Friday, November 10, 2006


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


As you know, Stonestown Mall boasts two recruiting
centers on their grounds -- Marines and Army.
And the latter is getting a kick in the pants from
the new "ARMY STRONG" campaign.

In response, we're counter recruiting there.
We're taking it to Stonestown -- inside the mall.
Our CR table will have CR videos, books, brochures, and buttons --
not to mention some new "ARMY WRONG" stickers.
Join us! Help get the word out!

Saturday Nov 11 1-4 pm
Sunday Nov 12 1-4 pm
second floor, opposite the Food Court
(and near the Banana Republicans)

Let's raise a little consciousness in advance of
next Tuesday's SFUSD Board meeting!

Peter Esmonde
AFSC Peace Education Volunteer


New U.S. Army Recruitment Ad Campaign:
"There's strong, and then there's Army strong. It is not just
the strength to obey, but the strength to command. Not just strength
in numbers, the strength of brothers. Not just the strength to lift, the
strength to raise. Not just the strength to get yourself over, the strength
to get over yourself."
Commercials that feature soldiers and their families take a similar
tack. "You made them strong, We’ll make them Army strong."
The effort, with a budget estimated at $1.35 billion in the next five
years, will appear in traditional media like television as well as
nontraditional outlets like blogs, social networking Web sites
and chat rooms.

JROTC Debate in Chronicle today:

PRO: A battle over values
Michael Bernick

CON: Popular doesn't = appropriate
Dan Kelly, Mark Sanchez

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.)


See the following article in full below, number:

24) Gaza: While the world looked elsewhere,
another week of death and misery
By Donald Macintyre In Beit Hanoun
"But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt."
Published: 11 November 2006

End All U.S. Aid to Israel! U.S. Out of the Middle East!

An Editorial by Bonnie Weinstein

Dear Readers:

The mass murder and genocide of Palestinians must end! This is
no "chicken and egg" quagmire. Before 1948 Palestinians lived
peacefully with Jews for centuries. And worked, loved and learned
on their land—the land of their ancestors. They were massively
and violently ejected from this land by the U.S.-orchestrated, Zionist
invasion of 1948. Using genocidal tactics this team established
a separate Jewish State with no rights for Palestinians except
to be cleansed from their land by any means necessary and
with the full financial backing of the USA and all of Western

The Palestinians are in the right and the U.S. and it's bought-and-paid-
for (by our tax dollars) puppet, Zionist, Israeli government are the guilty
parties and must be stopped, disarmed and rendered powerless!

The only way that can happen is if we unite in a struggle to do so
because we, the working people of the world, since we overwhelmingly
outnumber them are able to do so. Without us to fight their wars
for them and do their work for them, they and their weapons are

But, on the contrary, we are not helpless or powerless without them!
In fact, they are the proverbial stone around our necks!

Together, not only do we have the power to stop them. We have
the power to make things change for the better because it is we
who can and do—do the work!

Without us to fight their wars, and dig their cesspools, this tiny
minority of wealthy despots who rule this planet are helpless.

We must face it. Under their rule we are steeply descending back
to raw and brutal barbarism. These despots are not aligned by love.
They are in brutal combat with each other and are spilling our blood,
not theirs! They are using our hands to scrape their wealth out
of the earth and our hands and minds to fashion and use their
weapons of mass destruction. Be assured they will not get their
hands the least bit dirty! Not even to the very end of the planet

They need to be disarmed militarily, financially and politically—
we need to take the weapons out of their hands—demolish them
safely—all of them—and finally end the tyranny of the wealthy elite
over the poor if humanity is to survive.

I have no doubt that together, through democratic and rational
discussion, decision-making and planning we can come up with
a better and more equitable way for all of us to share this incredibly
beautiful and bountiful planet.

Personally, I think socialism is the way. But I do know whatever
way it turns out to be it must be a kind and humanitarian way that
benefits the majority and that the majority of us can agree upon.

We all want a kind and humanitarian world where we can breathe
free and thrive. Where each one is imbued with Inalienable
and equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
no matter where on the planet we live or who we are born to.

I am not thinking of a Utopia or some pinnacle of human achievement.
There is no limit to the struggle for higher human achievement.
Therein lies the very motivation for human democratic action—
to be able to devote our wealth and resources to an ongoing
struggle for the benefit of all. To devote our energy and resources
to solving human problems instead of causing devastation, death
and destruction for the monetary benefit of a tiny few warring

A society that collectively profits from each according to peoples
individual abilities and talents, and shares the wealth produced
by this universal talent pool with each, according to individual
need and want, will be a society that automatically strives toward
even higher human achievement.

We, the majority, can make that our goal! And we, the majority
have the power—if we stand united—to actually make it happen.
Furthermore, the stronger we are united, the less of our blood
these despots can shed!

I can only plead in defense of this long editorial statement that,
in viewing the news of the world each day I am bombarded with
the horrors our brothers and sisters endure at the hands of these
bloodthirsty and spoiled tyrants.

It builds up on a person. My release is to think of how beautiful
it could be; what wonders we could discover; what human progress
we could make; what a paradise we could all share.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein,

Again, I recommend, for those who are unfamiliar with the history of the
Palestinian struggle for liberation and a return to their ancestral land,
to read:

The full text of the book can be found for free at:
http://takingaim. info/hhz/ index.htm


Massive March in Oaxaca
11/06 | Hundreds of thousands of people
filled the streets to demand Gov.'s ouster
By John Gibler


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



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The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
will be staffing a counter-recruitment table inside
Stonestown Mall during some peak shopping hours.

Our first days in Stonestown:
NOVEMBER 10  (Friday) 4-6pm
NOVEMBER 11 (Saturday) 1-4 pm
NOVEMBER 12 (Sunday) 1-4pm

Our table will be located on the second floor,
opposite the Food Court (near the Nokia display).
Aside from information brochures and leaflets, we'll have
various antiwar trinkets to give to interested shoppers --
with a special focus on youth targeted by recruiters.

So come by, pull up a chair, and help spread the word.
If our effort is successful, we'll continue throughout
the holiday season . . .

Please contact me directly re staffing the Stonestown table.

With sincere thanks for all your efforts

Peter Esmonde
AFSC Peace Education Volunteer



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, 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.]


México Solidarity Committee Forum
Voices and Images of Resistance;
Organizing for Protest Action on
November 19 or 20 in Defense of
People of Oaxaca and
For Democracy in México

1:00 to 3:00 PM, Sunday
November 12, 2006
The Women's Building
3543 - 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
This meeting will be translated
into English and Spanish.

Two short documentary films
(approximately 30 minutes total):

Oaxaca After the Military Occupation of October 29:
Images of Resistance and Struggle
Video clips compiled and edited by filmmaker Caitlin Manning

The National Democratic Convention
and the Mass Revolt Against the Electoral Fraud in México
A brief film by Caitlin Manning

Organizing Meeting for a November 19 or 20 Protest Action
with a few introductory remarks by
México Solidarity Committee members.
Bring your ideas about how best to organize
for November 19 or 20 in San Francisco.

For more information call 415-864-3537 or

This message sent from the listserv for the
México Solidarity Committee
San Francisco, California

This message sent from the listserv for the
México Solidarity Committee
San Francisco, California


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

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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely yours,

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

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

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

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

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

JROTC is a Recruiting Program for Dead-End Military Jobs

Why Question the Military's JROTC Program?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Army Junior ROTC Program
Mission Statement:

To Motivate Young People to Be Better Citizens

The JROTC program intends to teach cadets to:

Appreciate the ethical values and principles that
underlie good citizenship.

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

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

Appreciate the importance of physical fitness
in maintaining good health.

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

Develop mental management abilities.

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

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

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

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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.

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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!


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

November 9, 2006

Hello All,

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

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

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

Lynne Stewart - her case and current legal status

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

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


Robert Meeropol
Executive Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children


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

Join Lynne Stewart and the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee in


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

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


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

Music by:

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

Great Food & Drink provided

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

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

Mobility Handicapped please enter through
Thompson Street entrance.

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


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


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

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




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


Do You Want to Stop PREVENT War with Iran?

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through the LegWatch program ,

we are building opposition to the war on Capitol Hill. We spell out the 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

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


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


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

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

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Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

Interested in furthering your knowledge about Palestine
and its people?

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

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

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

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

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

Shop for a Donation at Al-Awda!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

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

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

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

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

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:


Mike Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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http://www.indybay. org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Detainees’ Access to Lawyers Is Security Risk, C.I.A. Says
November 5, 2006

3) Many Oppose Death Penalty for Hussein
November 7, 2006

4) Appeals Court Weighs Prisoners’ Right to Fight Detention
November 7, 2006

5) Big Bonuses Seen Again for Wall St.
On Wall Street, the rich keep getting richer.
November 7, 2006

6) Northern Gaza Hospital Diary
Report by Dr. Mona Elfarra
Published: 07/11/06
Sunday 5 Nov
Stories from Beit Hanoun
Monday 8am

7) A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer
How the rich get richer.
Clara Jeffery
May/June 2006 Issue

8) Video, Oaxaca- A Victory in The Streets- 11/2/06
From: Anna Kunkin
Sent: Nov 6, 2006 12:05 AM
[Incredibly powerful]

9) Saddam Verdict Could Tear Iraqis Apart
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

10) IOF Kill a Palestinian Child and Injure 7 Others, including
a Girl, in a Failed Extra-judicial Execution Attempt
Ref: 116/2006
Date: 06 November 2006

11) Board has plan to oust ROTC from S.F. schools
Members want to cut program over 'Don't ask, Don't tell'
- Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Plus: Letter to the Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in response from:
Dan Kelly, M.D., San Francisco Board of Education
Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War,

12) Cuban gay soap cracks a legacy of hate
The huge success of a gay soap opera suggests
Cuban society has begun to accept homosexuality.
Posted on Mon, Nov. 06, 2006

13) Protecting Neither Facilities nor People
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
*BAGHDAD, Nov 7 (IPS) - The Facilities Protection Service (FPS) created
after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 has become the principal set of death
squads in Iraq, senior leaders say.*

14) JROTC off Our Campuses!
Eric Blanc, a recent graduate from Lowell High, writes about
the current struggle to kick out JROTC from San Francisco schools.

15) Israeli Shells Kill 18 Palestinians in Gaza
Filed at 10:52 a.m. ET
November 8, 2006

16) Cuba's Analysis of Nicaragua's Elections:

Contact: Carl Davidson - CAWI (312) 415-2499;
Wick Swanton - MK Communications (312) 822-0505;

18) Army’s New Battle Cry Aims at Potential Recruits
“Army strong” is the theme of a campaign that the Army plans
to announce formally today. The effort, with a budget estimated
at $1.35 billion in the next five years, will appear in traditional
media like television as well as nontraditional outlets like blogs,
social networking Web sites and chat rooms.
November 9, 2006

19) Tell Me How Long It Is . . . or Get It Stuck in Iraq:
The Left Decides What the "Real Issues" Are
by Patricia Alessandrini
November 6, 2006

20) Bechtel Departure Removes More Illusions
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches

21) Howard Zinn on Activism
The permanent link for the audio program:

22) The Court and Abortion
New York Times Editorial
November 11, 2006

23) Foreign Sales by U.S. Arms Makers Doubled in a Year
[U.S. arms its allies while turning a pretty]
November 11, 2006

24) Gaza: While the world looked elsewhere,
another week of death and misery
By Donald Macintyre In Beit Hanoun
"But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt."
Published: 11 November 2006


1) 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


2) Detainees’ Access to Lawyers Is Security Risk, C.I.A. Says
November 5, 2006

The Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department have
told a federal court that permitting lawyers access to high-level
Qaeda suspects without tighter secrecy procedures could damage
national security by revealing harsh “alternative interrogation
methods” used in secret C.I.A. prisons overseas.

But lawyers for the suspects say the government’s insistence
on secrecy is an effort to “conceal illegal conduct,” including
the torture of the 14 accused Qaeda suspects who were moved
from C.I.A. custody to the military’s detention camp at Guantánamo
Bay, Cuba, in September.

The legal battle is taking shape in the case of a legal petition
filed in United States District Court in Washington on behalf
of Majid Khan, a 26-year-old Pakistani man who spent five
years living in the United States. Intelligence officials have
accused Mr. Khan of working with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,
the chief planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,
to research how to blow up gasoline stations and poison
reservoirs in the United States. Mr. Khan’s lawyers and family
deny the accusations and assert that if he confessed to such
crimes, he did so falsely under harsh interrogation tactics
that amounted to torture.

The dispute underscores the complications of the Bush administration’s
decision two months ago to acknowledge that the 14 terrorism
suspects were held in secret for years.

Mr. Khan’s petition may also test a provision of the Military
Commissions Act, signed by President Bush last month, which
bars accused “enemy combatants” like Mr. Khan from challenging
their imprisonment using habeas corpus petitions filed in United
States courts.

Kathleen Blomquist, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said
procedures currently in effect at Guantánamo were adequate only
for handling information classified as secret, while information
regarding the former C.I.A. detainees was classified as top secret.

“Nobody is trying to keep Khan from speaking with his attorney,”
Ms. Blomquist said. “Rather, the government is asking that the
protective order governing the information the detainee shares
with his counsel be appropriately tailored to accommodate
a higher security level.”

But officials acknowledge that devising new procedures with
tighter secrecy is likely to take months. Mr. Khan’s attorney,
Gitanjali S. Gutierrez of the Center for Constitutional Rights,
a New York-based advocacy group that represents many
Guantánamo prisoners, said in court papers filed Friday that
existing rules were adequate to handle top secret information
and that the government’s real motive was to cover up its
“embarrassing and illegal” treatment of detainees like Mr. Khan.

“The government should not be allowed to torture someone
and use that as a justification to keep that information from the
American public,” Ms. Gutierrez said in a telephone interview

Ms. Gutierrez, who has traveled 10 times to Guantánamo since
2003 to visit clients, said that before filing the petition she
consulted Majid Khan’s wife, Rabia Khan, who lives in Pakistan.
She said she had no direct evidence of the interrogation procedures
used on Mr. Khan, but some suspected terrorists have been subjected
to prolonged sleep deprivation, exposure to cold and a technique that
simulates drowning.

The Justice Department and C.I.A. raised their objections in documents
filed Oct. 26 with Judge Reggie B. Walton. The court filings were first
reported by The Washington Post on its Web site on Friday night.


