Sunday, July 22, 2007



A little gem:
Michael Moore Faces Off With Stephen Colbert [VIDEO]


September 15: A showdown march from the White House to Congress in Washington DC

North/Central California "End the War Now" March
Saturday, October 27, 2007, 11am, San Francisco Civic Center Plaza

I encourage anyone who can devote some time to contact the ANSWER office and sign up for one of the committees to build Oct. 27—two of the most important, of course, are outreach and fundraising.

Funds are urgently needed for all the material—posters, flyers, stickers and buttons, etc.—to get the word out! Make your tax-deductible donation to:

Progress Unity Fund/Oct. 27

and mail to:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco, CA 94110

Please sign up to pass out flyers and to volunteer your time and energy to making this one of the truest expressions of the sentiment of we, the people this October 27.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

To get more information on meeting times or distribution dates call or drop into the ANSWER office at the above address.

Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
(Call to check meeting and event schedules.)


Waste Management Inc. Campaign: Support Workers Locked Out & Honoring Picket Lines


at ILWU Local 6
99 Hegenberger Rd, Oakland, CA

Bay Area Trade Unionists and Supporters,

The Teamsters Union Local 70, the Machinists Lodge 1546 and International Longshoremen Local 6 are all impacted by a lockout by Waste Management Incorporated.

Waste Management Incorporated locked out 500 Oakland area workers despite a public pledge by IBT Local 70 to not strike and to continue good faith negotiations after the contract expired on June 30, 2007. 80 Machinists have been locked out as well. Nearly 300 members of ILWU Local 6 were told they "had the right" to cross the picket line in the event of a strike or lockout. However, we all know that solidarity is our only choice to survive in these situations. Teamster members are entitled to unemployment benefits due to their locked out status. Machinists are hoping for these benefits as well. However, many of the lower paid workers -- the recycling, clerical and landfill workers in ILWU Local 6, respecting the picket line, will not qualify for unemployment and are not eligible for strike funds.

We are asking you to help in this critical fight. Nearly 1,000 workers overall are involved in this fight. Nearly 300 ILWU members are holding up their end without a safety net to catch their fall.

Please send in your pledges and contributions today to the Alameda Labor Council Hardship Fund. This fund is available to all union members impacted by the Waste Management lockout. However, we are especially mindful of the situation of our 300 ILWU brothers and sisters who are holding the line against a company that shows no regard for the lives of any of its workers.

Come join our Solidarity Breakfast on Monday, July 30 at 8:30 am, 99 Hegenberger Road, Oakland. BRING YOUR CHECK BOOK!!

$350 will replace one week?s take home pay for one worker
$1,000 will help pay rent or a mortgage for one month
$4,500 will pay our grocery bill this week
$7,500 will make you a hero

Please make your contributions to:

Alameda Labor Council Hardship Fund, 100 Hegenberger Rd., Suite 150, Oakland CA 94621

In unity,
Sharon Cornu, Executive Secretary -Treasurer Tim Paulson, Executive Director
Central Labor Council of Alameda County San Francisco Labor Council

Shelley Kessler, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Pam Aguilar, Executive Secretary -Treasurer
San Mateo Central Labor Council Contra Costa Central Labor Council



YouTube clip of Che before the UN in 1964


The Wealthiest Americans Ever
NYT Interactive chart
JULY 15, 2007


New Orleans After the Flood -- A Photo Gallery
This email was sent to you as a service, by Roland Sheppard.
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1) 3 Executives Spared Prison in OxyContin Case
July 21, 2007

2) Police Attack Oaxaca’s Alternative Guelaguetza
One Person Confirmed Dead, 62 Detained, Disappearances

3) The Fall of Faith-Based Foreign Policy
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
Howard Keylor

4) Drug Safety Critic Hurls His Darts From the Inside
July 22, 2007

5) When Mobile Phones Aren’t Truly Mobile
July 22, 2007


1) 3 Executives Spared Prison in OxyContin Case
July 21, 2007

ABINGDON, Va., July 20 — After hearing wrenching testimony from parents of young adults who died from overdoses involving the painkiller OxyContin, a federal judge Friday sentenced three top executives of the company that makes the narcotic to three years’ probation and 400 hours each of community service in drug treatment programs.

In announcing the unorthodox sentence, Judge James P. Jones of United States District Court indicated that he was troubled by his inability to send the executives to prison. But he noted that federal prosecutors had not produced evidence as part of recent plea deals to show that the officials were aware of wrongdoing at the drug’s maker, Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Conn.

The sentences announced by Judge Jones came at the end of a lengthy and highly emotional hearing at a small brick courthouse in this town in far western Virginia. Parents of teenagers and young adults who died from overdoses while trying to get high from OxyContin arrived here from as far away as Florida, Massachusetts and California.

Given the opportunity to speak, they both memorialized their lost children and lambasted Purdue Pharma and its executives, saying they bore a responsibility for those deaths. They also urged Judge Jones to throw out the plea agreements and send the executives to jail.

