Tuesday, December 18, 2007



Next Antiwar Coalition meeting Sunday, January 6, 1:00 P.M.
474 Valencia St., Second Floor, rear.


Board approves year extension for high schools' JROTC program
Classes allowed to count for physical education credit
Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2007


474 VALENCIA STREET, FIRST FLOOR, Room 145 (To the left as you come in, and all the way to the back of the long hallway, then, to the right.)

School Board Cowers Behind Phony JROTC "Task Force"
by Marc Norton
Dec. 12‚ 2007




From: LACFreeMumia@aol.com

A ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Mumia's case, based on the hearing in Philadelphia on May 17th 2007, is expected momentarily. Freeing Mumia immediately is what is needed, but that is not an option before this court. The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal calls on everyone who supports Mumia‚s case for freedom, to rally the day after a decision comes down. Here are Bay Area day-after details:


14th and Broadway, near the Federal Building
4:30 to 6:30 PM the day after a ruling is announced,
or on Monday if the ruling comes down on a Friday.

Oakland demonstration called by the Partisan Defense Committee and Labor Black Leagues, to be held if the Court upholds the death sentence, or denies Mumia's appeals for a new trial or a new hearing. info at (510) 839-0852 or pdcbayarea@sbcglobal.org


Federal Courthouse, 7th & Mission
5 PM the day after a ruling is announced,
or Monday if the decision comes down on a Friday

San Francisco demo called by the Mobilization To Free Mumia,
info at (415) 255-1085 or www.freemumia.org

Day-after demonstrations are also planned in:

Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver
and other cities internationally.

A National Demonstration is to be held in Philadelphia, 3rd Saturday after the decision

For more information, contact: International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, www.mumia.org;
Partisan Defense Committee, www.partisandefense.org;
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC), www.freemumia.com;


World-renowned journalist, death-row inmate and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is completely innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. Mountains of evidence--unheard or ignored by the courts--shows this. He is a victim, like thousands of others, of the racist, corrupt criminal justice system in the US; only in his case, there is an added measure of political persecution. Jamal is a former member of the Black Panther Party, and is still an outspoken and active critic of the on-going racism and imperialism of the US. They want to silence him more than they want to kill him.

Anyone who has ever been victimized by, protested or been concerned about the racist travesties of justice meted out to blacks in the US, as well as attacks on immigrants, workers and revolutionary critics of the system, needs to take a close look at the frame-up of Mumia. He is innocent, and he needs to be free.




In 1995, mass mobilizations helped save Mumia from death.

In 1999, longshore workers shut West Coast ports to free Mumia, and teachers in Oakland and Rio de Janeiro held teach-ins and stop-works.

Mumia needs powerful support again now. Come out to free Mumia!

- The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222, Oakland CA 94610


Help end the war by supporting the troops who have refused to fight it.
Please sign the appeal online:


"I am writing from the United States to ask you to make a provision for sanctuary for the scores of U.S. military servicemembers currently in Canada, most of whom have traveled to your country in order to resist fighting in the Iraq War. Please let them stay in Canada..."

To sign the appeal or for more information:

Courage to Resist volunteers will send this letter on your behalf to three key Canadian officials--Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley, and Stéphane Dion, Liberal Party--via international first class mail.

In collaboration with War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada), this effort comes at a critical juncture in the international campaign for asylum for U.S. war resisters in Canada.


We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:
FedEx Ground: Your Drivers Deserve to be Treated Fairly!
Target: Dave Rebholz, President and CEO of FedEx Ground
Sponsor: American Rights at Work

More than 15,000 FedEx Ground drivers don't have a voice at work, or the ability to stand up to the company. These men and women work long hours, often without benefits, are frequently harassed and even fired for supporting a union.

What's more, FedEx makes the drivers lease their own trucks (which cost around $40,000) so quitting can mean losing a major personal investment. Unions are often their only recourse.

FedEx Ground advertises efficiency and professionalism, but their anti-union posters and the distribution of anti-union videos show they're more about pushing their own agenda.

A new report shows that when anti-union persuasion fails, there's outright bullying. High-level management arrive on the scene to harass, isolate, retaliate against and even fire union supporters!

Resorting to nasty labor tactics to increase company profits is just not right.
Demand that FedEx Ground give benefits and respect to the people who make the company so successful!




1) Connecting the dots: Developers and gang injunctions
by Alicia Schwartz, POWER
Wednesday, 12 December 2007

2) Housing slump hits home in East S.J.
By Pete Carey
Mercury News
Article Launched: 12/14/2007 03:23:25 PM PST

3) Border Patrol fires tear gas into Mexico
By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press Writer
December 17, 2007 2 minutes ago

4) Blazing Arizona
December 18, 2007

5) Statement Hints at Castro’s Retirement
December 18, 2007

6) California Moves Toward Universal Health Care
December 18, 2007

7) Food and Fuel Compete for Land
December 18, 2007


1) Connecting the dots: Developers and gang injunctions
by Alicia Schwartz, POWER
Wednesday, 12 December 2007

On Thanksgiving Day, while many families were enjoying each other's company, one family was being terrorized at the hands of the San Francisco Police Department. Longtime Hunters Point resident and POWER member Joanne Abernathy, who had been taking a shower, was held, naked, by one male SFPD officer while her nephew - who is named on the Oakdale gang injunction list - was being beaten and arrested downstairs.

Joanne's children - the youngest is only 7 years old - watched the entire scenario take place. When one of them ventured to ask what was happening, she was told, "Shut the fuck up, bitch!" To add insult to injury, when the whole horrifying incident was over, the officers wished the family, "Happy Thanksgiving!"

These incidents are all too common in working class communities of color throughout San Francisco, as well as across the country. A new report from the University of Chicago entitled "The Use of Statistical Evidence to Address Police Supervisory and Disciplinary Practices: The Chicago Police Department's Broken System" details how rogue police officers are often placed in and assigned to low-income communities of color, and that these police officers engage in aggressive stops, street interrogations and searches of homes at any given time. The report also states that rogue officers connected with other like-minded officers and got away with their abusive behavior because of perceived lawlessness in San Francisco.

