Monday, February 05, 2007



4,000 ADDICTED To WAR books were delivered January 30, 2007
to the San Francisco School District to be used in high schools as
a supplemental book for history teachers, grades 10 thru 12.

[This is a great "comic book" style history of U.S. wars and
a very antiwar book...I recommend it highly. It should be
a regular history text! Many thanks to Pat Gerber. For
more information about the book and how you can
get a copy go to:]

The Curriculum and Materials Committee voted on this.
All three then-members of the sub-committee voted "Aye,"

San Francisco Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval was on Hannity
& Colmes on Monday, January 15th, defending "Addicted
to War." on this issue. Hannity was awful, calling the book
left-wing propaganda etc. Sandoval held his ground.

Addicted To War author Joel Andreas was originally scheduled
to go on Hannity & Colmes but for some reason they
cancelled his appearance.

The books were delivered today to history teacher
Pete Hammer:

Pete Hammer
History/Social Studies Content Specialist
Office of Teaching and Learning
San Francisco Unified School District
1098 Harrison St. San Francisco, CA 94103
Fax: 415-355-7611
petehammer@comcast. net

The person who worked to make this happen is Pat
Gerber, an activist from San Francisco.

Author Joel Andreas is now teaching sociology at Johns
Hopkins University in Baltimore:

Frank Dorrel
Addicted To War
P.O. Box 3261
Culver City, CA 90231-3261
fdorrel@sbcglobal. net
www.addictedtowar. com


A Girl Like Me
7:08 min
Youth Documentary
Kiri Davis, Director, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, Producer
Winner of the Diversity Award
Sponsored by Third Millennium Foundation


Defend Former Panthers Arrested on 30-year Old Charges
Committee for the Defense of Human Rights
Murder Charges Against Former Black Panthers Based
on Confessions Extracted by Torture


Get Involved! Mass Mailing for March 18
Tues. Feb. 6, Mailing starts 10am/Meeting 7pm
Weekly A.N.S.W.E.R. Activist Meeting
2489 Mission St. Room 30 (at 21st St.) near 24th St.
BART, #14, #49 MUNI, San Francisco
Call 415-821-6545 or email for more info.


A Firsthand Account
Thursday, February 15, 7:00 P.M.
522 Valencia Street, 3rd Floor, Auditorium
Cost: $5 ($3 students, seniors, unemployed)
Sponsored by Colombia Solidarity Committee
Cell 424-6029
email: companeros98@

What if you were on trial and you couldn't choose your own
lawyer or call witnesses in your own defense?

Patriots not Terrorists!

Two cases are going on right now in Washington , D.C. where
this is the case. The trial of Ricardo Palmera (Simon
Trinidad), and Anayibe Rojas Valderrama (Sonia). Both are
Colombian citizens and members of the FARC, an organization
that has been fighting for 40 years against the most
violent repressive regime in Latin America .

Come and hear the witness who was not allowed to testify.

Imelda Daza Cotes was an activist and a member of the
Patriotic Union (UP) in Colombia . The UP was a leftist
third party created through peace accords. Four thousand UP
members, candidates, and elected officials, were
assassinated by the right-wing government supported
military forces. Daza Cotes fled Colombia to protect her
life. She will speak about the US intervention in Plan
Colombia , the repression of the Colombian government, and
the injustice of Palemera's and Anayibe Rojas Valderrama's

SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2007
(The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is taking
place on Sat., March 17 in SF.)
For more information:
Phone: 415-821-6545
Fax: 415-821-5782


Film/Song about Angola


"200 million children in the world sleep in the streets today.
Not one of them is Cuban."
(A sign in Havana)
View sign at bottom of page at:
[Thanks to Norma Harrison for sending]


1) Beware of Child Predators
by Laurence M. Vance
from LewRockwell. com

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 3 February 2007

3) Pentagon Big Winner in Bush Budget Plan
Filed at 10:33 p.m. ET
February 3, 2007

4) Record $622 Billion Budget Requested for the Pentagon
February 3, 2007

5) No Child Left Behind and the Imperial Project
Cutting the Schools-to-War Pipeline
February 2, 2007

6) Being called back to active duty hard for some reservists
Denied--It was the only word Drew Sleezer really heard when he got
the phone call recently.
http://www.azcentra articles/ 0204reservists02 04.html

7) Bush Sends $2.9 Trillion Budget to Hill
February 5, 2007

8) A Bleak Assessment on Iraq
New York Times Editorial
February 5, 2007

9) Gary Tyler’s Lost Decades
February 5, 2007
Destrehan, La.

10) U.S. Set to Begin a Vast Expansion of DNA Sampling
February 5, 2007

11) The Green-Zoning of America
Op-Ed Columnist
February 5, 2007

12) Explosion kills 30 in Colombian mine
By Daniel Munoz
Sun Feb 4, 2007 11:37 PM GMT

13) Who’s Attacking an Online Marxist Archive?
China Is Suspected of Trying to Block Access to Texts
February 5, 2007

14) Numbers Show How Police Work Varies by Precinct
February 5, 2007


1) Beware of Child Predators
by Laurence M. Vance
from LewRockwell. com


There is a new breed of child predator on the loose. You won't find
him featured on America's Most Wanted or appearing on the FBI's Ten
Most Wanted list. Up until now parents who were concerned about
child predators could check their state's Sex Offender Registries or
the Child Predator Watch List. But now we can thank Ladies Home
Journal magazine for informing parents about this dangerous new
predator in an article that appears in the latest issue (February
2007) called "This Man Wants Your Children."

I don't normally read Ladies Home Journal. In fact, I don't think I
had ever read a single copy until I happened recently to look
through the latest issue. Unfortunately, Ladies Home Journal has
enlisted in the service of the state. The purpose of its thirteen-
page child predator article was not to warn parents about predators
at all – it was to promote them.

You see, "This Man Wants Your Children" was not about sex offenders –
even though some of them are sex offenders – it was about Army
recruiters; specifically, Sergeant First Class Chad Christenson, one
of the top Army recruiters in the country. Indeed, Sgt. Christenson
was the Army's "Recruiter of the Year" in 2005.

We learn a number of things in this article about recruiters and
recruiting. The 2005 military recruiting budget was about $4
billion. Since the recruiting numbers were way down in 2005, "the
Army added 1,000 new recruiters, doubled the maximum sign-in bonus
from $20,000 to $40,000, relaxed standards and raised the maximum-
age limit." Then there was the new $200 million ad campaign for
2006. We are also told that "in 2005 the Army officially
investigated 836 allegations of recruiter misconduct." The Army now
accepts lower entrance scores on aptitude tests, grants more "moral
waivers" to allow convicted criminals to enlist, and allows non-
citizens to gain their citizenship after only one year of active
duty. The enlistment age has been raised from 35 to 40 to 42. Older
women who want to enlist will find that the physical fitness
requirements are now less rigorous – they must now be able to do
three push-ups. Oh, and the Army now has a MySpace profile.

Thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which mandates
that "public high school administrators are required to allow
military recruiters access to students or risk losing federal
funding," Christenson preys on high school students. He is stationed
in Texas, "the state that contributed more 2005 and 2006 Army
enlistees than any other." He is paid about $64,000 to "show young
Texans how the Army can enrich their lives." I know public high
school teachers that make half of that and private high school
teachers who make less than half of that. Christenson says the Army
changed his life – "It made me who I am." But who he is?

We read in this article about some of the people Christenson
persuades to join the Army. One recruit tells him that he wants to
serve in the infantry. His reason: "It's a moral thing with me.
After what happened on 9/11, I can't live with myself if I don't go
to war." Does Christenson tell the young man that the war in Iraq
has nothing to do with 9/11? Why not? "We have no evidence that
Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th," said
Christenson' s commander in chief in answer to a reporter's question
on September 17, 2003, after hundreds of U.S. soldiers had already
died for a lie. Another recruit is a forty-one-year- old mother of
five. Does Christenson tell her that it would better if she stayed
home with her family? Does he tell her about the female U.S.
soldiers who have been killed in Iraq? Why not? I have posted their
names and pictures here.

What else is Christenson not telling young men and women about the
U.S. military? Is he telling them that the military does very little
to actually defend the country? Is he telling them that the military
is not defending our freedoms? Is he telling them that the military
is protecting the shores, guarding the borders, and patrolling the
coasts of other countries instead of our own? Is he telling them
that the military is garrisoning the planet with its military bases?
Is he telling them that the war in Iraq has lasted longer than the
war against Nazi Germany? Is he telling them that the military has
troops in over 150 different regions of the world?

Why not?

Sgt. Christenson is supposed to be an honest man. We are told in the
Ladies Home Journal article that he is "familiar with the dark side
of recruiting, of course – the improprieties brought on by the
pressure to meet quotas," but that "he scrupulously avoids the sorts
of ethical lapses – such as misleading potential recruits (or their
parents) about the chances of going to Iraq – that have tripped up
other recruiters." This means that he doesn't tell students that the
war in Iraq is over in order to get them to enlist – like some Army
recruiters did. So why doesn't he tell young men and women the whole

I wonder how many people would join the Army if the gentleman in
this picture were a recruiter? Since he left his legs in Iraq – or
what was left of them – for what will go down in history as the lie
of the century, perhaps he would be more inclined to give a little
more information to potential recruits than Sgt. Christenson.
Instead of talking about the amount of a sign-in bonus, he could
talk about the more than 3,000 U.S. soldiers that have been killed
in Iraq. Instead of speaking about the free health care that the
military provides, he could speak about the hundreds of disabled
soldiers who are missing body parts like he is. Instead of
discussing the amount of money available from the military for
college, he could discuss the costs of the war in Iraq – now over
$200 million a day. Instead of mentioning the structure and
stability that the military provides, he could mention the tens of
thousands – and perhaps hundreds of thousands – of Iraqis who have
been killed since the U.S. invaded Iraq almost four years ago.
Instead of conversing about how the military has lowered enlistment
standards, he could converse about the evils of an interventionist
U.S. foreign policy that sends young men to die for a lie. And
instead of informing potential soldiers about the variety of
positions available in the military, he could inform them about the
animosity that exists between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims that has
now erupted – thanks to the United States – into a civil war.