3) Many Oppose Death Penalty for Hussein
November 7, 2006

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 6 — European politicians
on Monday spoke out against the death sentence for Saddam
Hussein. Arab officials and commentators derided what they
said was a flawed and politicized trial, while for the first time
broadly acknowledging Mr. Hussein’s crimes.

Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, speaking to reporters
on Monday, said he opposed the death penalty for Mr. Hussein,
joining several other European leaders and European Union
officials who announced their opposition to the sentence.
When pressed by reporters, Mr. Blair spoke of his longstanding
opposition to capital punishment. He said he did not intend
to protest the sentence, and condemned Mr. Hussein’s brutality.

European leaders insisted that the viciousness of the actions
of which Mr. Hussein was found guilty had not changed their
view that state-sponsored killing was wrong. Some warned
that executing Mr. Hussein would only worsen the sectarian
bloodshed in Iraq.

The Associated Press quoted Terry Davis, secretary general
of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, as saying:
“A country ravaged by violence and death does not need more
violence, and especially not a state-orchestrated execution.
Saddam Hussein is a criminal and should not be allowed
to become a martyr.”

Amnesty International said Sunday that it “deplored” Mr. Hussein’s
sentence, describing the proceedings as “deeply flawed and unfair.”

In the Arab world, many dismissed the verdict as a product
of an unfair trial, decrying the lack of control of the proceedings
by the judges, the seeming contradictions in procedures
and the generally politicized nature of the proceedings.
Most of those who commented on the subject said the
decision to impose the death penalty would not stem
the wave of violence gripping Iraq.

“You’ll hear a lot of moderates say it’s great Saddam got
what he deserves, but unfortunately it was through a trial
that was regrettable,” said Ayman Safadi, the editor of the
Jordanian daily newspaper Al Ghad. “People see Saddam
himself as irrelevant. This trial was not about Saddam;
it was about Iraq itself.”

Analysts said the timing of the verdict, just two days before
the United States midterm elections, underscored the politically
charged nature of the proceedings.

“His sentencing now is a deliberate attempt to boost the
Republicans in the U.S.,” said Imad Shueibi, president
of the Data and Strategic Studies Center, a privately financed
research organization in Damascus, Syria. “They’re expecting
big losses in the upcoming elections, and they figure maybe
this sentence might give an illusion of some success.
But of course only the naïve will believe that.”

But for many, the trial missed an opportunity to send messages
to other dictators and to teach valuable lessons.

“There’s no way to celebrate,” said Muhammed al-Ameer, the
political editor at the Saudi daily newspaper Al Riyadh. “No one
doubts that Saddam committed human rights abuses, but the
trial was so flawed that it put things in question. It just keeps
sounding like a step taken by the Republicans to help them.”

Perhaps the most dramatic shift was in how many viewed
Mr. Hussein. Previously, few in the region had been willing
to address directly the issue of whether he might be guilty
of crimes against his people, with many people lionizing the
former dictator. Most of those interviewed on Sunday and
Monday said they believed he was guilty, but they also said
that the flaws in his trial offset his guilt.

“People used to see Saddam as a fearless, defiant leader, but
then he appeared in handcuffs and his image was shattered,”
said Saleh Qallab, a columnist with the Jordanian government-
backed newspaper Al Rai. “Nobody can sympathize with a weak
figure; that change is not political, but psychological.”

Makram Mohamed Ahmed, a columnist with the Egyptian government-
backed Al Ahram newspaper, said, “He was a burden to his nation
and a burden to the entire Arab world and he might have truly
deserved this fate, if only the court’s legitimacy was not in question.”

Most of all, Mr. Ahmed said, the verdict has failed to send
a message to other Arab leaders to loosen their grip and make
needed changes. “I don’t think any of the Arab leaders will come
to think that this can happen again,” he said. “The Bush’s
administration is losing its popularity and the Democrats
may get a majority in the Congressional elections.”

Suha Maayeh contributed reporting from Amman, Jordan.


4) Appeals Court Weighs Prisoners’ Right to Fight Detention
November 7, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 — The Bush administration’s successful effort
to have Congress eliminate the right of Guantánamo prisoners
to challenge their detentions before federal judges is now moving
toward what may be an epic battle in the courts.

And while lawsuits on the topic are spread across the judiciary,
the principal battleground, legal experts say, is the federal appeals
court in Washington. That court has been considering for three
years whether the hundreds of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay,
Cuba, have the right of habeas corpus — that is, the ability
to ask a federal judge to review the reasons for their detention.

But the law passed by Congress last month eliminating the habeas
right supersedes almost all of the arguments that have gone
before and is now the focus of the legal confrontation, government
and civil liberties lawyers agree. In a ruling last June, the Supreme
Court had said that an earlier measure did not eliminate habeas
lawsuits that were already in the courts. However, in October,
the administration used more explicit language, saying the new
law retroactively blocked federal courts from entertaining habeas
lawsuits by Guantánamo detainees.

The three-judge appeals court panel will have to decide whether
the pending lawsuits brought by the 430 or so remaining detainees
at Guantánamo should be thrown out, as the Bush administration
has argued, or whether the new law is unconstitutional, as civil
liberties groups have contended.

Whatever resolution is reached by the three appellate judges —
David B. Sentelle and A. Raymond Randolph, both appointees
of Republican presidents, and Judith W. Rogers, appointed by
a Democrat — it will almost certainly end up before the Supreme
Court. A decision could come from the appeals court before
the end of the year.

Lawyers for the detainees said in a recent brief that despite the
wording of the new law, Congress could not take away the right
to bring such habeas corpus lawsuits because that would violate
the Constitution.

Their brief notes that the Constitution provides that Congress
may suspend the right only in cases of rebellion or invasion,
as President Abraham Lincoln did during the Civil War. Congress
may provide a substitute, but only one that is equivalent
to a full-blown habeas action, the lawyers said in their brief.

Justice Department officials said they would argue that the law
is constitutional when they issue their formal reply in a brief
due next Monday.

David B. Rivkin Jr., a White House counsel in the administration
of the first President Bush, said he believed the department would
emphasize that the new law provided an adequate substitute
method for a detainee to challenge his confinement.

A proceeding held for each prisoner at Guantánamo, called
a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, is presumed to provide
a legally sufficient justification for detention, under the new
law. That proceeding, in which three military officers decide
if a prisoner is rightfully deemed to be an unlawful enemy
combatant, may be appealed directly to the Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Mr. Rivkin, an authority on national security law who supports
the administration, said the law did not suspend habeas corpus
but instead provided a new way for it to be exercised.

“The government is saying, ‘Look, we’re not denying anyone’s
chance to get habeas,’ ” he said. “We’re just providing
a different way.”

Mr. Rivkin said the judges on the appeals court panel should
be especially receptive to the idea that the process is fair
because the law provides for that very court to hear any
appeals from the military tribunals.

But the detainees’ lawyers have argued that the law provides
for only a limited review of the military tribunals by the appeals
court. Under the new law, they said, the appeals court may
not look behind the record of the military tribunal, and the
judges, in effect, are required to accept all of the military’s

Similar objections to the law are contained in a brief filed
by seven former federal judges, who were appointed by
both Democratic and Republican administrations. The judges
say in their brief that the law has “one specific and fundamental
flaw,” namely that the military tribunals may accept evidence
obtained by torture. The judges said the limited review for the
appeals court in the new law “cannot remove the stain of torture
because the court, at least according to the government, cannot
alter or expand the record created by the military.”

They said that “no habeas court would permit detentions based
on evidence obtained in this manner.”


5) Big Bonuses Seen Again for Wall St.
On Wall Street, the rich keep getting richer.
November 7, 2006

On Wall Street, the rich keep getting richer.

For a fourth consecutive year, year-end bonuses are forecast
to be highly lucrative, with the payouts rising 10 percent to 15
percent from 2005, according to Alan Johnson Associates,
a leading executive compensation consultant.

Investment bankers, who give advice to corporations, are expected
to experience the biggest percentage jump, about 20 percent
to 25 percent this year, from 2005.

But it will again be the traders, who make investment bets
for their firms, and those who operate in the complex world
of structured products and derivatives that will take home the
biggest checks this year, with top-end estimates in the range
of $40 million to $50 million, Wall Street executives say.

“Traders are making more than bankers and that will probably
continue for one more year,” said Alan Johnson, the managing
director of the consultant firm. “Then it will be a horse race.”

Of course, the $50 million trader is the exception, not the rule.

The year-end bonus, which makes up most of a Wall Street
professional’s compensation, can vary widely.

The average managing director at a top Wall Street bank is
expected to take home a bonus of $1.7 million this year, up
from about $1.2 million last year. The range of managing director
total compensation, according to Mr. Johnson, is $1.7 million to
$2.3 million. While those may seem stately sums to many,
it puts those executives back where they started before the
technology bubble burst and their pay tumbled nearly 50 percent.

Then there are the rainmakers. Senior investment banking
executives say top bankers can expect bonuses of $20 million
to $25 million. Financial sponsors, the bankers who cater
to the private equity funds that have driven much of the
frenzied merger activity this year, have had a strong year
in particular.

Globally, more than $3.2 trillion worth of mergers and acquisitions
have been announced in 2006, compared with $2.4 trillion in 2005,
according to Dealogic. Buyouts represented 17 percent of the dollar
total for 2006, compared with 12 percent last year. Other investment
banking areas that have been strong include health care, financial
institutions and energy and power.

Traders, in comparison, can make extraordinary sums because they
use the bank’s capital to make bets, allowing them to take big risks
that either result in big rewards or gigantic headaches. Traders can
make 5 percent to 10 percent of what they earn. For example,
a trader who makes $500 million for the bank might take home
$50 million.

Wall Street is evolving from a business focused entirely on clients —
corporations, institutions and individuals — to one that generates
money betting its own capital (proprietary trading) along with
the business of advising and trading for clients.

The banks are being buoyed by a number of factors, including
abundant global liquidity — capital available to be invested —
and tremendous international growth, focused in large part on
India and China, but also extending to the Middle East, Eastern
Europe and Russia. For the first nine months of 2006, Goldman
Sachs and Morgan Stanley earned more in profits than they did
in all of 2005, according to their financial statements.

And if a rising tide lifts all boats, Wall Street’s booming fortunes
are producing more yachts.

The average securities salary is now 5.1 times the average salary
paid in other industries, up from 2.5 times in 1990 and 4.3 times
in 2003, according to a recent report released by the New York
state comptroller, Alan G. Hevesi. The securities industry accounted
for only 4.7 percent of jobs in New York City in 2005, but 20.6
percent of the wages.

First-year associates, those just out of business school, can expect
a range of $200,000 to $270,000 in total compensation — base pay,
bonus and long-term compensation — while a first-year analyst, just
out of college, can expect to make $105,000 to $145,000. Guarantees
— contracts which promise to pay bankers a fixed amount for
a certain number of years — are back, but only one- and two-
year contracts, Mr. Johnson said. At the height of the technology
boom, three-year guarantees were commonplace.

But life in the middle might be getting tougher, according
to Mr. Johnson. Associates and vice presidents were in high demand
in 2003 because the markets came roaring back to life before staffing
on the Street was adequate. Now, however, demand seems to be
weighted toward the ends rather than the middle.

“We are seeing a lot of demand at the top and a lot at the bottom,
but not as much in the middle,” Mr. Johnson said. “With technology,
you don’t need as much in the middle.”

Wall Street managers say they are feeling less of a threat from hedge
funds. While top talent may be lured away by the promise
of independence and more self-generated profits, many hedge
funds are struggling to post good enough numbers to attract
enough capital to make it worth the risk. Also, those funds tend
to be small. “A big hedge fund has 40 people,” Mr. Johnson said.
“They will hire your two best but they will not hire the 98 people
behind them.”

Others disagree, saying there is much competition for talent.

And Wall Street giants’ compensation still pales in comparison
with their hedge fund counterparts. In 2005, the top hedge fund
manager took home $1.5 billion in pay while the price of entry
to be on the list of the top 25 paid managers, compiled
by Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine, was $130 million.


6) Northern Gaza Hospital Diary
Report by Dr. Mona Elfarra
Published: 07/11/06
Sunday 5 Nov
Stories from Beit Hanoun
Monday 8am

On my way to the hospital going via Salah Udin street, east of Gaza, I
could see clearly army tanks, and a group of resistance men. The main road
is deserted, the military operation is now expanding to the north east.
During the early hours of this morning many missiles were fired on the
north and east of Gaza, and civilians were not spared.

I arrived at Al-Awda hospital, and decided next time to take the Jabalia
camp road. But no road is safer than another.

On arrival my colleagues described the scene at 7:30 am.

The small 3-5 year old kids had arrived at the hospital on board their
kindergarten bus with their school bags. Their teacher (Samiha Khulif age
26) was seriously injured. While they were getting out of the bus, an
Israeli missile was launched (I do not know the intended target) - the
teacher was seriously injured and taken to hospital, inside the same bus,
the children were all crying, terrified and trembling, taken by the
hospital staff for pacifying. It was an intense moment and some of my
colleagues burst into tears, seeing the kids inside the obstetrics and
gynae department.

At least 9 were injured and two killed in the attack, some were referred
to the Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Since the siege and military operation began in Beit Hanoun, 9 women from
the village arrived at the hospital for delivery. They had to wait a few
hours at the checkpoint for permits to leave for the hospital. The women
gave birth but could not get back to their homes. Some stayed in hospital,
others were taken to stay with some families around the hospital. I met
one of them who gave birth by Caesarian Section. She was unable to talk,
but had a beautiful baby. Her mother was next to her in tears, worried
about the rest of the family who could not leave the village.

All hospitals in the Gaza strip are working under great pressure and a
heavy caseload, due to the current Israeli operation on top of a long
period of economical sanctions against the Palestinian Authority that left
70 percent of the population living on humanitarian aid.

Medics work under fire and very difficult conditions. Yesterday 2 medical
rescue team men were killed while working, one of our staff in Al-Awda
hospital was injured the same day, all while on duty.

I have seen some of the shrapnel that was recovered from the previous
day's injuries, with clear writing "USA USA". The shrapnel seems unusual,
surgeons had not come across it before. We do not have the time and
facilities to investigate, but some experts might find results. Anyway
killing of civilians is illegal whether with knives or internationally
prohibited weapons.

My messege to all good American men and women,

with love and soliderity



7) A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer
Clara Jeffery
May/June 2006 Issue

The Perks of Privilege: Sources
By The Editors
May/June 2006 Issue

IN 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined.
Today, they’re worth $1.13 trillion—more than the GDP of Canada.