Even the typically conservative San Francisco Chronicle published an investigative series entitled "Use of Force," which documented startling statistics related to police brutality and abuse right here in San Francisco. So, if this information is so well documented, then why does it continue to happen? Why are the SFPD allowed to run wild in Bayview Hunters Point and other communities of color in San Francisco?

The answer is that the police are often used to protect the property and material interests of corporations and elites in any locality - at the expense of working class communities of color. This is why we hear the common complaint that "the police never come when you call them, but they're there in a heartbeat when you wish they weren't."

Police in Bayview Hunters Point can often be seen cruising the neighborhood, stopping people at random, usually young men, mugging kids hanging out on the corner or raiding homes in the projects. What you see less and less of are police helping old ladies across the street with their groceries or playing basketball with young people or even handing out those stickers they used to hand out that identified them as your "pal."

Slapping gang injunctions on the two neighborhoods where most Blacks live and the main Latino neighborhood is bringing a surge in Black-Brown unity to San Francisco. Photo: Florencia, HOMEY

When the City Attorney issued the gang injunction covering the Oakdale development, which lies adjacent to Parcel A of the Hunters Point Shipyard, where the City's "master developer," Lennar Corp., has been poisoning the neighborhood with toxic dust, local mainstream media justified the injunction by saying that people in the community were asking for - in fact, begging for - extra police protection. What the City Attorney didn't tell you was that the gang injunction was enacted in order to clear the way for this multi-billion dollar corporate developer to take over the most "underutilized parcel of land in San Francisco" - the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

What that means is that the City of San Francisco is willing to do absolutely whatever it takes to begin to "utilize" that land. It doesn't matter if there are people living in that neighborhood; it doesn't matter if people have nowhere else to go or simply don't want to go. The reality is that the City is looking to locate one out of every four new residents coming into San Francisco in Bayview Hunters Point - and the mostly poor Black people people who live there now are supposed to get out of the way.

The three gang injunctions that are criminalizing young people in Bayview Hunters Point, the Mission and the Fillmore - despite strong opposition in those communities - are yet another example of developer-driven policy in San Francisco. They protect corporate interests, not community and family interests.

In exchange for 1,600 luxury condominiums that Lennar wants to build at the Shipyard and the severe nosebleeds, skin rashes, asthma attacks and eventual cancer and asbestosis deaths its toxic dust is causing, San Francisco has sent a clear message to communities of color that the City will do whatever it takes - including hog-tying and beating a 20-year-old young Black man, calling an 18-year-old young Black woman a bitch, holding the lifelong resident, community activist and mother naked in front of her three children, other family members, and a male officer she did not know on Thanksgiving Day.

The SFPD and the Gang Task Force have been allowed to run wild in Bayview Hunters Point for far too long. Until now.

At last Wednesday's Police Commission meeting, more than 60 young people from Bayview Hunters Point and the Mission, backed by their elders, ACORN, the African American Community Police Relations Board, the W. Haywood Burns Institute, the Idriss Stelley Foundation and many others took a stand and demanded justice and accountability from SFPD and the Police Commission.

On Monday, more than 80 people from HOMEY (Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth), La Raza Centro Legal, PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights), POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights), SLAM (the Stop Lennar Action Movement) and Bayview Hunters Point packed the City Hall hearing room to testify before the Board of Supervisors' Public Safety Committee as the City Attorney's office and the Gang Task Force attempted to defend the brutalization of mothers, sisters, daughters, sons, fathers, uncles and brothers from communities of color in San Francisco.

The widely despised gang injunctions need to be stopped and so does the SFPD when it runs wild in Bayview Hunters Point and other communities to protect developers rather than families. Community-based organizations and the people of San Francisco are connecting the dots.

Contact Alicia Schwartz of POWER at alicia@peopleorganized.org This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or (415) 864-8372 ext. 302.


2) Housing slump hits home in East S.J.
By Pete Carey
Mercury News
Article Launched: 12/14/2007 03:23:25 PM PST

The wave of foreclosures sweeping Santa Clara County has hit its Latino residents the hardest, stripping many first-time buyers of their homes and sending financial shock waves through the South Bay's largest minority community.

Nearly 60 percent of the 1,429 properties in the county taken back by lenders from Jan. 1 to Nov. 15 were owned by people with Hispanic surnames, according to a Mercury News analysis of data provided by ForeclosureRadar. In San Jose, that figure was 69 percent.

Latinos comprise 26 percent of the county's population and 32 percent of the city's, according to census data.

The damage comes as foreclosures in the county through Nov. 15 have skyrocketed to five times the number for all of 2006, according to DataQuick, another real estate research firm.

The epicenter of the foreclosure crisis is San Jose's East Side, a hub of Latino culture in the Bay Area. As homes are lost, real estate sales are stagnating and affordable rentals are becoming harder to find. Families are pooling resources in desperate attempts to make loan payments and hang on to their houses.

"It was great giving people their American dream," said Dolores Marquez, a retired community worker and long-time East Side resident. "But God, how they hooked them in and snatched it away."

Nora Campos, the San Jose city councilwoman who represents the area, said she's worried about the economic impact on the community and called for the city to work with state and federal legislators to stop the foreclosures and "bring some much needed relief to our working families."

Loosened lending requirements and high-pressure sales tactics during the past three years led to a home-buying surge in San Jose, according to real estate professionals. But many of those loans were destined to fail even as a chain of intermediaries profited from them.

Buyers were "not fully informed," said Rebecca Gallardo-Serrano, a San Jose real estate agent, 2008 chair of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and a member of the Santa Clara County Planning Commission.

She said that during the boom, some agents hired people to go door-to-door, targeting Hispanics, some of whom may not have fully understood the complex financial transaction involved in buying a home.

Adjustable rates

"They are getting into a home and fulfilling the American dream, but they don't recognize that the loan may be fixed for three months, or a year, and then may continue to adjust," Gallardo-Serrano said.

Now, many of these owners can't afford their costly adjustable mortgages. Nor can they refinance because home values have dropped, leaving them without any equity in the house. Meanwhile, lenders have tightened standards that once allowed lower-income families to buy $600,000 homes with no money down.

And for every foreclosure, there are many more families struggling, according to community observers.