“Our children were not drug addicts, they were typical teenagers,” said Teresa Ashcraft, who said that her son Robert died of an overdose at age 19. “We have been given a life sentence due to their lies and greed.”

Another women held up a jar that she said contained the ashes of the dead son.

OxyContin, which is a long-acting time-release form of the narcotic oxycodone, is used to treat serious pain. Several reports have suggested that Purdue may have helped fuel widespread abuse of the drug by aggressively promoting it to general practitioners not skilled in either pain treatment or in recognizing drug abuse. The company has denied such a connection. Among those who testified at the hearing were some patients who told about the pain relief they received from OxyContin.

This bucolic town is not far from the spine of the Appalachian Mountains and Kentucky and Tennessee, where abuse of OxyContin exploded in early 2000, just a few years after it was first sold. Both addicts and young experimenters quickly discovered that a pill needed only to be chewed or crushed before ingesting to release large doses of oxycodone, which produced a heroinlike high.

In May, a holding company affiliated with Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to a felony charge that it had fraudulently claimed to doctors and patients that OxyContin would cause less abuse and addiction than competing short-acting narcotics like Percocet and Vicodin. The Food and Drug Administration had allowed the company to claim only that it “believed” that the drug, because it was long-acting, might be less prone to abuse.

To settle that charge, Purdue Frederick, the holding company, agreed to pay $600 million in fines and other payments, and the executives agreed to pay $34.5 million in fines. In accepting that deal, Judge Jones put the company on five years’ probation.

In a statement issued Friday, Purdue Pharma said that “Judge Jones’s acceptance of the settlement concludes this matter and we welcome its resolution.”

That ruling, however, does not mean the end of legal problems for Purdue Pharma, which is owned by the Sackler family, known for its contributions to institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A number of insurers had lawsuits against it seeking compensation for what they say were unnecessary prescriptions for OxyContin, a very expensive drug, that were written because of the company’s false marketing claims.

Defense lawyers for the three executives involved — Michael Friedman, the company’s president until recently; Howard R. Udell, its top lawyer; and Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim, its former medical director — all urged Judge Jones not to put their clients on probation.

The executives had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of misbranding, a crime that does not require prosecutors to show that they knew about wrongdoing or intended to defraud anyone. And defense lawyers said their only crime was heading Purdue Pharma at time when others were committing crimes.

They also described their clients in glowing terms. For example, Mary Jo White, a former United States attorney in New York who represented Mr. Udell, described the lawyer as the “moral compass” of Purdue Pharma. Had he known about wrongdoing, Ms. White said, he “would have done everything in his power to stop it.”

Judge Jones appeared unmoved by such arguments. And while he said a lack of jail time was the “most difficult” part of accepting the plea agreements, he added that his hands were legally tied because prosecutors had not provided him with evidence on which to act.

Still, he appeared to be sending out a message by placing the executives on three years of probation and ordering them to perform 400 hours of service in a drug abuse or drug treatment program.

“As we have heard today, prescription drug abuse is rampant in all parts of this country,” Judge Jones said.

At an earlier outdoor rally Friday attended by about 50 people, including many of those who would later testify at the hearing, there was ample testimony to that problem.

Assembled around a bandstand where speakers stood to castigate Purdue Pharma as a “corporate drug pusher” were photographs of teenagers and young adults at parties, family trips or graduation ceremonies.

The legend over one young man’s photograph read “One Pill Killed.”


2) Police Attack Oaxaca’s Alternative Guelaguetza
One Person Confirmed Dead, 62 Detained, Disappearances

June 16th, 2007 - Barucha Calamity Peller writes: Today in Oaxaca
City,Oaxaca, a confrontation between the APPO (Popular Assembly of
The Peoples of Oaxaca) and security forces of the State of Oaxaca as
well as Federal Preventive Police has left at least one movement
participant dead as a result of police violence, at least 62
detained, and an unknown
number of people disappeared.

According to an APPO press statement released today, the police
launched “a broad offense” against the people of Oaxaca who were
celebrating their alternative and popular Guelaguetza (an annual
Oaxacan cultural festival) in the Guelaguetza auditorium. The APPO
announced two days previous that it would hold an alternative
cultural festival in the main Guelaguetza auditorium, located in the
Fortin Mountain outside of the city.

Federal Preventive Police and State police surrounded the perimeter
of the Guelaguetza auditorium in order to prevent people from
entering the festival. A caravan heading to the festival, tailed by
10,000 people, arrived to the auditorium, and in that moment the
police attacked the crowd with tear gas, rocks, sticks, whatever they
had in their hands, as well as with unidentified explosive
projectiles. People retreated, and
the police advanced, beating and arresting people. Three
photographers were reported to have been beaten. Countless others
were tossed into the back of police pick up trucks with serious

For the moment the state and the municipal police continue a citywide
operation in the streets of Oaxaca City, detaining people in the
open. The military are reported to have surrounded the city on the

Several people are reported to be in grave conditions, and police
apparently apprehended injured festival participants and APPO
supporters while they were transported by the red cross to receive
medical attention.

