

3) Olmert Says Israel May Widen Military Role in Gaza
October 31, 2006

4) Mexican Protesters Keep Their Message Alive, and on the Air
October 31, 2006

5) At University for Deaf, Protesters Press Broader Demands
October 31, 2006

6) U.S. Drops Bid Over Royalties From Chevron
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — The Interior Department has dropped
claims that the Chevron Corporation systematically underpaid
the government for natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico,
a decision that could allow energy companies to avoid paying
hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties.
October 31, 2006

7) Brad Will: Death in Oaxaca. An Obituary by David Rovics.
Subject: My friend Brad Will has been shot to death in Oaxaca
Date: Oct 29, 2006 11:44 AM
feel free to post and distribute. for more information on the death of
brad will and the circumstances surrounding it, check out

8) The Dollar's Full-System Meltdown
By Mike Whitney
"The U.S. Dollar is kaput. Confidence in the currency
is eroding by the day."
October 30, 2006

9) After the Storm, Students Left Alone and Angry
November 1, 2006

10) An Activist, Then a Journalist, and Now a Victim
of the Violence He Covered
November 1, 2006

11) Gambling Against the Dollar
November 1, 2006

12) U.S. Military Adopts Desperate Tactics
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

13) Substance in Red Wine Could Extend Life, Study Says
November 1, 2006

14) Israel Opens Fire During Mosque Standoff
November 3, 2006

15) Medicaid Wants Citizenship Proof for Infant Care
November 3, 2006

16) Why Western workers are set to become poorer
by Stephen Roach

17) How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power
Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war
machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how
repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading
with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president
Ben Aris in Berlin and Duncan Campbell in Washington
Saturday September 25, 2004
The Guardian,12271,1312540,00.html

18) C.I.A. Wants Prison Tactics Secret
November 4, 2006

19) German Detainee Questions His Country’s Role
November 4, 2006

20) Abu Ghraib Abuser Won’t Be Redeployed
November 4, 2006

21) A Job Prospect Lures, Then Frustrates, Thousands

22) Accessory for a U.S. Border Fence:
A Welcome Mat for Foreign Loans
November 4, 2006

23) Give a Break to Americans Giving Birth
November 4, 2006

24) Army Recruiters Accused of Misleading
Students to Get Them to Enlist
Colonel Says Incidents Are the Exception, Not the Rule
November 3, 2006


1) Mexican Protesters Regroup in Oaxaca
Filed at 12:10 p.m. ET
October 30, 2006

OAXACA, Mexico (AP) -- Strike-weary residents took to the streets
Monday to thank federal police for intervening in violent demonstrations
that had held their city hostage for months, but the demonstrators
said they would take back the city center in their push for the
governor's resignation.

Teachers had promised to end their five-month strike for higher
wages and go back to work Monday, but no students returned
to classes in the tense capital.

On Sunday, federal police tore down protest blockades and pushed
demonstrators out of the main square that had served as their
home base for five months.

The colonial city, a favorite of tourists, more closely resembled
a battleground early Monday, with streets littered with charred
cars and lines of federal police blocking some entrances
to the main zocalo plaza.

The city was deeply divided between protesters demanding
Gov. Ulises Ruiz's resignation and those wanting a return
to the tranquil days when foreign tourists browsed shops
and dined on the region's famous mole sauce.

Ignoring protesters who screamed ''Sellout!'' a group of about
20 residents welcomed the police, touring streets and thanking
authorities for taking control of the city.

''I don't want them to leave. Let them stay,'' Edith Mendoza,
a 40-year-old housewife, said of the police. ''We were held
hostage for five months.''

Before dawn Monday, federal police tore down the protesters'
banners in the main square, mostly to wrap around themselves
for warmth because they had been sent in without sleeping bags.

Riot police in body armor slept on sidewalks under the plaza's
famous archways, rolled up against the chill night air in banners
that once proclaimed people's power or demanded the resignation
of the governor. Others sought warmth by burning bits of banners,
wooden crates and other debris left behind by the protesters.

Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal said the federal forces would
remain until order had been established and they were
no longer needed.

There was still the threat of violence as protesters vowed to march
on the zocalo. Police stationed water tanks in the four corners
of the central plaza in preparation, and blocked anyone from

The federal government's decision to send forces into Oaxaca
came after teachers agreed to return to work by Monday, ending
a strike that kept 1.3 million children out of classes across
the southern state.

But Enrique Rueda, leader of the teachers' union, told The
Associated Press that no students had returned to class
in the capital on Monday, although some had in cities
and towns outside of Oaxaca City.

While some teachers planned to return, others said they
would stay home.

''We are not willing to go back (to work) until we get written
guarantees'' for teachers' safety, said Daniel Reyes, one
of the last of the striking teachers to leave the main square
as police surrounded it Sunday night.

During the strike, some dissident teachers tried to open
schools, and parents armed with sticks and pipes fought
off protesters who tried to keep children from entering.

Public Safety Secretary Eduardo Medina Mora said seven
police were injured in the weekend clashes. A few were
hit by gasoline bombs thrown by protesters.

''There is no cause that justifies violence,'' he said.

Protesters claimed two of their own were killed, but federal
authorities said they could not confirm that.

Protest spokesman Roberto Garcia said 50 supporters had
been arrested and police were searching houses, looking
for protest leaders.

A scattering of businesses, including the city's famous
public marketplace, reopened Monday in an attempt
to return to normal. As shoppers browsed through
the market's stalls, stocked with supplies of marigolds
to celebrate upcoming Day of the Dead celebrations,
others lined up at bank machines. But most of the
city remained shuttered.

''Today in Oaxaca social order and peace has been
restored,'' President Vicente Fox said Monday.

Ruiz -- whom the protesters accuse of corruption
and rigging elections -- was scheduled to give his
state-of-the-state address on Monday.

He refused to resign, saying: ''This is not up for
discussion. This is not the solution. The solution
is the construction of agreements.''

Fox, who leaves office Dec. 1, resisted repeated
calls to send federal forces to Oaxaca until Saturday,
a day after gunfire killed a U.S. activist-journalist
and two residents.

On the Net:

U.S. journalist's video (Spanish site):


2) AWOL Soldier to Surrender at Fort Knox
Filed at 2:00 p.m. ET
October 31, 2006

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A U.S. Army soldier who fled to Canada rather
than return to Iraq said Tuesday he was traveling to Fort Knox
to surrender to military authorities.

Kyle Snyder, a former combat engineer, left the U.S. in April 2005
while on leave to avoid a second deployment to Iraq.

''I don't see a lot of positive things coming from this war,''
Snyder told reporters Tuesday morning at a Louisville church.
''I see it as a counterproductive mission.''

The 23-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colo., had trained
as an engineer with the 94th Corps of Engineers, but he said
he was put on patrol when he got to Iraq in 2004, something
he said he wasn't trained to do.

Snyder said he began to turn against the war when he saw
an innocent Iraqi man seriously wounded by American gunfire.
He believed the shooting was not properly investigated.

Attorney James Fennerty said a deal has been reached to keep
Snyder from being court-martialed. Instead, he said, Snyder
will receive an other-than-honorable discharge.

That would be the same punishment received by another
deserter, Darrell Anderson, 24, of Lexington, who surrendered
at Fort Knox on Oct. 3. Anderson was held for three days
while his case was processed, then released.

Fort Knox spokeswoman Gini Sinclair said she could
not comment on Snyder's case, but she said deserters
are typically brought back to the post and assigned
to a special processing company and provided a lawyer.
The Army would then open an investigation into the desertion.

''Each situation is evaluated individually,'' Sinclair said.

Snyder had fled to Canada while on leave from the Army
and applied for refugee status. He said he worked as
a welder and at a children's health clinic while there.

Snyder was nervous about returning and said he understood
people may not agree with his decision to desert the Army.

''I don't know how the American people are going to take
the things I say,'' he said Tuesday.


3) Olmert Says Israel May Widen Military Role in Gaza
October 31, 2006

JERUSALEM, Oct. 30 — Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel
said Monday that the Israeli military might expand operations
in the Gaza Strip in an attempt to halt Palestinian rocket fire,
but that there was no intention to reoccupy the territory.

His comments came on another day of turmoil, in which Palestinian
gunmen kidnapped a Spanish aid worker in southern Gaza
and held him for several hours before releasing him,
and a Palestinian militant was killed in northern Gaza in disputed
circumstances. [Two more militants were killed in Gaza on Tuesday
in clashes between Israeli troops and Hamas gunmen,
Reuters reported.]

In a closed session with a parliamentary committee, Mr. Olmert
was asked about the military’s plans for Gaza. Israeli forces,
which re-entered the territory in late June after an Israeli soldier
was seized, have been clashing with Palestinian militants almost
daily. Several Israeli political and military officials have hinted
recently that a larger operation could be coming.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Olmert, Miri Eisin, who was at the
parliamentary session, quoted the prime minister as saying:
“We aren’t going to reoccupy Gaza. But we will continue to fight
terror, and there may be a change in the level of forces there
at any given time.”

Mr. Olmert also said the military killed about 300 armed
Palestinians in the past four months, according to Ms. Eisin.
Monitoring groups have said that more than 250 Palestinians
were killed during this time, about half militants and half
civilians. Two Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting.

In Gaza City, Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian Authority prime
minister, said, “We call on the international community
to intervene immediately to halt the Israeli aggression.”

On Monday, Mazen Abu Oudah, 20, a member of Al Aksa
Martyrs Brigades, was killed by Israeli fire near the northern
Gaza town of Beit Hanun, according to Palestinian medical
workers. However, the Israeli military said it had not been
involved in any shooting in the area.

[The two militants killed Tuesday were shot during a military
operation near the town of Khan Younis when Israeli troops
fired on a group of militants who were trying to plant a bomb
near the soldiers, an army spokeswoman told Reuters.]

Also, Palestinians fired two rockets into southern Israel
on Monday, Israeli officials said, but they caused no damage
or injuries.

Palestinian gunmen kidnapped Roberto Vila, 34, a Spaniard
who works for a Spanish aid group, according to Palestinian
officials and news media reports. He was freed unharmed
late Monday night, according to Palestinian television.

In Israeli politics, Mr. Olmert’s cabinet and the Parliament
approved the inclusion of Israel Beiteinu, a far-right party,
in the governing coalition. Mr. Olmert’s coalition now
controls 78 of the 120 seats in Parliament, a margin
intended to make the government more stable.

However, with parties from the right, left and center,
as well as a religious party, the coalition is so broad that
the factions have little common ground on many issues,
such as how to deal with the Palestinians.


4) Mexican Protesters Keep Their Message Alive, and on the Air
October 31, 2006

OAXACA, Mexico, Oct. 30 — As the federal riot police hunkered down
in Oaxaca’s main square on Monday, protesters sought to protect their
not-so-secret weapon in their five-month siege of the city: the pilfered
radio transmitter they use to mobilize the population.

“We are in a red alert, a red alert!” a nervous-sounding announcer
said over and over from inside the bullet-scarred university station,
which was ringed by sandbags and protected by masked supporters
on the roof equipped with handmade mortars. “The police are moving in!”

The cry was premature, but it drew hundreds of supporters from
across this city in southern Mexico. They prepared Molotov cocktails
and reinforced the barriers around the gates of Oaxaca University
in anticipation of a raid.

“We will transmit until the last minute,” an announcer who described
himself as a law professor, but declined to provide his name,
said in an interview. “We will not run. We are like the captains
of the ship, and we’ll go down with the ship.”

Oaxaca State’s beleaguered governor, Ulises Ruiz, was also hunkered
down, on his own turf. The federal police remained in control
of the central square on Monday, but protesters marched through
the rest of downtown, denouncing Mr. Ruiz and occasionally
setting fire to vehicles.

Although the governor insisted in a television interview
on Monday that he would not resign, his support appeared
thin as both houses of the Congress passed nonbinding
resolutions urging him to cede power for the good
of the state and the nation.

In the Chamber of Deputies, only Mr. Ruiz’s Institutional
Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, and another small
allied party stuck by the governor, and even that backing
seemed lukewarm.

In the Senate, even the PRI joined in a statement urging
Mr. Ruiz to “reconsider separating himself from charge,
in order to contribute to the re-establishment of governability,
normality and peace.”

But the governor said he was not budging. “I am governing
Oaxaca,” he declared in a late-night news conference,
dismissing the protesters as a relatively small group
that did not represent the masses. “The questions
of Oaxaca will be decided by Oaxacans.”

Mr. Ruiz said the arrival of federal troops had not
resolved the crisis but might establish an environment
where the opposing parties could resolve their differences
at the negotiating table. As for the graffiti painted around
town accusing the governor of being an assassin,
he declared, “I don’t accept their views. I respect
human rights.”

Members of the Oaxaca People’s Popular Assembly, which
has been coordinating the protests, clearly disagree,
as their frequent anti-Ruiz messages over the radio
make clear.

If the diffuse movement that has laid siege to Oaxaca
has a nerve center, it is the trash-strewn conference
room where the group broadcasts regular updates
to their comrades.

On Monday, the radio called people into the streets
for three protest marches that drew thousands.
Announcers also mourned three people who the
protesters said had died in a raid on Sunday.
The government said it had no information
of any deaths at the hands of the police.

Even after the federal police raid managed
to take back the symbolic Zócalo, or central
square, the station kept the movement alive.

The protest began as a teachers’ strike, but a deal
was reached to raise their salaries. Some teachers
returned to classes on Monday, although it appeared
that many were not sure it was safe to do so.

While the protest coalition consists of leftists, local
residents have said that the issue is more a struggle
to wrest control of the state from the PRI, the political
party that once controlled all of Mexico, but whose
national power has greatly diminished.

“It’s strange, but I’m not afraid,” Alejandra Canseco
Martínez, 22, a student who frequently sends out updates
over the airwaves, said from inside the radio station.
“Maybe I should be afraid, because we don’t know what
will happen and the police are only a few blocks away.”

It is not the first time that the station has been under siege.

The current standoff began June 14, when the police
broke up a teachers’ protest and smashed the transmitter
that the teachers had been using to broadcast their messages
from the main square. The following day, as supporters joined
forces with the teachers, university students took over the
campus station.

On July 22, gunmen opened fire on the station, sending workers
ducking for cover and eventually knocking the signal off the air.
But listeners heard the attack and converged on the station
in support.

On Aug. 8, someone sneaked into the station and poured acid
onto the transmitter, again killing the signal. But by that time,
protesters had taken over another station. Within weeks,
a dozen public and private stations around Oaxaca were
controlled by protesters.

However, the university station, with its transmitter repaired,
remains the chief source of information for the protesters.
Its messages are dismissed as revolutionary propaganda
by critics, but supporters relish the hard-edge words that
fly across the colonial city.

“The other stations only say things in support of Ulises,”
said Sal Lozano, 43, a farmer, speaking of Mr. Ruiz, the
governor. “We’re going to defend this station with everything
we have.”

Antonio Betancourt contributed reporting from Oaxaca,
and Elisabeth Malkin from Mexico City.


5) At University for Deaf, Protesters Press Broader Demands
October 31, 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — A day after protesters at Gallaudet University,
the world’s premier university for the deaf, prevailed in their battle
to oust the incoming president, they pressed forward on Monday
with their broader demands, saying that students must have
a greater say in the search for a new president and that the
next choice should be a more forceful advocate for deaf culture
and a strong deaf identity.

“We are looking for a person who’s sensitive enough, who has
respect for all cultures and for American Sign Language,” Noah
Beckman, president of the student government, signed through
an interpreter. Mr. Beckman said the new search process would
have to demonstrate “inclusion, transparency and equality.”

On a sunny, spring-like afternoon, Mr. Beckman and other
students packed up tents and sleeping bags that had filled campus
front lawns in recent weeks. Gone were the signs deriding
Dr. Jane K. Fernandes, the former provost who had been named
to take over as president on Jan. 1, and I. King Jordan, the departing
president, who had supported her.

Dr. Fernandes’s detractors said she lacked leadership ability
and did not embrace the primacy of American Sign Language
at Gallaudet and in deaf culture. And even though the panel
that selected her included students and members of the
faculty, many complained that their opinions had been
overlooked and that the process was biased in her favor.

The university has never agreed that the process was not open.

In an e-mail message, the chairwoman of the Gallaudet
board, Brenda Jo Brueggemann, said the board had taken
many factors into account in deciding to revoke
Dr. Fernandes’s contract.

“We had to think about safety on the Gallaudet campus,”
she wrote.

“We had to think of Gallaudet’s unique role as an institution
of higher education but also as a ‘center’ for the deaf community,
nationally and even worldwide,” the message continued.
“We had to think about the way that the situation clearly was
not getting any better. We had to think about the financial and
moral impact of the protests, especially as they continued,
on the university and its constituents.”

Dr. Brueggemann said the board had not yet set parameters
for the new search.

The board’s decision to drop its original candidate will
complicate its next search, said Michael A. Baer, a partner
at Isaacson, Miller, an executive search firm for colleges,
universities and other public interest nonprofits. “There are
a limited number of people available for them to consider,
and it’s going to send a cautionary note to individuals who
could be candidates,” Mr. Baer said.

