Monday, January 08, 2007


Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Contact: Cameron Sturdevant, 510.938.2033,
January 8, 2007/San Francisco—The Campaign to End the Death
Penalty and other supporters of Ca. death row prisoner Kevin Cooper
will provide an update on Cooper's case on Tuesday, January 9th
after the 1:30 p.m. hearing of U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
meeting at 95 Seventh Street in San Francisco.
The hearing is scheduled to start at 1:30 and is expected to be one
hour. The press conference will start directly after the hearing ends
at around 2:30 and will be held on the courthouse steps
Oral arguments from the prosecution and defense will focus on 10 key
issues in Cooper's case, including actual innocence, prosecutorial
misconduct and constitutional violations. Further information
about Cooper's appeal is available at:




Witness Against Torture
Thursday, January 11, 2007: The 5 year anniversary of the first
prisoners being brought to Guantánamo. March, Press Conference
and Nonviolent Direct Action in Washington, DC. Endorsed
by Center for Constitional Rights, CodePink, Network of Spiritual
Progressives, Pax Christi USA, School of Americas Watch, United
for Peace and Justice and other groups.



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


[Col. Writ. 12/24/06] Copyright '06
Mumia Abu-Jamal

2) The Imperial Presidency 2.0
New York Times Editorial
January 7, 2007

3) Working Harder for the Man
January 8, 2007

4) War Could Last Years, Commander Says
January 8, 2007

5) Pelosi Hints at Denying Bush Iraq Funds
"She said Democrats are not interesting in cutting off money for
troops already in Iraq - 'We won't do that' - and that her party
favors increased the overall size of the Army by 30,000 and Marines
by 20,000 'to make sure we are able to protect the American people.'"
The Associated Press
Sunday 07 January 2007

6) Private Firms Lure Chief Executives With Top Pay
January 8, 2007

7) Tax Cuts Offer Most for Very Rich, Study Says
By Edmund L. Andrews
January 8, 2007

8) Queens Man Dies After Police Use Taser, Reports Say
By John Holusha
January 8, 2007

[Col. Writ. 12/3/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Col. Writ. 12/16/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

11) Norway, Cuba deplore U.S.-owned hotel ban
Fri Jan 5, 4:26 PM ET


[Col. Writ. 12/24/06] Copyright '06
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Within days the Bush regime is expected to announce its so-called "new
strategy" in Iraq -- the most talked-about plan being a surge in U.S.
forces in Iraq.

By 'surge' is meant the significant increase in troop size in that
beleaguered country, a plan meant to address the obvious failures in Iraq.

In light of the rumored 'surge', one wonders, what does it take for the
administration to listen to the voices of the People?

In February and March, 2003, the U.S. and much of the world spoke, with
millions marching in the streets of cities the globe over, against the
scourge of war.

The Bush regime ignored them. No -- "ignored" isn't right. President
Bush belittled the protests as 'a focus group.' As journalism professor
Robert Jensen notes in his book, *The Citizens of the Empire: The
Struggle to Claim Our Humanity* (San Francisco: City Lights Publ., 2004)
Bush's response to the "single largest public political demonstration in
history", was unbelievable:

"When asked a few days later about the size of the protest, he said:
'First of all, you know, size of protest, it's like deciding, well, I'm
going to decide policy based on a focus group. The role of a leader is
to decide policy based upon the security -- in this case, the security
of the people.'

"A focus group? Perhaps the leader of the free world was not aware that
a focus group is a small number of people who are brought together
(and typically paid) to evaluate a concept or product. Focus groups are
primarily a tool of businesses, which use them to figure out how to sell
things more effectively. Politicians also occasionally use them, for
the same purpose. That's a bit different from a coordinated gathering
of millions of people who took to the streets because they felt
passionately about an issue of life and death. As is so often the case,
Bush's comment demonstrated his ignorance and condescension, the
narrowness of his intellect and his lack of respect for the people he
allegedly serves." [pp. xi-xii]

Decades ago, during the height of the Vietnam War, presidents and their
military advisors extended the hostilities long after it was abundantly
clear that the conflict could not be won.

President Lyndon B. Johnson escalated it, but could not bring himself to
rein it in, for fear that history would judge him one who 'lost' Vietnam.

His successor, Richard M. Nixon further escalated the conflict, by

ordering bombing of neighboring countries. Some historians now say that
the escalation and continuation of the Vietnam war cost some 20,000
Americans lives; the numbers of Vietnamese, and other southeast Asians
are unknown to us.

The point is, the war and its needless carnage was extended for years,
at a horrific cost: to save U.S. face.

It seems that this not-so-distant history is repeating itself.

In a few weeks, we shall hear what "the Decider" has decided. You can
bet that it will conflict with the will of most Americans. What kind of
democracy is this?

Demonstrations don't matter. Elections don't matter. Study groups
don't matter.

No matter what most Americans think -- it doesn't matter.

Nothing matters -- but what the decider decides.

There's a word for that -- and it sure ain't democracy!

Americans have seemingly settled for a dictatorship of one -- in fact, a
dictatorship of disaster.

Like good little sheep, they plan to silently acquiesce as more of their
young people are slain on an altar slick with oil.

This isn't patriotism. It's the very essence of subservience.

There's another word for it.


Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal


2) The Imperial Presidency 2.0
New York Times Editorial
January 7, 2007

Observing President Bush in action lately, we have to wonder if he
actually watched the election returns in November, or if he was
just rerunning the 2002 vote on his TiVo.

That year, the White House used the fear of terrorism to scare
American voters into cementing the Republican domination
of Congress. Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney then
embarked on an expansion of presidential power chilling
both in its sweep and in the damage it did to the constitutional
system of checks and balances.

In 2006, the voters sent Mr. Bush a powerful message that
it was time to rein in his imperial ambitions. But we have yet
to see any sign that Mr. Bush understands that — or even
realizes that the Democrats are now in control of the Congress.
Indeed, he seems to have interpreted his party’s drubbing
as a mandate to keep pursuing his fantasy of victory in Iraq
and to press ahead undaunted with his assault on civil liberties
and the judicial system. Just before the Christmas break, the
Justice Department served notice to Senator Patrick Leahy —
the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee — that it intended
to keep stonewalling Congressional inquiries into Mr. Bush’s inhumane
and unconstitutional treatment of prisoners taken in anti-terrorist
campaigns. It refused to hand over two documents, including one
in which Mr. Bush authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to
establish secret prisons beyond the reach of American law or
international treaties. The other set forth the interrogation
methods authorized in these prisons — which we now know
ranged from abuse to outright torture.