Perhaps some disabled soldiers who now realize that they gave their
limbs in vain should sue the U.S. military under the Americans with
Disabilities Act for the right to be a recruiter. I wonder what
employing handicapped soldiers would do for enlistment quotas?

Protect your children and the children of everyone you know: Warn
them about child predators – and especially those in uniform.

January 29, 2007

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] is a freelance writer and an
adjunct instructor in accounting at Pensacola Junior College in
Pensacola, FL. He is also the director of the Francis Wayland
Institute. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays
Against the Warfare State. His latest book is King James, His Bible,
and Its Translators. Visit his website.

Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell. com

Laurence M. Vance Archives


Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 3 February 2007

In recent days the unremitting, murderous brutality of the
Israeli occupation has been eclipsed by the carnage in
Gaza as dozens of Palestinians have been killed in what is
commonly referred to as "interfactional fighting" between
forces loyal to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud
Abbas and his Fatah faction on the one hand, and the
Hamas-led government on the other.

The airwaves have been filled with anguished calls from
every sector of Palestinian society -- political parties,
nongovermental organizations, and Christian and Muslim
religious leaders -- for the fighting to cease and for a
return to dialogue.

Perhaps for fear of exacerbating the already bitter
situation, few of these voices have directly confronted
the engine of this violence.

In the fevered minds of Bush administration ideologues,
Palestine has become another front in what they conceive
of as a new Cold War against "Islamofascism." They see
Iran as the central target and proxy battles are being
waged against a phantom enemy from Afghanistan and
Pakistan, through Iraq into Palestine, Lebanon, Somalia
and ever onwards wherever Arabs and Muslims are to be
found. In every case, local conflicts with specific
histories are being escalated and marshalled into this
grand narrative .

Mahmoud Abbas and Gaza warlord Muhammad Dahlan have become
the willing proxies for the Palestine franchise of this
wider project, as their tactics and loyalists' statements

The latest round of fighting began on February 1, when
forces of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, run by the
Hamas government, attempted to interdict a convoy of
trucks that crossed into Gaza from Israel. Officials
alleged that the trucks were carrying weapons destined for
the Presidential Guard.

Fatah figures, speaking on the BBC Arabic Service,
vehemently denied the allegation, making contradictory
claims about the contents of the trucks. One said they
contained "food and medicine for the Palestinian people,"
another "tents and equipment," and another still
"electrical generators and spare parts." No two denials

Yet the fact that the Presidential Guard is receiving arms
via Israel is common knowledge to Palestinians in Gaza and
the West Bank and has been talked about openly in the
Israeli media for months. Since October, eight truckloads
of AK-47 rifles and machine guns and several million
rounds of ammunition have entered Gaza from Israel through
the Nahal Oz and Kerem Shalom crossings, according to a
high-ranking officer of the Force-17 Fatah militia who
conveyed this information to Hebron-based journalist
Khaled Amayreh. Not all these guns go solely to the
Presidential Guard; many are sold on to the highest

And just days ago, President Bush announced that he would
transfer $86 million dollars in the near future to further
boost Abbas.

In order to change the subject from the scandal of the
Palestinian "presidency" receiving US arms through Israel
to use against the Palestinian people, the Presidential
Guard launched a counterattack against the Islamic
University in Gaza shelling, burning and destroying parts
of it. Abbas' officials claimed that their forces had
arrested seven Iranian weapons experts working for Hamas,
and labelled Hamas leaders "extremists" and "putschists."
Fatah and Fatah-backed local radio even accused Hamas of
burning down the Islamic University themselves in order to
blacken Fatah's 'glorious image.' The allegations about
Iranians were universally dismissed but they revealed the
extent to which Abbas officials have adopted the Israeli
and American paradigm as their own.

In several recent demonstrations, Dahlan loyalists have
shouted "Shia, Shia," at Hamas supporters. This was
perhaps supposed to draw attention to Iranian support for
Hamas (the movement, like the rest of the Palestinian
Muslim community, is Sunni) but this hateful sectarian
incitement, hitherto unknown in Palestinian society,
serves (for now) the wider strategic agenda of Abbas' and
Dahlan's sponsors.

After Hizbullah defeated Israel last summer, the Lebanese
Shia movement, backed by Iran, gained enormous prestige
among the region's people, especially Palestinians, as an
Arab nationalist and pan-Islamic movement, standing firm
against Israeli aggression, in contrast to toothless,
unpopular and corrupt governments. Hence the active
promotion of Sunni fear of their Shia brethren is designed
to limit the influence of Iran -- and serve up a good
old-fashioned dose of divide and rule. (Thus from this
perspective, the carnage in Iraq and the outrage at the
brutal televised hanging of the Sunni-identified Saddam
Hussein by a Shia-identified militia was a real bonus.)

Abbas is at last doing what Arafat was always urged to do,
while Israel and the US watch with glee. As Ha'aretz
explained, Israel felt no need to launch a large scale
revenge operation against Gaza following the January 29
Eilat bombing: "When Fatah and Hamas are so good at
killing each other, why should Israel intervene and spur
them to close ranks against the common enemy?"

As the battles were raging in Gaza, the mouthpiece of
American policy, the so-called Quartet (made up of
representatives of the US, European Union, the United
Nations and Russia) met to discuss the long-dead "peace
process." The body voiced its "deep concern at the
violence among Palestinians and called for respect for law
and order." In a repeat of the American approach to last
summer's Lebanon war, the Quartet pointedly did not call
for a ceasefire.

It did however call "for Palestinian unity behind a
government committed to non-violence, recognition of
Israel and acceptance of the obligations under the
Roadmap," while remaining totally silent about Israel's
continued slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Palestinians,
particularly last week's announcement by Israeli prime
minister Ehud Olmert that Israel was extending the illegal
West Bank separation wall further east to annex several
large Jewish-only colonies. This measure will add twenty
thousand to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians
already cut off in walled ghettos that former US President
Carter has likened to "apartheid."

The Quartet even "welcomed" US arming of the Presidential
Guard, though in diplomatic doublespeak this was
euphemized as "efforts to reform the Palestinian security
sector and thus to help improve law and order for the
Palestinian people."

Bleak as things are, cracks are starting to appear.
Although US propaganda asserts that the arming of the
Abbas militia is in part a response to growing Iranian
influence, the British parliament's International
Development Committee last week concluded that it was
Western sanctions and isolation that had driven Hamas to
seek Iranian support. The committee condemned the UK
government's refusal to talk to Hamas, urged it to do so
as it did with the IRA, and urged consideration of EU
sanctions against Israel, such as suspending the
Association agreement granting the Jewish state special
trade privileges.

Israeli and American propaganda, now also adopted by the
European Union, attempts to obscure the basic
understanding that Palestine is the struggle of a
colonized people for liberation. The policy of supporting
a quisling group to fight as a proxy on behalf of empire,
colonizer and occupier will only increase the bloodshed.
But it will ultimately fail in Palestine as it did before
in Northern Ireland, Southern Africa and Central and
Southern America, and as it is failing in Iraq.

Ali Abunimah is the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada
and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the
Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

ABOUT US: The Electronic Intifada (EI) is a
not-for-profit, independent publication committed to
comprehensive public education on the question of
Palestine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the
economic, political, legal, and human dimensions of
Israel's 39-year occupation of Palestinian territories.

EI, found at provides a
needed supplement to mainstream commercial media
representations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
More information about our work can be found at

To find out about other EI/eIraq lists available, see:

SUPPORT OUR PROJECT: Our work needs funding. We accept
donations via credit card and cheque. U.S. donations are
tax deductible. More information can be found at:


3) Pentagon Big Winner in Bush Budget Plan
Filed at 10:33 p.m. ET
February 3, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon is the big winner in President
Bush's proposed budget for next year, while domestic items such
as aid to schools and grants to local governments will get only
the slightest of increases.

Medicare and Medicaid, the health program for the poor and
disabled, would shoulder modest but politically difficult cost
curbs in the budget the White House is submitting to Congress
on Monday.

Some $18 billion in budget savings would come from farm
programs over five years.

Bush's spending plan totals almost $3 trillion for the budget
year starting Oct. 1. It would produce a surplus in five years,
helped by steady revenue growth and a squeeze on the
one-sixth of the budget that covers domestic agencies such
as the departments of Education, Energy and Health and
Human Services.

Domestic agencies would not face an outright cut, as proposed
last year, but would see increases averaging 1 percent, White
House Budget director Rob Portman said. That is less than
anticipated inflation, but higher costs for veterans' health care
probably would result in a larger than average increase.

The Pentagon, which also consumes one-sixth of the overall
budget, would get a whopping 11 percent increase, to $481.4
billion in its core budget. And that is before accounting for an
additional $235 billion in war costs over the next year and a half.

Bush's plan will get a skeptical reception from the Democratic-
controlled Congress. Democrats say it meets the president's
promise to balance the budget by 2012 by omitting war costs
and expensive changes to the alternative minimum tax and
assuming politically untenable cuts in payments to doctors
under Medicare.

''There's this continuing deception about our real fiscal condition,''
the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said in an interview
Saturday. ''Over and over again we see things left out of his budget
that we know are going to have to be dealt with,'' said Sen. Kent
Conrad, D-N.D.

Democrats also say Bush's estimated cost of about $6 billion for
increasing U.S. combat troop strength in Iraq greatly understates
the likely total.

For months, Conrad has worked in back channels to establish
a group of administration officials and lawmakers that would try
to rein in costly benefit programs such as Social Security, Medicare
and Medicaid. But the president's refusal to consider some tax
increases has scuttled the idea, at least for now.

Bush pushed the balanced budget idea -- to applause -- before
a meeting Saturday with House Democrats in Virginia. But he seemed
to acknowledge that a large-scale budget agreement with Democrats
is a long shot.

''I'm under no illusions of how hard it's going to be,'' Bush said.
''The only thing I want to share with you is, is my desire to see if
we can't work together to get it done.''

