Saturday, February 10, 2007





Petition: Halt the Blue Angels

To Mayor Gavin Newson and the Board of Supervisors:

We the undersigned, who live and/or work in San Francisco,
ask that you join us in seeking a permanent halt to the annual
strafing of the city by the Blue Angels, for the following reasons:

in extremely tight formations, the slightest error by a pilot
or ground-based controller, a computer malfunction or
aircraft mechanical trouble could spell disaster.

NOISE POLLUTION: When jet aircraft fly low over the city,
the canyons of concrete, steel and glass magnify the noise
to nerve-shattering levels that would bring arrests if it
came from the civilian sector. It absolutely terrifies small
children, the elderly, persons who have experienced war,
and pets.

AIR POLLUTION: While we try to stem global climate
change and avert its catastrophic consequences, the
aircraft spew tons of toxic exhaust during their fly-overs.
FUEL WASTE: This is inexcusable, especially in a time of
alleged under-supplies of crude oil and its byproducts.

WASTE OF TAXPAYERS DOLLARS: This, too, is unforgivable,
especially in a time of federal deficit and precipitously
mounting national debt.


Statement by Bonnie Weinstein

Flying these planes over our city is an act of terrorism
and spreads an underlying feeling of the fear of the
threat of death that they represent.

I am not proud our our countries ability to destroy
the world and all life on it in the bold and blatant
pursuit of profits and oil.

We could build parks or playgrounds or homeless
shelters for the cost of these killing machines alone!

Stop flying them over our cities!

Money for human needs not war!


Tell Hornblower & Alcatraz Cruises to
Have a Heart this Valentine's Day!
Don't Let Hornblower Breaks Union Families Hearts!
February 14th, 2007
Pier 3 on the Embarcadero; San Francisco, CA
(Just north of Market St.)


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

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

Patriots not Terrorists!

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

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

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


Free Speech Victory! Permits Secured for Pentagon Demonstration

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


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


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


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]


Hudson Valley (NY) Activist Newsletter, Feb. 5, 2007
VIA Email from:

By Charles Jenks
January 31, 2007
See march photos at
See videos of Unified Youth and Student Contingent and march at

3) Latino Gang Study Finds Few Links To Overseas Groups
By N.C. Aizenman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 8, 2007; B01

4) The Build-a-War Workshop
February 10, 2007

5) U.S. Gives Tour of Family Detention Center That Critics Liken to a Prison
"The facility, the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center, is operated
for the government by the Corrections Corporation of America,
under a $2.8-million-a-month contract with Williamson County.
It is named for a founder of the company, which runs 64 facilities
in 19 states."
February 10, 2007


Hudson Valley (NY) Activist Newsletter, Feb. 5, 2007
VIA Email from:

The U.S. antiwar movement is gearing up for a major march on the Pentagon
demanding an immediate end to the war against Iraq — a war by now that has
completely blown apart Iraqi society, killing hundreds of thousands of
civilians and unleashing bitter sectarian and secessionist tendencies.

The March 17 demonstration will take place as the Bush Administration’s
latest increase in American troops is reaching its height. Simultaneously,
the Pentagon is preparing for a possible attack on Iran. The White House
initiated these moves after the antiwar vote in November but the new
majority Democratic Congress appears disinclined to take decisive action
against them.

In addition, the U.S. antiwar movement itself is split, which has weakened
the struggle for peace.

The Pentagon protest will be the second in Washington to take place this
winter, the first being the 150,000-strong march and rally Jan. 27 organized
by the United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ), focusing on influencing the new
Congress. Some demonstrators remained in the nation’s capital over the
weekend to take part in congressional lobbying.

The political reconfiguration of both legislative chambers as a result of
the peace vote is hardly leading to the outcome envisioned by many in the
antiwar movement. Some activists report that a number of peace candidates
elected in November do not appear inclined to risk going beyond the
Democratic Party leadership’s conservative, timid and opportunist approach
to the war.

Party leaders oppose cutting off future funding for continuing the war, or
initiating impeachment proceedings against one of the most dangerous
presidencies in American history, or even passing a binding resolution
calling for a swift ending to the unjust, illegal and immoral war.

The march and rally at the Pentagon is being organized by the ANSWER
Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), which represents the left
wing of the peace movement. Acting together, ANSWER and UFPJ brought some
300,000 demonstrators to Washington in September 2005, but UFPJ split the
movement a few weeks later by publicly declaring it would no longer
cooperate with ANSWER, the other nationwide antiwar coalition.

The main reason for the split, beyond the fog of obfuscation, was the matter
of orientation toward the Democratic Party, to which UFPJ is close, not that
such proximity is necessarily reciprocated by party leaders. ANSWER, which
pursues an openly anti-imperialist stance toward President George W. Bush’s
“pre-emptive” wars, is far more critical of the Democratic Party’s role in
supporting the war and unconvinced it will change.

In addition, ANSWER’s antiwar rallies always include some criticism of
Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people — a topic that was omitted
from UFPJ’s Jan. 27 event, much to the relief of a Democratic Party utterly
committed to the status quo in the region, including the occupation of
Palestinian lands after the 1967 war.