There are reports that the detained are suffering torture and
constant beatings at the hands of the state and federal police.

Emeterio Merino Cruz Vazquez, the one confirmed fatality from police
violence, was killed from impact from a unidentified explosive
projectile fired by police, which split his intestines open.

The alternative Guelaguetza was planned by the APPO in response to
the government co-optation of the cultural festival that reflects
indigenous tradition through dance. The movement charges that the
festival has been made into a spectacle for tourists for years, and
that the “official” Guelaguetza is an economic excursion on the part
of multinational corporations and Ulises Ruiz, the state Governor
targeted by the Oaxaca popular uprising. Last year, in actions
against the official Guelaguetza, members of the APPO uprising burned
the Guelaguetza stage.

Oaxaca Solidarity:

El Enemigo ComĂșn (film and news)

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3) The Fall of Faith-Based Foreign Policy
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
Howard Keylor

With the news of the resurgence of Al-Qaeda have come the incredible claims by the Bush administration of the exact opposite: that “Al-Qaeda is weaker.”

The Bush regime is in this profound state of denial because to agree with this assessment implies failure in Iraq, a fact that is patently obvious to all who possess sight.

For the Iraq debacle, begun with the spurious claims of weapons of mass destruction, and to stop Saddam Hussein's support of terrorism, has unleashed the whirlwind in the country.

Before the war, Al-Qaeda was, if anything, persona non grata to the Baath Party secularists who ran the country: today, they are using Iraq as a live-fire training camp; a place to fight the Americans, not in practice, but for real!

If that ain't failure, what is?

The neocon, “Zioncon” forces that pushed at the inner offices of government for the Iraq war, on the promise of “bringing democracy to the Middle East,” have reaped a disaster of truly epic proportions.

Iraq, whether it remains one state, or is shattered into many, will never be the same. Its millions of refugees may wait a lifetime for the stability that allows homes to be established, businesses to function, and peace to reign.

And while the problem may have begun in Congress (in their ill-advised grant of war authority to the so-called “War President”), it cannot resolve the problem, for it is now beyond their control.

Iraq is a hell on earth. Any dreams of using it as a demonstration project to influence the developments in the rest of the region is now in ashes.

But this is not merely my opinion. British journalist Jonathan Freedland, writing in a recent edition of the New York Review of Books, argued that Bush failed even under his own measures. Writes Freedland:

“Judged even by the lights of Bush's own ‘war on terror’ it has been a spectacular failure. It took a country that had been free of Jihadist militants and turned it into their most fecund breeding ground; it took a country that posed no threat to the United States and made it into a place where thousands of Americans, not to mention tens, if not hundreds, of thousand of Iraqis, have been killed. And it diverted resources from the task that should have been uppermost after September 11, namely the hunting down of Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, allowing them to slip out of reach. What's more, Bush's ‘war on terror’ did bin Laden's work for him. [Former US national security advisor [Zbigniew} Brzezinski is not alone in suggesting that it was a mistake to treat September !! as an act of war, rather than an outrageous crime: in so doing, the administration endowed a-qaeda with the status it craved.” {Fr.: Freedland, J., "Bush's Amazing Achievement," N. Y. Rev. of Books, June 14, '07, p.16]

Any president who assumes control next year, whether Democratic, Republican, or Green, will inherit the Iraq trap—for he or she may be able to mitigate problems, or even exacerbate them—but they cannot solve them. And they cannot ignore them.

Iraq will be with this country, one way or another, for at least a generation.

Ultimately, history will judge that this ill-advised adventure will become tantamount to a war on the U.S.

No lame declaration, from Congress, or the White House, will mean its end.

July 17, 2007


4) Drug Safety Critic Hurls His Darts From the Inside
July 22, 2007

Back in the ’60s, when University of Michigan students were holding protests over civil rights and the Vietnam War, an undergraduate named Steven E. Nissen was at the center of the political dissent.

Four decades later, that former campus activist is now Dr. Nissen, who is shaking up the nation’s pharmaceutical industry.

His questioning of the safety of the Avandia diabetes medication in late May, for example, prompted a federal safety alert and led to a sales decline of about 30 percent for the drug, which brought in $3.2 billion for GlaxoSmithKline last year. Now, with a federal panel soon to decide whether it can remain on the market, Avandia’s future is uncertain.

The drug is the latest example of why Dr. Nissen, 58, whose day job is chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, has emerged as a Naderesque figure and the nation’s unofficial arbiter of drug safety.

Admirers laud him not only for raising safety questions about Avandia, but also for sounding early warnings about the painkiller Vioxx, as well as other drugs. By digging deeply into companies’ own clinical trial data — information that used to be available only to federal drug regulators who did not always mine it as aggressively — Dr. Nissen is among a new cadre of activist scientists demanding greater vigilance on drug safety.

But Dr. Nissen also has critics, who say he seeks the spotlight as much as the safety of medicine. Others see a conflict of interest in his self-appointed role as the drug industry watchdog while he also presides over industry-financed research worth millions of dollars. “I’m an insider and an outsider at the same time,” Dr. Nissen says in an official Cleveland Clinic biography.