There is room for some modest steps such as an increase in the
maximum Pell Grant for low-income college students to $4,600,
$550 more than the current cap. House Democrats last week passed
an increase in the maximum grant to $4,310.

The federal contribution to the popular State Children's Health
Insurance Program would rise slightly to address chronic shortfalls.
States, however, would get less money to cover children in families
at twice the poverty level or more. Democrats are pressing for far
greater increases in the children's health program.

The White House's budget also would trim $12 billion from Medicaid,
mostly through lower payments to states for administrative costs.
About $5 billion or so would go toward addressing SCHIP shortfalls,
according to the White House budget office.

The proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are relatively modest,
given the overall size of the programs. The Medicare reductions
would come in part from smaller inflation adjustments for hospitals,
nursing homes, home health care providers and hospices. More
higher-income older people would face increased premiums.

Bush also proposes requiring higher-income Medicare beneficiaries
to pay higher premiums on prescription drug coverage, just as they
do for physician services.

Hospitals in particular are a powerful lobbying group and often are
some of the leading employers in lawmakers' districts and states.
Smaller Medicare cuts of $36 billion cuts proposed last year went
nowhere in a GOP-led Congress, and Democrats quickly pounced
on the new proposal.

''I think that sounds like the president is declaring war on us and
the poor people in this country,'' said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif.

Stark and other Democrats probably will go after what they see as
excessive payments to private managed care plans that provide
care to about 8 million Medicare beneficiaries.

Democrats also must deal with a scheduled 8 percent cut in Medicare
payments to doctors, a byproduct from a 1997 budget bill. Bush's
budget would leave the cut in place, though Congress is virtually
certain to provide relief as it has since 2003 with other scheduled
payment cuts. Such a move would eat up Bush's proposed Medicare
savings and then some.

All told, Bush is seeking $96 billion over five years from mandatory
programs providing fixed benefits such as Medicare, farm subsidies
and Medicaid and whose spending rises each year as if on autopilot.

''Unless we act, we will saddle our children and grandchildren with
tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded obligations,'' Bush said Saturday
in his weekly radio address. ''They will face three bad options: huge
tax increases, huge budget deficits or huge and immediate
cuts in benefits.''


4) Record $622 Billion Budget Requested for the Pentagon
February 3, 2007

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 — The Bush administration is seeking a record
military budget of $622 billion for the 2008 fiscal year, Pentagon
officials have said. The sum includes more than $140 billion
for war-related costs.

The administration is also seeking $93 billion in the current fiscal
year, which ends on Sept. 30, to pay for military operations in Iraq,
Afghanistan and elsewhere, the officials said.

The requests are part of the annual budget request to Congress for
all federal spending programs. The budget is to be made public on
Monday, and Congress will revise it in the coming months.

Together with money for combat operations this year already approved
by Congress, the new request would push spending related to Iraq
and Afghanistan to $163 billion.

“It is the highest level of spending since the height of the Korean
War,” said Steven Kosiak, a military budget expert with the Center
for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a policy analysis
organization here.

Mr. Kosiak said that in 1952 the United States spent the equivalent
of $645 billion in today’s dollars, factoring in inflation, and that
in the Korean War military spending exceeded 13 percent of the
gross national product. The figure is now 4 percent.

With Democrats in control of Congress and opposition to the Iraq
war running strong, the administration’s request may face even
greater scrutiny than it has in recent years. But few if any budget
experts expect significant cuts in military spending while large
numbers of troops are in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a statement, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada,
said: “Democrats pledge that our troops will receive everything
they need to do their jobs. We will also subject this supplemental
to the tough and serious oversight that Congress has ignored
for four years.”

The regular Pentagon budget request for 2008, which excludes
war-related costs but covers Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine
costs as well as other spending, will be $481 billion, a Pentagon
official said. That would be an increase of $49 billion over what
Congress provided this year, Mr. Kosiak said.

“As long as we’re engaged in major military operations, you are
probably not going to see decreases in the baseline budget,”
he said.

The Pentagon is seeking $128.6 billion for the Army, $110.7 billion
for the Air Force and $140 billion for the Navy, department officials
said.Background briefings for members of Congress and their staffs
have begun. As details leaked out, Pentagon officials agreed to provide
an outline of the request. The officials said the budget included no
cancellations of major weapons systems, despite delays and escalating
costs in procurement accounts in all the services.

The $141 billion request for war-related costs in 2008 represents the
first time the administration has tried at the beginning of the budget
cycle to provide a total estimate for how much the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan and other military operations will cost a year in advance.

Congress has been pressing the administration for several years to
provide such estimates. Even as they comply, Pentagon officials
emphasized that actual costs could be far different, depending
on the course of the wars.

The budget request, which takes many months to prepare, is being
released as the administration is sending an additional 21,500
troops to Iraq.

A spokesman for the Pentagon, Bryan Whitman, said Friday that
that the Office of Management and Budget had estimated that the
additional forces would cost $5.6 billion in the current fiscal year,
which ends in September.

On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office released its estimate,
which said the costs could run much higher.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, at a Pentagon news conference,
disputed the office’s estimate, saying it greatly overstated the number
of support troops that would be necessary to go along with
the 21,500 increase in combat forces.

Mr. Gates also said he had recommended that President Bush
nominate Adm. Timothy J. Keating of the Navy, now commander
of Norad, as commander of the United States Pacific Command,
making him the top commander in the Pacific, and Lt. Gen. Gene
Reunart of the Air Force to head the Northern Command, which
is responsible for defending the continental United States.


6) No Child Left Behind and the Imperial Project
Cutting the Schools-to-War Pipeline
February 2, 2007

Any nation promising perpetual war on the world is likely to make
peculiar demands on its schools and impositions on its teachers
and youth.

While it may seem a sideshow to war and exploitation, the sharp
pressure from the Bush administration and its liberal allies to
re-authorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is, in fact,
a vital part of the imperial project.

The NCLB is the result of nearly three decades of elites' struggles
to recapture control over education in the US, lost during the
Vietnam era when campuses and high-schools broke into open
rebellion and, as a collateral result, critical pedagogy, whole language
reading programs, inter-active, investigatory teaching gained a foothold;
some kids learned they could understand and act on the world-not
good in a world where the Masters need the Slaves to deny their
own domination.

In de-industrialized America, the centripetal organizing point of most
peoples' lives is no longer a factory or the union movement, but rather
school. So, securing every aspect of schooling is essential to elites.

Twinned with the NCLB, now comes the equally bi-partisan New
Commission on the American Workforce report, "Tough Choices for
Tough Times". Tough-Tough was authored by such educational
experts as the director of the militarized Lockheed-Martin, and
university presidents whose incomes are frequently dependant
on grants from the military, earmarked for "research." Tough-Tough
calls for national curriculum standards as a means of recapturing the
witless patriotism necessary to get people to work, and eagerly fight
and die, for what is abundantly easy to see are the interests of their own
rulers. To resist NCLB at its choke points is to cut the human pipeline
for the promise of perpetual war. Teachers and all school workers
are uniquely positioned to do that.

Washington Post reporter Mike Grunwald outlines three claims made
by NCLB supporters: (1) to focus on low-performing kids and schools;
(2) to strengthen the federal role in schools via curricula standards and
high-stakes tests; and (3) to use "scientific methods" to evaluate the
techniques and products of educational work, that is, to apply the
apparently timeless scheme of F. W. Taylor's scientific management
time and motion studies to evaluate teaching methods and measure
the knowledge pumped into kids through intensified surveillance and
high-stakes standardized testing. Only the first part, has been trumpeted
to the public, though education workers are keenly aware of parts
two and three.

The primary thesis proclaimed by NCLB supporters is that every child
deserves a good education as a leg up in the US meritocracy. The reality
is that doing school reform without doing economic and social reform
in communities is, as our colleague Professor Jean Anyon says, "like
washing the air on one side of a screen door--it won't work." Anyon's
comment is so abundantly clear that it seems only the hopelessly
obtuse or flatly dishonest would miss the point, but even though
five years of NCLB practice proves it out, unless there is significant
resistance from parents, kids, and school workers, what many have
learned is a project that turns kids into commodities or customers
and educators into production workers.

Most mainstream liberals support NCLB by cheerleading, especially
from Senator Edward Kennedy and California Representative George
Miller who dismisses critics by simply not meeting with them. Liberal
critics of NCLB ingenuously seek to re-load curricula regimentation
and high-stakes testing for their own narrow ends, tweaking the law
by, for example, demanding full funding (teacher unions) and modest
accommodations for scoring problems (most professional associations).

However, key initial proponents of the NCLB project, including curricula
regulation and high-stakes exams, make an interesting list, including
the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chambers of Commerce, and the
leadership of the two huge (combined about 4 million members)
teacher unions, the National Education Association and the American
Federation of Teachers, who joined together to take out full page
ads in the New York Times to demand it.

NCLB and its key components (like textbooks, test production, and
test tutoring) are more than profitable for some of its backers.
According to the American Association of Publishers sales of standardized
tests tripled to nearly $600 million since the introduction of NCLB.
The testing industry oligarchy of CTB-McGraw Hill, Harcourt, and
Houghton Mifflin control 80 percent of the total market, which
is valued at over $7 billion.

Under NCLB, each state must ensure that all schools and districts
make "Adequate Yearly Progress," as measured by math and reading
scores. (It should be noted that AYP is fraught with insurmountable
technical and political flaws.) If a school fails to improve test scores
within three years, a portion of its federal funding is diverted to
"parental choice" tutoring programs, which not only weakens the
school's ability to improve, but more importantly diverts public
money to for-profit education outfits like Educate Inc. owner
of Sylvan Learning Centers whose revenues have grew from
$180 to $250 million between 2001-2003 and whose profits
shot up 250% in 2003.

Schools are, after all, huge markets-as a for-profit venture public
education represents a market worth over $600 billion dollars. However,
only a grasp of the nature of US unionism today, corporate unionism
that sees a unity of purpose between labor, government, and business
"in the national interest," explains support from union leaders, whose
high salaries are drawn directly from the imperial well.