Also last month, Mr. Bush issued another of his infamous
“presidential signing statements,” which he has used scores of
times to make clear he does not intend to respect the requirements
of a particular law — in this case a little-noticed Postal Service bill.
The statement suggested that Mr. Bush does not believe the government
must obtain a court order before opening Americans’ first-class mail.
It said the administration had the right to “conduct searches in exigent
circumstances,” which include not only protecting lives, but also
unspecified “foreign intelligence collection.”

The law is clear on this. A warrant is required to open Americans’
mail under a statute that was passed to stop just this sort of abuse
using just this sort of pretext. But then again, the law is also clear on
the need to obtain a warrant before intercepting Americans’ telephone
calls and e-mail. Mr. Bush began openly defying that law after
Sept. 11, 2001, authorizing the National Security Agency to
eavesdrop without a court order on calls and e-mail between
the United States and other countries.

News accounts have also reminded us of the shameful state
of American military prisons, where supposed terrorist suspects
are kept without respect for civil or human rights, and on the basis
of evidence so deeply tainted by abuse, hearsay or secrecy that
it is essentially worthless.

Deborah Sontag wrote in The Times last week about the sorry
excuse for a criminal case that the administration whipped up
against Jose Padilla, who was once — but no longer is — accused
of plotting to explode a radioactive “dirty bomb” in the United States.
Mr. Padilla was held for two years without charges or access to a lawyer.
Then, to avoid having the Supreme Court review Mr. Bush’s power
grab, the administration dropped those accusations and charged
Mr. Padilla in a criminal court on hazy counts of lending financial
support to terrorists.

But just as the government abandoned the “dirty bomb” case against
Mr. Padilla, it quietly charged an Ethiopian-born man, Binyam
Mohamed, with conspiring with Mr. Padilla to commit that very
crime. Unlike Mr. Padilla, Mr. Mohamed is not a United States citizen,
so the administration threw him into Guantánamo. Now 28, he
is still being held there as an “illegal enemy combatant” under
the anti-constitutional military tribunals act that was rushed
through the Republican-controlled Congress just before last
November’s elections.

Mr. Mohamed was a target of another favorite Bush administration
practice: “extraordinary rendition,” in which foreign citizens are
snatched off the streets of their hometowns and secretly shipped
to countries where they can be abused and tortured on behalf
of the American government. Mr. Mohamed — whose name
appears nowhere in either of the cases against Mr. Padilla —
has said he was tortured in Morocco until he signed a confession
that he conspired with Mr. Padilla. The Bush administration
clearly has no intention of answering that claim, and plans
to keep Mr. Mohamed in extralegal detention indefinitely.

The Democratic majority in Congress has a moral responsibility
to address all these issues: fixing the profound flaws in the
military tribunals act, restoring the rule of law over Mr. Bush’s
rogue intelligence operations and restoring the balance
of powers between Congress and the executive branch.
So far, key Democrats, including Mr. Leahy and Senator
Richard Durbin of Illinois, chairman of a new subcommittee
on human rights, have said these issues are high priorities
for them.

We would lend such efforts our enthusiastic backing and hope
Mr. Leahy, Mr. Durbin and other Democratic leaders are not
swayed by the absurd notion circulating in Washington that the
Democrats should now “look ahead” rather than use their new
majority to right the dangerous wrongs of the last six years
of Mr. Bush’s one-party rule.

This is a false choice. Dealing with these issues is not about
the past. The administration’s assault on some of the nation’s
founding principles continues unabated. If the Democrats
were to shirk their responsibility to stop it, that would make
them no better than the Republicans who formed and enabled
these policies in the first place.


3) Working Harder for the Man
January 8, 2007

Robert L. Nardelli, the chairman and chief executive of Home Depot,
began the new year with a pink slip and a golden parachute.
The company handed him a breathtaking $210 million to take
a hike. What would he have been worth if he’d done a good job?

Data recently compiled by the Center for Labor Market Studies
at Northeastern University in Boston offers a startling look at
just how out of whack executive compensation has become.
Some of the Wall Street Christmas bonuses last month were
fabulous enough to resurrect an adult’s belief in Santa Claus.
Morgan Stanley’s John Mack got stock and options worth in
excess of $40 million. Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs did
even better — $53.4 million.

According to the center’s director, Andrew Sum, the top five
Wall Street firms (Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman
Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley) were expected
to award an estimated $36 billion to $44 billion worth
of bonuses to their 173,000 employees, an average of
between $208,000 and $254,000, “with the bulk of the
gains accruing to the top 1,000 or so highest-paid managers.”

Now consider what’s been happening to the bulk of the
American population, the ordinary men and women who
have to work for a living somewhere below the stratosphere
of the top corporate executives. Between 2000 and 2006,
labor productivity in the nonfarm sector of the economy
rose by an impressive 18 percent. But workers were not
paid for that impressive effort. During that period, according
to Mr. Sum, the inflation-adjusted weekly wages of workers
increased by just 1 percent.

That’s $3.20 a week. As Mr. Sum wryly observed, that won’t
even buy you a six-pack of Bud Light. Joe Six-Pack has been
downsized. Three bucks ain’t what it used to be.

There are 93 million production and nonsupervisory workers
(exclusive of farmworkers) in the U.S. Their combined real
annual earnings from 2000 to 2006 rose by $15.4 billion,
which is less than half of the combined bonuses awarded
by the five Wall Street firms for just one year.

“Just these bonuses — for one year — overwhelmingly exceed
all the pay increases received by these workers over the entire
six-year period,” said Mr. Sum.

In a development described by Mr. Sum as “quite stark and
rather bleak for the economic well-being of the average worker,”
the once strong link between productivity gains and real wage
increases has been severed. The mystery to me is why workers
aren’t more scandalized. If your productivity increases by
18 percent and your pay goes up by 1 percent, you’ve been
dealt a hand full of jokers in a game in which jokers aren’t wild.

Workers have received some modest increases in benefits
over the past six years, but most of the money from their
productivity gains — by far, it’s not even a close call —
has gone into profits and the salaries of top executives.

Fairness plays no role in this system. The corporate elite
control it, and they have turned it to their ends.

Mr. Sum, a longtime expert on the economic life of the
American worker, said he is astonished at the degree to
which ordinary workers have been shortchanged over the
past several years. “Productivity has been exceptional,”
he said. “And for most of my life, the way to get wages
up was to be more productive. That’s how our economy
was supposed to work.”

The productivity gains in the go-go decades that followed
World War II were broadly shared, and the result was
a dramatic, sustained increase in the quality of life for
most Americans. Nowadays workers have to be more
productive just to maintain their economic status quo.
Productivity gains are no longer broadly shared. They’re
barely shared at all.