THERE’VE BEEN FEW new additions to the Forbes 400. The median
household income has also stagnated—at around $44,000.

AMONG THE FORBES 400 who gave to a 2004 presidential
campaign, 72% gave to Bush.

IN 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires,
a 62% increase since 2002.

IN 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps,
a 49% increase since 2000.

ONLY ESTATES worth more than $1.5 million are taxed. That’s less
than 1% of all estates. Still, repealing the estate tax will cost the
government at least $55 billion a year.

ONLY 3% OF STUDENTS at the top 146 colleges come from
families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come
from the bottom half.

BUSH’S TAX CUTS GIVE a 2-child family earning $1 million
an extra $86,722—or Harvard tuition, room, board,
and an iMac G5 for both kids.

A 2-CHILD family earning $50,000 gets $2,050—or 1/5
the cost of public college for one kid.

THIS YEAR, Donald Trump will earn $1.5 million an hour
to speak at Learning Annex seminars.

ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION, the federal minimum wage has
fallen 42% since its peak in 1968.

IF THE $5.15 HOURLY minimum wage had risen at the same
rate as CEO compensation since 1990, it would now stand
at $23.03.

A MINIMUM WAGE employee who works 40 hours a week
for 51 weeks a year goes home with $10,506 before taxes.

SUCH A WORKER would take 7,000 years to earn Oracle
CEO Larry Ellison’s yearly compensation.

ELLISON RECENTLY posed in Vanity Fair with his $300 million,
454-foot yacht, which he noted is “really only the size
of a very large house.”

ONLY THE WEALTHIEST 20% of Americans spend more
on entertainment than on health care.

THE $17,530 EARNED by the average Wal-Mart employee
last year was $1,820 below the poverty line for a family of 4.

5 OF AMERICA’S 10 richest people are Wal-Mart heirs.

PUBLIC COMPANIES spend 10% of their earnings compensating
their top 5 executives.

1,730 BOARD MEMBERS of the nation’s 1,000 leading
companies sit on the boards of 4 or more other corporations
—including half of Coca-Cola’s 14-person board.

THE BIDDER who won a round of golf with Tiger Woods
for $30,100 at a 2004 Buick charity auction could deduct
all but about $200.

TIGER MADE $87 million in 2005, all but $12 million from
endorsements and appearance fees.

THE 5TH LEADING philanthropist last year was Boone Pickens,
in part due to his $165 million gift to Oklahoma State
University’s golf program.

WITHIN AN HOUR, OSU invested it in a hedge fund Pickens
controls. Thanks to a Katrina relief provision, his “gift”
was also 100% deductible.

LAST YEAR 250 COMPANIES gave top execs between
$50,000 and $1 million worth of wholly personal flights
on corporate jets.

THIS PERK is 66% more costly to companies whose CEO
belongs to out-of-state golf clubs.

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT spends $500,000 on 8 security
screeners who speed execs from a Wall Street helipad
to American’s JFK terminal.

UNITED HAS CUT the pensions and salaries of most employees
but promised 400 top executives 8% of the shares it expects
to issue upon emerging from bankruptcy.

UNITED’S TOP 8 execs will also get a bonus of between
55% and 100% of their salaries.

IN 2002, “turnaround artist” Robert Miller dumped Bethlehem
Steel’s pension obligation, allowing “vulture investor”
Wilbur L. Ross to buy steel stock and sell it at a 1,000% profit.

IN 2005, DELPHI HIRED Miller for $4.5 million. After Ross
said he might buy Delphi if its labor costs fell, Miller
demanded wage cuts of up to 63% and dumped the
pension obligation.

10 FORMER ENRON directors agreed to pay shareholders
a $13 million settlement—which is 10% of what they made
by dumping stock while lying about the company’s health.

POOR AMERICANS spend 1/4 of their income on residential
energy costs.

EXXON’S 2005 PROFIT of $36.13 billion is more than the
GDP of 2/3 of the world’s nations.

CEO PAY AMONG military contractors has tripled since 2001.
For David Brooks, the CEO of bulletproof vest maker DHB,
it’s risen 13,233%.

AT THE $10 MILLION bat mitzvah party Brooks threw his
daughter last year, guests got $1,000 gift bags and listened
to Aerosmith, Kenny G., Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, and 50 Cent
—who reportedly sang, “Go shorty, it’s your bat mitzvah,
we gonna party like it’s your bat mitzvah.”

FOR PERFORMING IN the Live 8 concerts to “make poverty
history,” musicians each got gift bags worth up to $12,000.

OSCAR PERFORMERS and presenters collectively owe the
IRS $1,250,000 on the gift bags they got at the 2006
Academy Awards ceremony.

A DOG FOOD COMPANY provided “pawdicures” and other
spa treatments to pets of celebrities attending the 2006
Sundance Film Festival.

ONE OF MADONNA’S recent freebies: $10,000 mink
and diamond-tipped false eyelashes.

PARIS HILTON, who charges clubs $200,000 to appear
for 20 minutes, stiffed Elton John’s AIDS benefit the
$2,500-per-plate fee she owed.

ACCORDING TO Radar magazine, Owen Wilson was paid
$100,000 to attend a Mercedes-Benz-sponsored
Hamptons polo match. When other guests tried
to speak with him, he reportedly said, “That’s not my job.”

-- Clara Jeffery (Ed.)

Next issue: Why the poor stay poor


8) Video, Oaxaca- A Victory in The Streets- 11/2/06
From: Anna Kunkin
Sent: Nov 6, 2006 12:05 AM
[Incredibly powerful]

(Lo que sigue es una explanación para la gente de habla inglés, para
ayudarles a entender de lo que se trata el video. Si alguin no está
de acuerdo con lo que he escrito aquí, le pido el favor de informarme
de mis errores. Gracias, Anna)

This video is of the events in Oaxaca on Nov.2 in front of the
university of Oaxaca when the federal police tried to break in and
destroy the radio station, the people's main communication tool to
each other, and to the outside world. The whole town came out to
defend and fight back and they won a great victory.

-The voice in the beginning is the voice of radio Oaxaca calling for
citizens to come out and form barricades around the university to
protect the radio station. "We cannot allow this important voice to
be lost.''

- Then you see the people responding; creating barricades.

-You will see a man and a woman scolding the federal police, and
appealing to them as fellow Mexicans with families; reminding them
that they are no different than the people in the streets that they
are attacking.

- The doctors making a statement; saying that some of the news media
has been framing the movement in Oaxaca as being made up of gang
members and criminals; (This framed by shots of the townspeople
standing hand in hand to form barricades) but, they say, "we are
doctors; profesionals who are defending our city and helping the
people. "Holding up his stethoscope, he says, "These are our weapons.
With these weapons we fight and help our people and our compañeros."

- Then you see a member of the police saying that they have no
intention of attacking the university or of arresting anyone. The lie
to this is evident in the next shot where helicopters are shown
dropping tear gas into the university.

- Then you see a couragous people; a people fighting together for a
just cause, and in the end, winning. I watch this with tears...and
only hope that I would find the courage to be like these people in
the same situation.

On the right of the screen is a list of more videos that you can
watch just by clicking on the links. One of them is the video that
came out of Indymedia reporter Brad Will's camera after he was shot
dead in the streets of Oaxaca last week.

I hope that this little recap helps all my English speaking
compañeras and compañeros to understand the importance of this
battle. This is the type of thing that people in Latin America have
been dealing with for hundreds of years. Our government doesn't want
us to know that this is what has been going on in our name, but now,
with modern technology it is no longer hidden from us.

Our tax money is paying for this, and in the cases of the worst
brutality and torture, the perpetrators are trained here in Fort
Benning, Georgia at the School of The Americas. My friend Hector
Aristizabal, a torture victim from Columbia, said that with knowledge
comes grief....and yes, my tears have surprised me. But let's let our
grief and our compassion work for us to give us the strength to make
change. Let's support our sisters and brothers in their efforts to
create justice in their countries. In doing so we will create a just
world; one in which as Subcomandante Marcos says, "Un mundo donde
quepan todos." (A world where we all have a place.)

Please watch this video and pass it on.

A big abrazo to all,


9) Saddam Verdict Could Tear Iraqis Apart
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Nov 6 (IPS) - The death sentence for former Iraqi dictator
Saddam Hussein could deepen a divide that threatens to tear Iraqis apart.*

The signs on the street are dangerous already. Several reports have come
in of celebrations in Kurdish and Shia areas, with strong protests in
Sunni-dominated cities in central Iraq.

Iraq is being ripped apart by sectarian violence between Sunnis and
Shias, and many fear that if Saddam Hussein is executed Iraq could slide
into civil war.

On Sunday the High Tribunal in Iraq held Saddam Hussein guilty of
ordering the killing of 148 Shias in 1982. The verdict threatens
stability because Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, is seen by non-Sunnis
to have run policies to the advantage of Sunnis and the disadvantage of

Manny Iraqis in Baghdad say the judgment was hastened for the benefit of
the Republican Party in the United States, which faces congressional
elections Tuesday. The party is expected to do badly primarily as a
result of a widely perceived failure of the Republican Administration's
Iraq policy.

The sectarian split under U.S.-led occupation has spiralled high enough
to lead to fears that Iraq is in a state of civil war already. The
oil-rich nation of 25 million comprises mainly Shias, Sunnis and Kurds,
with the Shias an estimated majority of 60 percent.

In the Shia dominated Sadr City in Baghdad, and in other Shia cities
like Najaf, Kerbala and Basra, large numbers came out on the streets to
celebrate. Much of the Shia population suffered great repression during
the rule of Saddam Hussein.

Celebrations have been reported also across Kurdish regions of northern
Iraq, Like the Shias, the Kurdish population was also heavily repressed
under the reign of the former dictator.

A day before the verdict was announced, Shia Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki asked Iraqis not to "celebrate too much" when the announcement

Other Shia leaders have been trying to sober down such celebrations, and
even oppose the death sentence. They say that execution of the former
leader would make a martyr of him, and give him a higher status than he

The picture of a split society was completed by protests and anger in
Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq, particularly in Baghdad and in al-Anabar
province to its west. Facing repression now from a Shia-dominated
government under U.S. influence, Sunnis have adopted the former leader
as one of their own.

In Baghdad's predominantly Sunni neighbourhood al-Adhamiya, Iraqi police
battled resistance members armed with machine guns. In Saddam Hussein's
hometown Tikrit, thousands defied a curfew to carry pictures of Saddam
through the streets.

The divisions were deepened further when Iraqi army units attacked
pro-Saddam demonstrators in many areas. Sunni television channels Zawra
and Salahedin that aired pro-Saddam demonstrations were immediately shut
down and raided by Iraqi security forces.

The closure of the two networks has infuriated Sunnis further. The move
appeared similar to the U.S.-ordered closure of the newspaper al-Hawza
of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which sparked his first uprising against
occupation forces two years back.

In a country where sectarian death squads are killing on average more
than 100 people a day in the capital city alone, another polarising
event is the last thing Iraq needs at this time.

One potential flashpoint everyone is watching is the northern oil-rich
city Kirkuk. The city has a mixed population, including Sunni ethnic
Arabs who were settled there under Saddam's regime. Kurdish leaders want
Kirkuk, and its wealth, within an autonomous Kurdistan.

In the Shia-dominated south, more than 100,000 Iraqis are fleeing their
homes each week as Shia leaders push for federalism, under which each
ethnic group would take substantial control of a region it dominates.

Execution of Saddam Hussein, if it takes place, could worsen a pattern
under which every 'success' of the government under occupation has led
to increasing attacks on U.S. and Iraqi security forces.

This happened after Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces in
December 2003 after they were tipped off by Kurdish militia members. The
attacks against security forces rose dramatically after that. A similar
pattern followed the killing of suspected al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi by occupation forces.

It is not yet certain that execution will be carried out. The verdict on
Saddam now goes before a nine-judge panel that has indefinite time to
review the case. But if the sentence is upheld, the execution must be
carried out within 30 days.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


10) IOF Kill a Palestinian Child and Injure 7 Others, including
a Girl, in a Failed Extra-judicial Execution Attempt
Ref: 116/2006
Date: 06 November 2006

In a new Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) crime reflecting disregard
for the lives of innocent civilians, a Palestinian child was killed and
6 others were injured, one seriously, in an Israeli air strike on the
town of Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip. A teacher was seriously
injured in the same strike. The victims were on their way to school
when IOF fired a surface-to-surface towards the Jabalia Youth Club
during the morning traffic of school children. The IOF rocket was
fired after Palestinians fired rockets at Israel from the area in the
pre-dawn hours. This crime is a continuation of the IOF aggression
on the Gaza Strip, especially the northern part. Over the 6 days
of this recent aggression, 45 Palestinians have been killed,
including 27 unarmed civilians. Ten of these victims are children,
and two are women. In addition, 184 Palestinians have been injured,
including 50 children and 46 women.

PCHR's preliminary investigation into this incident indicates that
at approximately 6:45 on Monday, 6 November 2006, IOF fired
a surface-to-surface towards the Jabalia Youth Club near the
intersection separating Jabalia and Beit Lahia. The rocket fell 15
meters away from a minibus at the intersection transporting
children to the Andera Ghandi Kindergarten in Beit Lahia.
The teacher Najwa Awad E'khlayyef (20) was sitting near the
open rear door of the minibus waiting for children to board.
She was seriously injured, and later transported to the ICU
unit in Shifa Hospital for treatment. In addition, students
from Ahmad Shoqeiri School were on their way to school
in Beit Lahia. One of these students was instantly killed:
Ramzi Merfiq El-Shrafi (16). Six other students were injured,
one of them seriously. The kindergarten children also
suffered shock from the explosion.

PCHR is extremely concerned over the serious IOF
escalation, and:

- Condemns this crime, which is a continuum
of IOF war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
that reflect Israeli disregard for the lives of innocent civilians.
These crimes are considered a form of reprisal and collective
punishment that violate article 33 of the Fourth Geneva

- Points to the fact that IOF does not use proportionality
and necessity in the use of force against Palestinian resistance
activists in civilian neighborhoods, which causes casualties
among the civilian population and destruction of their property.

- Calls upon the international community to immediately
intervene to stop these crimes. The Centre reiterates the call
to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention
to fulfill their obligations and ensure that it is respected under
all circumstances. The Centre reminds the High Contracting
Parties of their obligation under article 146 of the convention
to prosecute criminals suspected of perpetrating serious
violations of the convention. It is noted that serious violations
are considered war crimes in article 147 of the convention
and the optional protocol additional to the convention.