"It's a family situation," said Dennis King of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley. "So many in the family try to bail out the homeowner by pledging more and more of their resources to cover it, and that multiplies the damage."

With few homes selling, some predict prices of lower-end houses will fall even more, exacerbating the problem.

"There are tons of houses on my block that haven't sold," said Veronica Frausto, a county social worker and single mother who bought her house for $612,000 in 2005. "They have signs up, and it's affecting the value of my home as well. It's 'price reduced,' 'price reduced.' "

That has trapped people like Frausto, who is unable to refinance her no-down-payment loan because of the drop in home prices. She is renting rooms and working with her lender to try to avoid foreclosure.

"I love my house," she said. "I'm going to do whatever I can to hold onto it."

Wilfred Perez, a real estate agent and loan officer for Alvarez & Alvarez, said about 50 people came to him for help last month, and he expects three times that many this month. "They don't know where to go," Perez said. "They are afraid to call the lender, or they say no one answers, or nobody there speaks Spanish and they just put you on hold."

Perez himself lost the house he bought for $650,000 in 2005 - "at the top of the market." The value of the property dropped $100,000 when it was foreclosed on and put up for auction, he said. "How do you think the neighbors feel?"

"People don't want to lose their homes," added Robert Aldana, a real estate agent who has a Spanish-language radio show on real estate. "They are saying, 'Help us,' but lenders are not helping."

While Latinos have been hit the hardest, there are many non-Hispanics struggling with loan payments too.

'Take the house'

Girlie Bass, a registered nurse whose husband drives for the Valley Transportation Authority, is trying to get her lender to take back the "fixer-upper" on Aetna Way in San Jose she bought for a borrowed $615,000 in 2004. "I just want them to release me from the mortgage. Take the house. I don't care if I get a dime out of it," said Bass, who is 61. She said her loan payment is now $6,497 a month, far outstripping her and her husband's ability to pay.

Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley says it is getting an average of seven requests for help a day from homeowners worried about making their mortgage payments or losing their homes. These are largely Spanish-only speakers with an average loan balance of $475,000 to $575,000 typically earning an average of $3,300 or less a month per household, according to Marlene Santiago, the agency's bilingual foreclosure counselor.

Unsuitable loans

"Most of what I've seen is the client cannot afford the home due to the fact they probably should never have been put into that loan to begin with," Santiago said.

On the East Side, community leaders and realty agents are concerned and upset.

"I'm saddened by the fact that these people losing their houses were sold them by Latino real estate agents," said the Rev. Jose Antonio Rubio, director of ecumenical affairs for the Diocese of San Jose. "I presume they had good intentions."

On the other hand, he said, many buyers knew what the terms of their loans were. "You wonder what they were thinking when they agreed to them," he said.

"It's tragedy on multiple levels," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Blanca Alvarado. "Maybe it's through some fault of their own, but the system is so complicated, the desire for homeownership is such a powerful impulse, and there are predators on every corner waiting to take advantage of them."

The Rev. Joseph Leon of Pueblo de Dios Lutheran church in West San Jose said parishioners have sought help from him. "Some have come for prayer, and we just pray for them, and just walk with them through this thing. It is a good opportunity for the church to reach out to these folks."

Contact Pete Carey at pcarey@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5419.

Mercury News Staff Writer Sue McAllister contributed to this report.


3) Border Patrol fires tear gas into Mexico
By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press Writer
December 17, 2007 2 minutes ago

Border Patrol agents are firing tear gas and powerful pepper-spray weapons across the border into Mexico to repel what the agency says are an increasing number of attacks by assailants hurling rocks, bottles and bricks.

The counteroffensive has drawn complaints that innocent families are being caught in the crossfire.

"A neighbor shouted, 'Stop it! There are children living here," said Esther Arias Medina, 41, who on Wednesday fled her Tijuana, Mexico, shanty with her 3-week-old grandson after the infant began coughing from smoke that seeped through the walls.

A helmeted agent on the U.S. side said nothing as he stood with a rifle on top of a 10-foot border fence next to the three-room home that Arias shares with six others.

"We don't deserve this," Arias said. "The people who live here don't throw rocks. Those are people who come from the outside, but we're paying the price."

Witnesses in Arias' hardscrabble neighborhood described eight attacks since August that involved tear gas or pepper spray, some that forced residents to evacuate.

The Border Patrol says its agents have been attacked nearly 1,000 times during a one-year period.

The agency's top official in San Diego, Mike Fisher, said agents are taking action because Mexican authorities have been slow to respond. When an attack happens, he said, American authorities often wait hours for them to come, and help usually never arrives.

"We have been taking steps to ensure that our agents are safe," Fisher said.

Mexico's acting consul general in San Diego, Ricardo Pineda, has insisted that U.S. authorities stop firing onto Mexican soil. He met with Border Patrol officials last month after the agency fired tear gas into Mexico. The agency defended that counterattack, saying agents were being hit with a hail of ball bearings from slingshots in Mexico.

U.S. officials say the violence indicates that smugglers are growing more desperate as stepped-up security makes it harder to sneak across the border. The assailants try to distract agents long enough to let people dash in the United States.

The head of a union representing Border Patrol employees said the violence also results from the decision to put agents right up against the border, a departure from the early 1990s when they waited farther back to make arrests.

"When you get that close to the fence, your agents are sitting ducks," said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Border Patrol agents were attacked 987 times along the U.S.-Mexico border during the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, the agency said. That's up 31 percent from 752 attacks a year earlier, and it's the highest number since the agency began recording attacks in the late 1990s.

About two-thirds of the attacks were with rocks. Many of the rest involved physical assaults, such as illegal immigrants getting into fist fights with guards.

About one of every four attacks occurred in San Diego, and most of those happened along a heavily fortified, 10-mile stretch of the border starting at the Pacific Ocean.

Agent Joseph Ralph estimates he has been struck by rocks 20 times since joining the Border Patrol in 1987, once fracturing a shoulder blade. "You find yourself trying to take cover," he said.

About four months ago, a large rock struck the hood of agent Ellery Taylor's vehicle. "The only thing you can think is, 'I'm glad that that wasn't my head.' There's no way to see it coming," Taylor said.

