Saturday, December 30, 2006




We make a call to the immigrant community and all those who are
in solidarity with our struggle to join us in front of the Federal Building
to protest the raids that we have been victims of and that are occurring
in different parts of the country.

They harass us as though we are animals of prey.
They lock us up in prisons for working for a miserable salary.
They steal our salaries that we earn with the sweat of our brow.
They separate us from our children leaving them traumatized for life......

We denounce the North American government for treating us like garbage
to be thrown away and taking advantage of our search for our daily bread
for their own political reasons.

We denounce the Mexican and Latin American governments for being
accomplices with the North American government for our misery and
for this involuntary exodus that has been forced upon us because
of the political, social, and economic conditions of our countries

We demand.......
To cease the immigration raids now!
To free all detained workers!
To return jobs to all those detained!
The right to all undocumented immigrants to unionize!

We demand a General and Unconditional Amnesty for all!

Protest the United States government

When: Friday, January 12, 2007
Where: 450 Golden Gate (Federal Building)
Time: 4pm to 7pm
Join in the struggle!

For more information call 415-431-9925

In Spanish:

Hace un llamado a la población emigrante y a todos las que se
solidarizan con ella a un piquete enfrente del Edificio Federal
en protesta a las redadas de que estamos siendo victimas
en diferentes partes del país.
Se nos acosa como si fuéramos animales de caza.

Se nos encierra en prisiones para trabajar por sueldos de miseria.

Se nos roban los sueldos que hemos ganado con el sudor de
nuestra frente...

Se nos separa de nuestros hijos dej*ndolos traumados de por vida......

Denunciamos al gobierno Norte Americano por tratarnos como
basura desechable y utilizar nuestra búsqueda por el pan de cada
día para sus propósitos políticos...

Denunciamos a los gobiernos de México y América latina por ser
cómplices con el gobierno de Estados Unidos de nuestra miseria
y de este éxodo involuntario que las condiciones políticas,
sociales, y económicas de nuestros países nos ha obligado
a emprender.


¡Cese a las redadas de la migra ahora!
¡Libertad a todos los trabajadores detenidos!
¡Regreso a su puesto de trabajo a todos los detenidos!
¡Derecho de los indocumentados a sindicalizarse!
¡Demandamos una Amnistía General e Incondicional para todos!

Piquete al Gobierno de Estados Unidos
Cuando: Viernes, 12 de Enero 2007
Dónde: 450 Golden Gate
Hora: 4pm a 7pm
Únete a la lucha
Para mas información llame a 415-431-9925


1) Military considers recruiting foreigners
Expedited citizenship would be an incentive
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff
December 26, 2006

Ali Abunimah
The Wall Street Journal
26 December 2006

3) Free Healthcare in Venezuela Regardless of Class
Ronald Suarez Rivas
and Alberto Borrego Avila (photos),
special envoys
December 27, 2006
Here for you in English. Not yet in English at:

4) When Iraqis Gave Up on Government
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

5) My Reflections On The Delphi Struggle In The Year Gone By
by John Goschka/UAW Local 699
December 27, 2006

6) Diamonds' Glitter Fades for a Brazilian Tribe
December 29, 2006

7) Police Officers Charged in Deaths in Hurricane's Aftermath
December 29, 2006

8) Pentagon to Request Billions More in War Money
December 30, 2006

9) Arctic Ice Shelf Broke Off Canadian Island
December 30, 2006

10) Middle School Girls Gone Wild
December 29, 2006

11) Saddam at the End of a Rope
December 30, 2006


1) Military considers recruiting foreigners
Expedited citizenship would be an incentive
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff
December 26, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting
goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks
-- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and
putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they
volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.

Foreign citizens serving in the US military is a highly charged issue,
which could expose the Pentagon to criticism that it is essentially
using mercenaries to defend the country. Other analysts voice concern
that a large contingent of noncitizens under arms could jeopardize
national security or reflect badly on Americans' willingness to serve
in uniform.

The idea of signing up foreigners who are seeking US citizenship
is gaining traction as a way to address a critical need for the Pentagon,
while fully absorbing some of the roughly one million immigrants that
enter the United States legally each year.

The proposal to induct more noncitizens, which is still largely on the
drawing board, has to clear a number of hurdles. So far, the Pentagon
has been quiet about specifics -- including who would be eligible
to join, where the recruiting stations would be, and what the minimum
standards might involve, including English proficiency. In the meantime,
the Pentagon and immigration authorities have expanded a program
that accelerates citizenship for legal residents who volunteer
for the military.

And since Sept. 11, 2001, the number of imm igrants in uniform
who have become US citizens has increased from 750 in 2001
to almost 4,600 last year, according to military statistics.

With severe manpower strains because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
-- and a mandate to expand the overall size of the military --
the Pentagon is under pressure to consider a variety of proposals
involving foreign recruits, according to a military affairs analyst.

"It works as a military idea and it works in the context of American
immigration," said Thomas Donnelly , a military scholar at the conservative
American Enterprise Institute in Washington and a leading proponent
of recruiting more foreigners to serve in the military.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grind on, the Pentagon has warned
Congress and the White House that the military is stretched "to the
breaking point."

Both President Bush and Robert M. Gates, his new defense secretary,
have acknowledged that the total size of the military must be
expanded to help alleviate the strain on ground troops, many
of whom have been deployed repeatedly in combat theaters.

Bush said last week that he has ordered Gates to come up with
a plan for the first significant increase in ground forces since the
end of the Cold War. Democrats who are preparing to take control
of Congress, meanwhile, promise to make increasing the size
of the military one of their top legislative priorities in 2007.

"With today's demands placing such a high strain on our service
members, it becomes more crucial than ever that we work
to alleviate their burden," said Representative Ike Skelton ,
a Missouri Democrat who is set to chair the House Armed
Services Committee, and who has been calling for a larger
Army for more than a decade.

But it would take years and billions of dollars to recruit, train,
and equip the 30,000 troops and 5,000 Marines the Pentagon
says it needs. And military recruiters, fighting the perception that
signing up means a ticket to Baghdad, have had to rely on financial
incentives and lower standards to meet their quotas.

That has led Pentagon officials to consider casting a wider net for
noncitizens who are already here, said Lieutenant Colonel Bryan
Hilferty , an Army spokesman.

Already, the Army and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement
division of the Department of Homeland Security have "made it
easier for green-card holders who do enlist to get their citizenship,"
Hilferty said.

Other Army officials, who asked not to be identified, said personnel
officials are working with Congress and other parts of the government
to test the feasibility of going beyond US borders to recruit soldiers
and Marines.

Currently, Pentagon policy stipulates that only immigrants legally
residing in the United States are eligible to enlist. There are currently
about 30,000 noncitizens who serve in the US armed forces, making
up about 2 percent of the active-duty force, according to statistics
from the military and the Council on Foreign Relations. About
100 noncitizens have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A recent change in US law, however, gave the Pentagon authority
to bring immigrants to the United States if it determines it is vital
to national security. So far, the Pentagon has not taken advantage
of it, but the calls are growing to take use the new authority.

Indeed, some top military thinkers believe the United States should
go as far as targeting foreigners in their native countries.

"It's a little dramatic," said Michael O'Hanlon , a military specialist
at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution and another supporter
of the proposal. "But if you don't get some new idea how to do this,
we will not be able to achieve an increase" in the size of the
armed forces.

"We have already done the standard things to recruit new soldiers,
including using more recruiters and new advertising campaigns,"
O'Hanlon added.

O'Hanlon and others noted that the country has relied before on
sizable numbers of noncitizens to serve in the military -- in the
Revolutionary War, for example, German and French soldiers
served alongside the colonists, and locals were recruited into
US ranks to fight insurgents in the Philippines.

Other nations have recruited foreign citizens: In France, the famed
Foreign Legion relies on about 8,000 noncitizens; Nepalese soldiers
called Gurkhas have fought and died with British Army forces
for two centuries; and the Swiss Guard, which protects the Vatican,
consists of troops who hail from many nations.

"It is not without historical precedent," said Donnelly, author
of a recent book titled "The Army We Need," which advocates
for a larger military.

Still, to some military officials and civil rights groups, relying on large
number of foreigners to serve in the military is offensive.

The Hispanic rights advocacy group National Council of La Raza has
said the plan sends the wrong message that Americans themselves
are not willing to sacrifice to defend their country. Officials have also
raised concerns that immigrants would be disproportionately sent
to the front lines as "cannon fodder" in any conflict.

Some within the Army privately express concern that a big push to
recruit noncitizens would smack of "the decline of the American
empire," as one Army official who asked not to be identified put it.