His crusading for drug safety, and his recent informal advisory role to members of Congress on legislation to strengthen drug safety enforcement, have fostered speculation that Dr. Nissen, a Democrat who has worked with members from both parties, covets an official public platform. Some see him angling to be the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, an agency whose decision-making he has frequently questioned.

Although Dr. Nissen denies that he is campaigning for the job, or even that he is really interested in it, he refuses to rule it out. “I want to fix the F.D.A.,” Dr. Nissen said in a recent interview.

He also wants to influence health policy more generally. In one of his final acts this year as the president of the American College of Cardiology, a doctors’ group, Dr. Nissen gave a speech calling for universal health insurance.

People listen to Dr. Nissen partly because of his unabashed self-confidence and outgoing personality. Friends from college remember his mischievous air, a demeanor that has endured alongside his willingness to raise tough questions.

Dr. Nissen also has a statistician’s zeal for drilling deep into clinical data, seeking signs that some widely used drugs pose undisclosed risks to patients. In discussing his work, he describes sleepless nights poring over numbers.

Dr. Nissen’s article in The New England Journal of Medicine, published in May, was based on his review of 42 clinical studies of Avandia involving nearly 28,000 patients. His conclusion, that the drug seems to raise the risk of heart attacks, was widely covered in the news media, including this newspaper.

After the Nissen article appeared on the journal’s Web site on May 21, the F.D.A., which said it had been evaluating the drug’s risks, issued a safety alert advising Avandia patients to consult their doctors.

The agency also scheduled a hearing on July 30, at which a panel of expert advisers could recommend restrictions, or even a ban, on Avandia’s use. The F.D.A. has asked Dr. Nissen to attend to answer questions.

GlaxoSmithKline has challenged the significance of Dr. Nissen’s findings and has defended the drug’s safety. Avandia, which has been used by about seven million people, is merely the latest drug to become a target of Dr. Nissen, who describes himself as an advocate of patients.

In 2005, for example, Dr. Nissen attacked the experimental diabetes drug Pargluva, from Bristol-Myers Squibb, saying it posed serious heart risks. Although an F.D.A. advisory panel had overwhelmingly recommended its approval, Pargluva never made it to market.

Dr. Nissen, who had warned of the dangers of the painkiller Vioxx, from Merck, before it was withdrawn in 2004, challenged Merck’s follow-on product, Arcoxia, which failed to win approval this year. He called Arcoxia the “son of Vioxx,” telling a reporter, “This is a genie I don’t want to see let out of the bottle.”

In his article on Avandia, Dr. Nissen was careful to note the limitations of his analysis. In some media interviews, though, he was less guarded. On the ABC television program “Nightline,” Dr. Nissen predicted that the deaths caused by Avandia could “dwarf” the carnage of Sept. 11, 2001.

Dr. Michael A. Weber, a professor of medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, is among the doctors who worry that Dr. Nissen’s Avandia rhetoric has been inflammatory. Dr. Weber cited Dr. Nissen’s reference to the World Trade Center attack as “something that doesn’t need to be part of a good clinical scientific discussion.”

GlaxoSmithKline complained about the same thing. “In some of his comments to the media, Dr. Nissen has gone beyond discussing the scientific findings of his study to language that frightens patients,” a company spokeswoman, Mary Anne Rhyne, said in an e-mail message.

Even Dr. Delos M. Cosgrove, Dr. Nissen’s supervisor at the Cleveland Clinic, where his department of 90 cardiologists handled 234,000 patient visits last year, says he advised Dr. Nissen simply to talk about the science.

Among his contributions to the clinic is his pioneering work in using ultrasound images to measure fatty plaque inside the walls of coronary arteries, a procedure known as intravascular ultrasound.

While some other drug safety critics avoid all industry ties, Dr. Nissen actively seeks industry-financed research. To avoid undue influence, he says, he insists that charities be given any industry consulting and speaking fees that he would have personally received.

Beneficiaries of the money, hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years, have included the American College of Cardiology. Another recipient has been the Cleveland Museum of Art, one of the major museums and galleries that has shown the work of his wife, Linda Butler, an award-winning photographer.

Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, the head of the consumer organization Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, is generally supportive of Dr. Nissen’s efforts on behalf of drug safety. “He’s very smart and he’s done a lot of good,” Dr. Wolfe said.

But he says that Dr. Nissen’s diverting drug company money to charity is not an adequate buffer from industry influence. “It’s still a conflict of interest,” Dr. Wolfe said.

Dr. Nissen’s industry ties have enabled critics to question his analysis of Avandia, for example, because he has served as a consultant for Takeda and Eli Lilly, the companies that together market Avandia’s main competitor, Actos.

Pointing out that he does not personally receive money from any company, Dr. Nissen said his work for Takeda, Eli Lilly or any other drug maker does not affect his scientific detachment.

“My involvement with any company does not bias my scientific perspective and I scrupulously avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest,” he said.