Any future candidates will have to be attuned to the issues
emerging in deaf culture, and the sensitivities involved,
he said. In addition, the prolonged protest brought to the
fore the latent discontent over a number of issues on campus,
from the failure of many professors to use American Sign
Language — the most accessible means of communication
for many deaf people — to dissatisfaction that Gallaudet
has not played more of an advocacy role for deaf rights
in every area of life.

“The search committee and board’s awareness that they
need to communicate with the entire campus community,
in the long run, may strengthen the campus community,”
Mr. Baer said.

Veterans of presidential searches at colleges and universities
around the country said that in view of Dr. Fernandes’s ouster,
the new search would have to give even greater weight to the
views of faculty and students. In recent weeks, 82 percent
of the faculty voted for Dr. Fernandes to resign or be removed.

Claire Van Ummersen, vice president in charge of the Center
for Effective Leadership at the American Council on Education,
which represents more than 1,800 colleges, universities
and organizations involved in higher education, predicted
that Gallaudet would not have trouble finding new candidates
for the job.

The university, she said, is in a class by itself, as the world’s
only liberal arts university for the deaf, and is highly prestigious.

In interviews on campus Monday, protesters said their victory
had reinvigorated the struggle for deaf rights, pointing out that
this was the second time deaf students had demanded,
and won, a say in determining who would lead their university.
Eighteen years ago, students forced the board to abandon
its first choice of president, and to name Dr. Jordan
as Gallaudet’s first deaf president in more than 100 years.

David Reynolds, an alumnus whose family is deaf three
generations back, had driven from Indianapolis with his
21-year-old twin sons, Jonathan and Justin, to join the
protest. A teacher at the Indiana School for the Deaf,
Mr. Reynolds said the new search must allow
all groups to weigh in.

“We need the right visionary person,” Mr. Reynolds
signed. “The whole thing here is don’t rush the process.
That was the mistake the last time.”

Justin Reynolds, a Gallaudet student who was taking
a semester off, said this weekend’s victory for the protesters
signaled the ascent of deaf power. “From here on out,
the world wants to know what we’ll do next,” Mr. Reynolds
said. “With this unity, what are we capable of?”


6) U.S. Drops Bid Over Royalties From Chevron
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — The Interior Department has dropped
claims that the Chevron Corporation systematically underpaid
the government for natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico,
a decision that could allow energy companies to avoid paying
hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties.
October 31, 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — The Interior Department has dropped claims
that the Chevron Corporation systematically underpaid the government
for natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, a decision that could
allow energy companies to avoid paying hundreds of millions
of dollars in royalties.

The agency had ordered Chevron to pay $6 million in additional
royalties but could have sought tens of millions more had it prevailed.
The decision also sets a precedent that could make it easier for oil and
gas companies to lower the value of what they pump each year from
federal property and thus their payments to the government.

Interior officials said on Friday that they had no choice but to drop
their order to Chevron because a department appeals board had ruled
against auditors in a separate case.

But state governments and private landowners have challenged the
company over essentially the same practices and reached settlements
in which the company has paid $70 million in additional royalties.

In a written statement, the department’s Minerals Management
Service said it would have been useless to fight Chevron.

“It is not in the public interest to spend federal dollars pursuing
claims that have little or no chance of success,” the agency said.
“M.M.S. lost a contested and controversial issue” before the appeals
board. “Had we simply wanted to capitulate to ‘big oil,’ the agency
would not have issued the order in the first place.”

Chevron said in a written statement that it “endeavors to calculate
and pay its oil and gas royalties correctly,” and it said that
the Interior Department had agreed.

The agency notified Chevron of its decision in a confidential
letter on Aug. 3, which The New York Times obtained recently
under the Freedom of Information Act.

The reversal in the case, which involves Chevron’s accounting
of natural gas sales to a company it partly owned, has renewed
criticism that the Bush administration is reluctant to confront oil
and gas companies and is lax in collecting royalties.

“The government is giving up without a fight,” said Richard T. Dorman,
a lawyer representing private citizens suing Chevron over its federal
royalty payments. “If this decision is left standing, it would result
in the loss of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars
in royalties owed by other companies.”

In return for the right to drill on federal lands and in federal waters,
energy companies are required to pay the government a share
of their proceeds. Last year, businesses producing natural gas
paid $5.15 billion in government royalties.

But the Bush administration has come under fire on Capitol Hill
for its record on collecting payments. While the Interior
Department has sweetened incentives for exploration and
pushed to open wilderness areas for drilling, it has also cut
back on full-scale audits of companies intended to make
sure they are paying their full share.

Administration officials knew that dozens of companies had
incorrectly claimed exemptions from royalties since 2003, but
they waited until December 2005 to send letters demanding
about $500 million in repayments.

In February, the Interior Department acknowledged that
oil companies could escape more than $7 billion in payments
because of mistakes in leases signed in the 1990s. Top officials
are trying to renegotiate those deals, but some Republicans
and Democrats have complained that the administration
is dragging its feet.

In addition, four government auditors last month publicly
accused the Interior Department of blocking their efforts
to recover more than $30 million from the Shell Oil Corporation,
the Kerr-McGee Corporation and other major companies.

“This latest revelation proves that the Bush administration
is incapable of preventing big oil companies from cheating
taxpayers,” said Representative Edward J. Markey
of Massachusetts, a senior Democrat on the House
Committee on Resources. “The public has been systematically
fleeced out of royalties that these companies owe for the privilege
of drilling for oil and gas on lands belonging to all of us.”

The Chevron case offers a glimpse into what is normally
a secretive process. To protect what energy companies consider
proprietary information, the Interior Department does not
announce that it is accusing companies of underpaying
royalties nor does it announce its settlements in these disputes.
The government also does not disclose how much money each
company pays in royalties.

In theory, companies are required to pay the government a royalty
of 12 percent to 16 percent of their sales. In practice, the definition
of sales is as convoluted as a Rubik’s Cube.

In the Chevron case, auditors in the Minerals Management Service
were addressing an issue that had bedeviled royalty enforcement
for decades: How does the government make sure it gets its due
when companies sell natural gas to businesses they partly own?

In 1996, Chevron sold its holdings in more than 50 processing
plants to Dynegy in exchange for a 26 percent stake in the natural
gas company, which is based in Houston. For the next seven years,
Chevron sold virtually all its domestic natural gas to Dynegy
for processing.

In their original accusations, dating to 2001, the auditors asserted
that Chevron had understated sales, and hence its royalty
obligations, by inflating costs for processing gas at Dynegy.

Companies are allowed to deduct processing costs from their
sales revenues when they calculate their royalty obligations.
Processing involves separating water and a variety of liquid
fuels like propane and methane from raw natural gas. The
auditors’ accusations were not unique. State officials in New
Mexico challenged Chevron over the same issue — “non-
arms-length” deals, as regulators call them — and Chevron
agreed to pay $10.4 million in extra royalties without admitting
wrongdoing. Private property owners who leased land to Chevron
sued over the same issue in Oklahoma, and the company paid
$60 million last year to settle out of court.

“The natural gas processing business lends itself almost
uniquely to chicanery,” said Spencer Hosie, a lawyer who has
represented the states of Louisiana and Alaska in several court
fights over oil and gas royalties. “It is a complicated and opaque
business, and there are many opportunities to shade judgments
and numbers.”

From 2001 to 2003, after detailed audits of several Chevron
leases, the Interior Department said the company was reducing
its “sales value” by exaggerating processing costs at six
of Dynegy’s many plants. At one plant, auditors estimated
Chevron had claimed five times the actual costs.

At first glance, the suspected underpayments seemed trivial:
about $6 million out of hundreds of millions in royalties.
But the audits were limited to only a handful of plants. Had
the Interior Department pressed its claims successfully,
it could have recovered money tied to all the other plants,
and for other years.

Chevron paid the $6 million but appealed. The file in that
case now runs more than 900 pages, most of it still off-limits
to the public.

Mr. Hosie, who represented Louisiana in a lawsuit that led
to a $100 million verdict against Chevron over underpaid
oil royalties, expressed surprise at the federal government’s
decision in the natural gas case.

“Is it even remotely likely that oil companies systematically
underpay private royalty owners and state governments,
but pay the federal government perfectly properly?”
Mr. Hosie asked. “Isn’t it more likely they are underpaying

A Chevron spokesman, Donald Campbell, said laws regulating
state and private leases often differed significantly from those
of the federal government. “The rules governing valuation vary
from jurisdiction to jurisdiction,” Mr. Campbell said in a statement.

Chevron argued that New Mexico’s rules presumed that a deal
was “not at arms length” — and that costs had to be calculated
differently — if one company owned 10 percent to 50 percent
of the other. The federal regulations, Chevron said, required
auditors to consider additional factors before making such
a determination. Because of a backlog, the appeals board had
not considered Chevron’s appeal when Interior Department
officials decided they could not win. But if the appeals board
had overruled the auditors, federal regulations would have
allowed the interior secretary to let a federal court decide
the issue.

In their letter to Chevron, department officials did not say the
underlying facts had changed. Rather, they noted that the agency’s
Board of Land Appeals had rejected similar accusations about
non-arm’s-length agreements involving two other companies,
Vastar Resources and Southern Companies.

The appeals board ruled in 2005 that the Minerals Management
Service had failed to show that Vastar had any real control over
a partnership it had formed with Southern to sell its gas.
The board said Vastar had provided “uncontroverted evidence”
that the sales prices had been negotiated at arm’s length
between companies with “opposing economic interests.”

But the Chevron case differed in several important ways.

The government never audited Vastar in reaching its conclusions
and had provided a largely theoretical opinion when the company
asked for guidance. By contrast, auditors had scrutinized Chevron,
which is based in San Ramon, Calif., and Dynegy and backed their
arguments with supporting data.

Chevron’s ties with Dynegy also appeared to be closer than those
between the other companies. Chevron described Dynegy
as an affiliate in some reports to shareholders. Chevron was
also Dynegy’s biggest supplier of raw natural gas, its biggest
customer for gas processing and one of its biggest for processing
byproducts like propane and methane.

Administration officials said they had “carefully reviewed”
similarities and differences between the cases, but offered
little elaboration.

“We recognize that other parties may assert various arguments
regarding the relationship between the Vastar and Chevron
situations,” the Minerals Management Service said in its written
response to questions, “but the agency’s evaluation and
deliberative processes are privileged.”

John Bemis, the assistant commissioner for gas and minerals
in New Mexico, said his state was challenging a growing
number of such alliances. In addition to the $10.4 million
royalty settlement with Chevron, New Mexico persuaded
ConocoPhillips to settle a similar case in August for $9.5
million and is negotiating with BP in a third case.

Interior Department officials have shown little interest
in evidence from either New Mexico’s experience or
a current court fight with Chevron over federal royalties.

On July 11, three weeks before the department dropped its
case against Chevron, Mr. Dorman and other lawyers involved
in a Texas lawsuit against Chevron wrote to Interior Department
officials. The lawyers, who represent a whistle-blower seeking
to recover money for the federal government, said they were
suing Chevron over the same issues the department had raised.

“All we were saying was that they should wait to see what
evidence we turned up, and that we would gladly share
everything we had with them,” Mr. Dorman said. His firm
faxed a letter to the policy appeals division. Getting
no response, the lawyers sent a copy by U.P.S. Six days
later, it was returned. The reason, according to the U.P.S.
label: “Receiver did not want, refused delivery.”

The agency confirmed in a statement that it knew of the
lawyers’ case. Asked why it refused to accept their letter,
the Minerals Management Service said it could not comment
“because these matters are the subject of pending litigation.”


7) Brad Will: Death in Oaxaca. An Obituary by David Rovics.
Subject: My friend Brad Will has been shot to death in Oaxaca
Date: Oct 29, 2006 11:44 AM
feel free to post and distribute. for more information on the death of
brad will and the circumstances surrounding it, check out

brad will was a dear friend, and a true revolutionary. he died the way
countless and uncounted numbers of beautiful people have died in recent
centuries -- he was shot in the chest by rightwing paramilitaries. he was
filming the scene around one of thousands of barricades that have shut down
oaxaca city since last june, when the governor there tried to ban public
expressions of dissent, thus throwing one more historical spark into one
more historical powder keg.

brad embodied the spirit of indymedia. he was not just covering stories
that the "mainstream" press ignores, such as the exciting, violent
revolutionary moment which has gripped oaxaca for several months now. brad
was not risking his life to get a good shot of a confrontation at a
barricade because he might get a photo on the cover of a newspaper, get some
(perhaps well-deserved) fame and money -- he was posting his communiques on
indymedia, for free.

sure, brad was filming in order to cover history. but he was there also
to make history. brad knew that a camera is a weapon, or hopefully a shield
of some sort, and sometimes can serve to de-escalate a situation, to protect
people from being violated, beaten, killed. and brad knew that if the
independent media didn't document history, nobody else would.

brad deeply appreciated the power of music and culture. if he didn't have
a camera in his hands, he often had a guitar.! d uring some of his many
travels around latin america he wrote emails to me about the musicians he
met, with whom he shared my songs and recordings. he particularly liked my
song "saint patrick battalion," and reportedly shared his rendition of it
with lots of people. he would not live to know just how much his life and
death would resemble the san patricios, who died fighting for mexico during
the first u.s. invasion of that country in the 1840's.

through all brad did and saw on large swaths of three different
continents, he somehow continually brought with him a boundless enthusiasm
and obvious love of life, love, a good party, or a good riot. he was my
favorite kind of person, my favorite kind of revolutionary -- the sort who
is just as comfortable talking about revolutionary theory, current events,
music, relationships or smoking a bowl on a manhattan rooftop at sunset.
the kind of person who is alive, in mind, body and spirit, in equal

brad became a radical long before it was briefly fashionable in the u.s.
(with the wto protests in seattle), and long since it became unfashionable
there (september 11th, 2001). the kinds of tactics and politics that the
global justice movement became briefly known for were practiced by people
like brad in the squatters' movement in new york city and the radical
environmental movement on the west coast in the 1990's. brad was in both
places and many more. brad was somewhere near the ground floor of many
other more recent anarchist institutions -- food not bombs, critical mass,
reclaim the streets, guerrilla gardening, indymedia. he saw the
connections, deeply understood the concept of "the commons," and went for
it, as an activist, a videojournalist, a musician and a cheerleader.

i never knew brad's last name until he was murdered. for me he was just
brad. in my cell phone he was "brad ! nyc" (to distinguish him from another
good friend named brad, who lives in baltimore). i don't remember talking
with him much about his past, where he grew up, how he became a
revolutionary, though we may have talked about that sort of thing. but
generally i saw him in the course of events, whether it was a film
showing/concert on a brooklyn rooftop, a land occupation in the bronx, or,
just as often, a large demonstration against an evil financial institution
somewhere in the world.

i've sung at many such events, and brad has been at most of them -- and
he's been present at many which i didn't make it to. they're all such a
blur, i don't remember which ones anymore. but the many encounters always
start out with a warm smile and a hug, and usually involve some kind of
chaos going on, with brad comfortably in the middle of it. sometimes -- all
too rarely, i suddenly realize -- the encounters would continue after the
chaos subsided, and we could be in a quiet place with a small group of
people, chilling and talking about life, my favorite bits.

there have been many debates about whether it is more useful to organize
large events or to focus on community organizing locally. whether to focus
on recording history or making it. whether to educate or to act. whether
to have a party or have a meeting. brad clearly decided that the correct
answer is "all of the above." the reality of this is easy to demonstrate --
talk to anybody in new york city involved with just about any aspect of the
progressive movement. it's a city of 8 million people, but if they are
serious participants in the more grassroots end of the movement, they know
brad. though they may not have known his last name. he's just brad, the
tall, thin guy with long hair who is often flashing a warm, gentle smile
with a compassionate, intelligent glint in his eye. he's often ! describe d
with a connector like "brad from indymedia" or "brad from more gardens" or
"brad the musician."

i haven't seen him in a while. several months at least. but suddenly i
miss him so much. i miss hanging out with him in the lower east side,
chilling at his place there, swapping stories. i miss the rejuvinating
warmth of his presence. i miss the unspoken, mutual admiration. i miss the
feeling that i was in the presence of someone who so deeply felt his
connection to the world. the feeling that here was someone who would die
for me, and me for him, no questions asked. and now, like so many others
before him, he's done just that.

like all of the rest of us, over the generations his memory will fade and
eventually disappear. but for those of us alive today who had the honor of
being one of brad's large circle of friends, his memory will be with us
painfully, deeply, lovingly, until we all join him beneath the ground --
hopefully only after each of us has managed to have the kind of impact on
each other, on the movement, and the world that brad surely had in his short
36 years.

David Rovics
(617) 872-5124
P.O. Box 300995
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Halliburton Boardroom Massacre CD/DVD now in a store near you, distributed
throughout North America and Europe! Please go to your local record store
and make sure they have some in stock! If they don't, they can order copies
through Caroline Distribution -- (EMI).