Schools serve to train the next generation of workers, from pre-prison
schooling in some urban and rural areas, to pre-military schooling,
to pre-middle class teacher training, to pre-med or pre-law, to the private
school systems of the rich; schooling is divided along razor sharp lines.
Schools do skills training, and depending on where a child is, some limited
intellectual training. In public schools, the key issues of life: work,
production and reproduction, rational knowledge, and freedom,
are virtually illegal.

It is illegal in California, for example, to teach positive things about
the communist movement, and hence nearly impossible to teach
about unionism. It is illegal to teach about the joys of sexual pleasure.
Rather, discussions about sex must be padded with plenty of fear,
and promises of abstinence. It is not possible for most educators to
merely say that all gods are myths, and the suspension of critique that
is faith is a dangerous move. And, in regard to freedom, anyone who
visits a school will quickly see that it is a sheer abstraction in schools,
as the entire system of surveillance (both physical and intellectual)
is designed to eradicate it.

Nevertheless, it is true that schools fashion hope, real or false, and
that society's whose hope through school is erased are commonly
steeped in rebellion, as in France, 1968. Redesigning what hope is,
and tamping down expectations of school workers, parents, and kids,
is part of the NCLB project.

There has been resistance to high-stakes testing. George Schmidt,
editor of the Chicago educator newspaper Substance
(, was fired from a 28 teaching
year career for publishing the Chicago CASE test after it was given
in 1999. His dismissal upheld by the courts. The Rouge Forum,
an organization of about 4,000 school workers, parents, students,
community people, has led successful test boycotts and school
walkouts in Michigan, New York, and California. There has, however,
been little continuity in this work, perhaps reflecting the problems
of a poorly funded volunteer group. Rouge Forum leaders have stuck
by their insistence that there is a direct line from the systems
of capital to imperialist war to the regulation of what people need
to know, how they come to know it, and the warped systems of
surveillance that inevitably are anti-working class, racist,
high-stakes tests.

In January 2007, renowned education author Susan Ohanian initiated
an online petition calling for the abolition of the NCLB online, through
The Educator Roundtable. Her effort was immediately attacked by the
leadership of the National Education Association with a letter urging
their members not to sign the petition. NEA now calls for some
limited reform of NCLB, and demands the imperial bribe: full-funding.
NEA plans to spend $1 million lobbying to get it.

Other complaints about NCLB have been more off target. The Palm Beach
Post of January 11, proclaimed, "The bedrock fantasy is that every child
in America will be able to read and do math on grade level by 2014.
Everyone knows that can't happen."

Setting aside the problem of what "grade level" is, a fully literate population
is quite possible with a door to door community based program coupled
with a project of social change, as the Cuban literacy success amply
demonstrates._In any case, most of the opposition to NCLB accepts
the claim that it is: (1) designed to serve all the children of the nation
and that the (2) public schools, our schools, must be reformed.
We call both pretenses into question. The bi-partisan, united-as-a
class, efforts to demolish the welfare system and the social safety net,
to deny poor children health care, food, and safe places to live, to close
libraries, and used their state power to assist the storm, Katrina,
in making a natural disaster a racist assault, should be sufficient
to offset the good motives implied by claim one.

In regard to claim two, we are skeptical about the truly public nature
of a national school system that is absolutely segregated by class and
race, where the teaching force itself is an apartheid body (about 85
percent white teaching minority/majority kids), where different content
is taught to different students based on their birthright, and where test
results are as predictable as income levels within zip codes. These may
well be their schools, serving the needs of capital, just as the Ford plant
is not ours, but Ford's, is also in question, though both at Ford, and
in schools, there is always resistance, as regimented labor and
intellectual work both suck. Ford, however, produces machines,
and schools produce hope.

Other resisters seek to participate in the NCLB process on the grounds
that, "If you are not in the room, your voice won't be heard." That sums
up the position of liberal historian Gary Nash, the key author of the
National History Standards, who wrote them in part because he was
concerned that if he did not do it, then the neo-conservatives would.
Nash hoped no high-stakes exam would be attached. His standards,
which excluded Marxist and feminist interpretations at the outset,
were then voted down by a Rush Limbaugh-inspired congress.
He re-wrote them and, in our eyes, became what he set out to oppose,
his history standards as partisan as could be. And now, as with the
Michigan MEAP (long administered by Standard and Poor's) a watered
down version of Nash's standards serves as the state's exam.

Support for the high-stakes exams which, in every instance, were born
from curricula regulations, make appeals like this: "The rationale
for standardized testing has always been a matter of common sense:
In order to measure how each student is doing academically, there
has to be a standard of measure." That remains the publicity claim
of the conservative Mackinac Center in Michigan, an appeal
to simple reason.

We want to focus on high-stakes examinations as a key choke
point in public schools and to suggest that, while petitioning to
abolish the NCLB and the tests along with it is a fine first step,
only direct action in the form of boycotts, matched by outside freedom
schooling, can possibly overcome the destruction of reason the tests
truly represent, creating a class of counter-curious kids, their level
of projected subservience varying with their inheritance. It is equally
true that trying to vote troops out of Iraq may be a fine thing, but the
direct action of troop refusals, mass disobedience, and throwing military
recruiters off campuses, is likely to be the only powerful form of war
resistance_creating the kind of self-conscious movement that can be
sustained through all the promised imperial adventures.

High stakes testing has its roots in the early twentieth century work
of Lewis Terman and Robert Yerkes who promoted the IQ test to prove
the genetic advantages of races they had already identified as superior,
demonstrating the use of bogus science to determine who should be
an officer in a segregated military. Their work in the American Eugenics
Society (AES) aimed at identifying degenerate races, in order to purify
the gene pool. Their work was used to sterilize thousands of women,
against their will. During their Nuremburg trials, Nazis routinely
pointed to the AES as an inspiration.

Carl Brigham worked with Yerkes. He's the key founder of the widely
used SAT. Today, the conservative favorite, Charles Murray, co-author
of the racist The Bell Curve, which was used as the intellectual basis
to demolish the welfare system, published a series of articles in the
January 2007 Wall Street Journal suggesting that IQ tests should be
used to track youth into specific schools, as "To have an IQ of 100
means that a tough high-school course pushes you about as far as
your academic talents will take you."

NCLB simply puts Murray into the daily life of schools. However, the
geneticist effort is deepened by the Taylorist, "scientific management,"
aspects of high-stakes tests which not only place educators and students
under the constant supervision of those who seek to deem some inferior,
but it also meets the key goal of replacing the mind of the worker,
in this case a teacher, with the mind of the boss, through strict curricula
regulations, eradicating a vital lynchpin of learning anything: freedom.
Here is what we think is a reasonable litany of objections to the NCLB,
its national curriculum, and the attached noose, high stakes exams.

High-stakes standardized tests, an international phenomenon, represent
a powerful intrusion into classrooms, often taking up as much as 40%
of classroom time in preparation, practice testing, and administration;
The tests are flawed in technical adequacy. They invoke a fallible single
standard and a single measure, a practice specifically condemned by
the Standards on Educational and Psychological Testing;

The tests are implemented and used to make high stakes decisions
before sufficient validation evidence is obtained and before defensible
technical documentation is issued for public scrutiny;

The tests are employed without credible independent meta-evaluation;
The tests are flawed in accuracy of scoring and reporting, for example
in New York in 2000 when thousands of students were unnecessarily
ordered to summer school on the grounds of incorrect test results;
The tests pretend that one standard fits all, when one standard does
not fit all;

These tests measure, for the most part, parental income and race,
and are therefore instruments that build racism and anti-working
class sentiment against the interest of most teachers and their students;
These tests deepen the segregation of children within and between
school systems, a move that is not in the interests of most people
throughout the world;

Inner-city families and poor families are promised tests as an avenue
to escape the ghetto and poverty, when the tests are designed to fail
their children, boosting dropouts, leaving more children trapped in
the ghetto and poverty, deepening inequality and all forms of injustice;
The tests set up a false employer-employees relationship between
teachers and students which damages honest exchanges in the

The tests create an atmosphere that pits students against students
and teachers against teachers and school systems against school
systems in a mad scramble for financial rewards, and to avoid
financial retribution;

The tests have been used to unjustly fire and discipline educators
throughout the country;

The exams represent an assault on academic freedom by forcing
their way into the classroom in an attempt to regulate knowledge,
what is known and how people come to know it;

The tests foment an atmosphere of greed, fear, and hysteria, none
of which contributes to learning;

The tests destroy inclusion and inquiry-based education;

The high-stakes test pretend to neutrality but are deeply partisan
in content, reflecting the needs of elites in a world becoming more
inequitable, less democratic, promising the youth of the world
perpetual war;

The tests become commodities for opportunists whose interests
are profits, not the best interests of children.

We support the rising tide of education worker resistance to the
high-stakes exams, as well as student and educator boycotts. We
are sharply opposed to those false-flag reformers who seek to do
anything but abolish the NCLB, its tests, and its developing national

Liberal reformers on this bent simply lend credence to a government
that stands fully exposed as a weapon of violence for the rich, they
disconnect the clear class and race domination in not-so public
schooling from the empire's wars, and they mislead people into
believing the dishonest motives of prime NCLB proponents. Above
all, through their clear opposition to direct action versus the big tests,
as in NEA's attack on Ohanian, they simultaneously seek to destroy
the leadership of a movement that could actually succeed, and they
once again try to teach people that others, usually elites, will solve
our problems, a vile diversion from the fact that no one is going
to save us but the united action of us.

Parents and students have a legal right to opt out of the exams, which
are little more than child abuse made respectable. That the school
worker force is aware of the abusive nature of this testing, seeing
second-graders in tears as a matter of routine, cleaning vomit off
test booklets, etc., speaks to the levels of opportunism, fear, and
racism in the work force.

Nevertheless, many courageous school workers continue to speak
out, to call for action, and in some cases to play a leadership role.