ANSWER brought a half-million people to the January 2003 rally in Washington
and over 100,000 to each of a half-dozen other protests in the capital in
recent years, but it is difficult to predict the size of the March 17 event.
UFPJ has now called for regional protests on March 17 to commemorate the
fourth anniversary of the war, as opposed to supporting the Pentagon action.
This probably will drain potential participants away from the Washington
action. ANSWER at least supported and promoted the Jan. 27 rally.

The split in the movement occurred just as U.S. public opinion began a
dramatic turn away from the war. But while antiwar sentiment put the
Democrats back in charge of Congress, its electoral attachment did not
result a significant increase in demonstrations or numbers of protestors in
the streets — precisely the factors required to push legislators into taking
real action.

In all probability, the Iraq war will continue for years as Bush escalates
and Congress equivocates with nonbinding resolutions, delayed and partial
“withdrawal” plans and the refusal on the part of the “opposition” party to
stand up to the warmakers.

The problem with Congress is that its political composition, despite the
antiwar vote, is center, center-right, and right, with a weak center-left
and no genuine left at all. Congress will act to end the war only in the
face of a swiftly impending military defeat combined with ever-growing mass
opposition in the streets putting forward demands for immediate withdrawal.

Vibrant peace movements and militant antiwar protests can and do contribute
toward ending wars; the Vietnam War proved that. And they can end the Iraq
War, and prevent an Iran War as well. But in addition to taking a harder
stance on the war, it is necessary for our movement to unite in action. UFPJ
has its critique of ANSWER, and ANSWER has its critique of UFPJ. But both
agree on the main political demand, “Bring the U.S. troops home now,” an
uncompromising polarity against which all other half-way proposals must be

Differences between these two organizations are not greater than their
essential agreement. Our movement — and thus the chances of finally ending
U.S. aggression in the Middle East — will be much stronger if UFPJ and
ANSWER worked together in terms of occasional mass actions, and not at

If UFPJ is not yet ready to join with ANSWER at the Pentagon March 17,
perhaps some of its coalition partners and members of groups within the UFPJ
coalition will act in unity in Washington on that day to tell the warmakers
in the White House, in the Congress and in the headquarters of the war
machine itself that they are united in the demand that this horrific war be
brought to an end now.


By Charles Jenks
January 31, 2007
See march photos at
See videos of Unified Youth and Student Contingent and march at

On January 27th, the people sent a clear message to Washington - “Get
U.S. Troops Out of Iraq Now!” Hundreds of thousands of people
marched, and they completely - for the first time in history it is
reported - surrounded the Capitol Building. When the first marchers
came to the end of the loop there were people still waiting to start

Unfortunately, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) - the primary
sponsor - didn’t live up to the standards set by the marchers. Its
continuing refusal to work with some other national coalitions, and
its focus on celebrities and politicians, was reflected in its
botching the start of the march and in the focus given by media.

The great news though, from my perspective, is that this march drew
such a broad range of people. Look at the people marching - has over 200 march photos - and you’ll see a
cross-section of America. This - as much as the numbers - is what
should worry the Bush Administration and Congress.

I saw the entire march, as I was assigned to photograph it for
Traprock Peace Center (which has covered every national march since
the historic gathering in Washington on October 26, 2002). This was
as large as any march that I have seen in D.C. The 500,000 estimate
given by organizers seems reasonable.

This was a huge outpouring of people, despite it being January, and
despite Weather Channel reports that there would be a wind-chill in
the 30’s with 15 mile per hour winds. As it turned out, it was almost
balmy, with little wind and temperatures in the 40’s. If the weather
forecast had been accurate, surely the march would have been even
larger. (No, I’m not blaming Bush for messing with the weather
report, though it did occur to me!)

This writer saw not one instance of violence. An eyewitness told me
that at one point about 80 people (AP said 150 people - funny what
the media exaggerates and what it downplays) rushed down a sidewalk
at the Capitol as though they were going to storm up the Capitol
steps. This sent the police scurrying to head them off, with police
running down the steps. The rush was obviously choreographed and done
in jest, as protestors came to a sudden halt, apparently acting
merely to tease the police and get a reaction. This kind of behavior
- juvenile in my opinion - was the marked exception on this day.

The mainstream media, of course, grossly under-reported the size of
the march (AP called it tens of thousands, and cited police sources
as saying it was less than 100,000). So what else is new? Organizers
obviously need to take media tendencies into account ahead of time.
Was that done here? It didn’t seem so.

So how did UFPJ manage to screw up the beginning of the march? Here’s
my eye-witness account of what happened.

As the speeches from the main stage were winding down, march marshals
patrolled a large taped-off square area on 3rd Street, directly
behind the stage, where celebrities were gathering in preparation for
stepping off. The march route was to go down to Constitution Avenue
and then take a right turn on Constitution toward Capitol Hill. The
squared-off area, marked by yellow plastic ribbon, was about 100 feet
along 3rd street on one side and the width of the street on the
other. This squared-off area was in the middle of throngs of people.

Marshals were inside and outside the square telling people to get up
on the sidewalks to keep the street clear to let the celebrities who
were supposed to head the march pass through and get in front of the
marchers. About 100 reporters, with march supporters mixed in,
gathered in a tight group jostling for good camera positions on the
side the squared-off area closest to Constitution Ave. Opposite this
gaggle of press were celebrities, liberal Democrat politicians and
organizers selected by UFPJ, taking up their positions behind the big
UFPJ banner.