Officially, the military remains confident that it can meet recruiting
goals -- no matter how large the military is increased -- without
having to rely on foreigners.

"The Army can grow to whatever size the nation wants us to grow
to," Hilferty said. "National defense is a national challenge, not
the Army's challenge."

He pointed out that just 15 years ago, during the Gulf War, the Army
had a total of about 730,000 active-duty soldiers, amounting to
about one American in 350 who were serving in the active-duty Army.

"Today, with 300 million Americans and about 500,000 active-duty
soldiers, only about one American in 600 is an active-duty soldier,"
he said. "America did then, and we do now, have an all-volunteer
force, and I see no reason why America couldn't increase the number
of Americans serving."

But Max Boot, a national security specialist at the Council on Foreign
Relations, said that the number of noncitizens the armed forces have
now is relatively small by historical standards.

"In the 19th century, when the foreign-born population of the United
States was much higher, so was the percentage of foreigners serving
in the military," Boot wrote in 2005.

"During the Civil War, at least 20 percent of Union soldiers were
immigrants, and many of them had just stepped off the boat before
donning a blue uniform. There were even entire units, like the
15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry [the Scandinavian Regiment]
and General Louis Blenker's German Division, where English was
hardly spoken."

"The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal
immigrants but also to illegal ones and, as important, to untold
numbers of young men and women who are not here now but
would like to come," Boot added.

"No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period,
in return for one of the world's most precious commodities --
US citizenship. Some might deride those who sign up as
mercenaries, but these troops would have significantly different
motives than the usual soldier of fortune."

Bryan Bender can be reached at


Ali Abunimah
The Wall Street Journal
26 December 2006

President Carter has done what few American politicians
have dared to do: speak frankly about the Israel-Palestine
conflict. He has done this nation, and the cause of peace,
an enormous service by focusing attention on what he calls
"the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied
Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required
passes and strict segregation between Palestine's citizens
and Jewish settlers in the West Bank."

The 39th president of the United States, the most
successful Arab- Israeli peace negotiator to date, has
braved a storm of criticism, including the insinuation
from the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League that his
arguments are anti-Semitic.

Mr. Carter has tried to mollify critics by suggesting that
his is not a commentary on Israeli policy inside Israel's
own borders, as compared with the West Bank, Gaza Strip
and East Jerusalem -- territories Israel occupied in 1967.
He told NPR, "I know that Israel is a wonderful democracy
with equal treatment of all citizens whether Arab or Jew.
And so I very carefully avoided talking about anything
inside Israel."

Given the pressure he has faced, it may be understandable
that Mr. Carter says this, but he is wrong. In addition to
nearly four million Palestinians living under Israeli rule
in the occupied territories, another one million live
inside Israel's pre-1967 borders. These Palestinians are
descendants of those who were not forced out or did not
flee when Israel was created in 1948.

They have nominal Israeli citizenship, and unlike blacks
in apartheid South Africa, they do vote for the country's
parliament. Yet this is where any sense of equality ends.
In Israel's history, no Arab-led party has ever been asked
to join a coalition government. And, among scores of
Jewish ministers, there has only ever been one Arab
minister, of junior rank.

Discrimination against non-Jewish citizens both informal
and legalized is systematic. Non-Jewish children attend
separate schools and live in areas that receive a fraction
of the funding of their Jewish counterparts. The results
can be seen in the much poorer educational attainment,
economic, health and life outcomes of Palestinian citizens
of Israel. Much of the land of the country, controlled by
the quasi-governmental Jewish National Fund, cannot be
leased or sold to non-Jews. This is similar in effect to
the restrictive covenants that in many U.S. cities once
kept nonwhites out of certain neighborhoods.

A 2003 law stipulates that an Israeli citizen may bring a
non- citizen spouse to live in Israel from anywhere in the
world, excluding a Palestinian from the occupied
territories. A civil rights leader in Israel likened it to
the American anti-miscegenation measures from the 1950s,
when mixed race couples had to leave the state of Virginia
to marry legally.

For Palestinians, the most blatant form of discrimination
is Israel's "Law of Return," that allows a Jewish person
from any country to settle in Israel. Meanwhile, family
members of Palestinian citizens of Israel, living in
exile, sometimes in refugee camps just a few miles outside
Israel's borders, are not permitted to set foot in the

The rise of Avigdor Lieberman, the new deputy prime
minister, who openly advocates stripping Palestinians in
Israel of citizenship and transferring them outside the
state, reflects increasingly extremist politics. In
response to growing discrimination, leaders of
Palestinians inside Israel recently issued a report, "The
Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel." It
calls for Israel to become a state where all citizens and
communities have equal rights, regardless of religion.
Many Israeli commentators reacted angrily, calling the
initiative an attempt to dismantle Israel as a "Jewish
state." However, even if Mr. Carter's recommendations are
implemented, and Israel withdraws from the territories
occupied in 1967, the struggle over the legitimacy of a
state that privileges one ethno- religious group at the
expense of another will not disappear.

As other divided societies, like South Africa,
Northern Ireland and indeed our own are painfully learning, only
equal rights and esteem for all the people, in the
diversity of their identities, can bring lasting peace.
This is an even harder discussion than the one President
Carter has courageously launched, but ultimately it is one
we must confront if peace is to come to Israel-Palestine.

Ali Abunimah is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and
author of "One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the
Israeli-Palestinian Impasse" (Metropolitan Books, 2006).


3) Free Healthcare in Venezuela Regardless of Class
Ronald Suarez Rivas
and Alberto Borrego Avila (photos),
special envoys
December 27, 2006
Here for you in English. Not yet in English at:

[(An exceptionally significant report with many implications for
the political and medical situation in Venezuela, Bolivia and
beyond. What a mistake it would be to simply limit medical care
to certain sections of the city or the society. The idea that
medical care is a right for all people is a solid principle to
be understood widely and, hopefully, emulated elswhere as well.
(It's a good thing that Venezuala isn't wasting any money on any
foreign wars and occupations, and with the price of oil on the
uprise, the country can afford to provide this care to everyone.
It will, furthermore, help to undercut opposition to the Chavez
government and the Bolivarian process generally. Keep in mind
that the private fee-for-service model of medical care bitterly
resents the competion from those who believe healthcare should
be a right, not a privilege for the wealth and something which
the rest can get if they are poor enough to quality for charity,
and then only if those wo give to charity give enough.
Strengthening the working class by providing free health care,
since many don't get it through their jobs, and at the same
time winning the support of as many in the middle classes as
possible by also cutting the cost of medical care can help to
undercut support for the Venezuelan opposition as well, which
is certainly not about to go away. So not only does this give
a practical demonstration of what a socialist government can
do, but it shows an astute sense of political strategy, too.
Compare the Venezuelan experience with the Honduran:
(This is one readers should spread far and wide.)...Walter
Lippmann, ]

MIRANDA, Venezuela.- The doctor's office in the community of La
California Norte was inaugurated amid the protest of people beating
pots and pans and a shower of stones. In fact, the first patient that
same morning was a woman whose head was split open by a piece of dry
ice that somebody had thrown.


"They are communists, soldiers disguised as doctors who are coming to
brainwash people," some of the locals said of the Cuban doctors who
had come to serve at the new clinic as part of the Barrio Adentro
initiative in Venezuela that provides free neighborhood healthcare.

While among Venezuela's poor communities the program has been
received with enthusiasm, in this middle class neighborhood of the
state of Miranda it seemed that it would be impossible to establish.

To begin with, the Barrio Adentro clinics had been set up in the
poorest neighborhoods, but having a free and trusted healthcare
program was a request of all Venezuela and the clinics are starting
to spread to middle class neighborhoods.

"The Cuban doctors? They are very good. Whenever my children are sick
I bring them here for treatment," said Yolanda, a resident of La
California Norte.

Vitta, another local, suffers from high blood pressure and visits the
clinic on a daily basis to monitor her condition. "Before I had to go
to a drugstore, now I come here because I like it better, they take
good care of me and don't charge."

Despite the prevailing opposition to President Chavez in this
community, becoming part of the Barrio Adentro program was an
important step for several of the residents who came together to
create a health committee and support the project.

On May 12, 2004, when the health clinic opened, Dr. Marisol Pelaez
had already been serving the people of La California Norte for eight

"In the beginning we provided our services at a resident's home [.]
and tried to become familiar with the community to become accepted.
The first days were really hard. We barely received two or three
patients, sometimes the same people came more than once so that we
would not be sent elsewhere because of a lack of work."


But as time went by, the doctor's office turned into an essential
element within the neighborhood.