Halliburton Boardroom Massacre World Tour happening now! Check out for more information!


8) The Dollar's Full-System Meltdown
By Mike Whitney
"The U.S. Dollar is kaput. Confidence in the currency
is eroding by the day."
October 30, 2006

A report in The Sydney Morning Herald stated, “Australia’s Treasurer
Peter Costello has called on East Asia’s central bankers to ‘telegraph’
their intentions to diversify out of American investments and ensure
an ‘orderly adjustment’….Central banks in China, Japan, Taiwan,
South Korea, and Hong Kong have channeled immense foreign
reserves into American government bonds, helping to prop
up the US dollar and hold down interest rates,’ said Costello,
but ‘the strategy has changed.’”

Indeed, the strategy has changed. The world has come to its
senses and is moving away from the green slip of paper that
is currently mired in $8.3 trillion of debt.

The central banks now want to reduce their USD reserves while
trying to do as little damage to their own economies as possible.
That’ll be difficult. If a sell-off ensues, it will start a stampede
for the exits.

There’s little hope of an “orderly adjustment” as Costello opines;
that’s just false optimism. When the greenback begins listing;
things will turn helter-skelter quickly.

In September, we saw early signs that the dollar was in trouble.
The trade deficit registered at $70 billion but the Net Foreign
Security Purchases (NFSP) came in at a paltry $33 billion. That
means that our main trading partners are no longer buying
back our debt which puts downward pressure on the greenback.
The Fed had two choices; either raise interest rates substantially
or let the currency fall. Given the tenuous condition of the housing
bubble and the proximity of the midterm elections, the Fed did neither.

A month later, in October, the trade deficit hit $69.9 billion
but, then, without warning, a miracle occurred. The Net Foreign
Security Purchases skyrocketed to a “historic high” of $116.8 billion;
covering both months’ shortfalls almost to the penny.


Not likely. Either the skittish central banks decided to “stock up”
on their dollar-denominated investments or the Federal Reserve
(and their banking-buddies) is buying back its own debt to float
us through the elections.

This is exactly the kind of hanky-panky that people expected when
Greenspan stopped publishing the M-3 last March keeping the rest
of us in the dark about what was really going on with the money supply.

Are we supposed to believe that the skeptical central banks suddenly
doubled up on their T-Bills while they’re (publicly) moaning about
the dollar’s weakness and threatening to diversify?

That’s a stretch.

According to the Wall Street Journal the Chinese Central-bank
governor Zhou Xiaochuan stated unequivocally that “We think
we’ve got enough.” The Chinese presently have nearly $1 trillion
in USD and US Treasuries.


The United States runs a $200 billion per year trade deficit with
China. If they’ve “got enough” we’re dead-ducks. After all, it doesn’t
take a sell-off to kill the dollar, just unwillingness on the part
of the main players to stop purchasing at the same rate.

Of course, everyone in Washington already knew that doomsday
was approaching. That’s the way the system was designed from
the very beginning. It’s all part of the madcap scheme to “starve
the beast” and transfer the nation’s wealth to a handful of western
plutocrats. That’s explains why the Fed and the White House whirred
along like two spokes on the same wheel; every policy calculated
to thrust the country headlong toward disaster.

The administration never created a funding mechanism for the $400
million tax cuts or for the 35% expansion of the Federal government.
Defense spending increased by leaps and bounds as did the “no-bid”
contracts for friends of the Bush clan. At the same time, interest rates
were lowered to rock-bottom to put as much money as possible into
the hands of people who couldn’t meet the traditional criteria for
a mortgage. And, if gluttonous waste, reckless overspending and
“Mickey Mouse” loans were not enough; the Fed capped it off
by doubling the money supply in 7 years; a surefire prescription
for hyper-inflation.

So, which one of these policies was not deliberate?

The financial crisis that we now face was created by design. It is intended
to destroy the labor movement, crush the middle class, quash
Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, reduce our foreign debt
by 50 or 60%, force a restructuring of America’s debt, privatize
all public assets and resources, and create a new regime of austerity
measures which will divert more wealth to the banking
and corporate establishments.

The avatars of neoliberalism invariably use crooked politicians
to spawn enormous “unsustainable” debt so that the nations’ riches
can be transferred to ruling elites. It works the same everywhere.
It’s a form of corporate colonization, only this time the victim
is the good old USA.

“The Phase of Impact”

According to Richard Daughty in his prescient article “The Phase
of Impact” the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Dept have already
manned the battle-stations. Here’s an excerpt:

“Mr. Paulson, the Secretary of the Treasury, is, by virtue of his
ascension to the throne, now the head of the shadowy President’s
Working Group of Financial Markets (which was created
by Presidential Order 12631) and he is insisting that they
meet more often, namely every 6 weeks!

This whole Working Group thing was originally set up as a fallback,
ad-hoc, if-then defense to deal with possible economic emergencies,
but now they are routinely meeting every 6 weeks. He has even
ordered Jim Wilkinson, his chief of staff, to ‘oversee the creation
of a Treasury Command Center to track markets world-wide and
serve as an operations base in a crisis”! (Wall Street Journal)
World-wide!! The American government is moving to take control
of the world-wide economy as the result of an anticipated crisis?

Daughty goes on to say: “So a lot of the hubbub is obviously being
caused by some approaching upheaval, perhaps reflected in something
sent to me by Phil S., which is the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin
No8 which reminded us that last May they predicted that the economy
would have a ‘phase of acceleration’ that would begin in June,
and it “would be spread out over a period of a maximum
of 6 months’, which it subsequently did. They said then,
and are saying again now, that a ‘phase of impact will begin
in November 2006’, and that this impact phase would be the
‘explosive phase of the crisis’.

This ‘phase of impact’ that is due to begin momentarily is, they
explain, ‘a period when a series of brutal crises starts affecting
by contamination the total system. This explosive phase of the
crisis, which will last 6 months to one year, will affect directly
and very strongly financial players and markets, the owners
of investment schemes with fixed incomes in dollars, pension
funds and the strategic relations between the United States
on the one side, and Europe and Asia on the other.” (Richard
Daughty; “The Phase of Impact”

Predictions, of course, are rarely reliable and Daughty’s scenario
may be a bit too apocalyptic for many. But if we accept the premise
that the tax cuts, the expansion of the federal government,
the doubling of the money supply, and the $10 trillion that
was sluiced into the housing bubble were not merely “honest
mistakes” made by “supply side” enthusiasts; then we must
assume that this is all part of a loony plan to demolish the
economic foundation-blocks of the current system and remake
society from the ground up.

Domestically, that plan appears to involve the activation
of the police state.

In the last few weeks the Bush administration has passed the
Military Commissions Act of 2006 which allows the president
to arrest and torture whomever he chooses without charging
him with a crime. Also, unbeknownst to most Americans, Bush
signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick
Leahy, will allow the president to unilaterally declare martial law.
By changing The Insurrection Act, Bush has essentially overturned
the Posse Comitatus Act which bars the president from deploying
troops with the United States. The John Warner Defense
Authorization Act of 2007 (as it is called) also allows Bush
to take control of the National Guard which has always been
under the purview of the state governors. Bush now has absolute
power over all armed troops within the country, a state of affairs
which the constitution purposely tried to prevent. The administration’s
dream of militarizing the country under the sole authority
of the executive has now been achieved although the public
still has no idea that a coup that has taken place.

Internationally, the falling dollar means that America’s debt
will be reduced proportionate to the percentage-loss of the
dollar in relation to other currencies. This is a great deal for
the U.S. First the Fed prints fiat money to buy valuable resources
and manufactured goods and then it nabs a discount by depreciating
its currency. It’s a “win-win” situation for Washington, although
it will undoubtedly cheat unwitting foreign-creditors out of their
hard-earned profits. It’s doubtful that their interests will weigh
very heavily on the money-lenders at the US Treasury or the
Federal Reserve.

The dollar faces a second crisis at home which is bound to play
out throughout 2007. The $10 trillion dollar housing bubble
is quickly losing air causing a precipitous drop in GDP. The housing
industry is seeing its steepest decline in 30 years and home equity
is beginning to shrivel. Housing has been the one bright spot in an
otherwise bleak economic landscape. With the housing market slowing
down and prices decreasing, the $600 billion of consumer spending
which was extracted in 2005 from home equity will quickly evaporate
triggering an overall slowdown in the economy. (Consumer
spending is 70% of GDP)

By the Fed’s own calculations; “The total amount of residential
housing wealth in the US just about doubled between 1999 and
2006 up from $10.4 trillion to $20.4 trillion. (“Times Online”)
If these figures are accurate than we can assume that much
of America’s “perceived” growth has been nothing more than
the expansion of debt. In fact, that seems to be the case. Wages
have been stagnant since the 1970s, 3 million manufacturing
jobs have been outsourced, savings have shrunk to below 0%,
and personal debt is soaring. We have become an “asset-based”
society and when the principle asset begins to loose its value,
we are in deep trouble. As housing prices continue to decline
through 2007 we can expect a full-blown recession. If energy
prices rear their ugly head again, (were they lowered for the
elections?) it will just be that much worse.

So, how will recession affect the dollar?

Capital has no loyalties. It follows the markets. When America’s
bustling consumer market stalls, we’ll undergo capital flight just
like everywhere else. The 3 million lost manufacturing jobs,
the 200,000 lost high-paying high-tech jobs, the tax incentives
for major corporations doing business outside the country;
all signal that corporate America has already loaded the boats
and is headed for more promising markets in Asia and Europe.
A sluggish consumer market could further weaken the dollar
and force Americans to begin saving again but, (and here’s the
surprising part) the decision-makers at the Federal Reserve and
the Treasury Dept don’t really care if the face-value of the
greenback goes down anyway.

What really matters is that the dollar retains its position as the
world’s reserve currency. That allows the Federal Reserve to
continue to print the money, set the interest rates, and control
the global economic system. The dollar presently accounts for
66% of foreign currency reserves in central banks across the
globe, an increase of nearly 10% in one decade alone. The dollar
has become the international currency, a de-facto monopoly.
This is the goal of the globalists and the American ruling elite
who dream of one system, the dollar-system; with us running it.

So, how will this cadre of plutocrats coerce the other nations to
continue to use the dollar while it plummets from its perch?


As long as oil is denominated in dollars, the central banks will
be forced to stockpile American scrip regardless of its value.
It’s no different than holding a gun to someone’s head. They will
use our debt-plagued greenbacks or their cars and trucks will
sputter, their tractors and factories will wheeze, and their
economies will grind to a halt. It’s just that simple.

America cannot maintain its superpower status unless it continues
to control the global economic system. That means the linkage
between the dollar and oil must be preserved. The Bush troupe
sees this as an existential issue upon which the future of America’s
ruling class depends. By 2020, 60% of the world’s oil will come from
the Middle East. Bush will do everything in his power to control the
resources of the Caspian Basin, thereby expanding US dollar-hegemony
and paving the way for a new American century.


9) After the Storm, Students Left Alone and Angry
November 1, 2006

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 31 — John McDonogh High School has at least
25 security guards, at the entrance, up the stairs and outside classes.
The school has a metal detector, four police officers and four police
cruisers on the sidewalk.

In the last six weeks, students at McDonogh, the largest functioning
high school here, have assaulted guards, a teacher and a police
officer. A guard and a teacher were beaten so badly that they
were hospitalized.

The surge hints at a far-reaching phenomenon after Hurricane
Katrina, educators here say. Teenagers in the city are living alone
or with older siblings or relatives, separated by hundreds of miles
from their displaced parents. Dozens of McDonogh students fend
largely for themselves, school officials say.

“They are here on their own,” Wanda Daliet, a science teacher, said.
“They are raising themselves. And they are angry.”

The principal, Donald Jackson, estimated that up to a fifth
of the 775 students live without parents.

“Basically, they are raising themselves, because there is no authority
figure in the home,” Mr. Jackson said. “If I call for a parent because
I’m having an issue, I may be getting an aunt, who may be at the
oldest 20, 21. What type of governance, what type of structure
is in the home, if this is the living conditions?”

In a second-floor cosmetology class, two of the six girls said
their parents were elsewhere.

“I don’t get to talk to her as much as I want,” one girl, Tiffany
Mansion, 16, said as she looked down.

Her mother is in Little Rock, Ark.

In the lunchroom, a shy 18-year-old who was asked whom
he went home to in the evenings, said: “Nobody. Myself.”

His parents are in Baton Rouge.

Mr. Jackson said many parents whom he had spoken to were
in Baton Rouge, Houston or elsewhere. “That’s the question
that’s buzzing in everybody’s heads,” the McDonogh curriculum
coordinator, Toyia Washington Kendrick, said. “How could you
leave your kids here, that are school-age kids, unattended?”

The answer is as various as the fragmented social structure,
which the hurricane a year ago made even more complicated.
Some students describe families barely functional even before
the storm. Others say pressing economic necessity has kept
parents away.

Rachelle Harrell was living in Houston, working as a medical
assistant and trying to pay off a $1,300 electricity bill in New
Orleans. But she yielded to her son Justin and his cousin
Kiante, both 16, and sent them back to New Orleans
on a Greyhound bus while she stayed in Texas.

The decision anguished Ms. Harrell, 36, even though Justin
was being picked on in Houston and yearned to return
to McDonogh. Justin; his sister, Eboni Gay, 18; and Kiante
set up housekeeping in Ms. Harrell’s old house in the Algiers
neighborhood. A monthly check from his mother and a job
at a fast-food restaurant helped make ends meet.

Ms. Harrell anticipated the inevitable question.

“ ‘Why are your children at home, and you’re in Texas?’ ”
she asked. “Well, I’m trying to get home. It’s just crazy.
But my kids know my situation. When school started,
I had to work a couple of more weeks, because I had that
light bill.

“It’s like, ‘Oh my God, is everything O.K.?’ I couldn’t even
sleep at night. O.K. Lord, if anything happens, I’m going
to be seen as such a bad mama, and I’m a hundred miles
from home.”

Last week, she left her job in Houston and returned
to New Orleans — for good.

If the causes are complicated, the consequences seem
evident to school officials: a large cadre of belligerent students,
hostile to authority and with no worry about parental
punishment at home.

Since McDonogh reopened nearly two months ago with
enrollees from 5 of the city’s 15 high schools, the students
have committed six “very serious” assaults, Mr. Jackson said.

A young man suddenly bent over in the milling crowd
waiting for a bus after school. The police were handcuffing
him, for smoking marijuana, a school official said.

In the halls, students jostle one another and laugh on the
way to class. In some classes, students strain attentively
toward the blackboard.

But there is tension. The storm overturned their world,
teachers and administrators say, destroying houses and
scattering families.

“They’re rebelling against authority,” Ms. Daliet, the
science teacher, said. “You ask them to do something,
they have an attitude.”

In the lunchroom and in the corridors, students are
ordered to tuck in their shirts. Many just grin in response.

“When you have guidelines at home that reflect guidelines
at the school, it’s a seamless transition,” Mr. Jackson said.
“But when it’s not there, you deal with a student who’s
genuinely, ‘I don’t care, I’m going to do what I want to do.’ ”

Fights break out daily. About 50 students have been
suspended; 20 have been recommended for expulsion.

Of the 128 schools in the city, fewer half have reopened.
The state took over many of them after the storm. That change,
hailed at first as a bright beginning, has proven to be partly stillborn,
as teachers, textbooks and supplies came up drastically
short in the state-run schools.

The McDonogh library has no books. State officials, fearing
mold, threw out all of them.

Rundown before the storm, the school buildings are now
even more battered. The stalls in a girls’ restroom have no

Recrimination and finger pointing have been ample,
and state officials are on the defensive.

“The same way other residents are calling it quits, teachers
are no different,” Leslie Jacobs, a member of the state school
board, said. “The teacher shortage is real. The book shortage
is real. We have a labor shortage. There is a shortage of bus
drivers. The whole food-service industry is short of workers.”

Mr. Jackson is a smiling, purposeful presence, friendly but
firm, upbraiding youths for slovenly dress and pursuing others
along for slacking in the halls. At every turn, it can seem,
an omnipresent security guard or police officer speaks to teenagers,
searching for weapons or admonishing for back talk.

As a group milled on the street corner of the three-story
1911 brick building, a guard called out from the steps:
“He’s taken his shirt off! They’re getting ready to fight!”

Three burly police officers quickly went up Esplanade Avenue
to break up the clash.

Mr. Jackson conceded that the scale of the unrest had taken
him aback.

“I knew it would happen,” he said. “I had some forewarning.
But I didn’t know it would be of this magnitude. We’ve seen
things that really shouldn’t occur in a school.”

Several weeks ago, a teacher was “beaten unmercifully” by
a ninth grader enraged at being barred from class because
he was late, Mr. Jackson said. The teacher, hospitalized,
has not returned to work. The student was arrested.

An 18-year-old knocked a guard unconscious.
The police charged him.