The pervasive unfairness in the way the great wealth of
the United States is distributed should be seen for what
it is, an insidious disease eating away at the structure of
the society and undermining its future. The middle class
is hurting, propped up by the wobbly crutches of personal
debt. The safety net, not just for the poor, but for the middle
class as well, is disappearing. The savings rate has dropped
to below zero, and more Americans are filing for bankruptcy
than for divorce.

Your pension? Don’t ask.

There’s a reason why the power elite get bent out of shape
at the merest mention of a class conflict in the U.S. The fear
is that the cringing majority that has taken it on the chin for
so long will wise up and begin to fight back.


4) War Could Last Years, Commander Says
January 8, 2007

BAGHDAD, Jan. 7 — The new American operational commander in Iraq
said Sunday that even with the additional American troops likely to
be deployed in Baghdad under President Bush’s new war strategy
it might take another “two or three years” for American and Iraqi
forces to gain the upper hand in the war.

The commander, Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, assumed day-to-day
control of war operations last month in the first step of a makeover
of the American military hierarchy here. In his first lengthy meeting
with reporters, General Odierno, 52, struck a cautious note about
American prospects, saying much will depend on whether commanders
can show enough progress to stem eroding support in the United
States for the war.

“I believe the American people, if they feel we are making progress,
they will have the patience,” he said. But right now, he added,
“I think the frustration is that they think we are not making

The general laid out a plan to make an impact in Baghdad with
the additional troops. Several other military plans since the fall
of Baghdad in 2003 have faltered. He said he wanted the new
American units, working with three additional Iraqi combat
brigades that Iraqi officials say will be deployed in the capital,
to move back into the city’s toughest neighborhoods and
show that they can “protect the people,” which he said
coalition forces had previously failed to do.

General Odierno contrasted his approach with the last effort
to secure Baghdad, effectively abandoned for lack of enough
Iraqi troops last fall.

Then, American troops conducted house-to-house clearing
operations before moving on to other neighborhoods, leaving
the holding phase of the operation to Iraqi troops, who failed
to control the areas and forced Americans to return. This time,
the general said, American troops would remain in the cleared
areas “24/7,” to stiffen Iraqi resolve and build confidence
among residents that they would be treated evenhandedly.

Equally important, he said, coalition troops would move into
both Shiite and Sunni neighborhoods. That, too, would break
with the pattern set last fall, when American troops concentrated
on known Sunni insurgent strongholds, especially Dora, in
southwest Baghdad. This time, the general said, it was crucial
the security plan be evenhanded. “We have to have a believable
approach, of going after Sunni and Shia extremists,” he said.

Going into Shiite neighborhoods, particularly the sprawling
working-class district of Sadr City, the base for the powerful
Mahdi Army militia that has spawned Shiite death squads, will
risk new strains in the relationship between American commanders
and the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal
al-Maliki. Sunni leaders and, increasingly, American commanders
here have accused Mr. Maliki of a strong Shiite bias. The criticism
has intensified since the sectarian taunting by Shiite guards at the
hanging nine days ago of Iraq’s ousted dictator, Saddam Hussein,
an event personally planned by Mr. Maliki.

General Odierno said he envisaged making enough of a difference
within three or four months of the new deployments to move to
a second phase of the new plan, pulling American troops back
to the periphery of Baghdad and leaving Iraqi forces to carry on
the fight in the capital. He said he hoped to be able to do that
by August or September, but with American troops prepared
to move back into the capital rapidly if commanders conclude
that the pullback was “a miscalculation.”

Meeting American reporters over lunch at a villa in the grounds
of one of Mr. Hussein’s former palaces, General Odierno was
careful not to divulge details of Mr. Bush’s new war plan, which
the president is expected to make public in coming days, perhaps
on Wednesday.

But much of the Bush plan has been leaked, including an influx
of as many as 20,000 additional combat troops to Baghdad. Their
arrival would be staged over coming months as American commanders
watch to see whether the Iraqis, who made troop commitments
before that they have not fulfilled, meet their part of the deal.

Sending up to five additional combat brigades, as suggested by
administration officials in Washington who have discussed the
plan with reporters, would push the American force in Iraq to
at least 160,000 troops, close to the levels involved in the
invasion nearly four years ago.

This so-called surge would constitute an abrupt about-face
in American strategy, which has aimed in the past two years
for a drawdown of American troops as Iraqi forces take on
greater responsibility for the war.

General Odierno, the second-ranking American commander
here, will be joined in Baghdad in coming weeks by the new
overall commander chosen by Mr. Bush, Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus,
who will be promoted to full general when he succeeds Gen.
George W. Casey Jr., top commander in Iraq for the past two-
and-a-half years. The recasting of the war command will also
include a new top officer at the Central Command, with overall
responsibility for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That post will
go to Adm. William J. Fallon, a Navy officer who is now the American
commander in the Pacific. The appointments of Admiral Fallon
and General Petraeus are expected to be approved by the Senate.

Generals Petraeus and Odierno will assume control in Iraq at
a critical juncture, with additional American troops — assuming
Mr. Bush’s plan is not blocked by Democratic opponents in Congress
— and the burden of showing they can find ways of turning the
worsening situation around that escaped General Casey and
Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the operational commander who
preceded General Odierno. General Casey and General Chiarelli
have been wary of American troop increases, saying the key
to prevailing here is to have Iraqis take over, not to encourage
them to shelter behind enhanced American combat power.

The plans laid out by General Odierno appeared aimed at meeting
several goals in what American commanders here say has become
a highly complex interplay of American and Iraqi politics,
in addition to stabilizing a situation that has threatened
to spiral out of control as Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis move
ever closer to all-out civil war.

The commanders have acknowledged privately that the new
Bush plan is almost certain to represent a last-chance option
for persuading Americans that it is worth persisting with the
heavy burdens of the war, with more than 3,000 American
troops dead and overall costs that are nearing $450 billion.

General Odierno said one American goal would be to satisfy
Iraqi leaders’ insistence that American commanders transfer
to them as quickly as possible overall responsibility for the war.

One thorny issue for the Bush administration has been that
Iraqi leaders, facing the highest levels of violence in the war
and struggling with weaknesses in their forces, have been wary
of increasing American troop levels because of the impediment
that might pose to the Iraqis taking fuller control of events here.

General Odierno spoke of the mood in the United States as
another crucial factor. He served a year here in 2003 and 2004
as commander of the Fourth Infantry Division, during which
his troops took credit for capturing Mr. Hussein. But he spent
the last two years in Washington, the most recent 12 months
as military adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

He said he understood the failing confidence among Americans,
including some of those who had lost sons and daughters here,
that the war was worthwhile. The general’s own son, Capt.
Anthony Odierno, a 28-year-old West Point graduate, lost an
arm when a bomb detonated during a patrol in Baghdad in 2004.