Carmen di Tercio owes her life to it. An aspirin she took caused an
adverse reaction while she was shopping at the Petare Market, and she
asked a taxi driver to take her to the Cuban doctors.

"When she arrived she was unconscious. We immediately injected her,
did an intravenous connection and she regained consciousness within a
few minutes," said Dr. Pelaez.

Yudith Silvera frequently brings some of the 20 children from the
children's nursery where she works.

Before she had to go through an insurance company, "The service was
slow and very expensive, but here they provide care to us immediately
and they are excellent."

Fear? Dr. Pelaez says, "Our commitment with Fidel, the importance
that the Venezuelan Revolution advance because of what it means to
the world and the protection afforded by so many friends made it so
we were never afraid.

"We were always accompanied by members of the health committee, who
came to protect the clinic. Many of the people that were banging the
pots and pans were just misled and confused. They had been told that
we were bringing weapons and were going to preach communism, but
little by little they were able to see the reality. They have even
apologized to us.

"Our secret is to do the best work possible and demonstrate the human
qualities of Cubans. People thank us on a daily basis for what we do
for them, the courage to be here and for leaving behind our families
to come and help them."

Everyday in the waiting room there are both Chavez supporters and
detractors, they sit together and talk while waiting for their turn.

"Before, this type of thing was impossible, without a doubt this is
part of the change that Venezuela is going through," Dr. Pelaez says.

Recently, a rehab clinic opened next door. During its inauguration
there were no pots and pans banged or stones thrown, instead there
was lots of excitement.

Fernando Roca, one of the regular patients, comments: "There are
still people who want to make life impossible for the Revolution and
even for us who live here. The mass media has poisoned them. But we
will continue struggling to make the process advance and so that what
has been built lasts."


4) When Iraqis Gave Up on Government
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec 27 (IPS) - The Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister
Noori al-Maliki, like earlier governments assigned by U.S. occupation
authorities in Iraq, appears to have killed Iraqi dreams of a brighter

General elections Dec. 15, 2005 brought in a government that was
supposed to listen to Iraqis all over the country. It was called a unity
government because the cabinet was formed to include ministers from all
ethnic and sectarian backgrounds after months of negotiations in the

"This is a unity government that no one should object to," al-Maliki
told reporters recently in Baghdad. "All of the powers in parliament
should take part in improving security and services in order to achieve

Maliki condemned groups such as Jabhat al-Tawafuq and The Iraqi Front
for National Dialogue, along with other political groups who have been
critical of the government.

Jabhat al-Tawafuq comprises three leading Sunni groups: the Iraqi
Islamic Party, the Iraqi People's Conference and the National Dialogue
Council. Their platform is based on national unity and ending the

The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue also stands for ending the
occupation, rebuilding government institutions and improving the
economic and security situation.

But opposition leaders blame Maliki for denying them a role within
government, undermining his claim that there is indeed a unity government.

"We are not really in the government," Tariq al-Hashimi, leader of the
Islamic Party, and one of Iraq's two vice-presidents told IPS earlier.
"Maliki and his coalition never gave us any real role in the government,
and our ministers' actions are therefore paralysed."

Hashimi's group, like other Sunni groups and also some moderate Shia
groups, are nearly voiceless in the feeble Iraqi government.

The dominant Shia coalition was formed in accordance with advice from
Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the revered Shia cleric who
lives in Najaf in the south. This coalition of Shia parties was formed
to secure power against a list of secular parties led by former interim
prime minister Iyad Allawi who formed 'The Iraqi List'.

The power of the Shia coalition forced reluctant Sunnis to participate
in the elections by banding together with their own list in order to win
the votes of Sunnis. The entire political process was divided along
religious and sectarian lines, and along ethnic lines because the
Kurdish list included all of the Kurdish parties.

Given this background, few Iraqis are surprised that their government is
fractured and fragmented, and at odds with itself.

"This government will definitely lead the country into disaster," Dr.
Salih al-Mutlaq, leader of The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue told
IPS earlier. "The country will slide into civil war if this sectarian
attitude remains, and that is why we decided not to participate in this

Former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, with the support of Shia
cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, took over April 7, 2005. But Jaafari was
rejected by all other groups, and also by some parties within the Shia
coalition for his failure to lead the country.

Maliki was then assigned the job of prime minister on condition of fair
distribution of in the cabinet amongst winners, and fair treatment to
all Iraqis regardless of their religious or ethnic identity.

"Things only got worse, and this government and parliament won the title
of the worst in the history of Iraq," Thafir al-Ani from al-Tawafuq told
IPS. "The whole system needs to be changed, or else the country will be
divided into small states, and the catastrophe will be too vast to be

Al-Ani cited recent polls to say that more than 90 percent of Iraqis are
angry with the government. People continue to blame the government for
everything going wrong from the high level of violence to lack of
employment and of water and electricity.

One of the darkest clouds of illegitimacy over the Iraqi government is
the alignment of top officials with the Sadr Movement, which has been
accused of backing most of the sectarian death squads that are now the
leading cause of death in Iraq.

"This government failed on all the promises it made to Iraqis, and so
all Iraqis want it changed," Muhammad Basher al-Faidhy, spokesman for
the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars told IPS. "They are sorry they
ever took part in the elections. Our Association warned Iraqis that this
government would be the worst ever. They simply cannot get rid of death
squads because they are their major ally."

Most Iraqis see no future for Maliki's struggling government, which
barely controls the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad where its offices
are located. The rest of the country is fragmented, and the economy and
infrastructure are in ruins.

"They are going down despite the huge support they are getting from the
U.S. administration," Iraqi analyst Maki al-Nazzal told IPS. "They are
faced by an international denial after their resounding failure in
facing the deteriorating security situation and the comprehensive
collapse in services and reconstruction."

On the other hand, the Sadr movement finds itself in a strong enough
situation to turn away from al-Maliki and his Dawa Party. Sadr leaders
are now calling for early elections, and they are confident of winning
without other support, says their spokesman Hassan al-Zarqani.

"It seems that the United States have chosen the wrong ally once more,"
Zarqani told IPS. "So they will have to reconsider yet again." Sadr had
recently pulled his representatives from the government, but they came back.

Meanwhile, another crisis has arisen. Grand Ayatollah Sistani announced
last week that he will not support a U.S.-backed plan to build a
coalition across sectarian lines. The plan would have sought to
marginalise Muqtada al-Sadr by dividing the Shias.

Resistance to the occupation is rising, on the streets and politically,
as support for the government falls. Not a promising start to 2007.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail


5) My Reflections On The Delphi Struggle In The Year Gone By
by John Goschka/UAW Local 699
December 27, 2006

Good morning brothers and sisters, hero's of the workers and retirees
in this great world that we live in.

I would like too take the time to reflect on my thoughts on the labor
struggles during this past year. Every day that passes is history when
the new day arrives. Thus the years pass also. It's history and gone
forever. We will never be able to relive any of those days, but we
can and should learn from them.

We at Delphi have experienced what happens when the Devil himself
comes to town. The fears, emotional swings, the utter feelings of
helplessness. The few did rise up against this corruption, and indeed
they would be heard. But, what about the vast majority of the
workers and retirees? They would set the sidelines and believe
in our UAW IEB to defend us through concessions.

Even as the storm clouds darkened and we saw our brothers and
sisters in other industries losing their jobs and being thrown out
too the wolves, we could not unite the workers and retirees too
stop this great RAPE that we are experiencing. The CEO's are
rolling and playing in their new found riches, and they are being
given unconscionable bonuses and stock options.

The rich can't take their money with them when their life is over
here on earth. Yet, they can't seem to get enough of it. They will
suck the lifeblood from the poor to enhance their own egos and
bellies. They will steal billions of dollars from the workers and
then donate pennies to worthwile causes and "SHOUT, SEE,
WE CARE". Where there is no conscience, there is no mercy!!!

The workers and retirees at Delphi seem to have been pacified
for the most part through this great concessionary RAPE. Many
are unhappy with the results of what has happened, but they
are not mad enough to fight. They seem to look at the other
industries who have closed their doors and moved their
operations overseas with the attitude that "we have fared well".
Where is SOLIDARITY with that kind of an attitude?

Are we any better than the CEO's with this kind of an attitude?
If we don't stand and fight for our brothers and sisters, do we
not also suck the lifeblood from the poor? Yes, I make more
money in retirement than the new two tier wage earners earn
while working. I also have benefits, They have NONE. Do I want
to give up any of the retirement or benefits that I recieve?
HELL NO! Am I willing to SHOUT and FIGHT for my brothers
and sisters? HELL YES. It's the LEAST that I can do.