11) Board has plan to oust ROTC from S.F. schools
Members want to cut program over 'Don't ask, Don't tell'
- Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Plus: Letter to the Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in response from:
Dan Kelly, M.D., San Francisco Board of Education
Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War,

The San Francisco Board of Education appears poised to kick the
military's Junior ROTC programs out of the city's public schools,
saying the Pentagon's refusal to allow openly gay service members
is deplorable and not in line with the school district's
anti-discrimination policy.

School board members are scheduled to introduce a resolution
tonight outlawing the JROTC because of the military's "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell" rule. The resolution calls that policy an "unjust, indefensible,
unintelligent, state-sanctioned act of homophobia."

The resolution, which won't get a final vote until June, would create
a task force to develop a similar program without a tie to the military
and would phase out JROTC by the 2007-08 school year.

JROTC currently has 1,625 students in seven San Francisco public
high schools: Balboa, Burton, Galileo, Lincoln, Lowell, Mission and
Washington. Students enroll on a voluntary basis and earn physical
education credits for participating in the military-sponsored program.
The students engage in physical training such as running, push-ups
and jumping jacks; and discipline training such as marching, drill-
practice and using a mock chain of command. They also study
military history and perform community service.

"They really help you stay focused, stay on track and get your
stuff together," said Timothy Twyman, 16, a sophomore at Mission
High and a member of that school's JROTC program. "It teaches
you about how the world's going to be."

Supporters such as Twyman say the program helps students develop
self-confidence and prepare for the working world, while opponents
counter that it's just an easy way for the military to get a foothold
in public schools and encourage teens to enlist after they graduate.

Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter, a Pentagon spokesman, said 402,000
students are enrolled in 3,361 JROTC units around the country,
and another 700 schools are on a waiting list. Carpenter said
he wasn't aware of any school district kicking JROTC off its
campuses and didn't want to comment on San Francisco's
vote until it has been taken.

"We don't comment on what ifs," he said. "We don't speculate."

The proposal to eliminate six Army and one Navy JROTC
units is just one in a recent string of battles between San Francisco
and the military. Last year, the city's Board of Supervisors voted against
allowing the World War II battleship Iowa to berth in the city as
a tourist attraction, in part because of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

In February, Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval appeared on Fox's
"Hannity and Colmes" show and said, "The United States should
not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much,
much better shape."

Mark Sanchez, the JROTC resolution's sponsor and the only member
of the school board who is gay, said the nation's gay capital
should have stood up against the military for its "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell" policy long ago.

"If the military said, 'You can't be openly Jewish or you can't be
openly Catholic,' I don't think we would have stood for it this
long," he said. "It's an ethical issue more than anything, and
if we stand by our policies of nondiscrimination, we should
be able to stand by this policy as well."

Sanchez borrowed the language from a resolution submitted
by Commissioner Dan Kelly to the school board in 1996. That
measure failed 4-3. Sanchez said that a decade later it's time
to try again.

Board member Kelly has co-signed the current resolution.
He served two years in prison for resisting the draft during
the war in Vietnam.

The proposal appears headed for passage this time around.
Commissioners Sarah Lipson, Eric Mar and Norman Yee told
The Chronicle they're inclined to support it as long as a solid
replacement program is developed.

"A discriminatory institution like the U.S. military really should
not be running programs in our school district," Mar said.

Commissioners Eddie Chin and Jill Wynns said they are likely
to vote against the resolution, noting that if board members
have trouble with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," they should
be fighting for it to be abolished at the national level.

"If they're against the current administration and the policy,
they should work at the national level and not take it out
on the kids," Chin said.

Wynns, the head of the board's budget committee, said it's
impractical to do away with JROTC. The district and the Department
of Defense split the cost of the program's teachers. Without the
monetary help, the district will have to hire a raft of P.E. teachers
and pay their entire salaries itself, Wynns said. She said she didn't
know yet how much money it would cost the district each year.

Yee, the board president, said the resolution will go to a committee
and probably will be voted upon in the board's last meeting
of the school year, in late June.

E-mail Heather Knight at

Page A - 1

Letter to the Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in response from:

Dan Kelly, M.D., San Francisco Board of Education


The Sunday Chronicle’s two-page profile of JROTC, and the much
shorter story about the Board of Education’s deliberations on the
matter, did not really do justice to the importance of the issues
before the Board of Education, and before our young people today.

While profiling several cadets and instructors, the main article
in no way addressed persistent concerns raised by other students
and parents about JROTC’s presence on our campuses. There
have been many complaints of students being coerced into
joining JROTC or being placed in it automatically, of the JROTC
acting as a stand-in for counseling or other services students
may need and deserve, and of the JROTC draining resources
from other programs. Parents and students have complained
about militarization of their campuses and campus events
by the prominent presence of uniformed cadet units. There
have been episodes of hazing and group ostracism, and there
continue to be reports of homophobic comments made
against JROTC opponents.

No mention was made of critiques that JROTC’s curriculum
and instruction rely upon memorization and rote repetition
rather than critical thinking, or that they do not meet the
academic standards applied to non-JROTC classes.

In discussing the costs of the program, no mention was made
of the fact that schools with JROTC receive disproportionate
SFUSD funding compared to schools without JROTC. Neither
was it clarified that a JROTC instructor‘s average annual salary
is $105,000 even though they are not credentialed and not
required to have a college degree, while regular SFUSD teachers,
even with advanced degrees, average less than $60,000.
It was not even mentioned that JROTC instructors carry
a drastically lower student load when compared with
regular PE and classroom teachers.

Your story did not attempt to address an important and
critical underlying theme: the tension between civilian and
military authority that has been a central element in the
vigor and stability of our democratic institutions ever since
George Washington made his farewell speech at Fraunce’s
Tavern, and which was highlighted famously by Dwight
Eisenhower’s own farewell warning against the military-
industrial complex’s rise to prominence.

Finally, and most importantly, you made no acknowledgement
of JROTC’s role as a national vehicle for military recruitment,
or the heightened importance of this function in the “all volunteer”
military. While quoting local JROTC members who deny that
any recruitment occurs, your story ignored Defense Department
statements asserting that JROTC is, in fact, an important
recruitment tool; and you did not report testimony by a local
JROTC instructor to the Board of Education’s Curriculum Committee
in the summer of 2006 that JROTC units across the country actively
recruit students into the military as a matter of course.

Our nation is sending volunteers and reservists alike to kill
and die in a war which was declared under false pretenses
and against international opposition; a war which has cost
hundreds of thousands of civilian lives; a war which threatens
to destabilize the whole Middle East; a war whose conduct has
been noted for unprecedented corruption and callous
mismanagement; a war requiring active recruiting because
it is being pursued without the politically dangerous use
of the Selective Service System draft.

We do not have the luxury to say that national policy is none
of our business. Warfare as an instrument of aggressive and
acquisitive foreign policy has effects on our local economy and
on the health and well being of our students and our democracy.
That policy is our business, just as much as it is the business
of Congress. We have had enough internal and local reasons
to close this program before, but its popularity has caused
us to hesitate. The larger questions now tip the balance
and mean that we can’t continue that delay. We really do
need to “think globally and act locally”. This is a chance for
San Francisco to lead on an important national issue as we
have so often done before. By removing this military
recruitment and public relations program from schools
we can do better for our students, and we may empower
other communities to consider how local decision-making
can, and should, influence national policy.

If analyzing JROTC’s role in this manner is political, as
characterized in the early paragraphs of your story, that
is because “politics” is the vehicle which we use to make
decisions for the good of the whole, and for the future
of our community; not simply for our own short-term benefit.

Dan Kelly, M.D.
San Francisco Board of Education

Letter to the Editor from Bonnie Weinstein,

Dear Editor,

In light of the ABC undercover investigation into rampant
deceitful military recruitment practices how can you recommend
JROTC--an outfit run by these very same liars--and be for
allowing them to continue to teach our children?

The schools are supposed to keep our children safe from
swindlers and the like--not to provide a home for them
in our schools.

Statistics show that nationwide, 45 percent of JROTC
graduates go on to serve in the military. That is why they
are in our schools for. If you don't believe me go to:
And read the United States Army Recruiting Command School
Recruiting Program Handbook.

Point 1-1 states:

1-1. Purpose
The purpose of this handbook is:
a. To provide a single-source guidance docu-
ment, combining regulatory requirements and
successful techniques and ideas to assist staff
and recruiters in building and maintaining an
effective School Recruiting Program (SRP).


Bonnie Weinstein


12) Cuban gay soap cracks a legacy of hate
The huge success of a gay soap opera suggests
Cuban society has begun to accept homosexuality.
Posted on Mon, Nov. 06, 2006

[This story in today's MIAMI HERALD should be of particular interest
to John O'Brien and David Thorstad to whom this post is dedicated.
Though the HERALD gives the impression that there's something very
significant about the fact that the gay characters on the soap opera
get AIDS, the ENTIRE PROGRAM is about people with HIV-AIDS. The story
is framed as a series of flashbacks through which the different tales
are told, by the members of an HIV-AIDS support group, ALL OF WHOM,
gay and strait, have AIDS.

Readers can find scores more articles on Cuban LGBTs, their lives,
struggles and issues:

Walter Lippmann ]

SANTA CLARA, Cuba - It's a late Sunday afternoon at El Mejunje,
Cuba's only openly gay disco, and some men are dancing or kissing
while Alex is remembering the days he ducked police harassment by
faking straight relationships.

''In 1980, during Mariel, we were thrown out of the country with the
crazy people and criminals -- the useless,'' said the 42-year-old
restaurant manager. ``People threw rocks at us. I was forced to have
girlfriends and do things that were beyond me.

``Things have changed a lot.''

As Cuban state television winds up its controversial soap opera
featuring a gay man, The Hidden Side of the Moon, gays on the
communist-ruled island say society -- and in particular the
government -- has learned to accept homosexuals and include them in
public discourse.

Late Sunday afternoons at El Mejunje are a surreal mix of elderly men
crooning to Benny Moré beside gay men showing off flashy dance moves.

It is a far cry from the memories of a Cuba that once locked up and
harassed its gay men.

'When I was 18, people on the street used to shout, `Hey, faggot!' ''
said Oliver, 28, whose last name, like others in this report, is
being withheld for fear of reprisals. ``That doesn't happen anymore,
unless you are a totally brazen transvestite hustling in really short


The Hidden Side of the Moon broke macho telenovela tradition this
spring with a story line about a married man who falls in love with
another man and becomes HIV-positive. It was the most-watched TV show
in Cuban history. But as viewers broke records, still others wrote
letters of protest to newspapers. Even the Catholic Church weighed

The Hidden Side of the Moon was the first time the Cuban state-run
television monopoly tackled homosexuality in such a high-profile

The show was the latest in a series of moves by the government that
illustrated a willingness to shed its legacy of persecuting gays. The
Castro government once regarded homosexuals as deviants who needed to
be reformed into communism's selfless ``new man.''

But last year, gay and lesbian film festivals were held in several
Cuban cities, and the nation's first sexual diversity cultural
festival took place in western Pinar del Río. The Cuban government
sends delegations to Latin American International Lesbian and Gay
Association conferences, and two years ago, another Cuban soap
featured a lesbian couple.

Some credit the increased exposure to Mariela Castro, daughter of
Defense Minister and interim president Raúl Castro. Mariela runs the
National Center for Sex Education, from which she publicly promotes
lesbian, gay and transgender rights.

''Mariela has brought the gay community a step forward. She gave us
our space. There have been a lot of positive changes,'' said Javier,
a professional dancer.

Mariela Castro's office not only advocated the controversial soap,
but has pushed for sensitivity training for police. Underscoring the
government's support of her work, this year she gave a number of
interviews to foreign media, which is extremely rare for employees of
the Cuban government.

''There is no official repression of lesbians and gays in Cuba,'' she
told the Montreal Gazette this summer after speaking at an
international gay rights conference there. ``What remains are social
and cultural reactions that must be transformed, the same as in many
other countries.''

''Suddenly in the last two years, there has been a concerted effort
by the Cuban government to push a movement that had been going slowly
for the past 20 years,'' said University of California at Davis
professor Emilio Bejel, author of Gay Cuban Nation. ``They are trying
to make up for the damage of the past. . . . I think they realize it
was really horrible what they did.''

In the mid 1960s and 70s, homosexuality was considered an offense to
communist ideology, so gays, along with Jehovah Witnesses and others
considered social misfits, were sent to the infamous UMAPs --
Military Units to Help Production -- facilities where they were
forced into hard labor and expected to ``reform.''


Sodomy was decriminalized in 1979, but it was not until 1993 that
Cuba abandoned the practice of locking up HIV-positive people in
sanitariums. Less than a decade ago, the police swept a popular
underground gay club in Havana, arresting about 800 people.

The persecution of gays was chronicled by late Cuban writer Reinaldo
Arenas in his memoir Before Night Falls, which was later made into a

''That was a different era, and I'm glad I didn't live it,'' said
Oilime, a gay 29-year-old restaurant worker. ``Nothing like that has
ever happened to me.''

But even now there are no gay rights organizations in Cuba. And
Oilime grumbled over the message of the soap The Hidden Side of the

Both featured gay characters get AIDS.

''The simple fact that they put a gay issue on TV shows a lot,'' he
said. ``But it promoted the idea that if you sleep with a gay man,
you will get a fatal illness.

``That helps us?''

The Miami Herald withheld the name of the correspondent who wrote
this dispatch.


13) Protecting Neither Facilities nor People
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
*BAGHDAD, Nov 7 (IPS) - The Facilities Protection Service (FPS) created
after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 has become the principal set of death
squads in Iraq, senior leaders say.*

*BAGHDAD, Nov 7 (IPS) - The Facilities Protection Service (FPS) created
after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 has become the principal set of death
squads in Iraq, senior leaders say.*

"The first accomplishment of Paul Bremer (former U.S. administrator in
Iraq) in Iraq was dissolving the Iraqi army and all security
establishments," a consultant with an Iraqi ministry told IPS on
condition of anonymity. "The man was granted the highest decoration by
his President for a job well done."

The U.S. occupation authorities and the Iraqi leaders working with them
set up new army and police forces under supervision of the Multi
National Forces (MNF). It was decided that each ministry could establish
its own protection force away from the control of the ministries of
interior and defence.

Under Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Order Number 27, the FPS was
established on April 10, 2003, the day after the fall of Baghdad.

