Friday, May 04, 2007



Hands Off Venezuela:
Jorge Martin Speaking Tour Date in San Francisco
When: Wednesday, May 9, 2007, 7:00 PM
Where: Center for Political Education,
3rd Floor Auditorium
522 Valencia, near 16th St.
(ring bell; not wheelchair accessible)
Cost: $5/$3 students, seniors, unemployed
Transit: BART station, 16th St.
Parking nearby: Mission & Bartlett Garage;
16th & Hoff Garage
Visit our websites at:


Hold the date and Spread the word:



Thursday, May 17th, 4 - 6 p.m.

U.S. Court of Appeal Building at
7th and Mission Streets


Mumia is Innocent--Free Mumia!

For Labor Action to Free Mumia!

End the Racist Death Penalty!

On May 17th, 2007, oral arguments
will be heard in federal court in
Philadelphia on what could be the
last appeal of death-row journalist
Mumia Abu-Jamal, known as the "Voice
of the Voiceless."

The evidence shows--Mumia Abu-Jamal
is an innocent man. He has been on
death row in Pennsylvania for 25 years,
victim of a police and prosecutorial
frame-up and a racist judge. He continues
to serve the movement for human rights
as a journalist writing and broadcasting
from prison.

Come out on May 17th in SF to support
Mumia at this critical time!

Demonstrate with the Labor Action Committee
To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 Oakland CA 94610. 510 763-2347,

Sponsored by: The Mobilization to Free Mumia
Abu-Jamal (Northern California);
International Concerned Family and Friends
of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Coalition (NYC); Chicago Committee to Free
Mumia Abu-Jamal; Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal,
Bay Area United Against War, and many others!


ANSWER condemns LAPD attack on immigrant rights movement

Stop racist police violence! Fire Police Chief Bratton now!

The ANSWER Coalition unequivocally condemns the brutal,
unprovoked Los Angeles Police Department attack on immigrant
families, media reporters and camerapersons and others
in MacArthur Park on May 1. The LAPD’s racism and violent
nature has been displayed once again for the world to see.

We demand that Mayor Villaraigosa and all city officials
take immediate action to bring the officers involved to
justice. We also demand that the Los Angeles Board of Police
Commissioners fire LAPD Chief William Bratton.

On May 1, tens of thousands of protesters participated
in mass marches for immigrant rights in Los Angeles and
around the United States. The march targeted by the LAPD
was the second major action in the city that day. It marched
from Vermont and 3rd to MacArthur Park.

By all accounts, the march was peaceful—that is, until
the cops began their coordinated attack on the participants.

Soon after the thousands of marchers arrived at MacArthur
Park, a police motorcade forced its way into a large circle
of people who were enjoying the Aztec Dancers perform
an Indigenous ceremony in Alvarado St. near the Southeast
corner of the park. The cops pushed people, including Aztec
Dancers and children, to the ground.

Next, cops on bicycles rushed through the crowd demanding
people evacuate the area. They were followed closely by
LAPD “shock troops” on foot, who forced people from the
area by hitting onlookers with batons.

The crowd was obviously upset and highly concerned by the
unprovoked and violent police attack. In an attempt
to defend themselves, people responded by hurling empty
water bottles and fruit at the police.

Contrary to LAPD Chief Bratton’s statement that their
violence was in response to “certain elements of the
crowd … [who] began to create a series of disturbances,"
it was really the other way around.

As this was happening at the east corner of the park,
several hundred yards away on the other end of the park,
dozens of cops in full riot gear cleared the street
by pushing people onto the sidewalks.

The coordinated, military-style actions show a deliberate
calculus used by the LAPD. This was a premeditated attack—
a police riot. It is standard practice to repress mass
movements and working people.

‘They were merciless’

Take action today

Write an e-mail or contact Mayor Villaraigosa to express
your outrage at the attack on immigrant rights marchers
and community members.

ANSWER has set up an easy-to-use mechanism to fax or
write a letter to the Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
demanding that Bratton be fired immediately and that
his application for reappointment be denied.

The worst was yet to come. Less than one hour after the
initial attack, the LAPD began its full assault on the
marchers and all people in the park. Well over 100 riot
cops, including 30 to 40 shooting pellet guns and rubber-
coated bullets began attacking everyone in the park. They
fired many times directly at people, many of whom could
not get away from the police onslaught. Police also shot
tear gas at the protesters.

One eyewitness to the LAPD violence was Ernesto Arce,
ANSWER Coalition organizer and KPFK radio host. Arce,
who was hit in the leg with a rubber-coated bullet during
the attack, described the scene:

“Without warning, cops descended into a park full of
families, homeless and handicapped individuals and street
cart vendors. They were merciless.

“For the next 30 minutes, hundreds of activists and
bystanders were shot, beaten by night sticks and run
out of the park. The police had no intention of entertaining
requests from people who were not able to move quickly enough.
They were forcefully hit on the legs until they were immobile.

“The cops didn't only move people out of the perimeters
of the park, they chased through the park firing at anyone
who might have been an obstacle. I witnessed many people
who were shot at from the back. Children and entire families
were being violently pushed or beaten. An elderly woman
cried out for help but few were willing to run back in the
face of fast-approaching SWAT police.

“We were chased onto 7th street and forced at least
6 blocks west. The police tried to cordon off the entire
area, but most protestors didn't stick around. It was
frightening for even seasoned protestors.”

The cops shut down the organized rally. Many scheduled
speakers did not get to speak. In addition, they overturned
and destroyed the tables and displays of non-profits
inside Macarthur Park. The LAPD claimed that they declared
the legally permitted event an “unlawful assembly.” But
no one heard an official order to disperse or face arrest.
In fact, a Fox News reporter heard riot cops say, “Better
hustle, it’s time to tussle,” as they moved in on people
with batons and loaded weapons.

LAPD strategy

May 1 is International Workers’ Day. It started in the
United States after police viciously attacked a demonstration
of striking workers demanding better working conditions.
The police killed several and wounded 200. They blamed
the workers for the police violence.

The police strategy is still the same in 2007. This was
displayed in L.A. as it has been many times before.

The LAPD’s May 1 attack brings to memory to the violent
repression of demonstrators outside the 2000 Democratic
National Convention in Los Angeles. Similar tactics were
used: firing rubber bullets and beating people without
cause; chasing people on foot and in police vehicles,
and then tackling and clubbing them; using military
formations to intimidate and disperse crowds; and then
blaming the victims for the aggression.

The police and Mayor Villaraigosa have promised
investigations into the police assault in MacArthur
Park. But what will come from the LAPD when its chief,
Bratton, has already blamed those attacked and said
they were throwing “missiles?”

What will come from a mayor who wants more police on
the streets and has been an apologist for police brutality
and murder—like the killing of Susie Peña—many times before?
Already, Villaraigosa has assured Los Angeles and his
wealthy backers that “order has been fully restored”—when
it was the LAPD that broke the “order” in the first place.

Little will happen unless the movement demands justice.

Bratton should be fired. His first term as L.A.’s police
chief is over, but he has applied for another. The Los
Angeles Police Commission has 90 days to decide whether
to reappoint him. His history of condoning police terror
at the expense of working and oppressed people is clear.

Attacking the immigrant rights movement

When mass movements arise—like last year’s mass upsurge
for immigrant rights—they often are met with repression
in order to maintain the status quo. The immigrant rights
movement mobilized millions to demand equality
and legalization.

Now, the ruling elite want the movement to go away for
good. A wave of racist raids and deportations has swept
the country in recent months, aiming to strike fear into
immigrant communities. The LAPD action on May 1 is part
of that strategy.

But the movement is still alive with potential. The
April 7 protest in Los Angeles and now the May 1 protests
around the country have showed this.

In the face of racist police violence, it is important
that the people stay united to demand justice. We in the
ANSWER Coalition demand justice, an end to racist police
violence and full rights for all immigrants. Fighting
against racism, immigrant bashing and police brutality
must be a top priority for the anti-war movement and
all progressive organizations.

Take action today

Write an e-mail or contact Mayor Villaraigosa to express
your outrage at the attack on immigrant rights marchers
and community members. Due to the growing national outrage,
Police Chief may try to distance himself from some of the
worst police atrocities. But Bratton and other officials
must be held responsible since this was a clearly planned
and coordinated police assault that lasted a considerable
period of time.

ANSWER has set up an easy-to-use mechanism to fax or write
a letter to the Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
demanding that Bratton be fired immediately and that his
application for reappointment be denied. Click this link
to send your letter by fax or email:


Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

We join with people around the country and the world
who condemn the brutal, unprovoked LAPD attack on
immigrant families, media reporters, camerapersons
and others in Macarthur Park on May 1. We demand
that you, Mayor Villaraigosa, and all city officials
take immediate action to bring the officers involved
to justice. We also demand that LAPD Chief William
Bratton be immediately fired.

There is no explanation for the violence
that was displayed by the Los Angeles
Police Department other than that their
intention was to terrorize demonstrators
into not exercising their right to free
speech and assembly. But I can assure you
this tactic will not work! We will not
tolerate it. We will not!

All the police officers on duty that day--
including their superior officers--should
be fired. If you can't do that then you
should be fired!

The LAPD has again been proven vile
and beyond redemption after their outright
display of terrorism against innocent civilians.

In effect, it is a declaration of war
against the American people by its
own government.

I end this with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
from his speech:

"Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence,"
delivered 4 April 1967 at a meeting of Clergy and Laity
Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.
The full speech can be
read at:

"My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness,
for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the
North over the last three years -- especially the last
three summers. As I have walked among the desperate,
rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that
Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their
problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest
compassion while maintaining my conviction that social
change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.
But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam?
They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses
of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the
changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew
that I could never again raise my voice against the
violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having
first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence
in the world today -- my own government. For the sake
of those boys, for the sake of this government, for
the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under
our violence, I cannot be silent.

"For those who ask the question, 'Aren't you a civil
rights leader?' and thereby mean to exclude me from
the movement for peace, I have this further answer.
In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: 'To save
the soul of America.' We were convinced that we could
not limit our vision to certain rights for black people,
but instead affirmed the conviction that America would
never be free or saved from itself until the descendants
of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles
they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston
Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath --
America will be!

"Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one
who has any concern for the integrity and life of America
today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes
totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam.
It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest
hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who
are yet determined that America will be are led down the
path of protest and dissent, working for the health
of our land."

Tens of thousands of immigrants and supporters of the
rights of immigrants poured into the streets of America
this year on May 1. 78 percent of the American people
support immigrant rights!

We vow to proudly continue our demand for amnesty for
all and open borders! Police violence against us will
only strengthen our resolve. We have every right to fight
against unlawful police terror and for the basic and
inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness--including the right to work and support
yourself and your family wherever you can get work.

Borders don't stop U.S. corporations or their profits why
should it be a barrier to a workers' right to a good
paying job?

Such State-orchestrated police violence against this
humble demand is unconscionable.


Bonnie Weinstein


LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)


Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007


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



Stand with Mumia Abu-Jamal May 17 in Philadelphia
and San Francisco.

On May 17, 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal's lead attorney, Robert
R. Bryan, will present oral arguments to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. Despite
a mountain of evidence of his innocence, a U.S. criminal
"justice" system saturated with race and class bias has
reduced his case to just four issues: exclusion of Blacks
from the jury panel, racial bias, improper instructions
to the jury regarding the death penalty and prosecutorial

In a 1982 frame-up trial that has been condemned by groups
and individuals including Amnesty International, the
European Parliament, the NAACP, the National Lawyers
Guild, President Nelson Mandela of South Africa,
President Jacques Chirac of France, the Congressional
Black Caucus, hundreds of U.S. and international trade
unions and the Detroit, San Francisco, and Paris, France
city councils, Mumia was falsely convicted of the murder
of a Philadelphia police officer.

Six eyewitnesses stated that the real
killer fled the murder scene while
Mumia himself was found near dead next
to the slain police officer.
Critical evidence of Mumia's innocence
was destroyed or withheld.
"Witnesses" never at the murder scene
were coerced to state that they were
present. Police distorted events and
material evidence at the murder scene.
Mumia himself was excluded from the
majority of his own trial.

Mumia was the victim of a political
frame-up. He is an award-winning
journalist, whose widely-respected
social commentaries are today broadcast
on 124 radio stations. In 1981, as
a radio commentator and President of the
Philadelphia Association of Black
Journalists, he was a leading human
rights critic of the Philadelphia Police
Department, many of whose officers had
been indicted and convicted on charges
of corruption, witness intimidation and
the planting of evidence.

Mumia's judge, Albert Sabo, was overheard
by court stenographer, Terri
Maurer Carter, to say in his antechambers
about Mumia, "Yeah, and I'm going
to help 'em fry the n----r."

Mumia has been on death row nearly 25 years.
He has become a worldwide symbol in
the fight against the barbaric and
racist death penalty. Pennsylvania
authorities seek, for the third time,
to impose the death penalty and
murder Mumia by lethal injection. We must
make the political price of this
execution and continued incarceration
too high to pay. We stand with Mumia as
he fights for his legal right to a new
trial and for his life and freedom.

Join us in Philadelphia on Thursday,
May 17, 9:30 am at the U.S.
Courthouse, 6th and Market Streets,
Philadelphia. On the East Coast call:
215-476-8812. On the West Coast, we
mobilize at the U.S. Court of Appeals
Building, 7th Street and Mission, San
Francisco, 4-6 pm. Call: 415-255-1085

Pam Africa; Ed Asner; Harry Belafonte;
Heidi Boghosian, Exec. Dir, *National
Lawyers Guild; Angela Davis; Hari Dillon,
President, Vanguard Public Foundation;
Eve Ensler; Bill Fletcher Jr., Co-founder,
*Center for Labor Renewal; Danny Glover;
Frances Goldin; Rick Halperin, President,
*Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty;
Dolores Huerta; Barbara Lubin, Dir., *Middle
East Children's Alliance; Jeff Mackler; Robbie
Meeropol, Exec. Dir., *Rosenberg Fund for
Children; Michael Ratner, President, *Center
for Constitutional Rights; Lynne Stewart;
Alice Walker; Cornel West; Howard Zinn
*Organization listed for identification
purposes only.