Yes, many are content too leave things as they are right now
at Delphi. But, they just fool themselves. Concessions are just
that, CONCESSIONS. The door has been opened WIDE and the
concessionary flow is in a direction that will hurt us more than
we can imagine. THEY WILL BE BACK FOR MORE!! I will write you
a guarentee on that.

Have the people who have stood and fought altered the original
plans for the Devils advocates on their planned bankruptcy?
I say, "yes they have". Miller and his henchmen weren't used
to a fight. They always relied on the workers and union to just
lay down and roll over. It just didn't happen this time. The
union played dead while being RAPED, but a band of people
who understood the true meaning of SOLIDARITY got together
and became a pain in the ass to the bankruptcy conspiracy.

I say that this band of dissidents, rogues, or whatever THEY
choose to call them, understands the true meaning of SOLIDARITY.
They squeaked like a mouse and the powers that be trembled.
History was altered for the time being. Can we see the writing
on the wall? Are we willing to read that writing? Do we understand
that the battle hasn't even begun yet? The concessionary advotaces
WILL be back. They never got what they wanted, you must know that.
They will be back.

Will we bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best? Their plans
have changed, but their goals remain the same. If we can't see this
writing on the wall and take the time to prepare for it, then they
will eventually crush us. They will find a way to quiet the squeaking
mouse and crush it also. If we would but unite and show the powers
that be what true SOLIDARITY is all about, we can change history
instead of just altering it. The mouse would become a lion.
A lion ROARS and will FIGHT.

Miller and his cronies tried to give Delphi away to their friends for
around 3.2 billion dollars. The offer was well recieved by the
henchmen and appeared to have been accepted. But, wait. A new
offer for 4.7 billion dollars was put on the table. Another greedy
interest in Delphi? The henchmen must be up in arms. That is an
automatic 1.5 billion dollars that won't reach their bloated bank
accounts. The Scrooge has struck.

Miller is no longer the CEO of Delphi. What's up now? Stay tuned,
I'm sure that more surprises will be in store for us. O'Neal will
be a puppet to the bankruptcy charades and fill his pockets also.

As I have previously stated, I believe that the brave few have
altered the history of Delphi. But, my beliefs are that alterations
are not good enough. We need to change history not only for Delphi,
but for the workers of the world. We most continue the fight
for decent wages and health care benefits. We can't rely on our
politicans and unions too make this happen. If we want it,
we will have to UNITE and FIGHT for it.

The mouse will eventually be crushed. But the lion, that's a different
story. If the lion will ROAR, I believe that history can and will be
changed. Until that time, we will continue to squeak and hope
to continue to alter history.

These are my views and thoughts as we soon enter into another
new year. I will not attempt to suck the lifeblood from the poor.
I will strive to do my best to help them throughout my life.
They are my brothers and sisters.


6) Diamonds' Glitter Fades for a Brazilian Tribe
December 29, 2006

ROOSEVELT INDIGENOUS AREA, Brazil - Some of the world's most
abundant deposits of diamonds are embedded in the reddish soil
of the Amazon jungle here. But for the Cinta-Larga Indians who live
on this remote reservation, that discovery has brought more misfortune
than riches.

Outside miners began prospecting in earnest in 1999 and soon
overran the Indians' lands, bringing with them drink, drugs, disease
and prostitution. Dazzled by the promise of quick wealth from their
dealings with the outsiders, tribal leaders have accumulated debts
they cannot pay - especially now that the police have set up
roadblocks on the reservation's borders to prevent illegal diamond

Cinta-Larga means Broad Belt in Portuguese, a reference to the
tribe's former habit of wearing bark sashes around the waist.
For generations, the Cinta-Largas chose to live in isolation
here along the banks of the Roosevelt River, named for
Theodore Roosevelt, who led an expedition through this
region of the southwestern Amazon some 90 years ago.

"Back then, we had no idea what diamonds were worth," recalled
Roberto Carlos Cinta-Larga, a tribal leader who, following tradition,
uses the tribe's name as his surname. "We didn't have money
in those days and didn't even really know what money was, because
our nature was to stay apart from everyone else and not cultivate

But in the 1960s, a highway was built west of here, opening the
jungle to exploitation by loggers. The discovery of gold, tin and
finally diamonds increased the opportunities for the Cinta-Largas
but also their resentment of white encroachments on land that
the Brazilian government had set aside for them.

Two years ago, the tensions finally boiled over. In an episode that
is still under investigation, and for reasons that remain unclear,
the Cinta-Largas killed 29 miners who were working without
their permission at the mine on the reservation.

Since then, the Cinta-Largas have become the most notorious
of Brazil's hundreds of Indian tribes, reviled in the press as
bloodthirsty savages who want the diamonds for themselves
and insulted when they leave their reservation for nearby towns.
In hopes of countering those negative portrayals, tribal leaders
recently invited this reporter to visit.

"We want it known that, despite what our enemies say, we are
not mining diamonds," Ita Cinta-Larga, another tribal leader,
said as he inspected the mining pit and its collection of abandoned
hoses and sluices. "We still catch miners trying to sneak in now
and then, but it's pretty calm here now, and that's the way
we want to keep it."

In return for an $810,000 grant for community development
from the Brazilian government, the Cinta-Largas agreed in April
to shut down the mine, allow the state environmental police
to patrol the site and refrain from killing intruders. But the
money is now running out, and Pio Cinta-Larga, a tribal leader,
warned that unless more help is forthcoming, "when the year
ends, the truce expires with it."

Mauro Sposito, director of the Brazilian Federal Police's Amazon
task force, said that in view of the tribe's history, such threats
must be taken seriously. "We know that they are violent and
that something could occur, which is why the main principles
of our activities from the start have been to try to negotiate
and avoid the use of brute force," he said.

Ivaneide Bandeira Cardozo works with an environmental and
indigenous rights group, Kaninde. She cites another factor that
the tribe is reluctant to discuss out of shame and embarrassment.
"From what the Cinta-Larga women told me, they were tired
of seeing the miners raping girls as young as 14 and bringing
in drugs," she said. "So they pressed their men to take a stand."

Rômulo Siqueira de Sá, an official of the National Indian Foundation,
the government agency that deals with indigenous affairs, said
diamond money led many Cinta-Largas to buy cars, houses and
other goods on credit through white intermediaries. With the mine
shut and government funds running out, he said, they have fallen
behind on payments and are facing repossession claims. As a
result, the pressure to resume illicit diamond trading and reopen
prospecting to outsiders is growing.

"The chiefs want government money so that they can pay private
debts derived from illegal activities, and there is no possibility
whatsoever that the government is going to do that," Mr. Sposito
said. "Brazilian law does not permit such a thing. What the
government can do is support the development of the community
and provide orientation, but not more than that."

Most of the Cinta-Larga leaders are men in their late 50s and
early 60s, from a generation that the Brazilian anthropologist
Ines Hargreaves calls "the orphans of contact." They were born
while the tribe lived in isolation, and so they can vaguely recollect
both that idealized past and the suffering they experienced
as children when Brazilian society erupted into their world
with violence and disease.

"I was already a teenager by the time miners had killed thousands
of our people, gunning them down in their malocas," or lodge
houses, said Ita Cinta-Larga, who gave his age as about 60.
"My own father died that way, and I can still remember the
bodies laid out and everyone crying."

All told, 27 Cinta-Larga leaders have been named as suspects
in the investigation into the killings of the miners. Though none
of the leaders interviewed here would admit direct responsibility,
they all acknowledged that members of the tribe were involved
in the killings, which they said were the result of their frustration
at seeing their complaints ignored by Brazilian authorities.

"We had asked the Federal Police over and over again to make
the miners leave, and when they didn't we took miners prisoner
and delivered them to the police ourselves," said Pio Cinta-Larga,
who often serves as the tribe's liaison to the outside world.
"But the police would release them the same day, and the miners
would immediately come back and threaten and make fun of us
Indians. So we said, 'Enough is enough, let's show these people
who we are.' "

Mr. Sposito acknowledged that the tribe had turned in miners
but noted that those who illegally invaded Indian territory were
entitled to be freed on bail under Brazilian law. That explanation
does not satisfy the Cinta-Largas, who see the police checkpoints
on roads leading in and out of the reservation as an infringement
upon their sovereignty rather than as a measure meant to protect

"These are our lands, and we're in charge here," said João Bravo
Cinta-Larga, whom critics of the tribe have singled out as perhaps
the most intransigent of the chiefs. "No one can come in here and
tell us what to do. We have never allowed ourselves to be
dominated by anyone, and we're not going to start now."