This document states: "The FPS may also consist of employees of private
security firms who are engaged to perform services for the ministries or
governorates through contracts, provided such private security firms and
employees are licensed and authorised by the Ministry of Interior."

Global Security.Org, a U.S. based security research group, says: "The
Facilities Protection Service works for all ministries and governmental
agencies, but its standards are set and enforced by the Ministry of the
Interior. It can also be privately hired. The FPS is tasked with the
fixed site protection of ministerial, governmental, or private
buildings, facilities and personnel."

The security website adds: "The majority of the FPS staff consists of
former service members and former security guards. The FPS will now
secure public facilities such as hospitals, banks and power stations
within their district. Once trained, the guards work with U.S. military
forces protecting critical sites like schools, hospitals and power plants."

General Harith al-Fahad of the former Iraqi army says the FPS turned out
to be no such thing. "All the forces formed were actually militias, not
organised forces, because they were formed according to rations given to
each party in power," he told IPS at a café in Baghdad, with explosions
echoing in the background.

"Those politicians brought their followers into the so-called security
forces. Others took bribes of 500 to 700 dollars from each applicant to
be accepted regardless of standard regulations."

When sectarian violence spread across Iraq after the Shia shrine in
Samarra was destroyed in February this year, "the FPS appeared to be the
main force that conducted assassinations in Baghdad, and there is
evidence that they did it for money."

This seems to continue. U.S. officers training Iraqi police told
reporters last week that infiltration of police units by militia members
could delay the handover of control of the Iraqi security forces for years.

"How can we expect ordinary Iraqis to trust the police when we don't
even trust them not to kill our own men?" Capt. Alexander Shaw said.
Shaw is head of the police transition team of the 372nd Military Police
Battalion, a Washington-based unit charged with overseeing training of
all Iraqi police in western Baghdad.

"To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure we're ever going to have police
here that are free of the militia influence," he said.

Most of the infiltration is coming from the two large Shia militias, the
Badr Organisation that is the armed wing of the pro-Iranian Supreme
Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and the Mehdi Army, the militia
of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Shaw said about 70 percent of the Iraqi police force has been
infiltrated, and police officers are too afraid to patrol many areas of
the capital.

"None of the Iraqi police are working to make their country better,"
Brig. Gen. Salah al-Ani, chief of police for western Baghdad told
reporters recently. "They're working for the militias or to put money in
their pocket."

Dr. Nameer Hadi recently left his post at a major Baghdad hospital
because he felt threatened by the FPS.

"I saw them kill in cold blood a lady patient when they learned that she
was the wife of a Sunni tribe leader," he told IPS. "I am a Shia
believer, but this kind of crime is unbearable."

It is common knowledge in Baghdad that the FPS consists mainly of
criminals who looted banks and government offices at the beginning of
the U.S. invasion in April 2003. Many also believe that once the looters
spent the money they stole, they needed a new source of income, and they
were hired by local and regional powers for organised crime campaigns.

Iraq's interior minister Jawad al-Bolani rejected allegations last month
that Iraq's police and military have played a major role in the death
squads. He said it was the FPS, whose numbers he estimated to be
150,000, that was to blame for the astronomical level of violence.

"Whenever we capture someone, we rarely find anyone is an employee of
the government ministries," Bolani said. "They've turned out to be
mostly from the FPS."

In an interview on al-Arabiya satellite channel Oct. 21, official
spokesman of the Iraqi government Dr. Ali al-Dabbagh accepted that
security forces need to be "purified." He blamed mistakes made during
the "Bremer Period" for the current level of killings.

With attacks on government targets mounting, it is also not certain how
far the FPS has been effective in protecting facilities.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail


14) JROTC off Our Campuses!
Eric Blanc, a recent graduate from Lowell High, writes about
the current struggle to kick out JROTC from San Francisco schools.

On November 14th, the San Francisco Board of Education can make
history. On that day, a proposal will be voted on to phase out the

Junior Reserve Officer Training (JROTC) program from the S.F.
high schools. If the proposal passes, San Francisco will immediately
become an important example for other cities to kick off this
authoritarian recruitment tool of the U.S. military.

But JROTC will not go down without a fight. On November 5th,
the San Francisco Chronicle published a front-page glowing
tribute to the JROTC, warning of the proposal to "kill off the
long-standing and enormously popular course," which, it says,
is neither discriminatory nor a vehicle for military recruitment,
but merely a positive "learning experience."

So what are the facts about JROTC?

First of all, is the JROTC really "enormously popular" throughout
the city? Hardly. In fact, an independent movement of high-school
students at more than 12 schools began in August to support the
proposal in the Board of Education. A petition circulated by these
students has in a few weeks received close to 1,000 signatures.
(Petition attached below)

"As students we believe that fighting JROTC is a way to fight
the Iraq war by taking away a valuable recruitment tool for the
U.S. military," says Jack Losh, Lowell high-school student and
member of Revolution Youth, the principal youth organization
mobilizing S.F. students against the military presence
on campuses.

At Mission High School, some of the main student advocates
of the petition are Latino youth who are current members
of JROTC, who were pushed into the program without knowing
what it was -- or because their parents couldn't afford the P.E.
uniforms -- and who are unable to leave it now because
of scheduling conflicts due to the lack of space in regular
P.E. classes.

And in November 2005, S.F. voters overwhelmingly passed
Proposition I, opposing military recruiters on campuses.

What about the claim that JROTC is not a recruitment tool?
Rudy de Leon, Under Secretary of Defense, testifying before
the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Committee
On Armed Services in March 2000 admitted that, "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."

It is true that this percentage is for the time being lower
in San Francisco, but this could change in the coming period,
as the U.S. military seeks to overcome its recruitment woes
in order to continue the occupation of Iraq.

And what about the denial that JROTC is discriminatory? It is
true that in San Francisco there are openly LGBT students in J
ROTC, but these students are denied certain privileges of
joining JROTC, such as eligibility for special military scholarships
or eligibility for entering the military with higher pay. Moreover,
JROTC is intrinsically linked to, and funded by, the military,
which overtly bans openly LGTB citizens from joining.

And what about the "positive impact" of JROTC on students?
It is true that some students in San Francisco have learned
leadership skills and "found a family" in JROTC, but there
is no reason why students couldn't have a similar experience
with the new alternative program that is planned to be set
up after phasing out JROTC; the $1 million in S.F. yearly
public funding that goes to JROTC could provide the
financial base for building this new program.

What is needed now is for all students, community organizations,
progressives, and anti-war activists to mobilize in support
of the proposal to get rid of JROTC. You can help by:

1) Bringing folks to the Tuesday, November 14th, 7 p.m. Board
of Education meeting, 555 Franklin St. in San Francisco --
especially S.F. high school students and parents. We also
will need help carpooling students to and from the meeting.

2) Distributing and signing the S.F. high school student
petition against JROTC.

3) If you are a teacher, letting a student from Lowell High
make a short announcement in your class about this issue.

4) Writing to the SF Chronicle about their unbalanced coverage
on the JROTC issue. (

For more information on how you can help, please contact
Eric at 415-646-6469 and


We, San Francisco students, strongly support the proposal
by members of the Board of Education to phase out the Junior
Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program from the
San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).

We believe JROTC should be phased out because:

- We do not think that an institution aimed at recruiting
us to die and kill for senseless wars should be allowed on
our schools;

- We feel that the $1 million in San Francisco public funding
for JROTC should be put toward alternative programs such
as community service, drill team, leadership development,
etc. that are not connected to the U.S. military;

- The official policy of the SFUSD is to oppose discrimination,
and the JROTC is linked to the U.S. military, which is a profoundly
discriminatory institution, particularly against lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender individuals;

That is why we say:

- JROTC off our campuses!
- Use the funds for constructive alternative programs!
- Books not bombs!





(If you are a San Francisco high school student, please fill out this
endorsement coupon and return to If you want
petition sheets for endorsements, contact Eric at the addresses listed above.)

International Liaison Committee for a Workers International (ILC)
P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.
Tel. (415) 626-1175; fax: (415) 626-1217.
website: ILC section in


15) Israeli Shells Kill 18 Palestinians in Gaza
Filed at 10:52 a.m. ET
November 8, 2006

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israeli tank shells ripped through
a residential neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip early Wednesday,
killing at least 18 members of an extended family, including eight
children, and wounding dozens of others, health officials said.

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said that a truce with Israel was finished
and his group's militants could resume fighting. The military wing
of the Palestinians' ruling group called on Muslims around the world
to attack U.S. targets, a call disavowed by the Hamas-led Palestinian

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed regret over the deaths and,
along with Defense Minister Amir Peretz, offered ''urgent humanitarian
aid'' to the Palestinian Authority and immediate medical treatment
to the wounded.

Israel halted artillery attacks in Gaza while it investigated the
incident, but said it would press forward with operations meant
to halt Palestinian rocket fire on Israeli communities.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh suspended talks on forming
a more moderate government with Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas, and both men declared a three-day mourning period.
Abbas said the negotiations must continue.

Russia and the European Union condemned the attack.

The tank shells landed around a compound of four apartment
buildings in Beit Hanoun, the northern border town that has been
the latest focus of the Israeli offensive. Gaping holes were torn
into the structures, owned by four brothers from the al-Athamna
family who lived alongside each other. A large pool of blood collected
in front of the houses, and stairs in an outside stairway were covered
with blood.

Asma al-Athamna, 14, said her family was awakened early Wednesday
by the sound of an explosion and her mother quickly ordered
everyone out of the house.

''She was saying, 'There is shelling,''' Asma recalled.

As the family exited their home, another shell landed,
killing the girl's mother, older sister and brother-in-law.

''They were killed when they came out of our house into
the corridor. A tank shell killed them. I was behind them
and I was wounded,'' the weeping girl said from her hospital bed.

A woman's headscarf, children's boots and slippers, and a pair
of jeans -- all burnt -- were strewn outside the houses.

Khaled Radi, a health ministry official, said all the dead
belonged to the same family. More than 50 people were
wounded, 14 of them seriously, Radi said.

A military spokeswoman said artillery rounds were fired at
Palestinian rocket-launching sites, but far from the apartment

Abbas warned that Israel would have to ''shoulder all the
consequences for these crimes,'' and Haniyeh said the
Palestinians reserved the right to ''self-defense.''

Rahwi Hamad, 75, said he rushed outside after being awoken
by blasts around 5:15 a.m.

''I saw people coming out of the house, bleeding and screaming.
I carried out a young girl covered with blood,'' Hamad said.
''Inside the houses, we evacuated dismembered bodies ...
There was a smell of blood and the stench of burnt bodies.''

Weeping relatives gathered outside the homes. Thousands,
including relatives of the dead, massed outside Kamal Adwan
hospital in northern Gaza, where some of the bodies were
brought, along with. white shrouds for burial.

Hospital director Mahmoud Al-Asali said ambulances carried
three and four victims at a time, in some cases heaping
bodies over the wounded in their rush to get to the hospital.

''I have worked here as director for five years, and this
is the most terrible scene I've ever seen,'' Al-Asali said.

Mashaal said that his group's militants will answer the
deaths with ''deeds, not words.''

''The truce (with Israel) ended at the end of 2005,'' Mashaal
told a news conference in the Syrian capital. ''The armed struggle
is free to resume, and the resistance is dictated by local

The truce formally ended last year but had remained in effect.

Hamas' military wing called on Muslims around the world to target
''the American enemy.''

''America is offering political, financial and logistic cover for the
Zionist occupation crimes, and it is responsible for the Beit Hanoun
massacre. Therefore, the people and the nation all over the globe
are required to teach the American enemy tough lessons,'' Hamas
said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

Hamas has historically directed its violence against Israeli targets,
carrying out dozens of suicide attacks over the past decade
and killing dozens of Israelis, but not in recent years.

Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian
government, said the group had no intention of attacking
American targets.

The killing of Palestinian civilians in the past has often preceded
a sharp escalation of violence. A series of deadly incidents last
summer, including a June 9 explosion on a Gaza beach that killed
eight civilians, was followed by the capture of an Israeli soldier
and an ensuing Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Spontaneous demonstrations erupted across Gaza after
Wednesday's attack.

In the town of Beit Lahiya, thousands called for revenge and
chanted, ''Death to Israel! Death to America!''

Black smoke billowed into the skies over Beit Lahiya and
neighboring Jebaliaya as angry residents burned tires in protest.

Witnesses said dozens of schoolchildren hurled stones and
bottles at the empty EU mission in Gaza City, and that Palestinian
security officials were trying to prevent them from storming
the building.

Haniyeh urged the U.N. Security Council to discuss the shelling

Abbas accused Israel of trying to destroy peace, not promote it.

''This is no doubt a terrible, despicable crime that Israel has
committed against our people,'' he told Palestine TV. ''We tell
the Israelis, you are not seeking peace at all, but are destroying
all chances for peace. You must therefore bear all the consequences
of these crimes.''

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel ''has no intention
of harming innocent people,'' but ''to our great regret, in the course
of the fighting, regrettable things sometimes happen, such as the
incident this morning.''

The bloodshed in Beit Hanoun followed a weeklong Israeli takeover
of the town in pursuit of militants who launch rockets at southern
Israel. More than 50 Palestinians, most of them militants, were
killed in that operation and in clashes after the Israeli troops
withdrew early Tuesday.

''The Israeli operation throughout the Gaza Strip will continue
as long as Qassam rockets land in Israel, as long as the smuggling
of weapons into the Gaza Strip continues and as long as the Hamas
government chooses for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip
to continuously provoke Israel,'' spokewoman Miri Eisin said.


16) Cuba's Analysis of Nicaragua's Elections:

[Though it's too long to post here, I strongly urge everyone to see
the Cuban analysis of Nicaragua's elections which was written and
published BEFORE Sunday's voting. This doesn't exist elsewhere yet
in English as yet and was specially translated for CubaNews:

Ortega may have a majority in the national parliament, but with a
majority approaching 40% in the popular vote, his margin to move
any important change is extremely circumscribed. And on the other
hand, his election having now been formally certified by their
Supreme Electoral Council, it will also be difficult for the U.S.
to break relations or cut off remitances to Nicaragua, not to
speak of reviving any military fantasies Washington might have in
the short run. Monteleagre and Rizo haven't as yet accepted their
defeat, but they will soon have to do so. Perhaps Monteleagre is
awaiting his instructions from Washington in this regard. Should
Washington try to squeeze Nicaragua economically, Venezuela is in
a position to help cushion the blow. I hope that the movements of
popular activism in Nicaragua, to the extend possible, will now
do what they can to advance their own organizing and protesting
and demanding justice. Ortega, once he's installed, won't be in
any position to do much in the way of repression of protests.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews ]

November 8, 2006
Message from Fidel Castro to Daniel Ortega
Havana, November 7, 2006
Year of the Energy Revolution in Cuba

Dear Daniel:

The grandiose Sandinista victory fills our people with joy, while
at the same time casts dishonour on the terrorist and genocidal
government of the United States. This is why you and the heroic
people of Nicaragua deserve our warmest congratulations.