In October, agents in California and Arizona received compressed-air guns that shoot pepper-spray canisters more than 200 feet. Agents already had less powerful pepper-launchers that lose their punch after about 30 feet — even less if absorbed by thick clothing or cardboard.

The Border Patrol says the pepper weapons are a less lethal alternative to regular guns, but they have caused at least one fatality. In October 2004, a college student died after she was struck in the eye by a pepper-spray canister that officers fired to control a celebration of the Red Sox's pennant win.

Border Patrol SWAT teams along the 1,952-mile U.S.-Mexico border are also equipped with tear gas, "flash bombs" that emit blinding light and "sting ball" grenades that disperse hundreds of tiny rubber pellets.

U.S. officials say the new tactics may spare lives. An agent shot and killed a 20-year-old Mexican man whose arm was cocked back in March in Calexico, Calif., where rock attacks have soared in the last year. Two years ago, an agent fatally shot a rock thrower at the San Diego-Tijuana border.

No criminal charges were filed in either case.

Robis Guadalupe Argumedo, a seamstress in Tijuana, said she has been startled by tear gas on four nights since Aug. 7, when her 12-year-old son suffered a nose bleed. That attack also shattered a window of her neighbor's car.

Argumedo, 31, said she shouted in protest across the border at a helmeted agent on Dec. 8 after opening her front door to a cloud of tear gas. "He said: 'I'm the policeman of the world and I can do what I want.'"

Benito Arias said his 19-year-old sister-in-law fainted during an apparent tear gas attack about two weeks ago. The woman, five months pregnant, was given oxygen at the hospital.

His father, Jose Arias, fled with his wife a few blocks away, where paramedics checked their blood pressure. He said he sympathizes with the Border Patrol because Mexican authorities do nothing to prevent people from hurling rocks over the fence at agents.

"This is a matter between government and government," said Arias, 75. "They have to work out an agreement. We are innocent. What can we do about it?"


4) Blazing Arizona
December 18, 2007

On Jan. 1, Arizona intends to become the first state to try to muscle its way out of its immigration problems on its own. That is when, barring a last-minute setback in court, it is to begin enforcing a new state law that harshly punishes businesses that knowingly hire undocumented immigrants. It is a two-strike law, suspending a business’s license on the first offense and revoking it on the second. It is the strictest workplace-enforcement law in the country.

We have always said that workplace laws should be enforced vigorously — as part of a comprehensive, nationwide immigration system that doesn’t just punish, but tries to actually solve the problems that foster and sustain the breaking of immigration laws. The boosters of the Arizona law, including the Minutemen border vigilantes who have made “January First!” an anti-immigrant rallying cry, have a much narrower goal: the biggest purge of illegal immigrants in the Southwest since the federal government’s Operation Wetback in 1954.

If that happens, the immigrants will take a big chunk of Arizona’s growth and economic vitality with them — and not necessarily back across the international border. The collateral damage will be severe as citizens and legal immigrants are also thrown out of work, as businesses struggle to find workers in a state with a 3.3 percent unemployment rate and as sleazy employers move more workers off the books, the better to abuse and exploit them. And the national problem of undocumented immigration will be no closer to a solution.

There are many compassion-and-common-sense criticisms of Arizona’s Fair and Legal Employment Act: stories about families torn apart, breadwinners deported and citizen children on public assistance. They make little headway with the law-and-order crowd. Nor does the fact that many hard-line defenders of workplace enforcement show a lopsided devotion to federal laws; they seldom complain when employers abuse undocumented immigrants and steal their wages, even though those violations worsen job conditions and pay for American workers, too.

For now, let’s just point out that Arizona’s plunge into enforcement-only immigration policy highlights the folly and inadequacy of that approach, particularly when it is left to a crazy quilt of state laws. America is a country where millions of illegal immigrants have entered for years all but invited and mostly not pursued. They have become integral to our economy, although now — thanks to harsher enforcement and the defeat of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress — most have no way to become legal, no options except slipping back into destitution on the other side of the border.

There is no way for Arizona or any other state to get businesses back on a legal footing without exacting a great economic and human toll.

It could be that Arizona’s enforcement of the law will be calm and measured. But we worry about Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and two-thirds of the state’s population. Maricopa’s county attorney, Andrew Thomas, and county sheriff, Joe Arpaio, are prone to media-driven stunts. Sheriff Arpaio makes a show of his meanness, hounding and humiliating prisoners and forming his deputies into squads that check people’s clothes and accents before demanding their papers.

Arizona is home to many moderate politicians, like Gov. Janet Napolitano, who were all too aware of the bill’s problems, and yet it became law. Many say the Minutemen and their allies had offered an ultimatum: approve this bill or face a citizen’s initiative on the 2008 ballot that would be even harsher and blunter, and all but impossible to repair. That promise was reneged on; petitions for the Minutemen’s initiative are being collected now.

As Arizona exacts its punishment on the undocumented workers who have made it so prosperous, it runs the risk of proving itself tough but not smart.


5) Statement Hints at Castro’s Retirement
December 18, 2007

MEXICO CITY — Fidel Castro indicated Monday in a statement read on state television that he was willing to hand over the reins of Cuba’s government to a younger generation of leaders. But his statement remained silent on whether he was speaking hypothetically or had a transition plan in mind.

“My basic duty is not to cling to office, nor even more so, to obstruct the rise of people much younger, but to pass on experiences and ideas whose modest value arises from the exceptional era in which I lived,” said the statement attributed to Mr. Castro, who is 81.

The ailing Mr. Castro, acting in a sort of emeritus role, has produced numerous commentaries in the 16 months since he had abdominal surgery and temporarily handed over power to his younger brother, Raúl, who is 76. But none of the statements until now have addressed the important question of Mr. Castro’s future as Cuba’s president, a position he has held for nearly five decades.

The most recent speculation in Havana had been that Mr. Castro might be trying to make a comeback. His health was said to be improving, and on Dec. 2 he was officially nominated as a candidate for the next National Assembly. The assembly meets in March to choose a 31-member Council of State, which will select the next president.