Depending on how it is used, the word "bravo" can mean either
courageous or irate in Portuguese. João Bravo Cinta-Larga seems
to be both, complaining bitterly that the nickname "Lord of the
Stones," given to him by the Brazilian press, and the accusations
that he has used the diamond wealth to enrich himself at the
expense of his own community are malicious lies.

"I had a power plant built so that we can have electricity, and
we also started a fish farming project," he said. "We are not
just diamonds."

Other Cinta-Larga leaders have used money from diamonds
to buy large herds of cattle or to invest in orchards, hoping to
sell fruit to the Brazilian market. But the police say that tribal
leaders also have hundreds of diamonds hidden away and that
they have concealed mining equipment in the jungle, ready to
resume prospecting on short notice.

Recently, the Cinta-Largas were persuaded to sell some of their
stones through the government's savings banks rather than
illegally to middle men, the argument being that they would
get a fairer price. But the auction fetched much less than the
Indians expected, adding to their distrust of the government.

"They promised that representatives of our people would be
flown to the auction to see how it was done, and then they didn't
keep their word," Pio Cinta-Larga complained. "There were a lot
of good stones, but instead of the millions they said we would
see, we got almost nothing. They deceived us, just as the white
man always does."

Mr. Sposito responded that the Indians seemed to have forgotten
that "taxes exist, and we can't create a law that eliminates that."
He added: "The leaders are aware of this. They all have cars and
drivers licenses and bank accounts and houses in town. So they
know what their obligations are."

Geologists say the diamond potential of the reservation here has
barely been scratched. Tribal leaders, however, seem torn between
contradictory desires: to keep outsiders away so that they can
exploit the wealth themselves and to leave the diamonds in the
ground untouched.

"I used to think that money was good and that I wanted to be rich,
but now I don't," Pio Cinta-Larga said. "A little bit might be good,
but a lot is not. It only brings problems and suffering, when what
we really want is tranquillity."


7) Police Officers Charged in Deaths in Hurricane's Aftermath
December 29, 2006

ATLANTA, Dec. 28 - Seven New Orleans police officers were indicted
Thursday on charges of first-degree murder or attempted murder
in connection with the deaths of two men on a bridge six days after
Hurricane Katrina struck.

Four other civilians suffered gunshot wounds in the episode, which
took place on Sept. 4, 2005. No officers were hurt.

The shootings occurred while much of the New Orleans area was
still under water, communication among officers was poor and the
city was chaotic. The New Orleans Police Department's initial account
- that officers were responding to reports of snipers firing on
contractors - seemed to confirm fears of rampant lawlessness
in the city.

But that account was repeatedly revised. At one point, the police
said they were responding to reports that two officers had been
shot. The victims, for their part, said they had simply been seeking
help after the storm left them stranded.

Frank Zibilich, a lawyer for one of the police officers, said that
although first-degree murder in Louisiana did not require proof
of premeditation, the charges were harsh.

"It's mind-boggling to me that officers, under the intense
circumstances that were going on in New Orleans at this time,
that seven officers decide simultaneously that they're going
to go commit murder," Mr. Zibilich said.

Two families were involved in the shootings. At the base of the
bridge, the officers encountered the Bartholomew family: a couple
and their teenage daughter and nephew, and the nephew's friend
James Brissette, 19. The family, which filed a civil lawsuit against
the officers and the police department, said in court papers that
it was trying to reach a grocery store on the other side of the
bridge when the police officers began firing at them. Mr. Brissette
died, while the nephew, Jose Holmes Jr., 19, jumped behind
a barricade. As he lay on the ground, according to the court
papers, he was shot at from a distance and then approached
by a man who shot him point blank in the abdomen.

Mr. Holmes wound up partly paralyzed with a colostomy bag.
Susan Bartholomew, the mother, lost her right arm.

"The police in this case used the devastation of the storm to
behave in a criminal manner," said Gary W. Bizal, a lawyer who
is representing Mr. Holmes in the civil case. "They held themselves
above the law, and now it's coming back to roost."

Near the top of the bridge, according to a statement issued by
the office of Eddie Jordan, the Orleans Parish district attorney,
the police encountered Ronald Madison, a mentally retarded man,
and his brother Lance, who had been employed by Federal Express
for 25 years. The brothers had been forced to swim through
floodwaters and had been trying to reach their mother's house
across the bridge, their family said in its civil lawsuit. The family
said the brothers were on the bridge with other people they did
not know when a rental truck pulled up and a group of heavily
armed officers jumped out and began firing.

Ronald Madison, 40, died after being shot seven times in the back.
His brother was arrested at the scene and charged with eight counts
of attempted murder of a police officer, though no weapon was
recovered. The grand jury that handed down Thursday's indictments
declined to indict Lance Madison.

A spokeswoman for Warren J. Riley, the superintendent of police,
said he would not comment on the case.

Brenda Goodman contributed reporting.


8) Pentagon to Request Billions More in War Money
December 30, 2006

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 - The Pentagon is seeking nearly $100 billion
for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, a request that,
if approved by Congress, would set an annual record for war-
related spending.

The $99.7 billion request, detailed in a 17-page internal Defense
Department memorandum dated Dec. 7, would be in addition to
$70 billion appropriated in September. The request would push
the total for the 2007 fiscal year to nearly $170 billion, 45 percent
more than Congress provided for 2006.

The request is likely to receive more scrutiny from Congress next
year than previous supplemental spending bills, in part because
Democrats now control both the House and Senate. Another reason
for the scrutiny is that Pentagon officials encouraged the services
to ask for "costs related to the longer war against terror," not just
continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to
a memorandum that became public earlier this year.

About $50 billion - most of the money - would go to the Army,
which is conducting the bulk of the operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan. The request also includes $3.8 billion for the
Air Force and $3 billion for the Navy to buy or upgrade aircraft.
Both services have argued in recent months that they need
to replace planes used in combat operations.

But some experts questioned whether the services were exploiting
the must-pass nature of the supplemental bill to seek money
for other purposes like the modernization of aircraft rather than
just wartime replacements. Loren Thompson, a defense analyst
with the Lexington Institute, a policy analysis organization in Virginia,
pointed to the Air Force request for $62 million for ballistic missiles,
a weapon not being employed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Mr. Thompson said the request, which is not described further in
the memorandum, may be part of a continuing Air Force project
to arm ballistic missiles with conventional warheads to be able
to strike terrorist targets quickly if other weapons cannot be used.

Even so, he added, "there are a number of weapons systems in
the supplemental request not normally associated with fighting
terrorists but which the services say still should be covered
as part of the global effort."

Altogether, the four military services would receive $26.6 billion
for "reconstitution," a term that the memorandum said covered
repair and replacement of equipment damaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Along with the $50 billion already provided this year, that is more
than double what Congress appropriated in 2006.

"There is a real question about how much of this is really related
to the war," said Steve Kosiak, a defense budget expert with the
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington
policy analysis group.

The Pentagon is also seeking $9.7 billion for training Iraqi and
Afghan security forces, almost as much as has been spent in total
since 2001, according to a study by the Congressional Research Service.
In a reflection of the worsening security situation in Afghanistan, more
than half of the requested money would go to training the country's
army and police forces.

The request also underscores the continuing strain that deployments
in Iraq and Afghanistan are putting on ground forces. The request
includes $3.7 billion to speed up its outfitting and training of two
Army combat brigades and three Marine battalions.

Since 2001, Congress has approved $507 billion for Afghanistan,
Iraq and other operations deemed part of combating terrorism.
Even with the Democrats in control, there is unlikely to be much
appetite for cutting the war-related spending requests,
Mr. Kosiak said.

"No one seems to be saying we're going to make deep cuts in
war-related expenditures," he said. "I don't see evidence that the
Democrats are interested in cutting this."

But the incoming Democratic chairmen of the House and Senate
Budget Committees have said they will push the Bush administration
to finance war costs in regular appropriations bills, not in supplemental
spending measures, to make the costs clearer.

The request also includes $10 billion for protective equipment for
troops and $2.5 billion for technology to defeat improvised bombs,
the leading cause of American combat casualties in Iraq.


9) Arctic Ice Shelf Broke Off Canadian Island
December 30, 2006

A 25-square-mile shelf of floating ice that jutted into the Arctic
Ocean for 3,000 years from Canada's northernmost shore broke
away abruptly in the summer of 2005, apparently freed by sharply
warming temperatures and jostling wind and waves, scientists
said yesterday.

The Ayles ice shelf, as the ancient 100-foot-thick slab was called,
drifted out of a fjord along the north coast of Ellesmere Island when
the jumbled sheath of floating sea ice that tended to press against
the coast there even in summers was replaced by open waters
because of the warming, the scientists said.