Practice suggests that boycotts initiate first in wealthy areas, then
when people in poor and working class neighborhoods see that
succeed, they follow suit. The wealthy, after all, have the power
and outlook to shut down the tests from the outset, and they know
regimented curricula simply makes their kids stupid, wastes their
time. Peers in private schools never have to take a silly MEAP. Test
boycotts in wealthy areas of Michigan and California, for example,
have been going on for years.

Poor and working class parents and students, however, need to learn,
probably from teachers, that the tests are not designed to make
education equitable, but to track them into meaningless jobs,
or the military_fighting and dying against what they are never
taught are truly the enemies of their enemies. In addition, they
need to learn that their power supersedes boycotts in rich areas,
in that it can truly bring the testing to an end and even serve as
a foundation for much broader social change for equality
and democracy.

Ending imperialism is a pedagogical project, involving a mass change
of mind that overcomes most, if not all, of the defects built into every
birthright of capital. The linkage of education and social action that
could come from anti-test boycotts could be part of that change
of consciousness so urgently needed now.

We are not barbarians seeking to bring down education itself. We
recognize the need to link freedom schooling with test boycotts.
Freedom schooling could, for example, be conducted in homes,
community centers, or churches, for older students addressing the
question of why things are as they are, through community power
analyses, while youngsters could be treated to the forbidden delights
of recess, free play, storytelling, and playmaking.

We hope to contribute to the movement to take direct action against
the Big Tests. Some beacons of education publications, like Substance
News in Chicago, and organizations like the Rouge Forum, leading
a March 1 2007 conference in Detroit, deserve support.

Rich Gibson is a professor emeritus at San Diego State University.
E. Wayne Ross is professor at University of British Columbia. They
are co-editors of Neoliberalism and Education Reform to be published
by Hampton Press in 2007.


6) Being called back to active duty hard for some reservists
Denied--It was the only word Drew Sleezer really heard when he got
the phone call recently.
http://www.azcentra articles/ 0204reservists02 04.html

Sleezer, 22, who already had served two combat tours in Afghanistan,
pleaded with the Army to allow him to continue with his college
education rather than return to duty.

Instead, he has been ordered to ship out for Iraq on June 3.
He got the news last week.

The ongoing involvement in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq have
forced the military to dip deep into the Reserve system.

Sleezer is one of 10,000 Individual Ready Reserve soldiers called
back to active duty, most involuntarily, according to the Army,
since Sept. 11, 2001. About 5,300 have appealed for exemptions,
and about half of those appeals have been granted.

The Darien, Ill., man was 17 when he joined the Army, delighted
by a $5,000 signing bonus and eager to fight in Afghanistan. It all
looked so good: a chance to travel, to pay for college and to fight
in a meaningful war after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

He made an eight-year commitment: three years of active duty
and five as an inactive reservist. He said he was told the chances
of his being called back after his discharge from active duty
were remote.

For Sleezer, his new life is again in jeopardy. For his family,
a third deployment means months of torment waiting for
his return.

"I don't have the will to go back to war," Sleezer said.
"I left that part of my life behind me."

But this is what he signed up for when he begged his parents
several years ago for their permission to enlist before his 18th
birthday. And even though he was honorably discharged from
active duty in 2005, the Army is well within its rights
to call him back.

Paul Rieckhoff, a war veteran and founder of Operation Truth,
now called Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said the
call-up of Individual Ready Reserve troops has been extensive.

"I wish this guy's story was unusual, but it's not," Rieckhoff said.
"The reason they call people like him back is because the military
is too small. They have a manpower crisis."

Soldiers have two choices in fulfilling the non-active portion
of their Army service. The first is the Selected Reserve, where
soldiers go for regular training. In the Individual Ready Reserve,
they fulfill their obligation by remaining on a list where they
can be called up for service. There are about 90,000 Individual
Ready Reserve members and about 535,000 people in the
Selected Reserve, which includes the Army National Guard
and the Army Reserve.

Sleezer's military career began on Sept. 11, 2002, when he
headed for Fort Benning, Ga., and then to Hawaii for a yearlong
training program.

He became a sniper, and it suited him, in some ways. He had
grown up around guns. He and his father would hunt pheasants,
ducks and doves.

"He was good," Sleezer's father, Ed, said of his son. "He still is."

But war is different. When Sleezer came home on leave from his
first tour in Afghanistan, he was darker, edgier, family members
said. He would snap at his parents and siblings with little

At the end of his leave, Sleezer was shipped back to Afghanistan
for another six-month tour.

By that point, he said, he had seen men die in battle, including
three from his battalion. Though he escaped physically intact,
Sleezer said the stress of what he saw in combat took its toll,
though not on the battlefield.

"At the time, it was, 'Hey, this is my job, and it's what I'm here
to do,' " he said. "I wouldn't have nightmares there, but when
I came down from it, that's when it started to bother me. I still
have dreams that they're coming to get me and I can't shoot

Sleezer won't say if he took any lives during the fighting.

"We don't usually disclose if we killed people," he said.
"But there was combat. I'll leave it at that."

Still, there were bright spots, like the time he helped guard
election results as they made their way to Kabul, the capital,
for counting.

But by the time he left active duty, Sleezer had lost all
motivation to fight.

"Nobody had any gas left in their tank," he said. "We didn't
care about the mission anymore. It was like, 'Just send
the people here to replace us.' "

He received an honorable discharge in September 2005.
He assured himself and his parents that there was only
a 5 percent chance he'd be called back.

Soon, the best parts of Sleezer's personality returned. He was
less fretful and his "I could die tomorrow" attitude faded
as he grew more focused.

He enrolled in Eastern Illinois University, determined to get
a degree. Money for college was one of the military's greatest
gifts since Sleezer's father suffered a debilitating stroke years
earlier and was out of work for months, the family income
stretched thin.

Sleezer joined a fraternity and started dating. In his mind,
he had almost no affiliation with the Army.

But just after Thanksgiving, an official-looking package arrived
from the Army and sent the family reeling. The words Operation
Iraqi Freedom only added to his mother's anxiety.

Sharon Sleezer said cancer runs in her family and when she
learned she'd have to send her son off to war, it felt like another
unwanted diagnosis.

She started writing letters to local politicians, appealing to
anyone who might listen, but she hasn't gotten help.

Maj. Anne Edgecomb, an Army spokeswoman, said that while
she was sympathetic to Sleezer's situation, the Army's
expectations are clear.

"Soldiers who receive mobilization orders are expected
to comply with the order," Edgecomb said. "However, the
Army wants to take care of soldiers and their families."

She said soldiers who lose a first appeal can appeal again.


7) Bush Sends $2.9 Trillion Budget to Hill
February 5, 2007

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 — President Bush sent his proposed $2.9 trillion
budget for next year to Capitol Hill today, where it was immediately
criticized by the Democrats who control both houses but are by
no means all-powerful.

The president’s spending proposal, for the fiscal year that begins
on Oct. 1, is the first he has submitted to a Democratic Congress
and the last he will submit before the 2008 elections dominate
political calendars and calculations. It calls for big increases in
military spending, including the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan,
and much more modest increases in most domestic spending.

Crucially, the budget package projects no spending on Iraq and
Afghanistan after 2009. “There will be no timetables set,” Mr. Bush
said in a question-answer session after a Cabinet meeting this
morning. “We don’t want to send mixed signals to an enemy,
or to a struggling democracy, or to our troops.”

The president’s budget also calls on the lawmakers to make
permanent the tax cuts Mr. Bush pushed through Congress
earlier in his presidency, when the Senate and House were
controlled by Republicans. And the document assumes that,
even with spending on military and homeland security needs,
the government will balance its books by 2012.

For the 2008 fiscal year, Mr. Bush foresees a $239 billion deficit,
about $5 billion less than that projected for the current fiscal year.
The $2.9 trillion compares with the roughly $2.78 trillion that the
White House sees in total spending for the current fiscal year.

“Our economy is strong and growing,” Mr. Bush said in an
introduction. “Federal revenues are robust, and we have made
significant progress in reducing the deficit.” The president said his
goal of achieving a balanced budget by 2012 reflects the priorities
of battling terrorism, keeping the economy strong through low
taxes and controlling spending while making federal programs
more effective.

But Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader,
said the budget “uses deception to hide a massive increase in debt,
and its priorities are disconnected from the needs of middle-
class Americans.”

The senator said Democrats still hoped to work with Republicans
“to address the priorities of the American people in a fiscally
responsible manner.”

Senator Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat who heads the
Senate Budget Committee, was similarly dismissive. “The president’s
budget is filled with debt and deception, disconnected from reality
and continues to move America in the wrong direction,” Mr. Conrad
told The Associated Press.

The top Republican on the budget panel, Senator Judd Gregg of New
Hampshire, agreed that the budget as presented has little chance.
“I don’t think it has got a whole lot of legs,” he told The A.P. “The
White House is afraid of taxes, and the Democrats are afraid
of controlling spending.”

While the budget outlined today, in books the size of telephone
directories, will surely be changed through political conflict and
negotiation in the months ahead, the spending plan is noteworthy
as a statement of priorities and principles — and the reactions
to them.

The proposed basic budget for the Defense Department is $481.1
billion, a 62 percent increase over 2001, Mr. Bush’s first year as
president, and an increase of $49 billion over what Congress provided
for this fiscal year. But the figure does not include more than $93 billion
in supplemental money in this fiscal year and about $145 billion in the
next fiscal year for the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns.

Democrats as well as Republicans, whether they back the administration’s
Iraq campaign or not, have emphasized that they stand behind American’s
sons and daughters in uniform. But it was clear that Pentagon spending
would be scrutinized in the Capitol.

“The sums involved in the defense budget are staggering,” said
Representative Ike Skelton, the Missouri Democrat who heads the
House Armed Services Committee. “We cannot provide an adequate
national defense on the cheap, but neither can we afford to simply ratify
the president’s request without performing the due diligence and
oversight our Constitution requires.”

As staggering as the Pentagon figures are, they are topped by the
proposed spending for the Department of Health and Human Services
— some $700 billion — and for the Social Security Administration,
about $656 billion.