Please make checks payable to: Mobilization
to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, 298
Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. -;

Sponsors: The Mobilization to Free Mumia
Abu-Jamal (Northern California);
International Concerned Family and Friends
of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Coalition (NYC); Chicago Committee to Free
Mumia Abu-Jamal; Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal




1) Islam in the Western Mirror
Dr. Nasir Khan
[VIA Email from the author:]

2) Another Economic Disconnect
Op-Ed Columnist
April 30, 2007

"Native people cheer and applaud numbers killed at the
Sand Creek Massacre"
April 30, 2007
[Via Email from: Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
7078 South Fairfax Street
Centennial, CO 80122,+Don]

4) Spying on Americans
May 2, 2007

5) Kent State Tape Is Said to Reveal Orders
May 2, 2007

6) Bees and Our Diet on the Brink
May 2, 2007

7) Chávez Takes Over Foreign-Controlled Oil Projects
in Venezuela
May 2, 2007

8) May Day 2007
Amnesty for All! Open All borders!
By Carole Seligman

9) Police action on journalists at melee is assailed
Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2007,0,6704192.story?coll=la-home-headlines

10) Chief vows full inquiry into violence
"Bratton questions LAPD tactics in sweeping protesters
out of MacArthur Park during May Day rally."
By Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein
Times Staff Writers
May 3, 2007,0,3485988.story?coll=la-home-headlines

11) Authorities Probe Police Response
May 3, 2007
Filed at 8:38 a.m. ET

12) G.M. Profit Down 90% From 2006
[G Richard Wagoner Jr. Total Compensation: $8.5 mil
5-Year Compensation Total: $22.2 mil
May 4, 2007

13) Afghans Say U.S. Bombing Killed 42 Civilians
May 3, 2007

14) 66 Workers at Agency Had Records, Inquiry Finds
May 3, 2007

15) Major Parts Maker in Talks With Auto Unions
May 3, 2007

16) Among Chimps and Bonobos, the Hand Often Does the Talking
May 1, 2007

17) In Search of Noah's Ark
Leonardo Boff
Earthcharter Commission
Leonardo Boff
VIA Email from: Walter Lippmann

18) IRAQ: Public stoning of teenage girl
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: May 4, 2007 3:04 AM
From: Huibin Amelia Chew

19) Family Values, Betrayed
May 4, 2007

20) Action by Police at Rally Troubles Los Angeles Chief

(Column written 4/14/07 by Mumia AbuˆJamal)


1) Islam in the Western Mirror
Dr. Nasir Khan
[VIA Email from the author:]

Present-day images of Muslims and Islam in Western media
vary considerably. However, since the collapse of the Soviet
Union the general drift of Western concerns has been to portray
Islam as the main enemy of the West and the Muslim world as
a hotbed of terrorism that threatens Western civilization and
its democratic values. Thus in the present-day hegemonic world
order—under which all norms of civilized behavior in the conduct
of foreign policy have been discarded by the Bush Administration
and its allies in London and Tel Aviv—Muslims are associated
with terrorism. We have seen over the last few years the
expansion of President Bush’s destructive war, the inhuman
treatment of captive population of Iraq and Afghanistan,
rampant abuse of prisoners from Muslim countries by American
and British forces, total indifference towards the human
rights of prisoners of war or of those suspected of resisting
or opposing the American occupation of their countries and
false propaganda to cover up the real objectives and crimes
against humanity of the neocon rulers in Washington and London.

Needless to say, the so-called “Islamic challenge” is based
on assumptions that have no basis in reality. They misrepresent,
distort and mislead rather than enlighten and inform. Over
the last fifteen years a number of publications have appeared
that have borne sensational titles like “sword of Islam,”
“The Islamic Threat,” “The Roots of Muslim Rage,” “Islam’s
New Battle Cry” and “What went wrong with Islam?” They reveal
the sort of preconceived image of Islam their writers had
intended to convey to their readers. According to such
projections, Islam is a challenge to Western values as well
as to West’s economic and political interests. But in view
of the real power wielded by the West in general and America
in particular throughout the Middle East and beyond, the
so-called “threat of Islam” is quite groundless.

But right-wing political manipulators and Christian
fundamentalists can very easily provoke major crises between
the Muslim world and the West; we have only to recall the
case of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The real aim
of some Danish and Norwegian right-wing newspapers to publish
these cartoons was to provoke hostile reactions from Muslims
and thus cause more bitterness and resentment between Muslims
and Christians. They tried to cover up their anti-Islamic
campaign behind the smokescreen of the argument that publishing
the cartoons was a demonstration of the West’s freedom
of expression. They were xenophobic, racist and disrespectful
of immigrant cultures in Europe and the Islamic culture in
particular. How could hurting the feelings of over one billion
Muslims serve the interests of free Press, freedom of expression
or civil liberties? An anti-Islam fundamentalist Christian
by the name of Mr. Selbekk, the Norwegian editor of Magazinet
reprinted the cartoons, which were first published in Denmark.
He was asked if he would also publish any cartoons that
insulted Jesus, he said, “No.” Thus this gentleman’s vaunted
ideal of “freedom of expression” was limited to insulting the
Prophet Muhammad and obviously did not extend to insulting
the gods, prophets and spiritual avatars of any other major

However, it is important to look at the strategic goals of
such editors and publishers. They did succeed in their objective,
which was to cause maximum provocation to Muslims worldwide
and to create an atmosphere of contempt and hatred towards
them among the followers of other religions. Muslims were
predictably and understandably offended and their reactions
led to some horrible incidents in various parts of the globe.
What those who reacted violently did not realize was that they
had fallen in the trap of anti-Muslim mischief-mongers, who,
through provocation had achieved their goal. Now the stage
was set to repeat the old charge: Muslims were fanatics,
volatile and irrational—they were “terrorists!” The divide
between “us” and “them” as cultural opposites was reinforced
and widened.

The anti-Muslim media keep on churning out the common stereotypes
that portray Muslims, compared to Westerners, as more prone
to conflict and violence. These media publish accounts of
conflicts in the Muslim countries as self-evident truths to
reinforce the image. There is a general tendency to oversimplify
or ignore altogether diverse trends and complex socio-economic
factors that lead to instability and conflicts in various Muslim
countries. The explanations offered and conclusions drawn sometimes
are based on implicit, but more often, explicit assumptions about
the superiority of Western, “Judaeo-Christian” culture, while
the Islamic world is thought to be an epicenter of brutality
and disharmony.

A very common stereotype in the Western media is that Islamic
countries are inherently prone to violence, fanaticism, medieval
ideas and prejudices. This means that Islam, both as a religion
and as a cultural influence, is to bear the responsibility for
all such regional ills. The West is the harbinger of sweetness
and light (but occasionally also darkness and misery,) peace
and civility (but occasionally predatory wars and barbarism,)
rationality and open-mindedness (but occasionally irrationality,
racism and prejudice, and always is focused on its own interests.)
All those who have taken the trouble to look at the last few
centuries’ history of Western colonialism, extending from the
time of the so-called “discoveries” of America by Columbus in
1492 and of India by Vasco de Gama in 1498 by sea routes, the
“discovery” of Africa by the European for slave trade show the
“noble” hands of Western nations that were extended to the people
of Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia have left their marks
on every continent. We cannot go into historical details here.
But the global expansion of Western colonialism is the story
of plunder and destruction across continents. No doubt, the
seeds of Western civilization were sown in this way. Within
Western societies, the internal conflicts, violence and wars
present us with a gory history. This superior culture when
seen in the limited sphere of geopolitics and international
relations in the last one hundred years only leaves a legacy
of two World Wars, more wars (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan,
Iraq,) invasions and coups (Guatemala, Grenada, Iran, Pakistan,
Indonesia, Chile, Argentina, Congo, southern Africa,)
concentration camps, racist massacres undertaken on a large
scale by the flag-bearers of Western civilization.

It is obvious that cultural differences between nations and
peoples of the world are a fact of history. And in this context
generalizing about cultural differences is unavoidable. But
in no way can such differences be equated with mutual
exclusiveness or inevitable hostility between different
cultures. Where the initial instinct is not to enter into
an anthropological or historical study of comparative cultures,
but rather to foment strife and hatred between nations and
religions for ulterior motives the consequences can be
disastrous. Let us take the events in the aftermath of the
bombing of Oklahoma City in the United States on April 19,
1995. The media rushed to spread rumors that a “Middle
Eastern man” [i.e. a Muslim Arab] was responsible for the
carnage. As a result Muslims throughout the United States
were targeted for physical abuse, rough treatment and social
ostracism. Their mosques were desecrated, Muslim women ere
harassed and cars belonging to “Middle Easterners” damaged.
A British newspaper, Today, published on its front page
a frightening picture of a fireman carrying the burnt remains
of a dead child under the headline “In the name of Islam.”
Identifying the perpetrator of such a reprehensible act
alone would not be sufficient; Islam also had to be brought
in to ignite the communal passions of people against members
of another faith. However, it soon became evident that the
bomber was a fair-haired American soldier, a decorated Gulf
War (1991) veteran. The religion of this right-wing terrorist
was not Islam but Christianity. But no one in either American
or British media labeled him a “Christian terrorist” or
apologized to Muslims for the wrongs done to them. Once
again the freedom to tell the truth and report events fairly
had taken a back seat.

The second instance is the September 11, 2001 attack on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon by a few persons, most
of whom came from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a close ally
of America. They saw the policies pursued by the U.S.
in the Middle East and its support for the anachronistic
rule by the House of Saud as the stumbling block towards
a fair social order in their country as well as the rest
of the Middle East. No matter what the nature of their
grievances, I regard this attack terribly wrong. It provided
ammunition to the neocons and right-wing fanatics in Washington
to unleash the reign of terror, war, death and destruction
in the Middle East and the petroleum regions in the general
vicinity. At the same time, we ask a simple question: What
had these bombings to do with millions of ordinary Muslim
citizens of Europe and America? The answer is: nothing
whatsoever. We witnessed that they were victimized everywhere
by many white Westerners in the most grotesque and despicable

During my stay in Europe for more than four decades, I have
become acutely aware that the negative images of Islam and
Islamic civilization need a serious historical analysis for
general readers as well as academic scholars that enables
us to rise above oft-repeated and worn-out clichés of media
and partisan scholarship and thus show the facts of the
problematic relations between the two world religions and
their civilizations. My book, “Perceptions of Islam in
the Christendoms,” (2006) deals these themes and issues.
It is clear that both Islam and the West suffer from the
perceptual problems of adversary relationship going far
back in history. Their mutual perceptions have been
distorted by religious dogmas, political developments
and traditional prejudices. If we take a look at the
history of European colonial expansion in Americas,
Australia and in the East (China, India, the Middle East
and North Africa, etc.) the old balance of power between
the East and the West had changed. The colonial power
over other nations also strengthened the collective
consciousness of the industrial West, or its assumption
that it was more powerful and therefore superior to the
rest of the world. The colonized and subjugated people
also started to perceive the West as materially, culturally,
and morally superior. It is true the West was superior in
producing machines, modern weaponry and efficient armies
to invade and subjugate other countries of the world. This
made Western nations more powerful, but that did not mean
they were morally or intellectually superior. But the
subjugated races were not in a position to advance such
challenging views. In such uneven power relations under
colonialism no genuine communication was possible. The
same is true of the current neo-colonial war in Iraq by
the Bush Administration to achieve full control over the
oil resources and assert political hegemony over the
entire Middle East.

The Western ways to see Islam as a monolithic religious
and political force is against all historical facts and
contemporary political realities. Islam is not a monolithic
force; the diversity within the Islamic world is wider
than most Westerners think. Within three decades after
the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslim community split
into Sunni and Shia factions following a civil war. This
division proved to be permanent, and further divisions
within the two main branches have characterized Islamic
faith and polity for fourteen centuries. The spread
of Islam followed different paths in different countries
and regions of the world. At present over one billion
people of all races, languages, nationalities and
cultures are Muslims. Their socio-cultural conditions
as well as their doctrinal affiliations show much
diversity and complexity. What this means is that
Islam as a universal religion, like Christianity,
is not a monolithic entity; this is despite the fact
that Muslims share some fundamental beliefs in One God
and His revelations through the prophets.

However, historical and religious traditions and myths
have a life of their own. Once they have become part
of a culture they continue to shape and restructure
the collective consciousness of vast populations. The
anti-Islamic tradition in the Christendoms has a long
historical pedigree and it continues to be a dynamic
factor affecting and determining international relations.
The study of history helps us to see facts in their
historical evolutionary process and thus lighten the
cultural baggage that has often poisoned relationships
between the two religious communities. An honest and
balanced study of the past and the present-day
geopolitical realities of the global hegemonic world
order means that we no longer have to passively accept
distorted legacies and close our eyes to what is
happening in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, and also
in Pakistan at the hands of the United States, its
allies and the marionette Muslim ruling cliques.

The question of “Islamic terrorism,” the denial of women’s
rights under Islam and the alleged irreconcilability of
Islamic and Western values appear all the time in the
Western media. But such accusations reveal a deep-rooted
ignorance and confusion. They have no relationship to
reality. We should bear in mind that a follower of
a religion is not necessarily a true representative
or spokesperson of that religion. Neither can the
individual acts of terrorism, state-terrorism or superpower-
terrorism be imputed to religion whether it is Christianity,
Judaism, Islam or Hinduism. If an individual or group from
a Muslim community resorts to extremism in political or
religious spheres for whatever reason or commits a crime,
the general tendency is to hold the whole Islamic tradition
responsible. What happens if someone from Western culture
or a Christian right-wing extremist resorts to violence
or commits a crime? He is held responsible as an individual
and no one blames the Western culture or Christianity for
his actions. Do we not have some powerful leaders in the
West who are Christian right-wingers and are responsible
for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslim men,
women and children? Does anyone blame Christianity for that?
We ask these questions and expect our readers to ask these
questions and then try to find some answers.