The reputation for violence, first acquired through a shooting
in the gymnasium in 2003 in which a young man with
a rifle killed a student in front of 200 others, has grown.

Three weeks ago, a group of students summoned reporters
to the school to complain about the many officers.

“We have a lot of security guards, and not enough teachers,”
Maya Dawson, 17, said.

Jerinise Walker, 15, added: “It’s like you’re in jail. You have
people watching you all the time.”

Mr. Jackson said the time had not come to reduce security.

“When we get our students to respond in a different way,”
he said, “then I can back off. We’re trying to train our students
to resolve conflict, and that’s something they haven’t been able to do.”


10) An Activist, Then a Journalist, and Now a Victim
of the Violence He Covered
November 1, 2006

When Bradley Will traveled to a state in southern Mexico last month,
his goal was to document and describe the turbulence in the region,
where striking teachers and their allies demanding the resignation
of the state’s governor have clashed at times with armed attackers.

The conflict had received scant attention in much of the news media,
but it was exactly the kind of situation that Mr. Will relished witnessing
and writing about. He often traveled from New York City to Latin
America to chronicle little-known disputes, and his articles made
him a familiar figure in the world of the alternative media.

On Friday, Mr. Will, 36, was fatally shot in the chest while
videotaping near a barricaded road at the edge of the city of Oaxaca,
the capital of the state with the same name, during a confrontation
between demonstrators equipped with Molotov cocktails and fireworks
and a group of men armed with pistols and rifles. Witnesses
have said that Mr. Will was hit by bullets fired toward the

Five people have been detained in connection with the shooting,
including two local officials and two police officers. State officials
are running the investigation, and a spokesman for President
Vicente Fox said that the federal government could take over
the inquiry if state authorities did not do an adequate job.
Human rights groups and a New York-based organization that
advocates on behalf of journalists have called for the federal
government to take over the investigation immediately.

“The story of the situation in Oaxaca was not getting out,” said
Beka Economopoulos, a friend who lives in New York and works
for an environmental group. “Brad died trying to get the story
of what was happening in Oaxaca out to the world.”

Although Mr. Will grew up in Illinois and lived for years on the
Lower East Side, he traveled from coast to coast to attend protests
on a variety of issues, sometimes getting to far-flung spots
by riding the rails in empty box cars.

Mr. Will’s writings appeared in newspapers and on Web sites run
by the Independent Media Center, a collective of left-leaning
volunteers organized in chapters around the world, who commonly
act as both participants in events and chroniclers of them. Its
reporters and photographers typically include personal observations
as they document issues that they have strong feelings about,
like the war in Iraq or the impact of global trade on the
developing world.

Mr. Will had a long history of advocating for environmental
causes and attending political demonstrations in the United
States. In his travels to Latin America, Mr. Will, at times, found
himself in perilous settings. In a 2005 article about squatters
in Brazil, he described being shot at by the authorities and
detained. Friends said that Mr. Will was haunted by violence
he witnessed there.

“He was really affected by that,” said Seth Tobocman, an artist
in New York who discussed the experience with Mr. Will.
“He started out as an activist and became a journalist
so he could tell people about what he saw.”

In his last written dispatch, which was posted on Oct. 16 on
a Web site maintained by the New York City chapter of the
Independent Media Center, Mr. Will described the killing
of a man in Oaxaca and said that some people in Oaxaca
blamed the death on paramilitary vigilantes.

The images filmed by Mr. Will minutes before his death,
which are on the Independent Media Center’s Web site, show
a chaotic scene, in which men used slingshots to shoot
projectiles and gunshots can be heard. At one point, Mr. Will
appears to videotape from beneath a truck, aiming his lens
at a man firing a pistol. Minutes later, during the final images
of the video, a cry is heard and the camera appears to fall
to the ground.

Mr. Will’s funeral was held Saturday in Oaxaca. A priest
splashed holy water onto his coffin and a woman bent down
to kiss its side. Mr. Will’s mother and father, along with two
sisters and a brother, issued a statement mourning Mr. Will’s

“We are grieving over the tragic and senseless loss of Brad’s life,”
it read in part. “We believe he died doing what he loved.”

Elisabeth Malkin in Mexico City and Carolyn Wilder in New York
contributed reporting.


11) Gambling Against the Dollar
November 1, 2006

A couple of years ago, Robert E. Rubin — éminence grise at Citigroup
and the Democratic Party’s economic wise man — decided that the
United States dollar was headed for a fall.

This view put Mr. Rubin in good company. Nearly everyone who spends
time thinking about the American economy believes that the value
of the dollar has to fall at some point.

The United States has been borrowing enormous sums of money
from other countries, largely so that American consumers can turn
around and buy the computers, clothing and other goods those
countries make. Like all borrowing booms, this one will eventually
subside. When it does — and foreign investors stop buying so many
dollars to lend back to us — the dollar will drop.

With this chain of events in mind, a former colleague of Mr. Rubin’s
at Goldman Sachs had been whispering in his ear that anybody who
didn’t have 20 or 30 percent of his holdings tied to other currencies
was “out of his mind.”

Yet as Mr. Rubin told me last week, his finances at the time were
“totally dollar-based.” (As are yours, in all likelihood.)

So he decided to bet against the dollar by buying options on other
currencies. It turned out to be a very bad bet.

This is a column about why Mr. Rubin’s logic made perfect sense —
why it still does, in fact — yet why most people who have made
similar bets in recent years have taken a bath. Warren E. Buffett
cost Berkshire Hathaway almost $1 billion last year shorting the
dollar. On the opposite end of the investing spectrum, I put
a small amount of my retirement savings last year into a T. Rowe
Price mutual fund that is linked more directly to foreign currencies
than most foreign-stock funds are. It has delivered a return
of negative 7 percent.

The fate of the dollar, to be blunt, often seems like one of the
most boring economic subjects around. It doesn’t offer obvious
“Freakonomics”-type lessons about the foibles of everyday life.
Instead, it has inspired a stack of policy papers filled with terms
like current-account deficit and trade-weighted exchange rate.

But it really is worth trying to understand what’s going on. In
the end, the value of the dollar will go a long way toward
determining how well Americans live: which food we can
afford to eat, which cars we can buy, which foreign policy
we can pursue. As Mr. Rubin says: “It is vitally important.
It has the potential to affect all of us.”

The simplest way to explain the problem is to say that the
United States has been living beyond its means.

Both the federal government and American families have
been spending more money than they take in, leaving both
in debt. To close the gap between our resources and our
spending habits, we have borrowed from abroad. It’s the
only option.

The net amount of money leaving the United States —
that is, the amount of money we need to borrow back
to support our lifestyle — has soared to $800 billion
a year. “It’s just stunning,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, former
chief economist of the International Monetary Fund.
“It’s unprecedented.”

The big question now is how will the situation reverse
itself. It could happen gradually, with other countries
slowly reducing their purchase of dollars. This wouldn’t
be horrible, as Americans discovered when the dollar
dropped in the 1980s. But most of us would be worse
off for the simple reason that foreign loans would
no longer be letting us live beyond our means.

The other possibility is that an unexpected event —
a spike in oil prices, say — could cause foreign investors
to cut their dollar purchases sharply, bringing all sorts
of economic havoc. Edwin M. Truman, an economist who
spent a quarter-century at the Federal Reserve, compares
the situation to a merry-go-round that is moving too
fast for its underlying mechanics. It gradually loses
speed, leaving its riders disappointed but unscathed,
or it stops suddenly and throws some of them
off their horses.

Paul A. Volcker, the Fed chairman who whipped inflation
in the ’80s, has become sufficiently worried to call the
circumstances as “dangerous and intractable” as any he
can remember. Yet, he laments, no one in Washington
is taking steps to minimize the risks.

Whatever the outcome, a decline in the dollar will probably
be part of it. That’s why Mr. Rubin made his bet. But the
dollar didn’t cooperate. While no longer at the highs
it reached in 2002, it has stayed strong. Mr. Rubin ended
up losing more than $1 million (which, certainly, he can
afford) before getting out of the currency market.

Throughout his career — as an arbitrage trader at Goldman,
as the Treasury secretary who led the 1995 bailout of Mexico —
he has argued that decisions should not be judged solely
on the outcome. Somebody could do a perfectly good job
of weighing the relevant risks, make a call that maximizes
the chances of success and still not succeed, because the
world is a messy, unpredictable place.

This point has usually been somewhat academic, however,
because his results have generally been good. At Goldman,
he rose to become co-chairman thanks partly to his trading
record. In the Clinton administration, he won more than his
share of policy arguments and helped guide the economy
to its best performance of the last 30 years.

But when he talks about the dollar, you can see how hard it is,
even for somebody with his self-assurance, to remain confident
in the face of a failed prediction. “I think I was right, probabilistically,”
he said recently, sitting in his Citigroup office overlooking Park
Avenue. “But I don’t know. I really don’t. I don’t think anyone
does. It’s also possible that none of this could happen.
It’s possible that for reasons none of us can see that this
will work itself out in a very copacetic way.”

Mr. Rubin and the other dollar bears look a little like the skeptics
of the real estate boom back in 2005. For years, those skeptics
warned that things had gotten out of hand and that reality would
soon reassert itself. And for years, they were wrong. The longer
they were wrong, the more out of touch they sound.

How is that housing boom going, anyway?



12) U.S. Military Adopts Desperate Tactics
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

*FALLUJAH, Oct 31 (IPS) - Increased violence is being countered by harsh
new measures across the Sunni-dominated al-Anabar province west of
Baghdad, residents say.*

"Thousands have been killed here by the Multi-National Forces (MNF) and
Iraqi allies, and the situation is getting worse every day," a member of
the Fallujah city council speaking on condition of anonymity told IPS.
"We have no role to play because the Americans always prefer violent
solutions that have led from one disaster to another."

The violence appears to be affecting the civilian population far more
than it is stifling the resistance. The suffering of people in Fallujah
increases by the day, and the number of resistance snipers appears to be
increasing in response to the U.S. use of snipers against civilians.

"In fact it is many more snipers now, considering the number of
incidents that have taken place," Sebri Ahmed from the local police told
IPS. "Our men are terrified, and the majority of them have quit after
serious threats of getting killed, like our three main leaders."

General Hudhairi Abbas, former deputy police chief of Fallujah was
killed two months ago. Colonel Ahmed Dirii was killed soon after, and
last week the police leader of al-Anbar, General Shaaban al-Janabi, was
assassinated in front of his family house in Fallujah.

There are now no police patrols on the streets of Fallujah, and the only
policemen around remain inside their main station.

"How come those three Fallujan born officers were killed while the
Fallujah police leader General Salah Aati was hiding behind concrete
barriers," a police officer said. Aati lives in the green zone of
Baghdad, a highly barricaded government area.

Meanwhile, attacks against occupation forces have increased in frequency
and severity. On Eid recently, four U.S. Humvees in a convoy were
destroyed by roadside bombs.

The military responded by closing all the checkpoints in the city.
Thousands had to spend the night, the first of the holidays, outside of
the city. The main roads inside the city were also closed.

"Four firemen were killed by the U.S. army because they were late to get
to the four burning hummers," a young man who witnessed the attack told
IPS. "They were not killed by mistake, they were killed in front of many

The U.S. military has admitted that it killed three firemen by mistake
because they were suspected to be militants.

Hundreds of residents later attended the burial of the firemen together
with five other men killed by occupation forces the same day.

"The Americans brought five dead civilians whom they shot in the city
streets in revenge for their casualties," a man at the former football
field now called Martyrs Graveyard told IPS. "We are going to need
another graveyard, this one is going to be full soon." All semblance of
normal living in the province is disappearing. Saif al-Juboori, a
student at the University of al-Anbar in Ramadi says this will be a
wasted year for thousands of students.

"The whole university is now under siege, and there is a checkpoint at
the main gate," Juboori told IPS. "The students or teachers who approach
must lift their shirts from 50 metres away and listen to nasty comments
of arrogant soldiers who give body checks before admitting people in.
Most will no longer accept such humiliation, and so there will be no
college this year."

Ramadi has been facing electricity and water cuts for about two weeks
now. Most residents believe this is punishment for the popular support
for Iraqi resistance.

"We would rather starve to death than accept this occupation and its
Iranian allies," a 20-year-old student told IPS. "We will not let the
blood of our brother martyrs go unpunished."

Despite the punishing tactics of the occupation forces, people appear
unwilling to cooperate with local officials or the U.S. military against
local fighters.

"Iraqis believe firmly that U.S. ambassador (Zalmay) Khalilzad is the
actual ruler of the occupied country despite the repeated comedy of
transfers of sovereignty to Iyad Allawi, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and now
Noori al-Maliki's governments," a senior leader of the Arab National
Movement in Iraq, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS.

"Yet, that does not mean that the U.S. embassy has real control, as long
as there are resistance fighters who are firmly holding the Iraqi
streets in Sunni areas, and militias with their death squads controlling
the rest of the country as well as the huge oil market." Resistance
fighters recently came out to show their strength in Ramadi, the capital
city of al-Anbar province. Dozens of cars loaded with armed men went
around the city.

Immediately after that, power and water supply were cut, and raids
carried out in civilian areas. Several were killed by U.S. snipers,
residents said.

The police did nothing, they have a hard time protecting themselves.
Gunmen have attacked Iraqi police stations in Samarra, Beji and Mosul.

"We are back to point zero," a senior officer in the Ministry of
Interior told IPS. "Our forces are either loyal to militias and
political parties or too powerless to do their duties."

"Every one who fights the American occupation has our full support,"
Yassin Hussein, a 30-year-old teacher in Ramadi told IPS. "They lied to
us all the time, and it is time for them to admit their terrible failure
and leave. Let them go rebuild New Orleans."

Hussein said resistance fighters are the only force able to keep local
peace and keep criminal gangs in check. "The Americans are too busy
trying to take care of their own security to care about Iraqis."

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


13) Substance in Red Wine Could Extend Life, Study Says
November 1, 2006

Can you have your cake and eat it? Is there a free lunch after all,
red wine included? Researchers at the Harvard Medical School
and the National Institute of Aging report that a natural substance
found in red wine, known as resveratrol, offsets the bad effects
of a high-calorie diet in mice and significantly extends their lifespan.

Their report, published electronically today in Nature, implies
that very large daily doses of resveratrol could offset the unhealthy,
high-calorie diet thought to underlie the rising toll of obesity in the
United States and elsewhere, should people respond to the drug
as mice do.

Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes and in red wine and
is conjectured to be a partial explanation for the French paradox,
the puzzling fact that people in France to enjoy a high-fat diet
yet suffer less heart disease than Americans.

The researchers fed one group of mice a diet in which 60 percent
of calories came from fat. The diet started when the mice, all males,
were 1 year old, which is middle-aged in mouse terms. As expected,
the mice soon developed signs of impending diabetes, with grossly
enlarged livers, and started to die much sooner than mice fed
a standard diet.

Another group of mice was fed the identical high-fat diet but with
a large daily dose of resveratrol. The resveratrol did not stop them
from putting on weight and growing as tubby as the other fat-eating
mice. But it averted the high levels of glucose and insulin in the
bloodstream, which are warning signs of diabetes, and it kept the
mice's livers at normal size.

Even more strikingly, the substance sharply extended the mice's
lifetimes. Those fed resveratrol along with the high-fat diet died
many months later than the mice on high fat alone, and at the
same rate as mice on a standard healthy diet. They had all the
pleasures of gluttony but paid none of the price.

The researchers, led by David Sinclair and Joseph Baur at the
Harvard Medical School and by Rafael de Cabo at the National
Institute of Aging, also tried to estimate the effect of resveratrol
on the mice's physical quality of life. They gauged how well the
mice could walk along a rotating rod before falling off, a test
of their motor skills. The mice on resveratrol did better as they
grew older, ending up with much the same staying power on
the rod as mice fed a normal diet.

The researchers hope their findings will have relevance to people
too. Their study shows, they conclude, that orally taken drugs
"at doses achievable in humans can safely reduce many of the
negative consequences of excess caloric intake, with an overall
improvement in health and survival."

Several experts said that people wondering if they should take
resveratrol should wait until more results were in, particularly
safety tests in humans. "It's a pretty exciting area but these are
early days," said Dr. Ronald Kahn, president of the Joslin Diabetes
Center in Boston. Information about resveratrol's effects on human
metabolism should be available a year or so, he said, adding,
"Have another glass of pinot noir — that's as far as I'd take
it right now."

The mice were fed a hefty dose of resveratrol, 24 milligrams
per kilogram of body weight. Red wine has about 1.5 to 3 mg
of resveratrol per liter, so a person would need to drink from
10 to 20 bottles of red wine a day to get such a dose. Whatever
good the resveratrol might do would be negated by the sheer
amount of alcohol.

Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute of Aging,
which helped support the study, also said that people should
wait for the results of safety testing. Substances that are safe
and beneficial in small doses, like vitamins, sometimes prove
to be harmful when taken in high doses, he said.