As a father as well as a commander, the general said, he did not
doubt the sacrifices had been justified. “I believe it’s worth it,” he said.


5) Pelosi Hints at Denying Bush Iraq Funds
"She said Democrats are not interesting in cutting off money for
troops already in Iraq - 'We won't do that' - and that her party
favors increased the overall size of the Army by 30,000 and Marines
by 20,000 'to make sure we are able to protect the American people.'
...Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress has approved
about $500 billion for Iraq, Afghanistan and other terrorism-fighting
efforts. The White House is working on its largest-ever appeal
for more war funds - a record $100 billion, at least. It will be
submitted along with Bush's Feb. 5 budget."
The Associated Press
Sunday 07 January 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said newly empowered Democrats will
not give President Bush a blank check to wage war in Iraq, hinting
they could deny funding if he seeks additional troops.

"If the president chooses to escalate the war, in his budget request,
we want to see a distinction between what is there to support the
troops who are there now," she said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

"The American people and the Congress support those troops.
We will not abandon them. But if the president wants to add to this
mission, he is going to have to justify it and this is new for him
because up until now the Republican Congress has given him
a blank check with no oversight, no standards, no conditions,"
said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Her comments on CBS' "Face the Nation" came as Bush worked
to finish his new war plan that could send as many as 20,000
additional U.S. troops to Iraq and provide more money for jobs
and reconstruction programs.

Bush is expected to announce his plan as early as Wednesday.

When asked about the possibility of cutting off funds, House
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer declined to say whether Democrats
might do so, saying only that the current strategy clearly is
"not working."

"I don't want to anticipate that," said Hoyer, D-Md., on
"Fox News Sunday."

Some military officials, familiar with the discussions, say Bush
at first could send 8,000 to 10,000 new troops to Baghdad,
and possibly Anbar Province, and leave himself the option
of adding more later if security does not improve.

"Based on the advice of current and former military leaders,
we believe this tactic would be a serious mistake," Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Saturday in the
Democratic radio address.

Pelosi and Reid told Bush in a letter last week that Democrats
oppose additional U.S. forces in Iraq and want him to begin
withdrawing in four months to six months American troops
already there.

Pointing to the November elections that ousted Republicans
from control of the House and Senate, Pelosi said on CBS the
public is "watching to see what difference this election can
make. The president ought to heed their message....
We should not be obliged to an open-ended war."

She said Democrats are not interesting in cutting off money
for troops already in Iraq - "We won't do that" - and that her
party favors increased the overall size of the Army by 30,000
and Marines by 20,000 "to make sure we are able to protect
the American people."

"That's different though, than adding troops to Iraq,"
Pelosi said.

The speaker stopped short of stating categorically that
Democrats would block money for additional troops in Iraq.
But she did say, "The burden is on the president to justify any
additional resources.... The president's going to have to engage
with Congress in the justification for any additional troops."

Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, said it would be a "tragic mistake" if Bush chooses
to increase troops. But Biden, D-Del., said cutting off funds
was not an option.

"As a practical matter there is no way to say this is going
to be stopped," Biden said regarding a troop increase, unless
enough congressional Republicans join Democrats in convincing
Bush the strategy is wrong.

Biden added that it probably would be an unconstitutional
violation of separation of powers if Democrats were to block
Bush's efforts as commander in chief after Congress had voted
to authorize going to war.

"It's unconstitutional to say, you can go, but we're going
to micromanage," Biden said.

Although most of the discussion about Bush's anticipated
plan has focused on troop strength, his strategy also is expected
to address political and economic issues.

Military analysts say Army Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who recently
finished his tour as the No. 2 general in Iraq, has recommended
a short-term jobs program.

Bush is said to favor short-term jobs programs, making micro-
loans to small business and increasing the amount of money that
military commanders can spend quickly on local projects
to improve the daily lives of Iraqis.

Bush is expected to continue his briefings with lawmakers this
week, culminating in a meeting with bipartisan leadership on

Wednesday, according to lawmakers and aides.

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress has approved
about $500 billion for Iraq, Afghanistan and other terrorism-fighting
efforts. The White House is working on its largest-ever appeal
for more war funds - a record $100 billion, at least. It will be
submitted along with Bush's Feb. 5 budget.

"This war cost a trillion dollars if it ended now," Pelosi said.
"But more important than that, the lives lost, the casualties
sustained, the lost reputation in the world, and the damage
to our military readiness. For these and other reasons we
have to say to the president, in your speech ... we want to
see a plan in a new direction because the direction you've
been taking us in has not been successful.

"So when the bill comes ... it will receive the harshest
scrutiny. What do we really need to protect our troops?
What is there for an escalation? What is the justification for that?"


6) Private Firms Lure Chief Executives With Top Pay
January 8, 2007

Robert L. Nardelli’s unceremonious departure from Home Depot may
spell the end of the era of super-size pay packages for chief executives
of public companies, but a new refuge for lavish compensation
and private jets is emerging elsewhere.

Flush with hundreds of billions of dollars, private equity firms are
beginning to offer compensation on a previously unimaginable scale
to the chief executives who run the once-public companies that
the firms have bought out. At the privately held firms, the executives
still get salaries and bonuses, but a crucial difference lies in the
ownership positions they can secure, which can turn into particularly
bountiful riches when these businesses are sold or go public again.

While executives like Mr. Nardelli are being deposed, other public
company chieftains are deciding that they no longer want to
be judged by their shareholders and regulators, and are going
to work for businesses owned by private equity. The imperial
chief executive is still very much alive and well in the private realm.

“Five or 10 years ago, it used to be that private company C.E.O.’s
wanted to return to the public markets because they wanted
to run their own ship, not have private equity managers second-
guessing their decisions,” said Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, associate
dean of the Yale University School of Management.

Now, that pattern has reversed. “You regularly hear public
company C.E.O.’s talk about how they can make two or three
times the money in what they feel is half the effort because they
don’t have the same degree of scrutiny,” Mr. Sonnenfeld said.

David Calhoun, a 50-year-old vice chairman at General Electric
who ran the company’s $47 billion aircraft unit, left G.E. last
year to become chairman and chief executive of privately held
VNU, a $4.3 billion media company whose holdings include
Nielsen Media Research and The Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. Calhoun, who was a contemporary of Mr. Nardelli’s at
General Electric, was offered a compensation package worth
more than $100 million, according to executives involved
in negotiating the agreement. VNU, which up until last year
was a public company, is controlled by a consortium
of private equity firms led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
& Company.