Because only assembly members qualify for the top job, Mr. Castro’s nomination as a candidate seemed to rule out the notion that he was retiring from politics and ceding power to Raúl, the defense minister and constitutionally designated successor.

Fidel Castro’s future is considered a very delicate affair, analysts say, given his singular role in running the country. Only he can decide to opt out of the presidency, and those below him in the ranks, including his brother, have been careful not to be seen as pressuring him to cede power despite his health problems.

In his latest statement, read on the nightly discussion program “Round Table,” Mr. Castro did not speak of any future leaders he envisioned governing Cuba.


6) California Moves Toward Universal Health Care
December 18, 2007

SACRAMENTO — California moved significantly closer to enacting a broad expansion of health insurance coverage Monday when the Democratic-controlled Assembly passed legislation that has the backing of the Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But it is far from certain that the Legislature will give final approval to the measure, which would provide coverage to an estimated 70 percent of the 5.1 million persistently uninsured Californians.

The bill must first gain passage in the Senate, also controlled by Democrats, where there are deep concerns about the measure’s impact on the state’s widening budget gap. And even if the Senate ultimately joins with Mr. Schwarzenegger and the Assembly, state leaders then must persuade California voters to support billions of dollars in new taxes and fees in a November referendum.

The Senate president pro tem, Don Perata, has said he will not bring his members back to Sacramento until the 2008 session begins on Jan. 7.

Though Mr. Perata, a Democrat from Oakland, has endorsed the plan’s general concept, he is worried that the state’s budget problems make it impractical. On Monday, he asked legislative fiscal analysts to study the Assembly bill’s long-term fiscal implications, particularly in light of any cuts in social services that may be made to bring next year’s budget into balance.

Nonetheless, Monday’s passage by the Assembly, on a party-line vote of 46 to 31, culminated nearly a year of negotiation that began in January, when Mr. Schwarzenegger proposed an audacious plan to insure all Californians. Three other states — Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont — had passed similar plans in recent years, but all are significantly smaller than California, which is the country’s largest state, and have lower proportions of uninsured residents.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, in the floor debate Monday afternoon, called the bill “truly a historic effort” and rejected Republican assertions that its passage was “more for public relations than for policy,” as it was put by the Assembly Republican leader, Michael Villines.

“There is hope through this bill,” Mr. Nuñez said, “that never again in California will someone be kicked to the curb by an insurance company.”

The plan created by Mr. Schwarzenegger and Mr. Nuñez, first during the regular legislative session and then in a special session called by the governor in September, draws from both Democratic and Republican ideas.

Its fundamental structure mimics the plan adopted last year by Massachusetts and embraced by several Democratic presidential candidates. Like that state, California would force insurers to offer policies regardless of a consumer’s age or health status, and it would require most individuals to obtain basic health coverage. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Senator John Edwards support such a mandate, and Senator Barack Obama has proposed mandatory coverage for children.

As in Massachusetts, some Californians would be granted exemptions if their income is too low to afford premiums but too high to qualify for heavy government subsidies. Assembly aides said that about 15 percent of those left uninsured by the plan would be illegal immigrants, though children in the country illegally would be offered coverage.

A major sticking point in the negotiations, and a major concern for the labor unions that provide California Democrats with their most reliable support, has been whether the mandated policies would be affordable for middle-income workers. The California plan would offer state subsidies to purchasers with incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty level, or $51,625 for a family of four.

A number of large unions ultimately supported the bill, including the state’s largest, the Service Employees International Union, whose president, Andrew L. Stern, attended a buoyant news conference after the vote with Mr. Schwarzenegger and Mr. Nuñez.

But the plan also would use tax credits, a concept backed by President Bush and the leading Republican presidential candidates, to make policies more affordable for the middle class. Those earning between 250 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level ($82,600 for a family of four) would be able to deduct premium costs that exceed 5.5 percent of their incomes.

The cost of the plan, which would take effect in 2010, is pegged at $14.4 billion. But none of the financing mechanisms were included in the bill passed Monday. California requires a two-thirds vote of both chambers to approve tax increases, and it became apparent last summer that the Republican minority would not provide the votes needed to reach that threshold.

That left Mr. Schwarzenegger and Mr. Nuñez, a Democrat from Los Angeles, to devise a two-step approach: legislative approval of the mechanics of the health care plan, followed by a November 2008 referendum with voters asked to approve tax increases to pay for it.

Among the taxes is a $1.50 increase in the 87-cent levy on tobacco products, which would raise about $1.5 billion, and a 4 percent levy on hospital revenues, which would raise $2.3 billion. The hospital dollars are one component that would help the state leverage an additional $4.6 billion in federal financing.

Mr. Schwarzenegger has promised repeatedly not to raise taxes, but he has said that passage of the referendum would equate to voters raising taxes on themselves.

In addition to the tax changes, employers would either have to spend a fixed percentage of their payrolls on health coverage for employees or pay a comparable amount into a state insurance pool that would provide subsidized coverage.

During negotiations over the bill, Mr. Nuñez dropped his initial opposition to Mr. Schwarzenegger’s insistence that individuals be required to have insurance. The governor, meanwhile, demonstrated flexibility concerning revenue sources, dropping proposals to tax doctors and to use lottery proceeds before agreeing to the tobacco tax increase.

Because it can take months to collect the more than 700,000 signatures needed to place the revenue measures on the ballot, aides to Mr. Schwarzenegger and Mr. Nuñez said it was critical that the bill win Senate approval quickly.

But Mr. Perata poured cold water on the emerging health care compromise last week by announcing that “it would be imprudent and impolitic to support an expansion of health care” before the state addressed a wide gap that has opened in next year’s budget.

The governor’s office projects the budget gap, which has worsened because of the housing slump, could reach $14 billion, or nearly 13 percent of the state’s estimated $111 billion general fund for 2008-09.

Mr. Schwarzenegger argues that the health plan is intended to bring down costs by encouraging healthy habits, better management of chronic diseases and electronic record-keeping. That, he says, should help California fix its structural budget problems.