More and more people gathered as organizing the march took more and
more time. There was a huge crush of people - very tightly formed -
behind the celebrity formation. And there was the crush of press
hugging onto the yellow ribbon opposite the celebs. People were now
surrounding the square, and people were ignoring marshals’ pleas to
clear the street along the beginning of the march route.

This unstable situation blew apart when media people - bristling with
their video and still cameras - noticed that some of their number had
managed to get up close and personal to the celebs and were getting
great shots. Photographers next to this writer (and including this
writer) yelled to one guy with a video camera to get out of the way
of the banner. (He was facing it, camera in hand.) We were trying to
get long-range shots.

Then, another photographer got in front of the banner. Enough was
enough for the crush of photographers behind the yellow ribbon. One
lifted the ribbon and sprinted for the banner to get her own great
shot of celebrities. This led to an avalanche of photographers,
trying to get close-ups (I got a few myself).

The celebrity formation was now confronted by a mass of photographers
acting like paparazzi. (And truly, they were just that, as many, if
not most, were there to take pics of the famous.) The celebs started
moving forward, taking baby steps, as the reporters inched backwards,
clicking away. Meanwhile, marshals were yelling to the now hundreds
of people in the street to get off the street and to “fall in behind”
the group of celebrities who were supposed to be heading the march
and who were still inching along.

There was no place to fall in behind the celebrity “head” as there
was a crush of people behind it and masses of people on the sides.

Finally, the police in front of the entire mass of people in the
street - where the head of the march should have been - started up
their motorcycles and started to move. The marshals were still
pleading with people to get off the street to allow the celebrities
to get in front of the marchers, but instead people already massed in
front of them began marching. One guy yelled out: “Hey, we’re
marching!” The celebs were now hundreds of people behind the real
head - the people.

Is there a lesson here? I think there are several.

First, where’s the A.N.S.W.E.R. organization when you need it? UFPJ
famously (notoriously) refused to work with A.N.S.W.E.R. after
refusing to endorse national actions by World Can’t Wait and refusing
to follow the global call for mass demonstrations last March.
A.N.S.W.E.R. surely wouldn’t have set up the march to begin in the
middle of masses of people. Stupid they’re not.

Second, with the focus of the “head” of the march so much on
celebrities and liberal politicians (where was Iraq Veterans Against
the War, for example?), it was inevitable that the crush of people
would be exacerbated, and that the media that came would largely be
there to photograph and quote the celebs. This was reflected in the
media coverage, as on CNN. I’ll be impressed with the celebrity who
gives up a movie career - as so many dedicated organizers have given
up or suspended their careers - at least until the U.S. is out of
Iraq. Until then, I see people who have bought their place at the
head of the march with their fame, their money or both. No wonder
that people did not obey orders to “fall in behind.”

Which brings us to a third point. The organizers were out of touch
with the people. How could they have thought that people would just
obey them and fall in behind when there was no place to fall in? Or
that the people would clear a path, like drops in the Red Sea, for
UFPJ’s hand-chosen “head” to pass?

This march was about the people who came to protest the war and
occupation. It wasn’t about the celebrities and politicians who gave
a glamorous face and allowed march organizers to rub elbows with
them. Please understand me - I am glad that celebrities and pols
participate. Yet media coverage would lead one to believe that it was
all about the celebrities leading “10’s of thousands.” The huge
masses of people were the real story, but these people weren’t in the

UFPJ needs to get off its high horse about being THE coalition of
antiwar forces in the U.S., as it represented itself before the
London International Peace Conference in December 2005. (In the next
breath, UFPJ told international organizers that it was not going to
participate in global mass demos in March 2006, preferring instead a
mass demo in April as a way to have influence on the November
elections.) If UFPJ wants to end this war and occupation now, it
needs to become a willing and cooperative partner with other national
groups - including A.N.S.W.E.R. - and get over its fixation on
celebrities and liberal politicians.

Bits and Pieces

Biggest and most energetic contingents: International Socialist
Organization, Campus Antiwar Network/SDS/WCW’s Unified Youth and
Student Contingent, Service Employees International Union (SEIU),
U.S. Labor Against the War and Iraq Veterans Against the War. (Why
does UFPJ keep competing with the real energies of the student
movement? It keeps promoting its NYSPC, whereas the most effective
organizational energy since early 2003 has come from other student
groups, such as CAN?)

Troops Out Now Coalition also took up a prime spot at 3rd and
Constitution to lead chants via their bullhorn. And people wearing
A.N.S.W.E.R. patches were all over the place. Though they’ve been
shunned by UFPJ, they showed up.

Worst sign?

The ubiquitous Move-On sign that read “Iraq Escalation? Wrong Way.”
Hey, Move-On, this was a protest against the war and occupation, not
merely against the escalation. This is the same Move-On that refused
pleas to take a stand against attacking Iran. Instead, its petition
merely calls for not nuking Iran. “President Bush and Congress should
rule out attacking Iran with nuclear weapons.” Is that helpful, Move-On?

Post-March Disappointment?

Another profile in courage/integrity by Sen. John Kerry.