But Democrats are sure to attack the spending on many social
programs as inadequate. For instance, Mr. Bush is asking for cutbacks
of some $70 billion in Medicare and Medicaid over the next five years,
an idea that Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, the new
chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said was “just
asking for controversy.”

When Mr. Bush gained Congressional passage of “temporary” tax cuts
in 2002 and 2003, he and his advisers doubtless knew that lawmakers
would be wary of letting them expire, for fear of incurring the wrath
of taxpayers.

Senator Conrad, the Budget Committee chairman, alluded to the
Republicans’ tactics in an interview some weeks ago. ‘’It’s always
the same old tired line with them — ‘Tax and spend, tax and spend,
tax and spend.’ We’re not going there.”

Democratic leaders have said there is no need, yet, to revisit the tax
cuts, because they are not set to expire until the end of 2010. Meanwhile,
they argue, the government can bring in billions more a year by being
more aggressive about collecting taxes owed but not paid.

But there are dangers in predicting too far ahead. Back in the 1990s,
for instance, politicians and journalists were talking and writing about
the “peace dividend,” the great reservoir of surplus money being
generated by the end of the cold war and the booming economy.


8) A Bleak Assessment on Iraq
New York Times Editorial
February 5, 2007

There isn’t much encouraging news in the new National Intelligence
Estimate on Iraq. Ethnic and sectarian identities are hardening and
violence is spiraling, as shown again in Saturday’s horrific Baghdad
market bombing. Iraq’s new governing institutions are weak and leading
politicians have a “winner-take-all attitude” that can only make
matters even worse.

The intelligence agencies see “real improvements” in Iraqi security
forces. But those gains are strictly relative and the report still finds
those forces unlikely to be able to successfully battle Shiite militias
in the next 12 to 18 months.

A good example of this problem can be found in the accounts
of last week’s battle between the Iraqi Army and a mysterious group
of armed religious extremists outside the Shiite shrine city of Najaf.
Najaf is supposed to be a showcase province for the American-trained
Iraqi Army. The Pentagon chose it in December for the first symbolic
handover of security responsibilities.

Barely a month later, in their first major battle, the Iraqis had to be
bailed out by American air and ground forces. Hundreds of armed
zealots had managed to set up a fortified encampment, complete
with tunnels, trenches, blockades, 40 heavy machine guns and
at least two antiaircraft weapons.

This happened just 10 miles northeast of the city at a time when
hundreds of thousands of religious pilgrims and Iraq’s leading
Shiite clerics were headed there for annual holiday observances.
A successful attack on top clerics and pilgrims in Najaf would have
been disastrous.

The Iraqis’ next mistake was sending only one army battalion
and some police to raid this armed camp after its belated
discovery. Government forces were quickly surrounded and
called in American air support. Still pinned down, the Iraqis
had to summon American ground support as well before they
could advance on the camp.

This less-than-impressive performance by a supposedly top-
of-the-line Iraqi Army division has grave implications for President
Bush’s new Baghdad security drive, in which an additional 17,000
or so American troops are supposed to work in tandem with
a much larger Iraqi force.

Perhaps the Iraqi security forces will improve over the next
18 months. But as the intelligence estimate also makes clear,
the only real hope for Iraq lies in a bold reversal of course by
Iraqi politicians that puts national reconciliation ahead of sectarian
advantage. Mr. Bush needs to get serious about demanding such
a change, including enforceable deadlines for overdue steps like
eliminating militia supporters from the police, ending vengeful
anti-Baathist measures targeting the Sunni middle class,
and guaranteeing the fair allocation of oil revenues.

Otherwise, Iraq seems headed over the cliff.


9) Gary Tyler’s Lost Decades
February 5, 2007
Destrehan, La.

The term “time warp” could have been coined for this rural town
of 11,000 residents that sits beside, and just a little below, the
Mississippi River. A remnant of the sugar-plantation era, the region’s
racially troubled past is always here, seldom spoken about but
inescapable, like the murk in the air of a perpetually stalled
weather front.

The Harry Hurst Middle School is on the site of the old Destrehan
High School, which was the scene of violent protests during the
integration period of the 1970s. Local residents have tried
to blot out the murder case that made Destrehan High notorious
three decades ago, but there’s a big problem with that collective
effort to forget. The black teenager who was railroaded into prison
(and almost into the electric chair) for the murder of a white student
in 1974 is still in prison all these many years later. He’s middle-aged
now, still suffering through a life sentence without any chance
for parole in the notorious state penitentiary at Angola.

There is no longer any doubt that the case against the teenager,
Gary Tyler, was a travesty. A federal appeals court ruled unequivocally
that he did not receive a fair trial. The Louisiana Board of Pardons
issued rulings on three occasions that would have allowed
Mr. Tyler to be freed.

But this is the South and Mr. Tyler was a black person convicted
of killing a white. It didn’t matter that the case was built on bogus
evidence and coerced witnesses, or that the trial was, in the words
of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, “fundamentally
unfair.” Mr. Tyler was never given a new trial and the pardon
board recommendations were rejected by two governors.

(Lurking in the background as the case unfolded was David Duke,
a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who was very active
politically in Louisiana and always ready to inject his poison into
the public issues of the day. If you drive around Destrehan and
nearby communities today you will still see some of the old
blue-and-white campaign signs for Duke.)

Mr. Tyler, a sophomore at Destrehan High, was on a bus filled
with black students that was attacked on Oct. 7, 1974, by
a white mob enraged over school integration. A shot was fired
and a 13-year-old white boy standing outside the bus collapsed,
mortally wounded. Mr. Tyler was arrested on a charge of disturbing
the peace after he talked back to a sheriff’s deputy.

Although the bus and its passengers were searched and
no weapon was found, Mr. Tyler was taken into custody, savagely
beaten and accused of committing the murder. A gun was “found”
during a subsequent search of the bus and witnesses were rounded
up to testify against Mr. Tyler. It turned out that the gun (which
has since disappeared) had been stolen from a firing range used
by officers of the sheriff’s department. All of the witnesses who
fingered Mr. Tyler would eventually recant, saying they had been
terrorized into testifying falsely by the authorities.

Mr. Tyler was represented at trial by a white sole practitioner who
had never handled a murder case, much less a death penalty case.
He kept his meetings with his client to a minimum and would later
complain about the money he was paid.

The outcome was predictable. Mr. Tyler was convicted and
sentenced to die in the electric chair by an all-white jury. At 17,
he was the youngest prisoner on death row in the country.
He almost certainly would have been executed if the U.S. Supreme
Court had not ruled the Louisiana death penalty unconstitutional.

The Fifth Circuit ruling in 1981 said that an improper charge to the
jury had denied Mr. Tyler the presumption of innocence at his trial.
“It is folly,” the court said, “to argue that the erroneous charge
did not affect the central determination of guilt or innocence.”

What was folly was any expectation that Mr. Tyler would be treated
fairly at any point. Despite the appeals court ruling, he was denied
a new trial on a technicality.

Now consider this, because it will tell you all you need to know
about racial justice in the South. A 19-year-old black man named
Richard Dunn was shotgunned to death as he was heading home
from a benefit dance in support of Mr. Tyler at Southern University
in New Orleans in 1976. A white man, Anthony Mart, was arrested
and convicted of shooting Mr. Dunn from a passing car.

Gary Tyler’s current attorney, Mary Howell, ruefully explained
what happened to Mr. Mart for the cold-blooded killing of a black
stranger: He was sent to prison for life but was pardoned and freed
after serving about 10 years.


10) U.S. Set to Begin a Vast Expansion of DNA Sampling
February 5, 2007

The Justice Department is completing rules to allow the collection
of DNA from most people arrested or detained by federal authorities,
a vast expansion of DNA gathering that will include hundreds
of thousands of illegal immigrants, by far the largest group

The new forensic DNA sampling was authorized by Congress in a
little-noticed amendment to a January 2006 renewal of the Violence
Against Women Act, which provides protections and assistance for
victims of sexual crimes. The amendment permits DNA collecting
from anyone under criminal arrest by federal authorities, and also
from illegal immigrants detained by federal agents.

Over the last year, the Justice Department has been conducting
an internal review and consulting with other agencies to prepare
regulations to carry out the law.

The goal, justice officials said, is to make the practice of DNA
sampling as routine as fingerprinting for anyone detained by
federal agents, including illegal immigrants. Until now, federal
authorities have taken DNA samples only from convicted felons.

The law has strong support from crime victims’ organizations
and some women’s groups, who say it will help law enforcement
identify sexual predators and also detect dangerous criminals
among illegal immigrants.

“Obviously, the bigger the DNA database, the better,” said Lynn
Parrish, the spokeswoman for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National
Network, based in Washington. “If this had been implemented
years ago, it could have prevented many crimes. Rapists are
generalists. They don’t just rape, they also murder.”

Peter Neufeld, a lawyer who is a co-director of the Innocence
Project, which has exonerated dozens of prison inmates using
DNA evidence, said the government was overreaching by
seeking to apply DNA sampling as universally as fingerprinting.

“Whereas fingerprints merely identify the person who left them,”
Mr. Neufeld said, “DNA profiles have the potential to reveal our
physical diseases and mental disorders. It becomes intrusive
when the government begins to mine our most intimate matters.”

Immigration lawyers said they did not learn of the measure
when it passed last year and were dismayed by its sweeping

“This has taken us by storm,” said Deborah Notkin, a lawyer
who was president of the American Immigration Lawyers
Association last year. “It’s so broad, it’s scary. It is a terrible
thing to do because people are sometimes detained erroneously
in the immigration system.”

Immigration lawyers noted that most immigration violations,
including those committed when people enter the country illegally,
are civil, not criminal, offenses. They warned that the new law would
make it difficult for immigrants to remove their DNA profiles from
the federal database, even if they were never found to have
committed any serious violation or crime.