Private equity investors “think about compensation differently.
They will spend the money to get the right person,” said
George B. Paulin, an executive pay consultant at Frederic
W. Cook & Company. They are “not under pressure to reform
the same way big public companies are,” he said.

This willingness to pay big money may bolster the argument
of defenders of corporate pay practices who have contended
that companies have simply been paying the going rate
in the market to attract top talent. At the same time,
however, private equity may be quicker than a public
company to fire an executive if he is not getting results.

“There’s also huge risk,” said Mr. Paulin, whose firm advised
on some of the richest pay packages for executives
at a number of big public companies. “It’s the classic
pay-for-performance model.”

Of course, the great irony is that private equity executives
usually get their biggest paydays when a private company
is either sold or taken public again. Then they again find
themselves in the public view.

Mark P. Frissora is an example of the risk being worth it.
Up until last year, Mr. Frissora was the chairman and chief
executive of Tenneco, the auto parts manufacturer. He was
making only a few million dollars a year at Tenneco when
executive recruiters approached him last year with several
job offers. Among them was one to lead a big public company.

But then he was offered the chief executive’s job at Hertz,
the rental car chain owned by a group of big private equity
firms, including Carlyle Group, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and
an investment arm of Merrill Lynch. The public company
offers could not compete.

Mr. Frissora left Tenneco for Hertz in July and was granted
a $4 million “make-whole” cash award and a guaranteed bonus
of almost $1 million for 2006. He also was given millions in stock
options and the chance to buy company stock — both at a very
steeply discounted prices — and a special dividend that would
put another $1.2 million in his pocket.

Less than six months and an initial public offering later,
Mr. Frissora is more than $33 million richer on paper, according
to an analysis by Brian Foley, an independent compensation
consultant in White Plains. He stands to make even more money
if Hertz’s share price goes up.

“It’s nice work if you can get it,” Mr. Foley said. And Mr. Frissora
is not the only one to reap such riches.

Millard S. Drexler made hundreds of millions of dollars and his
reputation as the merchant prince in his 16 years running the
Gap retail chain. Now, four years after the Texas Pacific Group,
a private equity firm, recruited him in to turn around J. Crew, he
has made a princely sum of money: at least $300 million,
and growing.

Mr. Drexler took $200,000 in annual salary and received no bonus,
but he was granted millions of stock options and shares of restricted
stock. Those awards are now worth $190 million after J. Crew’s
initial public offering last in June. Over the last three years, the company
also reimbursed Mr. Drexler hundreds of thousands of dollars for moving
expenses, a personal chauffeur and business use of a personal jet,
according to public filings.

Even more lucrative was the chance to invest $10 million of his own
money. That investment is now worth at least $120 million today,
and has helped him solidify a 12 percent ownership stake — a size
virtually unheard of for a public company chieftain who is not the
company’s founder.

That kind of money is exacerbating the tension at public companies,
where directors weigh the demands of top officers, who are aware
of the riches elsewhere, against the demands of shareholders,
who expect to see some gains in return.

“You have conflicting pressures where people in the private
markets are driving up the numbers of compensation at public
companies,” said William W. George, the former Medtronic
chairman who serves on the boards of Exxon Mobil and
Goldman Sachs.

It is probably not surprising that some of the best examples
of imperial chief executives of the recent past — John F. Welch Jr.
of General Electric, Louis V. Gerstner of I.B.M. and Lawrence A.
Bossidy of Honeywell International — have all since ventured
into private equity after their retirement as advisors. Even
Mr. Nardelli, who departed abruptly on Wednesday and will exit
with a $210 million pay package, has already received phone
calls, e-mail messages and letters from the nation’s largest
private equity firms all seeking his services and dangling the
possibility of even more money, according to people in private
equity who approached him.

“He will wind up making a lot more money with a lot less grief
in the private equity world,” Leon Cooperman, one of Home Depot’s
largest shareholders, said on CNBC about an hour after news
of Mr. Nardelli’s departure. “I think it will be long time before
Bob Nardelli gets involved in a public company again.”

Some worry that with executives all rushing to take their companies
private, the United States is going to become less competitive.
Last month, the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation published
a report, which was endorsed by Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury
secretary, calling for a lightening of the regulatory burden on public

Henry Silverman, who spent the last decade building Cendant into
an $18 billion conglomerate — it owned dozens of the nation’s most
prominent businesses like Century 21, Avis, Days Inn and Orbitz —
through a number of stock deals, says being public is no longer
attractive. He broke up Cendant into four pieces and last month
sold Realogy, its former real estate unit, to Apollo Management,
a private equity firm.

“There is no reason to be a public company anymore,” he said.

“You don’t need access to the public market,” because, he said,
of the enormous amount of money sloshing around private equity
and hedge funds.

Like Mr. Nardelli, Mr. Silverman of Cendant had been accused
of being an imperial chief executive with an outsized pay package.
He is estimated to have made $36.6 million in salary and bonus
and reaped $223 million from exercising options between 1998
and 2002. And he will make $135 million more as a result
of selling Realogy.

“Wherever I show up next, it will not be at a public company,”
Mr. Silverman said.


7) Tax Cuts Offer Most for Very Rich, Study Says
By Edmund L. Andrews
January 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 — Families earning more than $1 million a year
saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the
country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts, according to a new
Congressional study.

The study, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, also
shows that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up in 2004,
the most recent year for which data was available, while rates
for people at the very top continued to decline.

Based on an exhaustive analysis of tax records and census data,
the study reinforced the sense that while Mr. Bush’s tax cuts reduced
rates for people at every income level, they offered the biggest benefits
by far to people at the very top — especially the top 1 percent
of income earners.

Though tax cuts for the rich were bigger than those for other
groups, the wealthiest families paid a bigger share of total taxes.
That is because their incomes have climbed far more rapidly, and
the gap between rich and poor has widened in the last several years.

The study offers ammunition to supporters and opponents of
Mr. Bush’s tax cuts, which are all but certain to touch off a battle
between the president and the Democrats who just took control of

Democratic leaders have taken pains to avoid an immediate fight
over the tax cuts, most of which are scheduled to expire at the end
of 2010. But Democrats are looking for ways to increase revenue
well before then, in part because they want to spend more
on education and energy without increasing the deficit.

Economists and tax analysts have long known that the biggest dollar
value of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts goes to people at the very top income
levels. One reason is that two of his signature measures, tax cuts
on investment income and a steady reduction of estate taxes,
overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest households.