And Dr. Nissen says he believes his alarms about drug safety have sometimes caused the Cleveland Clinic to miss out when companies award contracts for clinical research trials.

But his adversarial reputation can also work the other way. Because of Dr. Nissen’s reputation, companies may seek him out for research projects.

After the withdrawal of Merck’s Vioxx, for example, Pfizer chose Dr. Nissen to lead a 20,000-patient study of whether its similar drug, Celebrex, carries heart risks.

“In the view of Pfizer, who is co-sponsoring the trial, they know that whatever we report will be believable,” Dr. Nissen said. The study, which will cost millions of dollars, is expected to be completed in 2010.

A Pfizer spokesman, Raymond F. Kerins Jr., said the company picked Dr. Nissen because it seeks advice from leading experts. “These experts ask excellent — and often tough — questions,” Mr. Kerins said.

Although he is the son of a doctor, Dr. Nissen initially rebelled against following that path.

In college in the late 1960s and early ’70s, while working as an editor at his campus newspaper, The Michigan Daily, he became active in the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement and the Human Rights Party, a largely student-run group that elected two members to the Ann Arbor City Council.

One of those council members, Jerry DeGrieck, remembers the young Steve Nissen’s work in leading a voter registration drive.

Those extracurricular activities left little time for classes, which is why Dr. Nissen likes to recall that he was on the “eight-year plan” at Michigan, and says he was lucky to have been accepted to the University of Michigan medical school after finally getting his bachelor’s degree, in 1974.

Mr. DeGrieck, now a government public health policy adviser in Seattle, says he never imagined that his college friend would become one of the nation’s most influential doctors. But he says he is not surprised at all by Dr. Nissen’s activism.

“He’s always questioned authority,” Mr. DeGrieck said.


5) When Mobile Phones Aren’t Truly Mobile
July 22, 2007

WIRELESS carriers in the United States are spiritual descendants of dear Ma Bell: they view total control over customers as their inherited birthright.

The younger generation — Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and the namesake child AT&T — would make their hallowed matriarch proud. They do everything they can to keep power firmly in their own hands. It is entirely at the carriers’ discretion to permit, or disable, the features that a factory loads into the newest phones. They also decide which software can be installed and how it may be used. Many wireless subscribers have ruefully become acquainted with gotcha clauses in their contracts.

In most European and Asian countries, a customer can switch carriers in a few seconds by removing a smart card from a cellphone and inserting a different one from a new provider. In the United States, wireless carriers have deliberately hobbled their phones to make flight to a competitor difficult, if not impossible.

If you, the long-suffering subscriber, decide that you have had enough and wish to try your luck with another company, you’re free to pay your early-termination fee and go. But you most likely will have to abandon the phone you’ve already paid for, even when the technology is shared by the two carriers. (Sprint, for example, whose network is based on the CDMA standard, forbids the use of CDMA-based cellphones obtained from Verizon.) The odds are better than even that your cellphone is either locked by your incumbent carrier or forbidden for use on the network by your new one.

In the days when cellphones were inexpensive and could perform only one or two functions, they could be treated as disposable. When smart phones like the Palm Treo arrived, however, the cellphones became too pricey to abandon lightly when switching companies. Now the iPhone is here — if you’re willing to pony up $500 or $600. AT&T has received an exclusive contract from Apple, so iPhone buyers have no alternative carrier. But the lack of choices rankles and is drawing more scrutiny than ever.

Two weeks ago, Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, led a House hearing on “wireless innovation and consumer protection” and held up an iPhone as Exhibit A in his assessment that the industry exerted “far too much control over the features, functions and applications that wireless gadget makers and content entrepreneurs can offer directly to consumers.” Why is it, he asked, that AT&T imposes a two-year contract with a $175 early-termination fee “even though the phone cost wasn’t subsidized and a consumer can’t even take it to use with another network provider?”

Wireless customers may soon have a few more options. In a coming auction for wireless spectrum that will be available in 2009, the Federal Communications Commission is preparing to set aside a third of the new capacity for bidders who agree to operate wireless services in a more open fashion.

Kevin J. Martin, the F.C.C. chairman, said in an interview last week that he had circulated a draft proposal among his fellow commissioners that would require the winning bidders to be receptive “to all kinds of devices and applications” provided by independent consumer electronics makers and third-party software providers.

Subscribers of the new services would even be permitted to take their phones with them, freely, from one carrier to another. Imagine: a genuinely mobile phone.

The pressure to provide consumers with more cellphone and software choices has been building for some time. In January, the F.C.C. took another step to loosen the exclusive grip of the cable operators’ control over the set-top box that feeds the cable signal to the TV, a move that showed that the commission is open to changes that give consumers more equipment choices.