One person who is not following this prudent advice, however,
is Dr. Sinclair, the chief author of the study. He has long been
taking resveratrol, though at a dose of only 5 milligrams per
kilogram. Mice given that amount in a second feeding trial have
shown similar, but less dramatic, results as those on the
24 milligram a day dose, he said.

Dr. Sinclair has had a physician check his metabolism, because
many resveratrol preparations contain possibly hazardous
impurities, but so far no ill effects have come to light. His wife,
his parents, and "half my lab" are also taking resveratrol, he said.

Dr. Sinclair declined to name his source of resveratrol. Many
companies sell the substance, along with claims that rivals'
preparations are inactive. One such company, Longevinex,
sells an extract of red wine and knotweed that contains
an unspecified amount of resveratrol. But each capsule
is equivalent to "5 to 15 5-ounce glasses of the best red
wine," the company's Web page asserts.

Dr. Sinclair is the founder of a company, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals,
that has developed several chemicals designed to mimic the role
of resveratrol but at much lower doses. Sirtris has begun clinical
trials of one of these compounds, an improved version
of resveratrol, with the aim of seeing if it helps control glucose
levels in people with diabetes. "We believe you cannot reach
therapeutic levels in man with ordinary resveratrol," said
Dr. Christoph Westphal, the company's chief executive.

Behind the resveratrol test is a considerable degree of scientific
theory, some of it well established and some yet to be proved.
Dr. Sinclair's initial interest in resveratrol had nothing to do with
red wine. It derived from work by Leonard Guarente of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who in 1955 found
a gene that controlled the longevity of yeast, a single-celled
fungus. Dr. Guarente and Dr. Sinclair, who had come from Australia
to work as a post-doctoral student in Dr. Guarente's lab, discovered
the mechanism by which the gene makes yeast cells live longer.
The gene is known as sir-2 in yeast, sir standing for silent
information regulator, and its equivalent in mice is called SIRT-1.

Dr. Guarente then found that the gene's protein needs a common
metabolite to activate it and he developed the theory that the gene,
by sensing the level of metabolic activity, mediates a phenomenon
of great interest to researchers in aging, the greater life span
caused by caloric restriction.

Researchers have known since 1935 that mice fed a calorically
restricted diet — one with all necessary vitamins and nutrients
but 40 percent fewer calories — live up to 50 percent longer
than mice on ordinary diets.

This low-calorie-provoked increase in longevity occurs in many
organisms and seems to be an ancient survival strategy. When
food is plentiful, live in the fast lane and breed prolifically. When
famine strikes, switch resources to body maintenance and live
longer so as to ride out the famine.

Researchers had long supposed that the increase in longevity
was a passive phenomenon: during famine or on a low-calorie
diet, organisms would have lower metabolism and produce less
of the violent chemicals that oxidize tissues. But Dr. Guarente
and Dr. Sinclair believed that longer life was attained by an active
program that triggered specific protective steps against the diseases
common in old age. It was because these diseases were averted
in calorie restriction, they believed, that animals lived longer.

Most people find it impossible to keep to a diet with 40 percent
fewer calories than usual. So if caloric restriction really does make
people as well as mice live longer — which is plausible but not yet
proved — it would be desirable to have some drug that activated
the SIRT-1 gene's protein, tricking it into thinking that days
of famine lay ahead.

In 2003 Dr. Sinclair, by then in his own lab, devised a way to test
a large number of chemicals for their ability to mimic caloric
restriction in people by activating SIRT-1. The champion was
resveratrol, already well known for its possible health benefits.

The experiment reported today tests one aspect of caloric
restriction, the reduction in metabolic disease. Calorically restricted
mice also suffer less cancer and heart disease, and there is some
evidence that neurodegenerative diseases are also held at bay.

Critics point out that resveratrol is a powerful chemical that acts
in many different ways in cells. The new experiment, they say,
does not prove that resveratrol negated the effects of a high-
calorie diet by activating SIRT-1. Indeed, they are not convinced
that resveratrol activates SIRT-1 at all. "It hasn't really been
clearly shown, the way a biochemist would want to see it, that
resveratrol can activate sirtuin," said Matt Kaeberlein, a former
student of Dr. Guarente who now does research at the University
of Washington in Seattle. Sirtuin is the protein produced
by the SIRT-1 gene.

Dr. Sinclair said experiments at Sirtris have essentially wrapped
up this point. But they have not yet been published, so under
the rules of scientific debate he cannot use them to support
his position. In his Nature article he therefore has to concede,
"Whether resveratrol acts directly or indirectly through Sir2
in vivo is currently a subject of debate."

Given that caloric restriction forces a tradeoff between fertility
and lifespan, resveratrol might be expected to reduce fertility
in mice. For reasons not yet clear, Dr. Sinclair said he saw no
such effect in his experiment.

If resveratrol does act by prodding the sirtuins into action, then
there will be much interest in the new class of sirtuin activators
now being tested by Sirtris. Dr. Westphal, the company's chief
executive, has no practical interest in the longevity-promoting
effects of sirtuins and caloric restriction. For the Food and Drug
Administration, if for no one else, aging is not a disease and
death is not an end-point. The F.D.A. will only approve drugs
that treat diseases in measurable ways, so Dr. Westphal hopes
to show his sirtuin activators will improve the indicators of specific
diseases, starting with diabetes.

"We think that if we can harness the benefits of caloric restriction,
we wouldn't simply have ways of making people live longer, but
an entirely new therapeutic strategy to address the diseases
of aging," Dr. Guarente said.


14) Israel Opens Fire During Mosque Standoff
November 3, 2006

JERUSALEM, Nov. 3 — Israeli troops fired at a large crowd of unarmed
Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip today as the women approached
a mosque to help Palestinian militants holed up inside. Two women
were killed and about 10 were injured, according to hospital workers.

The shooting provoked widespread outrage among Palestinians.

The Israeli military said its fire was directed at Palestinian gunmen
who were hiding among the women as they marched toward
the Um al-Nasir mosque in Beit Hanun, the town in the
northeastern Gaza Strip where Israeli troops and militants
have been battling for the past three days. The Israelis said
eight militants were shot, and that they were not aware that
women were hit, but were investigating.

Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, angrily called
on the international community to “come here and witness
the daily massacres that are being carried out against the
Palestinian nation.”

Mr. Haniya also praised the women “who led the protest
to break the siege of Beit Hanun.”

The shooting, which was captured by television cameras,
was the most dramatic episode so far in the fighting in Beit
Hanun. Israeli forces entered the town early on Wednesday
in an attempt to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets
from the area into Israel.

As Israeli forces pursued the militants in the town on Thursday,
an estimated 60 gunmen dashed inside the Um al-Nasir mosque,
initiating a standoff that lasted through the night.

Israeli troops in armored vehicles surrounded the mosque.
For several hours, soldiers used loudspeakers to call on the
militants to surrender, and several did, according to the military.
The Israelis also fired tear gas and stun grenades into the
mosque in an attempt to force the gunmen out.

Around 3 a.m. today, the gunmen in the mosque began firing
on the Israeli soldiers, who shot back, and heavy exchanges
ensued, the military said.

The Israeli army called in an armored bulldozer and used
it to knock down one wall of the mosque compound, the
military and Palestinian witnesses said.

Early this morning, a Palestinian radio station called on women
in the town to march to the mosque and support the gunmen
inside. A short time later, hundreds of women, dressed
in flowing black abayas and wearing head scarves, headed
to the the scene.

As they approached the mosque, shots rang out, but the
women continued marching. A moment later, a number
of women were hit, and the crowd scattered. Some of the
wailing women turning back, while others kept advancing
toward the mosque, climbing over improvised dirt barriers
set up by the Israeli forces.

“We heard the call for women to help the fighters, and we
decided to go,” said Mona Abu Jasir, 37, who was hit by
a bullet in the right leg. “We had no weapons, and we were
walking toward the mosque when I was shot.”

Television footage showed at least one man in the crowd,
though there was no indication that he had a weapon.
The man was shot and fell to the ground, and was surrounded
by women until rescue workers arrived.

One marcher, Suhad el-Masri, 28, said she and several of her
relatives were carrying abayas — long flowing gowns —
and scarves to give to the men.

“We took them so they could disguise themselves as women
and escape,” said Ms. Masri. Her sister, Hiba Rajab, 20,
sustained serious injuries when she was shot in both
legs and her left arm.

In the ensuing chaos, some women reached the mosque,
and the gunmen managed to slip away, the Israeli military
and Palestinian witnesses said. It was not clear whether the
gunmen dressed as women to facilitate their escape. Shortly
after the standoff ended, the roof of the mosque collapsed,
apparently from the cumulative damage sustained in the

Palestinian hospitals identified the two women who were
killed as Amna Abu Oudah, 42, and Intissar Ali, 40.

Later in the day, about 1,000 women marched outside
Egypt’s diplomatic mission in Gaza City, denouncing the
Israeli actions and calling on Egypt to intervene.

Also in Beit Hanun, two young Palestinian males, ages 15
and 18, were killed by Israeli fire, Palestinian medical workers
said. Over the past three days, more than 20 Palestinians have
been killed, including militants and civilians, as well as one
Israeli soldier.

So far, the Israeli incursion has not reduced the Palestinian
rocket fire, which has continued for the past three days. Militants
fired several more rockets from northern Gaza into southern Israel
today, but there was no damage or injuries, the Israeli military said.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers arrested the Palestinian
minister for housing and public works, Abdel Rahman Zaidan, who
belongs to Hamas, the radical Islamic group that leads the Palestinian
Authority. Israel has arrested more than two dozen Palestinian
legislators and cabinet ministers from Hamas in the West Bank
over the past four months.

The crackdown began after Palestinian militants, including those
from Hamas, staged a cross-border raid and captured an Israeli
soldier, and then took him into Gaza. That event also prompted
the Israeli military to return to Gaza, which the army had left
in September 2005.

Taghreed El-Khodary contributed reporting from Gaza.


15) Medicaid Wants Citizenship Proof for Infant Care
November 3, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 — Under a new federal policy, children born
in the United States to illegal immigrants with low incomes will
no longer be automatically entitled to health insurance through
Medicaid, Bush administration officials said Thursday.

Doctors and hospitals said the policy change would make it more
difficult for such infants, who are United States citizens, to obtain
health care needed in the first year of life.

Illegal immigrants are generally barred from Medicaid but can get
coverage for treatment of emergency medical conditions, including
labor and delivery.

In the past, once a woman received emergency care under Medicaid
for the birth of a baby, the child was deemed eligible for coverage
as well, and states had to cover the children for one year from
the date of birth.

Under the new policy, an application must be filed for the child,
and the parents must provide documents to prove the child’s

The documentation requirements took effect in July, but some
states have been slow to enforce them, and many doctors
are only now becoming aware of the effects on newborns.

Obtaining a birth certificate can take weeks in some states,
doctors said. Moreover, they said, illegal immigrant parents
may be reluctant to go to a state welfare office to file applications
because they fear contact with government agencies that could
report their presence to immigration authorities.

Administration officials said the change was necessary under
their reading of a new law, the Deficit Reduction Act, signed
by President Bush in February. The law did not mention newborns,
but generally tightened documentation requirements because
some lawmakers were concerned that immigrants were fraudulently
claiming United States citizenship to get Medicaid.

Marilyn E. Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Medicaid
program, said: “The federal government told us we have no latitude.
All states must change their policies and practices. We will not
be able to cover any services for the newborn until a Medicaid
application is filed. That could be days, weeks or months after
the child is born.”

About four million babies are born in the United States each year,
and Medicaid pays for more than one-third of all births. The number
involving illegal immigrant parents is unknown but is likely to be
in the tens of thousands, health experts said.

Doctors and hospitals denounced the policy change and denied
that it was required by the new law. Dr. Jay E. Berkelhamer, president
of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the policy “punishes
babies who, according to the Constitution, are citizens because
they were born here.”

Dr. Martin C. Michaels, a pediatrician in Dalton, Ga., said that
continuous coverage in the first year of life was important because
“newborns need care right from the start.”

“Some Americans may want to grant amnesty to undocumented
immigrants, and others may want to send them home,” Dr. Michaels
said. “But the children who are born here had no say in that debate.”

Under a 1984 law, infants born to pregnant women on Medicaid
are in most cases deemed eligible for Medicaid for one year.

In an interview on Thursday, Leslie V. Norwalk, acting administrator
of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the new policy
“reflects what the new law says in terms of eligibility.”

“When emergency Medicaid pays for a birth,” Ms. Norwalk said,
“the child is not automatically deemed eligible. But the child could
apply and could qualify for Medicaid because of the family’s poverty
status. If anyone knows about a child being denied care, we want
to know about it. Please step up and tell us.”

Under federal law, hospitals generally have to examine and treat
patients who need emergency care, regardless of their ability to pay.
So the new policy is most likely to affect access to other types
of care, including preventive services and treatment for infections
and chronic conditions, doctors said.

Representative Charlie Norwood, Republican of Georgia,
was a principal architect of the new law.

“Charlie’s intent was that every person receiving Medicaid
needs to provide documentation,” said John E. Stone,
a spokesman for Mr. Norwood, who is a dentist and has been
active on health care issues. “With newborns, there should
be no problem. All you have to do is provide a birth certificate
or hospital records verifying birth.”

But Dr. Berkelhamer disagreed. Even when the children are
eligible for Medicaid, he said, illegal immigrants may be afraid
to apply because of “the threat of deportation.”

The new policy “will cost the health care system more in the
long run,” Dr. Berkelhamer added, because children of illegal
immigrants may go without immunizations, preventive care
and treatments needed in the first year of life.

Doctors, children’s hospitals and advocacy groups have been
urging states to preserve the old policy on Medicaid eligibility
for children born to illegal immigrants.

Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law at George Washington
University, said: “The new policy reflects a tortured reading
of the new law and is contrary to the language of the 1984 statute,
which Congress did not change. The whole purpose of the earlier
law, passed with bipartisan support, was to make sure that a baby
would not have a single day’s break in coverage from the date
of birth through the first year of life.”

California has objected to the new policy. S. Kimberly Belshé,
secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency,
said: “By virtue of being born in the United States, a child is a U.S.
citizen. What more proof does the federal government need?”


16) Why Western workers are set to become poorer
by Stephen Roach

What do the world's three largest economies have in common?
The answer underscores one of the key tensions of globalisation –
unrelenting pressure on labour income. The corollary of that
phenomenon is equally revealing – ever–rising returns to the owners
of capital. For a global economy in the midst of its strongest four–year
boom since the early 1970s, this tug-of-war between labour and
capital is an increasingly serious source of disequilibrium.
It has important economic, social, and political implications –
all of which could complicate the coming global rebalancing.

My recent trip to Japan was the clincher. As I found in Germany
during a series of extensive visits last month, and as has been
evident in the United States throughout the current upturn, Japanese
labour income remains under extraordinary downward pressure.
There is no way this is a coincidence. In all three economies,
unemployment has been declining in recent years – a 27% drop
in the US jobless rate since mid-2003, a 21% decline in Japan
since early 2003, and a 15% fall in the German unemployment
rate since mid-2004.

Yet in none of the three economies has a cyclical tightening in
labour markets resulted in a meaningful increase in real wages
and/or the labour share of national income. By our calculations,
fully 57 months into the current cyclical upturn, US private sector
compensation is still tracking nearly $400 billion (in real terms)
below the average trajectory of the past four business cycles.
After a glimmer of revival in early 2005, stagnation is once
again evident in Japanese real wages. Nor are there any signs
of a meaningful upturn in German real wages; to the contrary,
inflation-adjusted compensation per worker in the overall
business sector has actually declined in four of the past
five years.

The case of Europe merits special comment. We harbor the
illusion that European workers are different – that sheltered
by a deeply entrenched social contract, they enjoy great
success in getting more than their fair share of the pie.
That impression is no longer accurate. As Elga Bartsch
points out in a fascinating new piece of research, after
having spiked up dramatically in the aftermath of German
reunification, pan-European real compensation per employee
has been basically unchanged since 2001.

Nor does she see this changing as an increasingly tight
European labour market now approaches its "speed limit."
The structural forces are simply far too powerful – namely,
globalisation, a shift to part-time and temporary employment,
and the diminished power of European labour unions. The
coming wage round in Germany will undoubtedly test this view,
but Elga does not look for a major breakout. Far from marching
to its own beat, the European worker is in the same shape
as those elsewhere in the industrial world – suffering from
the unrelenting pressures of relatively stagnant real wages.

At work are the increasingly powerful forces of globalisation –
namely, the combination of intensified cross-border competition
and a wrenching global labour arbitrage that has given rise to an
extraordinary productivity push in the high-wage industrial world.
The good news is that the productivity payback is at hand.
The United States has recorded a decade of 2.8% productivity
growth – doubling the sluggish 1.4% gains recorded from 1974
to 1995. Japanese productivity growth has averaged 2.1% over
the past three years – nearly double the 1.2% trend from 1995
to 2002. Even German productivity has been on the rise –
expanding at a 1.7% annual rate over the past five quarters –
more than double the anaemic 0.7% trend over the 1998
to 2004 period.