With regard to women, the Qur’an gave them legal rights
of inheritance and divorce in the seventh-century, which
Western women would not receive until the 19th or 20th
century. There is nothing in Islam about obligatory
veiling of women or their seclusion, either. In fact,
such practices came into Islam about three generations
after the death of the Prophet Muhammad under the
influence of the Greek Christians of Byzantium. In fact
there has been a high degree of cultural interaction between
Christians and Muslims from the beginning of Islamic

The fundamental values of fraternity, respect, justice
and peace are common in all the major civilizations and
the five major religions. To call democracy “a Western
value” is simply bizarre; the monarchical system prevailed
in Europe where the kings held absolute powers under the
divine right to rule. The evolution of democratic and
constitutional form of government took shape much later.
Contrary to what the media and populist politicians assert,
there is nothing in Islam that goes against democracy
and democratic values.

Nasir Khan, is a historian and a peace activist. He is
the author of, “Development of the Concept and Theory of
Alienation in Marx’s Writings and Perceptions of Islam
in the Christendoms: A Historical Survey.” He has written
numerous articles on international affairs and the issues
of human rights.

He has his own blog at
through which he can be contacted.


2) Another Economic Disconnect
Op-Ed Columnist
April 30, 2007

Last fall Edward Lazear, the Bush administration’s top
economist, explained that what’s good for corporations
is good for America. “Profits,” he declared, “provide the
incentive for physical capital investment, and physical
capital growth contributes to productivity growth. Thus
profits are important not only for investors but also
for the workers who benefit from the growth in productivity.”

In other words, ask not for whom the closing bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.

Unfortunately, these days none of what Mr. Lazear said
seems to be true. In the Bush years high profits haven’t
led to high investment, and rising productivity hasn’t
led to rising wages.

The second of those two disconnects has gotten a lot
of attention because of its political consequences. The
administration and its allies whine that they aren’t
getting credit for a great economy, but because wages
have been stagnant — the median worker’s earnings,
adjusted for inflation, haven’t gone up at all since
the current economic expansion began in 2001 — the
economy feels anything but great to most Americans.

Less attention, however, has been given to the first
disconnect: the failure of high profits to produce
an investment boom.

Since President Bush took office, the combination of
rising productivity and stagnant wages — workers are
producing more, but they aren’t getting paid more —
has led to a veritable profit gusher, with corporate
profits more than doubling since 2000. Last year,
profits as a share of national income were at the
highest level ever recorded.

You might have expected this gusher of profits, which
surely owes something to the Bush administration’s
pro-corporate, anti-labor tilt, to produce a corresponding
gusher of business investment. But the reality has been
more of a trickle. Nonresidential investment — that is,
investment other than housing construction — has grown
very slowly by historical standards. As a share of G.D.P.,
nonresidential investment remains far below its levels
of the late 1990s, and it has been declining for the
last two quarters.

Why aren’t corporations investing, and what does the lack
of business investment mean for the economy?

It’s possible that sluggish business investment reflects
lack of confidence in the economic outlook — a lack of
confidence that’s understandable given the bursting of
the housing bubble, which has already caused G.D.P. growth
to slow to a crawl.

But as Floyd Norris recently reported in The Times, there
is a more disturbing possibility. Instead of investing in
physical capital, many companies are using profits to buy
back their own stock. And cynics suggest that the purpose
of these buybacks is to produce a temporary rise in stock
prices that increases the value of executives’ stock options,
even if it’s against the long-term interests of investors.

It’s not a far-fetched idea. Researchers at the Federal
Reserve have found evidence that company decisions about
stock buybacks are strongly influenced by “agency conflicts,”
a genteel term for self-dealing by corporate insiders. In the
1990s that kind of self-dealing often led to excessive
investment, which at least left a tangible legacy behind.
But today the self-interest of management may be standing
in the way of productive investment.

Whatever the reasons, we now have an economy with incredibly
high profits and surprisingly low investment. This raises some
immediate, short-run concerns: with housing still in free fall
and consumers ever more stretched, optimistic projections for
the economy depend on vigorous growth in business investment.
And that doesn’t seem to be happening.

The bigger issue, however, may be longer term. Mr. Lazear was
right about one thing: business investment plays an important
role in raising productivity. High investment in equipment
and software was one major reason for the productivity takeoff
that began in the Clinton era, and continued in the early
years of this decade.

And low investment may be one reason productivity growth has
slowed dramatically over the last three years — another
development that hasn’t received as much attention as it

In any case, next time someone tells you that any action
that might reduce corporate profits a bit — like actually
enforcing health and safety regulations or making it easier
for workers to organize — will reduce business investment,
bear in mind that today’s record profits aren’t being invested.
Instead, they’re being used to enrich executives and a few
lucky stock owners.


"Native people cheer and applaud numbers killed at the
Sand Creek Massacre"
April 30, 2007
[Via Email from: Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
7078 South Fairfax Street
Centennial, CO 80122,+Don

April 30, 2007 -- CENTENNIAL, CO -- Loud applause and cheers
erupted during the Sand Creek Massacre Site Dedication Ceremony
on April 28, 2007. They were for the 200 to 500 Cheyenne
and Arapaho people massacred there on November 29, 1864.
A Northern Cheyenne tribal speaker mention of the total
massacred at Sand Creek, anywhere from 150 to 500 Cheyenne
and Arapaho babies, children, persons with disabilities,
elders and women, on November 29, 2007 outnumbered the
thirty-two victims massacred at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg,
Virginia on April 16, 200 ignited the eruption.

Subsequent to the Virgina Tech Massacre, Lakota Sioux tribe
member, Joan Redfern, said in a "Gilroy Dispatch" article
by Kat Teraji, "To say the Virginia shooting is the worst
in all of U. S. history is to pour salt on old wounds-it
means erasing and forgetting all of our ancestors who were
killed in the past," Redfern said.

"The use of hyperbole and lack of historical perspective
seems all too ubiquitous in much of the current mainstream
media...My intention is not to downplay the horror of what
has happened Virginia Tech in any way. But we have
a 500-year history of mass shootings on American soil,
and let's not forget it."

To this writer, who was at the Sand Creek Massacre Dedication
Ceremony, nausea nibbled at me as I heard the cheers and applause.
Former Colorado governor Roy Romer, present Colorado governor
Bill Ritter, Colorado Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien, U. S. Rep
Marilyn Musgrave, Kansas U. S. Senator Sam Brownback, Department
of the Interior, National Park Service Director, Mary Bomar,
former Colorado U. S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, and
several others quietly observed this outpouring of emotion.

I wondered, "To where have we evolved as human beings and
as Americans?"


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


4) Spying on Americans
May 2, 2007

For more than five years, President Bush authorized government
spying on phone calls and e-mail to and from the United States
without warrants. He rejected offers from Congress to update
the electronic eavesdropping law, and stonewalled every
attempt to investigate his spying program.

Suddenly, Mr. Bush is in a hurry. He has submitted a bill
that would enact enormous, and enormously dangerous, changes
to the 1978 law on eavesdropping. It would undermine the
fundamental constitutional principle — over which there
can be no negotiation or compromise — that the government
must seek an individual warrant before spying on an American
or someone living here legally.

To heighten the false urgency, the Bush administration
will present this issue, as it has before, as a choice
between catching terrorists before they act or blinding
the intelligence agencies. But the administration has never
offered evidence that the 1978 law, the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act, hampered intelligence gathering after
the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Bush simply said the law did not
apply to him.

The director of national intelligence, Michael McConnell,
said yesterday that the evidence of what is wrong with FISA
was too secret to share with all Americans. That’s an all-
too-familiar dodge. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of
California, who is familiar with the president’s spying
program, has said that it could have been conducted legally.
She even offered some sensible changes for FISA, but the
administration and the Republican majority in the last
Congress buried her bill.

Mr. Bush’s motivations for submitting this bill now seem
obvious. The courts have rejected his claim that 9/11 gave
him virtually unchecked powers, and he faces a Democratic
majority in Congress that is willing to exercise its
oversight responsibilities. That, presumably, is why his
bill grants immunity to telecommunications companies that
cooperated in five years of illegal eavesdropping. It also
strips the power to hear claims against the spying program
from all courts except the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Court, which meets in secret.

According to the administration, the bill contains “long
overdue” FISA modifications to account for changes in technology.
The only example it offered was that an e-mail sent from
one foreign country to another that happened to go through
a computer in the United States might otherwise be missed.
But Senator Feinstein had already included this fix in the
bill Mr. Bush rejected.

Moreover, FISA has been updated dozens of times in the last
29 years. In 2000, Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, who ran the
National Security Agency then, said it “does not require
amendment to accommodate new communications technologies.”
And since 9/11, FISA has had six major amendments.

The measure would not update FISA; it would gut it. It
would allow the government to collect vast amounts of
data at will from American citizens’ e-mail and phone
calls. The Center for National Security Studies said it
might even be read to permit video surveillance without
a warrant.

This is a dishonest measure, dishonestly presented, and
Congress should reject it. Before making any new laws,
Congress has to get to the truth about Mr. Bush’s spying
program. (When asked at a Senate hearing yesterday if
Mr. Bush still claims to have the power to ignore FISA
when he thinks it is necessary, Mr. McConnell refused
to answer.)

With clear answers — rather than fearmongering and
stonewalling — there can finally be a real debate about
amending FISA. It’s not clear whether that can happen
under this president. Mr. Bush long ago lost all credibility
in the area where this law lies: at the fulcrum of the
balance between national security and civil liberties.


5) Kent State Tape Is Said to Reveal Orders
May 2, 2007

KENT, Ohio, May 1 — An audio recording of the shootings
37 years ago at Kent State University includes the voices
of Ohio National Guard leaders ordering troops to fire
into a crowd of students, according to a man wounded
in the shootings, who obtained a copy of the recording.

If confirmed as authentic, the recording could solve the
central mystery of the shootings on May 4, 1970, which
became a defining moment in the protests against the
Vietnam War.

Alan Canfora, who was shot in the right wrist, played
a copy of the recording at a news conference here on

Through grainy static and the high-pitched calls of
protesters, it was possible to faintly hear someone
shout “Point!” Mr. Canfora said the full command is
recorded on the tape, with multiple voices shouting
“Right here!” “Get Set!” Point!” and “Fire!” Those words,
however, were difficult to discern when he played the
recording. A 13-second volley of gunfire follows, during
which four students were killed and nine were wounded.

“The evidence speaks for itself,” Mr. Canfora said.
“The voices are right there, very clear. There was an
order to fire.”

The President’s Commission on Campus Unrest, which
published its final report on the shootings in September
1970, never addressed whether commanders ordered troops
to fire, saying only that the events immediately before
the shooting “are in bitter dispute.” Based on the newly
available recording, Mr. Canfora said he would call on
Congress, the Justice Department and Ohio’s attorney
general, Marc Dann, to open new investigations into
the shootings.

James Sims, a spokesman for the Ohio National Guard,
declined to comment.

The audiotape of the shooting was recorded on a reel-
to-reel machine by Terry Strubbe, a Kent State student
whose dorm room overlooked the demonstrations, said
Joe Bendo, Mr. Strubbe’s friend and spokesman. Mr. Strubbe
declined to comment.

The tape originally was reviewed by the Justice Department,
which contracted with the acoustics analysis firm Bolt,
Beranek and Newman, now called BBN Technologies in Cambridge,
Mass., to remove static and digitally enhance parts of
the tape. James Barger, the scientist who analyzed the
tape more than 30 years ago, still works at BBN. Through
a spokeswoman, he said that no National Guard voices
were audible on the tape.

The original tape sits in a safe deposit box near Kent,
where it has been locked for over 30 years, Mr. Bendo said.

The copy obtained by Mr. Canfora came from the Yale University
Library, which received it in 1989 as part of a large donation
of materials from David E. Engdahl, a lawyer who represented
the shooting victims in a civil lawsuit in the late 1970s.
Mr. Canfora discovered the tape in the Yale archives
a few months ago, he said, while researching a book.

Mr. Canfora, 58, works for the Summit County, Ohio, Board
of Elections. He said he spends much of his free time teaching
students about the Kent State shootings as director of the
Kent May 4 Center, a nonprofit group that operates an
informational Web site and organizes annual ceremonies
to commemorate the shootings.

Many people who witnessed the shootings have said they
believe they were ordered by National Guard commanders.

After four days of occasionally violent protests against
President Richard M. Nixon’s decision to invade Cambodia,
thousands of students gathered on the Commons at Kent State
for a noon rally. Gen. Robert Canterbury of the Ohio
National Guard ordered the students to disperse. When
they refused, General Canterbury directed his troops
to advance on the crowd with M-1 rifles locked and
loaded, bayonets fixed.

Soon the troops found themselves trapped by fences on an
athletic field. As they retreated to the top of the hill,
a number of soldiers on the right flank turned and fired
into the crowd.

“It was very precise. They all turned in unison,” said
Jerry M. Lewis, professor emeritus of sociology, who
witnessed the shooting, wrote a book and taught a class
on the events. “That’s why we’ve argued for years that
there was an order or a signal to fire.”

Of Mr. Canfora, whom he has known for more than three
decades, Mr. Lewis said, “He’s an incredibly thorough
researcher. However, his interpretation tends to be


6) Bees and Our Diet on the Brink
May 2, 2007

BELTSVILLE, Md. (AP) -- Unless someone or something stops
it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many
of the nation's honeybees could have a devastating effect
on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to
a glorified bread-and-water diet.

Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate more
than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have.

Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus,
broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots of the
really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit,
peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries,
strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.

In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from
insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible
for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.

Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if
the collapse worsens, we could end up being ''stuck with
grains and water,'' said Kevin Hackett, the national
program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program.

''This is the biggest general threat to our food supply,''
Hackett said.

While not all scientists foresee a food crisis, noting
that large-scale bee die-offs have happened before, this
one seems particularly baffling and alarming.

U.S. beekeepers in the past few months have lost one-quarter
of their colonies -- or about five times the normal winter
losses -- because of what scientists have dubbed Colony
Collapse Disorder. The problem started in November and
seems to have spread to 27 states, with similar collapses
reported in Brazil, Canada and parts of Europe.

Scientists are struggling to figure out what is killing
the honeybees, and early results of a key study this week
point to some kind of disease or parasite.

Even before this disorder struck, America's honeybees were
in trouble. Their numbers were steadily shrinking, because
their genes do not equip them to fight poisons and disease
very well, and because their gregarious nature exposes them
to ailments that afflict thousands of their close cousins.

''Quite frankly, the question is whether the bees can
weather this perfect storm,'' Hackett said. ''Do they
have the resilience to bounce back? We'll know probably
by the end of the summer.''

Experts from Brazil and Europe have joined in the detective
work at USDA's bee lab in suburban Washington. In recent
weeks, Hackett briefed Vice President Cheney's office
on the problem. Congress has held hearings on the matter.

''This crisis threatens to wipe out production of crops
dependent on bees for pollination,'' Agriculture Secretary
Mike Johanns said in a statement.

A congressional study said honeybees add about $15 billion
a year in value to our food supply.

Of the 17,000 species of bees that scientists know about,
''honeybees are, for many reasons, the pollinator of choice
for most North American crops,'' a National Academy of
Sciences study said last year. They pollinate many types
of plants, repeatedly visit the same plant, and recruit
other honeybees to visit, too.

Pulitzer Prize-winning insect biologist E.O. Wilson of
Harvard said the honeybee is nature's ''workhorse -- and
we took it for granted.''

''We've hung our own future on a thread,'' Wilson, author
of the book ''The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth,''
told The Associated Press on Monday.

Beginning this past fall, beekeepers would open up their
hives and find no workers, just newborn bees and the queen.
Unlike past bee die-offs, where dead bees would be found
near the hive, this time they just disappeared. The die-off
takes just one to three weeks.

USDA's top bee scientist, Jeff Pettis, who is coordinating
the detective work on this die-off, has more suspected
causes than time, people and money to look into them.

The top suspects are a parasite, an unknown virus, some
kind of bacteria, pesticides, or a one-two combination
of the top four, with one weakening the honeybee and
the second killing it.

A quick experiment with some of the devastated hives
makes pesticides seem less likely. In the recent experiment,
Pettis and colleagues irradiated some hard-hit hives and
reintroduced new bee colonies. More bees thrived in the
irradiated hives than in the non-irradiated ones, pointing
toward some kind of disease or parasite that was killed
by radiation.

The parasite hypothesis has history and some new findings
to give it a boost: A mite practically wiped out the wild
honeybee in the U.S. in the 1990s. And another new one-celled
parasitic fungus was found last week in a tiny sample of dead
bees by University of California San Francisco molecular
biologist Joe DeRisi, who isolated the human SARS virus.

However, Pettis and others said while the parasite nosema
ceranae may be a factor, it cannot be the sole cause. The
fungus has been seen before, sometimes in colonies that
were healthy.

Recently, scientists have begun to wonder if mankind is
too dependent on honeybees. The scientific warning signs
came in two reports last October.

First, the National Academy of Sciences said pollinators,
especially America's honeybee, were under threat of collapse
because of a variety of factors. Captive colonies in the
United States shrank from 5.9 million in 1947 to 2.4 million
in 2005.

Then, scientists finished mapping the honeybee genome and
found that the insect did not have the normal complement of
genes that take poisons out of their systems or many immune-
disease-fighting genes. A fruitfly or a mosquito has twice
the number of genes to fight toxins, University of Illinois
entomologist May Berenbaum.

What the genome mapping revealed was ''that honeybees may
be peculiarly vulnerable to disease and toxins,''
Berenbaum said.

University of Montana bee expert Jerry Bromenshenk has
surveyed more than 500 beekeepers and found that 38 percent
of them had losses of 75 percent or more. A few weeks back,
Bromenshenk was visiting California beekeepers and saw
a hive that was thriving. Two days later, it had
completely collapsed.

Yet Bromenshenk said, ''I'm not ready to panic yet.''
He said he doesn't think a food crisis is looming.

Even though experts this year gave what's happening
a new name and think this is a new type of die-off,
it may have happened before.

Bromenshenk said cited die-offs in the 1960s and
1970s that sound somewhat the same. There were reports
of something like this in the United States in spots
in 2004, Pettis said. And Germany had something similar
in 2004, said Peter Neumann, co-chairman of a 17-country
European research group studying the problem.

''The problem is that everyone wants a simple answer,''
Pettis said. ''And it may not be a simple answer.''


On the Net:

Colony Collapse Disorder Web page by the Mid-Atlantic
Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium:

National Academy of Sciences study on pollinators:


7) Chávez Takes Over Foreign-Controlled Oil Projects
in Venezuela
May 2, 2007

SAN FELIPE, Venezuela, May 1 — President Hugo Chávez
on Tuesday seized control of the last remaining oil
projects in Venezuela controlled by large American
and European energy companies. The move to take over
the projects, announced in January, is the centerpiece
of recent actions aimed at consolidating his government’s
control over the economy.

Dressed in red fatigues, Mr. Chávez delivered a fiery
speech at the coastal oil refining complex of Jose,
denouncing America’s economic influence before thousands
of supporters also clad in red, the color of his revolution.

“Today is the end of that era when our natural riches
ended up the hands of anyone but the Venezuelan people,”
Mr. Chávez said during the speech, while speaking glowingly
of important allies like Iran, a fellow OPEC member.

Venezuela’s control over the oil-production projects,
which are in the Orinoco region in the country’s interior
and worth an estimated $30 billion, will weaken companies
like Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips in one of
the world’s most promising oil exploration regions.

Venezuela is allowing the private companies to remain
as minority partners, but the companies are still far
from reaching agreements on compensation for the loss
of their assets.

The seizure of control is expected to have little
immediate impact on oil exports to the United States,
the leading buyer of Venezuela’s oil despite deteriorating
political ties. The United States has steadily diversified
its oil sources since a decade ago when Venezuela, which
boasts the largest conventional oil reserves outside the
Middle East, vied with Saudi Arabia as the country’s
leading supplier of oil.

Venezuela’s oil production has stagnated in recent years
and now accounts for about 10 percent of American crude
oil imports, ranking behind Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Seizing on the symbolic potential of the May Day holiday,
Mr. Chávez also said this week that Venezuela would end
its affiliation with the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank. Venezuela recently paid off its loans
from the organizations.

Venezuela, which is benefiting from high oil prices even
as its oil industry is hampered by low investment, has
been seeking to counter the influence of the I.M.F. and
the World Bank in Latin America by lending billions of
dollars to other countries and trying to create
a development bank.

Like the I.M.F.’s 184 other member nations, Venezuela
is a shareholder in the institution. Mr. Chávez can take
back his country’s $4 billion stake by withdrawing
from the I.M.F.


8) May Day 2007
Amnesty for All! Open All borders!
By Carole Seligman

[Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated across this
country in spite of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) terror-raids that culminated in over 23,000 arrests
of undocumented workers so far this year. This speech was
delivered May 1 in San Francisco to an overwhelmingly
Latino audience in the heart of the Mission District
at 24th and Mission Streets after a demonstration of
many thousands earlier in the day. The event was a vigil
for unconditional amnesty and open borders sponsored
by Barrio Unidos, a local community group. A core of
at least several hundred people attended it throughout
and many more came and went at this very busy intersection.
Hundreds of candles were given out in little paper cups
as well as hundreds of triangular, hand-made paper
stadium flags, in Spanish and English, saying,
“Open Borders!” which were seen throughout the
crowd. The following speech was extremely well
received by this energetic audience.

I am a schoolteacher. The names of my co-workers
show that their grandparents or parents came from
Ireland, Italy, Poland, Germany, England, China,
Mexico, Greece, Japan, Russia, and The Philippines.
In fact, unless you are Native American, your family
immigrated here, even if they came on the Mayflower.

The United States is a country of immigration and
crossing borders. Immigrant workers from the whole
world, and slaves, built the wealth of this country.
But now, the wealthy rulers of the U.S., the tiny
group of billionaires who benefit from all that
wealth created by immigrants and slaves, have
decided that only they and their money can cross

What hypocrites! Their soldiers, their weapons,
their money, their pollution cross national borders
every minute of every day. Do you think the Iraqi
people want their borders crossed by armed attackers
from the U.S.? Do you think the U.S. planes that
crossed many borders to bomb their cities and villages
are welcome? Do you think the Iranians are happy
bracing for a U.S. attack? The Colombians, the Cubans,
the Venezuelans?

We know that people leave their homes to come here
for the same reasons that all previous generations
of immigrants came here, for better opportunities,
especially for their children. They come for the
same reasons that Indians and Pakistanis come to
England and Africans come to Europe. The rich countries’
trade policies destroy the economies of the other
countries of the world and impoverish their people,
so the people try to find a way to survive—for example,
the conscious ruination of Mexican farmers because
of the government-subsidized corn exported
to Mexico by the U.S.

The biggest waves of immigration in world history
going on now are due to these policies and the wars
foisted on the poor countries.

The truth can set us free

The truth that can set us free from these predatory
billionaires who are erecting military walls to keep
people out, is that they are a tiny minority, while
the workers are the overwhelming majority. And national
borders mean little to working people. Our interests,
our needs for peace, for housing, healthcare, schools
and good opportunities for our families, jobs, decent
pay and working conditions, retirement, security—these
are the same needs for working people everywhere.

The truth is that workers, no matter where we were born,
have common interests and all we need to do is convince
our fellow workers of this and organize ourselves to win.

For a general and unconditional amnesty for all immigrants!
Open borders for a humane world. Si se puede!


9) Police action on journalists at melee is assailed
"Some news outlets whose reporters and camera operators
were hurt in melee mull legal claims against LAPD."
By Anna Gorman and Stuart Silverstein, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2007,0,6704192.story?coll=la-home-headlines

One day after several reporters and camera operators were
injured while covering an altercation at an immigrant rights
rally in MacArthur Park, news organizations condemned the
Los Angeles Police Department for its use of batons and
riot guns against members of the media, and some said they
were considering legal options.

"We are sorry for what happened to our employees and find
it unacceptable that they would be abused in that way when
they were doing their job," said Alfredo Richard, spokesman
for the Spanish-language network Telemundo, of the anchor
and the reporter who were hurt during the evening rally.

Other members of the media who were injured included four
employees of KVEA-TV Channel 52, a KTTV-TV Channel 11 news
reporter who suffered a minor shoulder injury, a camerawoman
who has a broken wrist and a reporter for KPCC-FM (89.3)
who was bruised by a police baton.

"I was dumbfounded," said the KPCC reporter, Patricia Nazario.
"I've covered riots. I've covered chaos. I was never hit
or struck or humiliated the way the LAPD violated me

Nazario said she was walking away from riot police when
she was hit in the back.

Wearing a press pass and holding a microphone, she turned
around and told the officer, "Why did you hit me? I'm
moving. I'm a reporter," Nazario recalled.

Then the officer hit her on the left leg, she said, knocking
her to the ground and sending her cellphone flying.

"I was shocked, trying to scramble to my feet," she said.
"At that point, I just started crying…. I just felt totally

Pedro Sevcec was anchoring the evening news for Telemundo
when he saw the riot police moving slowly toward the
news crews.

A few dozen people had gathered to watch Sevcec do his
live broadcast.

"The next thing I heard was the shotguns," he said.

Police knocked over monitors and lights and hit reporters
and camera operators with batons, he said.

Sevcec said police hit him three times and pointed a riot
gun at his face before pushing him out of the park.

An emergency anchor in Miami took over the broadcast.

"It was so ridiculous," Sevcec said. "They know what
a TV camera is. This is not a secret weapon."

Telemundo reporter Carlos Botifoll said he was hit
by a baton as he was waiting to go live on the broadcast.

He was carrying a microphone and standing in front
of a camera.

"We were obviously reporters," he said. "There could
not have been any doubt whatsoever."

Police Chief William J. Bratton, who promised an
investigation, said at a news conference Wednesday that
a key part of the inquiry into the officers' actions would
focus on why they used force against members of the media.

"We should never be engaged in attacking anyone in the
media," Bratton said.

The use of force on news crews came despite a legal
settlement signed in 2002 calling for the Los Angeles
police and city officials to recognize journalists' right
to cover public protests even if there is a declaration
of unlawful assembly and an order to disperse.

Under the settlement, the city agreed to assign a press
liaison to such events and to set up designated media areas.

The pact resolved a lawsuit brought on behalf of seven
journalists who said they were assaulted by police officers
while covering the 2000 Democratic National Convention in L.A.

Peter Eliasberg, an ACLU lawyer who helped negotiate the
settlement, said that based on broadcast news reports he
has heard and viewed, "the police went way over the line,"
using force that "violates the law and the Constitution."

Marc Cooper, associate director of the USC Annenberg
Institute for Justice in Journalism, said the video he
viewed of the clash led him to believe that the use of
force by police was "unjustifiable and excessive."

"From what I saw, it just seemed gratuitous to go after
the reporters," Cooper said. "They weren't really in the
way, they didn't really pose a threat and, of course, they
were trying to do their job."

KPCC-FM News Director Paul Glickman said the LAPD's actions
against Nazario, who clearly identified herself as a reporter,
raised questions about whether the department's policies
and procedures are sufficient to guarantee the safety of

Times staff writer Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.