Then, in February, Timothy Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, published an influential paper, “Wireless Net Neutrality,” which made a well-supported case that the government should compel wireless carriers to open their networks to equipment and software applications that the carriers did not control. Mr. Wu called his proposition a call for “Cellular Carterfone,” referring to the 1968 Carterfone ruling by the F.C.C. The Carterfone was a speakerphone-like gadget that permitted a phone sitting in a cradle to be connected with a two-way radio. Over the objections of AT&T, the F.C.C. ruled that consumers could plug it or any phone or accessory into the network so long as doing so did no harm to the network. The ruling set in motion the changes that provided consumers with a cornucopia of equipment choices like answering machines, fax machines, modems and cordless phones. Among Mr. Wu’s readers was Mr. Martin of the F.C.C.

The wireless carriers are fighting a cellular version of the Carterfone decision. They contend that they must exert control over all equipment used on their networks in order to protect the networks’ operations. AT&T says in an F.C.C. filing that only the carrier has the incentive to oversee “the integrity, security and efficient and economical use” of the network.

MR. WU’S paper, however, shows that the landline telephone industry used identical arguments, predicting dire consequences were its customers permitted to use equipment from unknown sources. In 1955, when AT&T was fighting to exclude a gadget called the Hush-A-Phone, the company solemnly argued, “It would be extremely difficult to furnish ‘good’ telephone service if telephone users were free to attach to the equipment, or use with it, all of the numerous kinds of foreign attachments, which are marketed by persons who have no responsibility for the quality of telephone service.”

As a postscript to the landline industry’s resistance to opening its networks, Mr. Wu said in an interview last week, “Things turned out not just O.K., but great.”

Companies like Google and Skype have called on the F.C.C. to open up more equipment and software options in the wireless industry. Google said on Friday that it would participate in the spectrum auction, committing a minimum of $4.6 billion, if the F.C.C. put into effect its "open access" proposals submitted earlier. Verizon Wireless, however, contended that Google’s proposals would open its network to phones that Verizon had not approved and “that cannot reliably communicate with law enforcement,” a grave problem “in an era of heightened national security concerns.”

In other words, stick with Verizon-certified phones, or the terrorists win.

The wireless industry is being dragged, ever so slowly and gently, into a scary new age — one that began in 1968 with Carterfone — that will require adjustment to reduced control. The industry can never credibly contend that its business practices foster competition and innovation as long as its customers are prevented from moving easily from one carrier to another. Last week, Representative Markey said: “How crazy is this? You can take your number with you, but you can’t take your new $500 phone with you.”

Randall Stross is an author based in Silicon Valley and a professor of business at San Jose State University. E-mail:


6) The end of Zionism
By Nehemia Strasler
Ha'aretz July 19, 2007

A few days ago, A.'s great-great-great grandson was born. A. is 98 years old, a well-known figure in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood, and he has around 450 descendants - no one counts for fear of the evil eye. A simple calculation shows that about 20 years separate each generation of his extended family, and each nuclear family has over 10 children on average.

What does this say about Israeli society and its future in the very near term? Even today, 23 percent of first-grade pupils are ultra-Orthodox and 22 percent are Arab. In another 12 years, when they reach voting age, they will together comprise the majority, and the face of the nation will change.

These figures complement the data about the growth in draft-dodging and about the education system, which is incapable of training its graduates for a life of work and productivity. Draft-dodging, which was once a mark of Cain on the brow of any healthy secular man, has in recent years become almost the bon ton. The new heroes of TV show "A Star is Born" are not embarrassed to say that they did not serve in the army.

Some young people explain their evasion of service by their loss of confidence in the leadership, the cases of corruption and the state's abandonment of its soldiers. But there is also an accumulated weariness with the state of war, which has already lasted 60 years, and many young people, along with their parents, are no longer willing to sacrifice their lives on the altar of the settlers' expansionist dreams.

In any case, the decline in motivation to serve in combat units and the steady rise in draft-dodging raise the question of whether the Israel Defense Forces is really still "the people's army." After all, 25 percent of those eligible for the draft never serve at all (11 percent receive exemptions for yeshiva studies, 7 percent for health reasons, 4 percent reside abroad and 3 percent have a criminal record). Of those drafted, 17.5 percent do not complete a full three years of service. The sharpest rise in the number of draft-dodgers is among the ultra-Orthodox. In 1974, they comprised only 2.4 percent of those eligible for the draft. Today, the figure is 11 percent.

Against this background, it is shocking to learn that yesterday the Knesset decided to extend the so-called Tal Law for another five years due to the government's need to keep Shas in the coalition. This is a cynical, immoral law that absolves a significant portion of Jewish Israelis from the need to either do army service or work for a living. The fact is that 80 percent of ultra-Orthodox men do not work; instead, they live on government grants and stipends and the earnings of their wives. After all, why should they risk their lives? Why should they leave their comfortable incubators as long as the secular donkey is there to bear the burden for them?

The secular donkey does not merely bear the military and economic burden; it also continues to expand the scope of government support for ultra-Orthodox education, including even the most extremist strains. About two months ago, the Knesset, by a large majority, approved the so-called Nahari Law, which compels the municipalities to grant equal funding to ultra-Orthodox schools that are not part of the official education system. These are extremist institutions, which do not even recognize the education systems run by Shas and United Torah Judaism and are unwilling even to hear about the Education Ministry's "core curriculum." They do not teach mathematics, English, nature, science, civics, geography or history. In other words, they deliberately fail to train their graduates for a life of work and productivity. So these graduates have no choice but to cling to the coattails of ultra-Orthodox activists.