But the Congressional study offers additional insight because it
incorporates information about what people paid in 2004, the
first year in which taxpayers could take full advantage of the cuts
on stock dividends and capital gains.

The study estimates that the effective federal income tax rate,
which excludes payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare,
declined modestly for people in the middle- and lower-income

Families in the middle fifth of annual earnings, who had average
incomes of $56,200 in 2004, saw their average effective tax rate
edge down to 2.9 percent in 2004 from 5 percent in 2000. That
translated to an average tax cut of $1,180 per household, but the
tax rate actually increased slightly from 2003.

Tax cuts were much deeper, and affected far more money, for families
in the highest income categories. Households in the top 1 percent of
earnings, which had an average income of $1.25 million, saw their
effective individual tax rates drop to 19.6 percent in 2004 from 24.2
percent in 2000. The rate cut was twice as deep as for middle-income
families, and it translated to an average tax cut of almost $58,000.

In its report, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the overall
effective federal tax rate edged up to 20 percent in 2004, from 19.8
percent the year before.

But even with that increase, Americans faced lower tax rates than any
time since 1979. If President Bush has his way, those rates could
decline even more as the estate tax on inherited wealth is gradually
phased out by the start of 2010.

Mr. Bush and his Republican allies in Congress want to permanently
extend that tax cut and almost all of the others that Congress passed
in his first term. The cost of doing that would be more than $1 trillion
over the next decade, a cost that would hit the Treasury at the same
time that the spending on old-age benefits for retiring baby boomers
begins to soar.

The budget office offered little commentary on its new estimates, but
many of its numbers spoke for themselves.

The report shows that a comparatively small number of very wealthy
households account for a very big share of total tax payments, and
their share increased in the first four years after Mr. Bush’s tax cuts.

The top 1 percent of income earners paid about 36.7 percent of federal
income taxes and 25.3 percent of all federal taxes in 2004. The top
20 percent of income earners paid 67.1 percent of all federal taxes,
up from 66.1 percent in 2000, according to the budget office.

By contrast, families in the bottom 40 percent of income earners, those
with incomes below $36,300, typically paid no federal income tax and
received money back from the government. That so-called negative
income tax stemmed mainly from the earned-income tax credit,
a program that benefits low-income parents who are employed.

Put another way: rich families were the undisputed winners from
President Bush’s tax cuts, but people in the bottom half of the
earnings scale were not paying much in taxes anyway.


8) Queens Man Dies After Police Use Taser, Reports Say
By John Holusha
January 8, 2007

A 38-year-old man went into cardiac arrest at his uncle’s home
in Queens on Sunday afternoon after a struggle with police officers
in which they tried to subdue him with a Taser gun, according
to media reports.

It was evidently the second death in two days involving Taser guns,
which are supposedly a non-lethal way for the police to deal
with uncooperative people. According to The Associated Press,
a 45-year-old Tennessee man died Saturday in Fort Pierce, Fla.,
after being struck twice by shocks from a Taser gun.

In Queens, the police were summoned to a house in the Rosedale
section where Blondel Lassegue was said to have stopped taking
his medicine for mental disorders and was acting erratically.
When the four police officers tried to arrest him, he reportedly
became combative and resisted efforts to take him into custody.

After trying a chemical spray, the police used a Taser gun.
Mr. Lassegue went into cardiac arrest shortly afterward and
was taken to Franklin Hospital, where he was pronounced dead..

In the Florida case, Douglas John Ilten of Nashville, Tenn., was
reported to have been acting erratically, hurling musical
instruments out of a rental truck at a gas station, according
to The Associated Press.

The Fort Pierce police said that Mr. Ilten, who was handcuffed,
struggled with officers as they tried to put leg restraints on him
in the back of a patrol car. When he kept struggling, the police
used two bursts from a Taser, The A.P. said. When the officers
noticed a few minutes later that Mr. Ilten was not breathing,
they were unable to revive him with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

There have been multiple studies of the effect of using the Taser
electric stun weapons, which can fire electrified barbs up to
25 feet. An academic study released last year preliminarily
concluded that the guns did not cause heart rhythm disturbances
if used for short periods on healthy people.


[Col. Writ. 12/3/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

It's boy's night out, and a group of brothers are having a bachelor's
party at a neighborhood club. One of them is particularly thrilled,
because his marriage to the woman he loves is just hours away.

But he will never marry, because a pack of wild, undercover cops will
execute him, and unleash a deadly rain of 50 bullets on he and his friends.

The crime? Cruising While Black ... Sean Bell, unarmed, was 23.

And the corporate media merely explains it may've been a case of
"contagious" shooting -- one cop fires, two cops fire, three cops ...
get the picture?

It's a kind of social illness, like alcoholism.

But neither Sean Bell, Trent Benefield, nor Joseph Guzman were armed.
According to some reports, one of them *said* he was armed.

Like the madmen who launched a preemptive war on the unsubstantiated
suspicion of weapons of mass destruction, undercover cops launched an
urban preemptive war on unarmed young Black men, reportedly based on
unsubstantiated suspicions. *50 shots*. Death, and serious injury.

No cellphones; no wallets; no threatening candy bars -- for such
trifles are no longer deemed necessary.

In America, blackness is sufficient.

Even maleness isn't required, as shown by the recent shooting of an
elderly woman who allegedly allowed a drug dealer to use her home.
Katherine Johnston, having lived almost 9 decades, was shot to death
while trying to defend her Atlanta home after it was attacked by
undercover cops.

According to a neighborhood snitch, he never claimed her house was a
drug site, despite police pressure to do so.

No significant quantities of drugs were found at the home.

What was *her* crime? Trying-to-survive-to-90-while-Black?

What's more dangerous -- drugs, or armed undercover cops kicking in
doors allegedly on drug raids?

Police suspicion, it seems, is a weapon of urban war. Several years
ago, writer Kristian Williams noted a case where a whole community was
held under siege, because of police suspicion. In his remarkable 2003
book, *Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America* (Brooklyn, NY: Soft
Skull Press), Williams recounted an amazing story:

"The racial politics of police suspicion are well illustrated by the
North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation's 'Operation Ready-Rock.'
In November 1990, forty-five state cops, including canine units and the
paramilitary Special Response Team, lay siege to the 100 block of Graham
Street, in a black neighborhood of Chapel Hill. Searching for crack
cocaine, the cops sealed off the streets, patrolled with dogs, and
ransacked a neighborhood pool hall. In terms of crime control, the
mission was a flop. Although nearly 100 people were detained and
searched, only 13 were arrested, and one of them convicted.
Nevertheless, and despite a successful class action lawsuit, the cops
defended their performance and no officers were disciplined.