The bad news is that these breakthroughs on the productivity
front have not resulted in any meaningful improvement
in labour's share of the pie. Therein lies the puzzle: economics
teaches us that real wages ultimately track productivity growth –
that workers are rewarded in accordance with their marginal
product. Yet that has not been the case in the high-wage
economies of the industrial world in recent years. By our
estimates, the real compensation share of national income
for the so–called "G-7 plus" (the US, Japan, the 12-country
eurozone, the UK, and Canada) fell from 56% in 2001
to what appears to be a record low of 53.7% in 2006.
(Note: Due to a lack of harmonised eurozone data prior
to 1996, the compensation share cannot be extended before
that period; however, based on BIS calculations, the slightly
narrower construct of the wage share of G-10 national
income is currently lower than at any point since 1975).

Of course, it is important to distinguish between the transitory
results of the business cycle and the structural interplay between
underlying trends in productivity and real wages. It may be that
productivity strategies are dominated by cost cutting; with labour
the largest slice of business production expenses, such tactics
lead to constant pressure on the compensation share of national
income. It may also be that the improvements in labour market
conditions are so recent – especially in Japan and Germany –
that the real wage lags simply haven't had time to kick in.

The US experience draws that latter hope into serious question.
Fully ten years into a spectacular productivity revival, real wages
remain nearly stagnant and the labour share of national income
continues to move lower. If the flexible American worker can't
do it, why should we presume that others in the industrial world
would be any more fortunate?

This takes us to what could well be the biggest challenge in this
era of globalisation – the ability of the high–wage developed world
to convert productivity gains into increases in the labour share
of national income. In a recent paper, Richard Freeman of Harvard,
long one of the world's most prominent labour economists,
underscores the very tough uphill battle that high–wage workers
in the rich countries face in this era of globalisation. By his calculation,
the ascendancy of China, India, and the former Soviet Union has added
about 1.5 billion new workers to the global economy – essentially
equaling the amount elsewhere in the world. With global trade and
production increasingly shifting into the low-wage developing
and transitional economies, what I have called the "global labour
arbitrage" puts inexorable pressure on real wages in the high-wage
industrial world.

Some would argue that the worst of the arbitrage is over – as wage
inflation now takes off in China and India. Don't count on it. Our
estimates suggest that even after five years of double-digit wage
inflation in China, hourly compensation for Chinese manufacturing
workers remains at only 3% of levels prevailing in the major
industrial economies.

While labour gets squeezed, the owners of capital have enjoyed
far more flexibility in this climate. Facing extraordinary competitive
pressures, corporations have redoubled their efforts on the productivity
front. And, as noted above, those efforts have indeed borne fruit –
for over a decade in the US and more recently in Japan in Germany.
The fruits of those efforts show up in the form of surging corporate
profitability and increased share prices – with commensurate gains
accruing to those workers / households that are fortunate enough
to hold shares.

America, with its growing incidence of share ownership, has led the
change in that regard. But this has hardly been a panacea for most
US workers. Federal Reserve survey data show that 63% of families
in the upper decile of the wealth distribution owned stocks in 2004 –
nearly four times the average 19% ownership share in the remaining
90% of the wealth distribution; moreover, median equity holdings
amounted to $110,000 per household in the same upper decile –
fully 13 times average holdings of $8,350 in the remainder of the
wealth distribution.

Don't get me wrong – this is not intended to be a replay of my ill-fated
"worker backlash" call of the early 1990s, when I mistakenly believed
that labour would exercise its power and demand a larger slice of the
pie. Today, courtesy of a doubling of the world's work force and an
increasingly potent global labour arbitrage, high-wage workers in the
industrial world are all but powerless to act. But their elected
representatives are not. Witness the recent surge of protectionist
sentiment – especially in the United States but also in Europe. Nor
do I suspect this political backlash to globalisation will fade in the
aftermath of the upcoming mid-term election in the United States –
especially, as seems likely, if the Democrats garner sizable gains
in the Congress. Pressures on high-wage workers in the industrial
world are likely to endure for years to come – irrespective, or perhaps
because of, the push for higher productivity growth. As a result,
I suspect the angst of labour will remain high on the political agenda
for the foreseeable future.

Contrary, to orthodox "win-win" theory, globalisation is a highly
asymmetrical phenomenon. Initially, it creates far more producers
than consumers. It also results in extraordinary imbalances between
nations with current account deficits and surpluses. And it has
led to a widening disparity of the returns between labour and capital.
Does this mean that globalisation is inherently unsustainable?
Probably not. But it does mean that the most destabilizing phase
of this mega-trend could well be close at hand.

As seen through surging corporate profitability, the returns to
capital have never been greater. Meanwhile the shares of labour
income have never been lower. As day follows night, the pendulum
will swing the other way – and so will the balance between real wages
and business profitability. It's just a question of when – and under
what circumstances.

By Stephen Roach, global economist at Morgan Stanley, as first
published on Morgan Stanley's Global Economic Forum


17) How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power
Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war
machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how
repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading
with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president
Ben Aris in Berlin and Duncan Campbell in Washington
Saturday September 25, 2004
The Guardian,12271,1312540,00.html

George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a
director and shareholder of companies that profited from their
involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in
the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a
director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets
were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led
more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought
in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at
Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes
prosecutor to argue that the late senator's action should have been
grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
The debate over Prescott Bush's behaviour has been bubbling under the
surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about
the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the
new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show
that even after America had entered the war and when there was
already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies,
he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the
very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power. It has
also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped
to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.

Remarkably, little of Bush's dealings with Germany has received
public scrutiny, partly because of the secret status of the
documentation involving him. But now the multibillion dollar legal
action for damages by two Holocaust survivors against the Bush
family, and the imminent publication of three books on the subject
are threatening to make Prescott Bush's business history an
uncomfortable issue for his grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.

While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to
the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for,
Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German
industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s
before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian
has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-
based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen's US
interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered
the war.


Bush was also on the board of at least one of the companies that
formed part of a multinational network of front companies to allow
Thyssen to move assets around the world.

Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and grew
rich from Hitler's efforts to re-arm between the two world wars. One
of the pillars in Thyssen's international corporate web, UBC, worked
exclusively for, and was owned by, a Thyssen-controlled bank in the
Netherlands. More tantalising are Bush's links to the Consolidated
Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the
German-Polish border. During the war, the company made use of Nazi
slave labour from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. The
ownership of CSSC changed hands several times in the 1930s, but
documents from the US National Archive declassified last year link
Bush to CSSC, although it is not clear if he and UBC were still
involved in the company when Thyssen's American assets were seized in

Three sets of archives spell out Prescott Bush's involvement. All
three are readily available, thanks to the efficient US archive
system and a helpful and dedicated staff at both the Library of
Congress in Washington and the National Archives at the University of

The first set of files, the Harriman papers in the Library of
Congress, show that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a
number of companies involved with Thyssen.

The second set of papers, which are in the National Archives, are
contained in vesting order number 248 which records the seizure of
the company assets. What these files show is that on October 20 1942
the alien property custodian seized the assets of the UBC, of which
Prescott Bush was a director. Having gone through the books of the
bank, further seizures were made against two affiliates, the Holland-
American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment
Corporation. By November, the Silesian-American Company, another of
Prescott Bush's ventures, had also been seized.

The third set of documents, also at the National Archives, are
contained in the files on IG Farben, who was prosecuted for war crimes.

A report issued by the Office of Alien Property Custodian in 1942
stated of the companies that "since 1939, these (steel and mining)
properties have been in possession of and have been operated by the
German government and have undoubtedly been of considerable
assistance to that country's war effort".

Prescott Bush, a 6ft 4in charmer with a rich singing voice, was the
founder of the Bush political dynasty and was once considered a
potential presidential candidate himself. Like his son, George, and
grandson, George W, he went to Yale where he was, again like his
descendants, a member of the secretive and influential Skull and
Bones student society. He was an artillery captain in the first world
war and married Dorothy Walker, the daughter of George Herbert
Walker, in 1921.

In 1924, his father-in-law, a well-known St Louis investment banker,
helped set him up in business in New York with Averill Harriman, the
wealthy son of railroad magnate E H Harriman in New York, who had
gone into banking.

One of the first jobs Walker gave Bush was to manage UBC. Bush was a
founding member of the bank and the incorporation documents, which
list him as one of seven directors, show he owned one share in UBC
worth $125.

The bank was set up by Harriman and Bush's father-in-law to provide a
US bank for the Thyssens, Germany's most powerful industrial family.

August Thyssen, the founder of the dynasty had been a major
contributor to Germany's first world war effort and in the 1920s, he
and his sons Fritz and Heinrich established a network of overseas
banks and companies so their assets and money could be whisked
offshore if threatened again.

By the time Fritz Thyssen inherited the business empire in 1926,
Germany's economic recovery was faltering. After hearing Adolf Hitler
speak, Thyssen became mesmerised by the young firebrand. He joined
the Nazi party in December 1931 and admits backing Hitler in his
autobiography, I Paid Hitler, when the National Socialists were still
a radical fringe party. He stepped in several times to bail out the
struggling party: in 1928 Thyssen had bought the Barlow Palace on
Briennerstrasse, in Munich, which Hitler converted into the Brown
House, the headquarters of the Nazi party. The money came from
another Thyssen overseas institution, the Bank voor Handel en
Scheepvarrt in Rotterdam.

By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the
world's largest private investment bank, and UBC had bought and
shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US
treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler's build-
up to war.

Between 1931 and 1933 UBC bought more than $8m worth of gold, of
which $3m was shipped abroad. According to documents seen by the
Guardian, after UBC was set up it transferred $2m to BBH accounts and
between 1924 and 1940 the assets of UBC hovered around $3m, dropping
to $1m only on a few occasions.

In 1941, Thyssen fled Germany after falling out with Hitler but he
was captured in France and detained for the remainder of the war.

There was nothing illegal in doing business with the Thyssens
throughout the 1930s and many of America's best-known business names
invested heavily in the German economic recovery. However, everything
changed after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Even then it could be
argued that BBH was within its rights continuing business relations
with the Thyssens until the end of 1941 as the US was still
technically neutral until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The trouble
started on July 30 1942 when the New York Herald-Tribune ran an
article entitled "Hitler's Angel Has $3m in US Bank". UBC's huge gold
purchases had raised suspicions that the bank was in fact a "secret
nest egg" hidden in New York for Thyssen and other Nazi bigwigs. The
Alien Property Commission (APC) launched an investigation.

There is no dispute over the fact that the US government seized a
string of assets controlled by BBH - including UBC and SAC - in the
autumn of 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy act. What is in
dispute is if Harriman, Walker and Bush did more than own these
companies on paper.

Erwin May, a treasury attache and officer for the department of
investigation in the APC, was assigned to look into UBC's business.
The first fact to emerge was that Roland Harriman, Prescott Bush and
the other directors didn't actually own their shares in UBC but
merely held them on behalf of Bank voor Handel. Strangely, no one
seemed to know who owned the Rotterdam-based bank, including UBC's

May wrote in his report of August 16 1941: "Union Banking
Corporation, incorporated August 4 1924, is wholly owned by the Bank
voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My
investigation has produced no evidence as to the ownership of the
Dutch bank. Mr Cornelis [sic] Lievense, president of UBC, claims no
knowledge as to the ownership of the Bank voor Handel but believes it
possible that Baron Heinrich Thyssen, brother of Fritz Thyssen, may
own a substantial interest."

May cleared the bank of holding a golden nest egg for the Nazi
leaders but went on to describe a network of companies spreading out
from UBC across Europe, America and Canada, and how money from voor
Handel travelled to these companies through UBC.

By September May had traced the origins of the non-American board
members and found that Dutchman HJ Kouwenhoven - who met with
Harriman in 1924 to set up UBC - had several other jobs: in addition
to being the managing director of voor Handel he was also the
director of the August Thyssen bank in Berlin and a director of Fritz
Thyssen's Union Steel Works, the holding company that controlled
Thyssen's steel and coal mine empire in Germany.

Within a few weeks, Homer Jones, the chief of the APC investigation
and research division sent a memo to the executive committee of APC
recommending the US government vest UBC and its assets. Jones named
the directors of the bank in the memo, including Prescott Bush's
name, and wrote: "Said stock is held by the above named individuals,
however, solely as nominees for the Bank voor Handel, Rotterdam,
Holland, which is owned by one or more of the Thyssen family,
nationals of Germany and Hungary. The 4,000 shares hereinbefore set
out are therefore beneficially owned and help for the interests of
enemy nationals, and are vestible by the APC," according to the memo
from the National Archives seen by the Guardian.


Jones recommended that the assets be liquidated for the benefit of
the government, but instead UBC was maintained intact and eventually
returned to the American shareholders after the war. Some claim that
Bush sold his share in UBC after the war for $1.5m - a huge amount of
money at the time - but there is no documentary evidence to support
this claim. No further action was ever taken nor was the
investigation continued, despite the fact UBC was caught red-handed
operating a American shell company for the Thyssen family eight
months after America had entered the war and that this was the bank
that had partly financed Hitler's rise to power.

The most tantalising part of the story remains shrouded in mystery:
the connection, if any, between Prescott Bush, Thyssen, Consolidated
Silesian Steel Company (CSSC) and Auschwitz.

Thyssen's partner in United Steel Works, which had coal mines and
steel plants across the region, was Friedrich Flick, another steel
magnate who also owned part of IG Farben, the powerful German
chemical company.

Flick's plants in Poland made heavy use of slave labour from the
concentration camps in Poland. According to a New York Times article
published in March 18 1934 Flick owned two-thirds of CSSC while
"American interests" held the rest.

The US National Archive documents show that BBH's involvement with
CSSC was more than simply holding the shares in the mid-1930s. Bush's
friend and fellow "bonesman" Knight Woolley, another partner at BBH,
wrote to Averill Harriman in January 1933 warning of problems with
CSSC after the Poles started their drive to nationalise the plant.
"The Consolidated Silesian Steel Company situation has become
increasingly complicated, and I have accordingly brought in Sullivan
and Cromwell, in order to be sure that our interests are protected,"
wrote Knight. "After studying the situation Foster Dulles is
insisting that their man in Berlin get into the picture and obtain
the information which the directors here should have. You will recall
that Foster is a director and he is particularly anxious to be
certain that there is no liability attaching to the American directors."

But the ownership of the CSSC between 1939 when the Germans invaded
Poland and 1942 when the US government vested UBC and SAC is not clear.

"SAC held coal mines and definitely owned CSSC between 1934 and 1935,
but when SAC was vested there was no trace of CSSC. All concrete
evidence of its ownership disappears after 1935 and there are only a
few traces in 1938 and 1939," says Eva Schweitzer, the journalist and
author whose book, America and the Holocaust, is published next month.

Silesia was quickly made part of the German Reich after the invasion,
but while Polish factories were seized by the Nazis, those belonging
to the still neutral Americans (and some other nationals) were
treated more carefully as Hitler was still hoping to persuade the US
to at least sit out the war as a neutral country. Schweitzer says
American interests were dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Nazis
bought some out, but not others.

The two Holocaust survivors suing the US government and the Bush
family for a total of $40bn in compensation claim both materially
benefited from Auschwitz slave labour during the second world war.

Kurt Julius Goldstein, 87, and Peter Gingold, 85, began a class
action in America in 2001, but the case was thrown out by Judge
Rosemary Collier on the grounds that the government cannot be held
liable under the principle of "state sovereignty".

Jan Lissmann, one of the lawyers for the survivors, said: "President
Bush withdrew President Bill Clinton's signature from the treaty
[that founded the court] not only to protect Americans, but also to
protect himself and his family."

Lissmann argues that genocide-related cases are covered by
international law, which does hold governments accountable for their
actions. He claims the ruling was invalid as no hearing took place.

In their claims, Mr Goldstein and Mr Gingold, honorary chairman of
the League of Anti-fascists, suggest the Americans were aware of what
was happening at Auschwitz and should have bombed the camp.

The lawyers also filed a motion in The Hague asking for an opinion on
whether state sovereignty is a valid reason for refusing to hear
their case. A ruling is expected within a month.

The petition to The Hague states: "From April 1944 on, the American
Air Force could have destroyed the camp with air raids, as well as
the railway bridges and railway lines from Hungary to Auschwitz. The
murder of about 400,000 Hungarian Holocaust victims could have been

The case is built around a January 22 1944 executive order signed by
President Franklin Roosevelt calling on the government to take all
measures to rescue the European Jews. The lawyers claim the order was
ignored because of pressure brought by a group of big American
companies, including BBH, where Prescott Bush was a director.

Lissmann said: "If we have a positive ruling from the court it will
cause [president] Bush huge problems and make him personally liable
to pay compensation."

The US government and the Bush family deny all the claims against them.