With his history of having refused many times to meet with his
antiwar constituents before he voted for the war resolution in
October, 2002, and his dismissing 500 faxed hand-written pleas to
call Scott Ritter as a witness for the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee hearings on that resolution, and his having locked his
constituents out of his office on the day he voted for war, one would
think that Senator Kerry might actually meet with the 70 constituents
who assembled in his D.C. office on January 28th. Not to disappoint
those who appreciate consistency, he again sent an aide. He was “out
of the country.” I’m sure he was, and I’m sure he could, if he
wished, arrange his schedule to meet with his constituents of peace.

See details on the above-cited history at

Post March Triumph?

The incredible program on ending the Iraq occupation held at Busboys
and Poets with speakers Kelly Dougherty, co-founder and Executive
Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Anthony Arnove, author
of “Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal”. Son of Nun, the hip-hop poet/
activist, performed three amazing pieces. See full coverage of this
event at


Charles Jenks, is Chair of the Advisory Board and Past President of
Traprock Peace Center, and he serves as its web manager. He writes
and consults for and the ExxonMobil War
Boycott. A licensed attorney since 1980, he has practiced human
rights law for over 20 years.

Charles Jenks
Chair of Advisory Board
Traprock Peace Center
103 Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342


3) Latino Gang Study Finds Few Links To Overseas Groups
By N.C. Aizenman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 8, 2007; B01

A study of Latino gangs in the Washington area and five Central American
nations debunks the popular belief that the gangs are engaged in a
systematic, organized effort to spread their influence.

Although the gangs have significant membership, the study found that
their crimes are largely limited to petty theft and neighborhood
extortion rather than some of those traditionally associated with
organized crime -- drug trafficking, prostitution, human smuggling and
arms sales.

The report, conducted by Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico
and the nonprofit advocacy group Washington Office on Latin America,
comes as U.S. and Central American authorities are coordinating
intelligence in the belief that the gangs have a networked structure.

"Yet this idea that gangs are like an infection spreading from country
to country through a process where the leaders send out missionaries to
colonize new areas is fundamentally untrue," said Geoff Thale, one of
the researchers from the Washington Office on Latin America.

For instance, in interviews with 316 gang members in a major Salvadoran
prison conducted as part of the study, although a little more than half
said they knew fellow gang members in North America, the vast majority
said they had no contact with them, and few had traveled to the United
States or Mexico.

Recent testimony in Washington area courtrooms has pointed to occasional
cooperation between local gang members and counterparts in other
regions. A 19-year-old Hyattsville man pleaded guilty in federal court
last week to collecting dues and sending wire transfers to members in
Los Angeles as treasurer of a cell of Mara Salvatrucha. And in an
earlier trial, a Salvadoran police officer testified that gang leaders
in El Salvador instructed Maryland gang members on how their
organization should be run.

But Connie McGuire, who conducted the Washington area component of the
study, said her interviews with law enforcement, community groups and 15
former gang members found no sign of transnational coordination among
gang members.

"We shouldn't pretend that gangs aren't a big, scary problem," Thale
said. "But we shouldn't misunderstand what the problem is and misdirect
resources for solving it."

Researchers said the current misconceptions may stem from the
transnational nature of the gangs' origins. The two most powerful
Central American gangs, 18th Street, also know as Eighteen, and Mara
Salvatrucha, or MS-13, emerged in Los Angeles in the 1980s when
Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan immigrants fleeing their region's
various civil wars joined Chicano gangs or started gangs to protect
themselves from African American gangs in the same neighborhoods.

After the wars ended in the mid-1990s, many gang members chose to return
or were deported to their home countries, where they fueled the rise of
sister gangs modeled after the Los Angeles groups that now have 30,000
to 60,000 members, according to Central American government and FBI

Then, as those members began migrating back to the United States, MS-13
and Eighteen were in turn exported to new regions of the United States
-- including the Washington area, where a law enforcement task force
estimates there are now at least 3,600 Latino gang members.

MS-13, in particular, has garnered headlines in the Washington area for
dozens of killings and attacks in recent years, including the gang rape
of two teenage girls in Prince George's County in 2003 and the shooting
by an MS-13 member of an 18-year-old member of a rival Latino gang in
Arlington last spring.

But McGuire concluded that Central American gangs are a relatively minor
problem in the D.C. area compared with other threats. The principal
danger they pose is to people living in the particular communities where
gang members live and "especially . . . the youth themselves who get
drawn into the gang life."

By contrast, gang violence is a major political issue in El Salvador,
Guatemala and Honduras, where violent shootouts between rival gangs have
driven up national homicide rates, and extortion is common in many urban


4) The Build-a-War Workshop
February 10, 2007

It took far too long, but a report by the Pentagon inspector general
has finally confirmed that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s
do-it-yourself intelligence office cooked up a link between Iraq
and Al Qaeda to help justify an unjustifiable war.

The report said the team headed by Douglas Feith, under
secretary of defense for policy, developed “alternative” assessments
of intelligence on Iraq that contradicted the intelligence community
and drew conclusions “that were not supported by the available
intelligence.” Mr. Feith certainly knew the Central Intelligence
Agency would cry foul, so he hid his findings from the C.I.A.
Then Vice President Dick Cheney used them as proof of cloak-
and-dagger meetings that never happened, long-term conspiracies
between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden that didn’t exist,
and — most unforgivable — “possible Iraqi coordination” on
the 9/11 attacks, which no serious intelligence analyst believed.