7) Food and Fuel Compete for Land
December 18, 2007

Shopping at a Whole Foods Market in suburban Chicago, Meredith Estes said food prices have jumped so much she has resorted to coupons. Charles T. Rodgers Jr., an Arkansas cattle rancher, said normal feed rations so expensive and scarce he is scrambling for alternatives. In Oregon, Jack Joyce, the owner of Rogue Ales, said the cost of barley malt has soared 88 percent this year.

For years, cheap food and feed were taken for granted in the United States.

But now the price of some foods is rising sharply, and from the corridors of Washington to the aisles of neighborhood supermarkets, a blame alert is under way.

Among the favorite targets is ethanol, especially for food manufacturers and livestock farmers who seethe at government mandates for ethanol production. The ethanol boom, they contend, is raising corn prices, driving up the cost of producing dairy products and meat, and causing farmers to plant so much corn as to crowd out other crops.

The results are working their way through the marketplace, in this view, with overall consumer grocery costs up roughly 5 percent in a year and feed costs up more than 20 percent.

Now, with Congress poised to adopt a new mandate that would double the volume of ethanol made from corn, ethanol skeptics say a fateful moment has arrived, with the nation about to commit itself to decades of competition between food and fuel for the use of agricultural land.

“This is like a runaway freight train,” said Scott Faber, a lobbyist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, who complained that ethanol has the same “magical effect” on politicians as the tooth fairy and Santa Claus have on children. “It’s great news for corn farmers, but terrible news for consumers.”

But ethanol critics are not getting much traction with their argument. Last week, the Senate voted 86 to 8 for a new energy bill containing expanded ethanol mandates, and the House is expected to follow suit this week.

Experts with no stake in the argument say ethanol has indeed contributed to rising food costs, but that is only one among several factors. Higher fuel costs are driving up the expense of growing and transporting food. And strong economic growth abroad is increasing demand for agricultural commodities, allowing once-destitute people to augment their diets with meat and dairy.

It is also a tough time, politically, to make a case against ethanol. With continuing turmoil in the Middle East, sky-high gas prices and presidential candidates stumping in Iowa, the heart of the Corn Belt, a new renewable fuel standard has plenty of supporters on Capitol Hill.

“We did get whipped,” said Jay Truitt, vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “We continue to be caught up in this fervor, almost spirituality, about ethanol. You can’t get anyone to consider that there is a consequence to these actions.”

He added, “We think there will be a day when people ask, ‘Why in the world did we do this?’”

The bill in Congress would increase the mandate for renewable fuels to a striking 36 billion gallons by 2022. That is far beyond a requirement on the books now for 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012.

Much of the newly required ethanol could be made from agricultural wastes like corn stalks and straw, and its production would not compete directly with food production. But the proposed mandate, known as a renewable fuel standard, also calls for 15 billion gallons of ethanol made from grains, primarily corn.

Ethanol advocates say they believe yield increases will supply much of the extra corn needed to meet the new mandate.

Mark W. Leonard, who raises cattle and corn in western Iowa and owns a stake in several ethanol plants, said it was “absolutely essential” that the government increase the mandate for ethanol, and he urged Congress to push up the deadlines.

“This is a national security issue more than anything else,” said Mr. Leonard, noting the nation’s dependence on imported oil. “We need to quit sending money to people who want to blow us up.”

When the current standard was passed as part of a 2005 energy bill, it set off a construction binge of ethanol plants that continues, primarily in the Corn Belt but also in places like California, Texas and upstate New York. As new plants opened and the demand for ethanol increased, so did corn prices.

Farmers have responded to the boom by planting more and more corn. In fact, the amount of corn planted this year, 94 million acres, was the most since World War II, and it produced a record crop of 13.2 billion bushels. But even with bumper crops, corn prices are expected to climb next year.

Joe Victor, vice president for marketing for Allendale, an agricultural research firm in the Chicago suburbs, said Midwestern farmers would face a pleasant quandary in the spring in deciding what to plant because wheat and soybean prices are at or near record highs and corn prices remain bullish.

“Oh geez, they’ve got money galore,” he said. “The Senate vote for the energy bill was a real confidence builder for the farmer to think, ‘They are not going to pull the rug out from underneath us.’”

The price increases for corn have had a broad impact, both because farmers are planting more corn and less of other crops and because livestock producers are scrambling for feed substitutes. For instance, soybeans acreage planted this year was about 16 percent less than in 2006.

Feed costs have increased 25 to 30 percent in the last year, according to David Fairfield, director of feed services at the National Grain and Feed Association. He attributed virtually all of the increase to the demands of the ethanol industry

One consequence of the higher feed costs is rising competition for malt barley between livestock farmers, who want it for feed, and brewers, who need it for beer. Mr. Joyce, the Rogue Ales owner in Newport, Ore., said he has been forced to raise prices to pay for the additional costs of ingredients.

Mr. Rodgers, the Rison, Ark., rancher, said he used to feed his cattle a mixture of corn gluten and soybean hulls. But he said he cannot get corn gluten anymore, and the cost of soybean hulls has risen to $150 a ton from about $105 a ton.

“I’m all for us being energy independent,” he said, but added, “it’s got to be market driven.”

The impact of ethanol on prices at the grocery store is less certain.

Grocery prices that are measured by the Consumer Price Index increased 5.4 percent in the last year, with dairy prices up 14 percent; meats, poultry, fish and eggs, 5.4 percent; cereal and baked products, 5.2 percent; and fruits and vegetables, 4.5 percent.

Those increases outpaced overall inflation of 4.3 percent. Government economists predict grocery prices will jump another 3 to 4 percent in 2008.

In a study completed in May, researchers at Iowa State University concluded that retail food prices had already increased by $47 per person in the previous year or so as a result of higher corn prices. If corn prices near $4.50 a bushel next year, as many people expect, the research suggests that retail food prices for meat will increase about 7.5 percent and egg prices will go up 13.5 percent.

But researchers for the Renewable Fuels Association dispute that math and contend that the link between corn prices and grocery prices is weak.

As the debate continues, one thing is certain: American shoppers are increasingly frustrated over rising prices.

“It’s the staples, the cheeses, the milks and produce,” said Ms. Estes, shopping at the Chicago-area Whole Foods. “It’s going up, and my grocery bill at the end, it’s like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

Eric Ferkenhoff contributed reporting from Chicago.