Under the new law, DNA samples would be taken from any illegal
immigrants who are detained and would normally be fingerprinted,
justice officials said. Last year federal customs, Border Patrol and
immigration agents detained more than 1.2 million immigrants,
the majority of them at the border with Mexico. About 238,000
of those immigrants were detained in immigration enforcement
investigations. A great majority of all immigration detainees
were fingerprinted, immigration officials said. About 102,000
people were arrested on federal charges not related to immigration
in 2005.

While the proposed rules have not been finished, justice officials
said they were certain to bring a huge new workload for the F.B.I.
laboratory that logs, analyzes and stores federal DNA samples.
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said they anticipated an
increase ranging from 250,000 to as many as 1 million samples
a year.

The laboratory currently receives about 96,000 samples a year,
said Robert Fram, chief of the agency’s Scientific Analysis Section.

DNA would not be taken from legal immigrants who are stopped
briefly by the authorities, justice officials said, or from legal
residents who are detained on noncriminal immigration violations.

“What this does is move the DNA collection to the arrest stage,”
said Erik Ablin, a Justice Department spokesman. “The general
approach,” he said, “is to bring the collection of DNA samples into
alignment with current federal fingerprint collection practices.”
He said the department was “moving forward aggressively”
to issue proposed regulations.

The 2006 amendment was sponsored by two border state
Republicans, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona and Senator John Cornyn
of Texas. In an interview, Mr. Kyl said the measure was broadly
drawn to encompass illegal immigrants as well as Americans arrested
for federal crimes. He said that 13 percent of illegal immigrants
detained in Arizona last year had criminal records.

“Some of these are very bad people,” Mr. Kyl said. “The number
of sexual assaults committed by illegal immigrants is astonishing.
Right now there is a fingerprint system in use, but it is not as
thorough as it could be.”

Ms. Parrish, of the rape victims’ organization, pointed to the case
of Angel Resendiz, a Mexican immigrant who was known as the
Railroad Killer. Starting in 1997, Mr. Resendiz committed at least
15 murders and numerous rapes in the United States. Over the
years of his rampage, Mr. Resendiz was deported 17 times.
He was executed in Texas in June.

“That was 17 missed opportunities to collect his DNA,” Ms. Parrish
said. “If he had been identified as the perpetrator of the first rapes,
it would have prevented later ones.”

Immigration lawyers said the DNA sampling could tar illegal
immigrants with a criminal stigma, even though most of them
have never committed any criminal offense.

“To equate somebody with a possible immigration violation
in the same category as a suspected sex offender is an outrage,”
said David Leopold, an immigration lawyer who practices
in Cleveland.

Forensic DNA is culled either from a tiny blood sample taken
from a fingertip (the F.B.I.’s preferred method) or from a swab
of the inside of the mouth. Federal samples are logged into the
F.B.I.’s laboratory, analyzed and transformed into profiles that
can be read by computer. The profiles are loaded into a database
called the National DNA Index System.

The F.B.I. also loads DNA profiles from local and state police
into the federal database and runs searches. Only seven states
now collect DNA from suspects when they are arrested; of those,
only two states are authorized by their laws to send those
samples to the federal database.

Mr. Neufeld, of the Innocence Project, said his group supported
broad DNA collection from convicted criminals. But, he said,
“There is no demonstrable nexus between being detained
for an immigration matter and the likelihood you are going
to commit some serious violent crime.”

The DNA amendment has divided women’s groups that are
usually unified supporters of the Violence Against Women Act,
which was adopted in 1994.

“We were stunned by the extraordinary, broad sweep of this
amendment,” said Lisalyn Jacobs, vice president for government
relations at Legal Momentum, a law group founded by the
National Organization for Women. Ms. Jacobs recalled that
the amendment had been adopted by a voice vote with little
debate. She said many lawmakers eager to renew the act,
which enjoys solid bipartisan support, appeared unaware
of the scope of the DNA amendment.

“The pervasive problems of profiling in the United States will
only be exacerbated by such a system,” Ms. Jacobs said, because
Latino and other immigrants will be greatly over-represented
in the database. She noted that the law required a court order
to remove a profile from the system.

Many groups warned that the measure would compound already
severe backlogs in the F.B.I.’s DNA processing. Mr. Fram of the
F.B.I. said there had been an enormous increase in the samples
coming to the databank since it started to operate in 1998, but
no new resources for the bureau’s laboratory. Currently about
150,000 DNA samples from convicted criminals are waiting to
be processed and loaded into the national database, Mr. Fram said.

He said the laboratory had added robot technology to speed the
processing. But in the “worst case scenario,” where the laboratory
receives one million new samples a year, Mr. Fram said, “there is
going to be a bottleneck.”


11) The Green-Zoning of America
Op-Ed Columnist
February 5, 2007

One of the best of the many recent books about the Iraq debacle is
Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s “Imperial Life in the Emerald City.” The book
tells a tale of hopes squandered in the name of politicization and
privatization: key jobs in Baghdad’s Green Zone were assigned
on the basis of loyalty rather than know-how, while key functions
were outsourced to private contractors.

Two recent reports in The New York Times serve as a reminder that the
Bush administration has brought the same corruption of governance
to the home front. Call it the Green-Zoning of America.

In the first article, The Times reported that a new executive order
requires that each agency contain a “regulatory policy office run by
a political appointee,” a change that “strengthens the hand of the
White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been
generated by civil servants and scientific experts.” Yesterday, The
Times turned to the rapid growth of federal contracting, fed “by
a philosophy that encourages outsourcing almost everything
government does.”

These are two different pieces of the same story: under the guise
of promoting a conservative agenda, the Bush administration has
created a supersized version of the 19th-century spoils system.

The blueprint for Bush-era governance was laid out in a January 2001
manifesto from the Heritage Foundation, titled “Taking Charge
of Federal Personnel.” The manifesto’s message, in brief, was that
the professional civil service should be regarded as the enemy of the
new administration’s conservative agenda. And there’s no question
that Heritage’s thinking reflected that of many people on the Bush

How should the civil service be defeated? First and foremost,
Heritage demanded that politics take precedence over know-how:
the new administration “must make appointment decisions based
on loyalty first and expertise second.”

Second, Heritage called for a big increase in outsourcing —
“contracting out as a management strategy.” This would supposedly
reduce costs, but it would also have the desirable effect of reducing
the total number of civil servants.

The Bush administration energetically put these recommendations
into effect. Political loyalists were installed throughout the government,
regardless of qualifications. And the administration outsourced many
government functions previously considered too sensitive to privatize:
yesterday’s Times article begins with the case of CACI International,
a private contractor hired, in spite of the obvious conflict of interest,
to process cases of incompetence and fraud by private contractors.
A few years earlier, CACI provided interrogators at Abu Ghraib.

The ostensible reason for politicizing and privatizing was to promote
the conservative ideal of smaller, more efficient government. But the
small-government rhetoric was never sincere: from Day 1, the
administration set out to create a vast new patronage machine.

Those political appointees chosen for their loyalty, not their expertise,
aren’t very good at doing their proper jobs — as all the world learned
after Hurricane Katrina struck. But they have been very good at
rewarding campaign contributors, from energy companies that
benefit from lax regulation of pollution to pharmaceutical companies
that got a Medicare program systematically designed to protect
their profits.

And the executive order described by The Times will make it even
easier for political appointees to overrule the professionals, tailoring
government regulations to suit the interests of companies that
support the G.O.P. — or to give lucrative contracts to people
with the right connections.

Meanwhile, never mind the idea that outsourcing of government
functions should be used to promote competition and save money.
The Times reports that “fewer than half of all ‘contract actions’ —
new contracts and payments against existing contracts — are now
subject to full and open competition,” down from 79 percent in 2001.
And many contractors are paid far more than it would cost to do the
job with government employees: those CACI workers processing
claims against other contractors cost the government $104 an hour.

What’s truly amazing is how far back we’ve slid in such a short time.
The modern civil service system dates back more than a century;
in just six years the Bush administration has managed to undo many
of that system’s achievements. And the administration still has
two years to go.


12) Explosion kills 30 in Colombian mine
By Daniel Munoz
Sun Feb 4, 2007 11:37 PM GMT

SARDINATA, Colombia (Reuters) - Explosions killed at least 30 workers
in a Colombian coal mine in the northeastern province of Norte de
Santander and another was feared dead, officials said on Sunday.

Rescue and recovery attempts, hampered by deadly gases remaining
in the shafts of the La Preciosa mine after Saturday's blasts, resumed
at daybreak on Sunday after being suspended Saturday night.

Thirty bodies were recovered from the mine near the mountain town
of Sardinata while one miner remained underground and was
presumed dead.

"They are lowering small-sized earth-moving machines into the mine
to look for the remaining body," said Luis Alberto Gomez, mayor
of the neighbouring village of El Zulia, where some of the victims lived.

Carlos Garcia, head firefighter leading the rescue attempt, told Reuters
it would be a miracle if anyone survived.

Rescue workers face the danger of more explosions at the small,
privately owned mine due to combustible gasses, local officials said.

"I can't believe what is happening. I would not wish this on anyone,"
said Jorge Vergara, brother of two of the trapped miners, sadness
etched on his face as he stood at the entrance of the mine with other
victims' family members and friends.

They said they wanted to know what caused the explosion and if it
could have been prevented.

President Alvaro Uribe visited the site at midday, assuring the crowd:
"The government will follow this case very closely."

He said law enforcement officials will investigate to see if the mine
met safety standards.

Nearby, rescue workers studied maps of the mine, got oxygen tanks
ready and put on masks and helmets, preparing to descend.

La Preciosa produces coal for domestic consumption.

A similar accident occurred in El Zulia when a coal mine explosion
killed 15 people in 2001.

Norte de Santander is an area contested by left-wing rebels and
far-right paramilitary militias fighting a decades-old guerrilla war.
Both groups, branded terrorists by Washington, fight over control
of cocaine smuggling routes from the province into neighboring


13) Who’s Attacking an Online Marxist Archive?
China Is Suspected of Trying to Block Access to Texts
February 5, 2007

If ever there was a believer in the power of the written word, it was
the best-selling author and former librarian Mao Zedong.