The inspector general did not recommend criminal charges against
Mr. Feith because Mr. Rumsfeld or his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz,
approved their subordinate’s “inappropriate” operations.
The renegade intelligence buff said he was relieved.

We’re sure he was. But there is no comfort in knowing that his
dirty work was approved by his bosses. All that does is add
to evidence that the Bush administration knowingly and
repeatedly misled Americans about the intelligence on Iraq.

To understand this twisted tale, it is important to recall how
Mr. Feith got into the creative writing business. Top administration
officials, especially Mr. Cheney, had long been furious at the C.I.A.
for refusing to confirm the delusion about a grand Iraqi terrorist
conspiracy, something the Republican right had nursed for years.
Their frustration only grew after 9/11 and the C.I.A. still refused
to buy these theories.

Mr. Wolfowitz would feverishly sketch out charts showing how this
Iraqi knew that Iraqi, who was connected through six more degrees
of separation to terrorist attacks, all the way back to the
1993 World Trade Center bombing.

But the C.I.A. kept saying there was no reliable intelligence about
an Iraq-Qaeda link. So Mr. Feith was sent to review the reports
and come back with the answers Mr. Cheney wanted. The inspector
general’s report said Mr. Feith’ s team gave a September 2002 briefing
at the White House on the alleged Iraq-Qaeda connection that had
not been vetted by the intelligence community (the director
of central intelligence was pointedly not told it was happening)
and “was not fully supported by the available intelligence.”

The false information included a meeting in Prague in April 2001
between an Iraqi official and Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 pilots.
It never happened. But Mr. Feith’s report said it did, and Mr. Cheney
will still not admit that the story is false.

In a statement released yesterday, Senator Carl Levin, the new
chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who has been
dogged in pursuit of the truth about the Iraqi intelligence, noted
that the cooked-up Feith briefing had been leaked to the conservative
Weekly Standard magazine so Mr. Cheney could quote it as the
“best source” of information about the supposed Iraq-Qaeda link.

The Pentagon report is one step in a long-delayed effort to figure
out how the intelligence on Iraq was so badly twisted — and by
whom. That work should have been finished before the 2004 elections,
and it would have been if Pat Roberts, the obedient Republican who
ran the Senate Intelligence Committee, had not helped the White
House drag it out and load it in ways that would obscure the truth.

It is now up to Mr. Levin and Senator Jay Rockefeller [great-grandson
of oil tycoon John D.], the current
head of the intelligence panel, to give Americans the answers.
Mr. Levin’s desire to have the entire inspector general’s report
on the Feith scheme declassified is a good place to start. But it
will be up to Mr. Rockefeller to finally determine how old,
inconclusive, unsubstantiated and false intelligence was
transformed into fresh, reliable and definitive reports —
and then used by Mr. Bush and other top officials to drag
the country into a disastrous and unnecessary war.


5) U.S. Gives Tour of Family Detention Center That Critics Liken to a Prison
"The facility, the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center, is operated
for the government by the Corrections Corporation of America,
under a $2.8-million-a-month contract with Williamson County.
It is named for a founder of the company, which runs 64 facilities
in 19 states."
February 10, 2007

TAYLOR, Tex., Feb. 9 — Responding to complaints about conditions
at the nation’s main family detention center for illegal immigrants,
officials threw open the gates on Friday for a first news media tour.

They portrayed the privately run converted prison, open since May,
as a model facility “primarily focused on the safety of the children.”

Once all the barbed wire comes down, Gary Mead, an Immigration
and Customs Enforcement official, said, “it’s going to look more
like a community college with a very high chain-link fence.”

Among other things, critics have complained about the prisonlike
conditions, the food and the limited amount of schooling and
recreation provided for children.

Inside the fluorescent-lighted corridors, plastic plants had been
hurriedly installed and some areas repainted, lawyers for some
detainees said, and officials acknowledged that pizza was on the
lunch menu for the first time. The detainees could not be interviewed.

The facility, the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center, is operated
for the government by the Corrections Corporation of America,
under a $2.8-million-a-month contract with Williamson County.
It is named for a founder of the company, which runs 64 facilities
in 19 states.

It now holds about 400 illegal immigrants, including 170 children,
in family groups from nearly 30 countries, Mr. Mead said. He called
it a humane alternative to splitting up families while insuring
their presence at legal proceedings.

There is only one other family detention center in the country,
the smaller Berks Family Shelter Care Facility, a former nursing
home, in Leesport, Pa.

Critics said the picture presented on Friday conflicted with what
they had observed.

“At Hutto, we found prisonlike conditions imposed on families
with no criminal background, including asylum seekers,” said
Michelle Brané, a lawyer for the Women’s Commission for Refugee
Women and Children and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee
Service who co-authored a report on family detention to be
released on Feb. 22.

Barbara Hines, clinical professor of law at the University of Texas
at Austin who runs an immigration clinic and has visited clients
inside, said Friday that “I don’t think children should be
incarcerated at all.”

The law required the government to hold families in the least
restrictive conditions possible, Ms. Hines said, adding,
“I was shocked, and I have been doing this 30 years.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has also been studying
conditions as it considers filing a lawsuit contending that the
government was violating a 1997 settlement on the treatment
of detained juveniles.