Carbon Dioxide Threatens Reefs, Report Says
National Briefing | Science and Health
Carbon dioxide in the air is turning the oceans acidic, and without a reduction in emissions, coral reefs may die away by the end of the century, researchers warn in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. Carbon dioxide dissolves into ocean water, changes to carbonic acid, and carbonic acid dissolves the calcium carbonate in the skeletons of corals. Laboratory experiments have shown that corals possess some ability to adapt to warmer waters but no ability to adapt to the higher acidity. “Unless we reverse our actions very quickly, by the end of the century, reefs could be a thing of the past,” said Ken Caldeira, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s department of global ecology and an author of the Science paper.
December 14, 2007

Iraq: Marine Discharged Over Killing
World Briefing | Middle East
A Marine reservist, Lance Cpl. Delano Holmes, 22, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to a bad-conduct discharge and reduced in rank to private, a day after being convicted at Camp Pendleton, Calif., of negligent homicide in the 2006 stabbing death of an Iraqi soldier he stood watch with at a guard post in Falluja. He has served 10 months in a military prison and will not spend any more time in custody. The lance corporal’s lawyer has said that the killing was in self-defense. Prosecutors contended that he killed the Iraqi and then set up the scene to support his story. He was also found guilty of making a false official statement.
December 15, 2007

Canada: Mounties Urged to Restrict Taser Use
In a report, the watchdog commission that oversees the Royal Canadian Mounted Police recommended that Taser stun guns be used only on people who are “combative or posing a risk of death or grievous bodily harm,” much like a conventional firearm rather than a nightstick or pepper spray. The report was ordered by the government after a confused and angry Polish immigrant, Robert Dziekanski, left, died at the airport in Vancouver after being stunned at least twice by Mounties. The report found that Tasers were increasingly being used against people who were merely resistant rather than dangerous.
December 13, 2007

Greece: Tens of Thousands March in Strike
A one-day strike by unions representing 2.5 million workers brought Athens to a standstill. Protesting planned government changes to the state-financed pension system, an estimated 80,000 people marched through central Athens. In Thessaloniki, 30,000 people rallied, the police said. The strike shut down hospitals, banks, schools, courts and all public services. Flights were canceled, and public transportation, including boats connecting the mainland with the islands, ground to a halt. More strikes are expected next week.
December 13, 2007

Senator Criticizes Genentech’s Limits on a Cheaper Drug
Genentech’s plan to restrict the availability of Avastin so doctors cannot use it instead of a more expensive medicine for eye disease will cost taxpayers $1 billion to $3 billion a year, according to Senator Herb Kohl.
Senator Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin, said in letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration that Genentech’s decision to limit access to the medicine by pharmacies that repackage drugs “is of great concern.”
He also sent the company a letter saying that his staff would investigate the restrictions.
The company, based in South San Francisco, wants specialists to buy its newer treatment, Lucentis, instead of Avastin.
November 29, 2007

Weak Dollar Propels Sales at Tiffany
The Jewelry and luxury goods retailer Tiffany & Company’s third-quarter earnings more than tripled on strong sales growth and a gain on the sale and leaseback of its Tokyo flagship store, the company said yesterday.
It also raised its earnings outlook for the full year. However, the company’s stock fell $2.32, or 5 percent, to $46.43 a share, after a morning rally, as analysts expressed caution that its Manhattan flagship store has become a temporarily disproportionate driver of sales, helped by a flood of foreign tourists who are taking advantage of the declining dollar.
The company, based in New York, said net income climbed to $98.9 million, or 71 cents a share, from $29.1 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.
Sales increased 18 percent to $627.3 million from $531.8 million a year earlier, helped by a 9 percent rise in global sales at stores open at least one year.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected profit of 25 cents a share.
December 1, 2007

Israeli Court Upholds Gaza Fuel Cuts
World Briefing | Middle East
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that the government could continue cutting fuel supplies to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, which it has done since Oct. 28. But it ordered a delay on plans to cut electricity until new details are offered by the groups challenging the plan.
December 1, 2007

Canada: Man Dies After Shock From Taser
World Briefing | Americas
November 23, 2007
A 45-year-old man who had been arrested on assault charges died, about a day after the police in Nova Scotia used a Taser to subdue him. The man was the third person to die in Canada in just over a month after being shocked by Tasers wielded by police officers. Justice Minister Cecil Clarke ordered a review of the use of the hand-held stun guns following the man’s death, the latest in a series of government inquiries into the use of Tasers by the police. Widespread outrage in Canada followed the broadcast of a video last month that showed another man being shocked at least twice with Tasers at a Vancouver airport by officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The man, a Polish immigrant who appeared extremely confused on the video, died. A Montreal man also died last month, three days after he was subdued by the police with a Taser while being arrested for drunken driving.

California: Cards for Immigrants
Lawmakers have given final approval to a law making San Francisco the nation’s largest city to issue identification cards to illegal immigrants. The Board of Supervisors voted 10 to 1 to create a municipal ID program to help residents without driver’s licenses obtain access to services and feel secure dealing with local law enforcement. The measure is modeled after a program that started last summer in New Haven, Conn. Supporters say that along with immigrants, elderly people who no longer drive and transgender individuals whose driver’s licenses no longer reflect their appearances also would benefit from having the cards. The measure goes into effect in August.
November 21, 2007

Manhattan: Teachers Criticize Review Unit
Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, called for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his schools chancellor to apologize to the city’s 80,000 teachers yesterday, a day after the chancellor sent principals an e-mail message announcing the formation of teams of lawyers and consultants meant to help principals remove poorly performing tenured teachers. Ms. Weingarten said that the message seemed timed to the release yesterday of national reading and math test scores showing little progress among New York City students. “The first speck of bad news, all of the sudden they go after teachers,” Ms. Weingarten said. The mayor said yesterday that removing tenured teachers was “a last alternative.”
November 16, 2007
New York

Waterboarding and U.S. History
by William Loren Katz
"U.S. officers in the Philippines routinely resorted to what they called ‘the water cure.'"
November 14, 2007