Within the people of the United States you will have many friends,
since to struggle for a better world is to struggle for a hope of
life for all peoples.

November 8, 2006
Nicaragua: Confirming the Tendency

Fifteen years after handing over the power, Daniel Ortega, head of
the Unity, Nicaragua Triumphs alliance, has all the votes he needs to
return to the House of Government of Nicaragua with the Sandinista
National Liberation Front (SNLF) and other sectors, including some of
the contras he fought against on the battlefield.

Three administrations have passed since Ortega's first mandate. They
opened the door to neoliberalism and dismantled the main triumphs of
the Sandinista revolution which fought illiteracy from its earliest
years and opened schools and healthcare centres throughout the

They were 15 years of attacks from the rightwing at the ideological
and media levels. The SNLF was blamed for thousands of deaths that
occurred during the dirty war provoked by Washington and for the
economic problems caused by that unequal conflict.

Three elections passed with the same bombardment: Daniel will bring
war, the Sandinistas will make military service compulsory, and other
lies to which were added pressure from Washington and their threats
to limit remittances sent by Nicaraguans living in the United Sates
-one of the principal revenue sources of the country and vital for
thousands of families.

The scene was repeated again this time as the Bush administration
used fear tactics. However, this time the circumstances were

"We are going to review our relations [with Nicaragua] if Ortega
wins," said everyone from US Trade Secretary Condoleezza Rice, to
Carlos Gutierrez, to Senator Dan Barton, and even to former
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, who brought with him some ghosts
from the past, including the Iran-contras scandal.

Everyone was urging people not to vote for Daniel Ortega and even US
senators proposed to cut remittances to Nicaragua and asked the Bush
administration to reinstate the blockade against Nicaragua that was
used by his father, the former Reagan vice president and then
president, George Bush.

The first sign of a possible Sandinista victory was given by the US
embassy itself. Soon after the first results of the elections began
to filter through, they quickly questioned the impartiality and
transparency of the elections on some alleged "anomalies."

It wasn't coincidental that the delegation of US "observers" was led
by the US ambassador in Managua, Paul Trivelli, who was fully
committed over the last months to intervene in the electoral

Trivelli and other officials promoting the Bush administration's
intervention prompted the Organization of American States to issue
two statements, in September and October that criticized the US
interference in the elections.

On election day, the opinions of the US observers contrasted with
those of the international observers, including the European Union,
the OAS and others from Latin America.

It turned out that this was the last shot by the Bush administration
to avoid the vote for change in a Nicaragua that saw a sharp increase
in illiteracy after the Sandinistas had managed to reduce illiteracy
to its lowest levels; in the Nicaragua of thieving presidents, where
poverty had reached 80 percent of the population while the macro
economic reports were applauded by the International Monetary Fund.

The big loser in the land of Sandino was neoliberalism and its
executors, including corruption, inefficiency and the quarrels
derived from the larceny that divided the Constitutional Liberal
Party, the party of former president Arnoldo Aleman, found guilty of

The victory of the FSLN is another confirmation of the winds of
change blowing through the continent, although they are not always
shown at the ballot box.

Daniel Ortega Officially Proclaimed Nicaragua's President-Elect

Managua, November 7 - Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council (CSE)
officially confirmed Daniel Ortega as president-elect of the country
after tallying 91.48 percent of the votes.

With 38.07 percent of the 2,244,215 valid votes, Ortega holds a 9
percent lead over his closest rival, former banker Eduardo
Montealegre from the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN), with 29
percent. In third is the candidate from the Constitutional Liberal
Party (PLC), former Vice President Jose Rizo, with 26.21 percent.

After the fifth and final count delivered by the CSE, Montealegre
conceded defeat and congratulated the winning candidate.


CARACAS, November 7- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez phoned
Nicaragua's president elect Daniel Ortega Tuesday night to
congratulate him on his victory.

"Congratulations to you, to the Sandinistas and to all Nicaraguans.
We are very proud of you [.], a Bolivarian and Sandinista hug to you
all," said Chavez.

Ortega replied, "We send you an embrace from the Sandinista people to
the Bolivarian people and particularly to the Venezuelan president,
our dear brother Hugo Chavez," reported AFP.

Send list submissions to:


Contact: Carl Davidson - CAWI (312) 415-2499;
Wick Swanton - MK Communications (312) 822-0505;

CHICAGO (Nov 8, 2006) - Huge numbers of voters across the state
of Illinois, wherever antiwar referendums appeared on the ballot,
voted to stop the war and 'immediately begin an orderly and rapid

At midnight, in the City of Chicago, with 75 percent of precincts
reporting, the margin was 80 percent to 20 percent--338,000
'Yes' and 84,000 'No'. The tallies were similar thoughout suburban
Cook County, where towns like Evanston and Oak Park had the
measure on the ballot as well

'Countywide Public Policy Referenda #3' is a non-binding
referendum on the war which asks voters: "Shall the United
States Government immediately begin an orderly and rapid
withdrawal of all its military personnel from Iraq, beginning
with the National Guard and Reserves?" The ballot measure,
which mirrors similar resolutions passed by more than 100
city councils nationwide, including the Chicago City Council,
as well as the AFL-CIO, is non-binding, meaning a "yes" vote
is simply the decision of the voter to show their support
for a stop-the-war stand.

The placement of the referendum on the War in Iraq on the
Cook County ballot is the work of Chicagoans Against War
and Injustice (CAWI), its citywide network of neighborhood
affiliates and allied peace groups. CAWI has been mobilizing
against Bush's Iraqi misadventure since its first demonstration
in October 2002, Also joining their effort were dozens
of suburban anti-war groups that are part of the Illinois
Coalition for Peace and Justice (ILCPJ) .

Other outstate cities had similar outcomes:

DeKalb-yes 58%
Geneva-Yes 52%
Aurora-Yes 58%
Riverside-Yes 62%
Downers Grove-Yes 55%
Whiteside 58%
Springfield 59%
Berwyn 70%
Oak Park 75%

"Millions have demonstrated against the war, hundreds of towns
and cities have passed resolutions against the war; now we
have given about halfthe voters across the state a chance
to vote their opinion directly in this critical national election,"
said Carl Davidson, Co-Chair of CAWI. "Some say advisory
votes like this don't matter, but they actually matter a great
deal in expressing and shaping public opinion. This is only
one action among many, but they all add up."

"This sends a strong message to public officials--both
Democrat and Republican--who may have privately
opposed or doubted Bush and the war, but were concerned
about popular support for a tougher antiwar stand," added
Marilyn Katz, who with Davidson and other activists initiated
CAWI in the fall of 2002. "Now they know there is an insurgent
antiwar majority out there, and its time to speak and
act for them forcefully and effectively."

Since its founding, CAWI has organized dozens of peace rallies,
forums and voter drives enabling thousands of ordinary,
everyday Chicagoans to speak out against the Iraq War and
other social injustices, as well as working with the Chicago
City Council and other councils throughout the nation
to oppose the war.

The Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice, founded in
April 2006, is the coming together of more than 90 justice,
community, faith-based, student and labor groups in Illinois.
Acting in a broad non-partisan alliance, ILCPJ hopes to end
US military actions and shift resources to social justice
around the world.

For more information on the Illinois Coalition for Peace
and Justice or the November 7th resolution, please visit


18) Army’s New Battle Cry Aims at Potential Recruits
“Army strong” is the theme of a campaign that the Army plans
to announce formally today. The effort, with a budget estimated
at $1.35 billion in the next five years, will appear in traditional
media like television as well as nontraditional outlets like blogs,
social networking Web sites and chat rooms.
November 9, 2006

[One of my first jobs upon arriving in S.F. in 1966 was as a clerk-typist at
McCann/Ericson Ad Agency. It was my first and only job at an ad agency.
In the break room, in the refrigerator, were what looked like ice cream
sundays. But I found out to my chagrin that, in actuality, they were made
with shaving cream and mineral oil (to make them glisten.) That's when
I realized that what you see from an ad agency is not what you get--
buyer beware!]

A PRIZED goal of Madison Avenue is to link a brand to a desirable
quality or attribute: Ford trucks with toughness, Coca-Cola with
refreshment, FedEx with reliability. Now comes a major effort from
one of the oldest brands of all, the Army, to lay claim to the concept
of strength.

“Army strong” is the theme of a campaign that the Army plans
to announce formally today. The effort, with a budget estimated
at $1.35 billion in the next five years, will appear in traditional
media like television as well as nontraditional outlets like blogs,
social networking Web sites and chat rooms.

The campaign is being produced by nine agencies, eight of them
part of the McCann Worldgroup division of the Interpublic
Group of Companies.

The Army is confronting the challenge of continuing to fill its
ranks with recruits amid the war in Iraq. Since the war began,
the Army has had the most difficulty of any branch of the armed
forces in meeting recruitment quotas. “Army strong” is intended
not only to appeal to potential recruits but to encourage soldiers
to re-enlist.

“It reflects what’s built into the U.S. Army soldier,” said Lt. Gen.
Robert L. Van Antwerp, commanding general of the Army accessions
command, who oversees recruiting.

“There’s a strength built into you through training, teamwork,”
he added, “and this kind of service makes a difference in your life.”

•McCann wrested the Army account last December from Leo Burnett
Worldwide, part of the Publicis Groupe, which had handled the
assignment since 2000. Burnett created the theme “An army
of one,” which met with a less enthusiastic reaction than the
long-running theme it replaced, “Be all you can be.”

The decision to adopt “Army strong” as a theme came as the Army
made its recruiting goals for the 2006 fiscal year, which ended
on Sept. 30, General Van Antwerp said. The change was not done
out of necessity, he said, but because the new theme “resonated
well with recruits, and extremely well with our Army.”

“Every soldier can stand up and tell you why they’re strong,” he said.

The Army announced the decision to change themes at a news
conference last month. Afterward, some new commercials were
quietly put up on the YouTube Web site, which is popular with the
youthful target audience the Army is seeking.

The commercials, which will now run on television, depict actual
soldiers and their families, as an announcer offers examples
of what General Van Antwerp called the idea of “elevated strength.”

The announcer, the actor Josh Charles, begins by asserting, “There’s
strong, and then there’s Army strong.” He continues: “It is not just
the strength to obey, but the strength to command. Not just strength
in numbers, the strength of brothers. Not just the strength to lift, the
strength to raise. Not just the strength to get yourself over, the strength
to get over yourself.”

Commercials that feature soldiers and their families take a similar
tack. “You made them strong,” Mr. Charles declares, addressing
the parents of potential recruits. “We’ll make them Army strong.”

Brand and corporate identity consultants offered mixed opinions
on the approach. In wartime, an Army campaign “has to do more
than recruit; it has to reaffirm,” said Jonah Disend, chief executive
at Redscout, a brand strategy company.

The subtext is, ‘What does not kill you makes you stronger,’ ”
he added, “and if you survive, you will be incredibly strong.”

Marc E. Babej, president of Reason Inc., a brand and corporate
strategy consultant, said: “ ‘There’s strong, and then there’s
Army strong’ has a sense of elitism. To me, that belongs more
to the Marines, the few and the proud.”

On the other hand, Mr. Babej said, the new theme “certainly
has more attitude than ‘Be all you can be,’ which may be attractive
to those who are 18, 19, 20 years old” and considering joining
the Army.

A video clip played at the news conference last month, illustrating
what the “Army strong” campaign might look like, made indirect
reference to Iraq. In one scene, for example, soldiers were
glimpsed training in a desert setting. The video clip remains
on but the new campaign, at least initially,
will not address the war.

“We certainly didn’t want to avoid the subject,” said George
Dewey, senior vice president and group creative director at
McCann Erickson Worldwide, one agency working on the account.
“There’s absolutely no avoiding it.”

“But we wanted to focus on the timeless qualities of the Army,”
he added, like “the strengths you take away from being a soldier,
which help us in the present conflict and help you live your life.”

General Van Antwerp said that additional parts of the campaign
might reflect that “the likelihood you’re going to deploy”
if you join the Army “is a fact.”

“It is a dangerous world, no question,” he said, adding that one
of his three sons “is deployed right now and at one time all three
were in Iraq.”

In addition to YouTube and a special Web site, (,
the campaign will also be on the MySpace social networking Web
site (, General Van Antwerp said. In September,
the Air Force took down a profile it put up on MySpace, partly
because of concerns about inappropriate content.

“We’re aware of that and we’ll keep an eye on it,” General
Van Antwerp said, adding that it was worth the risk because
“the Web has become an essential part of what we do” to reach
younger Americans.

That strategy was endorsed by Drew Neisser, president and
chief executive at the Renegade Marketing Group, part of Dentsu.

“Given the age of the target, it’s a no-brainer,” he said. “If you
think of the chasm between the Army and its prospects, social
networking is great at breaking that down.”

The other McCann Worldgroup agencies working on the campaign
are: Casanova Pendrill, for efforts aimed at Hispanics; the I. W. Group,
for Asian-Americans; Momentum, for sponsorships and event
marketing; MRM Worldwide, for digital and direct marketing; NAS
Recruitment, for medical recruiting; Universal McCann, for media
planning and buying; and Weber Shandwick, for public relations.

The ninth agency is Carol H. Williams Advertising, for efforts aimed
at potential black soldiers.


19) Tell Me How Long It Is . . . or Get It Stuck in Iraq:
The Left Decides What the "Real Issues" Are
by Patricia Alessandrini
November 6, 2006

[This is a very interesting article. My only question is, "Which left?"
It's discouraging when all the left is put into one bundle when,
in fact, most of these arguments to minimize sexual
scandal comes from the politicians themselves--the guilty
parties and their "supporters." In fact, I would wager to
guess that most of those "left" are from the Democratic
Party who, obviously because of Clinton's disgusting history,
don't want to bring sexual scandal up for fear of demoralizing
voters and further convincing them that they really have no
choices in these ridiculously undemocratic elections between
two war-mongering parties that only represent the wealthy elite.
Both these parties represent the "men in power" and the few
women of these parties who are elected have no intentions of challenging
that power because that is their base! The years when Diane
Feinstein was Supervisor then Mayor of San Francisco she did
all she could to thwart the childcare movement and the
women's liberation movement. She was pro-choice but against
funding programs for abortion and birth-control for the poor.
And, after a ballot initiative for childcare in S.F. won overwhelmingly,
she put it back on the ballot--using her millions to defeat it
the next year! Many dedicated activists on the left spent years battling
the likes of Feinstein--especially on antiwar and women's
liberation issues!]