10) Chief vows full inquiry into violence
"Bratton questions LAPD tactics in sweeping protesters
out of MacArthur Park during May Day rally."
By Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein
Times Staff Writers
May 3, 2007,0,3485988.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton on Wednesday
expressed "grave concern" about his officers' tactics
in dispersing a crowd at an immigration rights rally,
where police wielded batons and fired 240 "less-than-
lethal" rounds at demonstrators and reporters.

Bratton promised an aggressive investigation as public
outrage grew over the police actions Tuesday that left
at least 10 people with minor injuries — including
seven reporters — and raised serious questions about
whether officers overreacted when they moved aggressively
to disperse a largely peaceful crowd. Eight officers
were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

"The treatment you received yesterday from some Los
Angeles police officers … we can't tolerate and won't
tolerate," Bratton told reporters at a City Hall news
conference, extending his remarks to members of the
public also caught up in the incident.

Bratton and top LAPD officials acknowledged Wednesday
that there might have been significant problems with
how the police handled the incident — including how
the order to clear the crowd out of an area where
organizers had a permit to stay until 9 p.m. was

Bratton said that the initial order appeared to have
come from a helicopter, but it was unclear whether
the craft was hovering over the park or a crowd of
agitators nearby. The order was made in English only,
and some reporters and protesters said they either
did not hear any orders or could not understand
what the police wanted them to do.

Questions also were raised about the large number
of projectiles fired by officers attempting to control
the crowd. At least 240 rounds made of foam, sponge
or fiber were fired as police swept through the park
about 6:15 p.m. The move came after police clashed
with a small group of protesters near the intersection
of 7th and Alvarado streets.

"Two hundred and forty rounds with no arrests is of
grave concern to me," Bratton said, acknowledging
that none of the rounds fired were directly related
to the arrests of eight adults and one juvenile during
the rally on charges that included assault with
a deadly weapon in a rock-throwing incident and public
drunkenness. The chief labeled some of the officers'
actions "inappropriate."

Also under investigation is what role commanders on
the scene played in directing police response.

High-ranking LAPD sources, who spoke on the condition
that they not be named, told The Times that neither the
incident commander, Deputy Chief Caylor "Lee" Carter,
nor the captain in charge of the deployment were on the
skirmish line as officers confronted the crowd, raising
questions about who was guiding the officers' actions.

Focus of inquiry

Andre Birotte, the LAPD's inspector general, said his
office would focus in part on why officers used foam
rounds on reporters and marchers that videotapes seemed
to indicate were not posing a violent threat. According
to the LAPD's manual, "less-than-lethal" devices should
used only on "violent or potentially violent suspects."

"Some of the images are very troubling," Birotte said.

Police union leaders urged Wednesday against
a "rush to judgment."

"Our officers gave a legal dispersal order and were
met with violence. In the coming days it will become
clear what transpired," said Los Angeles Police Protective
League President Bob Baker in a statement.

The move to clear the area came after a small group of
protesters, described by Bratton as involving between
50 and 100 agitators, some with bandannas obscuring their
faces, began throwing rocks and plastic bottles at police.
Although some reporters at the scene heard an order
to disperse from the advancing officers, others did not.
The order appeared to come from an officer on foot with
a megaphone just north of the intersection of Alvarado
and 7th.

By 6:20 p.m., after the initial rock- and plastic bottle
-throwing incident spurred the decision to close down
a rally that was permitted to last until 9 p.m., two
lines of officers began moving northwest through the
park. Officers formed a wide V and swept protesters
and members of the media before them.

In footage shot by Fox News and Telemundo reporters,
police officers can be seen grabbing Fox reporter
Christina Gonzalez and forcefully pushing her out
of the way as she crouched to protect her camerawoman,
who had fallen after being struck by a police baton.
"I am helping her move, sir!" Gonzalez said, her
voice agitated.

The officer is heard saying: "Move her back away from
the skirmish line or you're under arrest."

As Gonzalez, whose husband is a retired LAPD officer,
struggled to regain her footing, an officer pushed her
by the shoulders, spinning her around.

"You can't do that," Gonzalez yelled at an officer,
jabbing a finger in his direction. "You cannot
do that and you know it."

Patricia Nazario, a KPCC-FM (89.3) radio reporter,
said she watched as officers marched slowly in
a single-file line.

"They had their batons crossed over their chests,"
she said. "Some came across Wilshire shooting their

Some in the crowd, she said, retaliated by throwing
bottles and cans. Still, at that point, Nazario said,
she did not feel unsafe. Within minutes, though, the
perimeter closed in around her. As she tried to walk
away, she said, an officer struck her in the back
with a baton.

Nazario said she went to St. Vincent Medical Center's
emergency room where she was treated for her injuries.

Deeper into the park, other reporters were preparing
to go live for 6:30 p.m. broadcasts, including Telemundo
anchor Pedro Sevcec. He said he watched a confrontation
develop between protesters and police, with about a dozen
people whose faces were covered throwing water bottles
at officers. Then he heard weapons being fired and saw
people running and screaming.

But the area where he stood with about 40 others remained
calm. He went on the air.

"The next thing I heard was the shotguns, and they were
firing in our direction," he said. "Suddenly I started
seeing people falling on the ground…. It was completely

Sevcec said a police officer took a camera and threw
it about 15 or 20 feet. Then the police started hitting
reporters and cameramen with their batons.

"Police ran us over," he said. "Lights were flying,
monitors were on the floor."

At one point, a police officer pointed a weapon at his
face. Sevcec said he was struck by a baton three times
on his neck and back.

Taking notes

In addition to journalists with press credentials,
others in the park carried still and video cameras
and appeared to be taking notes as they walked backward
ahead of the police line.

Maritza Alvarez, 36, a filmmaker, watched police from
the northwest corner of the park.

"I can tell you they were just shooting indiscriminately,"
she said. "I saw them beat up an elderly man, they knocked
his knees down, children were crying."

Alvarez said she and two others tried to help an old
man get up as about five riot police officers kicked
him after hitting his knees with a baton to knock
him down.

"I'm telling you, it was military style, there was
a commander there saying '1, 2, shoot,' and we were
trying to duck behind trees, running," Alvarez said.

Three investigations have been launched: an overall
departmental review of tactics, an internal affairs
investigation into the behavior of the officers and
commanders on the scene, and an independent review
by the Inspector General, the investigative arm of
the Police Commission.

Still, calls came Wednesday for outside scrutiny.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) asked
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley to launch
an independent investigation into the LAPD's actions.

Some longtime LAPD observers said Tuesday's protest
was reminiscent of clashes between protesters and
police during the 2000 Democratic National Convention
in Los Angeles in which some demonstrators and reporters
were injured.

The city settled a lawsuit brought by seven reporters,
in part, by agreeing to recognize journalists' right
to cover public protests even if a declaration of
unlawful assembly is made and an order to disperse
is issued.

"This has echoes of the DNC," said attorney Constance
Rice, who has studied LAPD management and policing
issues for several years. "It suggests the old LAPD
overreaction to things."

Times staff writers Megan Garvey, Anna Gorman, Patrick
McGreevy, Jill Leovy, Francisco Vara-Orta, Tami Abdollah,
Paul Pringle and Matt Lait contributed to this report.


11) Authorities Probe Police Response
May 3, 2007
Filed at 8:38 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Investigators will review hundreds
of hours of video of an immigration rally where police
clashed with the crowd, wielding batons and firing rubber
bullets to break up the demonstration, the police chief
said Thursday.

Chief William J. Bratton said in an appearance on CBS's
''Early Show'' that he was ''not happy'' when he watched
videotape of the events at MacArthur Park late Tuesday,
when officers fired 240 nonlethal rounds to clear

He said police and news media video would aid investigations
into whether the officers' tactics were appropriate.

''We have to really try to determine exactly what happened.
We're fortunate in this instance that we have a lot of video
to look at,'' Bratton said. ''We have literally hundreds
of hours of video to review to make our decisions.''

News images showed police hitting a television cameraman
to the ground, shoving people who were walking away from
officers and injuries from the rubber bullets.

Rally organizers denounced the police action as brutal.

''They were pushing children, elderly, mothers with their
babies and beating up on the media'' said Angela Sanbrano,
an organizer.

The clashes started around 6 p.m. Tuesday, when police
tried to disperse demonstrators who moved into a street,
according to rally organizers and reporters. Authorities
said several people threw rocks and bottles at officers,
who used batons to push the crowd back to the sidewalk
and then cleared the park.

A police order to disperse was in English and from
a police helicopter, a likely ineffective tactic because
of the noise and because many at the protest were Spanish-
speakers, Bratton said at a news conference Wednesday.

Bratton said police were initially trying to deal with
50 to 100 ''agitators.''

''The individuals were there to provoke police,'' Bratton
said. ''Unfortunately, they got what they came for.''

Police union leaders urged against a ''rush to judgment.''

''Our officers gave a legal dispersal order and were met
with violence. In the coming days it will become clear
what transpired,'' said Los Angeles Police Protective
League President Bob Baker in a statement.

Seven officers suffered minor injuries, and another
was pushed off his motorcycle, Bratton said. About
10 other people were treated for minor injuries,
though authorities expected the number to rise.

The investigations already under way include an overall
departmental review of tactics, an internal affairs
investigation into the behavior of the officers and
commanders on the scene, and an independent review
by the Inspector General, the investigative arm of
the Police Commission, which sets policy for the
Police Department.

John Mack, president of the five-member Police Commission,
said he was ''deeply disturbed and very disappointed''
by the news images.

''This was not a pretty picture. This incident raises
serious concern regarding the use of force by some
individual officers,'' said Mack, who is one of
Bratton's bosses.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, who represents
the park district, also asked Los Angeles County District
Attorney Steve Cooley to launch an independent investigation
into the officers' actions.

He said police deliberately led troublemakers back to the
peaceful marchers before beginning their assault.

''The only logical conclusion I can come to is that somebody
wanted it to bleed into the march so that they can do some
target practice on some of the immigrants that were
marching,'' Nunez said.

News organizations also condemned the Police Department
for its use of batons and riot guns against members
of the media.

''We are sorry for what happened to our employees and find
it unacceptable that they would be abused in that way when
they were doing their job,'' said Alfredo Richard, spokesman
for the Spanish-language network Telemundo, whose anchor
and reporter were hurt.

Bratton promised to investigate the treatment of reporters.

''I'm not seeking to defend it at all,'' he told the
''Early Show.'' ''That's why we're having investigations.''

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers
Don Thompson in Sacramento and Jeremiah Marquez and Michael
R. Blood in Los Angeles.


12) G.M. Profit Down 90% From 2006
[G Richard Wagoner Jr. Total Compensation: $8.5 mil
5-Year Compensation Total: $22.2 mil
May 4, 2007

DETROIT, May 3 — General Motors reported a 90 percent
decline in first-quarter profit today as losses at its
finance arm overshadowed gains from restructuring its
automotive operations.

G.M., which fell behind Toyota Motor in the first quarter
to become the world’s second-largest automaker, posted
net income of $62 million, or 11 cents a share, compared
with $602 million, or $1.06 a share, in the period a year
earlier. It was the company’s second consecutive quarterly
profit, but the number was weighed down heavily by losses
from subprime mortgage loans made by the General Motors
Acceptance Corporation.

G.M., which sold a majority stake in G.M.A.C. last fall
to a group of investors led by Cerberus Capital Management,
recognized a net loss of $115 million from G.M.A.C. —
49 percent of the unit’s $305 million loss — compared
with earnings of $495 million in the quarter a year

The G.M.A.C. sale led to a 16 percent decline in G.M.’s
first-quarter revenue, to $43.9 billion from $52.4 billion.

G.M. improved its performance considerably in North America,
the focus of its turnaround effort, but remained in the red.
Reductions in health care spending and reductions in marginally
profitable sales to rental-car companies helped G.M. cut
its North American losses to $85 million from $251 million
in the first quarter of 2006.

G.M.’s chief executive, Rick Wagoner, described G.M., which
lost $10.4 billion in 2005 and $2 billion last year, as
essentially running “at a break-even level” during an
interview this morning on CNBC, the financial news cable
network. In 2006, G.M. cut its fixed costs in North America
by $6.8 billion, largely through buyout and early retirement
package offers that were accepted by about 35,000 of its
hourly workers.

“The first quarter of 2007 marked another quarter of
continued progress in G.M.’s global automotive operations,”
Mr. Wagoner said in a statement. “We were able to expand
vehicle sales and improve automotive profitability based
on the progress in our turnaround initiatives in North
America and Europe and our expansion strategy for key growth
markets like China, Russia and South America. We continue
to see progress on the automotive bottom line as we implement
the strategies laid out two years ago.”

Excluding special items that G.M. said were largely related
to restructuring in its Europe and Asia-Pacific regions, the
company earned $94 million, or 17 cents a share, well below
the 87 cents a share that analysts had expected. As a result,
G.M. shares were down 2.5 percent in trading before the New
York Stock Exchange opened.

G.M.’s report comes a week after its crosstown rival, the
Ford Motor Company, posted a first-quarter loss of
$282 million, compared with a loss of $1.4 billion in
the period a year earlier. Even though G.M.’s performance
in the quarter was better, investors were more pleased with
Ford because it improved so drastically.

The second quarter is off to a rocky start for both automakers,
at least in terms of sales in the United States. Ford’s sales
fell 7 percent in April, while G.M.’s were down 2 percent.
“It’s fair to say the U.S. market isn’t very robust,”
Mr. Wagoner said on CNBC, citing gas prices that have
topped $3 a gallon in many parts of the country as
one reason.

But that is slightly less of a concern for G.M. than for
Detroit’s other automakers, because G.M. now sells more
than half of its vehicles abroad.

Globally, G.M. increased sales 3 percent in the first
quarter, to 2.26 million vehicles, but could not keep
up with surging Toyota, which sold 2.35 million. G.M.
had been the world’s largest automaker since 1931, save
for brief periods in the 1970s and 1990s when strikes
among G.M. workers allowed Ford to claim the top spot.