Writers Set to Strike, Threatening Hollywood
November 2, 2007

Raids Traumatized Children, Report Says
Hundreds of young American children suffered hardship and psychological trauma after immigration raids in the last year in which their parents were detained or deported, according to a report by the National Council of La Raza and the Urban Institute. Of 500 children directly affected in three factory raids examined in the report in which 900 adult immigrants were arrested, a large majority were United States citizens younger than 10. With one or both parents deported, the children had reduced economic support, and many remained in the care of relatives who feared contact with the authorities, the study said. Although the children were citizens, few families sought public assistance for them, the study found.
November 1, 2007

Newark: Recalled Meat Found in Store
New Jersey consumer safety officials said yesterday that state inspectors bought recalled frozen hamburgers at a store weeks after the meat was recalled because of fears of E. coli contamination. The 19 boxes were bought in Union City on Wednesday, nearly four weeks after the manufacturer, the Topps Meat Company, issued a nationwide recall of 21.7 million pounds of frozen patties. Officials would not name the store yesterday because of the investigation, and investigators have not determined when the store received the meat, said Jeff Lamm, a spokesman for the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs.
New Jersey
October 26, 2007

Florida: Sentence for Lionel Tate Is Upheld
An appeals court has upheld a 30-year probation violation sentence for Lionel Tate, who for a time was the youngest person to be sentenced to life in an American prison. The ruling Wednesday by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach sets the stage for Mr. Tate’s trial on robbery charges that could carry another life term. Mr. Tate, 20, had sought to have the sentence thrown out based on procedural mistakes. Mr. Tate was 12 at the time of the 1999 beating death of 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick. An appeals court overturned his murder conviction in 2004, and he was released but was on probation. In May 2005, the police said, Mr. Tate robbed a pizza delivery man, and he was found to be in possession of a gun even before that, a violation of his probation.
October 26, 2007

Submarine’s Commanding Officer Is Relieved of His Duties
The commanding officer of the nuclear-powered submarine Hampton was relieved of his duty because of a loss of confidence in his leadership, the Navy said. The officer, Cmdr. Michael B. Portland, was relieved of duty after an investigation found the ship had failed to do daily safety checks on its nuclear reactor for a month and falsified records to cover up the omission. Commander Portland will be reassigned, said Lt. Alli Myrick, a public affairs officer. [Aren't you glad they are out there making the world safe for democracy?...bw]
October 26, 2007

Britain: New Claim for Sovereignty in Antarctica
World Briefing | Europe
Britain plans to submit a claim to the United Nations to extend its Antarctic territory by 386,000 square miles, the Foreign Office said. Argentina wants some of it, and its foreign minister said his country was working on its own presentation. May 13, 2009, is the deadline for countries to stake their claims in what some experts are describing as the last big carve-up of maritime territory in history.
October 18, 2007

California: Veto of 3 Criminal Justice Bills
Bucking a national trend toward stronger safeguards against wrongful convictions, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed bills that would have explored new eyewitness identification guidelines, required electronic recordings of police interrogations and mandated corroboration of jailhouse informant testimony. Mr. Schwarzenegger cited his concern that the three bills would hamper local law enforcement authorities, a contention shared by several state police and prosecutor associations. The proposals had been recommended by the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, a bipartisan body of police officials, prosecutors and defense lawyers charged by the State Senate to address the most common causes of wrongful convictions and recommend changes in criminal justice procedures.
October 16, 2007

Illinois: Chicagoans May Have to Dig Deeper
Chicagoans would have to spend 10 cents more on a bottle of water, pay higher property taxes and spend more for liquor under Mayor Richard M. Daley’s proposed budget for next year. Also financing Mr. Daley’s $5.4 billion budget are higher water and sewer fees and more expensive vehicle stickers for people driving large vehicles, $120 a vehicle sticker, up from $90. Mr. Daley announced his budget to aldermen, calling it a last resort to ask taxpayers for more money. His budget closes a $196 million deficit and avoids service cuts and layoffs. Budget hearings will be held, and a city spending plan will require a vote by aldermen.
October 11, 2007

Wisconsin Iraq vet returns medals to Rumsfeld
By David Solnit, Courage to Resist / Army of None Project.
"I swore an oath to protect the constitution ... not to become a pawn in your New American Century."
September 26, 2007




Russell Means Speaking at the Transform Columbus Day Rally
"If voting could do anything it would be illegal!"


Stop the Termination or the Cherokee Nation


We Didn't Start the Fire

I Can't Take it No More

The Art of Mental Warfare

http://video. google.com/ videoplay? docid=-905047436 2583451279
http://www.moneyasd ebt.net/




Port of Olympia Anti-Militarization Action Nov. 2007


"They have a new gimmick every year. They're going to take one of their boys, black boys, and put him in the cabinet so he can walk around Washington with a cigar. Fire on one end and fool on the other end. And because his immediate personal problem will have been solved he will be the one to tell our people: 'Look how much progress we're making. I'm in Washington, D.C., I can have tea in the White House. I'm your spokesman, I'm your leader.' While our people are still living in Harlem in the slums. Still receiving the worst form of education.

"But how many sitting here right now feel that they could [laughs] truly identify with a struggle that was designed to eliminate the basic causes that create the conditions that exist? Not very many. They can jive, but when it comes to identifying yourself with a struggle that is not endorsed by the power structure, that is not acceptable, that the ground rules are not laid down by the society in which you live, in which you are struggling against, you can't identify with that, you step back.

"It's easy to become a satellite today without even realizing it. This country can seduce God. Yes, it has that seductive power of economic dollarism. You can cut out colonialism, imperialism and all other kind of ism, but it's hard for you to cut that dollarism. When they drop those dollars on you, you'll fold though."

—MALCOLM X, 1965


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


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


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


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.
Visit my website at: http://web.mac.com/rolandgarret


[For some levity...Hans Groiner plays Monk


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


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, below...bw]




George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks




Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran


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 this...bw]



"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 attack...film 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 http://www.fullduck.com/node/53.

Vasicek's web site, http://www.donvasicek.com, 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


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 (dvasicek@earthlink.net, 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

(scroll down when you get there])

donvasicek.com.Peace Articles at Libraryofpeace.org">

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