The fact that the mainstream media in America has covered the
Foley affair in an irresponsible manner does not exempt those
on the Left from engaging in an intelligent manner with the issues
raised by this so-called "sex scandal": on the one hand, the
disregard for the rule of law by those in power; and, closely
connected to this disregard for the rule of law, the continuing
degradation of conditions in the American workplace, which
has led to a banalization of sexual harassment.

In a moment when the constitution is being undermined and
international law flouted by the US Government, why is it trivial
for the Left to call out the administration and its allies for
their arrogant disregard for the rule of law? Why shouldn't
we be outraged that Foley assumed that the laws he drafted
wouldn't apply to him, and that the Republican leadership
wasn't interested in complying with Title VII protections
against sexual harassment as workplace discrimination?
The American Left has missed this important opportunity
to open a discussion on sexual harassment -- and more
generally, discrimination -- in the workplace, partly in order
not to seem "hypocritical" or "partisan" in light of its misplaced
defense of former President Clinton's exploitative behavior.

One honorable exception to this silence was the Ms. Magazine
article "Teen Workplace Harassment & the Foley Scandal --
The Untold Story" by Debra Katz and Justine F. Andronici.
Unfortunately, the Ms. Magazine piece does not make the
larger point: workers, especially young ones, tend not to
re-vindicate legal protections (even if they are aware of
them) from sexual harassment and other forms of abuse
and discrimination because they find themselves in an
extremely weak position vis-à-vis their employers due
to the decline of labor organization and the rise of job
instability. It is important to remember that during the
huge protests, university shut-downs, and other actions
that took place throughout France last year, in opposition
to loosening labor regulations for those under the age
of 26, one of the arguments raised by protesters was
that young people would be susceptible to workplace
abuses, including sexual harassment, since they would
no longer be able to speak out for fear of losing their
jobs. In America, where workers are routinely fired
at a moment's notice, should anyone be surprised
that sexual harassment is rampant? So why does the
Left fail to see the banalization of sexual harassment
as just another sign of the humiliation of American
workers, along with the drop in real wages
and waning benefits?

And why do some on the Left contribute to this
banalization by saying, in essence, this is just about
sex, let's get on with more serious business? (See,
for instance, James Petras, "Elections In The USA:
Justice And The Perversion of Justice.") Reflection
on and analysis of this affair does not prevent one
from addressing what some polls identify to be the
number one concern of Americans as election-day
approaches (and this very fact means that the Left
should also stop bashing the public for caring only
about "sex scandals"): the war in Iraq. Clearly, the
Bush Administration has systematically disregarded
the rule of law on national and international levels
in the course of the invasion and occupation of Iraq,
and more generally in its "war on terror." It would
be absurd for the Left to suggest that Americans
and US residents should submit to unwarranted
searches of their telephone records because the
battle to preserve the right to privacy is less
important than that of preserving habeas corpus
within the fight against the "war on terror" policies
of this administration; rather, these issues are seen
as all of a piece in terms of constitutional protections.
So why is protection from discrimination not included
in this image of a free society? Should we be free but
not equal? Should the powerful be free and the
powerless silent? Why is this abuse of power --
and what image of a difference in power and access
to power could be more striking than a Congressman
and his underage page, or a page's parents and the
Republican leadership of the House -- not treated
as exemplary of the lack of accountability to the
American people on the part of the Republican
majority, shielded as it is by an illegitimate,
criminal administration?

Finally, if this case reflects the plight of countless
workers (and in particular, non- or under-paid interns)
whose recourse to legal action has been weakened
as labor rights have been undermined, it also illuminates
the mechanisms of the economic draft that supplies the
"volunteer" military forces fighting the war in Iraq. How
can the Left convince young people with limited means
not to enlist in the military, in order to gain what the
armed forces fraudulently promise them -- health
benefits, educational opportunities, a living wage,
and some degree of job stability -- without taking
an active interest in how these underprivileged individuals
will fare on the job market if they do not enlist, and
under what kind of conditions they will be working
if they do indeed find employment? One of the reasons
the Republicans were able to cynically exploit John
Kerry's recent botched joke (aimed at Bush, but
misconstrued as referring to the military personnel
serving in Iraq) is that underprivileged Americans
are truly afraid that a lack of opportunities, particularly
in higher education and vocational training, will get
their children "stuck in Iraq" in the absence of other
options. Those on the Left who would prefer to look
the other way when faced with labor discrimination
and abuse, add insult to the widespread injustice being
done to the working people of America, while allowing
the war machine to feed at its leisure on the underclasses.

Patricia Alessandrini is a PhD student at Princeton University.
She has been a French resident for the past three years,
pursuing her career as a composer in Paris. She can be
reached at:


20) Bechtel Departure Removes More Illusions
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches

*BAGHDAD, Nov 9 (IPS) - The decision of the giant engineering company
Bechtel to withdraw from Iraq has left many Iraqis feeling betrayed. In
its departure they see the end of remaining hopes for the reconstruction
of Iraq.*

"It is much worse than in the time of Saddam Hussein," Communist Party
member Nayif Jassim told IPS. "Most Iraqis wish Saddam would be back in
power now that they lived out the hardships of the occupation. The
Americans did nothing but loot our oil and kill our people."

Bechtel, whose board members have close ties to the Bush administration,
announced last week that it was done with trying to operate in the
war-torn country. The company has received 2.3 billion dollars of Iraqi
reconstruction funds and U.S. taxpayer money, but is leaving without
completing most of the tasks it set out to.

On every level of infrastructure measurable, the situation in Iraq is
worse now than under the rule of Saddam Hussein. That includes the 12
years of economic sanctions since the first Gulf War in 1991, a period
that former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Dennis Halliday
described as "genocidal" for Iraqis.

The average household in Iraq now gets two hours of electricity a day.
There is 70 percent unemployment, 68 percent of Iraqis have no access to
safe drinking water, and only 19 percent have sewage access. Not even
oil production has matched pre-invasion levels.

The security situation is hellish, with a recent study published in the
prestigious British medical journal Lancet estimating 655,000 excess
deaths in Iraq as a result of the invasion and occupation.

The group Medact recently said that easily treatable conditions such as
diarrhoea and respiratory illness are causing 70 percent of all child
deaths, and that "of the 180 health clinics the U.S. hoped to build by
the end of 2005, only four have been completed -- and none opened."

A proposed 200 million dollar project to build 142 primary care centres
ran out of cash after building just 20 clinics, a performance that the
World Health Organisation described as "shocking."

Iraqis are complaining louder now than under the sanctions. Lack of
electricity has led to increasing demand for gasoline to run generators.
And gasoline is among the most scarce commodities in this oil-rich country.

"We inherited an exhausted electricity system in generating stations and
distributing nets, but we were able to supply 50 percent of consumer
demand during heavy load periods, and more than that during ordinary
days," an engineer with the Ministry of Electricity told IPS.

"The situation now is much worse and it seems not to be improving
despite the huge contracts signed with American companies. It is strange
how billions of dollars spent on electricity brought no improvement
whatsoever, but in fact worsened the situation."

The engineer said "we in the ministry have not received any real
equipment for our senior stations, and the small transformers for the
distributing nets were of very low standard."

Bechtel's contract included reconstruction of water treatment systems,
electricity plants, sewage systems, airports and roads.

Two former Iraqi ministers of electricity were charged with corruption
by the Iraqi Commission of Integrity set up under the occupation. One of
them, Ayham al-Samarraii, was sentenced to jail but was taken away by
his U.S. security guards. He insisted that it was not he who looted the
ministry's money.

Managers at water departments all over Iraq say that the only repairs
they managed were through UN offices and humanitarian aid organisations.
The ministry provided them with very little chlorine for water
treatment. New projects were no more than simple maintenance moves that
did little to halt collapsing infrastructure.

Bechtel was among the first companies, along with Halliburton, where
U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney once worked, to have received fixed-fee
contracts drawn to guarantee profit.

Ahmed al-Ani who works with a major Iraqi construction contracting
company says the model Bechtel adopted was certain to fail.

"They charged huge sums of money for the contracts they signed, then
they sold them to smaller companies who resold them again to small
inexperienced Iraqi contractors," Ani told IPS. "These inexperienced
contractors then had to execute the works badly because of the very low
prices they get, and the lack of experience."

Some Iraqi political analysts, rather optimistically, look at Bechtel's
departure from a different angle.

"I see the beginning of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq," Maki al-Nazzal
told IPS. "It started with Bechtel and Haliburton's propaganda, and
might end with their escape from the field. They came with Bremer and
introduced themselves as heroes and saviours who would bring prosperity
to Iraq, but all they did was market U.S. propaganda."

U.S. President George W. Bush told reporters on a visit to Iraq last
June: "You can measure progress in megawatts of electricity delivered.
You can measure progress in terms of oil sold on the market on behalf of
the Iraqi people."

By his standards, the position in Iraq is now much worse.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


21) Howard Zinn on Activism
The permanent link for the audio program:

“[A]fter all, and this is a very important thing to understand, the
power of governments and the power of all large entities like
corporations, rests and depends upon the obedience of people. The
government and the military, as powerful as they are, cannot carry
out a war.” - Howard Zinn, speaking on the necessity of activism with
Sunny Miller, Executive Director of Traprock Peace Center (August,

This fascinating 22 minute conversation by one of the great thinkers
and activists of our time
is available for download at

Dr. Zinn encouraged activism in peace and justice movements, both for
the sake of society and for the sake of ourselves.

“Historically we can point to the successes of these movements [such
as civil rights and against the Vietnam War]….I think the other thing
that is important to tell people who perhaps are on the verge of
becoming active but are not sure what it will mean to their lives,
and what sacrifices they will have to make. I think what is important
for them to know is that there is nothing more satisfying than to
participate with other people in a struggle or a good cause. That
whatever sacrifices may be required of you, whatever troubles you may
go through, whatever threats may be made to you, once you have been
part of such a movement, you will never forget it. It will be a high
point of your life. There is nothing so satisfying as getting
together with other people who believe in peace and justice."

The audio is copyright 2006 Traprock Peace Center; all rights
reserved. Audio may be downloaded for free for non-profit use; it may
not be edited or copied for sale without permission of Traprock
Peace Center. Radio stations and websites may replay it in its
entirety only, with attributions to the participants and to Traprock
Peace Center as producer. Any replay must refer to Traprock’s
copyright. Permission to replay is not necessary, but notice of
replay is required to

The MP3 audio is 22:14 minutes, recorded at 128 kbps mono, and with a
file size of 20.4 mb. This phone interview was conducted and recorded
in August, 2006 by Sunny Miller, Executive Director of Traprock Peace


22) The Court and Abortion
New York Times Editorial
November 11, 2006

The Supreme Court unnecessarily returned to the politically charged
area of abortion this week, hearing arguments in a case testing some
of the core principles of Roe v. Wade and the court’s own credibility
as an institution removed from politics.

At issue, once again, is a deceptively broad ban on so-called partial-
birth abortions. The court struck down a similar measure just
six years ago, but since then two new justices have arrived.
In the interest of women’s privacy and health — and in defense
of the court’s own reputation — the justices should strike down
this far-reaching assault on reproductive freedom.

In 2000, the court struck down a nearly identical Nebraska law
for essentially two reasons. It found that the law’s imprecise
language applied not just to a single late-term abortion method
— as the ban’s supporters claimed — but would criminalize other
common abortion procedures that are constitutionally protected.
The court also ruled that the law was unconstitutional because
it provided no exception to protect a woman’s health.

In a cynical move in 2003, Congress passed a law remarkably
similar to the one the court had just struck down — with a definition
of the procedures it was outlawing about as sweeping as Nebraska’s.
Defying the Supreme Court, moreover, Congress refused to include
an exception for protecting the health of the woman. Instead,
it simply made the medically inaccurate assertion that the ill-
defined procedure it outlawed was never necessary to preserve
a woman’s health. Every lower federal court that has considered
the Congressional ban has held it to be unconstitutional.

If Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who cast the deciding vote in 2000,
had not retired, it is highly unlikely the court would have agreed to
entertain this rerun. But without her, it is not clear that there are still
five votes to defeat this assault on Roe , or to uphold the bedrock
requirement that abortion restrictions have an exception
for protecting a woman’s health.

It seems unlikely that Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Samuel
Alito will provide the fifth vote. That means that Justice Anthony
Kennedy, the current swing justice, is likely to decide this case.
In 2000, Justice Kennedy joined those who would have upheld
the Nebraska law. But at oral argument his questions suggested
that he may take issue with Congress’s assertion that the ban
would not put women’s health at risk — an encouraging sign.

Even justices who oppose abortion rights need to be concerned
about that. They also need to worry about how the court will look
if the recent change in its membership produces a starkly different
result on an issue so vital to women’s privacy and health.


23) Foreign Sales by U.S. Arms Makers Doubled in a Year
[U.S. arms its allies while turning a pretty]
November 11, 2006

Sales of military weapons by United States contractors to foreign
governments doubled in the last year, as countries like Pakistan,
Australia and Greece stepped up purchases of armaments and the
United States government loosened policies to allow more American
weapons to be sold on the world market.

A total of $21 billion in arms sales agreements were signed from
September 2005 to September 2006, compared with $10.6 billion
in the previous year, according to new data compiled by the Pentagon.
Foreign military sales agreements have typically ranged from
$10 billion to $13 billion a year since 2001.

A number of factors are behind the surge in sales. Since
Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration has used arms sales
as a way to reward allies and cement international relationships.
Middle Eastern countries, flush with oil revenues, have
become big buyers.

Countries like India, Pakistan and Indonesia that were once
barred from buying American weapons have had those bans
lifted, and some have placed big orders.

For military contractors, the sales have provided a welcome
source of new revenue at a time when the Pentagon
has indicated that the era of record military budgets is ending.

Because many of the weapons sold overseas are mature
products, the profit margins to American arms makers
are high, since the initial development costs have long
been recuperated.