"When applying for a warrant to search every person and vehicle on the
block, the police had assured the judge, 'there are no 'innocent' people
at this place ... Only drug sellers and drug buyers are on the described
premises.' But once the clamp-down was underway, they became more
discriminating: Blacks were detained and searched, sometimes at
gunpoint, while whites were permitted to leave the cordoned area." [p. 121]

How many of the armed maniacs who shot Johnston, Bell, Guzman or
Benefield will ever see the inside of a cell? How many will reach the
confines of Death Row?

We *know* the answer -- because we've seen this movie before ... Paid
leave (which amounts to paid vacations), a whitewash of an
investigation, and a 'they-were-doing-their-jobs' is all that ever happens.

It's a damned shame.

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Col. Writ. 12/16/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

In the last few years, we've all seen nothing but mass violations of
virtually every international human rights treaty.

Torture, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, violence against
civilians, orders to ignore the Geneva Conventions .... The list goes on
and on.

How has the American government dealt with this state of affairs?

It has virtually ignored it.

There have been a handful of military prosecutions against relatively
low level people, but there is a steel ceiling, above which the
prosecutors dare not go.

That's because the violations of international law go to the highest
levels of the U.S. government.

Writer Lila Rajiva argues, in her remarkable *The Language of Empire:
Abu Ghraib and the American Media* (New York: Monthly Review Press,
2005), that the tortures at Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of
Baghdad shows something deep and ugly in the American state:

"The Prometheans of today acknowledge no limits except of their own
imagining, and at least for now the world that they find themselves in
allows them the self-indulgence of that imagining. With such absolute
power comes absolute corruption, only not the corruption that the law
easily unmasks, the simple corruption of bribery and chicanery. The
occupation of Iraq displays ample evidence of that as well, but the
deeper corruption that rote the institutions of America today is one
legitimated by law, whose presence is revealed not in the courthouse but
in the solitary recesses of prison cells hidden from the light. Torture
is the insignia of this corrupt power. Torture is the deadly proof of
the metastasizing cancer of American empire." [p. 186]

Rajiva tells us many of the stories from Iraq that have been largely
whitewashed from the safe coverage that the corporate media airs. She
tells us the many cases where Iraqi women were raped by Americans, and
subjected to public humiliations.

Perhaps if more Americans read, saw or heard such accounts, they would
not be mystified by the steady growing of the insurgency in Iraq, which
is surely fueled, in part, by how Americans treated Iraqi men and women
in prisons there.

The corporate US media has done more to misinform its public than to
inform them. They keep Americans in the dark, while people all around
the world know more about America than Americans.

In this context, we can continue the illusion that the US is 'doing
good' in this new kind of colonialism of Arab lands. It is this mass
disinformation campaign that allows political figures to float the mad
idea of more troops in Iraq.

The somewhat tame Iraq Study Group report has come and gone, with
supporters of the military-industrial-complex working their media assets
to insure that their defense contractors keep getting paid.

Discussions over Geneva Conventions might as well be about treaties with
space aliens, as arcane as they are to most of us. But the Geneva
Conventions aren't rocket science. There are 4 of them. The first
governs wounded and sick soldiers; the second relates to the treatment
of war prisoners captured at sea; the third deals with treatment of
prisoners of war; and the fourth governs how citizens should be treated
in times of war. Under the articles of these conventions, people had
express rights to fair, humane treatment, family visitation, and the
right to be processed by "competent tribunal"[s]. As the flicks from
Abu Ghraib showed, in living color, folks were treated like dogs.
Geneva, though, to be 'quaint', didn't apply.

When it comes to the Empire, there is no higher law.

The Emperor has spoken: that is all that is needed to launch wars,
torture, terrorize, bomb, imprison, kill, obliterate.

That kind of logic can only lead to more disaster.

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Source: Rajiva, L., *The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the
American Media* (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005).]


11) Norway, Cuba deplore U.S.-owned hotel ban
Fri Jan 5, 4:26 PM ET

Norway and Cuba on Friday deplored the decision of a U.S.-owned hotel
in Oslo to deny lodging to a Cuban delegation in compliance with U.S.
trade sanctions against Havana.

Norway's main trade union LO threatened to boycott the Scandic hotel
chain, owned by the U.S.-based Hilton Hotels Corp., if it did not
reverse its policy.

The Scandic Edderkoppen hotel in Oslo refused to book rooms for a
14-member Cuban delegation planning to attend a travel fair in the
Norwegian capital next week.

"These actions from Scandic managers are totally unacceptable,"
deputy Foreign Minister Raymond Johansen told Reuters by telephone.

"In Norway we are based on Norwegian law and Norwegian practices, not
those of any other country," he said.

Cuba accused Europe of bowing to American pressure.

"Helms-Burton rules in Europe," the ruling Communist Party newspaper
Granma said in a front-page story that slammed the Norwegian hotel
for what it said was kowtowing to Washington.

The 1996 Helms-Burton law, which codified trade and financial
sanctions enforced since 1962 against Fidel Castro's communist
government, bans U.S. companies and subsidiaries from doing business
with Cuba.

Johansen said the Norwegian government would have to take up the
issue with Washington.

The LO union, which is allied to Norway's center-left government,
said it was "deeply shocked" by the hotel's policy, saying it was a
"clear breach of Norwegian law, which forbids discrimination based on

"We find it to be a very serious matter that a Norwegian hotel chain
maintains the United States' boycott of Cuba," the union said in a
statement on its Web site.

Last year the U.S.-owned Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in Mexico City
expelled a delegation of 16 Cubans to comply with U.S. sanctions
against Cuba.

The decision sparked protests in Mexico and led authorities to slap
the hotel with a $112,000 fine. (Additional reporting by Anthony
Boadle in Havana)

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited.