G.M.’s biggest problem in the quarter, however, was
unrelated to its core automobile business.

G.M.A.C. said its mortgage division, Residential Capital,
lost $910 million, while net income from automotive financing,
insurance and other operations was $605 million, more than
double the earnings those divisions generated in the first
quarter of 2006. G.M.A.C. said it expects improved results
from the mortgage division in the second quarter.


13) Afghans Say U.S. Bombing Killed 42 Civilians
May 3, 2007

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 2 — Aerial bombing of a valley
in western Afghanistan several days ago by the American
military killed at least 42 civilians, including women
and children, and wounded 50 more, an Afghan government
investigation found Wednesday. A provincial council member
who visited the site independently put the figure
at 50 civilians killed.

President Hamid Karzai said at a news conference in Kabul
that the Afghan people could no longer tolerate such
casualties. “Five years on, it is very difficult for
us to continue accepting civilian casualties,” he said.
“It is becoming heavy for us; it is not understandable

There have been several episodes recently in which
civilians have been killed and foreign forces have been
accused of indiscriminate or excessive force. That has
prompted Afghan officials to warn that the good will
of the Afghan people toward the government and the foreign
military presence is wearing thin.

The government delegation reported that three villages
were bombed last week in the Zerkoh Valley, 30 miles
south of the western city of Herat, and 100 houses were
destroyed and 1,600 people were now homeless, Farzana
Ahmadi, a spokeswoman for the governor of Herat Province,
said by telephone.

“The report says that some women and children were drowned
in the river, and it was maybe in the heat of the moment
that the children and people wanted to escape and jumped
into the water,” she said. “This all happened just because
of a lack of coordination between international forces
and our forces.”

A provincial council member from Herat, Naik Muhammad
Eshaq, who went to the area independently, said he had
visited the three bombing sites and produced a list of
50 people who had died, including infants and other
children under age 10. People were still digging bodies
out of the rubble of their mud-walled homes on Tuesday
afternoon, he said.

American Special Operations forces conducted raids in
the area on Friday and Sunday, and on both occasions
they called in airstrikes when they encountered armed
resistance, the military said. It said in a statement
that it had killed 136 Taliban fighters, including some
who were trying to flee across the river.

In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Jeremy
Martin, said, “We’re aware of the allegations, but we
don’t have any information through operational channels
to confirm the latest incident.” He added, “We take all
measures possible to limit civilian casualties.”

Villagers held protests over the bombing in the nearby
district town of Shindand on Monday and set fire
to government offices.

Ms. Ahmadi, the Herat spokeswoman, said all 42 dead
counted by the government delegation were civilians.
She said the government was continuing its investigation
to see if enemy fighters had also been killed.

Mr. Eshaq, the council member, said villagers were
adamant that there had been no Taliban fighters in
the area. “I could not find any military men,” he said.

Mr. Karzai accused American and NATO forces of failing
to coordinate with the Afghan authorities.

“I have worked personally in the past four years, almost
on a monthly and weekly basis, with the international
community to bring some sort of coordination and
cooperation to such raids on homes and on villages,”
he said. “Unfortunately that cooperation and coordination,
as we tried it, has not given us the results that we want,
so we are not happy about that and we can no longer accept
the civilian casualties the way they are occurring.

“We are very sorry when the international coalition force
and NATO soldiers lose their lives or are injured,” he
said. “It pains us. But Afghans are human beings, too.”

Abdul Waheed Wafa reported from Kabul, and Carlotta Gall
from Islamabad, Pakistan. David S. Cloud contributed
reporting from Washington.


14) 66 Workers at Agency Had Records, Inquiry Finds
May 3, 2007

HOUSTON, May 2 — An investigation into sexual abuse and
mismanagement at the Texas Youth Commission has led to
the dismissal of 66 employees with records of felony
charges or arrests, including one convicted of homicide
and another who had pleaded guilty to attempted murder,
the state official leading the inquiry reported Wednesday.

The employees included guards, case workers and maintenance
staff members, most of them in regular contact with
hundreds of troubled youths. Officials said they had no
information on whether any of the 66 were accused of
harming youths in their custody.

Citing reforms already instituted, the official leading
the inquiry, Jay Kimbrough, issued 56 recommendations
for changes, including background checks on staff members
and the release of juveniles being held beyond sentencing
requirements or for misdemeanors.

“The smoke signals were clearly visible; the dots should
have been connected,” said Mr. Kimbrough, faulting
a variety of watchdogs, from the youth commission
headquarters itself to a West Texas prosecutor, the
governor’s staff and legislative officials.

The scandal broke in mid-February with news accounts
of a shelved 2005 Texas Rangers report confirming
sexual contacts between confined youths and a school
principal and assistant superintendent at the West
Texas State School in Pyote. Both resigned without
charges but were recently indicted. Accusations
of abuse at other youth centers came later.

Mr. Kimbrough, a former deputy state attorney general
and director of homeland security, was named by
Gov. Rick Perry in March as conservator of the
youth commission.

From early March through April 27, Mr. Kimbrough
reported, 2,972 calls and complaints came into
a command post hot line, with 1,463 of the cases
closed. Eleven employees have been arrested, and
12 senior executives and three facility superintendents
have been fired or have resigned, the report said.

In addition, it said, 473 youths of the more than 4,500
in custody have been released and reviews of other cases
are continuing.

The commission “failed to take reasonable and appropriate
actions to ensure that employees working with youths
do not have a criminal background,” Mr. Kimbrough found.

Jim Hurley, a spokesman for Mr. Kimbrough, identified
the employee convicted of attempted murder as Cynthia
Patterson, 52, a juvenile corrections officer at the West
Texas State School. Records of the Texas Department
of Public Safety say Ms. Patterson pleaded guilty to
forgery and attempt to commit murder in 1980, and was
sentenced to 10 years’ probation.

The employee with the homicide conviction, Mr. Hurley
said, was Charles Crawley, 55, a case manager at the Ron
Jackson State Juvenile Correction Complex in Brownwood.
Department of Public Safety records say Mr. Crawley was
convicted of “murder with malice aforethought” in 1971,
sentenced to 15 years and released in 1981.

A corrections officer at the Ron Jackson facility and
a maintenance technician at the West Texas State School
had convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,
Mr. Hurley said. All 66, he said, had received letters
of termination, which some were challenging, but none
of the workers were still on the job.

Among the agency’s problems cited were a nearly 50 percent
rate of staff turnover annually — more than double that
of the adult prison system — and severe crowding.

Mr. Kimbrough called for checking all new commission
employees against state and federal criminal databases,
and setting a cap on youth placements. He also recommended
a ratio of one correctional officer per six youths, rather
than the current average of one officer to 15 youths,
and sometimes as many as one to 24. And he called for
increasing the training of officers to 300 hours, from
two weeks now.

He said that children as young as 10 should no longer
be grouped with offenders as old as 21, that superintendents
in charge of facilities should be rotated to new jobs about
every five years, and that electronic surveillance should
be upgraded in detention facilities.


15) Major Parts Maker in Talks With Auto Unions
May 3, 2007

OTTAWA, May 2 — The auto parts maker Magna International,
which is considering a bid for Chrysler, is in talks with
Canadian and American auto unions about adding Magna’s
tens of thousands of workers to their ranks, according
to the president of the Canadian union.

Magna, which is the largest auto parts maker in North
America, after Delphi, and also assembles complete
automobiles for several European manufacturers, has
long kept unions out of its plants. The company offers
wages comparable to those in unionized factories,
as well as profit-sharing.

Unions have criticized Magna’s approach, however,
in part because it ties workers’ retirement benefits
to the company’s current stock price.

Only a few of Magna’s plants have been organized by the
two auto workers’ unions.

Basel E. Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers,
said that Magna’s founder, Frank Stronach, approached
him in October 2005 about negotiating an agreement with
the Canadian union and the United Automobile Workers
that would cover all its workers in Canada and the
United States. The company currently has about 50,350
manufacturing employees in the two countries and Mexico.

Mr. Hargrove said the negotiations were now at the point
where he believed that his union had a 90 percent chance
of concluding a master contract.

“I’m very optimistic we can do something,” he said.

Tracy Fuerst, a spokeswoman for Magna, declined to comment.
Christine Moroski, a spokeswoman for the U.A.W., said:
“We talk with employers and companies all the time. But
we believe those discussions are best left between us
and the companies.”

Mr. Stronach remains Magna’s chairman and, along with
family members, controls the voting shares of the company,
which is based north of Toronto in Aurora, Ontario.

Why he would seek a union contract at a time when the
North American auto industry is under significant pressure
is unclear. In 1999, Mr. Hargrove’s union threatened
to strike Chrysler Canada unless that company pressured
Magna to become less hostile toward its organizing

The overture from Mr. Stronach, according to Mr. Hargrove,
is unrelated to Magna’s current interest in DaimlerChrysler’s
Chrysler unit, which has long been one of the company’s
biggest customers. Mr. Hargrove said that Magna managers’
preoccupation with that possible takeover had recently
slowed negotiations.

Mr. Hargrove speculated, however, that the approach might
have been partly motivated by the unions’ continued complaints
that Asian automakers spend too little on parts from North
American suppliers.


16) Among Chimps and Bonobos, the Hand Often Does the Talking
May 1, 2007

Why is it that when people are yakking away on their
cellphones, they often accompany their activity with
face and hand gestures, a performance that their
distant listener cannot see and does not need?

Gesture seems so integral a part of human communication
that some researchers have wondered if language began
as a system of signs and switched over to speech later
in human evolutionary history. Gesture, after all,
is certainly capable of supporting full-fledged language,
as is shown by the existence of sign languages.

So it is of interest that chimpanzees and bonobos
also make liberal use of gestures in addition to the
sounds and facial expressions that are part of their
communication system.

Writing in The Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences, published online Monday, Amy S. Pollick
and Frans B. M. de Waal of the Yerkes National Primate
Research Center report that the two species use gestures
in a much more flexible way than facial or vocal signals.

A scream always means that someone is under threat
or attack. But the gesture of stretching out an open
hand depends on context. In a fight, it is used as a
call for help to a third party. But it may also be used
toward a chimp with food to suggest that a modicum of
sharing would be appropriate.

With one exception, hand gestures are not seen in monkeys,
Dr. de Waal said, suggesting that they are a more recent
evolutionary development than other components of
communication like sounds and expressions and could
more easily be co-opted into a symbolic system. The
versatility of the 31 hand gestures seen among chimpanzees
and bonobos “makes gesture a serious candidate modality
to have acquired symbolic meaning” in early human ancestors,
the researchers write.

Bonobos, which became a separate species from chimpanzees
2.5 million years ago, seem to make special use of hand
gestures that elicit a response from other bonobos much
more often when included in the mix of sounds and

The openness of the hand-gesture system among chimps
and bonobos “is consistent with the idea that the early
hominid communications system was gesture based and that
vocal communication came later,” said William Hopkins,
a Yerkes researcher not involved in the study. “The
speech system is a very recent adaptation in hominids.”

Marc D. Hauser, an expert on animal communication at
Harvard, said the work on hand gestures was interesting
but in his view had nothing to do with language.

“At some point in primate evolution,” he said, “those
parts of the body became usable in systems of communication,
and we inherited some aspects of that, as did chimps.
But we are not licensed to make any connections with language.”

The human use of gestures, he added, is not linguistic
but to enhance language.


17) In Search of Noah's Ark
Leonardo Boff
Earthcharter Commission
Leonardo Boff
VIA Email from: Walter Lippmann

The memorandum on the production of ethanol and biocombustibles from
the March Bush-Lula encounter is causing concern in the camp of the
ecologically minded. The Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Changes, (IPCC), clearly stated that the Earth is rushing
towards a new equilibrium with the rising temperatures, which would
provoke worldwide weather disturbances, devastation of biodiversity,
and the risk of extermination of thousands on thousands of human
beings. This alarming situation creates new responsibilities for the
governments of the world, to seek strategies and adaptations to
mitigate its negative effects. Everywhere voices are heard that speak
of the urgency of creating a world power center to collectively face
world problems, and also of the necessity of a true revolution in the
ways of production and consumption. Otherwise, in this very century
we could experience the same destiny as did the dinosaurs. After
being the sole sovereigns for 133 million years on the planet, they
disappeared 65 million years ago, incapable of adapting to the new
state of the Earth provoked by the impact of a huge meteor, probably
in what is now the Caribbean.

The Bush-Lula memorandum seeks an alternative to the dominant energy
model, but not an alternative to social structure, one which is less
voracious of energy, and more respectful of the Earth. What Bush and
Lula are seeking is a Noah's ark that can save the prevailing system.
Now is a good time to ask: can this system be saved, and does it
deserve to be saved; is it worth it? Does not this system, with its
voracious exploitation, without restraint, of all the resources of
nature, bear primary responsibility for global warming? The IPCC does
not mention this. Meticulous projections reveal that the dominant
worldwide system, moved by oil and with an economy based on
competition, rather than cooperation, only functions satisfactorily
for a mere 1,600 million persons. And we are already some 6,500
million. What will happen to the rest? In The Future of Life, Edward
Wilson, the great specialist in biodiversity, clearly stated that if
we want to make universal the well being that prevails in the
industrialized countries, we would need three more planets equal to
this Earth. Our way of living is simply not sustainable. With climate
change, it has reached its end, in both meanings of "end." It has
realized its potential, (end as an accomplished objective), and is
also reaching its end (end as in death): condemned to disappear.

Therefore, what is at stake is not an alternative to the energy
model, but an alternative to the model of production and consumption,
in a word, a civilizing alternative. What use it is to redesign the
Brazilian map of production so as to maintain the old system, if it
is already in its last days? The Bush-Lula memorandum makes not a
single mention of this point.