And where will the new funding for these extremist schools come from? >From cuts in the state education system, which is already poor and discriminated against.

To this dangerous trend should be added the targeted assassination of the Wisconsin plan that Industry Minister Eli Yishai carried out this week. This welfare-to-work program succeeded in returning thousands of people to the ranks of the employed, but was curtailed because, in Yishai's value system, work is at the bottom of the list.

All this leads to a situation in which only 56 percent of the country's potential workers actually work - the lowest rate of any Western country. And if this rate declines any further, Israel will sooner or later reach a situation in which the taxes of the few who still work will not suffice to support the many who do not.

If these dangerous processes continue and even intensify, Israeli society will move from A.D. Gordon's system of labor to the charitable support system of the pre-state Jewish community, and from "the people's army" to a French-style foreign legion. That will bring us to the complete reversal of the Zionist revolution - and perhaps even to the end of the Zionist state.




Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Stay Defiant

Pentagon Extends Iraq Tours for 2,200 Marines

Bush Executive Order Targets Domestic Assets

Texas: 274 Immigrants Arrested in Raids
Federal agents arrested 274 illegal immigrants over five days during raids in Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding suburbs, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The authorities took into custody 233 men, 28 women and 13 children, said an agency spokesman, Carl Rusnok. The operation, which began Monday and ended yesterday, yielded illegal immigrants, people wanted by immigration authorities and immigrants with criminal records. Of those arrested, 99 had criminal convictions, the agency said. “These operations are a critical element in removing threats to public safety,” said Nuria T. Prendes, field office director for the agency’s Office of Detention and Removal Operations.
July 21, 2007

California: Ruling on Veterans’ Benefits
A federal appeals court said the Veterans Affairs Department was obliged to pay retroactive disability benefits to Vietnam War veterans who contracted a form of leukemia after exposure to Agent Orange. The ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, was on a technical matter involving whether a lower court had properly interpreted an agreement in 1991 on benefits, stemming from a lawsuit filed in 1986.
July 20, 2007

Bush Denies Congress Access to Aides
July 9, 2007

California: No Jail for Marijuana Advocate
A marijuana advocate will not spend time in prison despite a conviction for growing and distributing hundreds of marijuana plants, a federal judge ruled. The man, Ed Rosenthal, 63, was convicted in May on three cultivation and conspiracy charges. But the judge, Charles Breyer of Federal District Court, said a one-day prison sentence was punishment enough for Mr. Rosenthal, who said he planned to appeal his conviction. “I should not remain a felon,” he said. Mr. Rosenthal was convicted on the same charges four years ago. Judge Breyer sentenced him to one day in prison because Mr. Rosenthal reasonably believed he was immune from prosecution because he was acting on behalf of Oakland city officials. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned that 2003 conviction and ordered a retrial because of juror misconduct.
July 7, 2007

Patterns: In Studies, Surprise Findings on Obesity and Heart Attacks
Two new studies shed light on the role obesity may play in causing heart attacks and, surprisingly, keeping them from being fatal.
In one study, published by the European Heart Journal, researchers followed more than 1,600 patients who were given angioplasty and, usually, stents after a type of heart attack known as unstable angina/non-ST-segment elevation. They found that the obese and very obese patients were only half as likely as those of normal weight to die in the three years after the attack.
Part of the explanation may be that obese people are more likely to have their heart problems detected by doctors and treated with medications that later help them recover from heart attacks.
Heart attack patients who are obese also tend to be younger. And other changes in the body that often occur with obesity may also help, the study said. (Of course, as the researchers noted, obesity is not desirable when it comes to heart disease; it causes medical problems that can lead to heart attacks in the first place.)
In the second study, presented at a recent meeting of the American Society of Echocardiography, researchers reported that excess weight was associated with a thickening of muscle in the left ventricle, the part of the heart that acts as a pump. The study was led by researchers from the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center.
July 3, 2007

New Scheme Preys on Desperate Homeowners
July 3, 2007

Keeping Patients’ Details Private, Even From Kin
July 3, 2007

Lessons from Katrina
How to Destroy an African American City in 33 Steps
June 28, 2007

After Sanctions, Doctors Get Drug Company Pay
June 3, 2007

Somalia: The Other (Hidden) War for Oil
by Carl Bloice; Black Commentator
May 07, 2007




LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)


Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007


"We are far from that stage today in our era of the absolute
lie; the complete and totalitarian lie, spread by the
monopolies of press and radio to imprison social
consciousness." December 1936, "In 'Socialist' Norway,"
by Leon Trotsky: “Leon Trotsky in Norway” was transcribed
for the Internet by Per I. Matheson [References from
original translation removed]


Wealth Inequality Charts


MALCOLM X: Oxford University Debate


Animated Video Preview
Narrated by Peter Coyote
Is now on YouTube and Google Video