“To call it a family residential center is to mask what’s going on,”
said Vanita Gupta, a lawyer with the A.C.L.U. “They may be cleaning
up conditions, but at the end of the day it still begs the question
of why they are using such a Draconian system.”

Another A.C.L.U. lawyer, Lisa Graybill, legal director, said after
visiting, “I can’t describe how depressed people are in there.”

Outside the blocky buildings with thin slit windows, protesters
from a local group called Texans United for Families held up
signs saying, “Don’t Jail Children for Profit.”

“If they can put an ankle bracelet on Martha Stewart so she
doesn’t run off to Jamaica,” said a protester, Jose Ortan, a computer
technician, “they can find ways to do it for immigrant families.”

Some of the harshest criticism of the center came last week
from members of a Palestinian family held there for three months
for overstaying a visa. They were released after an immigration
appeals board unexpectedly reopened their plea for amnesty
based on new conditions — danger from the Hamas takeover
in the Palestinian territories.

Hamzeh Ibrahim, 15, said his father was sent to a facility in
West Texas while his pregnant mother shared a cell-like room
with the family’s 5-year-old girl; two other girls, 7 and 13, shared
another room. He said they had to clean their rooms and the
communal shower. “I cleaned for me and my mom because she
is pregnant and her back hurt,” he said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials who traveled
from Washington to lead the tour with company staff members
showed off one of the 11 dormitory areas, or pods, lined
by bare pastel-tinted detainee rooms, each with a metal
bunk bed, a sink and a toilet.

The rooms are not locked at night, but a laser beam alerts guards
if anyone leaves a room after bedtime — 9 p.m. for children and
10 for adults. The detainees wear outfits of green and blue,
which Danny Coronado, a spokesman for the corrections company,
likened to scrubs but critics described as prison garb.

Officials say stays at the center are now averaging a little
more than a month.

In the dining area, which has plastic tables with stools attached,
Mr. Mead said, “All of our meals are planned by dietitians with
calories of 3,200 a day, 3,500 for children.”

Disputing claims by some lawyers that many detainees had lost
weight there, Dr. Leroy T. Soto, the chief physician on duty, said
a study had actually documented weight gains. There is a medical
staff of 20.

Lawyers said detainees were rushed through meals in 15 or
20 minutes. Mr. Mead acknowledged “they can’t linger,” but
said it was because of classes or other activities.

Showing off a classroom with computers, Jean Bellinger, assistant
administrator for programs, said children were divided into three
age groups comparable to elementary, middle and high school
for four hours’ a day of instruction plus an hour’s recreation and
lunch. But she acknowledged that for several months a staff
shortage limited class time to an hour a day.

That was far too little, said Scott Medlock, a prison rights lawyer
for the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Gretel C. Kovach contributed reporting from Dallas.



Putin Says U.S. Is Undermining Global Stability
MUNICH, Feb. 10 — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia accused
the United States on Saturday of provoking a new nuclear arms race
by developing ballistic missile defenses, undermining international
institutions and making the Middle East more unstable through
its clumsy handling of the Iraq war.
February 11, 2007

Arizona: Immigrant Injured in Attack Is Charged With Smuggling
An illegal immigrant injured in an ambush on a group of people
crossing the border on Thursday has been charged with smuggling,
the federal customs agency said. The immigrant, Pedro Luis Beltran-
Camargo, 21, was shot in the hand in the attack. He was arrested
by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after survivors
of the attack identified him as their smuggler, said Lauren Mack,
a spokeswoman for the agency. Mr. Beltran-Camargo, who is from
Mexico, sought help from the authorities and was treated at a hospital;
he was then taken into custody, Ms. Mack said. Another person injured
in the attack, which left three immigrants dead, is still in a hospital,
and several others in the group, which numbered about 30, appear
to have escaped from the gunmen and fled, Ms. Mack said.
February 10, 2007

Peru: President Questioned in 1986 Massacre
President Alan García was questioned by a judge about his actions
during the killing of more than 100 suspected Maoist guerrillas
during his first presidency in the 1980s. Peru’s Congress declined
to bring criminal charges for the deaths against Mr. García in 1990
for the incident, in which Peruvian soldiers suppressed a rebellion
at El Frontón prison in 1986 and then transferred the bodies of
prisoners to anonymous graves on Lima’s outskirts. Reuters reported
that Mr. García was not a target of the judge’s investigation. The
questioning of Mr. García raises uneasy memories of his first term,
which was haunted by political and economic chaos.
February 10, 2007

Hundreds Protest U.S. Jets in Japan
Filed at 3:26 a.m. ET
KADENA, Japan (AP) -- Several hundred protesters gathered outside
a U.S. air base Saturday to oppose the arrival of a dozen F-22 stealth
fighters, the aircraft's first deployment outside of the United States.
The demonstration was held outside the gate of Kadena Air Base,
one of the largest U.S. airfields in the Pacific, on the southern Japanese
island of Okinawa. About 500 protesters joined in, police said.
The protest was peaceful, and no arrests were reported.
The stealth fighters, the newest and most expensive in the U.S. Air
Force, were due to arrive from their base in Langley, Va., on Saturday.
Bad weather forced a delay, however, and officials said they were
rescheduled to arrive Sunday.
About 50,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan under a mutual
security pact. Most of them are based on this small, crowded island,
and tensions over potential accidents, land use and troop-related
crimes are endemic.
Tokyo and Washington agreed on the deployment, which is to last
three months, as a means of boosting the U.S. military's readiness
and deterrent abilities, and because they say it provides a valuable
training experience for the fighter pilots and their support teams.
February 10, 2007