The change was first noticed by Laurie Weir of the Canadian Ice
Service as she examined satellite images taken of Ellesmere and
surrounding ice on and after Aug. 13, 2005. In less than an hour,
around midday that day, a broad crack opened and the ice shelf
was on its way out to sea.

The shelf is one of the few remnants of a broad expanse of floating
shelves of ice that once protruded along much of the Ellesmere coast,
somewhat like the brim on a hat.

Such shelves are far thicker and older than the milling cloak of sea
ice that drifts atop the Arctic Ocean. The sea ice consists of floes
ranging from 3 to 9 feet thick or so that are built up over just
a few years.

The Arctic sea ice has experienced sharp summertime retreats for
several decades, adding to evidence of significant warming near
the North Pole. (Neither melting ice shelves nor sea ice contribute
to rising sea levels because they sit in the sea already, like ice
cubes in a drink.)

Ninety percent of the 3,900 square miles of ice shelves that existed
in 1906 when the Arctic explorer Robert Peary first surveyed the region
are gone, said Luke Copland, the director of the University of Ottawa's
Laboratory for Cryospheric Research.

In a paper summarizing the event but not yet published, Dr. Copland
and other researchers said that the transformation of the Ayles ice
from a shorebound shelf to a drifting ice island appeared to be
a result of unusual Arctic warmth in 2005 on top of a longer-term
warming trend.

He said that it was premature to attribute the breakaway to human-
caused climate change, although he said that it was a clear sign the
warming in the region was producing significant and abrupt changes,
and more were likely in coming years. "The quick pace of these changes
right now is what stands out," he said.

The age of the Ayles ice shelf was estimated by using chemical means
to date driftwood found behind it, said Derek Mueller, one of those
who helped write the paper, from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.


10) Middle School Girls Gone Wild
December 29, 2006

It's hard to write this without sounding like a prig. But it's just
as hard to erase the images that planted the idea for this essay,
so here goes. The scene is a middle school auditorium, where girls
in teams of three or four are bopping to pop songs at a student
talent show. Not bopping, actually, but doing elaborately
choreographed re-creations of music videos, in tiny skirts
or tight shorts, with bare bellies, rouged cheeks and glittery eyes.

They writhe and strut, shake their bottoms, splay their legs,
thrust their chests out and in and out again. Some straddle
empty chairs, like lap dancers without laps. They don't smile
much. Their faces are locked from grim exertion, from all that
leaping up and lying down without poles to hold onto. "Don't
stop don't stop," sings Janet Jackson, all whispery. "Jerk it like
you're making it choke. ...Ohh. I'm so stimulated. Feel so X-rated."
The girls spend a lot of time lying on the floor. They are
in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

As each routine ends, parents and siblings cheer, whistle and
applaud. I just sit there, not fully comprehending. It's my first
suburban Long Island middle school talent show. I'm with my
daughter, who is 10 and hadn't warned me. I'm not sure what
I had expected, but it wasn't this. It was something different.
Something younger. Something that didn't make the girls
look so ... one-dimensional.

It would be easy to chalk it up to adolescent rebellion, an
ancient and necessary phenomenon, except these girls were
barely adolescents and they had nothing to rebel against.
This was an official function at a public school, a milieu
that in another time or universe might have seen children
singing folk ballads, say, or reciting the Gettysburg Address.

It is news to no one, not even me, that eroticism in popular
culture is a 24-hour, all-you-can-eat buffet, and that many
children in their early teens are filling up. The latest debate
centers on whether simulated intercourse is an appropriate
dance style for the high school gym.

What surprised me, though, was how completely parents
of even younger girls seem to have gotten in step with society's
march toward eroticized adolescence - either willingly or
through abject surrender. And if parents give up, what can
a school do? A teacher at the middle school later told me
she had stopped chaperoning dances because she was put
off by the boy-girl pelvic thrusting and had no way to stop
it - the children wouldn't listen to her and she had no
authority to send anyone home. She guessed that if the
school had tried to ban the sexy talent-show routines,
parents would have been the first to complain, having
shelled out for costumes and private dance lessons
for their Little Miss Sunshines.

I'm sure that many parents see these routines as healthy
fun, an exercise in self-esteem harmlessly heightened
by glitter makeup and teeny skirts. Our girls are bratz,
not slutz, they would argue, comfortable in the existence
of a distinction.

But my parental brain rebels. Suburban parents dote
on and hover over their children, micromanaging their
appointments and shielding them in helmets, kneepads
and thick layers of S.U.V. steel. But they allow the culture
of boy-toy sexuality to bore unchecked into their little
ones' ears and eyeballs, displacing their nimble and
growing brains and impoverishing the sense of wider
possibilities in life.

There is no reason adulthood should be a low plateau
we all clamber onto around age 10. And it's a cramped
vision of girlhood that enshrines sexual allure as the
best or only form of power and esteem. It's as if there
were now Three Ages of Woman: first Mary-Kate, then
Britney, then Courtney. Boys don't seem to have such
constricted horizons. They wouldn't stand for it -
much less waggle their butts and roll around for
applause on the floor of a school auditorium.


11) Saddam at the End of a Rope
December 30, 2006

It was symbolic that 2006 ended with a colonial hanging--- most of it
(bar the last moments) shown on state television in occupied Iraq. It
has been that sort of year in the Arab world. After a trial so
blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch---the largest single
unit of the US Human Rights industry--- had to condemn it as a total
travesty. Judges were changed on Washington's orders; defense lawyers
were killed and the whole procedure resembled a well-orchestrated
lynch mob. Where Nuremberg was a more dignified application of
victor's justice, Saddam's trial has, till now, been the crudest and
most grotesque. The Great Thinker President's reference to it 'as a
milestone on the road to Iraqi democracy' as clear an indication as
any that Washington pressed the trigger.

The contemptible leaders of the European Union, supposedly hostile to
capital punishment, were silent, as usual. And while some Shia
factions celebrated in Baghdad, the figures published by a fairly
independent establishment outfit, the Iraq Centre for Research and
Strategic Studies (its self-description: "which attempts to spread
the conscious necessity of realizing basic freedoms, consolidating
democratic values and foundations of civil society") reveal that just
under 90 per cent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was
better before it was occupied.

The ICRSC research is based on detailed house-to-house interviewing
carried out during the third week of November 2006.

Only five per cent of those questioned said Iraq is better today than
in 2003; 89 per cent of the people said the political situation had
deteriorated; 79 per cent saw a decline in the economic situation; 12
per cent felt things had improved and 9 per cent said there was no
change. Unsurprisingly, 95 per cent felt the security situation was
worse than before. Interestingly, about 50 per cent of those
questioned identified themselves only as "Muslims"; 34 per cent as
Shiites and 14 per cent as Sunnis.

Add to this the figures supplied by the UNHCR: 1.6 million Iraqis
(7 per cent of the population) have fled the country since March 2003
and 100,000 Iraqis leave every month, Christians, doctors, engineers,
women, etc. There are one million in Syria, 750,000 in Jordan,
150,000 in Cairo. These are refugees that do not excite the sympathy
of Western public opinion, since the US (and EU backed) occupation is
the cause. These are not compared (as was the case in Kosovo) to the
atrocities of the Third Reich. Perhaps it was these statistics (and
the estimates of a million Iraqi dead) that necessitated the
execution of Saddam Hussein?

That Saddam was a tyrant is beyond dispute, but what is conveniently
forgotten is that most of his crimes were committed when he was a
staunch ally of those who now occupy the country. It was, as he
admitted in one of his trial outbursts, the approval of Washington
(and the poison gas supplied by West Germany) that gave him the
confidence to douse Halabja with chemicals in the midst of the
Iran-Iraq war. He deserved a proper trial and punishment in an
independent Iraq. Not this. The double standards applied by the West
never cease to astonish. Indonesia's Suharto who presided over a
mountain of corpses (At least a million to accept the lowest figure)
was protected by Washington. He never annoyed them as much as Saddam.

And what of those who have created the mess in Iraq today?
The torturers of Abu Ghraib; the pitiless butchers of Fallujah; the
ethnic cleansers of Baghdad, the Kurdish prison boss who boasts that
his model is Guantanamo. Will Bush and Blair ever be tried for war
crimes? Doubtful. And Aznar, currently employed as a lecturer at
Georgetown University in Washington, DC , where the language of
instruction is English of which he doesn't speak a word. His reward
is a punishment for the students.