Gas-Like Odor Permeates Parts of New York City
January 8, 2007

The Second Declaration of Havana
Walter Lippmann, CubaNews Los Angeles, California
This is one of the great political documents of all time. It was
presented to the Cuban people on February 4, 1962, following Cuba's
expulsion from the Organization of American States. It is printed
here in its entirety. [editorial note from Fidel Castro Speaks,
edited by James Petras and Martin Kenner, Grove Press, 1969.]
It is now web-posted in English here:
Original Spanish:

The universe gives up its deepest secret
It is the invisible material that makes up most of the cosmos.
Now, scientists have created the first image of dark matter
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 08 January 2007

Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's
most precious commodity
The Independent (UK)
January 7, 2007

In Obesity Fight, Many Fear a Note From School
January 8, 2007

America's Holy Warriors
By Chris Hedges
"The former New York Times Mideast Bureau chief warns that the
radical Christian right is coming dangerously close to its goal
of co-opting the country's military and law enforcement.", 31 December 2006

Mexico’s New President Sends Thousands of Federal Officers to Fight Drug Cartels
January 7, 2007

In a Divided Israel, Angry Words or No Words at All
January 7, 2007

U.S. Selecting Hybrid Design for Warheads
January 7, 2007

Future of Iraq: The spoils of war
How the West will make a killing on Iraqi oil riches
By Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb
Published: 07 January 2007
http://news. independent. middle_east/ article2132569. ece

FOCUS | Revealed: Israel Plans Nuclear Strike on Iran

The real Iraq Study Group
Forget Jim Baker's crew. The neocon hawks who sold the war, joined by
John McCain and Joe Lieberman, unveiled their new plan for "victory":
At least 25,000 new troops in combat roles well into 2008.
By Mark Benjamin

With Each Fallen Soldier, a Field of Flags Grows
January 6, 2007

Watada hearing tackles free speech
for soldiers, relevancy of truth
Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist.
January 5, 2007

FOCUS | Images of Hanging Make Hussein a Martyr to Many

FOCUS | In Iraq New General, New Escalation

Fund banks on Cuba
A Miami-based closed-end fund focusing on companies that may
eventually benefit from trade ties with Cuba produced high returns,
as investors bet change is coming soon to the communist island.
Posted on Fri, Jan. 05, 2007

Bill Moyers | For America's Sake
In an adaptation of remarks made by Bill Moyers to a December 12
gathering in New York sponsored by The Nation, Bill Moyers says, "Everywhere
you turn you'll find people who believe they have been written out of
the story. Everywhere you turn there's a sense of insecurity grounded in
a gnawing fear that freedom in America has come to mean the freedom of
the rich to get richer even as millions of Americans are dumped from
the Dream. So let me say what I think up front: The leaders and thinkers
and activists who honestly tell that story and speak passionately of
the moral and religious values it puts in play will be the first
political generation since the New Deal to win power back for the people."

SOA Watch Activists Face Prison
[Formerly School of the Americas - renamed the Western
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in 2001 (SOA/WHINSEC),
the controversial U.S. Army run school that trains
Latin American military and security]

Canada: Goodyear to Change Tire Plant
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will stop producing tires
at its Valleyfield, Quebec, plant and turn it into a materials mixing
center by the end of June, cutting 800 jobs, the company said. Goodyear
expects to save about $40 million a year under the plan, which will cut
the hourly and salaried work force at the unionized plant to 200 from
about 1,000. Goodyear expects to take charges of $115 million to
$120 million, or $165 million to $170 million after tax, for
restructuring and accelerated depreciation at Valleyfield, with
most of the charges in the fourth quarter.
January 5, 2007

Living the New Year's Raid on Ramallah
By Dana Shalah, Live from Palestine,
5 January 2007
I never thought I would be so happy to come back home. I
am still disoriented and traumatized, and though I had
taken pain killers, and coffee after coffee, I just can't
bring myself to sleep. Early this morning while walking in
Ramallah, I took a road that brought awful memories into
my head. Last year, I witnessed one of the Israeli forces'
raids in Ramallah. Though it was from a distance, it was a
chilling experience to be totally surrounded by bullets
and blood. I have just come back from Ramallah where
together with my sister I was locked inside a building at
Al Manara, Ramallah's city center, for four hours.

With the New Year, will Ha'aretz's op-ed page be any
By Zachary Wales, The Electronic Intifada,
3 January 2007
On New Year's Day, notions of resolve, reform, or
reflection come as no surprise on newspaper editorial
pages. Similarly unsurprising are the op-eders that carry
on with business as usual. Things were no different on
Ha'aretz's opinion page, which kept an even keel of New
Yearisms. Rather untypical, however, was the limited role
that honesty played in the mix. The most curious example
was the lead editorial, -- often viewed as any paper's
mouthpiece -- entitled, "Our obligation to refugees, as

Why an academic boycott of Israel is necessary
By Lawrence Davidson, The Electronic Intifada,
3 January 2007
Let me begin by stating that any successful academic
boycott imposed upon Israeli institutions of higher
education will assuredly have an impact on the academic
freedom of Israeli scholars and teachers, at least in
terms of its expression beyond their national borders. Is
this acceptable? After all, other teachers and scholars
who obviously have a stake in academic freedom, will have
to cooperate with the boycott if it is to have an impact.
As one of those academics, my answer to this question is
that it is not only acceptable but absolutely necessary.

Boulevard in Newark Runs From Decline to Rebirth
January 5, 2007

Remain Silent? Some in Custody Spell It All Out
January 5, 2007

Bush Signing Statement Claims Power to Open Americans' Mail
President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open
Americans' mail without a judge's warrant. The president asserted his new
authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on December 20,
followed by a "signing statement."

Israel’s use of biological weapons in 1948
By Yossi Schwartz and Fred Weston
Thursday, 04 January 2007

Bush Issues Signing Statement, Declares Right to Open Mail

Iraq Vets Left in Physical and Mental Agony

2007 Predicted to Be World's Warmest Year

Meatpacking Laborers Victimized
By David Bacon, The American Prospect
Posted on January 3, 2007, Printed on January 3, 2007

A Challenge to the Supreme Court
Can the US Kill Iraqi Children Legally?
January 4, 2007

France: Bill to Redress Homelessness
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin introduced legislation that would
give the homeless an enforceable right to housing. The move was
in response to a yearlong campaign on behalf of the homeless that
included the distribution of tents for people living on the street.
A concentration of the tents in the 10th Arrondissement in Paris
brought the issue to a head, and on New Year’s Eve, President Jacques
Chirac promised to ask the government to work on legislation.
The proposed law, Mr. de Villepin said, would “put the right to
housing on the same level as the right to medical care or education.”
January 4, 2007




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,


7:00 PM Saturday, January 13
522 Valencia Street , 3rd Floor Auditorium
Hear about:
-Factories run by workers
-The election turnout for Hugo Chavez
-Occupied factories
-Socialism of the 21st Century
See: A short film on current developments
in Venezuela .
-John Peterson, National Secretary
of US Hands Off Venezuela (recently
returned from Venezuela )
-A speaker from Global Exchange
-A speaker from Global Women’s
Strike, San Francisco Bay Area
-An opportunity for discussion will follow
the presentations.
Sponsored by Hands Off Venezuela
Hands Off Venezuela is an international
organization dedicated to the principle
that the people of Venezuela have the
right to determine their own destiny
without interference from foreign
Contact info:
phone (415) 786-1680


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.


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