And in the case of some planes, like the F-16 Fighting Falcon
fighter jet and the C-17 Globemaster cargo plane, foreign
military sales are a way to keep open production lines that
might close for lack of Pentagon orders.

“There have been a remarkable number of orders placed,”
said Howard Rubel, an analyst at Jeffries & Company.
“It’s another arrow in the quiver of military contractors.”

One of the biggest orders was placed by Pakistan, which
had been barred from buying most American weapons
because of its nuclear program. That ban was lifted last
year and the country placed a $5 billion order for advanced
F-16 jets made by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

A similar ban on India was also lifted, opening up a potentially
lucrative market to American contractors. India is currently
looking to buy up to 126 new fighter jets, and American
contractors have been flying to India to show off their wares.

Oil profits are also behind some of the orders. Saudi Arabia
said in July that it planned to spend $5.8 billion on American
weapons to modernize its National Guard and will also put
in more than $3 billion in orders for Black Hawk helicopters,
Abrams and Bradley armored land vehicles, new radio systems
and other weapons.

In the gulf region, Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates
have filed plans to buy Black Hawk helicopters — for a total
of $1 billion. Oman plans to buy a $48 million anti-tank missile
system. The Emirates plans to buy rocket artillery equipment
and military trucks for $752 million and Bahrain will purchase
Javelin missiles for $42 million.

Bahrain alone has accounted for $1 billion in foreign military
sales in the five years since 9/11.

“The rise in oil prices has allowed countries like Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates to increase their arms purchases
dramatically,” said William Hartung, director of the arms trade
project at the World Policy Institute, which is part of the
New School in New York.

For contractors, Mr. Hartung added, these sales “are a welcome
windfall, not just icing on the cake.”

These new big gulf region orders, like the Saudi deal, were
not included in the $21 billion tally for 2006. They will be
carried over into the 2007 tally and are a sign that next year
will be as robust as this one.

“We’ve got a good start on 2007,” said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey B. Kohler,
director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which
manages foreign military sales.

Besides Pakistan and India, since 9/11, bans on arms sales
have been lifted on Tajikistan, Serbia and Montenegro, Armenia
and Azerbaijan as these countries have been identified by the
State Department as critical allies in the war on terror. They have
turned into buyers, although on a much smaller scale than the
big Pakistani or Saudi orders.

Armenia, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan had no American arms
purchases before 9/11. But as a group, they have bought $32
million in weapons under the foreign military sales program,
according to statistics from the Center for Defense Information.

Foreign military sales are negotiated directly between the United
States and other governments and are overseen by the State
Department, the Pentagon and Congress.

Other strategically situated countries have also stepped up their
purchases. Nepal, for instance, bought $1.1 million of American
weapons in the full decade before 9/11, and $22 million in the
five years since.

Similarly, Yemen, Djibouti and Uzbekistan bought $16.4 million
combined in the decade before 9/11, and $73 million of American
weapons since.

“Foreign military sales are a good hedge against potential further
cuts in Pentagon procurement,” said Mark T. Esper, executive
vice president for defense and international affairs at the
Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group.

In a conference call with analysts, Christopher E. Kubasik, chief
financial officer of Lockheed, estimated that foreign sales
account for 15 percent — or $5.5 billion — of Lockheed’s
sales, which were $37 billion in 2005.

“They’re valued customers, and we plan to continue to grow
in that area,” he said.

Foreign sales have importance to military contractors beyond
the dollar value of the contract. Once a country buys a weapon
system, it will need to continue to buy spare parts or upgrades.

“In the next couple of years,” said Cai von Rumohr, an analyst
with Cowen & Company, “foreign sales as a percentage
of company revenues will be tracking up.”

Foreign sales can also keep endangered weapons programs alive.

For instance, when Boeing made some announcements that it
might begin to close production of its C-17 cargo line, Canada
and Australia quickly stepped in to place orders: Canada’s deal
is valued at $1.3 billion and Australia’s at $2 billion. Orders
for the F-16 from Turkey, Greece and Pakistan are pumping
$11 billion into that program at a time when the Air Force
is phasing out of it.

For that reason, the Aerospace Industries Association has been
pressing Congress to relax rules so more foreign deals can
be done outside of government scrutiny — an effort that has,
so far, been rebuffed in Congress.

Last month, the industry association, along with representatives
from the Boeing Company and the Northrop Grumman Corporation,
met at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington research
group, to outline their plans to pursue this effort.


24) Gaza: While the world looked elsewhere,
another week of death and misery
By Donald Macintyre In Beit Hanoun
"But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt."
Published: 11 November 2006

Majdi Saad Athamneh couldn't easily explain why he had come back
after Friday prayers yesterday to the now empty, four-storey breeze-
block building where it had all happened two days earlier. "I don't
know," he said in hesitant English. "It's the house where I was born
and lived all my life. What can I say?"

It was also, he didn't need to remind anybody, the house outside
which he had passed the most hellish 15 minutes he will ever
live through.

Forty-eight hours earlier he had been in the morgue at Kamal
Adwan hospital distraught and weeping as he wrote down the
names on a cigarette packet while the refrigeration trays were
opened in turn to reveal the bodies of his 10-year-old son,
Saad, three of his brothers and nine of his other close relatives,
lost as they tried to flee through the choking smoke and dust
from the barrage of shells fired by an Israeli artillery battery.
The puddles in the dirt road beside the building through which
the family had tried to flee were no longer dark red with blood
as they had been on Wednesday. Someone, too, had moved
the chickens killed by shrapnel from the backyard. But last
Tuesday's wash was still there, women's long dresses, a child's
frayed orange tracksuit trousers, some blouses, hanging
from poles dislodged by the blasts.

The Western world, which was anyway more interested by the
count in the state of Virginia than the catastrophe in Beit Hanoun,
has no doubt already moved on. For the Athamneh family,
now in their second day of mourning after the funerals,
it is impossible to do so.

Majdi's cousin Munir Athamneh, 36, who had lived across
the road, sat smoking a cigarette and weeping yesterday,
hunched and alone in the doorway of the building. He pointed
to the still visible patches of blood on the ground across
the alley where he had first seen, amid the confusion and
screams of panic, the bodies of his two brothers lying by the
wall. He, too, struggled to explain his presence here two
days later. "I came to see," he said simply.

Five miles away from here and an hour or so earlier, the
poverty-stricken and increasingly desperate 1.3 million
residents of Gaza had been thrown what may prove their first
real lifeline since the beginning of international economic
blockade against the new Hamas government they had elected
almost 10 months ago. Ishmail Haniyeh, the Palestinian Prime
Minister, offered publicly to step down if it was necessary
to ease the boycott. He was cheered by stunned worshippers
when he announced at a Gaza City mosque: "When the issue
of the siege is on one side, and my being Prime Minister
is on the other, let the siege be lifted to end the suffering
of the Palestinian people."

While the carnage in Beit Hanoun may have stimulated further
popular demand for the Palestinian factions to resolve their
differences in the face of external attack, it isn't the main reason
for Mr Haniyeh's declaration. It could presage the long talked
about "national unity" government which President Mahmoud
Abbas hopes will persuade the international community -
among other things - to pressure Israel to pay up the $60m
a month in duties it owes the Palestinian Authority so that
salaries can be paid to the tens of thousands of employees
on whom Gaza and West Bank income is now so disproportionately

For now at any rate, it will have little meaning for the Athamneh
family, immersed in its private grief. It is unlikely, for example,
to console Majdi's surviving brother, Ibrahim Athamneh, 26,
whose wife, lying in intensive care in Shifa, has yet to be told
that their infant daughter, Malak, is dead. Even less so 11-year-
old Mustafa Athamneh, whose mother, Nihad, 33, was killed
in the alley, whose two brothers, Yazin and Saqr, are in Shifa
hospital in Gaza City, and whose 13-year-old brother, Saeb,
has been transferred to the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv with
severe head injuries.

As friends and neighbours continued to arrive at the blue
mourning tent 150 yards from the now-deserted family home,
Mustafa, the arm of his widowed father Usama around his
shoulder, was unable to stop crying. "I have no one to play
with," he had said a few minutes earlier. "I have no one
around me."

The sense of loss and survivor guilt he will have to grow
up with is scarcely imaginable. "I was with my mother when
she fell down," he said. "I ran away. I haven't slept for two
days and nights."

Yesterday, red-eyed but eager now to get the details right,
Majdi, who had barely been able to speak on Wednesday,
described how he had rushed out into the alley with his wife
and children after the first shell hit the roof only to see Saad,
semi conscious and gasping after being struck by the second
shell, lying on the ground. He had rushed to the end of the
alley, turning right into Hamad Street, to try and summon
help or an ambulance, but was halted in his tracks by third
shell. As he turned back, a fourth shell, he said, struck the
building, killing Saad. He picked the child up in his arms and
ran back and turned left into the street. Before he could reach
the crossroad 50 metres away, a fifth landed. He believes this
was the shell which killed four of his female relatives.

The more grief stricken the family members, the less inclined
they are to mouth political slogans or, for the most part,
to engage in open debate over whether the tactic of Qassams
has brought more suffering to Palestinians than to Israelis.
But they react with near-universal disbelief at Israel's depiction
of the artillery barrage as a "technical malfunction", or at the
idea that its targeting could not have been observed in real time
by one of the units among the military presence in the vicinity.
"One or two shells might be a mistake but not 15 or 20," said
Ibrahim Al Athamneh. The number of shells was probably closer
to 12. But there is no dispute that the number of civilian deaths
from last Wednesday rose to 19 yesterday as one more man died
of his wounds. It is not lost around Hamad Street that this is more
than twice the number of Israeli civilians killed in six years
by the Qassam rockets Israel has been trying to halt.

Reflecting for a moment on the meaning of the attack, Majdi
allowed himself one political statement - a reference to the
newest Israeli Cabinet member, the hard-right nationalist
Avigdor Liberman. "It's a present for the deputy Prime Minister,"
he said. "The man who said he wanted to turn Gaza into Chechnya."

A bloody week
Two Palestinian militants are killed and several injured in an
Israeli missile strike near Jabalya.
Israeli missile aimed at a group of militants lands near a Palestinian
kindergarten, killing a teenage boy, critically wounding a teacher
and seriously wounding eight children. A female Palestinian suicide
bomber blows herself up near Israeli troops in Beit Hanoun, injuring
one soldier.
Eight Palestinians are killed by Israeli soldiers in separate incidents.
Hamas fires six rockets into Israeli town of Ashkelon. Israel says
it has completed its week-long Gaza operation in Beit Hanoun
which killed 60 gunmen and civilians.
Nineteen civilians killed in artillery barrage in Beit Hanoun, including
13 members of a single Palestinian family.
Two Palestinians reported missing after Israeli missile attack
on home of a militant leader. Israeli drones buzz funeral
of victims of Beit Hanoun attack.
The death toll from Beit Hanoun rises as Israeli hospital officials
confirm that one of the wounded transferred to Israel, has died.


FOCUS | Nat'l Guard Units to Be Sent Back to Battle in Iraq Again

Beyond the Barricades
Oaxaca at Any Cost
A CounterPunch Special Report
November 11 / 12, 2006

Marines Get the News From an Iraqi Host:
Rumsfeld’s Out. ‘Who’s Rumsfeld?’
November 10, 2006

Palestinians Bury 18 Killed in Gaza Attack
Filed at 9:23 a.m. ET
November 9, 2006
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Tens of thousands
of grief-stricken, furious Gazans flocked to an artillery-
scarred cluster of apartment buildings in the town
of Beit Hanoun on Thursday to mourn 18 civilians
killed when a barrage of Israeli shells tore through
their homes.

Afghans Losing Faith in Nation’s Path, Poll Shows
November 9, 2006

Veterans Await a Resting Place That Is Truly Final
November 9, 2006

Rumsfeld Resigns as Defense Secretary After Big Election
Gains for Democrats
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the hard-driving and
super-confident Pentagon boss who came to symbolize President
Bush’s controversial Iraq policy, is resigning, President Bush
announced today.
November 8, 2006

Drilling Deep in the Gulf of Mexico
ABOARD THE WESTERN NEPTUNE, Gulf of Mexico — Every 17 seconds,
a small armada of ships trawling 130 miles from the Louisiana coast
fire powerful air guns toward the bottom of the sea in a hunt for
the next big oil discovery.
The Neptune and three other ships are on a three-month mission
to map one of the most remote regions of the United States. The data
they collect from the vibrations set off by the guns in the gulf’s deepest
waters will help engineers form a picture of some of the world’s newest
petroleum prospects.
November 8, 2006

Massive March in Oaxaca
11/06 | Hundreds of thousands of people
filled the streets to demand Gov.'s ouster
By John Gibler

Oaxaca: November 5: The Sunday of the march.
The caravan continues in spite of the roadblocks.

Hundreds of US Soldiers Call for Iraq Withdrawal in Petition

Melting Arctic Makes Way for Man - Shipping risks ecosystem
VIDEO: Changing Face of Northwest Passage

Melting Arctic Makes Way for Man
Researchers Aboard Icebreaker Say
Shipping Could Add to Risks for
By Doug Struck
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 5, 2006; A01

Robert Fisk: This was a guilty verdict on America as well
Published: 06 November 2006

One for the Ages: A Prescription That May Extend Life
October 31, 2006

Pennsylvania: Immigrant Measure Bar Extended
A federal judge’s order temporarily blocking the City of Hazleton
from enforcing a crackdown on illegal immigrants was extended
to give both sides time to prepare for a trial. The judge, James M.
Munley of United States District Court, whose temporary restraining
order was to expire Nov. 14, extended it for up to 120 days. Two
measures approved by the City Council last month would fine
landlords who rented to illegal immigrants, deny business permits
to companies that hired them and require tenants to register with
City Hall and pay for a rental permit. Hispanic groups and the
American Civil Liberties Union filed suit, saying the measures
trampled on the government’s exclusive power to regulate
immigration. The city defends the law as necessary to protect
legal residents from crime.
November 7, 2006

New York Plans to Make Gender Personal Choice
November 7, 2006

Iraq War Will Cost More Than $2 Trillion

Israelis to Pursue Offensive in Gaza Strip
November 5, 2006

Oil, Cash and Corruption
November 5, 2006

FOCUS | Military Newspapers Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation
An editorial scheduled to appear on Monday in Army Times, Air Force
Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, calls for the resignation
of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The papers are sold
to American servicemen and women.

FOCUS | Supreme Court to Hear Major Abortion Case Next Week

Anger Joins Grief as Marine’s Family Feels Misled
November 5, 2006

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