Saddam's hanging might send a shiver through the collective, if
artificial, spine of the Arab ruling elites. If Saddam can be hanged,
so can Mubarak, or the Hashemite joker in Amman or the Saudi royals,
as long as those who topple them are happy to play ball with



FOCUS | Poll: More Troops Unhappy With Bush's Course in Iraq

All Power to Venezuela's Communal Councils!
Marta Harnecker: Venezuela's experiment in popular power
Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas
30 November 2006

Regulators Give Corporations a Gift
December 30, 2006

Waiting List for AIDS Drugs Causes Dismay in South Carolina
December 29, 2006

Maryland: Police Kill Reservist in Standoff
An Army Reservist despondent about being sent to Iraq was killed
by the police during a 14-hour standoff that began Monday night.
The man, James E. Dean, 28, had barricaded himself inside his father's
house with several weapons, family members told the police. Around
noon Tuesday, while the police were preparing to use tear gas to force
Mr. Dean out of the home, he came to the front door and pointed
his weapon at an officer, said Sheriff Tim Cameron of St. Mary's County.
Another deputy shot Mr. Dean once, killing him. Mr. Dean had already
served 18 months in Afghanistan and was despondent after learning
recently that he would be deployed to Iraq, relatives told the police.
Sheriff Cameron said he did not know in what reserve unit
Mr. Dean had served.
December 28, 2006

A New Idea in Security Would Put Vehicle Barriers
on a Pavement-Level Turntable
December 28, 2006

Texas: Cleanup After Oil Spill
A ruptured offshore pipeline that spilled 42,500 gallons of oil into
the Gulf of Mexico is leaking at a rate of about 500 gallons a day
as crews begin the cleanup, officials said. Crews began skimming
operations after the weather calmed at the site about 30 miles
southeast of Galveston, said Petty Officer Mario Romero of the
Coast Guard. The spill occurred after a portion of the High Island
Pipeline System ruptured early Sunday. Plains All American Pipeline,
the pipeline's owner, shut down the line after detecting a pressure
loss in the system, Petty Officer Romero said. The spill had spread
to a light sheen 4.7 miles long and 80 yards at its widest spot, he said.
December 28, 2006

Pine Ridge Journal
One Determined Heroine and Her Fall From Grace
December 28, 2006

S.E.C. Changes Reporting Rule on Bosses' Pay
The Securities and Exchange Commission, in a move announced late
on the last business day before Christmas, reversed a decision it had
made in July and adopted a rule that would allow many companies
to report significantly lower total compensation for top executives.
December 27, 2006

A Transit Union Vote So Close They Counted It Five Times
December 27, 2006

Texas: Challenge to Ordinance on Immigrants
Two civil rights groups filed a lawsuit challenging a Dallas suburb's
new ordinance that outlaws renting homes to illegal immigrants,
arguing that it violates federal law and forces landlords to act as
immigration officers. The groups, the Mexican American Legal Defense
and Educational Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed the
suit on behalf of residents and landlords in Farmers Branch. The
ordinance, along with a measure that made English the official
language of the city, was passed in November and is scheduled
to go into effect Jan. 12.
December 27, 2006

Spanish Doctor Denies Castro Has Cancer
December 27, 2006

2 More Die as Bird Flu Continues Spreading to Humans in Egypt
December 27, 2006

First Settlement in 10 Years Fuels Mideast Tension
December 27, 2006

Iraq/Lebanon/Gaza - Chaos By Design or Divide and Conquer
Instigating Arab Civil War for US/Israel's Benefit

The First US Foreign Invasion - Seizing Florida in 1816

The El Mozote Massacre 25 Years later

Heady Days for Makers of Weapons
December 26, 2006

Diabetics Confront a Tangle of Workplace Laws
December 26, 2006

Back in Style: The Fur Trade
December 24, 2006

The Right Has a Jailhouse Conversion
December 24, 2006

Libya's travesty
Nature Editorial
Six medical workers in Libya face execution. It is not too late for
scientists to speak up on their behalf.
Published online 20 September 2006

FOCUS | The Race for Iraq's Resources

FOCUS | Bush May Boost Iraq Troops by 20,000

VIDEO | Army Targets Truthout for Subpoenas in Watada Case

Outsize Profits, and Questions, in Effort to Cut Warming Gases
December 21, 2006

Gender Pay Gap, Once Narrowing, Is Stuck in Place
December 24, 2006

U.S. Gives Grants to 4 Gulf Coast States to Upgrade Disaster Housing
"WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 - FEMA trailers, the cramped, impersonal
housing units that have come to define the federal response to major
disasters, may be on the way out, thanks to $388 million in federal
grants, announced Friday, that will test half a dozen cozier, more
permanent models of postdisaster housing."
December 23, 2006

Kansas: Abortion Charges Dismissed
Kansas' attorney general, a vocal opponent of abortion, charged
a well-known abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, left, with illegally
performing late-term abortions, but a judge threw out the charges
after less than a day. The judge, Paul W. Clark, dismissed the charges
at the request of District Attorney Nola Foulston of Sedgwick County,
who said her office had not been consulted by Attorney General
Phill Kline. Dr. Tiller's clinic, one of the few in the country to
perform late-term abortions, has been a target of anti-abortion
protesters for decades.
December 23, 2006

West Virginia: More Testing in Mine Inquiry
Federal scientists have found new evidence supporting the widely
held theory that lightning sparked a huge methane gas explosion
that killed 12 men in the Sago Mine last January. Sandia National
Laboratories said its lightning experts spent 10 days testing
at the mine and found that lightning can readily move through
solid ground without a metal conductor.
December 23, 2006

Seductively Easy, Payday Loans Often Snowball
"In many states, including New Mexico, lenders also make no effort
to see if customers have borrowed elsewhere, which is how Mr. Milford
could take out so many loans at once. If they repay on time, borrowers
pay fees ranging from $15 per $100 borrowed in some states to,
in New Mexico, often $20 or more per $100, which translates into
an annualized interest rate, for a two-week loan, of 520 percent
or more."
December 23, 2006

Italian Fashion Industry Pledges to Fight Anorexia
December 22, 2006

Blood Diamond
A Film Review
By Dr. Barbara Ransby, PhD
The Black Commentator Editorial Board
December 21, 2006
Issue 211

From DVDs to IEDs
The teen and I are doing our seasonal, consumerist duty at Best Buy,
when to our right, in the DVD section, stand two tall Marines over
a smaller teen boy. Back and forth, a well-rehearsed duo, the
queries fly -- How old are you? What are your plans after high
school? What do you want out of life? Do you want to be
successful and respected?

Marines Charged in Killing of 24 Iraqi Civilians

Agency to Test Military Draft Machinery
The Associated Press
Thursday, December 21, 2006; 9:45 PM
http://www.washingt wp-dyn/content/ article/2006/
12/21/AR20061221 01327.html

"I'm Jealous of Cuba"
An Interview with Gore Vidal
December 21, 2006

Chavez Landslide Tops All In US History
by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 20 December 2006

URGENT Support is requested from Dine Elders and Youth!
Sithe Global & DPA are proposing to build the Desert Rock
power plant, a 1,500 MW Coal Fired plant in the Four Corners
area on the Navajo Reservation. This is an area already polluted
by 2 other major coal power plants. Local Navajo residence and
community members oppose this project for many harmful
reasons!! This Desert Rock power plant is still in the environmental
review process and has NOT yet been permitted.

Bush "Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons"

Climate Change vs Mother Nature: Scientists reveal that bears
have stopped hibernating
Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain,
scientists revealed yesterday, in what may be one of the strongest
signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world.
December 21, 2006

Raising the Floor on Pay
December 20, 2006

Goldman CEO's $53.4M Bonus Breaks Record
December 20, 2006

Goldman Chairman Gets a Bonus of $53.4 Million
December 20, 2006

Fear and Hope in Immigrant's Furtive Existence
December 20, 2006




FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2007, 4:00 - 7:00 P.M.


All human beings have basic, inalienable human rights to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. If your family is starving and you
can not find work, you have the right to find someplace where you can
feed, clothe and house your family.

If capital can go all over the world exploiting workers, then workers
have the right to move to find work for their family's basic survival.


From South America, Latin America, China, Africa, India--in countries
all over the world, not to speak of the war in Iraq--a war of blood
for oil--U.S. businesses are raking in huge profits off the backs of workers
who earn slave wages and work under the most dangerous working conditions
at best, and under a state of war at worse.

Meanwhile, here at home, they are laying off workers, closing factories,
away with benefits and working conditions won by worker's struggles
in the past--installing two, three, many-tiered pay scales--driving down
wages to below the scale parents are earning--leaving our children
with the heritage of a guaranteed life of poverty without union


And now they launch an all-out war against the most vulnerable workers
--who are driven to work in these meatpacking plants. Whether
documented or not, this is brutal, dangerous and difficult work.