In addition to Eva Schweitzer's book, two other books are about to be
published that raise the subject of Prescott Bush's business history.
The author of the second book, to be published next year, John
Loftus, is a former US attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals in
the 70s. Now living in St Petersburg, Florida and earning his living
as a security commentator for Fox News and ABC radio, Loftus is
working on a novel which uses some of the material he has uncovered
on Bush. Loftus stressed that what Prescott Bush was involved in was
just what many other American and British businessmen were doing at
the time.

"You can't blame Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you
can blame Jack Kennedy for what his father did - bought Nazi stocks -
but what is important is the cover-up, how it could have gone on so
successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for
us today?" he said.

"This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power,
this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich's defence industry
was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were
repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by
which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich
were blunted," said Loftus, who is vice-chairman of the Holocaust
Museum in St Petersburg.

"The Union Banking Corporation was a holding company for the Nazis,
for Fritz Thyssen," said Loftus. "At various times, the Bush family
has tried to spin it, saying they were owned by a Dutch bank and it
wasn't until the Nazis took over Holland that they realised that now
the Nazis controlled the apparent company and that is why the Bush
supporters claim when the war was over they got their money back.
Both the American treasury investigations and the intelligence
investigations in Europe completely bely that, it's absolute
horseshit. They always knew who the ultimate beneficiaries were."

"There is no one left alive who could be prosecuted but they did get
away with it," said Loftus. "As a former federal prosecutor, I would
make a case for Prescott Bush, his father-in-law (George Walker) and
Averill Harriman [to be prosecuted] for giving aid and comfort to the
enemy. They remained on the boards of these companies knowing that
they were of financial benefit to the nation of Germany."

Loftus said Prescott Bush must have been aware of what was happening
in Germany at the time. "My take on him was that he was a not
terribly successful in-law who did what Herbert Walker told him to.
Walker and Harriman were the two evil geniuses, they didn't care
about the Nazis any more than they cared about their investments with
the Bolsheviks."

What is also at issue is how much money Bush made from his
involvement. His supporters suggest that he had one token share.
Loftus disputes this, citing sources in "the banking and intelligence
communities" and suggesting that the Bush family, through George
Herbert Walker and Prescott, got $1.5m out of the involvement. There
is, however, no paper trail to this sum.

The third person going into print on the subject is John Buchanan,
54, a Miami-based magazine journalist who started examining the files
while working on a screenplay. Last year, Buchanan published his
findings in the venerable but small-circulation New Hampshire Gazette
under the headline "Documents in National Archives Prove George
Bush's Grandfather Traded With the Nazis - Even After Pearl Harbor".
He expands on this in his book to be published next month - Fixing
America: Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media and
the Religious Right.

In the article, Buchanan, who has worked mainly in the trade and
music press with a spell as a muckraking reporter in Miami, claimed
that "the essential facts have appeared on the internet and in
relatively obscure books but were dismissed by the media and Bush
family as undocumented diatribes".

Buchanan suffers from hypermania, a form of manic depression, and
when he found himself rebuffed in his initial efforts to interest the
media, he responded with a series of threats against the journalists
and media outlets that had spurned him. The threats, contained in e-
mails, suggested that he would expose the journalists as "traitors to
the truth".

Unsurprisingly, he soon had difficulty getting his calls returned.
Most seriously, he faced aggravated stalking charges in Miami, in
connection with a man with whom he had fallen out over the best way
to publicise his findings. The charges were dropped last month.


Buchanan said he regretted his behaviour had damaged his credibility
but his main aim was to secure publicity for the story. Both Loftus
and Schweitzer say Buchanan has come up with previously undisclosed

The Bush family have largely responded with no comment to any
reference to Prescott Bush. Brown Brothers Harriman also declined to

The Bush family recently approved a flattering biography of Prescott
Bush entitled Duty, Honour, Country by Mickey Herskowitz. The
publishers, Rutledge Hill Press, promised the book would "deal
honestly with Prescott Bush's alleged business relationships with
Nazi industrialists and other accusations".

In fact, the allegations are dealt with in less than two pages. The
book refers to the Herald-Tribune story by saying that "a person of
less established ethics would have panicked ... Bush and his partners
at Brown Brothers Harriman informed the government regulators that
the account, opened in the late 1930s, was 'an unpaid courtesy for a
client' ... Prescott Bush acted quickly and openly on behalf of the
firm, served well by a reputation that had never been compromised. He
made available all records and all documents. Viewed six decades
later in the era of serial corporate scandals and shattered careers,
he received what can be viewed as the ultimate clean bill."

The Prescott Bush story has been condemned by both conservatives and
some liberals as having nothing to do with the current president. It
has also been suggested that Prescott Bush had little to do with
Averill Harriman and that the two men opposed each other politically.

However, documents from the Harriman papers include a flattering
wartime profile of Harriman in the New York Journal American and next
to it in the files is a letter to the financial editor of that paper
from Prescott Bush congratulating the paper for running the profile.
He added that Harriman's "performance and his whole attitude has been
a source of inspiration and pride to his partners and his friends".

The Anti-Defamation League in the US is supportive of Prescott Bush
and the Bush family. In a statement last year they said that "rumours
about the alleged Nazi 'ties' of the late Prescott Bush ... have
circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges
are untenable and politically motivated ... Prescott Bush was neither
a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathiser."

However, one of the country's oldest Jewish publications, the Jewish
Advocate, has aired the controversy in detail.

More than 60 years after Prescott Bush came briefly under scrutiny at
the time of a faraway war, his grandson is facing a different kind of
scrutiny but one underpinned by the same perception that, for some
people, war can be a profitable business.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


18) C.I.A. Wants Prison Tactics Secret
November 4, 2006

The Central Intelligence Agency has told a federal court that Qaeda
suspects should not be permitted to describe publicly the “alternative
interrogation methods” used in secret C.I.A. prisons overseas.

In papers filed in the case of Majid Khan, a Pakistani who is among
14 so-called “high-value detainees” recently transferred to the
Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, Justice Department
and C.I.A. officials argued that allowing Mr. Khan to disclose details
of his treatment could cause “extremely grave damage to the
national security.”

“Many terrorist operatives are specifically trained in counter-
interrogation techniques,” says a declaration by Marilyn A. Dorn,
an official at the National Clandestine Service, a part of the C.IA.
“If specific alternative techniques were disclosed, it would permit
terrorist organizations to adapt their training to counter the tactics
that C.I.A. can employ in interrogations.”

The court filings, first reported by The Washington Post on its Web
site Friday night, also argued that revealing the countries where the
prisoners were held could undermine intelligence relationships with
those governments. Such disclosures “would put our allies at risk
of terrorist retaliation and betray relationships that are built
on trust and are vital to our efforts against terrorism,”
Ms. Dorn wrote.

Lawyers for Mr. Khan, who lived in Maryland for several years
and is accused of researching how to blow up gasoline stations
and poison reservoirs, have alleged that he was tortured while
in American custody and falsely confessed to crimes.

Intelligence officials have acknowledged that some terrorism
suspects were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques,
including sleep deprivation, exposure to heat and cold and
a simulated drowning technique. Human rights advocates
believe the methods amount to torture, which is banned
by international law, but United States officials deny the charge.

Mr. Khan is represented by Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, a lawyer
with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, which
has been in touch with his wife, Rabia Khan, according
to court documents.


19) German Detainee Questions His Country’s Role
November 4, 2006

BREMEN, Germany, Nov. 2 — During the four and a half years
he languished in American prison camps in Afghanistan and
Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Murat Kurnaz claims to have been beaten,
locked alone for months, dunked in water, sexually humiliated and
hung from the ceiling by chains — all of which the Pentagon denies.

But the Americans eventually decided not to hold him any longer
on suspicion of being a terrorist with ties to Al Qaeda. In late August
he was finally released, a result of negotiations between the United
States and Germany, where he was born 24 years ago into a Turkish

Now back home in Bremen, and recently cleared by his own
government, he is struggling to make sense of his odyssey.
He blames not just his American captors but also the German
government, which according to internal intelligence documents
turned down an offer by the United States to send him home
in late 2002.

“The first time, the Americans kept me in Guantánamo; the
second time, the Germans did,” Mr. Kurnaz said in an interview,
speaking English, which he learned during his captivity. “They
did the same as the American government.”

Mr. Kurnaz’s tale of wrongful imprisonment reinforces the worst
suspicions of many Europeans about the detention of suspected
terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. The camp’s existence is perhaps
the main obstacle to healing the rift between United States
and Europe that was opened by the Iraq war, and magnified
by diverging approaches to civil liberties.

Yet his account pointedly calls into question Germany’s role,
suggesting that the Germans decided to abandon him because
he was a Turkish citizen, though born and living in Germany,
and that they even contributed to his ordeal. His case has ignited
a political firestorm in Germany, raising questions about whether
this country sacrificed its principles in supporting the American-
led campaign against terrorism.

Mr. Kurnaz says his troubles stemmed from a poorly timed visit
to Pakistan in October 2001, a month after the attacks on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Within weeks he was pulled
off a bus in Pakistan, and by January 2002 he was sent to an
American prison in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan.

While he was there, he said, German soldiers slammed his head
on the ground and kicked him, to the laughter of American soldiers
watching. Germany’s Defense Ministry said there was no evidence
its soldiers had mistreated Mr. Kurnaz. The ministry at first denied
its soldiers were even active in southern Afghanistan, but later
conceded they had been there and had contact with Mr. Kurnaz.

“I was born in Germany; I live in Germany,” he said. “It’s hard
to see something like that from Germans, to be treated like that
by Germans. You think the government of your country will
help you.”

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Chito Peppler, said Mr. Kurnaz
had been treated humanely in Afghanistan and Cuba. He was
allowed to exercise, as well as to send and receive letters.
Commander Peppler said Mr. Kurnaz was released after
lengthy discussions with the German government, “when
the United States determined that conditions were appropriate
for his transfer.”

A stocky man with flowing reddish brown hair and a long,
bushy beard, Mr. Kurnaz described his experience in a matter-
of-fact tone, leavened with flashes of mordant humor. Only
when he talked about Germany did his speech become halting,
the words measured out painfully.

“The soldier grabbed my hair and pulled back my head,”
Mr. Kurnaz recalled. “He asked, ‘Do you know who we are?
We are the German force, K.S.K.’ ” (The initials refer to an elite
army unit.) “He hit my head, and then either he or his friend
kicked me, and everyone laughed.”

Mr. Kurnaz’s years in prison and his charge of mistreatment
by two governments have created an uproar in Germany.
“In this case, it was the moral obligation of Germany to do
something,” said Cem Ozdemir, a German member of the
European Parliament, which is investigating the detention
of suspected terrorists.

“They chose to close their eyes, and didn’t do anything,”
said Mr. Ozdemir, who is of Turkish descent.

The German Foreign Ministry declined to comment on secret
government documents that were submitted to Parliament
as part of a review of the Kurnaz case. The documents, which
were seen by a reporter for The New York Times, indicated
that Germany had rejected an American offer to return
Mr. Kurnaz.

In one, German intelligence suggested that he should be sent
to Turkey instead. The documents note that the Americans
had been puzzled by the German response.

With public criticism mounting, the German Parliament has
opened its formal investigation into how the government
handled Mr. Kurnaz’s case. The Defense Ministry has begun
its own investigation.

The case has become a lingering headache for Chancellor
Angela Merkel. Under mounting public pressure, she set the
wheels in motion for Mr. Kurnaz’s release by raising his case
in a meeting in January with President Bush.

But the previous German government’s dealings involve the
current foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was
then chief of staff to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Mr. Schröder
said recently that he knew nothing about the case while he was
chancellor — a claim that drew a sardonic response from Mr. Kurnaz.

“Smart guy,” he said.

Mr. Kurnaz says he went to Pakistan because he and a Turkish
friend from Bremen, Selcuk Bilgin, had wanted to immerse
themselves in Islam.

Mr. Bilgin was detained at the Frankfurt airport on Oct. 3, 2001,
when authorities found the record of an unrelated misdemeanor
charge, and Mr. Kurnaz set off alone. Once in Pakistan, he traveled
from mosque to mosque under the auspices of Tablighi Jamaat,
a South Asian Islamic missionary group that is active in Europe.

Mr. Kurnaz, whose family is not deeply religious, said he was
attracted to the group because of the work it did with drug users
and homeless people. Having married in Turkey that summer,
Mr. Kurnaz said he felt this was his last chance to travel and
study Islam before settling down.

At the time, he said, he believed there was little danger in going
to Pakistan, since he did not plan to cross into Afghanistan.
In Peshawar, however, the Pakistani police detained Mr. Kurnaz
during a routine roadside check; according to his account,
he was later turned over to the Americans for a bounty of $3,000.
Mr. Kurnaz said he was then moved to Kandahar, which he recalls
as the darkest period of his confinement.

“It was the beginning, so there were absolutely no rules,” he said
of his early captivity by the Americans. “They had the right
to do anything. They used to beat us every time. They did
use electroshocks. They dived my head in the water.”

American officials who interrogated Mr. Kurnaz accused him
of being a terrorist and a member of Al Qaeda, he said. They
asked him if he knew Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker
who, in Hamburg, only an hour’s ride from Bremen, had
plotted the Sept. 11 attacks.

The prisoners were kept outside, behind wire fences, with
only thin jumpsuits to protect them in the winter, Mr. Kurnaz
said. It was during this period, he said, that he encountered
the two German soldiers.

Around the beginning of February 2002, Mr. Kurnaz reckons,
he was flown to Cuba (he said he was not sure of the date,
as prisoners were not allowed to see clocks or calendars).
Mr. Kurnaz, an animal lover who used to keep birds and dogs,
said he knew where he was after landing because he saw
an iguana and a hummingbird that were native to Cuba.

Life in Guantánamo was less brutal than in Kandahar. Still,
Mr. Kurnaz said, he spent more than half of his first two years
there in a cell by himself after breaking an early rule that
prohibited working out.

“I was pretty famous because I used to train a lot,” said
Mr. Kurnaz, who boxed in Germany. “They punished me every
time.” Some of the guards, he said, were nevertheless fascinated
by his strict regimen. “They used to call me the push-up king,”
he said with a trace of a smile.

At his Combatant Status Review Tribunal in 2004, Mr. Kurnaz
learned that he had been classified as an “enemy combatant”
because of his association with Tablighi Jamaat, which the
American government suspects of supporting Islamic terrorism,
and also because of his friendship with Mr. Bilgin, who American
officials said might have carried out a suicide bombing.

“He was absolutely not that kind of person,” Mr. Kurnaz said.
“I said, ‘How can a human being change so much in just a few
years?’ But I believed it.” (Mr. Bilgin is now living in Bremen, according
to officials. Mr. Kurnaz said he had not seen him, and calls him
an “ex-friend.”)

German authorities investigated suggestions that Mr. Kurnaz had
associated with radical Islamic figures, but found no evidence
that he had ties to terrorist groups. In Guantánamo, he said,
he was interrogated twice by German officials. The officials,
who did not identify themselves, told him that if he gave the
right answers, it would help his case, he said.

In the end, the evidence did not hold up to judicial scrutiny.
A Federal District Court judge, Joyce Hens Green, concluded
in early 2005 that even the classified portion of his file was
“rife with hearsay.”

More than a year later, in July, Mr. Kurnaz returned to a chilly r
eception in Germany, where he was nicknamed the “Taliban
of Bremen” by the news media. The German government
reinstated an investigation of his ties to Al Qaeda but,
finding no evidence, formally cleared him. His wife filed
for divorce while he was away.

Lawyers for Mr. Kurnaz are considering lawsuits against both
the American and German governments. But he said a financial
settlement alone would not compensate for what was taken
from him.

“I left all those years in prison,” Mr. Kurnaz said. “Nobody could
give them back, even if they gave me several million dollars.
Cars and houses, you can buy. Freedom, you can’t buy.”

Victor Homola contributed reporting from Berlin.


20) Abu Ghraib Abuser Won’t Be Redeployed
November 4, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (Reuters) — American military commanders
reversed plans to send a soldier convicted of offenses at the Abu
Ghraib prison back to Iraq, the Army said on Friday. The reversal
followed news reports saying the man would be deployed.

Specialist Santos A. Cardona, a dog handler during his assignment
at Abu Ghraib, was convicted in June of using his dog to assault
a prisoner at the jail, which is outside Baghdad.

He was sent with his military police unit from the United States
to Kuwait late last month and had been preparing to return to
Iraq, the Army said.

But after a reporter called to ask about the deployment and news
of it began to spread, senior commanders ordered Specialist
Cardona to stay in Kuwait, fearing he and his unit could be
singled out by insurgents because of his role at Abu Ghraib.

Later on Friday, they announced that he would return to his
base at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Army offered no explanation as to why Mr. Cardona’s
unit commanders had planned to deploy him, given his
record in Iraq. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib came
to light after pictures of it were discovered in 2004.


21) A Job Prospect Lures, Then Frustrates, Thousands

The call for job applications seemed routine; certainly nobody
at corporate headquarters gave it much thought. A new candy
store that would be opening in Times Square needed workers.
Starting pay was $10.75 an hour.