Chevron Said to Be Interested in Buying Assets of Yukos of Russia
"MOSCOW, Feb. 8 — Chevron intends to bid for assets of Yukos,
the bankrupt oil producer, Russian officials said Friday. If Chevron
succeeds, such an acquisition could help close the final chapter
on the downfall of Russia’s largest oil company.
Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif., declined to comment on
the assertion by two Russian officials — including the chief
executive of Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas monopoly — that
American companies were interested in participating in an
auction of Yukos assets. The second official, a bankruptcy
receiver, identified Chevron as one of those companies."
February 10, 2007

Marine Withdraws a Plea
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., Feb. 9 (AP) — Military prosecutors must
restart their case against a Marine corporal who decided to withdraw
his guilty plea for the murder of an unarmed Iraqi civilian.
The marine, Cpl. Trent Thomas, 25, told a judge on Thursday that
he no longer believed he was guilty and that he had been following
a lawful order given by his squad leader. Corporal Thomas had earlier
pleaded guilty to several charges, including kidnapping and murder.
The charges stem from the killing of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, 52,
in Hamdania last year.
February 10, 2007

Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says
"WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — The most lethal weapon directed against
American troops in Iraq is an explosive-packed cylinder that United
States intelligence asserts is being supplied by Iran.
The assertion of an Iranian role in supplying the device to Shiite
militias reflects broad agreement among American intelligence
agencies, although officials acknowledge that the picture
is not entirely complete." [And we know how much we can trust
U.S. intelligence]
February 10, 2007

Castro Is Protected ‘By Socialist Saints’
February 10, 2007

U.N. Troops Fight Haiti Gangs One Street at a Time
February 10, 2007

Prewar Intelligence Unit at Pentagon Is Criticized
"WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 — A Pentagon investigation into the handling
of prewar intelligence has criticized civilian Pentagon officials
for conducting their own intelligence analysis to find links between
Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, but said the officials did not violate
any laws or mislead Congress, according to Congressional officials
who have read the report."
February 9, 2007

Mistrial Could Be End of Watada Case

Brooklyn: Woman’s Death Attributed to Cold
An 84-year-old Brooklyn woman was the city’s first victim of the
recent cold snap, the medical examiner’s office announced yesterday.
The woman, whose identity was not released, was found in her
apartment on Sunday afternoon and taken to Interfaith Medical
Center where she died later that day, according to Ellen Borakove,
a spokeswoman for the medical examiner. An autopsy, which was
completed yesterday, found that the woman died of hypothermia,
Ms. Borakove said. The autopsy also showed that the woman had
a heart ailment and diabetes. Ms. Borakove said she had
no information about whether the woman’s apartment had heat..
February 8, 2007

Records Show Extra Scrutiny of Detainees in ’04 Protests
"At the height of the mass arrests, on Aug. 31, 2004, demonstrators
— and some people who said they were bystanders just swept
up by the police — were held for an average of 32.7 hours before
they saw a judge, according to city statistics. For people charged
with crimes that the police decided were not related to the
convention, the wait to see a judge was just under five hours."
February 8, 2007

2 French Police Officers Face Charges
in Electrocutions That Sparked ’05 Riots
Filed at 11:13 a.m. ET
February 8, 2007

Gates Seeks Troops for Afghanistan Offensive
SEVILLE, Spain, Feb. 8 — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, attending
his first conference of NATO defense ministers, will tell America’s
allies that they must fulfill their commitments to provide troops
for Afghanistan in time for a spring offensive against the Taliban,
senior American officials said.
February 8, 2007

Few Veteran Diplomats Accept Mission to Iraq
February 8, 2007

Chris Floyd | Slaughter and Spin in Najaf

US Sent Billions in Cash on Pallets to Baghdad

An Open Letter to America's Soldiers from the Ranks
The Looming Shadow of Nuremberg
February 7, 2007

A Small Part of the Brain, and Its Profound Effects
February 6, 2007

No Action From Gallaudet Against Arrested Students
Gallaudet University said it would not take disciplinary action against
students arrested in protests that forced the ouster in October of its
chosen president. “No student who was arrested will receive additional
punishment,” Robert R. Davila, the interim president, said in a video
on the university’s Web site. But arrested students may face job-related
consequences if they work at the Clerc Center, where Gallaudet helps
develop teaching strategies for deaf children, said Mercy Coogan,
a university spokeswoman. And Mr. Davila’s statement did not preclude
the possibility of university sanctions against students involved
in the protests but not arrested, Ms. Coogan said.
February 7, 2007

Norman Solomon | Making an Example of Ehren Watada
The people running the Iraq War are eager to make an example of Ehren
Watada. They've convened a kangaroo court-martial. But the man on trial
is setting a profound example of conscience - helping to undermine the
war that the Pentagon's top officials are so eager to protect.