And not so coincidentally, these same workers just happen
to be in the midst of a fight to win union recognition!


These mass arrests are terrorist tactics designed as a warning
to all workers that if they struggle for a better life and better
working conditions, they will be persecuted in every way

This is an all-out assault on every worker and it is being
executed by a terrorist government--the U.S. Government--
who uses pre-emptive war based upon outright lies to further
their oil profits; who will stop at nothing to increase their
rate of profit.

The ultimate goal of the U.S. Government is for American big
business to continue to accumulate unimaginable wealth
at the expense of the hardworking majority all over the
world--nothing is off-limits to them in this, their fundamental


An injury to one is an injury to all! We are only as strong as our
weakest link. If we allow these terrorists from ICE to continue
to carry out these assaults against the basic human rights
of any of us--no matter what our immigration status--they
will not hesitate one second to use these same tactics of mass
firings, arrest, etc. against all of us who dare to struggle
in our own defense and in our own, basic human interests and
for our own basic rights as workers and human beings!

It's up to us to organize and fight back! If we are united, we cannot loose!


For more information contact:

Barrio Unido por una Amnistia
General e Incondicional
Cristina Gutierrez,

Bonnie Weinstein,


Washington, D.C.
VOLUNTEER Live in NYC or DC? We need your help
before and during the protest. Call 212-868-5545
updated information and to sign up for our action alerts
DONATE Whether you can contribute $10, $100, or
$1000, we need your support to help end the war!
Call 212-866-5545 or visit
Join us for a massive
march on Washington
to tell the new Congress:
unitedforpeace&justice (212)868-5545
On Election Day the voters delivered a dramatic,
unmistakable mandate for peace. Now it's time for action.
On Jan. 27, 2007, help send a strong, clear message to
Congress and the Bush Administration:
Bring the troops home now!


From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund the People's Needs NOT THE
WAR MACHINE! End Colonial Occupation: Iraq, Palestine, Haiti and
everywhere! Shut Down Guantanamo


FEBRUARY 23-25 (Lynne and her husband Ralph will
stay on several more days. Stay tuned for complete
schedule of events.)
Dear Friends of Lynne Stewart,
I am pleased to announce that Lynne Stewart and Michael Ratner have
just accepted our invitation to tour the Bay Area. The confirmed
dates are February 23-25, 2007. Lynne, accompanied by her husband
Ralph Poynter, will stay on several more days for additional meetings.
In solidarity,
Jeff Mackler,
West Coast Coordinator, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Co-Coordinator, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
O: 415-255-1080
Cell: 510-387-7714
H: 510-268-9429


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



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


You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


Call for action to save Iraq's Academics
A little known aspect of the tragedy engulfing Iraq is the systematic
liquidation of the country's academics. Even according to conservative
estimates, over 250 educators have been assassinated, and many
hundreds more have disappeared. With thousands fleeing the country
in fear for their lives, not only is Iraq undergoing a major brain drain,
the secular middle class - which has refused to be co-opted by the
US occupation - is being decimated, with far-reaching consequences
for the future of Iraq.


Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.


March 17-18, 2007

Please circulate widely


Sand Creek Massacre
Hello, Everyone,
On November 29, 1864, 700 Colorado troops savagely slaughtered
over 450 Cheyenne children, disabled, elders, and women in the
southeastern Colorado Territory under its protection. This act
became known as the Sand Creek Massacre. This film project
("The Sand Creek Massacre" documentary film project) is an
examination of an open wound in the souls of the Cheyenne
people as told from their perspective. This project chronicles
that horrific 19th century event and its affect on the 21st century
struggle for respectful coexistence between white and native
plains cultures in the United States of America.

Listed below are links on which you can click to get the latest news,
products, and view, free, "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" award-
winning documentary short. In order to create more native
awareness, particularly to save the roots of America's history,
please read the following:

Some people in America are trying to save the world. Bless
them. In the meantime, the roots of America are dying.
What happens to a plant when the roots die? The plant dies
according to my biology teacher in high school. American's
roots are its native people. Many of America's native people
are dying from drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, hunger,
and disease, which was introduced to them by the Caucasian
male. Tribal elders are dying. When they die, their oral
histories go with them. Our native's oral histories are the
essence of the roots of America, what took place before
our ancestors came over to America, what is taking place,
and what will be taking place. It is time we replenish
America's roots with native awareness, else America
continues its decaying, and ultimately, its death.

READY FOR PURCHASE! (pass the word about this powerful
educational tool to friends, family, schools, parents, teachers,
and other related people and organizations to contact
me (, 303-903-2103) for information
about how they can purchase the DVD and have me come
to their children's school to show the film and to interact
in a questions and answers discussion about the Sand
Creek Massacre.

Happy Holidays!

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC,+Don

(scroll down when you get there])



NOW's Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes us inside the
world's largest pork processing plant, located in Tar Heel, North
Carolina. As the first TV journalist ever allowed to film inside the
plant, owned by The Smithfield Packing Company, Hinojosa gives
us an insider's view of what conditions are like in a plant that
slaughters over 33,000 hogs per day.


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



The following quote is from the 1918 anti-war speech delivered
in Canton, Ohio, by Eugene Debs. The address, protesting World War I,
resulted in Debs being arrested and imprisoned on charges of espionage.
The speech remains one of the great expressions of the militancy and
internationalism of the US working class.

His appeal, before sentencing, included one of his best-known quotes:
"...while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal
element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Read the complete speech at:


My Name is Roland Sheppard
This Is My `Blog'
I am is a retired Business Representative of Painters District
Council #8 in San Francisco. I have been a life long social activist
and socialist. Roland Sheppard is a retired Business Representative
of Painters District Council #8 in San Francisco. I have been
a life long social activist and socialist.
Prior to my being elected as a union official, I had worked
for 31 years as a house painter and have been a lifelong socialist.
I have led a unique life. In my retire age, I am interested in writing
about my experiences as a socialist, as a participant in the Black
Liberation Movement, the Union Movement, and almost all social
I became especially interested in the environment when I was
diagnosed with cancer due to my work environment. I learned
how to write essays, when I first got a computer in order to put
together all the medical legal arguments on my breakthrough
workers' compensation case in California, proving that my work
environment as a painter had caused my cancer. After a five-year
struggle, I won a $300,000 settlement on his case.
The following essays are based upon my involvement in the
struggle for freedom for all humanity. I hope the history
of my life's experiences will help future generations
of Freedom Fighters.
For this purpose, this website is dedicated.


The Corporate Looting of the Gulf Coast
Robin Hood in Reverse
More Info:
For a detailed report:
Big, Easy Money: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast
by Rita J. King, Special to CorpWatch
August 15th, 2006




Communist Manifesto illustrated by Disney [and other cartoons) with
words by K. Marx and F. Engels--absolutely wonderful!]


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


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


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
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


Immigration video:


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


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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

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

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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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&
+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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Contact: Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

Howard Zinn joins Kathy Kelly, Dahr Jamail, Ann Wright and Neil MacKay in
endorsing "War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and
Mechanisms for Accountability."

The report was published internationally by 10 organizations in October.

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

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

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

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Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

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

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

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

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

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:


Mike Wright

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

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Taking Aim with Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone has a new Internet

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

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

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Visit the Traprock Peace Center Video Archive at:
Visit the Traprock Peace Center
Deerfield, MA

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

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

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

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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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"It is reasonable and honorable to abhor violence and preach
against it while there is a visible and rational means of obtaining,
without violence, the indispensable justice for the welfare of man.
But, if convinced by the inevitable differences of character, by the
irreconcilable and different interests, because of the deep diversity
in the sea of the political mind and aspirations, there is not a peaceful
way to obtain the minimum rights of a people (...) or it is the blind
who against the boiling truth sustain peaceful means, or it is those
who doesn't see and insist on proclaiming it that are untrue
to their people."[2]
[2] José Martí " Ciegos y desleales Obras Escogidas in III volumes;
Editorial Política 1981 Volume III p182

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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


"The International"
Lots of good information over at Wikipedia, as often the case:

What I've always found fascinating is the wide variety of translations (or
perhaps it would be better to call them "interpretations" or "variations")
that exist, even in English. It's also fascinating to read all the different
verses of the song.

One thing I learned at Wikipedia is that the original intention was that the
song would be sung to the tune of the Marseillaise, but that shortly
thereafter different music was written. Good thing, in my opinion, I'd hate
to see the identities of two stirring songs be confused. Each deserves their
own place in history.