Those who are called upon to formulate alternatives to the system are
not so much the experts and the economists, as the thinkers from the
life and Earth sciences; bearers of a new dream capable of building a
Noah's ark that really includes all and not just a few. Time is
against us. It would be desirable for the Lula government to have, as
exists in other countries, a center for studying this systemic crisis
and its possible solutions. Together with many lovers of the Earth,
we make this challenge here.

Free translation from the Spanish sent by, served by, done at


18) IRAQ: Public stoning of teenage girl
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: May 4, 2007 3:04 AM
From: Huibin Amelia Chew

[The antiwar movement here can link up with these protests against the
public lynch-murdering of women, and with the protests' international
base of support. Kurdistan is occupied by Iraq, the U.S., Turkey, and
Iran. Moreover, the Kurdish authorities in Iraq are currently allied
with the U.S. occupiers. The occupiers have legal responsibility in
preventing these crimes, but instead have (at least the U.S.)
participated in victimizing women...DAVID KEIL ]

does anyone have analysis that provides context about this? extremely
disturbing footage of the murder was recorded on cell phones and is
circulating the internet.

thanks and peace,

IRAQ: Public stoning of teenage girl

In Bashika, Mosul, hundreds of men beat and stoned a 17 year old woman
named Du'a Khalil Aswad to death, in a gruesome example of collective
'honour killing'. The woman, a member of the Yezidi religion, which is
practised by Kurds in Northern Iraq ran away from her family to join
an Arab Muslim man with whom she had fallen in love and had been
meeting secretly, but who rejected her. Damned under the 'honour'
code, for running away, for choosing outside her own community and for
being ultimately rejected, Du'a had nowhere to go.

She stayed with a local Yezidi tribal leader for five days until she
was convinced to return to her village on the understanding that she
had been 'forgiven.' She was abducted and brutally murdered in front
of hundreds of men by her relatives -- who stripped her body, beat and
kicked her, and killed her by crushing her body with rocks and
concrete blocks. These brutal and inhuman acts were filmed by the
participants on their mobile phones and many of them have been
circulating on the internet and from phone to phone. They show the
participation of the police in this disgusting communal murder and the
murderous excitement of the crowd as the girl's uncle, brother and
cousin commit the grisly murder.

Islamist groups active in the area have sought to capitalise on this
crime and are urging revenge attacks upon all Yezidis, claiming that
she had converted to Islam and characterising the murder as a
'martyrdom' rather than an 'honour' killing. Women in the Middle East
face patriarchal oppression and violence whether they are Muslim,
Druze, Yezidi or Christian. 'Honour' killings are common amongst Kurds
(the UN has recorded 40 honour killings in Kurdistan in 3 months in
2007) and public murders like this have been noted before: for example
in the case of Semse Allak in the Kurdish region of Turkey. Islamists
throughout Iraq seek to exploit the racial and religious divisions in
the country; one mosque has declared a 'fatwa' against the Yezidi and
23 have been murdered. For this reason, prompt action to locate the
relatives of the young woman and the police who failed to act is
essential to restore peace and allow the Yezidi community to feel safe

Mirza Dinnayi, co-rodinator of the German-based Yezidi Democratic
Community was devastated by this crime. "All Yezidi assocations and
leaders have clearly condemned this barbaric act," he said. Amnesty
International is calling on the Iraqi authorities to investigate
whether law enforcement officials were present but failed to intervene
to prevent Du'a Khalil Aswad's death by stoning, and to take urgent,
concrete measures, including through legislative reforms, to protect
those at risk of becoming victims of so-called "honour crimes." Today
in Arbil there was a huge demonstration against this murder and
'honour' killings in Kurdistan in general.

Add your voice to those calling for change in Kurdistan and Iraq and
for an end to the oppression of 'honour'.
Condemn the stoning of Du'a! Sign here.
Demo in Arbil : pictures there

[Note to readers. I did not look at this footage. I just can't]
site (Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation) has cell phone
clips of murder-lynching:


19) Family Values, Betrayed
May 4, 2007

When George W. Bush was running for president in 2000 as
a new kind of Republican — the caring kind — he had a ready
answer for those skeptical of his moderate views on immigration.
“Family values do not stop at the Rio Grande,” he said, again
and again. He was standing up for immigrants who come here
seeking better lives for their children, and he repeated
the message so often that it stuck.

Now, like so much else in Mr. Bush’s tattered slogan file,
it’s in danger of coming unstuck. Negotiators struggling
to draft an immigration bill in Washington are being
pressured by the White House and Republican leaders
to gut the provisions of the law that promote the unity
of immigrant families in favor of strictly employment-
based programs.

Details are still being sweated out in private, but
a draft proposal circulated by the White House and the
G.O.P. would eliminate or severely restrict whole
categories of family-based immigration in favor of
a system that would assign potential immigrants points
based on age, skills, education, income and other factors.
Citizens would no longer be able to sponsor siblings
and children over 21, and their ability to bring
in parents would be severely limited.

Unattached workers with advanced degrees and corporate
sponsors could do all right, but not families, not the
moms, pops, sons and daughters who open groceries and
restaurants, who rebuild desolate neighborhoods and
inspire America with their work ethic and commitment
to one another. The plan would also shut out hundreds
of thousands of people who have applied for family
visas under current rules and are patiently waiting
because of long backlogs.

The goal seems to be to end what immigration
restrictionists call “chain migration,” a tendentious
term that recasts in a sinister light one of the
fundamental ways America was built, and a decades-old
cornerstone of our immigration policy. It’s a cruel
distortion that feeds fears of outsiders and fails
to acknowledge that healthy immigration levels keep
the economy running, particularly in a country with
low unemployment and birth rates and workers who shun
backbreaking, entry-level jobs.

America needs immigrants. Last year’s bipartisan
Senate bill recognized this, and raised quotas for
both family and employment-based immigration. Congress
should do so again. Closing the door to families would
be unjust and unworkable, and a mockery of the values
that conservatives profess. It would only encourage
illegality by forcing people to choose between their
loved ones and the law.

Compromise is necessary with any bill, particularly
on an issue as complex as immigration. But if a deal
hews so closely to the new harsh line of the White
House and G.O.P that it fundamentally distorts America’s
pro-immigrant tradition, it would be better to ditch
the whole thing and start over.


20) Action by Police at Rally Troubles Los Angeles Chief

LOS ANGELES, May 3 — Chief William J. Bratton of the Los
Angeles Police Department said Thursday that the episode
here in which police officers clashed with demonstrators
and journalists on Tuesday at an immigration rally was
the “worst incident of this type I have ever encountered
in 37 years” in law enforcement.

Eight officers and at least 15 civilians were hurt, the
police said, with people still calling the department
on Thursday to report injuries. Mr. Bratton said 240
nonlethal projectiles were fired by the police into
the crowd.

“Clearly, something went wrong here,” he said in
an interview.

After a request by Mr. Bratton, the F.B.I. announced
Thursday that it would open a civil rights inquiry
into the incident, which has drawn outrage from
immigrant and civic groups and journalists’ organizations
and a rebuke from the City Council. On Wednesday Mr. Bratton
announced two internal investigations by the
Police Department.

News video images of the incident that erupted at
a peaceful gathering in MacArthur Park, west of downtown,
showed the police marching into the crowd, shoving
and knocking down demonstrators and journalists with
batons and firing rubber bullets at close range.

In television and press interviews throughout the day,
Mr. Bratton said he was troubled by the police action
he saw on the videos, and he sought to assure the city
that he intended full disclosure of the facts.

Organizers of the May Day rally, whose theme was a call
for broad changes to immigration laws, said they had
held extensive negotiations with the police in preparing
for the demonstration. They said the police did not
follow the agreed-upon procedure in case of a disturbance.

“It completely broke down,” said Victor Narro of the
National Lawyers Guild, who was the organizers’ liaison
with the police.

Bob Baker, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective
League, appealed in a statement for “no rush to judgment.”
He said the clash had started after the demonstrators
threw rocks and bottles. “Our officers gave a legal
dispersal order and were met with violence,” Mr. Baker
said. “In the coming days it will become clear what

According to demonstrators, organizers and journalists
who witnessed the incident, a band of youths who were
not affiliated with organizations formally participating
in the rally confronted the police at least one block
from the park. The youths, some covering their faces
with bandanas, taunted the officers and by some accounts
threw rocks and bottles at them.

Police officers in riot gear lined up in rows and pushed
the youths back down the street into the park, the
witnesses said. “They started moving in,” said Angela
Sanbrano, executive director of the Central American
Resource Center, an event organizer. “They started beating
up on anybody that didn’t move.”

The police said they declared the assembly unlawful
and issued orders to clear the park. But many demonstrators
said they did not hear the orders, and others, who spoke
only Spanish, did not understand them.

Nine people were arrested for various offenses, including
assault with a deadly weapon for throwing rocks at
officers, the police said Wednesday.

For the past two days, local television viewers have
seen video of Christina Gonzalez, a reporter for the Fox
News affiliate, KTTV Channel 11, being repeatedly shoved
by an officer with a baton. When Ms. Gonzalez knelt
to help a camerawoman, Patti Ballaz, whom the police
had pushed to the ground, an officer angrily threatened
Ms. Gonzalez with arrest and then grabbed her shoulders,
spinning her abruptly to the side.

“You can’t do that!” Ms. Gonzalez cried out.
“You know that!”

Ms. Ballaz suffered a hairline fracture of a wrist.

Another reporter, Patricia Nazario from KPCC-FM, a National
Public Radio affiliate here, said she was talking to her
editor on her cellphone when an officer struck her in the
back with a baton.

Ms. Nazario said she faced the officer and told him she
was a reporter. He struck her again with the baton on
her left thigh, she said.

“It happened so fast and I was on the ground,” she said.
“It was like they were robots, on autopilot.”

After examining videos of the events, Marc Cooper,
associate director of the University of Southern
California Annenberg Institute for Justice and
Journalism, said, “It seems to be a prima facie
violation” of policies the police worked out with
the American Civil Liberties Union in 2002 in the
wake of scuffles with the press at the Democratic
National Convention in Los Angeles in 2000.

The incident occurred as Mr. Bratton seeks to become
the first police chief to earn a second five-year
term since the city imposed term limits on high-ranking
police officials in 1992. Although he has reduced the
city’s crime rate by roughly 25 percent, his department
has been dogged by the widely held perception that
officers are often needlessly forceful.

The 1991 beating of Rodney G. King by the police and
the acquittal a year later of the officers charged
with using excessive force prompted riots; in the
1999 Rampart scandal, an antigang unit was accused
of framing people, robbing suspects and other brutal

Jennifer Steinhauer reported from Los Angeles, and
Julia Preston from New York. Ana Facio Contreras
contributed reporting from Los Angeles.


(Column written 4/14/07 by Mumia AbuˆJamal)

( With the ending of Don Imus‚s radio and TV career has
arisen a perverse (if utterly stupid) caterwaul from
conservatives, who are (to hear them tell it) newlyˆ
born converts of free speech, and equally frenzied
adherents of attacks on the Reverends Al Sharpton
and Jesse Jackson, as if, but for their activism,
their pal Imus would still be on the airwaves.

Some have added the oral antics of various rap artists,
to somehow prove that Imus was treated unfairly for
using equally ugly terms to refer to Black women.

This noise from the fascistic rightwing of American
political life is a vital clue into how they see the
world, and thus a reflection of how they sell this
view to others.

It shows how deeply race dwells in white consciousness,
and how it is like an inner searchlight that blinds
as much as it illuminates.

These soˆcalled conservatives see Imus as "one of us,"
and as such they shared his pompous, good ole‚ boy,
spit-on-the-rabble racism that passes for the norm
in the nation: it just so happens that he spat on
the wrong group of girls this time.

And neither the Revs. Al nor Jesse starting the ball
rolling against Imus, although it may've seemed
so from TV.

The videotape of Imus went from an almost unseen
perch on MSNBC to the net, where it spread like
a virus. Nonetheless, bloggers picked it up and
passed it on, and the more folks saw it, the more
it spread. It became a living thing, nastier and
nastier each time it was replayed.

The almost juvenile rant against rappers also fades
upon a moment‚s reflection; for, while it is
undeniable that some of what is said is naked misogyny--
a profound hatred of women--it's obvious that rappers
have no where near the social or political clout
of Imus.

When‚s the last time you've seen a rapper kick it with
a candidate for U.S. Senator? When's the last time
you've heard of a rapper poppin‚ some questions to
a Mayor or a Governor?

People who wanted to be president flocked to Imus,
like supplicants kissing the ring of a bishop, because
he had the daily ear of millions, and his blessings
meant votes.

No rapper in America can say the same.

Ultimately, it's not about power, and precious
few rappers have any power. In fact, their "bling"
is an attempt to project a power (or wealth) that
most of them do not possess.

Sociologist Zine Magubane, of Boston College, made
that point in dramatic terms in his article, "Globalization
and Gangster Rap: Hip Hop in the Post-Apartheid City"
(citing the work of journalist Norman Kelley):

In an insightful article on the political economy
of Black music, Norman Kelley describes how the relationship
between the six major record firms (Warner, Polygram,
MCA, BMG, Sony, and CEMA/UNI) and African-American
artists as a "postmodern form of colonialism."
He notes that rap music, although it "forms the very
foundation of the $12 billion dollar music industry
in the United States‚" exhibits an history pattern
typical of African-American aesthetic products like
jazz and blues which, although created largely by Blacks,
were under the corporate control of Whites. Black-owned
production companies like Uptown Records, Def Jam,
and Bad Boy, Kelley explains, "do not control a key
component of the music-making nexus, namely, distribution."
For example, the albums produced by Master P's
No Limit Records as well as those by Roc-A-Fella
Records (owned by Damon Dash) are distributed by Priority
Records. Those produced by Cash Money Records are
distributed by Universal, while Sean Combs‚ Bad Boy
label is distributed by Arista. Thus, although young
Black entrepreneurs have been able to swing the balance
of power somewhat in their direction, they are still
far from having complete dominion (because) in the
music business distribution is the final battle ground.
Because African-American artists have virtually
no control over the domestic distribution of their
music, they likewise have no control over international
distribution. Thus, white owned and controlled media
conglomerates determine which African-American cultural
products enter the global arena. (Fr.: Magubane, Z.,
in: Basu, Dipannita and Sydney J. Lemelle, eds., The
Vinyl Ain't Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization
of Black Popular Culture. (London/Ann Arbor, MI.:
Pluto Press, 2006), p. 211.)