As he explained to an early chronicler of his life, Edgar Snow, “Three
books especially deeply carved my mind, and built up in me a faith
in Marxism, from which, once I had accepted it as the correct
interpretation of history, I did not afterwards waver.” Those books,
he said, were Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” and a history
of socialism and a history of class struggle.

According to the Marxist Internet Archive (,
an online community that produces and organizes an ever-growing
Marxist library, the wheel has turned full circle. People at the site
believe that computer attacks primarily from China are jeopardizing
its ability to provide Marxist texts, perhaps forcing the library
to stop providing material in Chinese.

“We are not 100 percent sure this is the Chinese government;
there are a lot of possibilities,” said Brian Basgen, who has worked
on the archive since 1990. But he noted that the archive has been
temporarily banned by the Chinese government before, about two
years ago. “There is a motive,” he said. “They have done it to us
in the past. What they are doing is targeting just the Chinese files.”

Since January there have been hundreds of “denial of service attacks,”
Mr. Basgen said, 99 percent of which emanate from China. The attacks
involve a computer trying to download the same document over
and over again, until it prevents others from accessing the archive.
He said the site has managed to stay ahead of the attackers by
creating “mirror sites” around the world, but the attacks have
prevented the archive from updating its collection since they began.

Of course, since the Chinese have banned the archive before,
it raises the question of why it would use computer attacks. Also,
security experts say that Chinese machines can be exploited
by people outside the country, making the attacks appear
to come from China, because they often lack sophisticated

Mr. Basgen said the purpose of the attacks seemed to be to
motivate the archive to sacrifice its Chinese-language material
to keep the rest of the archive available. It is a move they may
have to consider, he said, depending on how a test turns out.

While some might find it odd that the government created by
Mao’s Communist Revolution would be behind an effort to
deny access to the texts so important to its founding, Mr. Basgen
said he did not. “It is ironic for people who don’t know what
is going on in China,” he said. “The Chinese so-called Communist
government has nothing to do with Communism. It has been
going toward capitalism for a long time.”

And, to be strictly accurate, the Marxist archive does not even
consider Mao a true Marxist. He is considered a “reference writer,”
along with Adam Smith, Josef Stalin, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau,
among others. Mao failed a key question, Mr. Basgen said:
“Did he serve to liberate working people?” NOAM COHEN


14) Numbers Show How Police Work Varies by Precinct
February 5, 2007

In the 75th Precinct, in the East New York section of Brooklyn, which
has the city’s highest violent crime rate and some of its poorest
neighborhoods, the police stopped, questioned or frisked someone
last year, on average, about once every 24 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the First Precinct, which encompasses Battery Park,
Wall Street, TriBeCa and SoHo, one person was stopped about
every 16 hours.

On Friday the Police Department released 1,000 pages of data
on how often it stopped, and sometimes frisked, people on the
streets last year. The pages contain statistics for every precinct,
housing police service area, transit district and narcotics division;
every race or ethnicity; each sex; each quarter of the year; the
reasons for the stops; and more.

The four volumes of data will soon be parsed by city officials,
civil rights advocates and civil libertarians, and their conclusions
will almost certainly vary. But a look at the extremes — the
precincts with the most and the fewest stops — gives a rough
outline of how police work varies across the city.

In the 75th Precinct, which had 173,198 residents in the 2000
census, the police made 21,483 stops in 2006. When race or
ethnicity was known, in 20,494 of the cases, 69 percent were
black, 24 percent Hispanic, 3 percent white and 1 percent
Asian/Pacific Islander. Seven percent of the stops resulted
in an arrest or a summons.

In the First Precinct, which had only 40,451 residents but has
many thousands of people coming in for work and shopping
every day, the police made 554 stops. Of those, 39 percent
were black, 28 percent white, 21 percent Hispanic and
10 percent Asian/Pacific Islander. Four percent were arrested
or received a summons.

The police cited other major differences between the precincts
for stopping people. In the First Precinct, the most common
reasons were “fits a relevant description,” “suspect acting
as a lookout,” “report by victim/witness/officer” and
“proximity to the scene of an offense.”

In the 75th Precinct, the top reasons were “area has high crime
incidence,” “furtive movements,” “time of day fits crime
incidence,” “casing a victim or location” and “change direction
at sight of officer.” To understand the differences, both area’s
residential and daytime populations, their crime rates, and
many other factors must be taken into account, said Paul J. Browne,
the chief police spokesman.

Last year the department began a concerted push, which included
adding officers, to try to reduce crime in the 75th Precinct, which
had 28 murders in 2006. In the First Precinct, there was one murder.

“What the stops are about is somebody reporting crime,” he said.
“Clearly one would expect more stops in areas of relatively high
crime, especially violent crime.”

Citywide, the data showed that more than half of those stopped
were black, though the Police Department, defending itself against
accusations of racial profiling, said that 68.5 percent of crimes
involved suspects described as black by their victims (or by witnesses,
in the case of homicides).

On Friday the Police Department said that 55.2 percent of those
stopped last year in cases where the race was known were black.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking yesterday at St. Luke Baptist Church
in Harlem, suggested that the statistics showed many of those stopped
were picked because of their race.

He said his organization, the National Action Network, would begin
to gather plaintiffs for a class-action lawsuit against the city based
on the findings. He said that he did not intend to hamper legitimate
law enforcement practices, but he urged people who felt they had
been searched unjustly to come forward.

“We do not intend to live in a city where the color of your skin means
you’re suspect more than anybody else,” he told about 200 people
inside the church on Morningside Avenue, many of whom stood
and shouted encouragements. “The fact that you can be pulled
over is dehumanizing and humiliating. The fact that no matter
what your background, no matter how productive you are, to
be cast as a suspect rather than a citizen is intolerable in this

But Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., chairman of the City Council’s
Public Safety Committee, said yesterday that it was completely
irresponsible for any community leader to use the data “to inflame
passions.” He added that, in light of the data the police revealed
regarding crime suspects, Mr. Sharpton “is misleading the public.”

“One thing we can draw from this right now is the people who are
being stopped match the description of the people who are described
by the victims of crime,” he said.

The data released on Friday said that the police made 508,540 stops
in 2006, a significant increase from 2002, the last full year for which
figures were reported. That year, 97,296 stops were recorded.

Mr. Browne said yesterday that the increase was largely attributed
to “the scrupulousness with which the Police Department requires
police officers to record information of who was stopped and why.”

“This record-keeping was not always so complete,” he added.

Some citizen leaders in East New York said yesterday that residents
had been keenly aware of a surge in stops and searches long before
the police issued their report on Friday.

Many East New York residents were upset, they said. “People are
absolutely concerned,” said Jean Reynolds, a member of both Community
Board 5 and the 75th Precinct Community Council, a citizens’ group
that conducts monthly hearings where residents are encouraged
to share their complaints about police conduct.

“You hear complaints like one about young people coming home
at night, who unfortunately have to walk through some bad blocks,
and they are stopped,” she said.

“But you can’t expect people to walk five blocks out of their way
to get home, and all it takes is for one cop to get nasty for these
people to develop a very bad taste for the police.”

Since the fatal police shooting of Sean Bell, an unarmed black
man, in November, “some members of the community think it
is getting a little racial,” said Ms. Reynolds, who is also an
administrator with the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation,
a nonprofit group. But in much of East New York, she said, “it’s not
as though there is a big white population.”

Stephen Heyman, Thomas J. Lueck and Colin Moynihan
contributed reporting.



Main Anti-war Group Plans Rally Against Israeli Policies
Daniel Treiman | Fri. Feb 02, 2007

Exclusive Interview With Ehren Watada
Army First Lt. Ehren Watada was called an exemplary soldier. But then
he decided to face court-martial rather than join a war he says is

American Takes Over Command of NATO Force in Afghanistan
February 5, 2007

Iraqis Fault Pace of U.S. Plan in Attack
February 5, 2007

Senator Feinstein's Iraq Conflict
January 24-30, 2007

Robert Fisk: Please spare me the word 'terrorist'
Lebanon is a good place to find out what tosh the 'terror' merchants talk
Published: 03 February 2007

The Netherlands, the New Tax Shelter Hot Spot
February 4, 2007

Smokestacks in a White Wilderness Divide Iceland
February 4, 2007

FOCUS | In DC, Contractors Are the "Fourth Branch of Govt."

Dissent of an Officer

Oil Giants Offer Scientists Cash to Undermine Climate Study

Dems Indicate They Will Do Little to Stop Bush Troop Surge

18 Years on, Exxon Valdez Oil Still Pours into Alaskan Waters

FOCUS | Bush Seeks $250 Billion to Continue Fighting Iraq War

Push to Resolve Fading Killings of Rights Era
February 3, 2007

Lawmakers Appeal for Guantánamo Release
Almost half of Parliament’s lawmakers signed a letter to House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for the return of David Hicks, an
Australian who has been detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba,
for more than five years after being picked up in Afghanistan.
It was the strongest political support to date for a growing
movement in Australia to have him sent home.
February 3, 2007

Number of People Stopped by Police Soars in New York
"The New York Police Department released new information yesterday
showing that police officers stopped 508,540 individuals on New
York City streets last year — an average of 1,393 stops per day
— often searching them for illegal weapons. The number was
up from 97,296 in 2002, the last time the department divulged
12 months’ worth of data."
February 3, 2007

Iraq Surge Could Total 50,000
A new Congressional report says the increase of 21,500 combat troops
for Iraq proposed by the Bush administration could result in up to 50,000
troops actually being deployed to the region.

Factsheet: Palestinian Refugees in Iraq*
Last Update: January 30, 2007

Rosa Luxemburg: an example of revolutionary struggle
By Ana María Ramírez

House Panel Probing Bush's Record on Signing Statements

Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed

Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

Grieving Dad Takes War Protest to Times Square




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
(scroll down when you get there])

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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

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

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

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

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

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Contact: Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

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

The report was published internationally by 10 organizations in October.

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

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

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

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Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

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

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

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

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

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:


Mike Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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http://www.indybay. org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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