But by midmorning yesterday, a huge, swelling, discontented
crowd of job seekers was milling around the sidewalks of Midtown
Manhattan, not far from Macy’s in Herald Square, filling the
air with curses.

The crowd put a human face on jobless statistics at a time when
the city’s unemployment rate, 4.5 percent in September, was the
lowest since 1988.

Several thousand people — mostly young, black and Hispanic —
had shown up to apply for fewer than 200 positions, only 65
of them full-time jobs. They came, they said, because of a phrase
that had leapt out of the advertisements for the jobs: “on-the-spot
hiring.” But there were too many people clogging the sidewalk
outside the building on Eighth Avenue between 35th and 36th
Streets where the company was conducting interviews, and
everyone was abruptly told to go home and mail in the job

Tamika Jones, 28, a Brooklyn mother of three school-age children,
looked at the faces of other disappointed job-seekers and said:
“This is what unemployment looks like in New York City.
I wanted to cry.”

Alphonzo Puzie, 31, from the Bronx, used to work in a laundry
and is desperate for work. “I was very disappointed,” he said.
“It burns the spirit.”

Many had arranged for baby sitters, traveled from other boroughs
and New Jersey, and lined up as early as 1 a.m., only to be told
eventually that there were no more jobs being offered that day.

The doors to the building at 519 Eighth Avenue were supposed
to open at 10 a.m., but because of the large crowd, officials
opened them an hour earlier.

Midtown South, the precinct house around the corner on 35th
Street, dispatched traffic officers and officers on horseback
because of the swelling crowds.

Sgt. Kevin Hayes, a Police Department spokesman, said, “We
responded to the location based upon the amount of people that
had gathered.” Four people were given summonses for disorderly
conduct and released, he said. An ambulance was called for one
man who had suffered an asthma attack.

Mars Inc., the maker of M&M candies, is opening the store next
month, at 1600 Broadway, at 48th Street, a few feet away from
the store of its rival, Hershey’s.

Mars needs cashiers, receptionists, shippers, people to wear
M&M costumes, and workers called “customer service ambassadors.”
The starting pay, $10.75 an hour, is much higher than the state’s
$6.75 minimum wage.

Newspaper advertisements and fliers promised more: “medical,
dental, vision, 401(k) plan, paid time off, tuition reimbursement
plan, bonus potential and opportunity for growth.”

The flier added, “The Rewards Are Sweet!”

“Why did they make us wait out here so long?” said Assana Lloyd,
24, of the Bronx. “It was cold and windy.” Young men and women
stubbed out cigarettes on the sidewalks and complained bitterly.

Jose Muñoz, 19, of Queens, stood in line and lost out on a day’s
pay as a driver’s helper for United Parcel Service. A part-time
employee, he makes $8 an hour, he said, and hoped for a Mars
position because “this was a full-time job.”

Not every applicant was young. Michel Ernest, 47, of Brooklyn,
used to work in a recycling plant in Passaic, N.J. “I want any kind
of job,” he said. “I’ll work in the kitchen if they have a kitchen.”

Phil Levine, a spokesman for the Mars Retail Group, which is in
charge of hiring for the Times Square store, said the company
had been caught off guard by the turnout.

“Much to our surprise and amazement,” he said, “there were
a lot more people who wanted to work for us than we expected.”
Mars had expected only several hundred applicants, and planned
to spend six days filling the positions.

Now it is rethinking its strategy and is asking everyone to mail
in applications or apply online at

Mars interviewed several dozen people and hired “a handful”
before it suspended interviews, said Rebecca Cisek, a Mars

“When the crowds became unmanageable,” she said, “it became
clear we couldn’t possibly talk to all these people.”

Mars has two other M&M stores, in Las Vegas and Orlando,
and did not have a similar job crush at those places. “Most
people would not have expected 5,000 to 6,000 to show up
for a few hundred jobs,” Mr. Levine said.

Sunny Choudhry, owner of Creative Graphic & Sign Inc., saw
the line curling in front of his shop at 36th Street and Ninth

“All those people applying for that many jobs,” he said.
“It’s so sad that it’s funny.”


22) Accessory for a U.S. Border Fence:
A Welcome Mat for Foreign Loans
November 4, 2006

Mexico has been a popular topic in the run-up to this year’s
Congressional elections, but not in any way the Mexicans
have enjoyed.

Congressional Republicans, seeking a popular initiative to improve
their position with voters, scheduled a series of hearings this
summer on the threat of immigration, and then passed a bill
authorizing, but not paying for, a 700-mile fence on the United
States border with Mexico.

That bill left out provisions sought by President Bush that would
have made it possible for some illegal aliens to obtain American
citizenship eventually.

And while there are doubts about how much good a fence would
do — the border is 2,000 miles long and many illegal immigrants
enter on visas and fail to leave — there seems to be little doubt
that many Americans are worried about Mexico, both as a source
of illegal immigrants and as a destination for jobs. The North
American Free Trade Agreement has been denounced in some

But in a campaign appearance near New York this week, former
President Bill Clinton pointed to another role Mexico now plays,
as the 10th-largest international lender to the United States.
Debtors, perhaps, should be nice to their creditors.

The chart accompanying this table shows the 10 countries
now with the largest ownership of United States Treasury
securities, including both private and public lenders. The
figures also show how much the holdings have grown since
the end of 2000, just before President Bush took office.

Over all, Mexico’s holdings of U.S. Treasury securities have
risen 175 percent since the end of 2000, faster than the overall
foreign increase of 112 percent, but far below the 462 percent
gain in Chinese holdings. All told, Japan, China and Hong
Kong now hold $1.03 trillion in U.S. Treasuries — more
than all foreign countries combined held at the end of 2000.

There are limitations to the figures, as they can obscure
ultimate owners. A Treasury security held by a British
money manager on behalf of a Japanese client will show
up as being held in Britain, a fact that helps to explain
why that country ranks third on the list.

The other chart shows the extent to which the soaring
supply of Treasury securities has been soaked up overseas.
Figures from the Federal Reserve indicate that at the end
of 2000, there were $2.8 trillion in Treasury securities
outstanding, excluding those held by the Fed itself.
Of those, $1 trillion, or about 36 percent, were held

By the end of June this year, the latest figures available,
another $1.1 trillion had been added to the supply
of Treasuries, increasing the figure by 40 percent.
But only $140 million of the new supply was sold
to Americans; the rest is overseas.

A result is that Americans now own less than half the
outstanding Treasuries. American politicians may not
be happy to see foreigners moving to their country,
but they have been quite happy to take loans from them.


23) Give a Break to Americans Giving Birth
November 4, 2006

Last month, The Washington Post ran one of those nauseating stories
about all the fabulous maternity benefits women in France get: months
of paid leave, government subsidies, free or low-cost day care
and so on.

I realize that nations like France, Japan, Sweden and others have
reasons for providing generous financial support for new moms —
stagnant population growth being one. But after taking my own
meager maternity leave, mostly unpaid, hearing about policies
like that makes me furious.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but it has taken 40 years and the
birth of my own child — five weeks ago, as I write — to awaken
me to the fact that the United States is the only industrialized
country that doesn’t guarantee some sort of paid leave
to new mothers.

According to a 2004 study by Jody Heymann, an associate
professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, more than
160 countries offer some sort of leave for new mothers,
paid by the government. Those that don’t include Papua
New Guinea, Swaziland, Lesotho — and the United States.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. But I’d been riding
on the blithe assumption that women in America were entitled
to three months of maternity leave under the provisions
of the Family and Medical Leave Act. I also had some rosy
notion that if you didn’t qualify for leave under that law,
most employers would offer maternity benefits.

I could not have been more wrong. “A lot of women don’t
understand these policies, and they are very surprised
by how little protection they offer,” said Debra L. Ness,
president of the National Partnership for Women and
Families, an advocacy group in Washington.

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks
of unpaid leave for men and women. And even then it covers
only people who have worked basically full time for at least
one year at companies with 50 or more employees, said Joan
Blades, the co-founder of, an online
organization that promotes family-friendly policies
in the workplace. “That means about 40 percent of working
women don’t qualify for leave under the F.M.L.A.,” she said.

And don’t count on employers to provide benefits that
might bridge those gaps. The number of employees who
get fully paid maternity leave of any length dropped to 18
percent in 2005 from 27 percent in 1998, according to the
Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit research organization
in New York. Only 7 percent of employers offered at least
six weeks of maternity leave with at least some pay.

When Jamie Oliver was expecting her first child in 2004, she
was appalled by the maternity leave policy at her former job
as an urban planner for the city of Portsmouth, Va. “My boss
told me I’d be eligible for 12 weeks under the Family and Medical
Leave Act — but she didn’t make it clear that I wouldn’t be paid
by anyone but me,” Ms. Oliver said.

Ms. Oliver ended up using two weeks of paid vacation time,
“and my husband and I covered six more weeks with what
we were able to save in the months before I gave birth,” she
said. “It was pretty tight.”

I know about tight. Although one of the publications I write
for was able to give me a month off with full pay, my husband
and I struggled to pull together the extra money we needed
to cover my own very brief maternity leave.

But if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that this isn’t about any one
woman’s predicament, it’s about the disturbing state of affairs
in this country.

In 2002, California passed the Paid Family Leave Act, the first
state law that offers most citizens six weeks of paid family leave
benefits. Benefits are paid from a common fund to which employees
statewide contribute via payroll deductions of less than $30 a year.

It’s a modest program, and you’d think the other 49 states
would have jumped to emulate it. But here it is, four years
later, and according to Ms. Ness, while about two dozens
states are considering some legislation that might offer families
some paid leave, only Massachusetts is close to passing a law
as comprehensive as California’s.

“It’s embarrassing that a country that talks so much about family
values has done so little to support working families,” she said.


24) Army Recruiters Accused of Misleading
Students to Get Them to Enlist
Colonel Says Incidents Are the Exception, Not the Rule
November 3, 2006

Nov. 3, 2006 — - An ABC News undercover investigation showed
Army recruiters telling students that the war in Iraq was over,
in an effort to get them to enlist.

ABC News and New York affiliate WABC equipped students with
hidden video cameras before they visited 10 Army recruitment
offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"Nobody is going over to Iraq anymore?" one student asks
a recruiter.

"No, we're bringing people back," he replies.

"We're not at war. War ended a long time ago," another
recruiter says.

Last year, the Army suspended recruiting nationwide to
retrain recruiters following hundreds of allegations
of improprieties.

One Colorado student taped a recruiting session posing
as a drug-addicted dropout.

"You mean I'm not going to get in trouble?" the student asked.

The recruiters told him no, and helped him cheat to sign up.

During the ABC News sessions, some recruiters told our students
if they enlisted, there would be little chance they'd to go Iraq.

But Col. Robert Manning, who is in charge of U.S. Army
recruiting for the entire Northeast, said that new recruits
were likely to go to Iraq.

"I would not disagree with that," Manning said. "We are
a nation and Army at war still."

Manning looked at the ABC News video of his recruiters.

"It's hard to believe some of things they are telling prospective
applicants," Manning said. "I still believe that this is the exception
more than the norm. … I've visited many stations myself, and
I know that we have many wonderful Americans serving in uniform
as recruiters."

Yet ABC News found one recruiter who even claimed if you
didn't like the Army, you could just quit.

"It's called a 'Failure to Adapt' discharge," the recruiter said.
"It's an entry-level discharge so it won't affect anything on
your record. It'll just be like it never happened."

Manning, however, disagrees with the ease the recruiter

"I would believe it's not as easy as he would lead you
to believe it is," he said.

Sue Niederer, whose son, Seth, joined the Army in 2002,
said she was all too familiar with recruiters' lies.

"They need to do anything they possibly can to get
recruits," Niederer said.

Seth was sent to Iraq and was killed by a roadside bomb.

Niederer said she was not surprised by what ABC News
had found. She believes it's still a widespread problem.
She said that recruiters told Seth he wouldn't be put into combat.

"Ninety percent [are] going to be putting their lives on the line
for our country," she said. "Tell them the truth. That's all.
Just tell them the truth."

Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures


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

Jobless Rate Hits 5-Year Low
November 4, 2006

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

98 Percent of Cluster Bombs Victims are Civilians
Ann De Ron, Electronic Lebanon, 2 November 2006

Ford Salaried Workers Won’t Get Raises, and Benefits Will Be Cut
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 2 (AP) — Salaried workers at Ford Motor
will not receive raises next year and they will pay more for health
insurance under benefit changes announced by the company.
In addition, Ford will stop providing health insurance for Medicare-
eligible salaried retirees over 65 starting in January 2008, a company
spokeswoman, Marcey Evans, said Thursday.
Ford will give the retirees $1,800 that can be used to buy
supplemental medical coverage, she said.
Ford lost $7.24 billion in the first nine months and is cutting
thousands of jobs and closing plants to cut costs over the
next few years.
As part of the changes, Ford is also restoring a company match
to its 401(k) plan, paying 60 cents on the dollar up to 5 percent
of an employee’s base salary.
But the elimination of merit pay raises and a 30 percent increase
n health insurance contributions will mean that white-collar
workers will receive less money in 2007 than they received this year.
November 3, 2006

With Election Driven by Iraq, Voters Want New Approach
November 2, 2006

Striking Janitors Block Houston Traffic
Filed at 12:20 p.m. ET
HOUSTON (AP) -- Striking janitors demanding higher wages and better
insurance benefits staged a sit-in at one of the city's busiest
About 150 members of the Service Employees International Union
disrupted traffic in Houston's upscale Galleria shopping district
for about 90 minutes Thursday. A dozen community activists who
joined the protest chained themselves to metal garbage cans and
sat in the middle of the street. They were arrested and charged
with obstructing a pathway.
More than 1,700 janitors have been on strike since Oct. 23, when
talks broke down with several of the city's commercial cleaning
companies. The strike has targeted about 60 buildings in the
city's downtown and shopping district. Workers want a pay
increase to $8.50 an hour, up from the current average
of $5.30, plus more guaranteed hours of work and medical
Dozens of protesters linked arms and formed a human chain
to stop cars from passing through the intersection during
the demonstration.
Protesters waved picket signs, beat drums and chanted upbeat
slogans of ''Si se puede'' (Yes, we can) and ''Aqui estamos,
no nos vamos'' (Here we are, and we're not leaving).
The rally rankled many drivers trapped in traffic, including
a few who tried to bulldoze their way through the demonstrators.
Others shrugged at the unexpected delay and said they
supported the strikers.
November 3, 2006

U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer
November 3, 2006

Congress Tells Auditor in Iraq to Close Office
November 3, 2006

Father of Missing U.S. Soldier Says Son Just
Made a Mistake in Quest to Find His Calling
November 3, 2006

With Wages on Ballots, Restaurateurs Do the Math
November 2, 2006

Finally, a Life Resumed
AFTER 22 years in Dannemora, Sing Sing, Attica, Great Meadow,
Elmira and the Downstate Correctional Facility at Fishkill, Alan
Newton came home to the Bronx one unremarkable day last July,
his age doubled, his life renewed. As had been proved incontrovertibly,
he did not commit the crimes that made the prisons of New York
State his home for more than two decades.
October 29, 2006

Immigrant Workers’ Rights Violated, A.C.L.U. Charges
November 2, 2006

As the Jobs Go South, the Hope Goes With Them
October 30, 2006

U.S. Soldier Murdered By Iraqi Police -- And Then the Cover-up
An article in today's Washington Post reveals that an American
soldier was ambushed and killed this month in Baghdad by our
alleged allies in the local police. What it doesn't say is that the
official reports on his death by the U.S. military were complete
By Greg Mitchell

Revealed: U.S. Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting
to Interrogation Techniques
The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq,
actually died keep spilling out this week. Now we learn,
thanks to a reporter's FOIA request, that one of the first
women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting t
o harsh "interrogation techniques."
By Greg Mitchell

Pennsylvania: Anti-Immigration Law Blocked
A federal judge blocked a tough ordinance singling out illegal
immigrants in Hazelton. The ordinance, approved by the City
Council in September and scheduled to go into effect today,
levies fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and
denies business permits to companies that give them jobs.
The judge, James Munley of Federal District Court, ruled that
landlords, tenants and businesses that cater to Hispanics faced
“irreparable harm” from the measure and issued a restraining
order through Nov. 14.
November 1, 2006

Military Charts Movement of Conflict in Iraq Toward Chaos
November 1, 2006


By Allen L Roland
October 27, 2006

America's Leadership Crisis

At College for Deaf, Trustees Drop New Leader
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 — Surrendering to months of widening
and unrelenting protests by students, faculty, alumni and advocates,
the board of trustees of Gallaudet University, the nation’s premier
university for the deaf, abandoned its choice of the institution’s
next president.
October 30, 2006

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

(Justice Department has corrected the number of fugitives
arrested to 10,773 from 10,733 -- in headline and fourth
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 10,000 fugitives, including
1,659 alleged sex offenders, were arrested in a week-long sweep
by law enforcement officials in 24 eastern states, U.S. Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales said on Thursday.
November 2, 2006

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.