We are planning on making the ADDICTED To WAR movie.
Can you let me know what you think about this animated preview?
Do you think it would work as a full length film?
Please send your response to:
Fdorrel@sbcglobal. net or Fdorrel@Addictedtow

In Peace,

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

For copies of the book:

Frank Dorrel
P.O. BOX 3261
CULVER CITY, CALIF. 90231-3261
$10.00 per copy (Spanish or English); special bulk rates
can be found at:


"There comes a times when silence is betrayal."
--Martin Luther King



The National Council of Arab Americans (NCA) demands the immediate
release of political prisoner, Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Although
Dr. Al-Arian is no longer on a hunger strike we must still demand
he be released by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). After an earlier
plea agreement that absolved Dr. Al-Arian from any further questioning,
he was sentenced up to 18 months in jail for refusing to testify before
a grand jury in Virginia. He has long sense served his time yet
Dr. Al-Arian is still being held. Release him now!



We ask all people of conscience to demand the immediate
release and end to Dr. Al- Arian's suffering.

Call, Email and Write:

1- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Fax Number: (202) 307-6777

2- The Honorable John Conyers, Jr
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5126
(202) 225-0072 Fax

3- Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

4- Honorable Judge Gerald Lee
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314
March 22, 2007
[No email]

National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)

Criminalizing Solidarity: Sami Al-Arian and the War of
By Charlotte Kates, The Electronic Intifada, 4 April 2007


Robert Fisk: The true story of free speech in America
This systematic censorship of Middle East reality
continues even in schools
Published: 07 April 2007
http://news. independent. fisk/article2430 125.ece


[For some levity...Hans Groiner plays Monk]


Excerpt of interview between Barbara Walters and Hugo Chavez


Which country should we invade next?

My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup

Michael Moore- The Awful Truth

Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments

Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage


'My son lived a worthwhile life'
In April 2003, 21-year old Tom Hurndall was shot in the head
in Gaza by an Israeli soldier as he tried to save the lives of three
small children. Nine months later, he died, having never
recovered consciousness. Emine Saner talks to his mother
Jocelyn about her grief, her fight to make the Israeli army
accountable for his death and the book she has written
in his memory.
Monday March 26, 2007
The Guardian,,2042968,00.html


Introducing...................the Apple iRack


"A War Budget Leaves Every Child Behind."
[A T-shirt worn by some teachers at Roosevelt High School
in L.A. as part of their campaign to rid the school of military
recruiters and JROTC--see Article in Full item number 4,]




Defend the Los Angeles Eight!


George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks




Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran


Petition: Halt the Blue Angels


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


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]



"Cheyenne and Arapaho oral histories hammer history's account of the
Sand Creek Massacre"

CENTENNIAL, CO -- A new documentary film based on an award-winning
documentary short film, "The Sand Creek Massacre", and driven by
Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho people who tell their version about
what happened during the Sand Creek Massacre via their oral
histories, has been released by Olympus Films+, LLC, a Centennial,
Colorado film company.

"You have done an extraordinary job" said Margie Small, Tobient
Entertainment, " on the Colorado PBS episode, the library videos for
public schools and libraries, the trailer, etc...and getting the
story told and giving honor to those ancestors who had to witness
this tragic and brutal is one of the best ways."

"The images shown in the film were selected for native awareness
value" said Donald L. Vasicek, award-winning writer/filmmaker, "we
also focused on preserving American history on film because tribal
elders are dying and taking their oral histories with them. The film
shows a non-violent solution to problem-solving and 19th century
Colorado history, so it's multi-dimensional in that sense. "

Chief Eugene Blackbear, Sr., Cheyenne, who starred as Chief Black
Kettle in "The Last of the Dogmen" also starring Tom Berenger and
Barbara Hershey and "Dr. Colorado", Tom Noel, University of Colorado
history professor, are featured.

The trailer can be viewed and the film can be ordered for $24.95 plus
$4.95 for shipping and handling at

Vasicek's web site,, provides detailed
information about the Sand Creek Massacre including various still
images particularly on the Sand Creek Massacre home page and on the
proposal page.

Olympus Films+, LLC is dedicated to writing and producing quality
products that serve to educate others about the human condition.


Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
7078 South Fairfax Street
Centennial, CO 80122,+Don


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


[The Scab
"After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad,
and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with
which he made a scab."
"A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul,
a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue.
Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten
principles." "When a scab comes down the street,
men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and
the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out."
"No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there
is a pool of water to drown his carcass in,
or a rope long enough to hang his body with.
Judas was a gentleman compared with a scab.
For betraying his master, he had character enough
to hang himself." A scab has not.
"Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.
Judas sold his Savior for thirty pieces of silver.
Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of
a commision in the british army."
The scab sells his birthright, country, his wife,
his children and his fellowmen for an unfulfilled
promise from his employer.
Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas was a traitor
to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country;
a scab is a traitor to his God, his country,
his family and his class."
Author --- Jack London (1876-1916)...Roland Sheppard]


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


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])


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