Imus was a creature of white corporate and political
power, who made millions playing to the smallmindedness
of millions, who wanted to snicker at the lot of
those worse off than them.

Unless I miss my guess, someone will hire him
to do it again.

There‚s always a market for that.





Anti-U.S. Uproar Sweeps Italy
By David Swanson
The U.S. government has proposed to make Vicenza, Italy,
the largest US military site in Europe, but the people
of Vicenza, and all of Italy, have sworn it will never

As the Climate Changes, Bits of England’s Coast Crumble

Inspector of Projects in Iraq Under Investigation
May 4, 2007

Miami, activists in standoff after shantytown fire
Apr. 26, 2007

Gene Links Longevity and Diet, Scientists Say
May 3, 2007

Feeling Warmth, Subtropical Plants Move North
May 3, 2007

Court Rejects Limit on Bids by Convicts for DNA Tests
May 3, 2007

California Mayor Demands Inquiry
Over Immigration Protest Clash
The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio R. Villaraigosa,
demanded an investigation into a clash Tuesday between
the police and pro-immigration protesters, saying he was
“deeply concerned” by televised images of the episode.
The chief, William J. Bratton, has already said he will
open an internal inquiry into the actions of officers
who used batons and rubber bullets to clear MacArthur
Park of protesters, apparently after a small group of
people began pelting them with rocks.
May 3, 2007

Iraqi Blocs Opposed to Draft Oil Bill
May 3, 2007

Saturday, May 5, 2007
(212) 677-7180
March against the Drug War, kick off at 1:30 PM starting in
Washington Square Park. March against the BIG LIE in public policy,
from the War on Drugs to the War in Iraq! Tulia, Texas is the template
for W's phony War on Terror--just like the so-called "health threat of
marijuana" equals the "weapons of mass destruction." Both never
existed! Come out and protest intervention abroad and criminalization
at home under the War on Drugs. Protest the incarceration of a
generation and the calculated disfranchisement of majority democratic
voters thru the Drug War!

Arctic Sea Ice Decline May Trigger Climate Change Cascade,
According to New CU-Boulder Study

Texas officials criticize fence plan
Associated Press Writer

U.S. Seeks Closing of Visa Loophole for Britons
"In recent months, the homeland security secretary, Michael
Chertoff, has opened talks with the government here on how
to curb the access of British citizens of Pakistani origin
to the United States."
May 2, 2007

Protesters Press for Path to Citizenship
"Immigrants and their supporters rallied across the country
today seeking a reduction in deportations and legalization
for the estimated 12 million people said to be living and
working in this country without proper documentation."
May 1, 2007

When communal councils meet workers’ councils in Venezuela
By Erik Demeester in Caracas
Monday, 30 April 2007

Where is the outrage over military rape?

Bill Moyers special on how the press contributed to the
selling of the Iraq War.
11.[Skip this one -- it's the same as Part 10]

Americans want to give undocumented a break
By Emile Schepers
People's Weekly World Newspaper, 04/26/07 13:14

Soldiers Indicted in Killing
MADRID, April 27 (AP) — A judge indicted three American
soldiers on Friday in the 2003 death of a Spanish journalist
who was killed when their tank fired at a hotel in Baghdad.
Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip
DeCamp were charged with homicide in the death of the journalist,
José Manuel Couso Permuy, and with “a crime against the
international community,” defined as an indiscriminate or
excessive attack against civilians during war.
At the time of the shooting, the three soldiers were from
the Army’s Third Infantry Division, based in Fort Stewart, Ga.
April 28, 2007

C.I.A. Held Qaeda Leader in Secret Jail for Months
"WASHINGTON, April 27 — The Central Intelligence Agency held
a captured Qaeda leader in a secret prison since last fall
and transferred him last week to the American military prison
at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, officials said Friday."
April 28, 2007

Rebuilt Iraq Projects Found Crumbling
April 29, 2007

Army Officer Accuses Generals of "Intellectual and Moral Failures"

By Dahr Jamail, Electronic Lebanon
"SRIFA, Southern Lebanon, 27 April (IPS) - Close to a
million unexploded bombs are estimated to litter southern
Lebanon, according to UN forces engaged in the hazardous
task of removing them. The United Nations Interim Force In
Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created by the Security Council in
1978 to confirm an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and
restore international peace and security. After the war
last year it has a new job on its hands."
27 April 2007

"Lawsuit Filed as NYPD Data Shows Police Stops Increased
by More than 500 Percent between 2002 and 2006, with Blacks
Comprising More than Half of All Stops"

Case of Police Videotaping Is Back in the Public Eye
April 27, 2007

Hurricane Survivors to Buy U.S. Trailers or Pay Rental Fee
April 27, 2007

Criminal Charges Are Expected Against Marines, Official Says
April 27, 2007

Court Asked to Limit Lawyers at Guantánamo
April 26, 2007

U.S. Officer in Iraq Charged With ‘Aiding the Enemy’
April 26, 2007

Israeli Democracy: For Jews Only?
April 25, 2007

Move Over G.M., Toyota Is No. 1
April 25, 2007

Manhattan: Housing Law Struck Down
Justice Marilyn Shafer of State Supreme Court yesterday
struck down the Tenant Empowerment Act, a 2005 New York
City law giving tenants in subsidized rental buildings
the right of first refusal to buy their buildings if the
owners decide to sell or quit rental assistance programs
like Mitchell-Lama. Justice Shafer said she “reluctantly”
concluded that the city cannot limit rights granted to
building owners by the State Legislature in allowing them
to withdraw from Mitchell-Lama. The Legislature itself
could choose to protect middle- and low-income tenants
in those buildings, she pointed out. “In failing to do
so, or to permit the City of New York to do so, the State
Legislature has failed the residents of the City of New
York,” she wrote in her opinion.
April 25, 2007

Guantánamo Detainee Charged
A Canadian detained in Afghanistan and held at Guantánamo
Bay since 2002 was charged with murder. The detainee, Omar
Khadr, 20, is accused of throwing a grenade that killed
a Special Forces soldier while fighting with the Taliban
in Afghanistan, and planting mines aimed at American convoys.
The military charged him with murder, providing support
to terrorism, attempted murder, conspiracy and spying.
April 25, 2007

Panel Hears About Falsehoods in 2 Wartime Incidents
April 25, 2007

Mexico City Legalizes Abortion Early in Term
April 25, 2007

OSHA Leaves Worker Safety in Hands of Industry
April 25, 2007

Chavez Asks UN to Intervene in Posada Case
"CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez asked the United
Nations on Sunday to intervene in the case of international
terrorist Luis Posada Carrilles, placed in freedom last week
by the United States government.
Speaking on his Alo Presidente TV and radio program, Chavez
called the decision to release Posada embarrassing and proof
of the double standard by the US government on the issue
of terrorism.
Chavez reiterated Venezuela’s demand that Posada be extradited
to the South American country to stand trial for organizing
a 1976 plane bombing that killed 73 persons.
The outcry against the freeing of the terrorist was echoed
in several countries around the world.
Upon arriving for a visit to Havana, Gennady Andreyevich
Zyuganov, chairman of the Central Executive Committee
of Russia's Communist Party, said the release of Posada
exceeds the limits of cynicism and shame.
La Opinion, the Los Angeles Spanish language newspaper,
ran an editorial Sunday calling the release of Posada
a defeat of the US legal system and adds that the move
sends a contradictory message from the US government.
In Haiti, Dr. Jean Renald Clerisme, minister of Foreign
Affairs and Worship, said the release of the terrorist
was an insult to justice. "This man deserves to be
brought to justice and there is no doubt that the
world has already condemned him".
In Moscow, the Russian Venceremos Movement, made up
of different leftwing parties, and labor and civic
organizations, delivered a message to the United
States Embassy in which it repudiates the freeing
of Posada Carriles on bail. (Taken from Granma Daily)."

If You Want to Know if Spot Loves You So, It’s in His Tail
April 24, 2007

Nissan Will Offer Buyouts
April 24, 2007

California: City Won’t Aid Immigration Officials
Police officers and other city employees will not help
federal immigration authorities seeking to round up and
deport illegal immigrant workers in San Francisco, Mayor
Gavin Newsom said Sunday. The mayor told a predominantly
Hispanic audience at St. Peter’s Church that while city
and state officials could not stop Immigration and Customs
Enforcement from conducting sweeps in the city, he would
do everything within his power to discourage them. “We
are a sanctuary city, make no mistake about it,”
Mr. Newsom said.
April 24, 2007

"Is It Too Late to Get Out?"
Housing Bubble Boondoggle
April 24, 2007

An island made by global warming
By Michael McCarthy, Environmental Editor
Published: 24 April 2007

Incremental Health Reform: Whose Life Doesn't Count?
by Rose Ann DeMoro

Officials Backing Down From Plan for Wall in Iraq
April 23, 2007

When Bremer Ruled Baghdad
How Iraq was Looted
April 21 / 22, 2007

FOCUS | Key Part of Bush's "No Child" Law Under Federal Probe

Now That Imus is Gone, What About All The Right-Wing Lies?
Fire The Media
by Mark T. Harris; April 22, 2007

William Fisher | Guantanamo Detainees in Isolation,
Diplomatic Limbo

Lower Manhattan, Higher Testosterone
"Since 2000, men, mostly between ages 25 and 44, have
accounted for more than three-fourths of the population
increase in Lower Manhattan. As a result, according to
a special census calculation, the sex ratio there increased
to 126 men per 100 women in 2005, from 101 men per 100 women
in 2000. In the rest of Manhattan, and in the city over all,
there were only 90 men for every 100 women."
April 22, 2007

Blue Angel Jet Crashes at S.C. Air Show
April 22, 2007

A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves
April 22, 2007

War Resister Agustin Aguayo Released
"Army medic Agustin Aguayo was released this week after
more than six months in military custody for refusing
to deploy to Iraq a second time.
Aguayo went AWOL for weeks after refusing the order.
He was taken into military custody and jailed after
turning himself in. We speak with Agustin Aguayo's
wife, Helga."

Mike Farrell of M*A*S*H on His Journey to Actor and
"Actor Mike Farrell is perhaps best known for his role
as Captain B.J.Hunnicutt in the popular TV series
M*A*S*H. But aside from that, he is also
known for his decades of social justice activism.
Farrell has just come out with a new book called "Just
Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and

VIDEO | Depleted Uranium: Poisoning Our Planet

FOCUS | Soldier Says He Was Deployed With Head Injury

Ongoing Defiance/Political Gridlock in Lebanon
April 20, 2007

Maryland: Bodies of Miners Are Found
Workers found the bodies of two miners trapped when a wall
section collapsed in an open-pit coal mine in western Maryland,
a federal mine official said. The official, Bob Cornett,
acting regional director for the federal Mine Safety and
Health Administration, said the men, one of whom was found
in a backhoe, and the other, found in a bulldozer, appeared
to have died instantly. The cause of the collapse was under
investigation. Mr. Cornett said heavy rain and the ground’s
freezing and thawing could be a factor. The mine, about
150 miles west of Baltimore, has had no fatal injuries since
at least 1995 and was not cited for violations in its most
recent inspection, which began March 5, according the federal
mine agency.
April 21, 2007

Fish-Killing Virus Spreading in the Great Lakes
"CHICAGO, April 20 — A virus that has already killed tens
of thousands of fish in the eastern Great Lakes is spreading,
scientists said, and now threatens almost two dozen aquatic
species over a wide swath of the lakes and nearby waterways."
April 21, 2007

Army’s Documents Detail Secrecy in Tillman Case
April 21, 2007

Anger and Alternatives on Abortion
April 21, 2007

World Opposed to U.S. as Global Cop

Supreme Court Backtracks on Abortion Rights

Report: World Needs to Axe Greenhouse Gases by 80 Pct

Iraq Refugees: The Hidden Face of the War

World Bank May Target Family Planning

2 Miners Trapped in Maryland Under Up to 100 Feet of Rock
April 20, 2007

Leading Article: A global warning from the dust bowl of Australia
Published:?20 April 2007

General strike in the Spanish province of Cadiz to support
employees of Delphi
April 18, 2007

Graffiti Figure Admired as Artist Now Faces Vandalism Charges
April 19, 2007

Pet Food Recall Expanded
April 19, 2007

Pet Food Recall
Updated: April 19, 2007

Gates Reassures Israel About Arms Sales in Gulf
April 19, 2007

A Lot of Uninvited Guests
Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail
"DAMASCUS, Apr 18 (IPS) - The massive influx of Iraqi refugees
into Syria has brought rising prices and overcrowding, but most
Syrians seem to have accepted more than a million of the
refugees happily enough."

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure
Filed at 12:53 p.m. ET
April 18, 2007

Almost Human, and Sometimes Smarter
April 17, 2007

Housing Slump Takes a Toll on Illegal Immigrants
"HURON, Calif. — Some of the casualties of America’s housing
bust are easy to spot up and down California’s Central Valley."
April 17, 2007



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



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

Call, Email and Write:

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

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

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

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

National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)

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


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


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

Excerpt of interview between Barbara Walters and Hugo Chavez

Which country should we invade next?

My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup

Michael Moore- The Awful Truth

Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments

Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage


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


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


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




Defend the Los Angeles Eight!


George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks




Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran


Petition: Halt the Blue Angels


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


Film/Song about Angola


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays!

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

(scroll down when you get there])