Friendly Fire — Seen and Heard On Tape
By Tom Zeller Jr.
February 6, 2007, 12:04 pm

California: Mayor Seeks Alcohol Treatment
Less than a week after admitting to an affair with his campaign
manager’s wife, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco announced
he had stopped drinking and would seek counseling for alcohol abuse.
Mr. Newsom said in a statement that he accepted responsibility for
his mistakes and that his problems with alcohol were “not an excuse.”
He said he would begin outpatient treatment at a local rehabilitation
program. On Thursday, Mr. Newsom acknowledged having had
a brief affair with Ruby Rippey-Tourk, the wife of Alex Tourk,
a former deputy chief of staff who had been running the mayor’s
campaign for a second term. Mr. Tourk learned of the affair after
Ms. Rippey-Tourk confessed as part of her own substance-abuse
February 6, 2007

Cockpit shock dispels Top Gun myth
By Peter Walker 01:01pm
"It is the silence that is most telling. After 11 minutes of near-
constant chat, the two US pilots learn that the convoy they have
just attacked was most likely a line of British light tanks.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Shape a New Economy
February 6, 2007

Orbiting Junk, Once a Nuisance, Is Now a Threat
February 6, 2007

Settlement in Terror Scare Is $2 Million
February 6, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smokestacks in a White Wilderness Divide Iceland
February 4, 2007

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

Dissent of an Officer

Oil Giants Offer Scientists Cash to Undermine Climate Study

Dems Indicate They Will Do Little to Stop Bush Troop Surge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Panel Probing Bush's Record on Signing Statements

Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed

Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

Grieving Dad Takes War Protest to Times Square




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


May Day 2007
National Mobilization to Support Immigrant Workers!
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
New York: (212)330-8172
Los Angeles: (213)403-0131
Washington D.C.: (202)595-8990



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


You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


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


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


March 17-18, 2007

Please circulate widely


Sand Creek Massacre
(scroll down when you get there])

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays!

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

(scroll down when you get there])



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


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



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

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

Read the complete speech at:


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


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




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


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


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


A Look at the Numbers: How the Rich Get Richer
Clara Jeffery (May/June 2006 Issue
IN 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined.
Today, they re worth $1.13 trillion more than the GDP of Canada.
THERE'VE BEEN FEW new additions to the Forbes 400.
The median household income
has also stagnated at around $44,000.
AMONG THE FORBES 400 who gave to a 2004 presidential
campaign, 72% gave to Bush.
IN 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires,
a 62% increase since 2002.
IN 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps,
a 49% increase since 2000.
ONLY ESTATES worth more than $1.5 million are taxed.
That's less than 1% of all estates


Do You Want to Stop PREVENT War with Iran?

Dear Friend,

Every day, pundits and military experts debate on TV when, how and where
war with Iran will occur. Can the nuclear program be destroyed? Will the
Iranian government retaliate in Iraq or use the oil weapon? Will it take
three or five days of bombing? Will the US bomb Iran with "tactical"
nuclear weapons?

Few discuss the human suffering that yet another war in the Middle East
will bring about. Few discuss the thousands and thousands of innocent
Iranian and American lives that will be lost. Few think ahead and ask
themselves what war will do to the cause of democracy in Iran or to
America's global standing.

Some dismiss the entire discussion and choose to believe that war simply
cannot happen. The US is overstretched, the task is too difficult, and
the world is against it, they say.

They are probably right, but these factors don't make war unlikely. They
just make a successful war unlikely.

At the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), we are not going to
wait and see what happens.

We are actively working to stop the war and we need your help!

Working with a coalition of peace and security organizations in
Washington DC, NIAC is adding a crucial dimension to this debate - the
voice of the Iranian-American community.

Through our US-Iran Media Resource Program , we help
the media ask the right questions and bring attention to the human side
of this issue.

Through the LegWatch program ,

we are building opposition to the war on Capitol Hill. We spell out the
consequences of war and the concerns of the Iranian-American community
on Hill panels

and in direct meetings with lawmakers. We recently helped more than a dozen
Members of Congress - both Republican and Democrats - send a strong
message against war to the White House

But more is needed, and we need your help!

If you don't wish to see Iran turn into yet another Iraq, please make a
contribution online or send in a check to:

2801 M St NW
Washington DC 20007

Make the check out to NIAC and mark it "NO WAR."

ALL donations are welcome, both big and small. And just so you know,
your donations make a huge difference. Before you leave the office
today, please make a contribution to stop the war.

Trita Parsi
President of NIAC

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

PMB 153
1718 "M" Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Voicemail: 202/521-5265

Co-convenors: Gene Bruskin, Maria Guillen, Fred Mason,
Bob Muehlenkamp, and Nancy Wohlforth
Michael Eisenscher, National Organizer & Website Coordinator
Virginia Rodino, Organizer
Adrienne Nicosia, Administrative Staff


Immigration video:


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


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

Dear Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your concern is appreciated

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan

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

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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

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

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

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

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

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Contact: Nick Mottern, Consumers for Peace

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

The report was published internationally by 10 organizations in October.

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

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

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

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Oklahoma U's First African-American Speaker

Dear Representative Johnson:

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

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

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

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

Here is a 1967 Sooner magazine article about his appearance:


Mike Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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http://www.indybay. org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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